Davis & Wells Table Saw - Help! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Question Davis & Wells Table Saw - Help!

Hey all! Brand spankin new here after lurking for a while. You guys tend to have some excellent information, so I'm hoping you can help me as I look to purchase a new (to me) table saw.



The listing is for a Davis & Wells 12", 3HP table saw. The seller states that he thinks it was made in the 50's, and it appears to be in pretty good condition. It's got a Delta Unisaw fence, a 'bulldog sliding crosscut', a router insert, and can be wired 220 or 120. I've also attached some pictures.



What I'd like to know is if there's anything in particular I should be wary of, if there's anything I should specifically check when going to see it, and if you have an approximate valuation for the saw. Thanks a ton!
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 08:48 AM
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Davis and Wells has a good reputation and that one looks like it's been restored and taken care off. I wouldn't have any worries.
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comment, Steve! I've generally read good things about the brand, and it looks to fit the bill for me. The last thought is in approximate valuation.

Any thoughts there?
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 03:54 PM
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What price has the seller put on the saw?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 04:37 PM
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I believe it has a 3/4" arbor.

I like the old stuff...a lot. That said, I don't believe the old stuff is a good choice for everybody.

I will ask this question: Would you know the proper way to enlarge a hole in a 5/8" blade?

Think before you leap when buying the old stuff. If something goes wrong, it is unlikely you will be able to find parts. Do you have the skill-set to make a part for a machine? Have you had many saws apart?

I am in no way, shape, or form advising you not to buy it, just trying to convey caution.

Last edited by subroc; 01-26-2018 at 04:52 PM.
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 05:54 PM
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Davis and Wells made some good equipment, I have one of their shapers, it even bhas an oil pump in the quill

As far as the arbor generally the old 12 inch had a 1 inch bore that is available from Forrest, if it is a 3/4 they make bushings to make it fit

As far as the value, about $600 give or take

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post #7 of 27 Old 01-26-2018, 05:56 PM
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Also I have never seen a 3 HP motor that can be run on 120
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
What price has the seller put on the saw?

He's asking a bit over $800. Thoughts?
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 11:48 AM
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I have no idea what anything is worth. I believe in the adage "something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it."

$800 is a considerable outlay of money for a saw.

Maybe that saw is the one for you, maybe it isn't.

Clearly with an $800 price point you can compare it to new contractor saws that might include Ridgid, Delta, as well as some of the "hybrid" saws to make a determination if that particular saw makes sense. Adding used Powermatics and Delta Unisaws to the comparison will have you well armed to make an informed decision if this particular saw is the right choice at this particular time.

Good luck with your search, saw and purchase whatever you decide to do.
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christmastaco View Post

He's asking a bit over $800. Thoughts?
Itís a big heavy, professional 12Ē Saw with several nice accessories and upgrades. It looks like itís been restored. I think the price is in line and still much less than a comparable new machine.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 12:24 PM
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It might be a pretty good deal, it is a 12 inch and if you work with thick stock that extra inch of cutting would make a difference, and it does have the router table, does it have a lift in the router table?

About the only things that can go wrong with it is bearings and a motor, all pretty much standard stuuff

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post #12 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 01:18 PM
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I have never seen a 1" arbor. Where would you get blades or dados for that size arbor. I have only seen 5/8" arbor. Looks like it has sliding table on the left side. Can you run it before buying?
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 01:33 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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12" table saws typically have 1" arbors

My Powermatic 12" model 68 has a 1" arbor. Blades are easy to find in industrial supply or professional woodworking stores or online. I also have some early Craftsman 12" table saws which have a 5/8" arbor. Those 12" blades ARE difficult to find in all the various tooth configurations. I use a 10" blade on the 12" saw with little loss of cutting depth. When cutting anything over 3", I will use the bandsaw.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 02:20 PM
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They are a little pricier but none better


https://www.forrestblades.com/

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post #15 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 07:20 PM
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The saw may be a real workhorse in great condition, but I would not buy it for $800. That much money will get you a very good used table saw.

