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Forum topic by DaringDave posted 12-31-2011 08:06 PM 1023 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DaringDave

10 posts in 1361 days


12-31-2011 08:06 PM

1984 Rockwell Unisaw 1 3/4 hp $850

Hello all. Looking for feedback. I have the opportunity to purchase this saw. By the looks of it it is showroom new. Not familiar with Rockwell version of the Unisaw. At $850, is this saw a sound investment; or, should I put my money into a new(er) saw, such as the Grizzly G0715, or kick in a few more dollars and purchase a new Jet or Powermatic contractor saws? I am trying to keep this purchase under $1,200, closer to $1,000.00 is preferred.

I’m not new to woodworking, but moving into furniture building. I am coming for an old Craftsman contractor saw I bought new some 17 years ago. It has served me well, but our relationship has rapidly come to an end as I start handling more sheet goods. I can literally pick this saw up with one hand.

I do not have 220v. I’m in a rental, so would prefer to not invest the monies to add 220v.

Any help is appreciated.

Best,

David


10 replies so far

View Milo's profile

Milo

862 posts in 2070 days


#1 posted 12-31-2011 08:13 PM

errgghhh… If you can’t get the 220v and a phase converter installed, it’ll be a $850 hunk of iron sitting in your garage, ya know? Does it come with a phase converter? if not, don’t buy it. It took a little effort to get my uni going when I bought it. Also, there are cheaper uni’s out there, and you can pay the difference to get your electricity fixed.

What do you have now? Maybe you should start with a smalller contractor saw. Delta has a nice one. I like my Ridgid a lot, though I have to lean over it father than I liked. Used saws are all over the place, so you shouldn’t have to spend $850 to get one that will serve your purposes.

Good luck and have fun! Nothings more enjoyable then tool shopping!

Milo

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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DaringDave

10 posts in 1361 days


#2 posted 12-31-2011 08:48 PM

This saw is dual voltage. Wired for 110v right now.

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Milo

862 posts in 2070 days


#3 posted 12-31-2011 09:11 PM

Aaah! That puts things in a better light. Plug & Play!

What kind of stock do you plane on cutting? Shouldn’t overtax the motor unless it’s 4×4 walnut or purple heart or something like that. ;)

Still, the price seems a TAD high to me… You should be able to find a nice one in the 5 – 6 bill range. Age won’t matter tooooo much if everything is sound. Remove the saw blade, and stick a flashlight inside, look at the grooving of the swing arm & arbor. Look and see if the electrical box if full of sawdust and the wiring is near being shot! What do the belts look like? How does the motor sound? Look for the serial number, call Delta/Porter Cable, and ask them what they know. Should be on the motor I think.

Does it come with anything just WAY cool for 850? I got mine for 5 Bens, plus 3 outfeed tables and a 56” Beissmeyer fence. And it’s 5 hp instead of 1.75.

JUST some things to keep in mind. I really want you to get the best bang for you buck in this economy!

GOOD LUCK! ;)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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Loren

7825 posts in 2398 days


#4 posted 12-31-2011 09:32 PM

Price is a little high, especially if it comes with the Jet Lock fence
which isn’t so fabulous. Prices vary regionally though.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Milo

862 posts in 2070 days


#5 posted 01-02-2012 06:14 AM

Dave, what did you decide? It is a sweet looking saw ya got there… ;)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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DaringDave

10 posts in 1361 days


#6 posted 01-02-2012 06:19 AM

Doing a bit more research. Also, looking at other machines. The guy who owns it needs to sell it because he is moving. If I can get him down to around $500 or so, I will consider it.

Thanks for your viewpoint and help.

David

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1011 posts in 2236 days


#7 posted 01-02-2012 06:45 AM

$500 is more in the ballpark. The saw is not old enough to be considered vintage, so no age premium. Motor under 2hp is just a tad light, but not a dealkiller. Not many choices in the mid 80s. For the small cabinet shop, the Delta/Rockwall and Powermatic were about the only game in town for true cabinet saws. Nowadays we have a world of choices. Personally, for the money, I believe the Griz is the best bang for the buck. I own one so I’m biased. No problems though and used most everyday, for hobby use, not a contractor. Grizzly’s occupy many professional shops. I guess Sawstop has replaced a lot of saws for insurance purposes. I’d splurge for a 220V receptacle. Saw will run better, less strain. Just my $0.02.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View tuffruss's profile

tuffruss

38 posts in 1133 days


#8 posted 01-02-2012 08:39 AM

I would take it over any new chinese machine. You can always upgrade the fence and the saw will last forever.

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 2669 days


#9 posted 01-02-2012 04:52 PM

I agree with tuffruss. I have that saw’s great grand daddy. I’ve replaced motors, fence system (Unifence), added dust collection, rollerbase. Would not trade for Chinese, so called upgrade. I do have 3 hp.
The saw you are looking at appears to be almost new, very lightly used. Would rec a 220v outlet to get the biggest bang out of that motor. Unless you go into it full time that saw will keep a smile on your face and maybe even then. I replaced my belts several times, last about 12 yrs ago with link belts. Very satisfied.
You could hold off and you will find one cheaper. But probably not in that (like new ?) condition. If you can get the price down, even better.
Don’t even consider a contractor saw over this one. As Milo said, check it over.
Sharp blades will help to make up the hp difference.
Good luck, keep us informed. Don’t snooze too long, or someone will make the decision for you.

-- MrAl

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DaringDave

10 posts in 1361 days


#10 posted 01-04-2012 06:35 AM

Well, I offered to split the difference between $500 and $850 at $675. You would have thought I asked for one of his kidneys. Guess this is not the saw for me. Thank you all for your input… back to the classified.

Best,

David

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