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Rockwell Unisaw... Worth it for a first cabinet saw?

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Forum topic by AdamJBut posted 02-05-2014 10:37 AM 3120 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AdamJBut

2 posts in 1160 days


02-05-2014 10:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: ts table saw unisaw delta rockwell 34-756 34756

Hey team! I’ve been a long time poacher of LumberJock wisdom but haven’t gotten involved in a conversation until now. Well, at least I hope this turns into a conversation. Here goes… there’s a CL posting for a Rockwell Unisaw (model 34-756) but little information is provided, beyond a few pics, wired for 220v, Unisaw fence and a 1 3/4 HP motor. Listed for $800, but I talked to the seller and he’s very negotiable. I can’t seem to find ANY information/specs re: this model on the interweb… Not even on Lumbejocks! So, a few questions to any of you who may have crossed paths with this TS or are willing to guide a relative novice in buying his first cabinet TS. 1) At 1 3/4hp, is it too underpowered to even consider? I currently build storage units, bookcases, cabinets, etc, but want something that I’ll not outgrow within the next 1-3 years as I start to mill hardwoods for my projects. 2) Do you have any experience with this particular model (34-756)? For a well maintained used TS, what brand and price point do you think will most suit my needs (if not the Unisaw that’s in question here)? For reference, I’m in the DC area, so everything is twice as expensive than most other locales, for no reason whatsoever.

And let me add… THANK YOU to any and all Lumberjockers who have lent wisdom to which I have bogarted over the years. One day, I’ll be adequately seasoned to return the favor. Cheers!


21 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2842 days


#1 posted 02-05-2014 12:09 PM

$800 is on the high side IMO for for an older Uni with a 1-3/4hp motor, but it also depends a lot on the fence, whether or not there’s a blade guard included, mobile base, condition, etc. It’ll also be right tilt, which isn’t a game breaker for me, but is something to consider.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3947 posts in 1959 days


#2 posted 02-05-2014 12:33 PM

A Unisaw is a Unisaw, they are all well built and almost all parts are easily available. That said, the value of that one may well hinge on it’s condition. A lot of them are missing all the covers on the cabinet, or other parts. The points Scott made about the fence and other accessories are important as well. So I’m guessing the starting price is high, but could be persuaded otherwise (maybe, not likely) depending on condition.

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

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13512 posts in 1323 days


#3 posted 02-05-2014 01:48 PM

Everyone talks about horsepower, but I have never needed more than the 1 1/2 that my grizzly has. Last week I ran my saw through a piece of red oak with the blade raised all the way. So essentially I was ripping over 2 3/4 thick. As long as I didn’t go fast it worked just fine and the edge of the piece ended up very smooth. Use a good blade, take your time and I don’t see you needing more than 1 3/4 horse.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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ScottKaye

472 posts in 1419 days


#4 posted 02-05-2014 02:02 PM

Thats why I rarely buy a big tool in the DC area off of Craigslist. “It’s too damn high!” If you are willing to travel, try looking around in the surrounding communities aka Richmond, Baltimore, Eastern Shore Charlotesville and even the Norfolk area. Thats where I bought my 3hp Unisaw with 52” fence. Only paid $700 for it and the owner through in $350 worth of clamps (well used but still serviceable). There were a couple of Unisaws and PM cabinet saws on the DC craigslist at the time I bought mine, but they were in the 1300 to 2k range and I was having none of that. Another place to check out is IRS auctions. Lots of tools can be had for very cheap but mind you these are used tools out of cabinet shops and most are 3ph though there is a fair smattering of single phase tools there too. IRS runs auctions all over the country and in Canada, but there is usually an auction or two in PA and NC (not too far a drive to pick up a machine) and occaisionally you will see an auction closer to DC.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View WibblyPig's profile

WibblyPig

168 posts in 2740 days


#5 posted 02-05-2014 02:33 PM

That’s a Rockwell International (with the “peace sign symbol”) and general consensus is that the saws are not as good as the older or newer Unisaws. They started cost accounting the machinery and as a result fit, finish and general performance suffered.

Personally, I’d hold out for a different saw.

