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MichaelM

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Hello all,

I've been offered an old Wadkin AGS 12" of 1972 vintage that is in need of a new motor and pulley and was wondering what the general consensus is on this saw. It was originally 3 phase and converted over with a 240v motor etc but that motor has since become damaged through the old power cable having shorted out. I am led to believe that it is in good condition having been somewhat restored and it comes with both wings and fence but I have not as yet seen it. I am told it has been subsequently rewired and the necessary switchgear is all in good working order but obviously without seeing it running I cannot be absolutely certain.

Since I will have to travel some distance to see it I would like to know what to look for beforehand as I am need of some sort of decent table saw now to make life easier with a job I have to tackle and really can't afford to buy a "mistake". I can spare a little time to get it up and running but only if it is worth doing and doesn't involve any regret at buying the thing!

Would one of these be a good buy, would I be better off with something else and is there anything I need to look out for that would be a good reason to walk away from it? I would want to be able to run it from a standard supply so was thinking of using a 10" blade and fitting a new 3HP motor from Axminster with a suitable pulley. How exactly that motor will attach is another question of course and may be the proverbial PITA to boot. The asking price is £300 as it sits and a motor is going to be around £140 along with whatever a pulley might be. It's more than I want to spend, it's bigger than I really wanted for now and there is difficulty in acquiring parts for this obsolete brand but since I know very little of such things I need advice from the knowledgeable members here as to how to view this opportunity i.e. good or bad.

Thanks,

M
 

cerdeira

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hi,

I believe that by 1972 wadkin was already fitting their 3HP saws wth standard 90 frame metric motors so both a pulley and the motor itself shouldn't be hard to source. mounting the motor is a simple job for anyone who knows how to use a spanner.
I'd stay away from axminster motors, they're not really rated by output power as the industrial ones. You'll end up buying a 2.2kW motor that isn't actually outputting that value.

regarding the mechanical parts you should be looking at the rise & fall mechanism: check how smooth it operates and whether you notice any play on it.
move the arbour up and down to the full extent of its course. this is the part of the saw that is most subject to wear so take your time. some play can be adjusted with gibs but since you don't want to spend much time on the saw and don't want to take the risk turn it down if you notice any potential problem.
the tilting mechanism is also worth a check but this usually works fine.
if you want to be picky take a straighedge with you and verify the table flatness.
also check if you spot any cracks in the castings.
if the fence is the older type (a pressed steel one that locks in bars in the front and the back) verify if it has the fine adjustment knob. this one is missing quite often.

the 12" model has a really big table compared with the 10" one, at least to my eyes. and the saw blade in the wadkin models is located much further back than the usually found iin the current saws meaning that you have more space in the front of the saw for registering the workpiece and specially for crosscutting but OTOH you may find yourself leaning more over the table to work with smaller pieces which can be dangerous if you have short arms.

overall i think the build quality is much better than an equivalent saw built today, for instance the main cabinet on which the table is mounted is a one piece cast with the trunnions machined on it and the ags was considered a medium duty saw.
if it's in good condition, that saw may well last last forever unless you don't drop a sledgehammer on top of it.
 

misterfish

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Have you looked at the manual http://www.daltonsmachines.com/uploads/ ... s_List.pdf as this gives a good description. Wadkin were constantly improving their machines and the one you've been offered may well differ especially with regards to motor mounting and fence and you really need to look and see what you are being offered. My saw is basically an AGS10 with a sliding table - it is actually labelled as BRT10 which I think was built in the late 70's . It is similar to http://www.daltonsmachines.com/uploads/ ... s_List.pdf but differs in having a short fence which only has a front rail and uses metric components throughout - including 20mm mitre slots and a 20mm arbor. On the other hond it still uses the triple pulleys and drive belts.

Looking at the manual above I would check the method of motor mounting - does it mount on a foot plate that pivots on a plate to allow tensioning or does it have face mounting as shown in the AGS12 manual above.

