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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,i just bought a 34-457 unisaw with less than 2yrs use for 300.00. Its a 3hp 1ph. Sn-522281l87.original delta fence and 1 wing.the front of the starter box was broken off and missing so i bought a 30 amp switch to be hooked up soon.
The problemis the blade tilt and up/dn locks don't work very good.should they lock pretty solid so you can't turn the crank wheels? I took the blade up/dn one apart and cleaned,its better but i would think it should lock better.
Also there is some play in the arbor assembly gear teeth and wormgear,is there some way to adjust this out?
Thanks,joe
 

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I have a newer model unisaw that I've had for about 10 years. I've never locked the blade tilt or elevation mechinism since I've had it. What ever angle or height I set it at stays put. Anyway the locking knobs just prevent the handwheels from turning from vibration and probably never intended to lock solid. I tried mine for the first time this morning and it just makes the mechinism harder to work. While you have the top off it would be a good time to thoroughly clean the trunions and lubricate them with some dry lubricant such as graphite.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks steve for the reply.i will it back together and try it like you say.are these unisaws that much better than say an old basic craftsman and in what way? Thanks,joe
 

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Thanks steve for the reply.i will it back together and try it like you say.are these unisaws that much better than say an old basic craftsman and in what way? Thanks,joe
Well I had a 12" craftsman saw the motor went bad and replaced it with the unisaw and wish I had the craftsman saw back. I'm not impressed with the workmanship with the unisaw. The only plus is it has more hp. The craftsman saw I attempted to get the motor repaired but the shop didn't want to work on it because they glue the case of the motors together.
 

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Well I had a 12" craftsman saw the motor went bad and replaced it with the unisaw and wish I had the craftsman saw back. I'm not impressed with the workmanship with the unisaw. The only plus is it has more hp. The craftsman saw I attempted to get the motor repaired but the shop didn't want to work on it because they glue the case of the motors together.

Steve, Give me the model of the 12" CM saw, and when I find one, I will trade for your Uni. Glued together motor? Sounds like high quality! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats dissapointing to hear about the unisaw. As far as my 40 year old craftsman i am tired of trying to get the play out of the mechanicals.but i heard so much about these unisaws i thought i would get one.mine is made in 1987 i think.if you were to buy another saw today what would it be? Thank,joe
 

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Thats dissapointing to hear about the unisaw. As far as my 40 year old craftsman i am tired of trying to get the play out of the mechanicals.but i heard so much about these unisaws i thought i would get one.mine is made in 1987 i think.if you were to buy another saw today what would it be? Thank,joe
I believe my saw was made in 2001. Your 1987 saw was probably made better. It's really little things that I'm unhappy with the unisaw. The arbor is a little oversized so I have to take a dremel tool and enlarge the arbor holes on new blades a little to be able to change blades without a fight. Then the extension on the saw is made out of wood and they neglected to make a way to bolt the extension to the cast top. It is mounted on the Biesemeyer fence system. This creates a situation where it is flush with the top at front and back but sags in the middle. Then the elevation mechanism if you raise the blade all the way up or down you have to use both hands with a bear grip and break it loose. It just locks. The tilt arbor mechanism does the same thing.

Powermatic used to be a good brand but they have sold out and I really don't know anything about what they have been making in recent years. It's probably been 25 years since I've used a powermatic saw. I really don't know what table saw I would buy if I had to replace the unisaw. If time wasn't an issue I would probably look for something antique like warner construction is doing. As it was I bought the unisaw on my way home from the motor repair shop.
 

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Steve, Give me the model of the 12" CM saw, and when I find one, I will trade for your Uni. Glued together motor? Sounds like high quality! lol
Yea gluing the motor together sounds funny but I used the saw for 28 years, which 14 were commercially before it quit so I would say it was quality. I just had the saw so long they quit making replacement motors for it. It was a direct drive motor where the blade fit on the motor. I have a radial arm saw which basicly has the same motor I've been using for 41 years now.
 

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12" radial arm and table saw motors

Well I had a 12" craftsman saw the motor went bad and replaced it with the unisaw and wish I had the craftsman saw back. I'm not impressed with the workmanship with the unisaw. The only plus is it has more hp. The craftsman saw I attempted to get the motor repaired but the shop didn't want to work on it because they glue the case of the motors together.
The Craftsman 12" motorized saws and radial arm saws used virtually the same motors. They epoxied the plastic cases together and motor repair shops don't want to mess with them. I had one refuse to open it up, so I know. So I opened myself and here's the process...no big deal:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/craftsman-12-ras-motor-rebuild-35737/
 

