Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Advice on Unisaw Choice

  1. #1

    Advice on Unisaw Choice

    Recently purchased an older Rockwell Unisaw from an estate. This unit has been well used, but runs very smooth, and has low voltage control and the biggest 3hp single phase motor I've ever come across. Surface cleaned up pretty well, but has some pitting, looks like the Biesmier fence was left in place and got water under it. Mill marks on cast iron top are almost worn smooth. Came with an extra 3hp motor, extra trunnion, and Biesmier fence,
    and of course no provision for dust collection.

    I have a later model Delta Unisaw that works OK, but doesn't have the low voltage control, and dust collection is pretty poor. Older saw runs much smoother, and doesn't "bang" on startup (LVC).

    Would you opt to modify older saw for dust control, or keep the later one and sell the old one? I like the older equip, but this thing is really well used.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Posts
    1,553
    Could you post some detailed pics Ed?

    Modifying for dc should be quite easy, almost to the point of being a non issue.
    I would like to see the table top and the extent of the rust/pitting.

    How do the adjustments work? does it raise and lower/ bevel smoothly?

    Also, is there a machine shop in your area?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,268
    I love old machines but I would say this is a toss up. Both will the do the same job (assuming nothing is wrong with either). So is it worth it to you?

    Adding dust collection should be as easy as cutting a hole in the base and adding a port. That will keep the base from filling up with saw dust.

    Pitted top is nothing but cosmetic, but it sure stirs up a lot of emotions in people. They want shiny and new looking but it doesn't work any different over a top with a patina and pits. I have a shop full of those and they work fine.

    I love restoring machines but as I get older I am more interested in using them so as I said, it would be a toss up for me. I don't think they ever made a bad Unisaw.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,320
    I pretty much agree with Jeff on the 'which one' question.

    Regarding the start-up "bang" on the newer saw: This is/was a known problem with them, and was often traced to an improper tensioning of the drive belts. Try loosening the belt tension very slightly, and see if that helps, or maybe even cures, your problem.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,268
    Just reread this and I can think of one possible advantage to the older saw. If it is the old Repulsion/Induction motor, it will have a bullet shape to it, that type of motor has more torque than the newer capacitor start motors. A 1.5 HP R/I motor will fell like a 3 hp to most people.

    I still say it is a toss up because if the R/I goes out it is a little harder to find someone that knows how to repair them. Many shops have never seen one. But they don't need repairing very often either.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6

    MOTOR

    No, it's not the bullet shaped motor, just a huge 3 hp.

  7. #7

    Answer for Rich Soby

    The controls work very smoothly, I'll post some pictures tomorrow, right now it's raining cats and dogs.

  8. #8

    dust collection

    It won't be quite as easy as adding a dust port. the opening around the motor is about 18" sq, and there are holes all ove the cabinet for wires etc.
    My newer saw has a motor cover, and a sort of inclined ramp down to the dust port. This one is wide open to the floor.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Independence MO
    Posts
    561
    Sharkguard, dust modification, and it your worried about the table top, can't you transfer the table from the other saw and sell it? (seems like a no brainer since it reads like your already leaning that way.)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
    Posts
    1,553
    The DC part you could cut a piece of plywood slightly larger than the inside of the case and lt it sit at an angle towards your dc port. There should only be one hole for the wires to come in up near the top there should be one for the switch (or only that one) You should be able to cut a port on the back or one side of the saw easily enough.

    As far as the top, way back when the wooly mammoths roamed the earth, they were made better than when they shifted to the chinese plants. Your old top should have been milled truer and the cast iron seasoned before they milled it. I would suggest taking it to a reputable machine shop and have them either polish it up or plane it then polish if the pitting is too bad. This will give you a dead flat surface to work with. And the better the polish the easier your stock will slide with a good coat of wax.

Similar Threads

  1. '54 Unisaw
    By Cass Kucsera in forum Old Iron
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 08-18-2012, 03:16 AM
  2. unisaw...new to dad
    By Chris Mire in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-24-2009, 08:55 PM
  3. Unisaw, RIP
    By Jeff Horton in forum New Tools
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-08-2008, 05:46 PM
  4. New Unisaw?
    By Jeff Bower in forum New Tools
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-21-2008, 03:48 PM
  5. Unisaw Uniguard $20
    By Jeff Horton in forum Old Ads
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-24-2007, 01:49 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •