Another OWWM Project

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Blog entry by davidroberts posted 11-07-2010 10:12 PM 3219 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday I had the opportunity to purchase this DeWalt RAS, model MBF-223, serial# 212800. From the serial registry on the OWWM mothership, the saw was born in January 1957. The machine is considered a bit underpowered with the original 3/4hp motor, however, it was marketed to the DIY and handyman of the 1950s, not for heavy commerical use (as in cutting 8/4 or larger hardwood all day long). A 9” blade will fit on the machine, however an 8” blade works better.

I have lusted for this particular model over the past 4 years and I am actually humbled to have it in my garage. The older DeWalt RAS models don’t appear much on CL in my area and when they do, they are usually larger models in pretty bad shape, or overpriced in my opinion. I paid a fair price with no regrets. Besides another galoot drove up right behind me so my bargaining power diminished exponentially!

It is in exceptional condition considering it’s age with all the cosmetics intact – knobs, balls, levers and guards, and the motor runs like a top. The bearing appear to be in good condition. I removed the nose cap and cleaned the ways and bearings, and wire wheeled the cap just for fun. The previous owner, I believe deceased, was an architectural millwright in the Galveston Tx area. A nephew (not a young man himself) is selling off his uncle’s old equipment. It has been in storage. The nephew led me to believe the uncle was the original owner. Based on it’s condition, I believe it. I only plan to clean it up, not much, and build a Mr. Sawdust table.


another view


another view


last one


-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

9 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3196 days

#1 posted 11-07-2010 10:13 PM

Congrats on getting a piece of WW history, and … best of luck/have fun/don’t forget to post pics …. in your upcoming restoration !!!

That thing is going to be verrry cool !

-- -- Neil

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3036 days

#2 posted 11-07-2010 10:55 PM


This is going to be a fun project for you. Looking forward to seeing it spring back to life in your future postings. Bet it weighs more than most saws today. Good job!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View popmandude's profile


109 posts in 3042 days

#3 posted 11-07-2010 10:56 PM

Congrats!! I have a GWI. Got it re-painted, changed the motor bearings, then found out the blade had a bad wobble to it. Haven’t decided yet if I will dig deeper, or sell it. I love them owwm. My parks planer is a work horse.
Good luck with the rehab

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#4 posted 11-07-2010 11:04 PM

Congrats on another OWWM Project!

View Pimzedd's profile


606 posts in 4165 days

#5 posted 11-08-2010 12:34 AM

Taught “shop” with a 10 in DeWalt for 27 years. It was a good piece. Yours looks like it can be put to work without much effort.

One thing caught my attention. The upper guard is in place. The three screw holes in the side held a lower guard.

Two aluminum pieces on each side. One piece was a half moon shape with slots for the three screws to go through. A second piece with C shaped with end pieces that hung on the two outboard screws and was held in place inside the first piece. The C shaped piece road up and down over the wood being cut. It never looked like it would work real well to keep a finger out. Mostly it served as a reminder.

If you can find the lower guard, good deal, otherwise keep your fingers clear of the path of the blade!

-- Bill - Mesquite, TX --- "Everything with a power cord eventually winds up in the trash.” John Sarge , timber framer and blacksmith instructor at Tillers International school

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3485 days

#6 posted 11-08-2010 12:40 AM

Looks good Dave. Please post some pics during the restore.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4050 days

#7 posted 11-08-2010 12:45 AM

A friend has one of these he inherited. He likes it

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3508 days

#8 posted 11-08-2010 01:47 AM

thanks all. this about wraps up my major tool purchase quest (no really honey). now if i can just get my garage in shape, i just might build something worth the effort.

by the way, my 17 year old einstein son competed on a robotics team last weekend. not much of a robot to to look at but they took third out of 21 teams and missed going to State by 2 points. I built most of the practice field. I’ll post a blog.

pimzedd – i’ve seen those guards that hang down around the bottom of the blade (i.e. Norm and his Delta), however, the 1957 manual doesn’t show them for this model. I doubt they came with the machine considering the kickback guard is still installed. they may be a latter feature, or a separate purchase. I believe the guard is original but who know, it could be newer than the machine.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3750 days

#9 posted 11-11-2010 05:34 PM

Hey David,
Nice pickup. I just snagged a Dewalt GWI that is the same vintage as yours and am planning a similar cleanup and mr sawdust build. I ordered my metal bars from McMaster Carr. I got them in 3 foot lengths along with some epoxy and a little hardware for another project. Shipping was only $6, despite the length of the bars and they were in much better shape than at my local lowes or HD. That being said, your stores might have better material in stock. Just a heads up (-:

If you are interested in following my blog, here is my first post. I’ll post more as I progress.

As for pimzedd’s post, I’m not sure the guard he is talking about was stock. My saw looks like it has the 3 screws but they look like they were painted over with the original paint and it doesn’t have a guard. You are obviously familiar with OWWM, so you can always go over there and check the archives for manuals and parts diagrams. That should help.

Mine just has a wingnut that can be loosened to tilt the blade guard as needed to protect you. I believe the Mr Sawdust book covers it all. I hope you keep posting as you get your saw ready for action. Thanks for sharing the pics!!!

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