I've always been happy with my saw and wouldn't want to change it.

Misterfish
 

Stormer1940

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If you are looking for spares then speak to these guys http://www.advancedmachinery.co.uk/mach ... ontact.asp

I have an old PKA and am very happy with the beast. Plenty of power for ripping and although it has a small sliding carriage which can't fit a full 4ft sheet across it the engineering of the saw out ways this con in my opinion...
 

SammyQ

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Michael? £300 for the saw is about right, but I'd like a motor included for that. I've got an AGS 10" I'm (slowly) restoring if you want to have a look before you buy your intended piece? cerdeira said it all really; the mechanism's simple but there is a sliding surface and at least one set of ball bearings (three if you count the arbour) that can be awkward. Putting a new motor in is no bother at all and I saw a 3hp/single phase motor on Gumtree Belfast for £30. The motor looked good in the photos and the information plate was from a reputable manufacturer. I have the manuals - and more - for the old and new AGS, and I have amassed a reasonable bit of knowledge on the beastie - all 400 pounds of her - the downloadable plans and manual are invaluable to service and improve the saw. The only problems I've hit so far has been the pulley is stuck on the arbour and the fine adjustment has its threads stripped - both not insurmountable.

Sam
 

katellwood

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I've got a 10" ags with a Axminster 3hp motor and it works perfectly. I had to bore out the pulley to 24mm from the original 5/8 dia however as I have a engineering lathe this was not a problem. that being said you could probably source a suitable three belt pulley from here http://www.bearingstation.co.uk/

the best bet would be a 3 belt taper lock with a 24mm bush.

If you need the dia of the original 3 belt pulley I am willing to drop a vernier on it for you and will supply some pictures if it would help
 

MichaelM

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Well first of all thanks everybody for all those links as that's just the kind of stuff that I need to help me figure what I might be getting into. As I said previously, it is a much bigger saw than I had planned to get at this stage and in truth that could well be the deciding factor. I would also need to get it down some steps were I to buy it thus necessitating some serious dismantling I would imagine. To top it all a Jet Supersaw with a sliding table for similar money to the Wadkin once repaired has now come onto the scene as well and how that would compare to the old brute I do not know though I do suspect that the old saws when in good order would be hard to beat. I am awaiting photos of both to help me get a rough idea what I'm dealing with before deciding which, if either to go look at.

cerdeira":3qk2k1gu said:
hi,

I believe that by 1972 wadkin was already fitting their 3HP saws wth standard 90 frame metric motors so both a pulley and the motor itself shouldn't be hard to source. mounting the motor is a simple job for anyone who knows how to use a spanner.
I'd stay away from axminster motors, they're not really rated by output power as the industrial ones. You'll end up buying a 2.2kW motor that isn't actually outputting that value.

regarding the mechanical parts you should be looking at the rise & fall mechanism: check how smooth it operates and whether you notice any play on it.
move the arbour up and down to the full extent of its course. this is the part of the saw that is most subject to wear so take your time. some play can be adjusted with gibs but since you don't want to spend much time on the saw and don't want to take the risk turn it down if you notice any potential problem.
the tilting mechanism is also worth a check but this usually works fine.
if you want to be picky take a straighedge with you and verify the table flatness.
also check if you spot any cracks in the castings.
if the fence is the older type (a pressed steel one that locks in bars in the front and the back) verify if it has the fine adjustment knob. this one is missing quite often.

the 12" model has a really big table compared with the 10" one, at least to my eyes. and the saw blade in the wadkin models is located much further back than the usually found iin the current saws meaning that you have more space in the front of the saw for registering the workpiece and specially for crosscutting but OTOH you may find yourself leaning more over the table to work with smaller pieces which can be dangerous if you have short arms.

overall i think the build quality is much better than an equivalent saw built today, for instance the main cabinet on which the table is mounted is a one piece cast with the trunnions machined on it and the ags was considered a medium duty saw.
if it's in good condition, that saw may well last last forever unless you don't drop a sledgehammer on top of it.
Great stuff and thanks for that information. I really know nothing about these saws or what to look for and that kind of advice is just what I need. My arms are long enough I'm sure and as you say, such a saw would give a good register on the timber prior to the cut but my main concern given the age is in regard to wear on certain moving parts that cannot be alleviated. If I might ask, you refer to adjusting out any play in the rise and fall or tilt mechanisms with "gibs". What are those?

