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Rockwell 9" Builders' Saw Model 34-643

 
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:39 pm    Post subject: Rockwell 9" Builders' Saw Model 34-643 Reply with quote

Well, since I was hounding Pete for help on this project anyway, I thought I'd go ahead and put it up on MJ. Any advice is most appreciated.

I've got a Rockwell "Deluxe 9"" 34-643 Builders' Saw that I'd like to refurbish. It has a Unifence, which I plan on keeping. It has a RH extension table that measures 7" x 22", which is the kind with the open grate pattern, which I'd prefer to replace with a solid cast top. The LH extension table is shop-made lexan, designed to receive a round Porter Cable router base. That part is a little weak and flimsy for my liking, and I'd like to replace it with something beefier, but still maintain the router table functionality. The motor is recently replaced and does fine.

The first thing I'm running up against is that my table is 22" deep, and all the extensions I am coming up with seem to be 27" deep or so. My current table does have a shop-built depth extension made of MDF, but it is due for replacement along with the lexan.

Next, I need to replace the raise and tilt wheels, and I'd like to upgrade the basic on/off toggle switch that is original equipment. Seems like a good time for new bearings while I'm at it.

Any tips on rebuilding the table surface, or sourcing those or other parts?

I'll see if I can manage to get some pictures uploaded, so this may make more sense.

Thanks,

Simon







Last edited by DenaliPilot on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Toolslinger



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't be much help on this... I did run the 10" equivalent for a while though, and then a newer 10" version for years... What I found was I ended up extending the table further back than you've got there now. I did so to keep the motor covered completely, for a couple reasons. One was that when I pushed the saw against my shop table/runoff the motor would catch under the table if it was set to bevel, which then tweaked the torsion arms outa wack... They're a pain in the neck to reset, so the extra length kept me away from the table... The same could be said about pushing the saw in to a corner for storage. Second was I had a couple pieces drop on me when I wasn't using the runoff, and they dropped on the motor... No harm, but it could be an issue, especially without a belt guard...

Good luck!

-Tim
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Tim - Trying to want more and store less...
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Tim-

On edit, I think I really should have called this thread "Pimp my 34-643". I think that gets right to the heart of the matter!
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1689
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been thinking about your saw and some sources. I think I would try Plaza machinery to find a cast iron extension wing- best to email them.
http://plazamachinery.com/

You should also explore owwm.com here's the delta page- they have lots of pictures and probably some publications about your saw. http://owwm.com/mfgIndex/detail.aspx?id=1141

You can also try a WTB ad on the owwm.org forum- they are crazy about their delta stuff.

also, try eBay, here are a pair of nice looking delta handles that may fit your saw http://cgi.ebay.com/Delta-Homecraft-34-500-Table-Saw-Handwheels-Knobs-/250710849921


Pete
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete-

Thanks for the leads. You mentioned this was a little out of your league, but you were just being kind. I know I'm the one out of my league, but I'm having fun so far. I'm also starting to understand the "Junkie" part of the forum name. Easy to get kind of swept up in this stuff, isn't it!?

Maybe I should focus inward and learn to appreciate my humble little saw for what it is, and stop trying to make it into something it is not.... Nah! Twisted Evil

-Simon
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Toolslinger



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add that I found the current on/off switch Delta uses on their contractor saws to be a decent option. It is still more or less a toggle switch, but it mounts out on the table edge, and has a paddle to turn it to off, and guard against bumping it on.

If I had to do it again though, I'd get a mag starter for it. I used to trip the 120v circuit frequently, and the mag would make that a little safer... When I went to 240 that issue went away.

Cheers,
-Tim
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Tim - Trying to want more and store less...
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim-

This is going to be a bit of a tangent, but your post about Mag starters caused me to google them to see what they are.

The following website suggests a significant hazard inherent in them. Am I missing something?

http://www.waterfront-woods.com/Articles/magneticstarters.htm

Thanks for the followup response, by the way.

-Simon
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1689
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, just read the article you linked to. What a bunch of BS. This guy either has the lightest duty import mag starters that have ever been made, or maybe he is living in some strange gravity field.

My guess is ultra light duty units.

I run industrial mag starters on almost all of my heavy equipment and consider a must on a table saw. They have several advantages over other switches.

1- thermal protection for the motor (other switches can have this) Basically a perfectly sized circuit breaker for the motor rather than relying on a breaker that is sized to protect the wire running to the saw rather than the saw motor.

2. The saw will not restart once you lose power- if the breaker trips, the switch trips or there is a blackout, the starter disengages. it won't restart.

3 ability to add remote and multiple off switches. I am a huge believer in mushroom switches on table saws. Too many times I have gotten in a spot where both hands are involved with making sure the wood I am cutting does not whup me in the gut. At times like this, you need to be able to turn the saw off with a knee or foot. A perfect opportunity for a remote mushroom kill switch.

There are other ways to accomplish this, but the magnetic starter is the industry standard, and as far as I am concerned, the link you posted is internet hooey.

Pete
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1689
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also wanted to mention that the top size of your saw- i believe you said was 22" deep- is the same as the delta 34-500- I know because I have an extra 34-500 top in my studio. Anyhow, that doubles the availability of cast iron extension wings. I would think Plaza Joe would have one in stock- drop him an email looking for a 22" solid cast wing.

