Should I buy a 1HP unisaw?


I've been looking for a good quality tablesaw and have found a Delta Unisaw for sale locally, but it is only 1HP. The owner tells me it will "go through anything" if plugged in to 220V. I assumed it must be an old unit, and the owner confirmed that it was built in the 50s. Two questions: What should I be looking at on a table saw to determine if it's in good shape, and if this saw was to pass all those tests, should I buy it? The price being asked is $700. Thanks for any feedback, Tanya Rooney
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote in

1 HP is a little light but it will cut but you might have to take it a little slow. Wiring the motor for 220 will help.
pierce
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It helps to rewire a 2hp motor to 240v because it means much less voltage drop; the the amperage on a 1hp is low enough that it doesn't much matter.
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Electric motors from the 1950s are notoriously ineffecient and as such they draw more current than one might expect. I contend that wiring the unit for 220 volt operation will reduce IR losses enough so that producable torque is maximized. Of course the feasability of supplying 220v will depend on several factors.
Another way to look at it is that once one has the 220 volts available and the the motor needs to be replaced, one can purchase almost any motor designed for the saw and be able to get maximum power from it.
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I'd get higher power. I did a bunch of ripping 8/4 maple on a 3hp cabinet saw and it was slow_in_the_going, so to speak. Look at $700 it's old and only 1hp, then look at prices and specs here: http://www.grizzly.com/index.cfm? Grizzly is well liked.
I use the same 1hp Unisaw saw you are looking at in adult ed class, and for some thick cutting it's just too slow, even in douglas fir. Spend a grand for 3hp at least.
But for "normal" projects up to 5/4 wood (1 inch thick), your prospect is a fine saw, the motor bearings may need to be replaced.
Then, there is the feature of the blade tilting to the left or right, as a choice, left tilting so the top of the blade goes "away" from the fence (which is to the right) is highly desireable.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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Slow feed rate through 8/4 maple with a 3hp ?
I've been through 12/4 ash and 12/4 hard maple with my contractors saw and the horse power is so low it isn't even published. :)
If I feed to fast I pop a breaker. :( But if I feed S-L-O-W I can get through it ok.
Stoutman http://www.garagewoodworks.com (Featuring a NEW look)
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OOps! I meant to say 8/4 hard maple.
I have not tried 12/4 hard maple yet! The ash I think I had to do in two passes by flipping over.
--
Stoutman
http://www.garagewoodworks.com
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I think maybe it had something to do with the blade on the 3hp cab, you can slightly wobble it, ever so slightly, and it burns brown coloration into the side of the cut, not too badly, I think it needs a tune up. It's got some non existant Chinese name on it and a rotten stinkin' lousy heavy fence from hell. As far as the Unisaw, it needs new bearings because when thicker wood is thrown at it, it's real slow to cut bogging down easily, and it smokes. It keeps going for everyone else's lighter work though, and it is the most used in the shop. The other saw we have is a 5hp 14"/16" oliver 270-D, and that one is amazing. Probably worth $4,000. Star Wars dynamics.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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I know several hundred folks who will be willing to buy it if you have any major concerns. Unless the saw is "pristine", the $700 sounds a spec high.
Does it have "ALL" the original parts including the dust door and the guard ????
Does it have the "original" motor switch ???
Does it have the "original" miter gauge ???
Does it have the orignal motor cover ???
Are there any "holes" in the body that were not there originally ???
Each item is a Plus or Minus on the final price.
The 1HP motor while, small is quite powerful.
Does it look like this ????
http://www.owwm.com/PhotoIndex/detail.asp?id
or this:
http://www.owwm.com/PhotoIndex/detail.asp?id 5
What is the model number and serial number ???
snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

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Pat Barber wrote:

Especially since there's (1) Chinese, Shop-Vac horse and there's (1) well-maintained, old-school American horse.
Barry
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For you and folks who don't know, a 1 HP repulsion/induction powered unisaw will indeed go through anything with no problem. The one at the school has suffered fifty years of student abuse without a sign of weakening.
If it's a RI, which you can ascertain by locating the carbon caps on the motor, it's every bit the equal in cutting of a 3 HP by today's standard.
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George wrote...

Let me add an AMEN to that! My Delta shaper (1936) has the 1 HP repulsion induction motor. It's a beast. Wish my 3HP Unisaw had the same sack.
Jim
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On 1 Mar 2006 10:12:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

A lot depends on whether or not the machine is complete and in restored condition. If the saw has been rebuilt and is in good shape $700 is not way out of line. If you need to rebuild it and replace arbor bearings and or motor bearings then somewhere under $500 might be more fair. Ask the owner if he has replaced the arbor bearings. That's about a $90 repair (if you pay someone to do it) and that's assuming the arbor is good. It could be a $400 repair if the arbor and yoke need to be replaced Also ask about the motor. If it's the big bullet style motor, a bearing replacement and or motor rebuild can be quite expensive. You might have a look a http://www.sawcenter.com/ and have a look at what some parts and repairs could cost you. Most of the work could be done locally (depending on your location) but you can get a good idea there. Another thing to consider is that old complete Unisaws can easily be (dare I say it) " parted out" for nearly $500. Poke around over at the site Pat mentioned http://www.owwm.com and you can get good education about the older Unisaws.
Mike O.
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I just replaced the motor on mine everyone recommended upgrading it from a one horse to a three horse motor .I ended up with a 1 1/2 HP motor . I was quite happy with the one horse before it gave up the ghost ,perhaps a little slower than the more powerful motors however several times the blade has bound up in the workpiece and I was able to overpower the saw so I could turn it off.A 3HP motor would probably thrown the workpiece back at me with at least some kind of injury.
I was lucky, I got mine for $300....and never have been in that great a hurry.
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I cannot tell you whether this saw is underpowered (see the other responses to your post) but if it is then the other factors that affect cutting efficiency are all the more important. The main ones I remember are how sharp the blade is and keeping the blade clean and free from anything that produces friction against the wood, e.g. buildup of pitch. Also using the right kind of blade for a given cut (crosscut, rip, combination). I suspect that maximizing these factors will greatly help compensate for a lack of saw power.
--Billy

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I've never seen a one hp unisaw. Two, three, and five hp models are the only ones that I had ever seen until Delta recently came out with their new hybrid saw, which is a light duty version of the unisaw - kind of a contractor saw in a unisaw cabinet. I'm willing to bet that this guy is talking about an old contractors saw and not a real unisaw. At any rate, getting a good used saw requires a careful inspection. Look for broken castings (might be re-welded), bent parts, missing parts, worn bearings, funny burn smell from motor, a really good accurate fence, etc. If the saw is a real 50's unisaw with a 2 hp or larger motor, and it passes all of the above inspections then it could be worth $700. Otherwise it's probably not worth anywhere near that much. Remember, parts for old machines are very hard to find. If it's a 50's vintage contractors saw it's hard to belive that it would be worth more than $200, even if it was in perfect condition.
--
Charley


"Billy Smith" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
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I have had several used Unisaws. The earlier models did come with a 1 HP repulsion induction moter, big guy. My dad had one of those, bought new in 1940, I think the moter was $50 and the saw the same price at that time. This particular saw is still running fine(with a new owner), the raising and tilting mechanisms worked better on this saw, than my 60's Unisaw. The speed of the earlier saws was pullied differently and the arbor turned slower than the later models, I have forgotten at what speed.
Another thing to watch, expecially if it came out of a high use area like a school shop. The gears for raising and lowering are sometimes quite worn. On one saw, I built up the old gears by brassing rod and ground it down to form new gears, a bit time consuming, but it did work fine.
Randy
On 1 Mar 2006 10:12:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

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