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Restore Older Rockwell cabinet saw?

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Forum topic by Ryan posted 819 days ago 3047 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ryan

11 posts in 819 days


819 days ago

Good morning everyone! I’m a very new lumberjocks member, although I have browsed here as a non-member several times and always found some very interesting info. Currently I am looking for some decent quality tools. Next on my list is a table saw. I found an older Rockwell cabinet saw locally. It appears to be a solid machine. The pictures show that it has some surface rust on the table. What do you guys think about this saw? Would it be a good candidate for a restoration and could I do some good quality cuts with it? I’ve attched a picture from the ad for this saw. Thanks all!


16 replies so far

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2000 days


#1 posted 819 days ago

Just from the picture it looks like an excellent restoration candidate.

The big question is how much ? If it is a restoration that you keep for yourself I would go as high as $500, if for resale I would only go that high if it has the 3 or 5 HP motor. Be sure to check if it is single or 3 phase, that will add to the restoration cost haveing to get a phase converter or single phase motor.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1786 days


#2 posted 819 days ago

Ryan a lot would depend on the price. Does the motor work? Does the arbor turn freely? Are the trunions in good shape? I own a Unisaw but I would love to get my hands on one of the old delta or Rockwell saws. They are usually rock solid. This would be a great restoration project. With an updated fence and dust collection if the price is right. I would check the top for any warping. It appears to have an updated switch box. What size motor does it have and is it single or three phase, and is it 110 or 220 volt?There are several sites that have lots of info for old wood working machines.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7270 posts in 2251 days


#3 posted 819 days ago

It doesn’t need restoration, just a little cleanup. The machine
is in very good condition, though if you want an old-fashioned
look you’d want to replace to replace the magnetic switch
with an old switch (I would keep the mag switch because
it’s safer), get a throat plate and motor cover.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Ryan's profile

Ryan

11 posts in 819 days


#4 posted 819 days ago

Asking price is only $250, so I think I’ll jump on it (It is 3 phase, but I do have an extra motor and an electrician for a father :) ). The same seller also has a floor model rockwell jointer for sale for $200, it appears to be of the same vintage, might get both :)

View Arch_E's profile

Arch_E

47 posts in 1125 days


#5 posted 819 days ago

That’s a great “bones” buy-in price. I converted a vintage PM66 3-phase and it cost me several hundred more to replace motor and fence—but I’ve got one heck of a solid cabinet saw!!!!!!

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2000 days


#6 posted 819 days ago

I would jump all over that.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View lieutenantdan's profile

lieutenantdan

176 posts in 909 days


#7 posted 819 days ago

“I would jump all over that.” Scot

Like a duck on a June Bug.

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

View Ryan's profile

Ryan

11 posts in 819 days


#8 posted 816 days ago

Well it’s been a very exciting day. I picked up my new-to-me Rockwell cabinet saw. I found out a few things about it. It’s missing the rear rail that the fence slides on, no biggie; and the original Rockwell motor that’s on it is 3-phase, also no big deal I’ll get another motor. The good news is that this saw was from a high school wood shop. The blade lowers and raises very nicely, as does the bevel, very smoothly right up to 45 deg. The blade itself turns with no problems. Once I get it cleaned up it should be spectacular!

I also found they were selling a nice old jointer, also from the same high school. This one just needs to be cleaned up as it’s already got a 1-phase motor.

And the best part, is that I got them both for $360!!

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3054 posts in 1279 days


#9 posted 815 days ago

Sounds like you have done well even with the 3 phase motor. A little cleaning and painting and you will be in business for the remainder of your life or until you want a new saw just to have a new saw. Congratulations and welcome to LJ

View Ryan's profile

Ryan

11 posts in 819 days


#10 posted 813 days ago

Last night I was able to clean up the tables on the jointer and the table saw. I just used a bit of 220 sandpaper and WD40 to get the surface rust off, then some fine steel wool. The tops are really nice and smooth now. I also got the motor pulled off of the table saw. It’s a 3 phase motor, so I think I’ll just replace it with a new 1-phase.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1297 days


#11 posted 813 days ago

In a word…....HECK YES!!!!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2066 days


#12 posted 813 days ago

Dont replace the motor. A single phase replacement will run you more than you paid for the saw. I would get a VFD to convert the single phase power in the shop to 3ph. Replace the bearings and dont look back. Its a little hard to read but it looks like a 3hp motor?

Here is the VFD for a 3hp motor…....

http://www.factorymation.com/s.nl/it.A/id.198/.f?sc=2&category=32

If you need more info or help with the VFD send me a PM. I also have some wiring diagrams that will guide you through the process. Dont be intimidated, a monkey could do it!!

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Ryan's profile

Ryan

11 posts in 819 days


#13 posted 813 days ago

I had thought about a VFD. I’ve heard so many people say they are great, and also so many saying that are no good. If I understand it correctly, I will end up with about 2hp if I use a VFD? Which should still be a decent amount of power. As you point out though, it certainly would be a cheaper option.

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2066 days


#14 posted 813 days ago

You get 100% output in HP from a VFD. they are NOT de-rated as with a static phase converter.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1157 posts in 900 days


#15 posted 813 days ago

I second the VFD and keeping the 3 HP motor. Unless you have a line on a used motor of that HP range you will come out ahead and have a very powerful smooth running saw. If you need a rear rail Delta probably still sells them or go over to the OWWM.org site and post a wanted in the classified section. The Beaver jointer is probably as good as a Delta and more interesting in my mind.

http://dealerselectric.com/page.asp?id=20

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