Our 1945 Delta 28-207 Band Saw
Posted on 31 March 2016
It's no secret that I have a love for old Delta Rockwell shop machines. Nearly all of the Hand-Eye shop tools are pre-1970 Delta with the exception of the JET belt sander. While there are a number of really great old machine manufacturers out there, I chose to go with Delta when I put together the Hand-Eye shop. The reasons being: I have some familiarity with Delta, plus parts and literature are still widely available online.
I came across a nice 1930s Walker Turner band saw and Atlas drill press, but ultimately passed as I suspected they needed parts that I was unable to attain or make. The Delta saw you see here I found out in the Portland burbs for a bit less than half the price of JET's modern equivalent. It is a pretty bare bones model with the only notable accessory being the retractable casters to move it around. The previous owner had done a full mechanical refresh including replacing all bearings, guide rollers, wheel tires, etc. He got tired of the project and sold it to me before repainting it thankfully. All but the motor (rebuilt by a pro) is original paint. The Kreg fence is a super helpful modern addition.
Our saw was the result of quite a bit of research and development on Delta's part. They had put a lot of energy into finding the most generally practical band saw, with this being the result. They found that a 14" wide capacity is adequate for nearly any task asked of a wood band saw. They also found customers rarely need to cut anything more than 6" thick, so this became the height capacity. An accessory was available to convert the saw to a 12" capacity if needed. There were a number of innovative features in the machine that I will not bore you with, but I do highly recommend one if you can find an old timer. If not, JET does still make a saw based on this one, though I feel like they are somewhat flimsy in comparison. (Please excuse the mess in the workshop. I have a number of irons in the fire. It just makes it feel more "authentic.")