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shoot summ 02-05-2019 04:59 PM

Unisaw build thread
 
Well after recently finding out about @difalkner's Powermatic 66 resurrection thread I thought I might post about my Unisaw adventure.

Longer ago than I care to admit I picked up a cheap($150) Unisaw from a State Auction. A well used "801"(80's) series saw, no fence, 1 extension, single phase 1.5HP, no motor cover, and a butchered cabinet under the motor cover area for "dust collection". Brought it home, and pulled it apart with the intention of rebuilding it. It sat around for awhile and my mind wandered, I decided to fix the dust collection issue by building a chute inside. As I had acquired a wire feed welder it was a chance to build some metal working skills. We were using flux core, the welds were ugly, and we were getting the cabinet too hot causing some metal deformation issues. Other projects come along and the saw is pushed aside, I already have a Delta Contractors saw so no big deal.

Things happen, I convert the wire feed welder to gas, I pickup a plasma cutter, I get inspired and finished the chute, I also fill the dust door, the wire hole in the front, and the blade guard smile in the back. I happen upon a $100 Unisaw on CL one day, no motor, Unifence with some missing pieces on the lock down, "802" series(90's), buy it and put it in storage. My mind wanders some more, I start thinking about a "mobile base". I don't like the traditional mobile base on my Contractors saw, it hangs up on the small lip between my garage and driveway. I could grind a bevel on the lip and fix it, but that would be too easy.

My wandering mind takes me a lot of places on the base, a crank trailer wheel assembly, hydraulic jack, many different ideas and then it struck me, a pallet jack. So off to CL I go and that night I am deconstructing the new to me $50 pallet jack. Initial thoughts are to just use the head, and eliminate the forks. So the forks are removed ala plasma cutter, head is dissassembled, more projects come along and it all goes to storage.

About a month and a half ago I was trying to clean up my storage a bit, my kids have some stuff there, so it was a mess. I see the long forgotten Unisaw #2, drag it out, along with the pallet jack, and haul it home. Drag out # 1 and my mind starts wandering.

If I'm going to build a saw I want to try to incorporate everything I would ever want, on board power outlets, mounts in the cabinet for a folding outfeed table, etc.

So I'm inspired and I start to work. The plan on the base changes several times but is finally really close to the end result. Ends up I will use the head of the pallet jack on the right end. It had to be narrowed about 6 inches because I didn't like it being wider than the Unisaw base. I also wanted to try to incorporate the lifting wheels out of the forks, so I had a lot of restructuring to do. Ends up I cut the bar inside the head in half, shortened it, rotated the ends in so there will be a single bar actuating the outboard wheels in the center instead of one under each fork. I had to fabricate some bushings for the bar, found some existing bushings that just needed to be turned down a little on the OD.

I also start working on the cabinet, decide to lay some fiberglass mat in the chute area to try to smooth things out a little, and to also hide my previously ugly welds. I had forgotten how nasty polyester resin is, I've been working with epoxy for some time, but decided to get cheap on this. I have a little more work to do, but I have to remind myself this is a dust chute, it doesn't need to be perfect, gravity and suction will take care of it. Here is the chute:

https://i.imgur.com/6cTpTCV.jpg

I welded up some "nut plates" for mount points on the back of the saw for a folding outfeed table I will design later, there are 2 down at the bottom as well:

https://i.imgur.com/nw5byCo.jpg

Here is the saw base, I cannabalized the wheel pivots out of the forks and built a structure to hold it under the saw in the base. The actuator rod will come in the center, still working though some of that:

https://i.imgur.com/FpfVR0J.jpg

Here is a mock up of the base with the cabinet, still working on fixing the cabinet, quite a bit of warpage due to my welding the chute in, I've massaged some of it with a hammer and dolly, filled some deep areas with fiberglass, then flattening and smoothing with with a thin layer of bondo. I also welded studs in place for the motor cover, and dust collector port, and filled all of the cabinet seams, some were welded, I fiberglasssed others.

https://i.imgur.com/TF79hH5.jpg

I'm kind of a detail nut, so I do thing like fitting the 2x2 tube to the exising base, once fitted they will be welded to the Unisaw base. The angle iron is just there for reference measurements, square, plum, parallel, etc.

https://i.imgur.com/NfFq05Z.jpg

I'm going to add levelers to each corner, looked at the ends of the pallet jack forks and thought they might look nice for the levelers on the table saw base. My free hand plasma work sucks, but I'm a good grinder... :)

https://i.imgur.com/dEYOrYY.jpg

I have more to add, will do so as time permits.

shoot summ 02-05-2019 05:36 PM

Resources for Unisaw parts.

