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Are old machines better than new ones?

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Anonymous

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Hi,

Just wondered what people thought about old machines v new machines.

A couple of years ago, I had to buy a table saw. I was happy to spend about £600 odd so I knew I could buy amongst others the Kity or Sheppach.

Thinking back to my first ever new machine which was a Startrite table saw a long time ago, I reckoned that the only one I would buy this time would be a secondhand Startrite, Wadkin or Multico. I thought because they were all "over built" by todays standards with plenty of cast iron etc
etc they would be far better than the Kity and Sheppach. Much better than"all this modern rubbish"

On enquiring, I found that there is some modern day resistance to older machines because of lack of spares, safety regs, heavy to move ., 3 phase.etc

I decided to buy a new Kity 619 in the end, as opposed perhaps to a well used older machine of the above mentioned makes.

What's best do you think? Old or new, bearing in mind all the factors.

Perhaps it a bit like chairs. If you want strength you think by building a chair out of large section timber, you'll get a stronger job. Of course this is'nt true, because it's the design that gives strength.

Same with machines? Does heavier mean better? or will the lighter ones still do the same job with perhaps more accuracy, ease of use. etc

Regards

PS I know Regs coming in all the time are tending to consign these old ones to the scrapheap, but leaving this aside.
 

kityuser

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i know from reading a few forums that the general trend is that heavier table saws vibrate less and thus produce more accurate cuts. (as a general rule of thumb when compared to "tin box" aluminium-top table saws).

cast iron is the way they go in the states because of its weight (e.g. norms unisaw).

old machinary has a certian "romance" about it (I find)....... I have the chance at the moment to buy a cast iron thicknesser/joiner..... it needs re-building and is three-phase (wonder if I can get a large enough single phase motor?)... I have`nt really got the space to store it until i get a larger workshop (i.e. move) but I`m sorely tempted :D
 

johnelliott

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Good question, this. Having thought about it I personally would avoid an old machine mainly because of the weight. I, like many others, work on my own and do occasionally need to move machines.
I think a lot of the older machines were designed for workshops where there were plenty of people around. Also cast iron was the cheapest material available, it's only in the last couple of decades that aluminium has dropped to the price where it can take over from cast iron.
If I needed a lathe I would have a good look at what older, heavier machines were available, though

John
 

Jaco

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Evening
Old machines can be a bargain as long as you know where they come from and how they were used. Some years ago i puchased 10 year old Rockwell 10'' Contractor Table Saw and Elektra Bekhum thicknesser planer from a friend for ZAR6500. Thats about GBP600.
Both machines in excellent condition.
:D
 

Drew

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Hi
like I said in the dream kit thread If I had the wherewithall and the space I wouldn't go past Wadkin. I've been lucky enough to have worked in three well equipped shops (umpteen not so well) and in two of them the main machines were by wadkin and in the third we had a wadkin panel saw and a small 14" wadkin thicknesser.
I'm a great believer in cast to cut down vibration and for me the best proponent of that is, you've guessed it Wadkin.

Drew
 
A

Anonymous

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Well, I wouldn't class the Startrite or Multico saws in the same league as Wadkins, et al. Much lighter (only a single trunnion as opposed to a double trunnion, see). The nearest Brit equivalent would probably be Dominion or Robinson, although it has to be said that Wadkin dominated the table saw market in this country from the 1950s onwards. (For our American cousins a Wadkin AGS is like the Unisaw but MUCH heavier and a bit bigger)

I'm a bit mixed in my opinions about new versus old. Sure, old machines with their cast iron tables are rock solid, don't vibrate, the cast iron tables don't wear and they never leave black marks when the anodising starts to wear a bit thin - but they do rust (and how!). They can take quite a bit of looking after, too, as the makers are (for the most part) defunct. So if anything breaks it can mean a trip to the local engineers for a solid gold copy (or that's what the the replacements seem to be made from based on price :shock: ). It also helps to have a fork lift truck to bring them into the shop (or at least a pallet truck and some beefy mates).

The wiring can also be a nightmare, especially on Italian machines - I love my all cast-iron planer (Italian), but when the Star-Delta starter committed electrical hari-kiri recently it was two days of lost production and mayhem whilst I sourced the parts and rebuilt the wiring from the motor up. It wasn't an OLD machine (only about 20 years), but the maker just didn't do parts any more....

All of this means that if you want to buy old cast iron gear you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty.

I have to admit that newer machines have generally got better designed fences and guards - and motor brakes (which are now becoming mandatory in pro shops) are an unexpected bonus in terms of speed of tool changing. So new doesn't necessarily mean bad.

So you pays your money and takes yer choice. Personally, I 'd buy new every time - if only I had the brass!
 

Scrit

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Sorry, dunno what happened there, but the last post was me :?

Scrit
 
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