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The Craftsman 12" motorized saws and radial arm saws used virtually the same motors. They epoxied the plastic cases together and motor repair shops don't want to mess with them. I had one refuse to open it up, so I know. So I opened myself and here's the process...no big deal:

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/craftsman-12-ras-motor-rebuild-35737/
Thanks for the info but it's too late for the table saw. Months after the deed was done I took the motor apart myself which wasn't difficult just to see if I could do it and then disposed of it. Mine had a aluminum case. I had already set up the unisaw and at the time didn't want a second table saw. The radial arm saw is slated to be replaced however if the motor goes out on it I will persue getting it repaired. At present I'm looking for a old Dewalt 16" radial arm saw. There was one that came up here on craigslist not too long ago but was in such a bad neighborhood I let the deal pass.
 

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There will always be someone to complain about anything. You just can't please everyone. I wouldn't make judgement calls on machinery because of the experience of a few. Unisaws have been around a long time. I've had both new and used, and would rate them at the top of the list. I would take a Unisaw over a Craftsman in a heartbeat. I'm not bashing Craftsman, it's just my opinion, after having and using both saws.

The control knob in the center of the hand wheels tightens and should keep the handwheel from turning. If turning the handwheel is difficult, loosen the control knob. The innards may need just a good cleaning.






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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I got the blade up/dn working pretty good by taking it apart and cleaning,filingand lube.the blade angle is much harder totake apart so i flushed the plug area in the shaft with brake cleaner and then spray lube. It works ok but i think from previous users cranking to tight on the locking knob they have scored the housing unevenly. But it workes ok and not worth taking it all apart. Next i will put in new power switch and top and see what a unisaw does.
ONE LAST QUESTION,DOMOST PEOPLE USE THE LOCKS OR NOT? ALSO IS THIS SAW MORE DANGEROUS TO USE THAN MY 1HP CRAFTSMAN?
THANKS,JOE
 

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There would be little difference in the safety of the two saws. I think your new saw would be a little safer than the craftsman. There would be less of a chance of slowing the rpm down and the fence would be less likely to slip.
 

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....... ALSO IS THIS SAW MORE DANGEROUS TO USE THAN MY 1HP CRAFTSMAN?
THANKS,JOE
Joe, you need a course in table saw safety. :yes:
I assume you didn't get a manual with the Unisaw? Based on your question,it shows a lack of experience/understanding, so that's why I recommend some serious study of the safe operation.

In general, a more powerful saw is a "potentially" more dangerous saw. Why? Because it can kickback with greater force. Either saw will cut your fingers off, so that's not the issue, keep them away from the blade! :yes: Use a push shoe when sawing narrow pieces.

So, what causes a kickback? That's when the straight edge of the board loses contact with the fence at the rear .... pulls away and rides up and over the spinning blade, coming back toward the operator. I said "straight" edge as it must be so. A curved edge against the fence will shift and twist and bind the work causing a kickback.
The other cause of kickback is when the cut closes on the rear of the blade part way into the pass, and grabs the blade sending it up and over and back at you. OR tries to stall the saw.
A lesser power saw can be stopped more easily while you turn it of safely. A more powerful saw can not and will kickback. Using a splitter or blade guard will help prevent most kickbacks if the board has a straight edge against the fence.

The blade and the fence MUST be parallel to each other for safe operation also. The saw must be checked for this condition before using. The process is easier on the Unisaw if it should need adjustment. This process is cover in many videos on You Tube.
 

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The power of the saw is really relative. In a kickback situation, it's likely it will be too fast to prevent it, and once initiated, a lower power saw can exert quite a bit of force. In actuality, what has to be understood, that kickback can be caused by the operator, by what is done or not done.

Prudent saw operation requires the operator to have the saw set up properly, with the safety devices designed for the saw. This is to include using the correct type of blade in a sharp clean condition.

The saw operator is responsible for the stock to be used and it's suitability to be cut. Warped/twisted/cupped/bowed, or any other deformity of stock used can be a cause for kickback.

The saw operator is responsible for using or making a straight flat edge @ 90 degrees (to the face that rides on the table), that is guided by the fence.

The saw operator is responsible for maintaining a concentration level affirming that the edge that rides on the fence stays on the fence throughout the entire cut. Any distraction...like watching the blade cutting the wood instead of watching the wood on the fence, can be enough to allow the wood to drift off the fence.

The saw operator is responsible for taking the time to handle and cut the wood without rushing. This also includes an awareness of the 'cutting' feel, and any inordinate sounds during the pass.

The saw operator is responsible to maintain a safe and clear area for where the work is being done. Scrap pieces or tools in the way can be a distraction during a cut.

So, it's easy to come up with reasons for kickback. We can't downplay the importance of the saw operator.






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