1930’s Delta 890 BS Restoration Completed

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Forum topic by Cortland posted 12-05-2009 03:46 AM 8011 views 2 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 3194 days

12-05-2009 03:46 AM

Was able to snag this much neglected, vintage band saw for FREE! Everything except for a sloppy metallic green spray job was original and complete. All major parts were fine, it just needed a really good cleaning. Found two cracked parts from over-tightened set screws, the metal guide blocks and all bearings were originals. The 1/3-HP Kingston-Conley motor is from that era, and may also be original—it was completely impacted with gummy sawdust, but cleaned up beautifully and once again hums like new.

Sandblasting the rust and old paint ran $75 but I managed to get most everything else on sale: tires, link belt, cool blocks, blades, Woodcraft mobile base, upper guide bracket, two guide bearings, and all new wiring into a MLCS safety switch. On the OWWM web site I found a 1935 Delta catalog, as well as a high-resolution jpeg of my original Delta decal that I duplicated with a color laser printer on water-slide decal paper.

A very helpful technician at my local Delta/Dewalt Service Center had the foresight to rescue several very rare full-line Delta catalogs from the 1930s after someone there had thrown them out. I begged him to digitize them and post them on the OWWM web site.

After much researching I still can’t definitively date my saw, but the old catalogs verified that the 14” band saw debuted in 1934 and only the ’34, ‘35’ and ’36 models sported the distinctive ribs on the covers. Component parts seem to be identical during this three year period, and apparently Delta didn’t use serial numbers at that time.

The 1935 price for this saw was $43.85, the steel stand was $6.85, lamp attachment $1.50, v-belt and pulley $1.45, and a Delta brand 1/3-HP electric motor was an additional $18.95—original total, a whopping $72.15.

My restoration, including the addition of a modern mobile base and safety power switch was about $340. Hope to be in half as good shape when I’m turning 75!

37 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4094 days

#1 posted 12-05-2009 03:48 AM

Very Pretty. How much resaw capability does it have?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Cortland's profile


21 posts in 3194 days

#2 posted 12-05-2009 04:04 AM

With the guide all the way up, it’s about 6-1/4”. If it had the optional 6” “Raising Block” attachment, it would have been 12-3/8”—-but that height attachment kit cost another $6…in 1935.

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4094 days

#3 posted 12-05-2009 04:08 AM

You will have to keep your eye out for one. I would imagine it wll be hard to find.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 3141 days

#4 posted 12-05-2009 04:17 AM

Sweeeeet! Love old machines when rebuilt and put back to use! Very nice job.

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3459 days

#5 posted 12-05-2009 05:40 AM

There is a BOYD listing for a riser block and guard on owwm now. Nice job on the resto. Keep an eye out for a belt guard, that wil be the hard one to find.

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

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3670 days

#6 posted 12-05-2009 05:54 AM

Congrats on a nice job!

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3477 days

#7 posted 12-05-2009 06:05 AM

Very nice. I love those old machines. You did a great job on it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3350 days

#8 posted 12-05-2009 06:10 AM

Wow. Really nice job. I don’t know that I ever saw one from the 30’s. You sure you want to cut anything with it and get it all dirty? ;)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View gmerteng's profile


122 posts in 3109 days

#9 posted 12-05-2009 06:13 AM

Nice job on the band saw love old tools.

-- Mert,Oshkosh WI,

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3871 days

#10 posted 12-05-2009 07:43 AM

MAN, that came out NICE!!! I love old woodworking machine restorations.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3562 days

#11 posted 12-05-2009 01:01 PM

Superb job on restoring this, what a great saw to have.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3522 days

#12 posted 12-05-2009 04:09 PM

Looks great! I sure wish my rigid bs had solid true wheels like that!

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3338 days

#13 posted 12-05-2009 04:26 PM

great restoration !

it looks like you found it new in an old warehouse .

except for the switch of course .

well done !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3882 days

#14 posted 12-05-2009 08:11 PM

Super cool job!
Question: How did you “mask off” the label so perfectly on the top cover?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Cortland's profile


21 posts in 3194 days

#15 posted 12-05-2009 08:23 PM

I didn’t mask it at all, that’s a “new-old” decal. As you can see on the “before” photo above, the original decal was beyond saving so I replicated it with a .jpg file I found on the OWWM web site. I used a color laser printer and special water-slide decal paper to create an exact replica.

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