Thursday, August 4, 2016

Delta first power tool...

Well, human powered that is...

The Delta Specialty Company was founded by Herbert Tautz in 1919.
The American Boy Scroll Saw was the first breakthrough Delta product invented by Tautz in 1923.

The American Boy Scroll Saw
Delta first product

The next big breakthrough for Delta came in 1937, and it changed the woodworking industry... The Unisaw, the first 10 in tilting arbor cabinet saw.
To this day, Delta is still in business and still produces Unisaws, such as mine (circa 1989)

My first Unisaw

 I got this little guy from Sandy Moss, shipping cast iron is never cheap but it was still worth it.

This is how it was shipped, both arms were removed, along with the crank.
It fits inside a surprisingly small package.
What is that blue/green thing in the background? Oh, that's Rudy :-)

Light surface rust on the arms and table, nothing serious. The sliding post have some sort of a light grease film on them and the mechanism operate smoothly

Chariot down

Chariot up

The crank that makes it happened, 
turned by the wheel, sliding inside a trapped slot.

The wheel is secured to a flat spot on the shaft with small square screw.
Must find driver for it... All the fixed screws are like it, the removable ones are thumb screws

The wheel has a groove around its circumference and could be belt driven by a small electric motor (hum, that make me think..Singer :-)

It did not came with a blade, but the listing did says that it used common sizes readily available blades...
It used pins blades, such as on a coping saw, except that my coping saws are 6 inch blades users.

Went out looking for blades with Rudy.
First stop, Home Hardware Greenwood, hit the jackpot!
Not only did they had the 5 inch pinned blades, but they carry Pegas no less, Great!
Not cheap blades, but as anything you get what you pay for, I love these blades in my fret and coping saws, so lets try it.

Pegas blades assortments, 6 of each three sizes: 
10, 15 and 23 TPIs skip tooths
My favorite combinations.

I'm trying the middle of the pack, 15 TPI
The ends are discolored by the pins installation 
or was the blade heat treated??

5 inch versus regular 6 inch pinned blades

So what is it with the two arms??
The one with the slotted head at both ends is the saw arm were the blade is mounted, the other, fixed to the frame of the saw, is simply a guide to hold down the wood being cut. If you were to crank backward, the blade would push the wood piece up. Sometimes when the piece move and get stuck, it want to move up also even when cranking in the right direction.

Upper arm and hold down guide

Lower arm, attached to the chariot
The blade has a good tension on it, the arm being opened wider 
that the blade length

So how does it cut?
Tried with two pieces of different material;
1/4 in thick solid center plywood (left over from my plane till's dividers)

1/4 in solid core plywood

1/2 pine, work amazingly fast...

Without cranking like a mad man, this thing is pretty quick, only thing is, you need three hands!
One to hold the saw from tipping, second to drive the wheel, leaving you no hands to hold and move the piece of wood!!

You know were I'm going with this, don't you? :-)

That's right, the saw need to be secured on your dining room table..err I mean work surface!

Somehow a certain monkey and doggy
 keep cropping up in my pics... :-)

Once secured I could zip thru that 1/2 inch piece of pine like butter

Rough cut but it would be a lot easier and better 
if I had some sort of guide

But it is after all a scroll saw and depending on the blade installed you can expect nice cuts in whatever you throw at it. I am surprised at how much power that simple mechanism provides. And once you figured out a good rhythm and pace, it goes pretty smooth.

PAT AUG 21 - 23

All in all, a very fun little saw. A toy? Perhaps it was intended to be, but it is a real tool capable of serious work. Its limitations are the small size of the work table and the need for fastening it down in order to be able to use it.

Now if I could find myself some Barnes machinery...:-)

Bob, cleaning up his...err Rudy.. mess in the dining room


  1. That's right - blame the mess on Rudy.

    That's a pretty cool machine. I wonder how hard it would be to rig up something so you could operate the wheel with your foot and have both hands free.

  2. Well, what you describes would look like those Barnes machines :-)
    This hand operated one work great, once you secured it to the table .. err I meant work surface.
    I may try hooking up a sewing machine motor with a foot pedal control instead...

    Bob, who cleaned up Rudy's mess :-)

  3. From the look of the pics the arms are solid? When is the video coming?

  4. Hi Ralph
    Yes the arms are solid, which gives the frame good tension to properly tensioned the blade, you have to slightly push down to hook the blade to the upper arm.
    Video? I often thought about doing some, but im not there yet. perhaps in the near future??
    How about you, any experiences with videos, or any plans??

    Bob, scratching his bald spot on his head. Oh no wait that was Rudy :-)

  5. The mess in my office is always Sam's fault, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    MsBubba doesn't come home until next Saturday, I expect at least two days of KP before Saturday to repair the damage or all three of us are in the deep stuff.

    BTW, I like your new toy.


  6. Hi Ken
    Oh yes, that little saw is just what you want for your RV mobile shop, equipped with a 8 ft massive Roubo ( in a slide on the other side) and if you install it before Ms Bubba would think it came like that.. :-)

    Bob, following Rudy little voice that I hear...yeah thats it :-)

  7. They are such excellent saws! I have the slightly larger one with the square cutting table & one the same size as the American Boy with the square table. Just received my round table American Boy saw in the mail today. So awesome! Can't wait to try it out!

  8. I just bought one at a local auction for $40.00. Good deal?

  9. $40? Oh yes good deal, in both US or Canadian currencies :-)

    Bob, who just happened to saw your comment, sorry for delay