EBAY is a great place, there is a guy that makes a ton of new parts, kits, etc, "pd2bob" is his user name.

I ordered a stainless bolt kit, arbor wrench, wrench hanger, billet spinners for the hand wheels, and some other small parts.

I rebuilt the arbor out of Unisaw #2 as it was the better of the 2, the threads on the #1 looked a little abused. I chose Japanese bearings, NTN, $13 each Amazon prime. Rebuilding the arbor is super easy, just a little careful manhandling to get things out, some careful heat and a bfh in all of the right places to install the bearings and it is butter smooth. I miss my press, but this would have been the first time I used in the the 10 years since I got rid of it.

I ordered new belts from vbeltsupply, 4l260 is the belt number(3450 rpm), I ordered the Kevlar versions(4LK260), $3.67 each. I was concerned that everyone indicated you have to have "matched" belts. I got the belts, hung the motor on saw #2, installed the belts and the new arbor, and the thing was super smooth. Well that is once I figured out the right way to tension the belts, it is not to make them super tight...

difalkner 02-05-2019 07:12 PM

This is going to be really cool! Can't wait to see this progress through the steps.

David

shoot summ 02-05-2019 07:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Didn't take long to fix this, a little more fine tuning, I like the look, ordered the levelers from McMaster Carr today...

shoot summ 02-17-2019 07:18 PM

Update, a lot of little things being addressed, parts sorted, mechanism for the lifting wheels under the cabinet designed and parts ordered, working on the "body work" of the cabinet, and working on the modified pallet jack head.

On the pallet jack head, they are typically designed to still move when the jack is all the way down. In my case it will lower on to levelers, but I still wanted a solid base for it to rest on in case there were no levelers. In addition I had a void to fill from part of where the forks were, and I wanted to provide a consistent/level/plumb surface to weld the 2x2 connectors from the saw base to the jack head. So I decided to use a couple of pieces of 2x2 angle to to the job. Because I would form somewhat of a "C", and the bottom sits about 1/2" lower than the PJ bottom I just drilled some holes and welded the angle to the PJ through the holes, filling the holes at the same time. By the time it is all said and done, it will be all welded in, but I needed the base piece in so I could take measurements and cut the top piece. Still need to finish the top piece on the other side, and then I will weld it all in, hopefully next weekend.

https://i.imgur.com/aCKK5uB.jpg

I also reconditioned the hand wheels and locks, and added the billet aluminum spinners from p2bob.

https://i.imgur.com/KeUIoB8.jpg

Last I took some unneeded parts back to storage, and picked up the Unifence rail. I could tell from other parts on that saw, and this thing shows it as well, that saw was "well used". Not sure what they did to wear the anodizing off...

https://i.imgur.com/v42I11O.jpg

I'm making other progress, hope to have additional pics to share soon.

shoot summ 03-08-2019 01:37 PM

Time for an update.

A lot of progress, but not much that actually shows. I'm probably about a week from putting the base together, just a few small things to wrap up.

To start with, since it was out I though I would show the modified pallet jack actuator arm. This attached to the wheel/jack, then a round pivot bar connects this to the metal "head". Originally this had the small ears at the bottom outboard, actuating the rods that lifted the wheel in each of the forks. Since I was narrowing the head, and didn't need both rods I decided to cut this apart, roll the ends to the center, adjust the length, and have a single rod that will actuate the wheels from the forks that are now under the Unisaw. I mentioned this in an earlier post, there are bushings on the outboard ends, that were no longer there when I moved the outboard ends to the center. I found some bushings that had the right ID, and were a little big on the OD, so I turned them down and they work great.

https://i.imgur.com/l2pWnc7.jpg

The lions share of the work I have done relates to the mechanism under the Unisaw that will raise and lower the saw. It's tight under there and I had to get creative. In addition I will have levelers at all 4 corners, I'm using the ends of the pallet jack forks for the levelers on the Unisaw base which I think looks good.

