Tool ReReview - Refurb Delta Unisaw - Part Two (Long)

Page 1 of 2  

[Announcer's Voice:] When we left our heroic wooddorker last week, he was about to discuss assembly of the extension tables and fence. But now, a word from our sponsors... [Switch to Pandering Ad Reel] FireStorm... FireStorm... Whatcha gonna do with that FireStorm... ad nauseam... Video of Bruce Phillips trying to install a screw with a drill running counterclockwise. The screw slips, and he slices his arm on the CMS - affectionately named Radial Arm Saw. The escaping blood covers the screen which fades to a red logo. [/END]
OK - it wasn't all that funny. Maybe I need a new straight man. And a technical proofreader as well. Whadda ya want fa free...
Part One left off at the point where the extension tables and fence were about to be assembled to the saw. And I know some of you out there are cringing at the thought of this...
But for you guys that flip to the spec's and then leave the magazine on the rack, I'll throw out a few measurements for ya...
Factory blade angle setup was pretty close. 90 d blade angle was 90.4 45 d blade angle was 45.4
Looks as though the guy really tried to get it, but his tool was off. (I hate it when that happens...) Double checked my tool... yep still there. Checked the geared protractor as well - yep, good to go. Minor quibble, just an observation.
Blade to Right Miter Slot parallelism was off by .008" over 10". This will have to be corrected - I prefer this to be spot-on.
Miter Tracks were parallel within .002". Good enough, and there ain't nothin you can do about it, neither.
Magnetic switch is an NHD brand MS1-09D-R - an OEM version of an off the shelf switch. It does do current sensing and power fail shut-off.
Power cord has an interesting N 6-15 plug on it that fully shields the electrical outlet full-circle. Nice touch, although it's imported.
Now I'll comment on some of the accessories.
Blade Wrenches. Usual stuff. Cheap steel flat stock wrenches, probably die cut, and soft. One thing I can't quite figure out is why they bothered to put a bend in the arbor wrench. It really makes it useless, as the cleanest approach is from directly above. Go figure. Could be something different about the left-tilt vs. right-tilt model, could be because I'm a southpaw, _could be_ they bought a box of them on eBay. I'll hammer it out flat later - or add it to the collection of _other_ useless wrenches and drivers.
Handwheels are heavy, give a smooth feel to the mech. I am not convinced that they are not imported, but it's possible. The curious thing is, the included 1/8" wrench doesn't fit the allen head setscrews. The grub screws are 5/32"... or is that 4mm? They are not the finely machined handwheels that came on the Navy's latest flying toy, but are cast-iron and dripped in black gloss paint. The handgrips are bare steel, probably zinc but possibly nickel plated. They and their axles are press fitted into the wheel. Mine could have used a wee bit more pressin', as they rattle a touch now and then, and move axially 3/8" or so. No biggy.
Rear Fence slide leaves .018" clearance between a flat table and the lower edge of the fence facing. We'll talk about this later...
There were 4 3/8" flatwashers and 2 3/8" lockwashers missing from the hardware pack for the fence. But I've got a cabinet full of 'em. (No, I didn't lose them.)
The Blade Guard - what can be said about this pinnacle of engineering prowess and UL/CSA approval that I didn't cover in an earlier post. Simply meeting some UL/CSA standard as to the existence of a blade guard doesn't equate into a useable OR well designed feature. What it DOES indicate is that MFG's designed some minimal, crappy contraption that was needed to barely pass spec 20 years ago, and hasn't put one iota of though into it since. This applies to ALL manufacturers. Let's take a poll - how many people here like OR use the guard that with their saw? A show of hands, please... Nuff said. At least this one came with a longer tab that retains the plastic guard in the upright position - barely. It'll still fall on your hand and introduce it to that nice, sharp WWII. Yep, not one iota...
Those darned extensions. I've heard a million stories of grief about mounting them. It's actually a pretty easy job - to a point. The manual doesn't show the proper orientation till later on - when you have to take everything back apart if you get it wrong - but it's pretty obvious how they go - to me. Wasn't a problem, but I can see someone, somewhere making that mistake - twice. <g>
Hold one extension table up, aligned vertically. Hold the bottom with one hand, the pre-assembled screws and washers in the other. Balance the top against the side of your head if you have to. Put the screw into the CENTER hole, and when it's just finger snug, simply rotate the table to the horizontal position and install the other two. Balance does the work for you. Don't torque those screws just yet. The switch bracket is also mounted under the front screw on the left. Another pan-head bolt holds the switch bracket at the front.
I only mention this because I've heard others tell tales of struggling on the floor, upside down underneath the saw table while trying to hold the extension's entire weight and the screws, and align it to the saw while attempting to install the screws. Now THAT would be a real PITA. <g>
So, rinse, repeat. Then wipe the top down with kerosene, rust buster spray, whatever you've got that isn't too flammable and cuts this stuff. Don't dribble it into the mech. Prepare for a mess on the rag, your pants, your shirt....
The wings don't have an entry bevel cut on them like the saw table. You would think that a cross-model generic design would match all the tables - including the bevel - especially the top end, but not yet. So there is a point that hangs over the front edge of the saw table.
So, it's cleaned up and you back up to get a better view of the results of your labor.
Well, gotta go. Hate to leave you in suspense, but I guess there will be a Part III after all. And don't forget to buy that Ovaltine.
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg,
The extensions on my Jet cabinet saw were not beveled either. After shimming them out they finally were "close enough" and I tightened them down. Then I took an 8" mill bastard file and extended the bevels on over to the wings and ended them with a soft curve and then took the sharp edges off all the way around. I don't recall seeing any manufacturer having a bevel on the extensions.
I doubt the tops and the extensions are made and ground as a matched set so if the beveled the edges on the extensions, there's a good possibility that the bevels would not match anyway - so pick your poison.
Looking forward to Part III and to what Frank has to say.....;-)
Bob S.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BobS said:

