OT: The $500 Unisaw

Two months ago I purchased a 5HP Delta Unisaw with 52" Unifence and industrial grade magnetic switch at a local auction for a mere $500. As the auction was crowded with various items, I had to struggle to get close enough to the saw prior to the sale to perform a visual inspection. I noticed that the saw cabinet paint was in great shape and that the motor was 3 phase. I didn't expect that the motor would be a problem as I expected that a replacement 3HP motor would cost $250, but the saw would still be a good deal for $500. Soon after the saw arrived at my house, I realized an unfortunate fact about the Unisaw assembly process; a Unisaw loses 25% to 50% of its value from the beginning of the assembly line when the first bolt is attached to the end when the saw is prepared for shipping.
The saw apparently belonged to a school system. I started finding that a couple items that were missing or broken: * No power cord - OK, I should have expected that, as three phase equipment must be hard wired * Matched belts - missing, ten feet of link belt should be more than enough * Arbor nut - missing * Plastic handle on the elevation wheel - missing * Tilt angle indicator arrow - missing * Arbor bearings were in rough shape - had to be replaced * Bearing preload spring - missing * Arbor wrench - missing * Arbor spanner nut - missing * Outer rim of a Woodworker II registered at least .012" to .015" run-out at the rim. * When fully lowered to the bottom-out point, a 10" saw blade protruded 1/4" above the table surface. * Plastic handle on the Unifence - broken * One of the two plastic knobs on the side of the Unifence - missing * One of the two Unifence slide assemblies (nylon pads that push against the front of the Unifence rail) - missing * One of the two Unifence nylon set screws that control alignment - missing * Unifence cursor - missing * Special studs and nuts used to mount the Unifence rail to the saw - missing * Adapter plate that mounts to the right of the Unisaw - missing (I had to order this item 3 times from Delta before receiving a box that was not empty) * 3 angle brackets that mount to the adapter plate - missing * Laminated table board for the Unifence - missing * Metal label on the Unifence - badly gouged * Unifence's aluminum rip fence was badly gouged and was hit a couple times by a spinning saw blade - replaced with a Uni-T-Fence with all the extras * Electricals in the magnetic switch were designed for 3 phase operation - had to be converted to single phase
* 3HP Baldor motor - to replace the original 3 phase * 220 volt plug and outlet
After replacing or repairing all of the above, I might be able to turn the saw on for the first time tomorrow. Anyone want to take a guess how much this Unisaw cost? Keep in mind, a Unisaw loses 25% to 50% of its value from one end of the assembly line when the first bolt is attached to the other when the saw is prepared for shipping.
At what point does a $500 Unisaw no longer qualify as a bargain?
Charles Hooper
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Would have been better to buy a new one!! I bet you have well over $1000 in it! Greg
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Charles Hooper wrote:

snip snip snip........... Heck the wife is dragging me to an auction in the morning.... LOL....However this winter I picked up a 10 in Delta/Rockwell contractors saw for 10 bucks at an auction very similar to the one I am going to in the morning...yes it was crowded BUT since my wife had me take her over to the auction house a few evenings before the auction I noted that this saw had no motor no fence no pulleys and had a masonry blade in it.... BUT I also noticed in the rear of the building a box that contained all these items clearly marked ....needless to saw nobody else noticed all the parts which were not "missing"...I was the only bidder and I could kick myself for bidding 10 bucks when I could have bid 5 bucks... Honestly the saw cleaned up great and when I put on a (spare)one hundred dollar forrest blade I got my moneys worth for sure... I now have it set up in the corner of my shop and use it with a sled for "precision cross cuts"....
Tomorrow who knows what "type of people" will be at the auction...the one I bought the saw at had 90 percent furniture buyers..nobody interested in tools ... heck the wife dropped a few hundred bucks on dolls.... (so I guess the Delta /Rockwell actually cost a lot more then 10 bucks because I sure have no clue as to what to do with the dolls...
Bob Griffiths
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That was quite a deal that you received on the Delta contractor saw - I have seen Craftsman saws sell for that price, as well as a Delta tilting-table table saw, but the Delta contractors saws generally sell for $300 to $600.
I also have a Delta contractors saw, roughly 16 years old. I found that the arbor has a tendency to jump away from the rip fence 1/32" to 1/16" from time to time during the cut, just long enough to create an arc in the board (maybe once or twice every two feet of cutting). I replaced the arbor bearings, but the problem continued. I don't think that the Unisaw will develop this problem.
Charles Hooper
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Charles Hooper) wrote in message
<snip<

$2,000.00?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Tony D.) wrote in message

If I bought the motor from Delta, you would have been within $100 of the total cost of the saw and parts. So far I spent $800 on parts, but that does not include the parts to construct the Unifence table board. Unfortunately, I did not notice the missing/broken parts all at once - I had to place three orders with Delta, and one with Amazon - replace one part and notice two others that are missing or broken.
I reached for the power button for the first time about an hour ago, and noticed that the blade throat plate is damaged...
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Charles Hooper wrote:

I can sympathize with your dilemma. However, Delta.'s configuration with the motor frame has been used simce 1938/39 and motor replacement is expensive. Magnetic switch change over from single phase/ triple phase is not a big deal. Most ex-school stuff has parts missing/gouged/ generally abused and getting these bits is time/money consuming, even for a dealer .(Funny that most abuse I saw was seniors at night school classes). Your purchase price may have been high? but when you get done you'll have what I call a "character saw" , so enjoy the trip and forget the $$$$$$$. Saw $500 Aggravation looking for parts-- $2000 First saw cut with true arbour/good blade and matched belts==priceless
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