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We’ve all been in one of those grooves where everything is going along gangbusters and you have it all under control. That wonderful feeling comes just before the bottom drops out. That’s exactly what happened with the 1944 Delta Unisaw Rebuild.

As we began to film episode five, the storyboard for the video was writing itself. Steve Shanesy, Popular Woodworking Magazine‘s publisher, walked through the additions made to the saw since the last segment including a shop-made zero-clearance insert, a new fence board and the new motor cover , it’s constructed from 1/4″ Baltic birch plywood and pine strips and looks great attached to the saw cabinet. All that was left was to turn on the Unisaw and make a couple quick rip cuts.

We had heard the saw running earlier in the morning, but when the call went out to power up the repulsion-induction motor while filming, there was a wobble in its voice. Immediately the saw was turned off and we were left scratching our heads. What could be the problem?

It became clear the issue was somewhere inside the motor due to tremendous amounts of black soot-like dust that spilled from the motor as we shot compressed air inside. Looks as if the motor needed a rebuild the motor as well as the saw.

Over the next few days, with helpful information from the folks at Old Woodworking Machines ( and from the site’s message board (, Steve worked on the motor and found an issue with a spring locked behind a cover near the commutator. The motor was reworked. We filmed the disassembled motor to get a firsthand look at the motor guts for the video. With everything back on tract, the rip cut was finally made.

To see the motors guts, the additions to the saw and to see the rebuilt Unisaw make its first pass through lumber, take a look at the episode V.

– Glen D. Huey

And if you haven’t viewed the earlier episodes:

    Delta Unisaw Restoration (click here)
    Delta Unisaw Restoration Part II (click here)
    Delta Unisaw Rebuild Part III (click here)
    Delta Unisaw Rebuild Part IV (click here)
    Delta Unisaw Rebuild Part V Video (click here)

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  • Brian

    I would really like to get more details about how Steve ended up building his motor cover. I have an old Unisaw and would love to outfit mine with one of those. Any more information would be great and much appreciated. Those covers are super expensive to buy.


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