Bob,
I've not noticed any lately. Could have sworn the Powermatic 66 did, and possibly the General, but I can't say 'cause they disappeared from display. I seem to recall that they were but the last time I actually got to see one was weeks ago. Not the General International, though.
Yeah, filing is an option, but since this was a report and not a fettling FYI, I didn't go into that. Already used the old bastard on the slug pliers marks and the dings along the mating edges.

No, they're not. I don't think anyone does that, and it's a shame. And hey, the tops don't match either, so why not go whole hog. <g> Surfacing at the same time would at least give you a nice even surface. What's the use if it's just dead weight?

I'm not sure I'm up for that today. And I think Frank is getting a little weary as well. It's appalling how much time you can fritter away.
Apparently everyone else has killfiled me. I can't believe I didn't get _one_ laugh out of the mosh pit and Nine Inch Nails joke... Maybe it was too 'replacement hip' for this crowd. :~) Or perhaps it just wasn't funny. Who knows... So I take my place as the dreaded evil outcast at this point. SWMBO should be back soon, so who gives a duck. <g>
Later, Dude ;-)
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well, gee, while I haven't killfiled you, the thought has crossed my mind that you're being a bit anal retentive about a whole lot of things; for example, I mean, gee, nobody I know expects the factory set hard stop on the 45 degree setting to be dead accurate from the word go, and even someone does, they should get over it. I've owned 3 different saws, 2 of them new (the most recent one is a unisaur and is the last one in my lifetime) and I reset all of them "just because." I know its exciting to get a new piece of machinery, and I know how it feels to put one together and crank it up for the first cut and all, and no doubt you had your trials with the first saw, but I'm tempted to call the ASPCA as I sense a dead horse is being beaten. <That's meant as a joke, Greg> :-).
In all seriousness, good luck with your new saw and work safe. Mutt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pig wrote:

Imagine applying those same standards to cars...
Your new car comes with the doors and wheels in separate packages. You're expected to align your front end, adjust toe-in and camber, adjust the brake calipers, balance your tires, and install the wheels and doors.
Oh, and you have to undercoat it yourself, and a few of the lug nuts were missing.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gee, must have hit a nerve. Ok, cars and nuclear reactors are the exception. But in all seriousness, and in a practical sense, the majority of stationary woodworking tools need some sort of adjustment when new, regularly fall out of adjustment with use and require some periodic TLC to perform well. Otherwise, FWW, Wood, Woodworkers Journal and the other mags out there would not waste time writing "Band Saw (Tablesaw, Jointer, Planer, RAS) Tune-Up" articles. Without exception I've reset, or "tuned-up" every new machine I've purchased, including a unisaw, DJ-20, 15" planer, RAS and bandsaw. I also make it a practice to check all screws and bolts for tightness, both when new and from time to time. IMHO not to do so is asking for trouble; it also has the side benefit of allowing you to become familiar with your machines and how they are put together.
Mutt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pig wrote:

No nerve really, and even cars require periodic maintenance to perform properly.
The basis behind the post was that it struck me as interesting how the market seems to have different standards about how "tuned" different things should be when new.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Friesen wrote:

Some comments:
Once upon a time, there were tool dealers who actually delivered and set up the stationary tools they sold. This is still done on some production equipment and is still available for commercial customers. The bigger and more expensive it is, the more likely this can happen. Mail order and intense price competition killed on-site service for typical home and small shop woodworking machines.
Dealers still prep cars for the retail purchaser. My employer buys unprepped vehicles from GM and Ford. Te company gets to keep the dealer's profit in exchange for the fleet mechanics prepping the vehicles for service. Tool Crib and Grizzly are not coming to your house to assemble a tool. <G>
An assembled stationary woodworking tool would never survive the trip via typical common carrier. Would you be willing to pay $500-600, or possibly more, in shipping to have the assembled and adjusted tool carefully delivered by a moving company?
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes you should. you do so by moving the table. Be careful not to lose the dimension when correcting the alignment. afterward go to 45, full elevation and verify your clearance. And I'm assuming you have the motor weight hanging when you checked and no longer have it supported. If not get that weight on when you adjust and check.

Laser cut, hardened. not cheap,functional, work fine. bend is to give passing clearance between the two wrenches in the event you slip release. the arbor nut wrench will not bang the knuckles of the hand holding the of the arbor shaft wrench and vice,versa. also gives the heel of the hand holding the arbor shaft wrench some clearance from the blade, a good thing. They are specific purpose so you will not be inclined to put them in your tool box and not have them close by when you need them.
Get one of the outboard flange nut combination accessories. They are delightful.

Probably not supplied, can't remember. Smaller allen wrench might be to fine tune your insert. it is not 4mm and based on your manufacture date, probably domestic.

Hard to find the perfect place. should have an o ring to minimize rattle. They are, however machined steel that has been plated. you can press them in further if it is desireable.

agreed
What it

No it doesn't. It indicates that it hasnt been changed not how much thought had been put into it. it was looked at regularly by at least one manufacture. Look, the dilemma is that if you are UL/CSA listed and you compete against those who are not you stay within their guidlines and offer what is required. You don't add a bunch of cost over and above your competiitors and price yourself out of the market still hampered by UL/CSA rules. and possibly still have the user pitch it into the corner.
I can't speak about what "thought" all manufactures have put into it and neither can you, just the output.
Very good after market guards are not hampered by the rules because they are not sold with the saw. If they were they would not be approved.

Tables are beveled before they are ground. have a variable chamfer length on the front end because the tables are not ground to a set block but to clean up leaving as much material as possible. Matching would be impossible without assembling specific wings to a table and post beveling. extremely costly. and for what purpose. the purpose of the entry bevel is for the miter gage entry. the miter gage does not span to the wing. what I reccommend if asked is to file down the point on the front wing/ table intersection once installed. keep from gouging soft stock.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank Boettcher said:

Yes, dear. <g> Good point for others to note. The motor is attached and fully weighted. Wouldn't do much good to set it if weren't - the additional ~60lbs would surely muck things up. I'm aware of this, having set up saws before - Old, Decrepit Saws.

See addendum.
I understand why they did it, my observation is that it's just not a very effective implementation. The bend is at a spot where it skews the fit of the wrench on the arbor shaft due to interference with the arbor bearing hub, unless the arbor is raised almost fully. Bend the other one slightly - it moves - this one doesn't. JMHO.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Who makes such a thing? I do already have thin open-end Snap-On wrenches that I don't use much for wrenching on vehicles anymore. At least with the left-tilt, I'm not constantly fighting against my burned-in perception of which way the nut tightens. <g>

What I meant is that a 4mm key fits - perfectly. See addendum.

O-ring is present. I will press them further eventually. But if it takes more than 20 tons, I'm out of luck. Minor observation. <g>

I understand - See addendum.

