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1950 Unisaw Rebuild

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Forum topic by danjo posted 661 days ago 2124 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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danjo

20 posts in 696 days


661 days ago

I recently bought this 1950 Unisaw on CL for $100.

I have been slowly but surely cleaning it up. I removed the arbor assembly and replaced the bearings. I took the 1 HP 3 phase motor to a local motor shop. They said it runs great but could use some new bearings($125). Included in this charge they would give the old motor a good cleaning and have it like new. I have also located a VFD converter through this shop for $230. After shipping and tax my total cost for repairs and converter would be $375. Okay so here is the QUESTION. For around $300 I can get a new Leeson 1.5HP single phase from http://www.electricmotorsite.com/pc/sglwood_unisaw/120925
I will also have to buy a new pulley and belts $100 http://www.sawcenter.com/unisawparts.htm
The switch on my saw is rated up to 1.5 HP single phase so this saves me the cost of a new switch. I am leaning toward getting a new motor for this saw. Anyone see any reason to stick with the old motor?

thanks

-- http://cookcontracting.webs.com/


14 replies so far

View toolie's profile

toolie

1721 posts in 1229 days


#1 posted 660 days ago

not when this is available from the same site for $60 more:

http://www.electricmotorsite.com/pc/sglwood_unisaw/120728

if you’re upgrading, might as well make it count.

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

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2081 days


#2 posted 660 days ago

Great project. Keep us posted on your progress. I would change the motor to a single phase. It would also make the saw more saleable if you ever decided to sell it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1515 days


#3 posted 660 days ago

toolie = +10

Toolie got this one right!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View danjo's profile

danjo

20 posts in 696 days


#4 posted 660 days ago

I agree with toolie also but my switch is rated for 1.5 single phase max. A new switch sets me back another $200.

-- http://cookcontracting.webs.com/

View Everett1's profile

Everett1

208 posts in 1135 days


#5 posted 660 days ago

also, assuming it’s the bullet motor, the bearings are meant for 1725 RPM. Newer motors do double that i believe, about 3450 RPM. You’ll want to be sure the bearings in the arbor can handle that (at least that is what i read when i cleaned up my 1946 unisaw

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View toolie's profile

toolie

1721 posts in 1229 days


#6 posted 660 days ago

judging from the shape of the motor cover, it’s probably not a bullet motor. they usually go hand in hand with the rounder motor covers. also, the base appears to be more from the 60s/70s than the 30s /40s. i understand that new magnetic starter adds $200 to the project, but it’s probably worth it. purchase cost + pulley and belts+ switch+3hp motor = total outlay of $760. try finding a newer 3hp cabinet saw with that build quality and mass for that much.

going with the 1.5hp motor originally linked would take the cost down to $500. it appears the issue is whether the additional 1.5 hp of the 3hp motor is worth ~ $260.

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

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2163 posts in 2148 days


#7 posted 660 days ago

I think Grizzly has magnetic switches for 3hp motors for about 70.00. Of course I would go for the higher power. I led just fine with 2 ridgid ts in our shop for a long time but now we have 3 cabinet saws all are 3 hp and I guess I just would prefer the larger motor.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

620 posts in 1994 days


#8 posted 660 days ago

You can’t beat the old stuff.. Looks like a GREAT buy.. What Brand is it? It almost looks like a Rockwell Beaver Model 4200??
I LOVE the Old Beaver Tools..
I say go with the NEW motor..

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2274 days


#9 posted 660 days ago

Nice Unisaw, that will make restore project.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Loren's profile

Loren

7253 posts in 2249 days


#10 posted 660 days ago

You could get a VFD on ebay for $130 shipped and you’ll probably
find out the saw runs fine with no work needed on the motor
bearings. Since you’re looking at replacing the motor anyway
(and low amp used 3 phase motors have little value) what’s the
harm in running it on a VFD?

I’m sure the motor guy is honest, but he’s not exactly disinterested.

VFD bipasses the mag switch so that’s out. You can hook up
a 12v remote switch to the VFD.

There’s no upside from a resale point of view to outfitting a
Unisaw with a new single phase motor less than 3 HP.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View danjo's profile

danjo

20 posts in 696 days


#11 posted 659 days ago

Good input everybody. The problem that keeps me up at night is….By the time I rehab the Unisaw I could have found one like this (asking $1100 PM 66) 3hp ready to saw.


hmmmmmm

-- http://cookcontracting.webs.com/

View toolie's profile

toolie

1721 posts in 1229 days


#12 posted 659 days ago

and there might be a $250 one owner hobbyist unisaw with a 52” fence and a 3hp 1ph motor about to hit CL in your area. then again, it may never happen. better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. if you like the saw you have, loren made some very good suggestions for an economical way to get the saw functioning.

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

View RipFence's profile

RipFence

28 posts in 1294 days


#13 posted 659 days ago

Have you shopped for used stuff over at “OWWM”? Some of those guys will have a ton of Unisaw parts and the group is really helpful when it comes to rebuilding.
Cheers,
Jim

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11216 posts in 776 days


#14 posted 657 days ago

Ditto to the restoration project!

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