Misterfish, yes, your point about the motor is well noted and could just save me from making a frustrating mistake. Redrilling a bracket to suit a different footplate is one thing but working around a flange mounting system looks like it could easily become a nightmare. This is information that is most definitely on the "need to know" list for any prospective purchaser.

Stormer1940, a very useful link, thank you, and another happy Wadkin owner.

Katellwood, you are a star. Thank you very much indeed for going to all that trouble. Certainly, if I do buy this thing your effort will not be wasted. Much appreciated!

Sam, how are you? I trust you are keeping well?

I do remember you telling me that you were restoring a Wadkin when we were talking about your TS-200. On that subject, I did buy a new one at the time but had to return it due to a poor table surface, ...so that ended that affair. It's a pity; I'd have been happy enough with another but a decent one was not forthcoming so I have been "sawless" ever since and need something now to rip through a few hundred boards. I should have just bought yours off you at the time and forgot about the bloody new one. New isn't always better. I agree with you too about the price asked for the Wadkin AGS 12" feeling a bit steep and I have seen running machinery going for not a huge amount more but the seller is adamant that it is in perfect condition other than the motor issue. Who am I to say it isn't but even at that, it requires time, money and effort, none of which come free and need to be taken into consideration I suppose. It might be more hassle than it's worth though at this point as it is still a very big saw for what I need right now and it is more in total than I really wanted to spend hoping as I was to fall in with something manageable for not too much outlay. However a good one would no doubt be a pleasure to use and it's not like there's a huge amount of choice over here for gentlemen such as us either. In all honesty though if it is going to be a b*gger to get into location (a location down a few steps which it will also have to come back out of again at some point to go into the larger garage/workshop I haven't built yet) then I'd probably be better off with something a good bit smaller or at least one that can be readily dismantled. Maybe the Jet is more manageable in that regard.

How about your Wadkin? Have you had her running yet?

By the way, thanks for the kind offer to see your own saw in the flesh. That could be very useful and if a visit to Belfast is in order to look at this 12" model, I do believe I might take you up on it. At least then I'd have a better idea of what I'm looking at and that's never a bad thing.

All the best, and thanks again to everyone,

Michael
 

cerdeira

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MichaelM":1ewdm3xp said:
on certain moving parts that cannot be alleviated. If I might ask, you refer to adjusting out any play in the rise and fall or tilt mechanisms with "gibs". What are those?
l
hi

sorry I think the right term is gib screws. they're used to control the tightness of a slide way and as such remove any play in the movement. they're present in the rise & fall mechanism. bear in mind that there can be other problems (such as a worn out pivot) that gib screws alone cannot fix. it's difficult to explain in words but
it's easy to figure out how things work once you look at them. it's not rocket science...
the tilting mechanism is controlled by a worm screw and is much simpler.

BTW I have a 12" BGS from 1965 which was the AGS cousin but with a proper slider (the whole table to the left of the blade moves back and forward) and I'm very happy with it. the only downside is the dust extraction which simply does not exist
 

SammyQ

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Michael, getting the beast A to B and down stairs is relatively easy; they come to pieces....7 main ones to be exact. Three table pieces, a fence, a lightish pressed steel base, a cast iron 'biscuit tin' shaped height/tilt mechanism box and a motor. The only part you will need a bit of help with is the tilt/height machanism; it's a real Schwartzneggar of a lift - got a big strong mate? Number one son is built on the lines of a brick outhouse and I'm 240 lbs of fighting fat, so it's not really an issue here!