What worries me about this table saw are all the non-standard features. The 3/4 inch arbor. The unusual sliding crosscut mechanism. The lack of miter grooves. A 3 HP table saw with 120v inputs. You won't get 3 HP at 120v from a standard 15 amp circuit. As I said, I would pass on this one. It has too many quirks.

I am not opposed to old tools. I just bought a 1953 Delta bandsaw. ... but I can get parts for it, it uses standard blades, etc.
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I also have some early Craftsman 12" table saws which have a 5/8" arbor. Those 12" blades ARE difficult to find in all the various tooth configurations.
Bill, as you may remember, I have the same 12" Craftsman TS as you, with the 5/8" arbor. After reading your report about the scarcity of 12" blades with 5/8" arbor holes a few months ago when I joined WWT, I decided to see what was actually available... especially since, in my opinion, Sears is headed for dissolvement within the next 5 years. I found at least 20 different 12" blades, with all different grinds, kerf widths, and teeth counts, on the Forrest website, and 5/8" arbor was the STANDARD bore size, not the exception. Folks who want the bigger bore had to pay extra.

The key is to select all the 12" blade part numbers that are appended with A. I stopped counting at 20 different blades. For 3/4" arbors, there is an $11 charge. I'd consider that reasonable, given the importance of concentricity.

As for the Davis and Wells saw under discussion... Tool Agnostic suggests that there are no miter slots in the table, but I see two miter slots in the table, one on each side of the blade, in several of the photos posted by Christmastaco. Am I imagining them, or does anyone else see the miter slots also?

This looks like a very well built, and well taken care of saw. The $800 is also buying a lot of accessories, such as one of Delta's best fences, a router table, a cross cut slide, a rolling base stand, and a clean table. If I were considering this saw, I'd ask the seller for a close up photo of the motor tag, in case the seller was mistaken in his description of the motor specifications. Sometimes people don't read the details, because it is easier to simply rely on what they've been told. This may be the case with the seller, who for years may have relied on statements made by the salesman who sold him the saw, without every really verifying the real deal for himself, because the difference was irrelevant if he hooked it up to 230v from the outset.

Consider the value of the package, and the cost of what it would take to bring an equivalent cabinet saw up to the same level of immediate use functionality, either in the purchase of the additional accessories, or the cost in time spent on restoration. With those elements factored in, it appears to me like the saw is being sold for $400, because it would take at least $400 to bring another saw sold alone up to the level of condition and creature comforts that this saw already has good to go.
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad View Post
[...]As for the Davis and Wells saw under discussion... Tool Agnostic suggests that there are no miter slots in the table, but I see two miter slots in the table, one on each side of the blade, in several of the photos posted by Christmastaco. Am I imagining them, or does anyone else see the miter slots also? [...]
@Mad is right. I see the miter slots too. I am sitting here, scratching my head at how I could have missed them. My only excuse is that I am recovering from minor surgery and not feeling 100% yet. Sorry.
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-27-2018, 10:00 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Just to be clear ....

When I said they were difficult to obtain, I didn't mean impossible, but you couldn't find them at your local hardware or big box store. Forrest is the go to source for saw blades, but a last resort for a cheap, old guy like me. I do own a 12" X 1" Forrest blade which I have yet to use on my Powermatic 12" saw, which I am embarrassed to say I don't use anyway.... for reasons I won't go into here. I probably have over $1,000 worth of new saw blades and a 8" , maybe a 10" dado set for that basically unused saw.

I only found 1 Woodworker II blade with a 5/8" arbor:
https://www.forrestblades.com/woodwo...or-table-saws/
and 1 ripping WWII blade:
https://www.forrestblades.com/woodwo...or-table-saws/

Their search site feature does not bring them up based on size... rather type, which is tedious for me.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 01-27-2018 at 10:09 PM.
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-28-2018, 08:42 AM
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That's a good price with all the add ons with that saw, even without it's still a good price.

Blade bores are not relevant, I can have any bore enlarged from the supplier or by my machine shop. I will also never purposely buy any Forrest blade.

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post #20 of 27 Old 01-28-2018, 11:11 AM
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Since somebody brought up the miter slots, the miter slot on my D&W shaper is 3/4 wide but only 1/4 deep, not a big deal just a little heads up

It never bothered me because I never used a miter gauge on the shaper

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