Is this a good deal?

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Forum topic by teejay posted 01-02-2010 06:24 PM 3739 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View teejay's profile


95 posts in 2690 days

01-02-2010 06:24 PM

I’m shopping for an old table saw on the cheap that I can restore and use. The one I have now is just ridiculously inadequate for what I want to do. I found a Rockwell/Delta Unisaw Model 34-466 on Craigslist with a nice looking top, no motor, and basic wear/rust on the cabinet that will have to be sanded and painted.


He is asking $200. Is it worth tryiing to get and restore?


10 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3642 days

#1 posted 01-02-2010 07:06 PM

I’d say it depends. If you are really interested in doing a restoration just because you want to do a restoration, this is probably a good candidate.

However, if your goal is just to end up with a good quality full-sized saw at a reasonable price, I think you’d do better buying a new contractor saw. The saw pictured has no motor, and it looks like the fence is a goner, so you are looking at quite a bit of financial investment right off the bat.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dusty56's profile


11804 posts in 3112 days

#2 posted 01-02-2010 07:10 PM

I agree with Charlie….by the time you find and buy a motor and fence , you could have bought a brand new saw. Who knows what might be worn out under the table…it doesn’t appear to have been cared for.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 01-02-2010 07:13 PM

A third vote to pass this up. You might very well find yourself trying to rebuild the arbor as well.

It also looks like this is a right tilt saw. Would that work for you?

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View teejay's profile


95 posts in 2690 days

#4 posted 01-03-2010 12:22 AM

Thanks for the help. I’ll keep looking, I didn’t necessarily want to buy and restore one, but if a good deal was to be had I would go for it. This doesn’t seem to be it… so I will keep looking. I think I may have found a guy who has a delta 15” planer, a jointer, and a unisaw in good shape that he wants to get rid of…

time will tell.

thanks again

View willy3486's profile


77 posts in 2821 days

#5 posted 01-03-2010 04:11 AM

I prefer the old stuff over new for myself. I find I have less in it,enjoy rebuilding them, and they hold up for me. With that said I have a general rule on stuff I find. I figure a going rate of its cost is to start at half its value. So lets say if you can get a tablesaw for 1000 lets say a used one would start at 500. Then I add or take away accordingly. So for example if a saw looked new and was used very little I would add say 100. Then if it had a set of dado blades that were 100 add maybe 50. then if it had a new aftermarket fence system and lets say its value was 250. So looking at this general rule of thumb 500+50+250 is about 800 in value. 600 pricetag good deal,900 pricetag not so good.

With that in mind lets say a tablesaw used is 500 value. now if the motor is shot and lets guess a new one is 200. then lets say you may spend 50 to replace other metal parts. 50 for belts and pulleys for the new motor. And then add 50 for paint,sandpaper. So now you have roughly a saw with a value of 500-200-50-50-50 you now have a worth of 150. So 200 not a good price but 100 would be good. get the idea? Hopefully I have explained it good. I usually go with the half price rule then add or take away depending on how it looks.

This is how I size them up. I have passed on a lot and got some. But if you go in and if he will work with you point out the costs and you might get it less. Then who knows you might get the saw for 100 or less and find another motor used for 50 and it may only need painting and cleaning. My powermatic fence never worked good until I made a spacer like was originally on it and now it works good. My delta lathe was a freebee but it was completely rusted up. I used the electrolsys method to clean it and afterwards it was completely loose. The bearings were even perfect. I put a used freebee motor on it and all I have in it is about 8 bucks for a new pulley for the motor. You also may want to keep an eye on craigslist in other cities around you and ebay. Thats another way to get a idea of value.

If the average value of a tool new is 1000 but the average cost of a used one goes for 350 on ebay or craigslist I then use the value of 350 instead of 500. I do a lot of searching and looking at items before I actually get one. I passed on a few scroll saws before I found a delta 24 inch which was exactly like I wanted. I paid 75 then put another 20 in for belt,paint and oil. So you are off to a good start on finding one used by checking for advice and seeing whats out there. Rebuilding them can be rewarding but can be a pain as well. To see what you can do with a machine check out my scroll saw with before and after pictures. Check out my other tools in the other albums.

They are at
P.S. my shop is a lot cleaner than the pictures, I was cleaning then and had it real messy.

View teejay's profile


95 posts in 2690 days

#6 posted 01-03-2010 06:47 PM

thanks for the advice willy. I don’t think I’m gonna get the saw pictured. I will still look around, I’m still hoping for a return email re: the saw, planer, jointer I found. I hope that I can get a deal on that and I will splurge and go for it.

I bring questions here because I know there are a lot of guys who have done this for much longer than me and your wisdom is much appreciated.

thank you.

View SteveMI's profile


949 posts in 2718 days

#7 posted 01-03-2010 07:19 PM


For us without a full commercial business, that is a great logic and thought process. Not with as much thought, I bought a emerson/craftsman TS in fair condition with an upgraded fence. Only needed minor adjustment to the fence. Can resaw 6” wide that only need a minimal pass through the planer or can make paper thin edge banding. Has worked fine for me and I plan to do complete dissassembly, lube and paint in the spring.


View willy3486's profile


77 posts in 2821 days

#8 posted 01-03-2010 07:48 PM

Personally I don’t have a comercial business,thats just what I have learned from years of being burned,getting deals,etc. I enjoy rebilding them as much as using them. Its like going out hunting I guess,the challenge of the hunt. For every piece I actually get I turn down a lot and search a lot. The tools I prefer are the stuff aimed at homeowners in the 30 to the early 60s. Most of the time that stuff can be had for less than 100. Repair info and manuals are out there. The is one site that has a lot but don’t get too friendly. I ran into one person who was very rude and arrogant to me. So I don’t go there anymore. The sad thing is my father in law worked at one of the factories that made tools. He died a few years back and my mother in law has started to give me paperwork and stuff of his. So now I have a lot of inside info on the machines but after I was treated like the way I was I won’t go back. Plus I have be repairing my own tools for over 30 years now and have that experence. When you do get into rebuilding stuff look up videos and such from Bob Vaughan. He has written for magazines and is the best I have seen at redoing them. He has a great video on setting up blades for planers and jointers. I have posted questions and he has been nice and really good with his advice. I have high regards for him and his advice. I think the video of him is at

View BlankMan's profile


1488 posts in 2777 days

#9 posted 01-03-2010 09:01 PM

I too enjoy restoring machines, A few years ago I would have never thought of purchasing used but now I seek them. Better built machines at a fraction of the cost.

If I didn’t have a UniSaw and was looking for one I’d consider that one, price seems good. I’d check out the arbor runout. Even though you have to replace the motor it still would be a good deal. Figure ~$300 for a good 3HP motor if you wait for a deal, maybe less if it’s a really good deal. Chances are with Delta’s reputation for having parts any other parts you might need may still be available. Get the serial number, from it you can tell the year of manufacture. And maybe you can talk him down a bit because of the lack of motor and condition of the fence. $150 would almost be a steal.

Clean it up, maybe a little paint, possibly a new fence and you’d be good to go for way less then a new one. I’m not sold on the new design yet, with the exception of the riving knife.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1877 posts in 3096 days

#10 posted 01-03-2010 09:11 PM

I think I would inventory everything it needs, then see if parts are available, and how much. Then make your decision.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

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