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Machinery Photo Index
Manufactured/Badged by:
Rockwell Manufacturing Co.
Pittsburgh, PA

Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Wood Working Machinery
Machine Type: Table Saw
Machine Size: 10 inch
Submitted By: Gerald Buttigieg
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: Unisaw
Date of Manufacturer: circa 1950s
Serial Number: unknown
Last Updated 10/27/2012 3:35:45 AM

Comments:
This machine was one of those lucky finds and to find it three doors away from where I live in a small village in rural kwaZuluNatal probably makes it unique in these parts. The saw was apparently purchased at auction by Arthur Harris in Salisbury, then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). This was in the 1950s. Arthur was a builder and had a business making cement blocks for building purposes. The saw was used to cut these cement blocks using a diamond saw. It was brought down to South Africa when he emigrated with his family and it was used at his home workshop. Here it was left to stand and rather neglected. When he left the South Coast where he had been staying with his daughter, the saw was brought up to Byrne where it stood in a storeroom unused for 4 years. It was then offered to me when Arthur Harris passed on and I became its new owner. The saw was in a bad way as it had never been maintained but it was worth resuscitating. It was found with several defects a broken arbor bracket had been rewelded, the fence end broken, the original tags all lost and the the original switch changed. So the age cannot be determined but the cutting angle plate does show it be Made in Pittsburgh which ties in with its 1950 vintage.
Having posted the machine on OWWM, several members offered replacement parts mainly Mike Prosen. It was by chance that Jim Jobling was coming over to South Africa at the very same time so it was arranged that he would collect the parts and bring them over. With Jim living in Texas and Mike in Illinois, a lot of background organising had to be arranged at the last moment to tie in with Jim's flight to South Africa. Jim (a South African now living in the USA had a brother living in my own Province kwaZuluNatal so the plan was to eventually gets the parts to Jim's brother who he was seeing and then I would arrange collection from him. AS can be see in the photograph the parcel contained not only a replacement arbor bracket but a switch cover plate and switch, belts, the critical fence end section etc etc. It was amazing but Jim's brother flew down to Cape Town to meet him for just one day and the "parcel" was exchanged. Jim's brother brought it back to KZN and then my wife who had to go down to Durban met up with Jim's brother in the car park of a big hypermarket and the "parcel" changed hands again. An incredible rucker as the "parcel" had been made up of donations from various people in the USA, flown over to South Africa via Amsterdam and eventually arriving in Byrne. With the parts in hand, the refurbishment could now really be undertaken. The unisaw was stripped to the last nut and bolt and the end result was most pleasing.
Subsequent to acquiring the saw and the replacement arbor bracket, a replacement arbor shaft, flange and nut were obtained from Jude Samson (NYC)and then to further complete the restoration a Super Safe saw guard was purchased from Karl John Shields (Illinois) I then attempted to reproduce a motor cover (goose egg) and it can be partly seen in the first photo. The motor cover was cast in glass fibre resin over a mould I made and the end result came out surprisingly well for a first time attempt. The trolley another home made effort was made from angle iron bought at a scrap dealer with the right angle brackets specifically bent for me at a steel sales outlet. The casters are heavy duty rubber. The DELTA sign on the dust door is also my attempt to replicate the tag that was missing. It is black ABS plastic cut out on a scroll saw and stuck on with epoxy. The whole renovation has been extremely gratifying thanks to the spontaneous help I got from fellow OWWMers.
I was greatly honoured to have been selected in 2011 to have my Unisaw included for the 2012 Old Wood Working Machine Calender. It duly appeared in it and I was the first overseas partcipant to be chosen.

Photo 1:

Comments: Totally refurbished March 2011
Source: GB's Roving Sony
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Photo 2:

Comments: As found in the PO's storeroom where it had stood for 4 years.
Source: GB's Roving Sony
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Photo 3:

Comments: The arbor weld professionally done. A replacement was received from the USA .
Source: GB's Roving Sony
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Photo 4:

Comments: The internals once cleaned up and reinstalled, showing the replacement arbor bracket in place.
Source: GB's Roving Sony
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Photo 5:

Comments: Parts donated by Mike Prosen and brought over by Jim Jobling.
Source: GB's Roving Sony
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Photo 6:

Comments: Cleaning the rust off the fence rails
Source: GB's Roving Sony
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