Semantics...
As observed in an earlier of my posts, the UL and/or CSA should reassess their requirements as well. IMHO.
Later,
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg,
Frank makes an excellent recommendation here about the flange/nut combo to hold the blade on. When I got mine from WoodWorkers Warehouse ($20) it was in a package with Delta's name on it. When I sold the CS, I kept it since it fits on my Jet too. Get one, it's one of those things you'll buy and say "Why in the hell did I wait so long to get this". Makes life easier and one of Delta's better ideas.
Bob S.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BobS said:

OK - I get it now. A combined nut and flange. I was actually surprised that the UniSaw didn't COME with one. I thought the older saws did, and I know of an old Delta contractor saw that did. Big, heavy, hardened steel flanged nut. Dollar a dozen at the aviation surplus yard, but not with those flat threads...
I welded my old nut/flange together years ago. :-)
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No Greg, once again. Nut and flange are independent. Nut turns independently of flange. imparts minimal torsion, appropriate compression, the way blades were meant to be installed..

Hope you're kidding, bad thing to do.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank Boettcher said:

No Frank, once again - questionable attitude. Like the way people are 'meant' to converse. But I'm glad you're paying attention. <g>
As for me, bad choice of words - captive is what I should have said. Combined was vague, at best, but does not wholly imply one piece. The surplus yard is for old aviation crap. They DO use those on _other_ machines - just not with the flat threads. Mazda uses them on rotary engine flywheels as a 'gland nut', for instance. One big-ass hardened nut with a captive flange. Torques to 260 ft/lbs.

See the smiley? It's a Joke, Dude. <g>
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why doesn't Delta just include this on a saw that costs well over $1000?
The real cost to Delta could not be more than a buck or two over the nut/washer they currently supply.
Packaging, warehousing, distribution, and distributor/retailer margin probably make up the majority of the cost of this accessory.
Brian Elfert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brian Elfert said:

That's what I wondered as well. I though they DID until I got it home. That's why my review addendum said, "I'm shocked", in reference to the nut and washer. But I didn't want to make a big deal about it. Poor Frank's heart is going to explode...

If that.

Damned bean counters...
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Great, but there are two things:

As my good friend, Dave Arbuckle (several WW forums) says, they're not wrenches--they're patterns. You take it with you to your Snap-On dealer, or equivalent, and buy a real wrench of that size (I like combination wrenches).

Nobody ever mentions this, although maybe I'm the only stupid person in the world to have done it, but as you're wiping all the kero (the ONLY solvent to use on cosmolene, in my opinion) off the table and from the miter track, be SURE and either use SEVERAL layers of cloth material, or a push stick and a single layer to clean out the track. They didn't bevel those edges. My finger still hurts 14 months later.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
LRod said:

Come 'on, Rod. Good point, but you don't REALLY believe that I don't already have what is needed, do you? <BG>
Again, I'm pointing this out for those who may not know what to expect when unboxing a tool for the first time, as I hope you are as well.
And the bend in the shank. It interferes with the proper fit of the tool, and regardless of what some may claim, is a real PITA. Loose the bend, make it less severe, put it higher on the shaft. As is, the one I got doesn't fit right.

I pointed this out in an earlier post, and yeah, they are sharp.
Fortunately, I learned from the stupidity of youth to watch for this kind of stuff. (I was a mechanic in a German Perfectionist's shop where we did our own machine work, fabricated parts, etc.)
Other than nailing my hand to a twobafour with a air powered nail gun and ending up with a pie shaped chunk of 8" grinding wheel imbedded 4" into my forehead, I've not had an accident in years. <BFG>
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
*** ADDENDUM ***
My straight man points out that the wrenches are not as described. The humor wasn't well received either. So here are my corrections:
Missing Spec's: Arbor Shaft Diameter is .624"- looks to be roll-thread/machined shaft. My Dado will LOVE this.
Splitter Thickness is .074". Supplied Blade Kerf is .126"
Missing Accessories Info:
Arbor Blade Clamping Washer is die cut and stamp formed steel. I'm shocked... <g>
Blade accompanying this saw is clearly stamped Delta-Made in U.S.A. Looks just like a 50ATB skip tooth with raker made by Vermont America.
Unfortunately, the installer left the blade protruding above the table surface slightly, and the 300+ mile ride from TN,TX, MS or wherever caused one carbide tooth to sliver, and one extension wing to have an eroded pit in it's surface. (The tables are shipped on top of saw, face down.) I feel Delta should replace this.
No, I'm not going to run it because the fractured carbide could come flying outta there - it's compromised. Bummer. (And No, I haven't called, I foresee no hassles in getting it replaced, etc. It's just FYI.)
Additional Corrections:
Greg G. said:

Replace Paragraph:
Blade Wrenches. Stuff. Lovingly crafted from flat steel stock by the finest of Chen artisans. The arbor nut wrench is water-jet or laser cut (although I've never personally seen a laser slice up 1/8" steel). The arbor shaft wrench still appears to be die cut - down to the grain smear from the pattern/die. So it's 50/50.
I beat on them _and_ a soft steel wrench with a hammer and punch. Not purely scientific, but they do appear to be somewhat hardened. Not as glassy, hard, or brittle as a case-hardened bit, however. Home team - 0
One thing I can't quite figure out is why they bothered to put a bend in the arbor wrench. It really makes it less than useful, as the easiest approach for me is from directly above. And unless the arbor is nearly fully-raised, something I never do just to change the blade, it wedges between the table top and arbor bearing hub and becomes rather impotent.
If your going to bend one, bend the one that does the turning - ever so slghtly. My stationary hand holding the arbor isn't as likely to be cut by the blade as the one actually removing the arbor nut.
Could be something different about the left-tilt vs. right-tilt model, could be because I'm a southpaw, could be they bought a box of them on eBay. I'll hammer it out flat later - or add it to the collection of _other_ annoying wrenches and drivers.
No wait, can't do that. Supplied arbor wrench is consistently .125" in thickness. Clearance for the arbor shaft wrench allows nothing much thicker than .128 to be inserted. So, I guess I'll use it until I grind down something else.
Both supplied wrenches DO conform to the (Delta) standard of being different tapers, so you can tell which wrench is which without looking at them. Especially useful for you non-sighted woodworkers.

Change Relevant Text:
... yadda... yadda... They look just like the Chinese cast-iron blanks I bought last year, right down to the funny bosses. They were probably drilled and bored in the U.S., and they do have USS threads for the grub screw.
A 5/32" hex allen wrench fits the grub screws, but 4mm fits perfectly as well. Neither of the 2 allen wrenches which are included fit the wheel setscrews, so have one on hand before beginning assembly. ... yadda... yadda... Mine could have used a wee bit more pressin', so after I get a little more road time into this thing, I'll throw 'em on the 20 ton hydraulic press parked over in the corner and snug 'em up. Haven't had much use for that old press lately - maybe it'll get SWMBO off my case about selling it.
There is an O-Ring around the base of the axle shaft, presumably to help prevent rattling. I would keep a drop of oil or silicon lube in there to prevent tearing of the rubber/viton, as they are not replaceable without a press of some kind.

Change Relevant Text:
... yadda... yadda... hasn't put one iota of serious thought into it since. Or perhaps what thought was dedicated towards the improvement of the guards was shot down by CEO's and bean counters as being trivial to their position in the marketplace. This applies to ALL manufacturers who sell in the U.S., except Powermatic. Additionally, most European machines contain riving blades that move with the saw blade and provide a much safer alternative which leaves no gap betwixt the blade and riving knife.
Additionally, the exact thickness of the splitter is .074", and yet the kerf of a standard blade, say my WWII is .125". Included blade leaves a kerf of .126". Hmmmm.... (I plan to build a sort of quick release splitter, tapering to .120" thick, so it's not that relevant to me, anyhow.)

Change Relevant Text:
Manufacturers can't come up with a way to avoid leaving a jagged point at the edge of their extension tables, and require you to file this down after final assembly. But since it's not mentioned in the manual, you'll have to discover this on your own after you lacerate your arm, leave a big groove down that sheet of bookmatched plywood, or have the experience to know better.
Part III at a theater near you - just in time for Christmas Season.
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greg G. said:
*** ADDENDUM 2 ***
Change Relevant Text:

And before anyone jumps in here and says...
Actually, that would be Powermatic and SawStop - but I've never see a SawStop in person. And both of these saws are fairly expensive at $2,200 and $3,200 respectively and similarly equipped.
The new PM2000, although reputedly cast in China, also has a riving blade as well as a similar guard system to the PM66.
Not personally convinced of the SawStop's ability to deal with field conditions, and will reserve opinion until I've seen long term results. Humidity, wet wood, age and wear and tear on the slip-rings and bearing insulation. The cartridge's ability to hold up over time and still fire. The ability for a new manufacturer with a big ego to succeed against almost guaranteed law suits and market pressures. But if it does save fingers, it's probably cheaper to replace that $70 cartridge and a $100 blade than to pay for extensive hand surgery. IMHO.
Greg G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.