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Should this Delta Unisaw replace my Bosch 4100?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 05-29-2015 12:35 AM 1253 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1371 posts in 1490 days


05-29-2015 12:35 AM

Here is a somewhat of a local Delta Unisaw up for grabs at an upcoming auction. Could go for $20.. or $800, I do not know yet. As many of you probably know by now, I am not skittish at restoring / refurbishing machinery, to a point. This is the only picture, I will not see it in person until this weekend to check for rust, 1.5HP or 3HP motor, pitting, handles move & twist. Not knowing about cabinet saws from the vintage era’s, what should I look for? What would be the price tag you would pay? I know a Beiseymeyer fence would be in order.. what about riving knife or other safety features to install on such a beast ?

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"


21 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5764 posts in 947 days


#1 posted 05-29-2015 12:46 AM

400$ Or so. I think it has a bullet motor. By the look of the motor cover which is almost a mythical creature in and of itself. A repulsion start induction run motor that is. I think. Pretty desirable or so I’ve seen. May be worth more than that. It’s a right tilt if if makes a difference to you. Model and serial #s help if available.

Edit: prob not the original motor cover

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Holbs

1371 posts in 1490 days


#2 posted 05-29-2015 12:48 AM

My concern with the vintage saws (this could be from the 1950’s, or 1970’s…I have no idea), are the safety features / addons that are possible. I’ve been spoiled with my bosch 4100 riving knife, kickback pawls, and blade guard.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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Shadowrider

183 posts in 670 days


#3 posted 05-29-2015 12:55 AM

If you can swing it, it’s about 100 times the saw that your 4100 is. Okay that might be pushing it a little, but just a little.

I’m no expert on old Unisaws but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a cover on a saw that vintage, I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I think Fridge is pretty close at $400, it’s probably 3 phase and that will help with your pricing. Don’t let it scare you off just get a VFD and run it. Put a better fence and an Incra mitre gage and you’ll never wear it out.

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TheFridge

5764 posts in 947 days


#4 posted 05-29-2015 12:55 AM

True. But the Bosch will never be a cabinet saw.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Shadowrider

183 posts in 670 days


#5 posted 05-29-2015 12:59 AM

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Holbs

1371 posts in 1490 days


#6 posted 05-29-2015 01:02 AM

thanks shadow. will keep that in mind if this becomes mine.

I think I should of searched LJ’s for Unisaw before I posted because now I am reading many where once in my shoes asking same questions :)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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Shadowrider

183 posts in 670 days


#7 posted 05-29-2015 02:35 AM

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MrUnix

4208 posts in 1660 days


#8 posted 05-29-2015 02:57 AM

They only made 1 and 1 1/2hp bullet motors AFAIK (well, they did offer 1/2 and 3/4hp but those are pretty rare). It may or may not be a 3 phase machine – they made both. Motor alone weighs close to 100 pounds. Looks like a micro-adjust fence and not a jet-lock, which was introduced in 1960… so that and the cast iron plinth makes it probably a pre-1960 model. $400 is reasonable, but they can go for much more… or sometimes, you can find them at the dump or sitting beside the road with a “Free” sign on them :)

Cheers,
Brad

PS: That is NOT an OEM motor cover.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View jshroyer's profile

jshroyer

80 posts in 1119 days


#9 posted 05-29-2015 12:30 PM

i have both a unisaw from ~1980 and a bosch 4100. The safety features on better on the bosch for sure. I have had kickback once but ordered the microjig splitter to fix the issue. I like the unisaw better though. Its a bigger table which makes everything easier so i can do it safer.

-- http://semiww.org/

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3666 posts in 1181 days


#10 posted 05-29-2015 08:36 PM

I’ve never used the Bosch 4100, but have used several smaller universal motor powered saws and while many of the newer ones have far more safety built in, the old Unisaw would still be a tremendous upgrade. The power an shear mass offered by a large cabinet saw can be safety features by themselves. The greatest safety feature you’ll ever own is between your ears!

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1757 days


#11 posted 05-30-2015 12:43 AM

That side cover looks home made (all the holes are VERY random). If it’s 3 phase add a couple of hundred to the price for a VFD and some more for wiring. If you can sell the Bosch subtract what you get for that from the price. If the net outlay is agreeable go for it.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2022 posts in 2089 days


#12 posted 05-30-2015 03:30 AM

got a 3hp unisaw for free. refurbed it, changed arbor and motor bearings. opted to keep my two emerson built 10” CI contractor saws instead. the unisaw was not as mobile as the other saws on herc-u-lifts, it’s overall surface area was smaller than the contractor saws and the unisaw was a right tilt; the contractor saws were left tilt. don’t get hung up on that old unisaw mystique. from personal experience, they are not all that and a bag of chips.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1371 posts in 1490 days


#13 posted 05-30-2015 04:22 AM

If this delta becomes mine, I will keep the bosch for dado’s or such. And I do not care if original motor cover or not, this will not become a show piece. What I do like about this delta is the ability to do 52” rails with beisemeyer fence upgrade, hopefully a 2.0+ HP “functional” motor / single phase 220v, cast iron top is a plus, and well.. it’s a cadillac :) I STILL have to refurbish the GeeTech 8” jointer I bought at the same auction 2 weeks ago (this will be part 2 of auction). In the midst of all this, practicing dovetails, flattening backside of chisels, hand tool cabinet project, etc.
I do admit, this is all fun :) Very glad I picked wood working over… pottery or auto mechanics. Certainly keeps me busy.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View Shadowrider's profile

Shadowrider

183 posts in 670 days


#14 posted 05-30-2015 05:15 AM

One thing about the right tilt that you probably know is it’s really nice that your fence zero stays put no matter what blade you put on it. Full kerf, thin kerf, dado, it’s all good. I really had my heart set on a Grizzly g1023 when I found my Unisaw and only went to look at it out of curiosity. I was really hesitant about getting it because of the right tilt. Same reasons as you, no riving knife or modern safety features, right tilt makes angled rip cuts pretty dicey on heavy stock, etc.

Now that I have it those are really non issues to me. You can work around the beveled rips most of the time, if you have a Biese type fence just move it to the other side? Though your scale is useless, but how many beveled rips does one really do? A decent splitter isn’t a riving knife, but I never used a saw that had a riving knife in the first place, so it will prevent me from being me and getting complacent like I probably would if I had one. The fence zero alone is worth the right tilt and I have an Incra which is super easy to rezero. With a conventional fence that takes it to a whole new level.

Good luck. Hope to hear that your brought it home.

View Fettler's profile

Fettler

200 posts in 1458 days


#15 posted 05-30-2015 06:18 AM

I use a unisaw from the 40’s. I had rebuilt the arbor (saw center) with a Japanese bearing to return runout and probably should have had the motor re-wound in the process. I paid $300 several years ago and it’s been nothing but rock solid.

What i can see from the pictures is that’s a Rockwell model circa 70’s. The surface rust probably doesn’t affect flatness of the top too much, but may be deep. Make sure the motor isn’t 3-phase unless you’re setup for that.

A common problem with Unisaws of this vintage is that they can develop cracks in the arbor and replacement arbors are hard to come by. It will be near impossible to see without removing the top. If you remove the top you’ll have to square it up again, but you’ll need to do it check things out and maybe apply some wax to the trunnion.

Finding a riving knife if it doesn’t have one can be problematic. You can get a sharkguard if you’re so inclined. I oddly enough do more cross-cutting than ripping on my table saw.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

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