Should I buy it?

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Forum topic by blyther posted 04-15-2010 12:39 AM 1303 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 3110 days

04-15-2010 12:39 AM

I have my heart set on a cabinet table saw, but I’m on a tight budget ($500 ish).
I’m talking with a guy who has two UNIsaws. The one he is willing to part with is 18yrs old and is a 1.5 hp. My delema is: He can’t plug it in because he recently moved back into town and staying with friends without 220 hookup. The motor turns, so I know its not frozen. It was hard wired in so will need some $ for plug etc. He says it has an old Biesmeyer
fence with it…but its in parts laying in a heap and I can’t see any Biesmeyer name on it. I have seen pics of his cabinet shop out East with the two saws inclosed within a nice table setup. I trust this guy but not sure why…Bottom line is, this would be like buying a saw unseen/unheard. Did I mention that he wants $400 for it.
Any advice would be helpful.

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

8 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5864 posts in 3195 days

#1 posted 04-15-2010 01:01 AM

Greetings blyther: Don’t want to discourage you on the saw, but I think I would ElPaso on this one. I’m a little leary when I can’t see, touch, or hear something running… you can’t get any perspective on a saw that way. I know you are anxious to get a cabinet style (weren’t we all at one point), but I think I would shy away from this one…. I think if you hold out a little longer, you might be better off in the long haul. I would opt for at least a 3 hp, or better. A 1.5 is just a little underpowered (for me anyway… I have a 5 hp on my Unisaw), and could put a “strain” on the motor, and bog down on you, thus burning the wood, etc. A lot of jocks on here buy off of Craigslist, so that’s another option…. bottom line…. I think I’d wait for a better time and deal…

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View blyther's profile


66 posts in 3110 days

#2 posted 04-15-2010 01:45 AM

Thanks guys for the tips. To answer some questions…It is a single phase and this was on Craigs List. I spoke with the guy and saw the unisaw but Rick you might be right. I need to think with my head and not my heart. That is why I’m looking for your opinions….Thanks again!

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3289 days

#3 posted 04-15-2010 03:45 AM

check out ebay i just saw some nice saws the only thing is you would have to find one in your area or shipping will kill ya or just keep shopping on craigs trust me you will find something else! there’s alot out there. ;) GOOD LUCK!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3107 days

#4 posted 04-15-2010 03:58 AM

I’ve always found that a pig in poke is pig in a poke. Sounds like a crap shoot to me. I concur with Rick.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3059 days

#5 posted 04-15-2010 04:22 AM

I’ve never heard of a true Unisaw with onlyl a 1 1/2 hp motor. All of them I have ever seen had at least a 3 hp motor. I have only seen the 1 1/2 hp motors on contractor saws. Also, most 1 1/2 hp motors that I have seen were wired for 120 v. If it were me, I would probably try to get him down to $300 on the chance that I might have to go to scrounge up a motor somewhere. I would be sure to check to be sure all of the moving parts moved freely and that the arbor was in good shape. Be sure check the arbor for runout and be sure the arbor bearings are in good shape too.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View blyther's profile


66 posts in 3110 days

#6 posted 04-15-2010 05:06 AM

Thanks again for your assistance guys. Thank you Doc for your insight!!

-- Paul, Winterset Iowa,

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3662 days

#7 posted 04-15-2010 06:54 AM

I have a Rockwell Unisaw with a 1.5 HP motor. The rockwell motor’s tag says it can use 110v and 220v power, and got a wiring diagram on it also. Shouldn’t take too long to rewire and test. The 1.5 HP unisaw motor tag say ~19amps on 110V; my previous 1.5HP Delta Contractor say it draws 15amp. Whether it’s the unisaw motor less efficient or the contractor motor less powerful I can’t say.

I don’t know about your area, but I was under the impression you usually can’t buy a 3HP used unisaw with Biewemeyer fence in decent condition for $500. Maybe one than require lots of TLC and got the tube rail fence only.

-- Ed

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3569 days

#8 posted 04-15-2010 07:40 AM

1.5hp is more than adequate with proper technique and a decent carbide blade. I’ve run 2 1/2” thick slabs of hard maple through my 1.5hp Delta and had little problem.

But the whole deal with this saw sounds more than a little fishy, pass it by and wait for the next one.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

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