Also, I would consider a slightly larger outfeed table than the one that was previously mounted, but a lot of this depends on how you intend to use the saw. Do plan on leaving it set up, or rolling it away to store it? Do you plan on cutting much plywood? (i would probably do this with a festool guided circ saw if I were you)

Also, best upgrade you can do is a good blade. Nothing wrong with the smaller saws, it is all a matter of what you do with it. I actually find the small old delta table quite cute and charming. I keep twitching to buy one for no reason.

Pete
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I certainly defer to you on that Pete. I did note that the article is more than 10 years out of date, but maybe it was hooey back then too.

More importantly, how would you pimp out the switches on my 34-643 if it was your saw?

Small project update as well- I scored a set of Delta handles on eBay today. Newer style than the ones you found- in apparently good condition.

Also, I ordered up a Bench Dog table saw wing/ router table today. I don't know if it is compatible with the Rockwell/ Delta saw, but if not, I know it will go nicely with a Rigid saw that I own.

http://www.routertabledepot.com/bedogtasawex.html

-Simon
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="crzypete"]I actually find the small old delta table quite cute and charming. I keep twitching to buy one for no reason.[/quote]

Problem solved- I'll trade it to you for a Hammond!
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1689
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, what I am really keen on is the 34-500, I owned one for a brief moment, but it was more parts than machine, and thus I sold it for parts.

Now for that hammond trade, well, you figure out how to make the shipping work and we can talk. Shocked

there has got to be a hammond or two somewhere in Alaska. The problem is, they are still probably using it for letterpress!

Pete


Last edited by crzypete on Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Toolslinger



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Pete covered that nicely...

Mags are not only industry standard, but a requirement in a business situation. They're one of the good things that OSHA makes people do... If you buy a cheap piece of crap, you can have issues, but anything of any quality will last you a lifetime most likely... Buy a used unit with the right coil voltage, and get the right sized heaters. It isn't a big investment for the piece of mind. First one you do will warp your mind a bit installing it likely, but after that, they're a breeze...

As mentioned the blade you pick will be important... I don't know the HP of your motor, but it'll be 1.5 or less to be sure... 1.5 is on the low side for a 10" machine, but might be fine on 9". To solve that I used to run Freud Thin Kerf Rip blades. Going to a 3/32" kerf from an 1/8" kerf reduces the amount of wood you have to turn in to sawdust by 25%. On a low horse saw that's huge. There is a cost though, and that's quality of cut... The thin kerf blade isn't going to leave you a glue joint ready edge. Also you'll only be able to have them sharpened a few times as the carbide pieces are pretty small to begin with... We kept a heavier blade around when the cut had to be perfect, but 99% of what we were cutting didn't matter. I still run them today on my two 3 horse Unisaws and couldn't be happier.

-Tim
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Tim - Trying to want more and store less...
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff- I'm learning a lot.

Thanks everybody.

Simon
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tablesaw in this thread has now been brought into the indoor shop to thaw out (it was -37F in the garage this week). Once thawed, it was disassembled into its major components, and cleaned. So far I've managed to obey Pete's cardinal rule #1, "Don't brake nuthin".

Today I scored an identical tabletop on eBay, and my plan is to mount it alongside of the current top as a 15" extension wing. Best part- built-in storage for an auxiliary zero-clearance insert! Since both tops have tapped holes on their sides, I will need to either bore out the holes on one top, or turn down the inner 1/2" of threads on the attachment bolts.

In addition to the new 15" wide table top, I still have the original 7" wide finger-slicer extension wing. I'm wondering which side of the saw would you mount each one on, and why? My Unifence rail should be long enough that either scenario allows full functionality.

I have some new bearings coming tomorrow for the arbor shaft. My plan is to put the arbor out in the cold (still -20 outdoors), and put the bearings into our masonry warming oven, to help the assembly. I don't have much by way of a press, just a vise, hammer, pipe, etc.

-Simon
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May have counted my chickens too soon. eBay has had this aggravating habit recently of unbuying the stuff that I think I am buying Evil or Very Mad
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, thanks to a very accommodating seller, I am going to get the eBay top after all.

Before any of you decide to move your shop to Alaska, call me for an earful about shipping headaches and local parts availability.
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DenaliPilot



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 63
Location: Denali, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I 'm sorry I don't have pics yet, but I'll try to get some.

The saw in the thread is about where I'd hoped it would be when I started:

-Disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled major components
-Refurbished base
-New bearings on the arbor
-New on/off switch
-New wiring with BX cable
-New raise/tilt hand wheels
-Added belt-guard from 10" Rockwell/Delta
-Added a second identical cast iron table top
-Added LH and RH cast iron extension wings
-Replaced short, damaged Unifence rail
-Replaced damaged Unifence with Peachtree's Uni-T fence
-New zero-clearance insert
-New blade selection
-Have phenolic 3/4 ply to make an out feed extension

Still looking for a decent mobile base (see other new thread)
Still interested in a mushroom-type kill switch, or mag switch
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