Old Delta bandsaw, worth it?

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Forum topic by ToddJB posted 09-20-2012 08:36 PM 8224 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8318 posts in 2369 days

09-20-2012 08:36 PM


This old delta bandsaw just poped up on CL. Click Here
This would be my first bandsaw and I’m looking to get something that I will not out grow for while, I am an eagar young hobbyist with limited income. Would it be worth some TLC?

Also what kind of limitations might I run into that something more modern would be avoided.

I do not know what the “repairs” are yet. Could I still get stuff to service something this old?

All comments would be greatly helpful.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

33 replies so far

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3407 days

#1 posted 09-20-2012 08:51 PM

I love vintage tools and im a sucker for them whenever I see them, I would say call him and ask what the repairs are, do a bit of research to see of u can get the parts and as to how much they would be and then compare the price to a newer model, if you save a considerable amount and can find the time to do the repairs, go for it. Plus there is the pride factor of breathing new life into an old tool. I am not an expert on vintage tools so I am sure someone here can shed a lot more light o this for you than I can, just figured I’d pop in my two cents lol. Good luck!

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2516 days

#2 posted 09-20-2012 09:23 PM

That’s a great saw! I have a 1936 Delta/Rockwell band saw and I love it. With a little work, this saw would be a great tool in your shop. If you could get it for $100, that would be a great deal.


View shampeon's profile


1895 posts in 2422 days

#3 posted 09-20-2012 10:15 PM

Bandsaws are pretty simple machines. There isn’t much of anything that newer machines can offer over this one. And there are significant disadvantages to many newer machines (quality, stability, etc.).

For $120, the needed repairs would have be pretty significant for this not to be a screaming deal.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Wildwood's profile


2529 posts in 2374 days

#4 posted 09-20-2012 10:49 PM

I also think bandsaws your looking at a great find. Already said bandsaws not complicated but would recommend checking local library for two great books “Bandsaw Handbook,” by Mark Duginske or “The Bandsaw book,” by Lonnie Bird. If had to buy one book would recommend “The bandsaw Handbook.”

While not sure of model number, when you find out think can find parts manual on-line. Lot depends on what is wrong with those bandsaws. Replacing tires, and thrust bearing or wheel bearings not a big deal.

You might just get by with downloading Louis Iturra catalog.

There is a Iturra catalog on line from 2010

-- Bill

View Dwain's profile


584 posts in 4098 days

#5 posted 09-20-2012 11:12 PM

I guess it’s unanimous. Find out what needs to be repaired, but understand that all parts can be found. You have an opportunity to buy a saw that you will NEVER grow out of. You may need to make some updates, but you will never out grow it. Well worth $120. Heck, offer $90.00 and see what happens.

-- 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 teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2924 days

#6 posted 09-20-2012 11:12 PM

I cut meat for years on a Biro Bros saw (circa 1940 maybe?) that I don’t think ever needed major service. As pointed out above, not much to go wrong. At that price I’d bite. If you do, post back before you have buyer’s remorse when you fire it up (particularly when it comes to “drift” on straight cuts…every machine is different I think, some going right, some going left, few ever going straight in my experience).

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3887 days

#7 posted 09-20-2012 11:23 PM

It’s a good one. Cracked castings are the major thing to
steer clear of with band saws. Most other issues can be
fixed without too much effort or expense.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7107 posts in 2438 days

#8 posted 09-20-2012 11:31 PM

Buy it.. clean it up.. enjoy. Parts are readily available from multiple sources including directly from Delta.. it has remained virtually unchanged for decades. They are also very easy to work on; here is what all the parts look like just in case you were wondering :)


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

View toolie's profile


2148 posts in 2868 days

#9 posted 09-21-2012 12:10 AM

toddjb ........ check out that linked iturra catalog on page 96, “modern vs. vintage delta 14” bandsaw” and also page 141, “purchasing a used bandsaw”. that should give you the informatin necessary to determine how much work the featured bandsaw will need.

