Project unisaw - worth it?

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Forum topic by ChrisBarrett posted 12-19-2015 11:13 PM 1163 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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99 posts in 1020 days

12-19-2015 11:13 PM

I ran across this listing today: It’s a 1970 rockwell unisaw. Looks like it needs some love, including potential electrical work or new motor. Any thoughts on what is a reasonable price for it?

20 replies so far

View JackDuren's profile


388 posts in 922 days

#1 posted 12-19-2015 11:29 PM

If you have the time and don’t need a saw currently then yes. If your looking for a saw to currently use then no..

Its a waste of time for $500 unless you have plenty of $ or both…

View Randy_ATX's profile


878 posts in 2404 days

#2 posted 12-19-2015 11:42 PM

The add states not to hesitate making an offer. Take a good look at it and offer $200 knowing you might need to put another $500+ into it.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6577 posts in 2161 days

#3 posted 12-19-2015 11:53 PM

No telling what ‘needs a good electrician’ means… I’ve seen people sell stuff that didn’t run and thought the motor was fried, only to find out it was a loose wire in the motor junction box or a fried overload. The pictures suck – and you would need to see it in person to determine what it might be worth to you. At the very least, figure it needs a good cleaning, new belts (~$20) and new bearings (~$30) on top of whatever else it may need. Without knowing more, I would either go see it in person and try to negotiate the price down a lot based on what you find, or just wait for another to come along.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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2750 posts in 2259 days

#4 posted 12-20-2015 12:16 AM

I agree with what Mr Unix said. The guy may have bought a 220 saw and has no idea how to wire up a circuit for it. You have to go look. That said, There are operating Unisaws out there for $500 so go offer $300 and see if he balks. Even if you had to source a used or new motor you might be ahead.

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1193 days

#5 posted 12-20-2015 12:53 AM

As always, Brad is spot on. May just be that it is 3ph. If so then get it and buy a phase converter. And an early welcome to the uni club.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


5085 posts in 1683 days

#6 posted 12-20-2015 02:28 AM

$500 is way too high if it’s three phase. Ads like this one are basically telling me: Since your time isn’t worth as much as mine, come buy this for more than it’s worth and it needs between $100 & $900 worth of parts and labor.

View ThomasChippendale's profile


244 posts in 894 days

#7 posted 12-20-2015 03:18 AM

Do get a unisaw but for about the same price, you can have one that is readily useable. If you have the skills and time to restore this project it could be worthwhile but as my wife and kids told me when I was buying a sailboat; we want to sail, not spend the next X years restoring a boat…they were right.

-- PJ

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99 posts in 1020 days

#8 posted 12-20-2015 03:53 AM

I probably wouldn’t pay more than $250 for it, not knowing the condition. It’s about a 2 hour drive away from me. I don’t need a saw right now, I have a really decent craftsman contractor saw that is working fine for me at the moment.

Thanks for the insight guys!

View ohtimberwolf's profile


777 posts in 2314 days

#9 posted 12-21-2015 01:12 AM

If you do get it take a look at this. I know nothing about 3 phase so I’m not saying this will work but it seems to in the video. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View bonesbr549's profile


1531 posts in 3029 days

#10 posted 12-21-2015 01:54 AM

three phase ain’t nothing to sneeze at. Just another leg. If that saw will run its worth every penny. Surface rust easy fix. That is a nice saw even in the rough. Offer 300 and see if they will jump.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1448 days

#11 posted 12-21-2015 02:11 AM

500$ is ok. 350$ is more like it.

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

View b2rtch's profile


4851 posts in 3011 days

#12 posted 12-21-2015 02:35 AM

I did this on my Unisaw.
$500.00 is OK.

-- Bert

View bonesbr549's profile


1531 posts in 3029 days

#13 posted 12-21-2015 02:53 AM

I did this on my Unisaw.
$500.00 is OK.

- b2rtch

I’m with you!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View alittleoff's profile


539 posts in 1239 days

#14 posted 12-21-2015 03:38 AM

I don’t think 500.00 is bad at all, if all the parts are there. It would junk out for a lot more than 500. Those parts are expensive. I’ve bought some. I bet it’s a minor problem with it though.

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3102 days

#15 posted 12-21-2015 10:11 AM

Your offer should be < (What it costs to get a good saw on CL) – (The cost of your time and money to get that saw up to “good”)

I find people tend to devalue their time a bit, so you should really put a $ value to your free time to see if this project is worth it to you.

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