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Upgrading Rockwell finishing machine (sander) using parts of old table saw top

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  • Upgrading Rockwell finishing machine (sander) using parts of old table saw top

    As I indicated in another thread, I recently upgraded to an identical table saw that I had (Delta 34090A) and saved all the parts (motor, handwheels, etc) as spares. My first saw had a slight dip in the cast iron top around the blade opening, making for bad bevel cuts, and imprecise tenons. I'll stash away the stand and body as a possible future machine stand. Then there remained the big heavy cast iron top. Well I'm not one to shy away from an angle grinder and metal cutoff wheels, and thought I'd use parts of the top to upgrade a big ole, heavy Rockwell finishing machine that was given to me a few years ago. Those who know this machine know how well built and sturdy this machine is. The one I got had had a previous, unsuccessful attempt at taking apart and some parts were missing, shafts peened and crushed form hammer blows, and a platen that was heavily gouged at the table level. It must have been used mostly for metal work. At the time I took out the platen and used my welder to add metal to the gouged area, and then made a stainless steel plate to create a mostly flat sanding area. It worked, though the upper part of the platen was still rather warped, bent inside.

    In taking a fresh look at it, I figured that I could make a new platen using part of a good edge of my previous table saw top. The platen is essentially a flat area about 15" x 6.25" with a right angled flange on one side where it bolts to the sander. The edge of the saw table to the miter slot was about 1/4" wider than the platen, so that made for a good width with a clean edge.

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    Original platen in the front, new one in the back, before a few final trimmings. The new one I made is about twice as thick as the original, and should hold up well, especially since I'll mostly be using for wood sanding. You can see the discoloration on the original one from adding metal with a welder, as well as the stainless steel "wrap" I had added.

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    Fitting the new platen. I used shims along one edge of the flange to get it in line with the plane of the rollers:

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    That was done, and adjusted so that the platen was parallel to the miter slot in the table.

    Well when I first got this machine and researched it on the web I saw that it came in two versions: one with just the belt sander, and another with a 12" disk sander also on the right side. I had the belt only version. It was obvious that the optional disk would be mounted directly on the shaft, over the pully coming from the motor. I had been wanting a 12" disk sander and had managed to create this attachment using a 12" spoked pully that I've had kicking around for a long time. To it, I mounted a sanding disk that was an accessory for a Beaver 3400 lathe. I had to cut off the threaded center part to get just the flat disk. Then I made mounts for a fixed table using welded angle iron bars and made a small table using a piece of white melamine. I used it that way for a few years quite successfully:

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    But now I still had this hunk of shiny cast iron table saw top that looked good for making a real table, complete with miter slot. So I went back to that saw top with the cutoff wheels and made a new top that very much looks like that one Rockwell had of the disk equipped model.

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    Much better now! Aligned with miter slot parallel and perpendicular to wheel using shims.

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    As to what's left of that table saw top... little gets wasted here!

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    nnieman, LeftFinger and 3 others like this.
    Happiness is a new blade!
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  • #2

    Re: Upgrading Rockwell finishing machine (sander) using parts of old table saw top

    Well done, based on what you have done so far I'm sure you'll find a use for the remaining pieces of the top.

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    • #3

      Re: Upgrading Rockwell finishing machine (sander) using parts of old table saw top

      What a brilliant idea! Bravo.
      beachburl likes this.

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