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Question about the Delta Unisaw

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Forum topic by MT_Stringer posted 11-10-2012 05:05 AM 1893 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1978 days


11-10-2012 05:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

I don’t have any experience with this type of saw but I see them for sale every now and then. For those of you that own them, what can wear out or break from usage?

I guess the motor could croak but are they pretty reliable over the long haul?
Here is an example from a recent post. I can’t afford it at the moment but might be in the market after the Christmas orders are delivered.
Thanks
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas


29 replies so far

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

300 posts in 1326 days


#1 posted 11-10-2012 06:00 AM

With the 5Hp motor and the mobile base, that’s about $3500+, new.

I’ve had a 3Hp for about 4 years now. I expect it to keep working as perfectly as it always has for at least another 15 years.

Nothing has worn out yet, but I only use it about 5 hours a week (actually cutting wood). I try to keep it cleaned, and I have greased the gears and such – once.

Blades wear out (or, at least, dull a little). I suppose the belts will wear. Pretty good motor, so I don’t really expect my light use to wear it out.

Anything’s possible, but I think mine might outlive me.

If I wanted one, at $1600 I’d hurry up and go buy it today.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Wdwerker's profile

Wdwerker

333 posts in 980 days


#2 posted 11-10-2012 06:11 AM

I have a 30 year old 1 1/2 hp 120 volt UniSaw used daily in a small cabinet shop. I also have a 22 year old 5 hp 240 volt UniSaw with an Excalibur 60” crosscut attachment. Both have been extremely reliable.
Replaced 1 switch and replaced bearings once.
Not familiar with the newer tools accuracy and reliability .

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

533 posts in 1334 days


#3 posted 11-10-2012 06:16 AM

Great saw, The 5hp will never bog down. You should not have to buy another tablesaw and at 1600 good but not great price try to get for less, but get it.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1773 posts in 1375 days


#4 posted 11-10-2012 02:34 PM

while the older units (40 YO and more) are well built with heavy CI components, there are a number of things that can go wrong and be expensive to repair/replace. the sawcenter in springfield, mass. is a great source for all things unisaw related:

http://www.sawcenter.com/unisaw_faq.htm

their FAQ section is really good info for anyone considering a pre-owned unisaw. wish i’d seen it before i got mine.

i got this unisaw for $40 in gas money to go pick it up:

after having the motor bearings replaced, a new arbor, arbor pulley and and bearings (from the sawcenter), new belts, new motor fan and putting about 80 man hours into the saw, i had this:

which performed like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0CGeTLNrCo&feature=plcp

i put a total of $600 into the saw and sold it for $800. cabinet saws are nice, but just not necessary for what most hobbyist WWs do. when i was originally told, incorrectly, that my motor was fried, i looked into replacements. the guy @ sawcenter laughed when i asked him about a 5hp stating that 3 hp was overkill for hobbyist WWs.

a decent uni, and never buy one if you can’t power it up, should go for $800-1200, with the more expensive saw usually having a better than OEM fence system.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2033 posts in 1240 days


#5 posted 11-10-2012 02:52 PM

Unisaws are lifetime saws. The best thing about them is that almost nothing can go wrong that can’t be fixed in some way…they are almost certainly the most owned single model of saw making parts and knowledge easy to find. The saw center that toolie listed is a great source, but so is OWWM.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1978 days


#6 posted 11-10-2012 06:34 PM

Thanks for the info. You guys are really great with all the info. I went this morning to buy a 6 inch Jet Jointer and when the guy opened the door to his storage building, there sat a Delta 3hp Unisaw with the long Besemeyer fence! Holly krapola! What have we here?

The jointer is used and has some surface rust but I can work with that. Then talk turned to the Uni, and before it was over we have a pending deal. He was asking $1250, but came down to $1050, then said he would take one of my custom coolers in trade. That drops my cash outlay to $800 (not counting what I have to spend to build the cooler).

I have a couple of pics on my phone. I will try to upload them and see what you guys think.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1978 days


#7 posted 11-10-2012 06:42 PM

Here are the pics.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

300 posts in 1326 days


#8 posted 11-10-2012 07:08 PM

How ‘bout a picture of this “custom cooler” that appears to be worth $250?

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1978 days


#9 posted 11-10-2012 07:16 PM

Well Jim, it is in my projects. Houston Texans logo on front.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2033 posts in 1240 days


#10 posted 11-10-2012 07:59 PM

That is the same saw I have…did he have the manuals, etc.?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

458 posts in 1146 days


#11 posted 11-10-2012 08:01 PM

Mike – I have had this, almost identical, saw for about 7 years. Mine (like the one pictured that you posted) has the 3HP motor (which has been more than enough power) and I run mostly Forrest Woodworker II blades on it. I cut mostly hardwoods with it which includes oak, hickory, pecan, walnut, maple,elm, bodarc (Osage Orange) and a few I can’t remember. I also have the Biesmeyer Fence which I love. Absolutely nothing has failed to date and it remains extremely accurate and reliable. Go with this saw if you can and you will not regret it. Indeed, it is a “lifetime” saw.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View RyanIra's profile

RyanIra

40 posts in 1076 days


#12 posted 11-10-2012 09:44 PM

I would replace the arbor bearings on any used saw I bought. They cost about $5.00 each and take a couple of hours to replace. With new belts, bearings, a good cleaning and lubrication of internal parts, good alignment, you’ll be good to go for 20 years.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1978 days


#13 posted 11-10-2012 10:04 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I am working towards getting the funds together. It may be a few weeks before I get it home. A friend has a lo boy trailer so I wm working on transportation. :-)

I will post up if and when I get it set up.
Thanks for the help. It is very appreciated.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2106 posts in 1978 days


#14 posted 11-10-2012 10:16 PM

@ Fred – I didn’t see a manual. Guess I will have the ascrounge one up.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View cpd011's profile

cpd011

82 posts in 1984 days


#15 posted 11-10-2012 10:18 PM

I’m using my grandpa’s 1947 unisaw. I replaced the bearings and belts on it, painted and cleaned it. It purrs like a kitten. Original motor. You can hardly tell when it’s on.

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