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Unisaw restoration

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Blog entry by MedicKen posted 07-22-2009 10:19 PM 3269 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I few months ago I picked up a Delta/Rockwell 14” bandsaw. It was in horrible condition and needed a lot of work. I found the saw on Craigslist, called the seller and made an appt to see and eventually buy the saw. I completed the bandsaw a few weeks ago.

While I was loking at the saw I was talking with the seller and mentioned to him I like to use older equipment and was looking for an old unisaw. He told me to look around the “yard”, the place was a storage facility for a lot of junk. The actual owner of the property used to buy lots at auctions and stored it at this location. Under an awning I spotted an old table saw. I wasnt sure of what it was and asked if I could take a look. I made my way back to it, after crawling over old cars and a boat I found a Delta unisaw. I was told the pile I was crawling through was going to be hauled off for scrap!! Including the saw. I asked the seller of the bandsaw if he would speak with the owner of the “scrap” and ask if I could purchase the saw. A month or so later I recieved a phone call informing me that if I wanted the unisaw to come get it. It was given to me!! This is what I found…...

1968 Model with a 2hp 3ph motor.

Now, I dont know about everyone else here but I dont have 3ph power in my home. That is susally something that is only available in commercial areas. But, there are other ways of running 3ph motors on single phase power. One way is buy or build a phase converter, its kinda costly though. Another way is to buy and install a VFD, variable frequency drive, which was my answer.

I was told that the motor on the saw wasnt any good and would have to be replaced. I kinda took it with a grain of salt, 3ph motors are pretty much bullet proof. I disassembled the motor and replaced the bearings. I didnt see any sign of burnt wires, scoring in the commutator or any thing else that would suggest the motor was bad. New bearings installed I was ready to see if the motor would run. But still no 3ph alternative.

I purchased a VFD, 230V single phase input and 230V 3phase output. Now electricity is a foreign language to me when it comes to this type of thing. Luckily I was able to get some help from fellow LJ, Marcb. I bench wired the VFD and motor, plugged it in and held my breath. When I pushed the start button the motor began to spin, very slowly. I adjusted the VFD as per the instructions and it slowly built up speed, I now have a fully functioning motor!!

I have set the VFD to ramp up the motor speed in .5 seconds and when shut down the decel time is 3 seconds, and the VFD has a built in braking system. Its SWEET!! I will add an auxilary switch to control the VFD when I wire it up to the saw when the restoration is complete.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com



12 comments so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3047 days


#1 posted 07-22-2009 10:33 PM

Pity you did not get the table top or did you?I wonder how you will overcome this still a great old saw it desn’t look to be in bad condition at all actually quite clean.good luck Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2924 days


#2 posted 07-22-2009 10:38 PM

I did get the top as well as the miter gauge. The fence was missing so I did anothe CL shopping spree and found a 52” Biesemeyer!!

As found before cleaning. The miter gauge was “welded” in place

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3047 days


#3 posted 07-22-2009 10:41 PM

Now that’s more like it buddy well done now this I want to see finished like the nice bandsaw kindest regards Alistair ps I have a number of 3 phase machines and have a few vdf’s as well as other means of converting such as convertors both static and rotary they work great have fun

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#4 posted 07-22-2009 10:44 PM

I thought this was a woodworking sight, not a machinery one… LOL ;) looks like you’ve been busy restoring some really nice equipment there Ken. touche!

I like the built-in miter-gauge… hehe

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3047 days


#5 posted 07-22-2009 10:46 PM

If you can save the miter gauge I would those type are actually very good.I have seen them go on ebay for about a hundred bucks or more.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View AndyR's profile

AndyR

16 posts in 2799 days


#6 posted 07-23-2009 04:06 AM

Nice! I bet the top will clean up ok.

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2924 days


#7 posted 07-23-2009 04:13 AM

The top looks fantastic!!

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2924 days


#8 posted 07-23-2009 06:10 AM

Ok purp….....I get it. I will keep it to wood

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#9 posted 07-23-2009 01:52 PM

Ken, I hope you were joking… cause I was…lol. I love seeing those older beauties! these posts are fantastic

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2924 days


#10 posted 07-24-2009 04:29 AM

I just thought it would be cool to show some of the older tools that will one day soon be used to finish some of my projects. Not all shops have to be all new and shiny and tiawanese.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 2788 days


#11 posted 07-25-2009 02:52 AM

Man Ken…that is a sweet saw…Can’t wait to see the finished saw !!!

-- Don S.E. OK

View mranum's profile

mranum

131 posts in 2878 days


#12 posted 09-12-2009 10:42 PM

Where did you look for the VFD? How did you decide which one to get? If its not too much to ask what does a VFD cost?

-- Just remember,it was a lone amatuer that built the ark, and a team of experts built the Titanic.

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