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The woodshop attracts some “new” tools

Category: Woodshop
Date: 2009-05-26

Last week I went to the Davis School District surplus sale hoping to find some cabinets for the shop. And what did I come home with?

1961 Delta Unisaw

1961 Delta Unisaw

How could I resist? If you are a car buff (I'm not!) its a Corvette -- the standard of fine US manufacturing and engineering. If you are a woodworker, its the Delta Unisaw -- the standard of fine US manufacturing and engineering. It needs new bearings, cleanup and a paint job, and then I'll have a beautiful working classic in the shop.

The motor is the original manufactured by Doerr Electric. It is a 3-phase, 2 HP motor. Since I don't have 3-phase in the shop, I didn't really know where to start with the motor. Did it just have bad bearings as disclosed at the sale, or was it burned out? By posting on sawmillcreek.org, I got a very generous offer from Shane Whitlock. He said, "Nice grab ... I took a look at that one too and seriously considered it but decided to pass. I just got rid of one of my Uni's so I don't need to be picking up another. Definitely have the motor checked out, or I am not too far from ya, bring it over and we can tear into it."

Sunday I drove up to Perry to meet Shane. Whoa! What a deal. Shane has a superior collection of restored vintage woodworking tools in his shop, and is constantly restoring woodworking equipment. I sure fell into a wealth of knowledge. We powered up the motor with 3-phase power he has available in his shop, and determined that the motor is fine, but bearings should be replaced. I'm planning to keep the motor and buy or build a 3-phase rotary converter for the shop. After success with this, who knows, another 3-phase machine could be in my future.

While I was touring Shane's shop, he pointed out the 13" Rockwell planer (1982) that he had restored, and offered it for sale. I hesitated, but said, "no ... I have two planers". The next day, I went back and bought that planer! It is more accurate (and much prettier) than the two planers I have, and the price was just too good!

13 inch Rockwell Planer (1982)

1982 13" Rockwell Planer

As pictured it has a 120 V motor. As purchased, it has the original 230 V Rockwell motor.

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