Also, don’t go by what the motor is rated at – go by the amperage draw. After Black and Decker bought the Dewalt radial arm saw, they started rating by “peak” hp which is way different than running hp and a lot of other companies followed suit so as not to seem underpowered. My 1964 Powermatic 65 cabinet saw eats through 12/4 red oak and the Freud glue line rip fence leaves a glue line rip with no marks, burning or anything else and it has a 1-1/2hp motor. My 7hp shop vac on the other hand is not 7hp…

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View levan's profile

levan

472 posts in 2446 days


#6 posted 02-05-2014 03:06 PM

View AdamJBut's profile

AdamJBut

2 posts in 1160 days


#7 posted 02-05-2014 06:28 PM

Thanks for all the great feedback, gentlemen! I really appreciate the guidance. Turns out that the guy just sold the Unisaw in question, but has another one (3hp, but I’ll have to check the amp draw) that has a used/disassembled beismeyer 72” fence. He’s asking $800 and will be wiring up a 220 to let me run it on Saturday. I’ll use your provided insight to ensure that it was mfr’d in the right era, runs smoothly and sells at a reduced price. My budget is right at the $800 level, but would much prefer to come in under so that I can get a good blade and build an extension table.

Separate question, might be a dumb one… What is the chief advantage of left vs right tilt on a TS? Thanks gang!

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WibblyPig

168 posts in 2740 days


#8 posted 02-05-2014 06:40 PM

The same as square vs. round dog holes – just a matter of preference. (It actually has to with capacity from the blade to the guard and pieces being trapped but doesn’t have that much bearing in real life.)

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13512 posts in 1323 days


#9 posted 02-05-2014 07:15 PM

Typically you work with your fence to the right of the saw. On a right tilt saw the blade tilts toward the fence. When cutting at an angle, the piece is trapped between the table the fence and the blade. This can lead to kickbacks and shooting your piece out of the saw. On a right tilt saw you can avoid this situation by moving the fence to the other side of the blade. This is ok, but is not your normal process and may lead to an accident. The ideal situation then is to have a left tilt saw. I’m not trying to scare you. I wouldn’t be worried about it myself. I bet I only tilt my saw a few times per year.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#10 posted 01-20-2015 02:56 AM

Hmmm.. I know this is a dated thread, but I wonder how things turned out :) Inquiring minds want to know!

2 posts and…... gone.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Shadowrider's profile

Shadowrider

183 posts in 675 days


#11 posted 02-02-2015 11:39 PM

I’m in the same boat. Am ready to pull the trigger on a Grizzly G1023RLX and just found a Unisaw on Craigslist for $1200. Not terribly dated (probably ‘90s vintage), he’s negotiable on price and it’s in pretty good condition. Has not one, but TWO Unifences and 60” rails. Don’t need these as I’m going to put a Incra fence system on it. Does not have the right wing. (I’m guessing because of the long extension). Can I move the left wing to the right side? I’d like to put a router table on the left side. I’m really leaning to this Unisaw and am trying to figure out if I can get it configured like I want for about the same money, I think I can if I can get it at the right price and selling the Unifences. I really like the idea of the dust collection and riving knife on the Grizzly though, but I guess I can always tinker with those and I’m not above refurbishing it either, I enjoy playing with this stuff.

View cibolotx's profile

cibolotx

7 posts in 952 days


#12 posted 04-28-2015 12:05 AM

Hey, not sure if anyone is still looking for this item, but I came across this the other day … http://www.hgrinc.com/productDetail/Woodworking/USED-ROCKWELL-TABLE-SAW/04150150019.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#13 posted 04-28-2015 12:18 AM

Adam, if that 2nd saw has any looks to it, That sure sounds like at better deal. I can tell you from experience that Biesmeyer fence is pretty damn hard to beat. I was search for a PW 66 with a left tilt when I found my Delta really close by and easy to move. I wanted that left tilt, but I’ve found that I haven’t missed it all that much. Yeah, it would be nice on those very rare occasions, but I’ve learned to work around it.

Which ever way you go I wish you luck finding the saw that’s right for you.

View Shadowrider's profile

Shadowrider

183 posts in 675 days


#14 posted 04-28-2015 03:42 AM

Seems that Unisaws are everywhere these days.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#15 posted 04-28-2015 03:57 AM

Seems that Unisaws are everywhere these days.
- Shadowrider

Probably the most popular saw ever made… and they have been in continuous production since the late 30’s. They remained basically unchanged since then, up until just recently (2007-2008 or thereabouts IIRC). There are a LOT of them out there :)

That particular one linked to above looks like it’s seen it’s fair share of abuse though.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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