Table saw decision: Old Iron

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Forum topic by Gilbert11 posted 11-04-2011 07:41 PM 2031 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2823 days

11-04-2011 07:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw refurbishing

For a while now I have been toying with the idea of getting an older direct drive table saw for the shop. Something like an Oliver, Tannewitz or Whitney. I have a working table saw now, so I have been looking for something in need of a little TLC so that I don’t drop to much upfront and give me a side project for a while. Recently, I have found two machines that fit the bill and 1940’s Oliver 270 and a Whitney 77 roughly the same era. My dilemma is deciding which to purchase. The Oliver is in worse shape than the Whitney more rust, more play in the bearings and has no fence or miter gauge but is only $800. The Whitney is in better shape cosmetically as well as the bushings and has the original fence and miter gauge. It is $950. I should mention that the castings on both machines are in good condition. One additional plus that I see to the oliver is that if I ever need to sell it seems like there might be more people in the market for olivers.

What do you all think? Thanks in advance.

Oh yeah, already have 3phase in the shop.


2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 11-04-2011 08:05 PM

Oliver is collectible and sought after… though I’ve seen some Olivers
for sale pretty cheap lately and I think maybe all the new innovations
are starting to gut the collector market… it’s kinda clear that a modern
Altendorf or other pro slider is a much more usable saw than an old
Oliver for example.

Oliver parts will cost you an arm and a leg though. If the Whitney is
more complete, at least your investment will be contained.

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4189 days

#2 posted 11-04-2011 08:15 PM

I agree with loren when buying arn “old iron” the more complete the machine the better off you are if you want to try and keep the machine complete.

now for me on the other hand i dont care about the original fence and do dads cuz I buy my machine to use them and tend to put newer more accurate things on my machines. so to me if that was my plan i would gor for the oliver but if i wanted to restore the arn to its original state the whitney is the way to go.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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