Care and feeding for old table saw?

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Hello! I've inherited an old Delta TCS 203 (10" Table saw, 6" jointer). It hasn't been used in several years, so I'm thinking it could use some TLC. So does anyone have any tips for maintaining this beast? My current plan is to start pulling things apart, cleaning them, giving the moving bits a helping of grease, and changing the blades. Is rust a worry? Parts of it looks a bit rusty, but it doesnt seem that anything is decaying yet. I may try to repaint parts of it, but painting the whole thing doesnt seem like a great idea to me. So far I havent found a manual available for order on Delta's website, but I'm hoping that an email to them will net me something.
I have a feeling that I could drop it off the roof and run it over with an elephant and it would still work fine, but I thought I'd check with the experts so I can keep it alive for another 50 years.
If anyone is curious, here are some pictures (obviously pre-cleaning :)
http://www.bunkmonkey.com/tablesaw1.jpg
http://www.bunkmonkey.com/tablesaw2.jpg
http://www.bunkmonkey.com/tablesaw3.jpg
http://www.bunkmonkey.com/tablesaw4.jpg
Thanks! Joe
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Hey....that whole top section looks like my 1940's era Unisaw. The fence looks identical. The tables are cast iron and if they aren't pitted should clean up really nicely. Carefully replace any noisy bearings, sand the rust off and give it a lick of paint and you have a better saw than most of the stuff available at home centers. I am willing to bet that the runout and endplay is better than the typical contractors saw. While not a production cabinet saw, it looks quite useable and I would not be hesitant to use the saw.
I would say that the saw is somewhat of a collectors item.
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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 15:43:44 GMT, "R. Pierce Butler"

What a strange comment... Have you looked at the pictures?
This saw is close to a piece of old junk. At best, it may carry a sentimental value if this saw means something to the owner. I doubt it has any significant value in the collector's field though.
But how the hell this saw can be better than what's selling in home centers? I would trust even more the cheapest contractor saw than this saw. Even though it's got a lot of steel, there are some serious design flaws that probably makes it more dangerous to operate than newer saws.
Look at the blade guard arm that becomes an obstacle on the left side. How about the flatness of the table? The way it's designed, the right side of the table must have sag a bit over several decades. How about having a jointer working at the same time you saw (unless you can remove the V-belt and pick the tool of your choice but what a way of choosing). You think it's safe to have all those V-belts exposed? What about dust collection? Would you trade your 3HP Unisaw for that? I doubt.
I think the best this saw can deserve is to return it to the closest of its original condition and display it wherever will be interest for such antiques. Aside from that, I would never use it and would certainly never sacrifice the floor space this thing would take away in my shop. Gheeez.
Greg D.
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Not exactly a machine wiz, eh?

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Well, at least we know your opinions and how you express yourself about things you can only see a picture of: Ignorance of what the piece is comes to mind, as does a bad day.
Greg D. wrote:

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R. Pierce Butler

I guess an old Stanley #1 plane (92 patent date) is just a rusted old plane and not as good as the current new model available at your local BORG.
Dave
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wrote:

