Sunday 21 September 2014

New (old) table saw - Finally!

For some time now we've been looking for a heavy, powerful cabinet style table saw, the kind that have been made for decades but are more rare today.  We were looking for a General 350, Delta Unisaw or similar. Content to buy an older unit and rebuild or refresh it, the search began. With new units now made offshore, and around $1800 and up we focused on resale units. Every condition was represented, the main hurdle being the electric motors. The majority of these saws saw commercial work, and 3 and 5 hp motors are common, however they are usually 3 phase motors. A replacement motor can run over well over $500 new, and a phase converter is similarly costly.
We were fortunate enough to find '40s or '50s Rockwell Unisaw, that had been repowered with a newer Delta 1.5 hp 220v motor, in dual voltage and single phase. Fence is on it, and may just be cleaned up and used, and it even had the riving knife and guard, though i doubt that will make it back on. It has the great looking art deco cast iron base as well. Next to tear it down, check the trunion and bearings, and blast and paint it before reassembly. Bye bye modern, light and underpowered units!

Into the trailer, its also waiting for a tongue extension and an paint job. Never enough time!

As found, a great unit. The motor dust cover is available as an injection molded impact plastic piece, already on order. 

An added  bonus was the 4" dust chute on the back of the cabinet, when the motor cover is in place the dust collector will extract the majority of the dust and chips. 

Nice art deco base, nameplates and door. Fence extensions were present as well, this will be a great unit for another 70+  years!

Not here yet, but his is where we're headed next. Like most things designed and built well, its a simple and strong machine

A nice correct restoration would yield this result, just missing the motor cover. These are available from a US firm that reproduces them in polycarbonate

We like this MUCH better!

This paint scheme really makes the art deco styling pop.

Now if only we could find a 1940s art deco base jointer to accompany the saw...