1952 Delta Homecraft 34-500 8" Table saw review - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-10-2008, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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1952 Delta Homecraft 34-500 8" Table saw review

I am writing this review so that others in the market for a cheap table saw will see that there are options other than cheap plastic and sheet metal. I purchased this saw completely rebuilt from an elevator repairman who fixes up old iron for a hobby. It was $200 and included a homemade mobile base and a vintage 8" HSS blade. The limitation of the 8" blade is not a problem since most of the new table saws in this price range would have a hard time maxing out their 10" blade. A 8-1/4" DeWalt carbide blade will fit for a decent price, and better quality 8" blades are available from the higher end balde manufacturers. I actually run this saw regularly with a $14 7-1/4" Freud Diablo that has a very thin kerf. The saw came with a 3/4 horsepower motor. You may think this is woefully underpowered, but it has ripped and cross cut 8/4 brazilian cherry without bogging down. The table is heavy cast iron and has the cast iron wing attachment on one side and an extended ply wing on the other. The miter slot is a true 3/4" slot unlike some of the new table saws. It passes the nickel test with an older v-belt, and I am sure it would pass the penny test with a link belt. The accuracy of the cut is way beyond my contractor saw it replaced. I can actually split wide stock by flipping the board and not see where the 2 cuts meet. The cuts I make with it seldom need to be jointed. I regularly see these old saws and others from the same time period for $50 -$300 depending on manufacturer and how clean it is. The next time you are in the market for a table saw and looking to spend less than $400, keep old iron like Delta Homecraft 34-500 and 600's and old Craftsman in mind. There is a reason these two names built a reputation for quality back in the day.

"Say hello to my little friend" Macie Clark, Christmas 2010

http://texaswoodlot.blogspot.com
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-10-2008, 11:47 AM
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Great example of how buying American is still possible. And since it is used, that's even better because you bought it from an American who will spend the money in our economy not across a border or an ocean.

If that 3/4HP motor is original, it is not a 3/4HP motor by today's standards. My 1947 5HP is 7HP by todays standards. I'm sure yours is closer to 1.5 if not more.

Glad you like the saw. Sounds like a jewel. Sure would like to see a picture of her.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-10-2008, 01:54 PM
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You guys are absolutly right! I have a 1938 Sears 10" Bench TS Model No. 101.02161 with the original motor 5605 single phase CM-912 patented June 21st 1938 US Pat. No. 2121069. I`m so happy withit...I would put it up against an INCA any day! I paid $125.00 for it 20 years ago. I can cut 1/8th" box joints up to a foot in length with no problem! And that`s with one belt on the pullys. It had wood sap in the gear works when I bought it...took it all apart...cleaned everything with a brass brush...then put graffite on all the gear works...you can flip both cranks and watch them spin. It also has a cast iron blade surround with a shoot for dust collectoin!! What a sweet heart. Oh ,and the fence is original. Rick

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-10-2008, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Some pics, the left wing is now the correct cast iron one. The ply replica actually fit better until I took a grinder to the mounting holes to the cast iron one. I have one for the other side also, but like the longer one. The fence is original with sacrificial pieces attached and reset to 0. The original miter gauge is also a lot better than most I have seen, it weighs about 10 pounds. The prior owner built that semi-mobile base with dust shoot and cord hanger, the wheels are to small.
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"Say hello to my little friend" Macie Clark, Christmas 2010

http://texaswoodlot.blogspot.com
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-10-2008, 03:40 PM
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Yes sir she is a beauty allright. I've seen similar but never seen one quite like it with the styling. Reminds me of a early model Camaro. Great find.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-31-2009, 03:14 PM
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bearings for homecraft table saw

Hi

I just picked up my fathers Homecraft 8 inch 34-500 and I am planning on restoring it. I grew up in front of that saw.

Any suggestions on how to locate a pair of bearings for the tilting arbor assembly? The manual calls for New Departure Ball Bearings #87503.

Mike
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-01-2009, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdobbs View Post
Hi

I just picked up my fathers Homecraft 8 inch 34-500 and I am planning on restoring it. I grew up in front of that saw.

