My new old bandsaw

Tom Bussey

Nashua Iowa
I finally picked up an old Delta - Milwaukee band saw at an auction the other day. I have been looking and hoping for one for a while. It is cold in my shop so it just sets there. So far I have bought new tires and a carter bladesabilizer to put on it in the spring. I plan on only running a 1/8 inch blades on it. I did plug it in and it ran very nicely. It doesn't have the bandsaw wine, actually I can hardly hear it running. Old iron is like that. But then my wife says I am not hard of hearing it is just that I have selective hearing. I did look it over as well as I could at the auction in the time I had. Later in the shop I took the covers off to have a look. It seems someone put duck tape on the wheels and was runnng a 1/8th inch blade. It makes me wonder if the tires are shot and it was to keep them from comming off or somehow it helps the 1/8 blade stay on better. They can be a little fussy ever once in a while. It is interesting to say the least and I think I will have a good look before I change the tires. Any way some pictures.

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One of the good old ones, before they started cheapening things. With very little work, it'll last another lifetime! Since it runs so quietly, the bearings must be good.

Are your new tires OEM rubber, or aftermarket urethane? I switched over to urethane a couple years ago - after 30 years of the original rubber ones. Don't really see much, if any, difference.

The Carter Stabilizer is a good addition for 1/8" or 3/16" blades. It almost makes a scroller out of it, allowing tighter turns and less deflection. You'll like it a lot.

Congrats on a good purchase. Hope you got it for a good price!
I bought aftermarket urethane. I have anothe saw just like it with a 1/4 inch blade perminately on the saw and I had to put new tires on it, one kept comming off. I wouldn't know the difference betweent the old rubber and the new. And yes I got it fora very good price.
Great find! I have been getting excellent service from my 1981 Rockwell/Beaver 10". I think Rockwell/Beaver and Delta are related products. Mine was made when they were still made in Canada. This one should serve you well.
Nice saw. I was into woodworking for a good ten or fifteen years before ever using a band saw. It was a great addition to the shop and gives me a lot more options.
Have fun with it.
And that's the design that became the standard for decades. Time proven. And lots of accessories/parts are available.
Wel,l I did it again, I just bought a Carter blade tensioner for the saw. I can't just leave well enough alone, I like convience. I also plan or relocating the switch in the spring. I do not like reaching under the table for the switch. With all of the additions I think I am still ahead of a new one, anyway I hope so.
I know i'm coming in late here, but that's a nice saw. The welded stand was the early version, making me think that saw dates to the early 40's. If you want to narrow down the age, go over to and do a search on Delta serial numbers and dating. You'll find it.
That saw most likely originally came with a push / pull rod to turn the motor on and off. Probably the motor electrical box had a blade switch in it that the rod attached to. The rod then extended through one of the holes in the top corner of the stand so that you could reach it easily to pull it (on) or push it down (off). These must have had their issues, because, more often than not, they're missing.
You might check the motor bearings and belt. Both are probably old and need to be looked at.
Really a nice saw there. Congrats and have fun with it.
That is a great band saw. I have the one my father purchased new long before there were trees with apples.

Mine is still stock with all original parts except: Saw stand, Carter guides, I made a change to blade tensioning mechanism. OK here are the Pics from the left:
1) Tensioning screw (I drilled a dimple in the end of the rod). The ball is held in place by the dimple in the rod. I have never had it come out.
2) View of the "crank" I made using threaded rod. It works great!
3) Quarter view of the saw on its stand. The WorkSharp is fastened to the stand with threaded inserts and knobs with threaded rod. The WorkSharp works very well under the BS table. I toss a de-handled grocery bag over it when it is not in use. The little plastic drawer unit has been replaced by a cabinet added to the right side of the table (Designed and built by Glenn). It holds the WorkSharp 3000 abrasive disks---But that is another story. The brown rectangle you see on the front of the saw is my shop made switch. The PVC was removed later.
4) Shows the new motor location. Notice the shop made "knee" switch. The switch is VERY handy.
5) Down on the bottom of the cabinet you can see the "ring" (3/8" thick eye bolt) that my home made Johnson Bar hooks into to re-position the unit. There is a length of electric conduit fastened to the bottom of the carcase. The eyebolt just slips in if the saw is to me moved. The weight of the saw and cabinet keep the eyebolt in place; it is not fastened. It is the best way I have found to move the saw. The dark area at the bottom is just where I removed a drawer to get a better pic. The eye bolt has been removed in the next pic.
6) I had the crazy idea that a pair of long handles would give me enough leverage that I could move the saw. The PVC on the sides is where the "handles" would slide in when the unit was to be moved. It did not work. That is why I went to the Johnson Bar. That is not sloppy workmanship. I did open all of the drawers a bit in this pic.

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The following is an old post. I just added it for whatever you might gain from it.



Here is my set-up. It is all threeQ Baltic Birch. It is as stable as the rock of Gilbrater.

I made one big mistake. I thought I could put two wheels at the back and move it “wheelbarrow” style. Little ole me couldn’t even raise the front the thickness of a piece of paper---and those handles extend out two-feet for leverage. I should have used the Johnson Bar approach to start with. If I ever need to move it, I will add the Johnson Bar (Johnson Bars move my lathe, my bench and my sanding center.) My 128 pound Myrna could move my very heavy work bench all around with one hand using the Johnson Bar. If you have questions on this, see my thread on my workbench or let me know and I will post pics.

All of the drawers are full extension. The motor was placed at the rear instead of under the BS so I could have these drawers. The open space under the motor is still open for whatever. I will probably end up with more drawers opening towards the woodworker.

My WorkSharp 3000 sits nicely under the BS table. The small three-drawer cabinet has the WS glass discs, abrasives, etc. It is too dark under there to use the "See-through" disk. However, I have not used the see through so it does not matter.

Overall I am more than pleased with the unit. It is the correct height for me, has a large table, is stable, has a pretty fair amount of storage space and my home made knee switch is very handy."

This last, lonely, pic was put in by mistake. Just ignore it; I could not delete it. It is my dust collection input for my big band saw.
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