Used Table Saw Questions

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Forum topic by WillliamMSP posted 06-02-2015 11:45 AM 1144 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1084 posts in 1604 days

06-02-2015 11:45 AM

Good morning, ‘Jocks. Looks like I have an opportunity to pick up a used table saw for a very reasonable price. The only problem is that I don’t know squat about table saws. This is a Delta, and it’s said to be in good working order, but no other info was given (I think that this is someone selling on behalf of an aging/possibly deceased parent).

Any ideas on what it is? Is it a capable machine? What about retrofitting safety features like guards and anti-kickback precautions? Anything else that I should keep in mind, should I move forward?

Thanks in advance, ladies and gents!


-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

17 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2297 days

#1 posted 06-02-2015 12:16 PM

Contractors saw. No extension wings. No fence. No blade guard. Needs a proper switch and most likely cord. Unless it’s dirt cheap I would pass. Not that it’s a bad saw, but you need to find all the accessories.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1577 days

#2 posted 06-02-2015 12:20 PM

Believe I’d pass

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2493 days

#3 posted 06-02-2015 12:21 PM

Just a wild guess, but it looks all the world like a 34-600. There’s lots of photos of them over at OWWM, but none have a stand like that…a lot of the older saws have had the stands switched around, so that shouldn’t be a deciding factor. If it is a 34-600, it’s a 9” saw. While 9” blades can be found, they are not common anymore, and can be a little more costly than the more common ones. Freud makes some nice 8 1/2” blades that would work (I think), but I’m not sure what arbor size that saw has…some of the older models had a 1/2” arbor. Unless you’re wanting one to restore and tinker with I would pass on this one…not because it isn’t any good; but because it may take some effort to get a functioning saw out of it. Just my opinion.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View WillliamMSP's profile


1084 posts in 1604 days

#4 posted 06-02-2015 12:26 PM

@dhazelton – Is 30 bucks dirt cheap?

If the accessories aren’t hanging out in the garage someplace, are they fairly interchangeable or somewhat model specific?

@Fred: thanks for that – I’ll poke through OWWM, too. I don’t mind tinkering as long as it’s worth it in the end.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View KeithP's profile


15 posts in 1238 days

#5 posted 06-02-2015 01:18 PM

$30 is dirt cheap, but you won’t be getting off that easily.

You can find fences on Craigslist, but they often come attached to saws. So now you have two saws and one fence. A new Biesenmayer fence and rails will cost hundreds of dollars.

The guards pop up on eBay from time to time, and you can also purchase an aftermarket fence from shark guard. I believe others make guards as well.

Extension wings are probably going to be difficult to find.

Personally, I would pass over this saw and wait for a contractors saw with all the pieces. In my area they run $200-$450 on Craigslist.

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3742 days

#6 posted 06-02-2015 02:16 PM

Pass – - it is scrap metal.

Just a contractor saw. To put on a fence, switch and find wings/build on, will cost at least 300 dollars… to give you a 200-300 dollar saw.

Unless refurbishing equipment like this is something that you love to do anyway…. then it is a great project. But you will spend more than it will be worth in the end.

Like buying a 1200 dollar new engine for a 1976 Ford Pinto….. you can do it… but ??

If it were an old unisaw that would be a different story.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View WillliamMSP's profile


1084 posts in 1604 days

#7 posted 06-02-2015 03:30 PM

Okay, so the consensus seems to be that, even essentially free, it probably isn’t financially worth the expense of the accessories if it’s incomplete. Got it. Thanks!

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View WillliamMSP's profile


1084 posts in 1604 days

#8 posted 06-02-2015 04:22 PM

So, for clarity, if I’m going to look for something along the lines of a contractor saw, something like this, with fence, extensions, guard, etc is far more practical than the Delta above? Is this something along the lines of this Foley somewhat common at the asking price of $120?

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View Planeman40's profile


1176 posts in 2761 days

#9 posted 06-02-2015 06:02 PM

I have a Foley Belsaw thickness planer that I love. Works like a charm. I am not familiar with a Foley table saw, but what I see in the photo looks to be substantial. I have a hunch Foley also made some of the Sears Craftsman table saws a while back. For $120 I would go for it. Looks like its all there and in good condition. Can’t tell about the motor. Looks like a nice home workshop table saw, not in the range of a Delta Unisaw or a Powermatic, but a serviceable saw for a good price. That fence sure appears to be like a Delta fence, nice and sturdy.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2377 days

#10 posted 06-02-2015 06:06 PM

You can get parts from fleaBay. Just make sure the part are compatible to your saw.
After you get done, you will likely to have spent hundreds.
You may be better off just junk yours and sell the parts. Save the $ to get a more complete used saw.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2690 days

#11 posted 06-02-2015 06:22 PM

So, for clarity, if I m going to look for something along the lines of a contractor saw, something like this, with fence, extensions, guard, etc is far more practical than the Delta above? Is this something along the lines of this Foley somewhat common at the asking price of $120?

- WillliamMSP

The only issue I would have with this one is the Fence since it looks a lot like the one I have on my old Rockwell which is about the same as the older Deltas and that standard fence is known to have issues with staying parallel front to back. but I grew up using those fences on table saws so I already know the issues and how to deal with them , but I am still looking for a deal on upgrading the fence on my saw to a better one. Normally the Delta T2 or now the T3 I think will be a bolt on upgrade but they seem to run $150 or more and I only paid $150 for my saw.
Other than the fence issue this saw looks to be complete and a much better deal than the other one , I would go for this one.

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2297 days

#12 posted 06-02-2015 06:25 PM

$120 for that? Not bad at all. If the Delta has all the accessories for $30 get it. The Foley looks like it was taken care of better, though. There are tons of the old Sears contractor saws out there too. You could amass 3 or 4 for that $120.

No saw is just ‘scrap metal’ – unless it was run over by a steam roller.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4932 posts in 3960 days

#13 posted 06-02-2015 06:30 PM

Go with the Foley.


View emart's profile


445 posts in 2628 days

#14 posted 06-02-2015 06:37 PM

old contractor saws are worth about 50-150 depending on the condition. Like others have said make sure it has a fence that is somewhat serviceable. common saws like old craftsman or deltas are usually a good bet because they can be refitted with modern parts. avoid the more rare or unusual saws because you will go through hell finding parts when they break down. You want one that can hold a 10” blade and has a 5/8” arbor shaft (part the blade mounts to.) Table extensions arent always necessary you can usually modify any you find to fit the saw provided they are the same length as the table. For a complete basket case I wouldnt pay more than $20. If it is missing a stand you can usually find one on craigslist for dirt cheap. Do not buy a new stand it’s a waste of your money (like buying shiny new rims for an AMC pacer).

When you go and inspect a saw check the arbor and see if the blade wobbles when it spins. damaged arbors can be a pain to replace depending on the saw (ask me how I know this.) Check the height adjuster and blade tilt to see if it still moves. If it is a bit stiff you can usually just grease it up and get the parts free by moving them back and forth a few times. If it is almost completely locked up it isnt worth your time and frustration. manually spin the motor and listen for odd squeaks. that could mean bad bearings or other internal damage. a little bit of noise is fine a lot means the motor has to be cracked open and restored. If the motor is toast but the rest of the saw is decent and not too expensive you can easily replace the motor on the contractor models. Just about any american motor with at least 1hp will work fine as long as you make sure you put the right pulleys on it (the manual will say the RPM the machine needs based on the motor’s hp rating). If the table is rusty but doesnt have a lot of pitting you can easily sand it clean again and then treat it with linseed oil and wax.

If it is a well known brand and a common model you can usually adapt accessories to fit the machine. many forums will have guides on this or people willing to give advice on it. Saws from the 1940s-60s are pretty dependable other than some wear and tear you will expect from time to time. You can often find manuals and restoration blogs on the machine from for free though they do accept donations to keep the site running should you feel inclined.

best advice is to troll craigslist for a few weeks and get a feel for the price of machinery in your area.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View TheFridge's profile


9482 posts in 1486 days

#15 posted 06-02-2015 06:38 PM

Get it

The definitely useable but the main thing for me is that it looks like it’s been taken care of. At worst you need belt and bearings but ihe better go ahead and change thise anyway unless you can find out or tell if they’re obciously new.

Solid looking saw. I’d be calling them now. Don’t see a problem with getting your money back if you find something better later on.

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

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