Any suggestions on how to locate a pair of bearings for the tilting arbor assembly? The manual calls for New Departure Ball Bearings #87503.

Mike
I did not rebuild this one myself, but have messed with bearings in the past. A good bearing shop should be able to cross reference it or, if you have the dimensions, find a comparable bearing. If someone else does not chime in here, try www.owwm.com . I have also bought from here, just not bearings: http://www.weberwoodworking.com/index.html .

"Say hello to my little friend" Macie Clark, Christmas 2010

http://texaswoodlot.blogspot.com
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-06-2009, 01:17 AM
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Yeah, those elevator guys are mostly all top notch mechanics. Nice find, nice saw, it looks great to. I would be proud to own that fine machine.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdobbs View Post
Hi

I just picked up my fathers Homecraft 8 inch 34-500 and I am planning on restoring it. I grew up in front of that saw.

Any suggestions on how to locate a pair of bearings for the tilting arbor assembly? The manual calls for New Departure Ball Bearings #87503.

Mike
If you cannot get bearings by part number, then measure them (micrometer, dial caliper) for I.D., O.D., and width, and call a bearing supply house, like: http://www.bearingplace.com/

I bet they will have it by part number.

Ladwig Construction
Hennessey, Oklahoma

www.sawmillandtimberforum.com/



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post #10 of 16 Old 07-17-2009, 08:56 AM
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I am a machinist and do minimal work with wood.
Have been looking for a table saw of some description to cut aluminum and delrin sheet on.

The other day I was at the scrap yard disposing of metal chips and 'stumbled onto' one of these exact saws upside down in a pile of junk.

I drug it out, and decided its was all there except for the fence rails
(I'm going back today to look for them) and the V belt.

For $30 I hauled it home, got a belt and fired it up....the carbide blade that is on the saw cuts 1/4 and even 1/2" (!!) aluminum plate effortlessly.....

I am ecstatic with this find......!

dan k
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-17-2009, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdobbs View Post
Hi

I just picked up my fathers Homecraft 8 inch 34-500 and I am planning on restoring it. I grew up in front of that saw.

Any suggestions on how to locate a pair of bearings for the tilting arbor assembly? The manual calls for New Departure Ball Bearings #87503.

Mike
Look up a local deler that sells bearings, bring in the old ones or the number and they will get what you need.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-17-2009, 03:40 PM
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I see these old Delta Homecraft, and 1950s, 1960s vintage Craftsman 8" table saws on Craigslist all the time. I have, possibly incorrectly considered the 8" saws too hard to find replacement blades for. I grew up with a 10" 1960s Craftsman in the basement shop, and the few table saws I have owned have been 10" models...

I would love to see how well a machine like this performs compared to a modern saw. I suspect I am on the losing end of things in that comparison.

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-18-2009, 01:08 AM
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Have to report....
Went back to the scrap yard today and stared at the 'pile' for a few minutes......

Low and behold! I found the fence rails!

All is good.....

Thinking about a re-paint and restore now.....
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-06-2009, 11:59 AM
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I have an old 34-611. It is the 9" version. Parts are plentiful at OWWM.org. Bearings are available at Accurate Bearing (Lynn). One of the other good things about these saws are the adjustment locks at the height and tilt adjustments. I bought mine from a guy when one one else would buy it. It is in almost pristine condition. Trying to decide whether to keep it. There are too many toys in the shop.

St. Louis, MO
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-31-2009, 06:21 PM
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I have been using one of these saws for a long time now, maybe too long. I love the saw, shes quiet, smooth but as smaller saws go it has its limits. I need a larger saw but I don't think I could part with this one. Sort of a member of the family since it originally belonged to my best friends Granddad.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-01-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I just upgraded it a bit with a link belt, sure runs smoother, and a Freud Diablo 40T 8" blade, which I was surprised to find at HD when I went to get another 40T 7-1/4" one. I also picked up a 24T 7-1/4" blade to see if it works better in my tough cedar elm lumber.

"Say hello to my little friend" Macie Clark, Christmas 2010

http://texaswoodlot.blogspot.com
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