https://i.imgur.com/JCe0kHf.jpg

On the pallet jack head I wanted the levelers to look nice too, not just like I tacked some angle iron on for them. I started those mounts last night. I started with some 4" sections of 2x2 angle iron, cut an angle on the sides to taper them a little, tacked them together, then rounded the end off. Probably not justified but I was a little concerned about the 1/8" thickness holding up the stress of the leveler so I added another 1/8" section(from the pallet jack forks) on top. I then cut a strip of 1/8 ", tacked it in the center on the rounded section, then massaged it with a BFH to match the rounded section and welded it all together. After a little time with the grinder and sander it actually looks pretty decent I think.

https://i.imgur.com/nia8MzV.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/xAfoYiF.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/aQ7FiCA.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Iwv1hni.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/CBMx5Iv.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/o6Zv7te.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Pz1BtfD.jpg

shoot summ 03-20-2019 09:55 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Still a lot of work going on with the Unisaw. The cabinet is getting close to paint, and the base is coming along. Tonight I did a little more welding on the base, now have the levelers on the Unisaw base, I ditched the pallet jack fork ends and used the pads I made, and I also made some pads for the other end.

I have a few things to check and align, finish stripping the pallet jack head, and then this will all become one piece.

Here is where it stands tonight.

TimPa 03-21-2019 06:55 AM

wow, looking really really nice! you are a much better welder than I...

Pineknot_86 03-21-2019 07:35 AM

Quote:

Things happen
That's not what I saw on a bumper sticker.:vs_laugh: Thanks for the description of the renovation of the Unisaw. Looking for the finished job.

shoot summ 03-21-2019 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimPa (Post 2045755)
wow, looking really really nice! you are a much better welder than I...

Thanks, I'm getting better, sometimes I lay down a bead and I'm really proud of it, other times I get frustrated. I'm finding it is all about how the work is positioned. The 2x2 legs from the Unisaw base were welded on last night, I did some of it on the floor as I was working on the positioning. Those welds were really crappy. Once I got it locked in I moved it up to the welding table, the remainder of the welds were much better. A good flap wheel on an angle grinder helps make the crappy welds look better... :)

difalkner 03-21-2019 09:15 AM

Just checking in on this and it's really coming along nicely. I probably would have done a few things differently if I had a welder, like reinforcing a couple of weak spots due to rust in the base.

Are you going to spray the pieces or have them powder coated?

David

shoot summ 03-21-2019 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by difalkner (Post 2045797)
Just checking in on this and it's really coming along nicely. I probably would have done a few things differently if I had a welder, like reinforcing a couple of weak spots due to rust in the base.

Are you going to spray the pieces or have them powder coated?

David

My original plan was to powder coat, the issue is the filler I had to use to fix my repairs on the cabinet. There is a filler that will work with PC but I didn't use it. Right now I am headed down the spray can path. I like the satin finish Rustoleum, black for the base, and coastal gray for the cabinet. I might use a spray gun instead, but for now the bomb can approach is easy, and I can contain the mess easier. The nice part about using spray can paint is it is really easy to touch up if I need to.

shoot summ 04-01-2019 10:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
And the base is now all one piece. A little time with a grinder and flap wheel, and weld the other back leveler on, and it will be off to the sand blaster and then powder coating. I decided to PC the base since it is most likely to see some bumps, and PC will hold up to that really well.

I laid down some beads tonight that I was actually proud of, and then I globbed some that will need some grinding...

woodnthings 04-01-2019 10:51 PM

one handed or two?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by shoot summ (Post 2048091)
And the base is now all one piece. A little time with a grinder and flap wheel, and weld the other back leveler on, and it will be off to the sand blaster and then powder coating. I decided to PC the base since it is most likely to see some bumps, and PC will hold up to that really well.

I laid down some beads tonight that I was actually proud of, and then I globbed some that will need some grinding...


I've always welded one handed, then almost everyone on You Tube demos uses two hands. One hand holds the MIG gun, the other controls the distance and the pattern. Next chance I get, I'm gonna try the two handed method. :vs_cool:
MIG welding is like spraying hot metal .......

shoot summ 04-02-2019 06:23 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by woodnthings (Post 2048103)
I've always welded one handed, then almost everyone on You Tube demos uses two hands. One hand holds the MIG gun, the other controls the distance and the pattern. Next chance I get, I'm gonna try the two handed method. :vs_cool:
MIG welding is like spraying hot metal .......

