Delta Milwaukee 14" bandsaw - I think...

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Forum topic by Newbiewoodworker43 posted 02-20-2014 07:49 PM 9267 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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150 posts in 2408 days

02-20-2014 07:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: delta milwaukee bandsaw vintage

Good afternoon all, This morning I went to go purchase a 12” tilt head Craftsman bandsaw for $25 from CL. I know it is not the greatest bandsaw but as I am a beginner and I really need a bandsaw and the price was right I figured I would go for it.

When I got there someone else had come earlier and stole it away. I was not happy but then I saw an old Delta Milwaukee band saw on an old wooden table. I checked it out. It ran so I offered $25 and they took it.

Now, I am new at all this and did not have a tape measure with me so I thought it was a 9” or something like that. When I got it home I measured everything and found out that it is a 14” bandsaw! The motor is the original Rockwell 1/3 hp motor.

I went onto the vintage machinery wiki and looked up the serial number – 94 4788 and it turns out that it is a 1951 model. In my haste to get out I left the belt…

I have a couple of questions.
1. Is this going to cost me a fortune to refurbish?
2. What is the best things I can do to make this saw run awesome?
3. How do I figure out what belt size I need?
4. Where can I get a manual for this saw?
5. How do I figure out how big a blade to put on?

Lastly, I just want to make sure that this was a good deal. I know the saw runs but have never seen what this type of band saw goes for.

Any help will be greatly appreciated

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

45 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2335 days

#1 posted 02-20-2014 08:19 PM

I think you should post some pictures to help us out. But, that being said, as long as this thing hasn’t been run over by a truck or something, you got a great deal. The 14” deltas from yesterday changed a little bit through the years but not dramatically. I have a 14” Delta from ‘84. Love it.

It shouldn’t cost too much to get cleaned up. Get all surface rust taken care of. I’d check the bearings, it probably could use new tires, a new blade, check the guides and replace/upgrade if necessary. I run a link belt from HF on my Delta and it works great. They’re around $25 if I recall correctly. Use the HF coupon. Check the alignment of the table to the blade and make any needed adjustments.

Once you’ve done all that, I think any remaining problems will either be readily apparent, or you’ll have a good starting point to start troubleshooting it.

EDIT : Check out this link.

The saws didn’t change a whole bunch between the years, so you can probably find a manual for a 14” of a different year that will come in handy.

Where are you located? There may be a LJ locally who has an old or spare blade you could test fit. If you were anywhere near me, I’d throw one of my blades on there. I use the Timberwolf blades from Woodcraft and like them very much. I’d recommend not getting your blades at HD or Lowes.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3551 days

#2 posted 02-20-2014 08:39 PM

What have you got against 1951 eh?I was born then and I still work albeit not like I did previously.LOL I would say all joking aside you have stolen a 14 inch bandsaw (for that kind of money, you couldn’t buy a used motor for that normally) if it is apart from the belt otherwise complete and working..
If you start off with a really vigorous cleaning campaign followed by lots of oiling and before that of course sanding and painting if required and thought desirable.
You should find it will run fine although to be honest these things are almost impossible to make more detailed comment upon without a nice collection of photos otherwise it should be as I have tried to advise you from my experience,it sounds like you did really well old pal.keep buying like that and you’ll be fine.So long as it works ok of course.LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Sprung's profile


94 posts in 1682 days

#3 posted 02-20-2014 09:00 PM

Yes, some pictures would help, as already mentioned.

For $25, I’d say that qualifies for a STEAL! Last year I purchased my 14” Delta Milwaukee with riser block built in 1946 for $150 and got a really awesome deal at that price, I felt.

Mine was in great, running condition, but I did do some upgrades that really made this saw sing. Your saw, while a handful of years newer, is the same saw.

Here’s what I did:
-Cleaned up the little bit of rust that was on it; coated table surface with paste wax
-New tires (I went with Carter Urethane tires)
-Cool Blocks guide blocks
-Link belt from Harbor Freight; this reduced a LOT of vibration it had, especially after making sure the pullies were lined up properly.
-Lengthened the tension adjustment to make it easier to adjust
-New blades
-New wiring and switch, since what was on it was damaged and unsafe
-Purchased some zero-clearance inserts
-Purchased a new table pin, since that was the only part missing when I bought mine

Still on my to do list:
-Replace the thrust bearings
-Build a resaw fence
-Build a new stand (to replace the chunky homebuilt one it came with)

You also might need to replace the bearings for either or both of the wheels. I was thankful that all the wheel bearings are good on mine. However, once you post some pics, we might be able to provide you with some other things for you to check out/work on.

-- Matt, SW MN,

View bigblockyeti's profile


5093 posts in 1686 days

#4 posted 02-20-2014 09:04 PM

$25 certainly sounds like a very good deal, pictures will help confirm or deny that. A new belt shouldn’t be more than $15 or so for a good one. It might need tires, but given that it’s a 14” saw you’ll have lots of options. If you go with fancy guides, that can be expensive, but if you’re just starting out, probably not needed yet.

View MrUnix's profile


6592 posts in 2165 days

#5 posted 02-20-2014 10:29 PM

Great deal at $25.. I paid almost $100 for my 1950 Delta BS and it didn’t even run!

As for your questions:

1) No. I think I sunk about $100 into mine to do a complete restore (saw, motor and stand). That included replacing some missing parts and building a new top for the stand. See: for the gory details

2) Make sure the bearings and tires are good and get a good blade. Then follow Alex’s tune-up: See:

3) Measure the size of your pullies and distance apart and go here:

4) Any Delta BS manual from about 1940 to 1970 will work, such as this one from 1946: (they didn’t really change much over the years). You can find a complete list of manuals at the VM site:

5) Check the manua! for specifics. Length can be from 90.5 to 94 inches, so the 93.5 inch blades fit perfect. As for width, use the widest you can for the application.. again, check the manual for recommendations (and there are tons of other online resources to help with blade selection depending on what you will be cutting).


