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Delta Unisaw I found on CL

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Forum topic by Omar157 posted 02-17-2016 02:25 PM 868 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Omar157

48 posts in 290 days


02-17-2016 02:25 PM

I purchased a 34-801 unisaw today from 1987 for $300 it included a custom locking dolly with a diamond plate which the saw is bolted to and a steel outfeed table with rollers in great shape. It needs about an hour worth of work to get the top clean but other than that the top is dead flat and the motor was super super quiet. You can tell it’s had minimal use. It’s missing the motor cover, Riving knife and blade guard but I figure that’s all about $200. For $500 I got a great saw which should give me years of service. I do have a few questions
- where is the best place to track down the parts
- what type of lube should I use to get everything lubed up
-should I buy the belts from delta or can I just go to an auto part store and match them up
- what do you guys think of the unifence? Will upgrading to biesemeyer fence be worth it?
Thanks


15 replies so far

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1209 posts in 1569 days


#1 posted 02-17-2016 05:04 PM

A Unifence is just as accurate as any Biesemeyer fence, and it knows a few tricks that the Biese doesn’t, so I’d keep it.

Belts have to be matched sets… You should be able to get them from any Delta parts dealer, or even Grainger. An auto parts store probably won’t have them. Don’t use link belts on multi-belt systems.

I like dry lubes for exposed gears… Sealed bearings are just that, sealed, and you can’t really lube them from the outside without attracting a lot of dust and gunk. Does that saw have grease fittings?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4202 posts in 1658 days


#2 posted 02-17-2016 05:16 PM

Welcome to the Unisaw club.

Parts can be obtained from lots of different places, depending on what it is you need – and some things, like the motor cover and throat plates can be made easily yourself.

For lube, don’t use grease. A good dry lube or paraffin/paste wax works fine and won’t attract sawdust.

No, you don’t absolutely need the Delta branded matched set of belts. A set of A24/4L260 (or AX if you want cogged) can be sourced from lots of places. I wound up getting a set of Jason Unimatch belts online (total cost with shipping was about $13) simply because I couldn’t find a local store that carried three of anything.

The Unifence is a great and much sought after fence. I’ve known people who replaced their Biesemeyer with one, and also have seen people replace the Unifence with a Biesemeyer. Give it a try for a while and see how you like it. You can always re-sell it for about what you paid for the saw if you decide to swap it out.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7902 posts in 1839 days


#3 posted 02-17-2016 05:52 PM

Keep the Unifence. You can’t retrofit a riving knife to those saws, but splitters are easy to make. Don’t worry about a blade guard, you’ll end up not using it anyway.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1108 posts in 2403 days


#4 posted 02-17-2016 06:48 PM

This sounds like my first, right tilt Unisaw. I now am using my second, a left tilt.

In the forty plus years I’ve had a Unisaw, I use/used Unifences on both my saws. They are no less accurate than any other fence. As others noted, they can do tricks, such as sliding back to use them as stops, when using the miter push, or flipped to make trimming laminates.

I did buy an after market to slide onto my Unifence mount, because it holds hold downs and such, which can be moved anywhere on the fence.

For a splitter, I use a Merlin Splitter. It goes on and off in seconds and has cut down kick backs from the wood pinching the back of the blade to almost nil. Used with a push block/shoe, rather than a [BS] stick, I have been able to kill the machine before any real event occurred – and my hand was well up and away from the danger zone.

As others stated, buy a matched set. It doesn’t matter who from, as long as they match OEM.

I never use the factory throat plate in cutting operations. Its only function is to produce disposable plates.

For a blade guard, I have an Excalibur, which doubles as a dust collector. I even use is once in a while, when doing wide stock, or if the hold downs will allow me to forego a push shoe.

NOTE: I used an associates Biesemeyer and it was fine too. The only reason I ever considered one was, I bought the Ford vs Chevy arguments back when I was starting out. Since then, I’ve come to realize it is just Ford vs Chevy.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2173 posts in 1484 days


#5 posted 02-17-2016 10:38 PM

Quite a few Unisaw parts are offered on Ebay. If you need to work under the saw for some reason, such as changing belts, try tipping the saw. I did this very recently. Propped it up with about a 4” block to tilt it. Makes it much easier to work. If you’re concerned about tipping it over, put a prop on the other side.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View toolie's profile

toolie

2022 posts in 2088 days


#6 posted 02-17-2016 10:52 PM

http://www.sawcenter.com/

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

View Omar157's profile

Omar157

48 posts in 290 days


#7 posted 02-18-2016 01:32 AM

Thanks for the quick response guys I really appreciate it. I am not sure if it has grease fittings since it’s still sitting in the guys shop. I broke my leg some few months back and am just starting to walk. I didn’t want to risk pushing it trying to load the saw on my truck. I am sending three of my employees in a couple of weeks to pick it up. Luckily I have a project a few miles up the road so they have to go there anyway. My dad told me he has some blade guides that were custom made in Europe for the unifence back in the early 80’s sitting in storage. I didn’t know the unifence was that good. I am gonna go and grab my dads. He has the fence, the stock rails, some super long rails and a motor he rebuilt in 94 but never used it sitting in storage as well. His saw is beat to hell the storage unit had a tiny plumbing leak that dripped a few drops on the saw per day for over 20 years. The cast looks like wet newspaper. I literally broke one of the extension wings in half like a cracker. Luckily he had the motor and rail parts off the saw and up on a shelf. Can someone explain the fence tricks to me?
Thanks guys

View Omar157's profile

Omar157

48 posts in 290 days


#8 posted 02-18-2016 01:59 AM

I got the fence name wrong. It’s not the unifence it’s the jetfence.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7902 posts in 1839 days


#9 posted 02-18-2016 05:55 AM

Ugh, different ball of wax entirely. The Jet Lock is usable but it’s worth the money to buy a better fence.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Minorhero's profile

Minorhero

372 posts in 2064 days


#10 posted 02-18-2016 12:02 PM

Jetlock fences are not great. Definitely will want to replace it with any of the bessy clones. You are looking at 300 dollars or thereabouts.

If a motor sat unused exposed to regular humidity changes etc for 20+ years there is a good chance the bearings are dried out. You will want to replace them before swapping that motor out if that is your intention.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2022 posts in 2088 days


#11 posted 02-18-2016 07:00 PM



Jetlock fences are not great. Definitely will want to replace it with any of the bessy clones. You are looking at 300 dollars or thereabouts.

If a motor sat unused exposed to regular humidity changes etc for 20+ years there is a good chance the bearings are dried out. You will want to replace them before swapping that motor out if that is your intention.

- Minorhero

i’ve heard that a lot, but the unisaw i refurbbed and opted to sell has a jet lock that was as accurate as my t2 ans ridgid OEM fences.

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

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4202 posts in 1658 days


#12 posted 02-18-2016 07:12 PM

i’ve heard that a lot, but the unisaw i refurbbed and opted to sell has a jet lock that was as accurate as my t2 ans ridgid OEM fences.
- toolie

I agree… The Jet-lock fence is perfectly usable and pretty accurate… Maybe not to 1/64th of an inch like the Biesemeyer and other T-square clones, but at least to 1/32” just by using the etched scale on the rails. The major complaint many people have is that it’s not as easy to remove as a T-square, as you have to slide it off the end of the rails to do so. It really depends on how far you want to take accuracy and what you are using the saw for. I’d suggest getting the fence dialed in and trying it for a while to see if it meets your needs. You may find it works fine for you…

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Omar157's profile

Omar157

48 posts in 290 days


#13 posted 02-18-2016 08:50 PM

I remember using the jet lock when I was a kid and it was pretty good. I am a contractor and accustomed to the cheap fences on the job site saws so this is probably a huge step up but I really do want a fence that I can rely on. I was just thinking of holding on to the motor in case mine ever went bad but I don’t foresee that happening. I was really impressed by how quiet it was. I am itching to get it home and clean it up.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2022 posts in 2088 days


#14 posted 02-19-2016 05:13 PM



I purchased a 34-801 unisaw today from 1987 for $300 ….........
- Omar157

no pics, didnt happen.

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

View Omar157's profile

Omar157

48 posts in 290 days


#15 posted 02-19-2016 11:07 PM

Oh there’s no way I was gonna let this opportunity pass. I purchased the saw and a bunch of oak scraps for $325.

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