I'm much better with 2, with the right postitioning I can actually produce some results that are not bad.

I still have to watch the distance, I start out OK and then tend to pull out. I can tell the difference in the sound and of course the splatter so I adjust. I can see where a large welding table would be advantageous, I did a lot of work on the floor last night, hard for me to produce good results at all of the different angles.

Mikhail2400 04-02-2019 08:10 AM

I spent over 24 years doing xray quality welding on pipe and boiler systems and we had a saying. Ugly shoots to. It just means ugly welds pass the xray shot test just as well as the pretty ones do. I could walk into work and lay down some of the prettiest welds you ever saw and then one day nothing would go right. As you done figured out position is every thing in welding and the more you do it the more those positions become second nature to you. Now on those days when you cant lay down a pretty weld to save your life theres all ways the file, grinder and flapper wheels to help you out.
Your saw is turning out pretty well and I look forward to seeing the end product. i all ways did like seeing one off projects. keep on MacGyvering away!

shoot summ 04-20-2019 11:01 AM

Wife and I took a week out of the Country to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary on a beatiful beach. I had a lot of time flying and on the beach to think about my project and the direction I have been heading.

I had an interesting idea I am going to pursue on how I will treat the finish on the cabinet. I've decided to powder coat the base I am building satin black. PC is very resilient, and the base is likely to see bumps and scrapes more than the cabinet will. I can't PC the cabinet as I had to use filler and fiberglass in different areas. I thought about painting the cabinet, either bomb can, or taking it to one of the low cost auto paint shops(Maaco, etc) to have a single part enamel sprayed on the cabinet. Then I had my 30,000 foot idea...

Vinyl wrap is incredibly popular around here on cars. I have the clear protectant on both of our cars, and I see complete color changes on cars regularly. My Neighbor is the VP of Sales for one of the largest providers of the materials to the industry, his F150 was a "Hot Wheels metallic red" for awhile, now is the blue version of it, amazing what they can do, IMO.

So I thought why not try to wrap the cabinet? The material is relatively inexpensive, and I have some experience working with it, I ordered several samples, mostly in the gray/metallic gray, got them all in and I think the winner is "satin battleship grey" from 3M. I tried to take pics but the colors just don't show. Total material cost is $80 for the vinyl, I suspect the cabinet will take me a little over an hour to wrap.

Here is a link to the product, still doesn't really show how it looks in person.

https://www.metrorestyling.com/3M-10...tin1080s51.htm

difalkner 04-20-2019 12:44 PM

That's a pretty cool idea. I've never used it - is it like window film and vinyl for drawer liners where it's subject to wrinkles?

David

shoot summ 04-20-2019 02:02 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by difalkner (Post 2051345)
That's a pretty cool idea. I've never used it - is it like window film and vinyl for drawer liners where it's subject to wrinkles?

David

They've changed the products a lot over the years, it is really easy to work with, you can lift it and put it back down easily when installing. Window tint tends to get creases on me if I am not careful, vinyl doesn't, and a little heat smooths everything out nicely, or helps with difficult areas.

I wrapped the "beak" on my wife's car. Acura has that prevalent silver nose on them, I thought it looked out of place on her car so I wrapped it in matte black. Even with all of the complex curves it was pretty easy.

woodnthings 04-20-2019 10:47 PM

I wish I could be more specific ...
 
It's been a long time since I refilled my MIG welding gas tank. but I recall some percentage of 8% .... something? I'd have to go look and see what I wrote on the tank, but the combination was recommended way back when I bought the Airco 200 AMP MIG welder. OK, so I just checked, and it's 92% Argon and 8% Co2.
I just swap out the tanks on an as needed basis, so I haven't made a mental note, at least one that stuck with me.
Well, part of it stuck....


https://www.bakersgas.com/mig-shield...ion-guide.html


The amount of spatter I see in your photos above, and I'm no welder by any means, suggests you might play with increasing your shield gas pressure a few lbs at a time and see if that helps reduce the spatter. Maybe our friend Mikhail2400, above will have some advice? :vs_cool:


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