You obviously didn't understand my point.
I'm not saying all old tools are junk just because they're old. I was expressing my opinion on someone else's opinion claiming that the original poster had something better in his hands than what he could get in a BORG.
Well, as another poster has pointed out already, this saw may be potentially dangerous to use. He suggested to keep its usage within a specific task like dadoing or doing ripping cuts. I think this option is reasonable even though I wouldn't do it myself. If you look at his old tablesaw and you look at what's selling today, you will see a big difference that comes mainly from manufacturer's experience learned through thousands of serious injuries. If this design was the greatest, they would still make them today like your Stanley plane, don't they?
Another example, cars from the 20's and the 30's are wonderful. They still deserve to be around for specific tasks like marriage and the like. But would you drive such car everyday to work? I would certainly not. Why? Simply because if you get into an accident, your chances of surviving are dramatically reduced compared to newer cars. Why? Because those old cars are the worst thing you can design in terms of protection against accidents. They're built like tanks and you get smashed inside... Newer cars will deform to absorb the shock. Obviously, you always get an old fart to claim older cars were better built than new cars. This is just plain ignorance.
Now back to tools, my first priority is safety. If the tool is designed with serious flaws that pose a direct threat to my safety, I will not use it and I will see it as a big piece of junk regardless of its age or brand. I don't see why I would purposely refurbish an old piece of junk that's obvioulsy not safe and hope to get some service from it. I'm not that desparate or that cheap either.
Thank God, the days where you lost a few fingers at the work shop and you were back to work the next day are over.
Greg D.
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[snippage]
[more snippage]
Not to put too fine a point on it, but someone reading your post would get an entirely different opinion of what I thought of the saw than if they read my post. I didn't say at all that there were serious design flaws, nor that there was a direct threat to one's safety. And my observation about the potential for danger was limited--by inference, if not overtly--to certain tasks under certain circumstances.
The tool appears to be solidly built and it is certainly capable of some good work. That was the thrust of my post, not the doomsday pall you cast over it. And that's not to say you aren't entitled to that opinion. I'm just saying it wasn't mine.

Not as long as the conservatives remain in charge. If you liked what they're doing with off shore drilling and gutting the endangered species list, you'll love what will come to OSHA next. In their minds, workers and their appendages are expendable and equipment, training, and practices that help protect them just cut unnecessarily into the bottom line.
--
LRod

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I hear ya. This "culture of corruption" of the neo-cons has got to stop. Look at just another example of this with congressman William Jefferson. I mean, the dude had $90K of cash stashed in his freezer given to him by an informant as a bribe. It doesn't get any more open-and-shut than that. I hope he and the rest of the republicans get it.
todd
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Jefferson was a Democrat......Rod
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"todd" wrote in message

I
Tell us that you really don't know that William Jefferson is a liberal Democrat?
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You're obviously part of the vast right-wing consipiracy.
todd
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"todd" wrote in message

wrote in message

stop.
Jefferson.
an
No, dude ... what's "obvious" is that William Jefferson is not. :)
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I have seen some of the stuff at the BORG and some of it is real crap.
As far as safety is concerned, the blade guard is there and as near as I can tell the newest blade guards are virtualy unchaged today anyway. That is the same guard that came with my unisaw.
I would have no problem using the saw once it was cleaned up, tuned up and lubed.
I have no idea what the runout or end play is on the arbor but I would be willing to bet it is nearly zero. I would wager that if the arbor is in good shape he could make some very precise cuts with that saw. Much better than a cheap contractors saw.
How much does that saw weigh anyway? The top alone must weigh 30 lbs.
Let see, the OP paid zero for the saw. It may need bearings and those might cost $20 - $40. A new belt at $10.00 and new cord for $20.00 and a new blade at $20.00. What will that same $90 buy you at the BORG? My circular saw cost more than that.
I still think it is a useable saw and is capable of producting some very accutate cuts and as a result, some very handsome items.
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No... if it isn't a lexan blade guard it clearly isn't a good blade guard.

Me 'neither.

better
My father-in-law has one of these saws and I'm not particularly fond of the tilting table, but I've used the saw and it cuts very well. No less safe than any other saw. There would be no good reason not to clean one of these up, tune it up, and put it to use. It's got limitations, but it wasn't designed to be the end all saw either. Like any other tool, use it as it was intended and enjoy it.
--

-Mike-
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Patently flawed reasoning. For one - if you had a car built in the 20's or 30's or 40's or 50's, and you did drive it to work every day, you would most likely drive it on local roads and not at interstate speeds. Under these conditions, many if not most of these cars would hold up as well or better than your favored crumple zones. Not all crumple zones are created equal and there are a ton of cars out there today that offer less protection to the occupant compartment than did the tanks of yesterday. For the more frequent low speed collision, the big tanks will hold up much better than your poorly designed crumple zone. They allow less intrusion and the risk of being thrown about is quite negligible in low speed impact. Your logic here focuses on one aspect of a topic and attempts to broadly generalized based on that one narrow aspect. For those who only know of older cars from what they read on the internet, the older cars deformed quite well. They had real sheet metal that "crumpled" and absorbed impact at low to moderate speeds, while at the same time protecting occupants from compartment intrusion. At higher speeds, they admitedly had faults, but that owed more to the absense of a restraint system - easily addressed to a point. Facts in context are much more meaningful than broad generalizations.