PS: Here are all the parts of your BS so you can see if you are missing any ;-)


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

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2408 days

#6 posted 02-21-2014 12:48 AM

Here are the pictures you requested. I hope this gives you more information.

I did remeasure and this is definitely a 14” band saw. With a 1/3 hp motor, will I be able to resaw with this bandsaw once I tune it up and get a good blade?

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2335 days

#7 posted 02-21-2014 01:00 AM

Yeah, it’s official. You’re a thief.

That saw is in relatively very good condition. The majority of what’s needed is more elbow grease than anything else. Once you get it fixed up you’ll love it. The motor might be a tad underpowered for resawing, but you could do some. My 14” has a 1/2 hp and with the proper blade i can resaw 5-6” on it without problems.

It looks like the lower door is there in the second to last picture, so I assume you have both the doors.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2408 days

#8 posted 02-21-2014 01:11 AM

Thanks to one and all for all the great advice and information sources. I am located in Amesbury, MA since you asked. There is a very thin blade on the saw at this time which I can measure (now that I think of it) and Brad provided me with a location where I can figure that out.

By the way Brad, I checked out your refurbish job and it was AWESOME. I do not plan on doing what you have done as I neither have the talent or the time.

I do, however, want to make the saw “sing” as Matt put it.

Any further advice now that the pictures are up would be greatly appreciated.


-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2408 days

#9 posted 02-21-2014 01:21 AM

Hey Ed, Both doors are there but the lower one seems to be “knocking”. I mean that it does not snug down like the upper one does.

Just out of curiosity, what should this band saw (in this condition) have cost me?

I also picked up a Craftsman King/Seely Drill press (model 103.23130) made in 1950 at the same time for $10. It is a bit rusty but is running smoothly. I just need to figure out the right key which I think is a 1/2” key. I believe this drill press has at least 4 speeds. The tough part was carrying it and putting it in place. I weighs about 170 lbs. The bandsaw was light in comparison! I think this was another good purchase as I did not have a drill press before.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2408 days

#10 posted 02-22-2014 01:11 PM

I have been spending time cleaning and fixing up my “new” band saw.

I have gotten most of the rust off the table but have not gotten to the fully “shiny” state yet. I was planning on using a ROS and wet/dry sandpaper iwth wd40.

I have ordered new Ultra Max Urethane tires and have spent a couple of hours getting the old (really old) rubber tires off. After a great deal of effort the pulleys are clean and ready for the new tires when they get in.

I have also done a very thorough cleaning as this band saw was being used to cut plastic tubing so plastic was all over the place. I have also used steel wool to get most of the rust off.

Here is my problem. I see what an awesome job people have done in fully restoring these great old band saws but I do not really have the time or talent to do this. I am hesitating on repainting as it seems that I will have to take everything apart to do this. The band saw is really not in that bad a shape. Is it critical that I fully remove all the rust and repaint or can I do I general cleaning and run the saw?

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View Sprung's profile


94 posts in 1682 days

#11 posted 02-22-2014 06:10 PM

I just did a general cleaning/rust removal and started using the saw when I got mine. I did coat the two wheel covers also with a coat of paste wax because there are a lot of nicks in the paint that had rusted. I had cleaned the rust from the nicks, but didn’t want it to reappear. Tearing it down and repainting was most definitely out of the question for me at the time, and still will be for a while. I would like to repaint mine someday, but that’s likely to be at least a couple/few years from now before that would happen.

Even if you’re not going to paint it right now, I would remove all the rust you can – really work on that – and then protect any exposed metal surfaces if you’re not going to paint. Rust is bad. Remove it and protect the metal.

-- Matt, SW MN,

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2297 posts in 2335 days

#12 posted 02-22-2014 06:39 PM

I cut a circle out of a green scotch brite pad, slapped it on my ROS, and it worked great.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Boatman53's profile


1051 posts in 2162 days

#13 posted 02-22-2014 06:55 PM

I resaw with my 14” but I upgraded the motor to a 3/4 horse when the 1/2 horse died. I do use my saw professionally so often for long periods. You got a great deal. I don’t need another bandsaw but I would have bought it.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View JoeinGa's profile


7735 posts in 1973 days

#14 posted 02-22-2014 08:41 PM

Lets see, how long you been on here?
888 days?

Oh hell, you should fully understand then when I say


-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2408 days

#15 posted 02-22-2014 10:57 PM

I have gotten the rust off of the table and as a last step I used wd40 and 400 and then 600 wet/dry sandpaper. I got kinda freaked when it got a blackish tinge to it but it is smooth as glass now and pretty shiny. I applied two coats of wax and it looks pretty good.

I still have some rust on the wheel covers. When I started to use steel wool on them you could really see where I was scrubbing so I stopped. I picked up a cheap ROS from HF so I will try the green scotch brite pad trick and see if that works. By the way, how do you get the scotch brite to stick?

I will try and get all the rust off and then put on a couple of coats of wax. to protect it.

I am also going to order some Cool Blocks. I just hope I can figure out how to get them on.! I ordered a Timber Wolf 93.5” 3/8” 6TPI blade. I figured that would be a pretty good blade to start. I am going to hold off on the resawing until I figure out the band saw some more.

Hey Joe, if it makes you feel any better this sort of thing has never happened to me before. I am still in shock that I scored this vintage Delta Milwaukee band saw. I hope I can do it justice!

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

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