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

View ToddJB's profile (online now)


8318 posts in 2369 days

#10 posted 09-21-2012 12:51 AM

Toolie, I read those sections. Wildwood, thanks for posting it. Thats very informative You all have sold me, now if I can get the seller to contact me back. I hate anticipation… I’m miserable at Christmas.

Thanks so much for all advice. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Ed's profile


28 posts in 2314 days

#11 posted 09-21-2012 04:22 AM

+1 for Louis Iturra who is very helpful.

Are you wanting to spend a lot of time refinishing and rebuilding machines or woodworking? You will spend a bunch of hours on that old Delta, which can be fun if that is your interest. If you enjoy that then go for it, but it may set your woodworking projects to a later time.

It looks like Brad is in the middle of a beautiful job or refurbishing and refinishing an old Delta. Is that what you have in mind too?

Limitations you asked: Is the motor 1/3 or 1/2 HP or what? It may be too small and new one may cost $$. Iturra says use 1.5 HP if you want to resaw. How will you collect dust off that machine? How will you guard the belt drive? Is a quick tension release important to you?

Another option would be to find something used that requires no work that costs what you will eventually spend on the old Delta (tires, belt, sheet metal, bearings, cleaning, paint, wiring, casters, guides?, spring, your time?, etc). When you get to the point that you want to upgrade from a 14” machine you can sell and get you money out of a used machine.

Be realistic about the money, time, and your interests in undertaking refurbishing projects.

Have fun.


-- Ed

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7107 posts in 2438 days

#12 posted 09-21-2012 06:02 AM

It looks like Brad is in the middle of a beautiful job or refurbishing and refinishing an old Delta.

Thanks, but that picture was taken some time ago. The machine was restored about a year ago and has been working hard ever since without a single problem, smooth as silk and a joy to use. I could have just thrown on some new bearings, tires and a belt and run it like that, but after looking for info on the machine and seeing some of the fantastic work over at OWWM, I decided to go ahead and do a full restore. I picked it up for $85 off CL, and wound up dumping another $150 or so into it (for bearings, tires, belt, paint, misc. parts, etc..), along with a little more than two weeks worth of work. Most of that time was actually just sitting around waiting for the paint to dry sufficiently between re-coats. The restoration process along with pictures can be found over at OWWM in this thread .


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

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2616 days

#13 posted 09-21-2012 06:59 AM

Is it really “dumping” when you came out with a machine like that?
Plus the added benefit of doing the restoration, you know that machine inside and out.
I’m still working on a Homecraft Delta Milwaukee 10” bandsaw restore. Need to get the bearings, tires and new blade guides and it will be set. It’s operational as is and i’ve done some testing on it. I really like it even though it is only 10” and i’m sure Todd will like the one he found if he is able to get it.
Wish it was closer to me so i could get it. lol

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2536 days

#14 posted 09-21-2012 12:35 PM

$120 is an extremely fair price for that machine and unless it needs new cast wheels or something significant don’t insult the seller with a low ball offer. Bearings, tires, new grounded cord, blade guides, riser – EVERYTHING is available for that saw. And when you change out those parts you learn how the machine works and it becomes a pleasure to use.

View ToddJB's profile (online now)


8318 posts in 2369 days

#15 posted 09-21-2012 02:21 PM

Okay. Here’s the scoop. He still has it. I’m going to check it out tonight. I apparently woke him up this morning at 8 (oops) and could barely get through his morning voice combined with my terrible cell phone to hear him say that the trunnion blocks need replaced. Upon looking it up after our convo I see what trunnions are, but I’m not sure what the “block” part is. Maybe that’s just an early morning addition to the trunnion. It seems odd to me that a big chunk of metal like that would wear our or break. Is this common?

I do see I can probably pick some up on ebay if needed, but they’re wanting $30ish for one.

I keep everyone abreast.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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