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Gen 1 Delta Unisaw Restoration

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Forum topic by playsk8r posted 01-06-2013 10:21 AM 4612 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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playsk8r

21 posts in 1496 days


01-06-2013 10:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw unisaw delta 10inch

I have been woodworking for a few years, and have built up a decent shop. I am in love with the “Gen 1” Delta Unisaws. These are the really old ones, with the art deco dust door and switch and the infamous goose egg motor cover. I want to pick one up for around 500$, ship it to my house. I will restore it, add a beissmeyer fence system in either 36 or 52 inch length with a shopmade side table. I will also replace the motor with a newer Leeson replaement. Will this be an improvement over my handme down 40+ year old craftsman? Any thoughts would help

Here’s a link to the type of saw I would buy: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Delta-Unisaw-2-/121014549736?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c2d077ce8


6 replies so far

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toolie

2022 posts in 2089 days


#1 posted 01-06-2013 10:07 PM

not sure if your pic is of a first generation unisaw. didn’t those have four foot bases:

http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=14177

Will this be an improvement over my handme down 40+ year old craftsman?

probably depends on the type of WW you want to do and what you are used to in terms of a TS. i recently refurbished a ‘72 3hp baldor motored unisaw as i wanted to see what all the hoopla around this “old arn” saw was. after using it briefly, i sold it and kept the two 10” emerson electric TS i have that are probably the same basic saw as your hand me down c-man. the unisaw performed extremely well, but to me, there just wasn’t that much more that was special about the unisaw. a sharp blade spinning at 3450 RPM will cut almost any wood. i just can’t shove it through the contractor TSs as fast as i could shove it through the unisaw. but i’m not in a hurry. and the herc-u-lifts on both my contractor saws made them much more mobile than the 3 wheel delta base on the unisaw.

so i don’t really see what all the fuss surrounding older unisaws is all about. the OEM jet lock fence is a good fence, but should really be replaced with a newer t square style fence. i will say that my decision to replace the bearings on the baldor motor, rather than replacing it with a less beefy, newer leeson, was a good one as it had a tremendous amount of torque. and the uynisaw’s dust collection, with a dust hood in the base and the floor i added, was really quite good. apart from that, it didn’t believe it would materially add to the overall functionality of my shop, which is why i sold it.

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

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History

399 posts in 1442 days


#2 posted 01-06-2013 10:22 PM

A Cabinet saw is an industrial saw, and meant to be a stationary piece of machinery. In my opinion they are overkill in a hobby shop. If you can afford one great, but I’d rather spend my time and hard earned cash on something else that is more practical.

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playsk8r

21 posts in 1496 days


#3 posted 01-07-2013 02:33 AM

I would go with and 85’> model, but I am on a fairly limited budget. I would probably take the old motor to an electric motor shop, where it could be hooked up to a phase converter. This would save a bit on the motor. BTW do you guys know how much freight would cost on this saw.(I’m in Canada, if this helps). And by Gen 1 I mean the saws manufactured between 1938? to 195? when they got hid of the art deco elements.

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runswithscissors

2177 posts in 1486 days


#4 posted 01-07-2013 04:48 AM

In my opinion anything unisaw is superior to anything Craftsman, regardless of vintage. My dad had a late 40s—early fifties Craftsman, and I grew to hate that saw the more I used it. The one thing I dislike about the unisaw is the awful fence. I replaced it on mine (used, but I don’t know the vintage—not as old as the one you’re looking for) with a custom fence I am very happy with. Any T-square type of fence would do very well. Is such a saw overkill? Well, it’s footprint won’t be much different than the Craftsman. And what’s not to like about horsepower? It was an ordeal we both dreaded to rip a 2X4 on that thing, it was so gutless (but it had other issues too).

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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playsk8r

21 posts in 1496 days


#5 posted 01-07-2013 01:14 PM

The rip fence it horrible. Every cut it gets out of square. I set it with a framing square held on the mitre gauge. Although the power is okay, it does struggle trough some wood w/ a 50 tooth combo blade b/c the motor drives a equal sized pulley.

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toolie

2022 posts in 2089 days


#6 posted 01-08-2013 02:44 AM

depending on the material being cut, a 50 T blade may be too many teeth. i tried bevel ripping with a 40T and the saw wasn’t happy. switched to a 24T rip blade and away we went.

for a great primmer on all things unisaw, check out these guys:

http://www.sawcenter.com/

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

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