email@example.com ( firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote in message
(Heath Roberts) wrote:
Yeah, the demand for old single-phase motors definitely seems to have
outpaced supply. I had hoped someone here would know where I could
find one--without that happening, I probably won't buy the saw.
There's always the phase-conversion option, but that's a pretty
expensive way to go.
Well, it's always the sort of thing that would catch my eye, but I
haven't really looked locally for an old Unisaw. I'll have to make an
effort over the next couple of months.
Thanks for the advice,
The very fact that no one wants three-phase motors makes phase convertors dirt
cheap. Get an old, large 3-phase motor and a pile of capacitors. Do some
reading, make some calculations, throw everything in a bag and shake it and
you've got a convertor. Well, maybe not quite like that, but it is easy. You
can get a motor for scrap value and the rest of the parts for a few bucks. Then
start collecting underpriced industrial machinery.
I thought so too with mine. Most of the challenge was just getting the
time to do everything the way I wanted to. My 1949 Unisaur was a runner
from the start. The guy who had it before me was using it almost daily.
Only bad thing about it was the patriotic paint job, so I decided to
tear her down.
This is probably one of the tasks that will take the least time. I was
able to blast all of the parts except for the cabinet at a DIY blast
center. I had the cabinet blasted by one of the workers in the back.
Took all of 2 hours total to get everything done. I was fortunate
enough to have a friend who works for a body shop, and he offered to
paint the saw for me. Took about another week, since he was doing it in
his spare time. But he used automotive primer and the paint job is
outstanding. Almost too good - I was kinda afraid to put anything on
This is good news. And makes the $350 asking price more palatable.
I've seen Unisaw tables sell on eBay for $100ish, and extension wings go
for $50ish each. But they don't pop up very often. You may be better
off finding a sad bastard saw, scavenging the top, and selling the other
parts on eBay. A good arbor bracket will sell for $100 used.
If you go rotary, you won't lose much. I purchased a 5HP rotary kit
from eBay for $59. Toss in an enclosure and some outlets/connectors,
and you've got the guts for less than a C note. You should be able to
find a 5HP motor dirt cheap, maybe even free if you scrounge around (or
have a friend with one collecting dust).
Agreed. Well worth the price of admission.
Overall, I spent about $1000 on my saw. I rebuilt the bullet motor for
$200, spent another $100 on blasting and paint, $40 for arbor bearings,
and $150 for a used Bies style fence. I still need a goose egg cover,
and will someday shell out the $200 for it. For now, it just ain't all
Considering the price of new machines, I think I have a hell of a deal
and a pretty cool piece of machinery that one of my grandfather's
friends may have used. Besides, I was able to sell my Jet contractors
saw for $700 with the extras.
I'd vote to buy the saw, but realize that Rome wasn't built in a day and
neither will your saw. If you work on it regularly and have most of the
tools to do the work, you could easily get her going in a couple of
weeks. If not, it may take a couple of months.
Good luck with your hunt. I'd post an ad on OWWM and Woodweb. You may
get a couple of bites. Don't forget eBay - just make sure you search
for more than just "Delta" (you had to be there...).
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