My Journey Into Woodworking #1: "New" Table Saw- Rockwell Unisaw 34-761

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Blog entry by elduderino posted 08-08-2013 07:42 AM 10979 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My Journey Into Woodworking series Part 2: The Unisaw Resto. & New Toys. »

My first table saw was recently given to me when my parents abruptly moved from near me in Maryland, to Texas. It was a Ryobi P.O.S. that my dad later claimed hurt him every time he used it. I also learned the hard way, through some pain and a couple months of a useless left index finger, that a quality piece of equipment would likely have saved me some grief.

The blood did a good job of hiding, in the photo, how significant the damage was, actually. My ignorance abound, I still likely would’ve had the same or worse incident with a more substantial piece of equipment. It was undoubtedly operator error. So during my recovery I have spent most of my days educating myself on all things woodworking and primarily the glorious machines that woodworkers use to create. I have enjoyed watching and reading the media and information Marc at offers.

I am a gear junkie, and I will always want the best. I am a Marine, and will make it work because that is what we do in the Corps. That said, I recently purchased a December, 1983 Rockwell 10” right-tilt 1.5hp 1PH Unisaw for $400. Here it is disassembled before cleaning.

I am now the second owner, and received the arbor nut wrench owners manual in its original frosted Rockwell sleeve with all the original paperwork.

It also came with a Supermax 25” 2hp 1PH drum sander, a Total-Shop 2hp 1PH dust collector, a 53” Beisemeyer fence, a melamine router extension table with casters, a wheeled base for the TS, a Bosch evs1613 plunge router, 2 Forrest WWI blades, a Forest 5” blade stiffener, an Incra joinery router jig with all the templates and adhesive measurement strips(not sure what the correct term is here), a dozen assorted carbide router bits, a forstner bit set, a thin kerf zero-clearance, and 4 dado zero-clearance inserts. On the saw, the belts are worn and need replacing. Upon inspection, and losing the ball-bearings, I need a new switch. I purchased new 10G wires and have replaced the wiring from the motor to the switch, but haven’t decided with which switch I will replace it. Then I will replace the rest of the wiring. I also intend to replace the motor with a new 5hp 1PH motor in the near future, making it challenging to decide on a switch right now. I want my decades of use to be worry-free regardless of the hardness of the material I am feeding. I have already cleaned, sanded, primed, and painted the cabinet in a metallic satin nickel rust-oleum rust stopper paint and primer in one. Still looks classy and industrial in my opinion.

I paralleled the blade to the miter slots, as well as “leveling” the cast iron extension wings to the best of my ability without the use of shims. The left side has some sagging that I need to eliminate. I mildly cleaned the top surface, and it will require thorough lapping before I am satisfied. I am searching for an engine cover as well, because it didn’t have one. Any input on the switch problem would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise enjoy my frequent failures and injuries(I’m very lucky to be married to an ICU/Trauma Nurse, and have VA medical care), learn from me, and be appreciative in general.

-- oh, really...

9 comments so far

View jlasersmith's profile


45 posts in 2177 days

#1 posted 08-08-2013 10:13 AM

WOW! Great score on all the equipment! Here is the switch that I use on my 1950’s Craftsman Floor model. I feel much safer being able to bump the switch off with my knee. Good luck and be safe with those tools.

-- I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different. -Kurt Vonnegut

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2385 days

#2 posted 08-08-2013 12:02 PM

that is an insane deal. At first I thought $400 for the saw sounded like a decent deal…then I kept reading. Tool Gloat all day long!

-- Steve

View elduderino's profile


6 posts in 1785 days

#3 posted 08-08-2013 01:02 PM

Thanks jlasersmith, that switch is cheap enough that I won’t feel the sting buying another new switch when I change to a 5hp motor.

Thanks Steve, I have been ear-to-ear about it since I brought it all home.

Also I forgot to mention the elevation gears were stripped on the drum sander, but a quick call to Supermax cleared that up. The 4 gears needed are all identical, now made in stainless, and $16 each. Not too hard to swallow…

-- oh, really...

View bobasaurus's profile


3483 posts in 3209 days

#4 posted 08-08-2013 04:04 PM

You got a seriously nice load of tools for the money. The top of that saw looks near-perfect already, too. Please be careful when using it to prevent further injury… get/make a featherboard and make a nice push stick (don’t use a commercial plastic one, they almost universally suck), stay clear of the blade, and use a splitter/riving knife. Also make sure the blade is square to the fence to reduce kickbacks.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View elduderino's profile


6 posts in 1785 days

#5 posted 08-11-2013 03:31 PM

Some images of the saw as I was disassembling.

-- oh, really...

View elduderino's profile


6 posts in 1785 days

#6 posted 08-11-2013 03:49 PM

Thanks bob, I see you’re saying I shouldn’t touch the blade, but do you mean when the saw is on or off? I hit the jackpot with this stuff. The price was originally $200 for the saw, router, blades & bits, and extension table. The seller offered me the rest for $200 additional while we loaded the table saw. I couldn’t say no.

The picture of the top is after using a fine grit sponge block with wd-40, a mineral spirits wipe-down, a T-9 Boeshield light coating, and a waxing. It still has some large stains I would like to get out, if it doesn’t require removing too much material.

Micro-Jig will certainly be receiving at least a few c-notes from me. I do agree that the push stick market is slim, but ADS Tool Design has what appears to be a quality option. I don’t know that you can go wrong for the price.

-- oh, really...

View TheGovernor11's profile


1 post in 2142 days

#7 posted 10-25-2013 11:05 PM

elduderino, you wouldn’t by any chance be willing to scan and email me a copy of that manual would you? I recently picked up the exact same saw and am having trouble tracking down the manual.

View Fourthgencarp's profile


8 posts in 856 days

#8 posted 02-16-2016 05:29 PM

Do you have the wiring diagram for this motor?

View FullAuto's profile


2 posts in 371 days

#9 posted 06-15-2017 06:29 AM

Elduderino, just bought a model 34-762 and am looking to make a few repairs. What would I have to do in order to get a copy of your owner’s manual.


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