|Project by Tim Gates||posted 04-11-2010 07:00 PM||3806 views||5 times favorited||22 comments|
I have been impressed with some of the restoration work I’ve seen on this site and others and decided to give it a shot. Although I didn’t really need a scroll saw, this old Delta was available locally and seemed like a reasonable size project to start with. It does not have a serial number plate but the Delta label includes a zone code vice a zip code so I figure it was made no later than 1963.
I’ve included one Craigslist “before” picture and to say this saw had been run hard and put away wet was an understatement. It had a “State of Louisiana” property tag on it so you know it didn’t get much TLC over it’s life. Lot’s of rust, no evidence of cleaning (ever), and an old paint job that looked like it had been sprayed on from across the room. I broke this thing down to the last bolt, cleaned and wire brushed everything, painted it all, and amazingly, it all went back together.
If you are considering something like this, check the availability of parts. This saw was manufactured for years so many parts are available new. On the other hand, some of the key items are not available and the bidding for them is fierce when they come up on Ebay (e.g., Delta 882 light). When I take on another similar project, I’ll watch Ebay to get a feel for what parts really need to be included for the project to be worthwhile. It’s also interesting to note that these saws are so heavy, shipping is prohibitively expensive. As a result, you see a lot of folks parting them out on the internet. The parts are worth more individually than the complete saw.
Finally, the guys at Old Woodworking Machines (OWWM.com) were an invaluable resource. One piece on my saw was so bound up that I started to get concerned that I really didn’t understand how it went together and was afraid I would break something. I reached out to an OWWM member who called me on the phone and then DEMONSTRATED the disassembly on his own saw over the internet via Skype. Amazing.
I still don’t need a scroll saw but I won’t be getting rid of this anytime soon.