Safety does not lie in the devices, but in the proper use of the devices. False security arises from ill placed confidence in the device itself.

Even more thankfully, as sensational as a line like that sounds, it was never reality.
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-Mike-
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Joe Bott wrote:

Hooo, wah! :-(o) Hey, that's no good for YOU! You better throw it out right away, but here's the important part: Things such as that can ONLY be disposed of in a special way! Write me and I'll give you my address and promise to properly dispose of it for you :-). Heck, I'll even pay the shipping for you!
Nice stuff seriously; enjoy. Mostly just keep the exposed steel parts fixed up so they won't rust and a touch of lube here and there if the bearings require it, and there really isn't much else to worry about, I don't think. That's worth a gloat.
Congrats,
Pop
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Check-out the Old Wood Working Machines forums, here:
http://www.owwm.com
Thanks, Phil
Joe Bott wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

While not the same, it does give you an idea of the heritage of such a piece.
http://owwm.com/MfgIndex/image.asp?id 8
A thin kerf blade might work nicely on such a critter.
BTW that motor looks like a Delta motor and from what I understand, they produce more torque than an off the shelf motor.
Clean the rust off the tables and you will be surprised just how smooth that case iron can be. Add some Johnson's paste wax and you will be ready. I would change the drive belt if the saw sat for any period of time. A new belt will run smoother and with less vibration than the old one.

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On Sun, 02 Jul 2006 14:25:53 GMT, Joe Bott

Unless I miss my guess, that's a tilting table saw. It appears to be substantial, nonetheless. And I don't think you need a manual. It doesn't look like there are any innards to it at all--everything is right out there in plain sight.
When I was growing up, my dad had an old 8" tilting table saw--almost assuredly not a Delta. He/we wound up doing some decent work with it--by that, I mean it will make good cuts--but trying to do any sort of cuts that are angled (beveled cuts that would normally involve tilting the arbor and blade in a modern tilting arbor saw) were at best awkward and inconvenient, and at worst, downright dangerous.
That said, the fence looks like the Jet Lock system (reviled by many, but at least it's not a Craftsman) used on contemporary Unisaws of the time. The table also looks substantial with lots of webbing for strength. Measure the miter slot. To be compatible with modern miter gauges and other fixtures that use the slot, it should mike out at .755" wide and 3/8" deep.
If you have room for the extra tool, I would think it would be more than adequate as a ripping saw. An auxiliary sled would set you up for very accurate crosscut work, and if you build a mitering sled, you're all set for mitering with a semi-dedicated machine. That presupposes, now that I reflect on it, that you are able to adjust the table (by gauging to the miter slot) parallel with the blade.
It might also serve as a dadoing saw if the arbor is long enough (couldn't tell if there was a removable insert). Just don't do angled cuts with it (angles with the table square to the blade but with a miter gauge angled are okay, the above parallelism caveat kept in mind).
You'll also need to come up with a crank for the table tilt (keeping in mind I don't recommend tilting it). That might be hard to find.
The jointer looks servicable. Depending on your shop facilities and spare motor stash, I'd be inclined to mount it separrately somewhere with its own motor. I certainly think you could do some decent work with it, given its limitations of what appears to be typical 4" jointer dimensions (relatively small bed length to blade width ratio) although it's hard to say--that could be a 6" (in which case the ratio is even worse...).
--
LRod

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