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Thread: New woodworker with a question?

  1. #1

    New woodworker with a question?

    Hello all, I'm new to woodworking and I'm starting to purchase better tools. I purchased a Kobalt table saw years ago to get me by with small home renovations but I'm looking for something better. I stumbled across this Delta Unisaw and wanted to get the experts opinions on the condition and if I should look for anything in particular. The guy said it was his dad's and about 15-20 years old. He said his dad was a drinker and never finished putting it together. He's now trying to sell it but it has got quite a bit of rust from the pictures. I plan on looking at it this evening and I believe I could get it for $300-400. He said it has never been run. Any thoughts is much appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    New Jersey
    The rust can't be dealt with. I would find out if it actually runs, if it does just listen for any rough sounds. I don't know if I would spend more than $325. Leave yourself some room in case you need to replace belts, bearings or other parts, which could be difficult to get from delta.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    For another viewpoint, that's a $300 fence. Apparently some folks get even more for it. The saw is going to take some work to de-rust but, if you are willing to tinker with it a bit you should do OK. It will not have a riving knife which would be a deal breaker for me. <=== That comment will get a rousing holler from all the guys who have "run a saw without a guard for 40 years" but, saying something like that would put someone on my short list for advice as a newcomer. It is also right tilt, another deal breaker for me. YMMV but, I bet we will get some discussion going.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 03-23-2020 at 5:04 PM.
    "What kind of chump do you take me for?"
    "First class."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Lafayette, CA
    I'd say keep looking. The time you'd need to pour into this will quickly consume the extra money you'd spend to find one of these machines that has been cared for but is no longer needed. This one might never work well and the money you saved would be the least of your concerns. Good luck.

    It's heartbreaking to see this fine machine ruined by neglect. I have the left-tilt version of this (vintage 2001) and it is a stalwart. Keep the faith. You'll find one in an estate sale or the like, but it might take some time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So Cal
    I say go for it.
    If you stick with woodworking long enough your going to wear many hats. Mechanic,electrician,designer the list goes on. Might as well roll your sleeves up and get the ball rolling.
    Good Luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    If say go for it also, as long as it runs. It's a great saw and should run for years to come.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Stone Mountain, GA
    The rust on the top is a few hours of work with a razor blade, some WD-40 and scotchbrite. I'd probably want to take it mostly apart and remove the rust from all of the shafts and gears, but you might be able to avoid that. While I was in there I'd replace motor and arbor bearings though there's a good chance they are fine, too, if the PO's story is true. All told it might be a couple of weekends worth of work, less if you are experienced with this sort of work.

    I'd expect some small parts like fasteners to be missing given the state its in, but looks like all major components are there.

    Seems like used unisaws and PM66 in decent shape, not requiring restoration work, go for around $1000. I think the comparable (in terms of size/power) new Asian imports start around $1500. Sawstops (also Asian import) start around $3000.

    It's a lot of saw for $300-400. Whether its worth it depends on how much you like restoring machines. If you decide to go that route check out where there are probably thousands of Unisaw restoration threads.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    West Lafayette, IN
    I just bought a similar but older model for $350, not a steal but I was looking for one. It was in similar condition. You need to be ready with razor blades, scotch brite, grinders with wire wheels, and to remove the top and most of the guts. Those shafts look pretty rough.
    Mine works great now, but probably have 15 hours of labor in it, and Iíve taken apart a Uni before.
    Iíd plan on bearings (youíll need to remove and pull bearings from the arbor, so youíll need a bearing puller), and new belts.

  9. #9
    Thank you to all for the advice. I'm going to look at it tonight hopefully. I'm not afraid to turn a wrench and my buddy is pretty damn good with things like that so I'm sure he'd give me a hand. I also don't mind spending time to clean things up. I'll update the thread after I take a look at it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    West Central Illinois
    I would go for it. Probably be smart to see if the motor works. You have the chance to restore it and have a story to tell along the way.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    I have bought Unisaws in that type of condition and worked on them for a day then turned around and flipped them and done well. That one I would buy in a heartbeat,as Glenn already said the fence is worth that much.

  12. #12
    I don't see the mounting angle for the Beismeyer Fence. That piece is essential to use the fence. Other than that if it runs $325 is a reasonable price for the saw.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USNR(Ret)

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  13. #13
    I've purchased a severely rusted saw like that before. Make sure that you can turn the handwheels & they move. If they've rusted solid, you might not be able to break them free. Get a jar of "Naval Jelly" (rust remover), some gloves and some wire bristle brushes that you can mount in a cordless drill. Lots of work. Make sure that you can actually turn on the motor, too. Good luck.

  14. #14
    I went and looked at the saw today and the guy had somewhat cleaned up the rust on the top. I was able to lock/unlock both hand wheels and they both cranked smoothly with no issues tilting or raising. The plug on the saw I had never seen before and neither had the guy. He wired in his dryer plug and got the saw running. Seemed to fire up no problem and didn't seem like it was out of balance or any louder than other saws. The body is pretty clean of any scratches and no dents. Minor rust on a couple corner of the bottom of the stand but was surface only. The belts didn't seem weathered or loose. He does have both mounting rails and guide tube for the fence but he doesn't have the bolts to mount the rails. I didn't cut a piece of wood due to rain, no fence, and being outside. We just ran it for about 20 seconds and turned it off and on multiple times. I'm thinking of offering him $400 even though he's asking $600. The serial number shows it's a 36-812 and build date of August 2002. Any more thoughts or suggestions? I attached a couple more pictures. After googling the plug it looks like it's a 240v plug.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    A 3 horsepower motor is going to be 240v for sure and that's a 20 amp 240v plug.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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