Unisaw Advice Needed

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Forum topic by Kevin posted 01-21-2008 07:39 PM 1482 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 3957 days

01-21-2008 07:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: unisaw tablesaw outfeed

Some of you may remember I posted a question to all about whether I should buy a Unisaw and dust collector at an unusually low price. Well, I did. I must say I couldn’t be happier with the two dust collectors. The Unisaw, however, has some issues. The previous owner obviously didn’t know how to take care of his tools.

  • The cast iron top is not in that good of shape, I did manage to get it polished up nice and slick, but it took about 5 hours. There are some nicks and gouges, but it doesn’t seem to effect the wood sliding over it.
  • The Unifence has a few nicks in the rails, but it also seems to work OK.
  • The fence of the Unifence system appears to have a bow in the middle. I can read a difference of 8 thousandths from the ends to the middle. I was thinking I could get a Uni-T-Fence for a replacement if needed. ($100)
  • The tape is worn off the rails. I was thinking about the Wixey digital unit. ($130)
  • I got the base and internal “guts” of the Unisaw looking like brand new.
  • It is missing the dust collection port. ($40)

So what is the question right. Well it vibrates. I cannot seem to get the saw to run without vibration. Even with the belts off and just the motor running it vibrates. Not uncontrollably, but I sure couldn’t stand a nickel on it. I took the motor off and cleaned up everything and made sure all was tight before reinstalling it. Still vibrates, not as much as before, but still more than my Ridgid contractors saw.

Anyone have any ideas on what I can do to reduce the vibration?
What is the proper tension on the belts? I have read anywhere from ¼” to 1” deflection.

Is it worth putting the extra $$$ in it if I cannot fix the vibration?

Finally if I keep it, I want to build a fairly massive work area around it including outfeed table, side table, router table. Anyone have any plans or suggestions on that? Can I use MDF for the table top or does it need to be Formica?

Thanks a lot for all your help.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

5 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3987 days

#1 posted 01-21-2008 07:47 PM

Did you leave the pully on the motor when you tested it?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4029 days

#2 posted 01-21-2008 08:13 PM

Hello Kevin

Unisaws – an excellent tool, if you have a vibration problem without the belts attached, then you have got some serious problems, which could be potentially dangerous – but these problems are not unfixable at a low cost.

first you have to determine if the motor is out of balance or not. Look at the mountings of the motor to the table saw. Check the pulleys are attached firmly to to motor, maybe they are out of balance or damaged. In short you re going to have to spend some time, but not necessarily money to fix the problem.

If you are looking for a large work surface around your table saw, then I would suggest that you take a look at my workshop. you will see that I recently undertook this task and I have approximately 40 square feet. All the information you need is contained within my LJ profile, including the dimensions, and blogs on how I made it.

With regard to the Wixey table saw. read my tool review – it is worth the money, but I would also put a few extra bucks in to the pot and a new steel stick tape to replace the worn out one (sometimes they are faster)

Let me know if I can be of more help – Regards Tony

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Kevin's profile


291 posts in 3957 days

#3 posted 01-21-2008 09:27 PM


I did leave the pulley on the motor, I’ll try it without the pulley next time and see what happens. The pulley was loose when i got the machine, but I did tighten it the last time I tried it.


The vibration is not so bad that it makes me think there is a safety issue.

-- Kevin, Wichita, Kansas

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3961 days

#4 posted 01-21-2008 10:06 PM

You still got a good deal. All these things are pretty minor. The top doesn’t have to look like a mirror. Do checkout the fence problem. tony is working to help you with the motor problem. I would build your out feed table with a laminate top. Really slick and glue comes off easy. Start with an inch and a quarter of particle board for a substrate and band the edge with what ever kind of wood you have a lot of. Works like a charm.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3987 days

#5 posted 01-21-2008 10:09 PM

Since the vibration seems to be coming from the motor you should probably take the pully off
to eliminate that as the source.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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