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1939 Delta Unisaw

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Forum topic by Spyder138 posted 10-17-2017 02:24 PM 566 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spyder138

2 posts in 37 days


10-17-2017 02:24 PM

Hello. I am looking for some advice. I have an opportunity to pick up a 1939 Delta Unisaw for $100. The saw can operate on either 110 or 220v and has a 1 hp motor. I am a hobbyist that mostly does work around the house, but would like to start doing some larger projects possibly including some cabinet building and it would be nice to cut my own 4×8 sheets without getting precuts at the lumber store. The price for the saw seems really fair, but the motor seems a little small, but maybe I am mistaken. Any thoughts on this tablesaw?

Thanks
Jim


19 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8151 posts in 1301 days


#1 posted 10-17-2017 02:27 PM

What the hell are you doing here asking us? Get your ass up and go get that thing.

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

View Holt's profile

Holt

164 posts in 2444 days


#2 posted 10-17-2017 05:51 PM

Ditto. If you have to fight a dragon and a gorgon first, $100 is highway robbery. At that price there are probably no possible deal breakers, especially if that 1 horse motor is a RI Bullet. heck, if it has the dust door and the goose egg motor cover, you could triple your money. And I’ll admit, I peeked at your profile trying to see where you are located <eg>

When (not if) you buy that bad boy, if the motor cover is missing, i got a great fiberglass reproduction from one of the guys om the OWWM site. Now i need to find a reproduction dust door…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5911 posts in 2014 days


#3 posted 10-17-2017 05:58 PM

If it’s a ‘39, then it should be a pretty rare four footed beast… which is worth quite a lot even if in terrible shape. I wouldn’t expect it to be plug-n-play, but would be a magnificent restoration candidate worthy of the task. Here is the 1939 catalog listing just for grins:

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

873 posts in 406 days


#4 posted 10-17-2017 06:17 PM

What kind of hobbyist are you ? If an old tool junkie ^^^ then no question go ahead and take it. If you plan to work with pine lumber from Home Depot that again it should work.
If you like to make real stuff, like an oak table with 4×4” legs and 4/2 top or a Hard Maple butcher block your 1HP old relic may just not cut in.
And take the above picture ^ with a pinch of salt. “Powerful” motor “Highly Efficient” and “Scientifically designed” on a table saw sound like “Good team player” on your resume.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4434 posts in 2166 days


#5 posted 10-17-2017 06:30 PM

A $100, practically worth that in scrap. You could always part it out and make a profit. If it was me I’d restore it and use it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile

Loren

9560 posts in 3463 days


#6 posted 10-17-2017 06:35 PM

Those old 1hp Unisaw motors pack more muscle
than today’s 1hp motors. Old motors often had
more copper in the windings.

View BobHall's profile

BobHall

17 posts in 1100 days


#7 posted 10-17-2017 06:45 PM

Buy it! If you are disappointed, any old tool guy including myself would happily double your money. Seriously, I cannot explain it but that 1HP in good condition is far more than a current model 1 HP motor. I have the same thing with a 1 1/2 HP and have never bogged it down. If the saw is in good overall condition it is a great bargain. even if it needs some work, that’s not bad.

-- Bob "jack of all trades, master of none"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5911 posts in 2014 days


#8 posted 10-17-2017 06:49 PM

If you like to make real stuff, like an oak table with 4×4” legs and 4/2 top or a Hard Maple butcher block your 1HP old relic may just not cut in.
And take the above picture ^ with a pinch of salt. “Powerful” motor “Highly Efficient” and “Scientifically designed” on a table saw sound like “Good team player” on your resume.
- Carloz

Nonsense – design wise, that saw is no different than any other Unisaw made over the 70+ years of production, and will perform the same as one made in the 80’s or 90’s. As for the motor, that repulsion/induction motor will produce more peak horsepower than a more modern capacitor start motor (about 2.75hp compared to about 2hp for a cap start motor). And as Loren points out, those motors were much more substantial – the shipping weight on the 1hp R/I motor was 110 pounds! Far from an ‘old relic’.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

463 posts in 3674 days


#9 posted 10-17-2017 08:30 PM

Dammit man!

It’s 4:28pm Eastern as I write this. Why haven’t you called the seller, agreed upon the asking price, scheduled pick up, and reported back? I for one am dying to find out if you purchased it, and to see some pictures. I once had a chance for a saw like that, original motor, four feet, not motor cover. I agreed to $350.00. This was over 12 years ago. I still think about that saw longingly.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

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Dwain

463 posts in 3674 days


#10 posted 10-17-2017 08:32 PM

Oh, the different is that you have a tool that was built in 1939! 78 years ago! That is difference enough for me…or you could spend the $100 on a craftsman 113 contractors saw. You decide.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View Spyder138's profile

Spyder138

2 posts in 37 days


#11 posted 10-17-2017 08:51 PM

Sounds like I would been an idiot to pass this up. I will probably still feel like a bit of an idiot as I am not sure if I will be able to fully appreciate what I have. The saw is purchased and I will pick up this weekend. It is indeed a 4 footed model with rip fence, miter gauge, blade guard, a number of blades and throat plates, as well as a rolling cart that it sits on. The saw appears to be all original with the exception of a paint job. The sellers grandfather purchased it new and it has been sitting since he passed away. They are just looking to find it a good home and clear the space.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5911 posts in 2014 days


#12 posted 10-17-2017 09:34 PM

Wow… you did exceptionally well, and are now a member of the very exclusive FFU (four footed Unisaw) club! That price, with all the original accessories and extras, and a single owner machine on top of all that is outstanding. Now you need to get the serial number and register it over at the Vintagemachinery site (list here). Take pictures… lots of pictures… document everything. If you have any questions, need information, or just want some positive reinforcement (and envy), head on over to the OWWM site and post on your adventures!

Congrats.
Brad

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

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

857 posts in 1767 days


#13 posted 10-17-2017 09:59 PM

Your profile doesn’t list a location. If we knew where you were located I bet that there would be a Lumberjock near to you who would love to help you resurrect a vintage saw. BTW, you can’t officially receive any of the traditional “you sucks” until you post an actual picture of the saw. I do hope you get it and that it is an actual ‘39 Unisaw as advertised. That would be a tremendous find.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8151 posts in 1301 days


#14 posted 10-17-2017 10:50 PM

Awesome. I thought 450$ for a ‘59 missing only the miter gauge was a steal.

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

View BobHall's profile

BobHall

17 posts in 1100 days


#15 posted 10-17-2017 11:03 PM

Great deal, you won’t regret it. As Brad said go to OWWM.ORG for all the re-enforcement you can stand, as well as some good advice. The lowest know Unisaw serial number is A 100. All first year Unisaws are highly interesting.

Oh, we need pictures at both of those sites and here too. It’s kind of an obligation when you receive a Unisaw.

-- Bob "jack of all trades, master of none"

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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