Mine is presently dismantled, right down to the last roll pin, and I'm repainting it and reassembling as I go. Seeing it in this state would really let you see what goes where and what things SHOULD look like from under a welter of sawdust and rust? I can put back enough very quickly to give you a working knowledge. I have two days off this week coming and I am hoping to finish the innards and get ready for the 'master' spray-on of Hammerite 'Bursgreen' green - WHICH IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!!!

Coincidentally, I still have the TS200 and I still want to sell it, but I'm in no hurry until last week of June. If you want to regress to it, I'll put a straight edge across it to make sure it's acceptable before you see it. (Standard saw, leg stand, sliding table, extended fence, few blades, maybe 6, have to check, dust hood, not yet fitted).

Sam
 

MichaelM

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SammyQ":2rrz5g24 said:
Michael, getting the beast A to B and down stairs is relatively easy; they come to pieces....7 main ones to be exact. Three table pieces, a fence, a lightish pressed steel base, a cast iron 'biscuit tin' shaped height/tilt mechanism box and a motor. The only part you will need a bit of help with is the tilt/height machanism; it's a real Schwartzneggar of a lift - got a big strong mate? Number one son is built on the lines of a brick outhouse and I'm 240 lbs of fighting fat, so it's not really an issue here!

Mine is presently dismantled, right down to the last roll pin, and I'm repainting it and reassembling as I go. Seeing it in this state would really let you see what goes where and what things SHOULD look like from under a welter of sawdust and rust? I can put back enough very quickly to give you a working knowledge. I have two days off this week coming and I am hoping to finish the innards and get ready for the 'master' spray-on of Hammerite 'Bursgreen' green - WHICH IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!!!

Coincidentally, I still have the TS200 and I still want to sell it, but I'm in no hurry until last week of June. If you want to regress to it, I'll put a straight edge across it to make sure it's acceptable before you see it. (Standard saw, leg stand, sliding table, extended fence, few blades, maybe 6, have to check, dust hood, not yet fitted).

Sam
The enthusiasm of the Wadkin owners here got me quite comfortable with the idea of owning one myself; so much so that I had my mind made up that if the machine were in good shape then I was prepared to forgo my reservations regarding size and bite the bullet so to speak. I was even considering buying your TS-200 Sam to deal with my immediate issue and consequently allowing me to take my time with repairing the Wadkin. So after a weekend of headscratching I rang the seller tonight to get some specifics on the saw only to discover he had decided to keep it, unless that is he can sell his Kity planer thicknesser and Axminster spindle moulder at the same time in order to fund a larger purchase. I understand his predicament but I can't see how that's going to work out for him, and I am somewhat disappointed but that's just how it goes sometimes. The Jet saw has apparently disappeared off the horizon now too. I will admit to being interested in getting my hands on a Wadkin or similar at some point and now that I've had my appetite whetted, I'll be keeping my eyes open to see what presents itself in the future. In the meantime Sam, if you get the chance, please give the TS-200 the once over for me and let me know how she fares.

"240 lbs of fighting fat"? I laughed at that! Remember though, hairy chested manliness comes in many shapes and sizes; ...and none of them are under 14 stone!

All the best and thanks again to all who responded.

Michael
 

SammyQ

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"Drat!" ses you Michael? No problem, I'll clean up the TS200 - couple of tea cup rings and glue dribbles on the extension table I want no one to see....and I've just put a garden fork (graipe) through the underground electric cable, so please give me a couple of days to sort myself out. Shall we shoot for Saturday or Sunday at the earliest? Give me a chance to have a bit more of the Wadkin reassembled too and power back to my man cave.

You can contact me via PM or sd_quigg@yahoo.com, I won't post my telephone numbers here(as I got a couple of weirdos the last time I did that) and then we can natter over times and directions.

Sam
 
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