Dust collection for older (~10-20 years old) delta unisaw?!?

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Forum topic by etc6849 posted 05-30-2012 02:53 AM 15104 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2186 days

05-30-2012 02:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: unisaw dust collection delta

I bought a used Delta Unisaw on craigslist for $450. It had some slight rust, but looks pretty good for the price. It’s a right tilt, model 36-812 with a 3HP motor.

I’m not sure of it’s origin, so I’ve taken it all apart. I found the pulleys were 1/4” misaligned (when using a straight edge). I was able to fix this, and now I need new belts and dust collection. I was thinking about getting cogged or vx belts instead of the Delta matched set. Any thoughts?

Attached are pictures of the existing gravity fed chute. The door is off, but the chute empties just below the door that covers the motor. The opening is a narrow rectangle.

I was thinking I would use the existing chute and seal up some of the holes on the chute with silicone. For the slot, I was thinking I would have a sheet metal piece fabricated (kind of the shape of a HVAC register) that would adapt to 4” hose and screw into the chute’s opening. Should I go with 4” or make the register bigger? Is there a better way to do the dust collection?

I don’t have a dust collector yet, but was thinking about the Harbor Freight model. I believe it uses 4” hose.

Thanks in advance.

-- A free home automation program called Premise:

6 replies so far

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2244 days

#1 posted 05-30-2012 06:22 AM

I just tore my 1994 uni down and replaced the belts, cleaned, waxed, etc. I bought a set of belts at Grainger for about $16 total. For dust collection (I have the same chute) I used a Mini Gulp Dust Hood (Rockler #42254), some foil HVAC tape, and ran a hose (dryer hose) to the underside of the table extension. My dust collector is beside the saw and I can easily and quickly hook it up if I am sawing a fair bit of material. Otherwise I just clean it out every couple of weeks.

-- It is what it is...

View MSD's profile


20 posts in 2838 days

#2 posted 05-30-2012 12:12 PM

Hey etc,
Congratulations on the unisaw, sounds like a great deal! I picked up a used one a few years ago (left tilt and nowhere as good of deal as you got. I went with the delta belts after reading all the posts I could about different belts. While many had gone with others, I figured the delta matched set seemed like the best way to go.
For the dust cover I just used a piece of plywood and a 4” flange to hook up my dust collector. It seems to capture most of the dust quite well. I’m using the HF collector on mine and it does a good job. I did do a few of the mods you can easily find on the net. Replaced the 5” hose with metal duct pipe, added a Winn filter, and a Thien baffle. All very cheap upgrades (except the Winn filter) but well worth it. I also added the Vega pro 40 fence and an Osborne miter gauge. Now I can make precision saw dust for the HF collector in good fashion. You’ll enjoy that saw!

Later, Mike

-- If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

View toolie's profile


2121 posts in 2626 days

#3 posted 05-30-2012 12:55 PM

enurdat1…...i just picked up a late 70s, early 80 vintage delta unisaw for $40 in gas money and know that the old belts need to be replaced. have you applied the belts you got at grainger to your saw and if yes, how did they work? on the assumption they worked out well, what were the part numbers so i can get a set from my local grainger. thanks.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View hairy's profile


2703 posts in 3530 days

#4 posted 05-30-2012 01:47 PM

I hope you get it figgered out, and let me know what to do. This is a 1989 model, and the dc is not good. I get a lot up on the table.

I bought it this way. I have not yet tried to improve the dc.

-- My reality check bounced...

View hairy's profile


2703 posts in 3530 days

#5 posted 05-30-2012 01:50 PM

Check your serial number. The first 2 numbers are the year of manufacture. The first letter, after the first 2 numbers, is the month. A is Jan, B is Feb, etc.

-- My reality check bounced...

View etc6849's profile


14 posts in 2186 days

#6 posted 05-31-2012 03:15 AM

Thanks guys. My chute’s opening is very similar what hairy is showing. It’s only 1.75” tall, but it’s 15.25” long. I’m going to look at Lowe’s tomorrow for a HVAC register. The top bar is spot welded, so there’s not too many options to go taller without removing the existing chute and using making a new one that sits lower.

Turns out my saw was made in 1994! I cleaned it a bunch today and it’s starting to look nice. I couldn’t find many options locally for belts and grainger was 50 miles away, so I ended up just buying a delta set locally for $42!

-- A free home automation program called Premise:

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