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Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

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  • Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

    Hey everyone,

    I found a good deal on a 1970s Unisaw and I'm hoping to pick it up this weekend. It's a few hours away and I'll be going by myself. The seller says his heavy lifting days are over, so I'll be loading it on my own. I know it weighs about 450lbs and have been reading a lot online about moving and transporting these things. I have Mazda minivan and a hand cart. Here's my plan:

    - remove the side tables, main table (keeping track of any shims and bolts) and possibly the motor. The fence has already been removed.

    - maneuverer the main chassis near the back of the van with the hand cart. It's in the corner of the seller's garage now.

    - cover the bumper with carpet remnant, lay a piece of plywood against the bumper and tip the Unisaw on it's back against the plywood and bumper.

    - lay another piece of plywood in the back of the van with some pipe to act as rollers

    - lift up on the bottom of the saw cabinet, tilt it onto the pipe rollers and push it into the van. If lifting and pushing proves too hard, I could anchor a chain fall or winch to the front seat and pull it in.

    - strap it down so it doesn't roll around and hit the road.

    Does this seem feasible for one person? I have a 5x8 trailer with ramps too, but the bed is the same height as the van floor, so I don't see any advantage to using it.

    Any advice or feedback would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

    I would tip it in with the main table still on, it is not a big deal. Cardboard on the floor will make it easier to push in.
    Rob

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    • #3

      Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

      Originally posted by iamtooler View Post
      I would tip it in with the main table still on, it is not a big deal. Cardboard on the floor will make it easier to push in.
      Rob
      Good idea. I guess that would keep the weight at the top too, which should make it easier to tilt from the bottom. Might be better to spend the time removing the motor anyway. I did read a couple posts about broken trunnions caused by transporting the saw with the motor attached.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

        I have a general 350 which I move all the time. I hate contractor saws so I would rather move this thing to have the accuracy and functionality of this saw on job sites. I usually use a furniture dolly with a plywood top. Tilt the saw, slide the dolly under and then drag it the rest of the way. Then place a 1 inch strap around the saw and dolly. Now it has wheels. Roll it out to the can. Tilt it into the van and push it into the van. Place cardboard or ply in the van to make sliding easier. If done right, you wont even have to disconnect the furniture dolly. Watch the motor and the handles. If it makes you feel better, take the motor and handles off. These parts are hard to come by if broken. Good luck. And you will be happy with this saw. It ain't no home depot saw stop plastic wonder saw!
        streetcore likes this.

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        • #5

          Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

          Originally posted by emchdev View Post
          I have a general 350 which I move all the time. I hate contractor saws so I would rather move this thing to have the accuracy and functionality of this saw on job sites. I usually use a furniture dolly with a plywood top. Tilt the saw, slide the dolly under and then drag it the rest of the way. Then place a 1 inch strap around the saw and dolly. Now it has wheels. Roll it out to the can. Tilt it into the van and push it into the van. Place cardboard or ply in the van to make sliding easier. If done right, you wont even have to disconnect the furniture dolly. Watch the motor and the handles. If it makes you feel better, take the motor and handles off. These parts are hard to come by if broken. Good luck. And you will be happy with this saw. It ain't no home depot saw stop plastic wonder saw!
          Thanks for the tips. I was thinking about something like that too. I have a piece of plywood with some casters on it that I've used to move stuff around, so I'll bring it as well.

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          • #6

            Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

            how far away is it?
            my shop is a beaver lodge
            steve, sarnia, ont




            1940's Craftmaster Lathe

            https://www.facebook.com/artistryinwoodca/

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

              Originally posted by stevem View Post
              how far away is it?
              Collingwood. Why are the good deals always so far away?

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              • #8

                Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                Have moved a few by myself and as Rob and others have said. Have never removed a motor or top. Having cardboard to slide it on helps a lot.

                Brian
                streetcore likes this.
                If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                • #9

                  Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                  Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
                  Have moved a few by myself and as Rob and others have said. Have never removed a motor or top. Having cardboard to slide it on helps a lot.

                  Brian
                  Good to know. That will save some time and hassle. Thanks.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                    You got a 5x8 trailer. Use that. Stand it upright against the saw and strap it on. Tip the trailer back on its wheels and position the saw properly.

                    The trailer tongue gives lots of leverage.
                    Last edited by Egon; 10-22-2020, 03:39 PM.
                    Egon
                    from
                    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                    • #11

                      Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                      Originally posted by Egon View Post
                      You got a 5x8 trailer. Use that. Stand it upright against the saw and strap it on. Tip the trailer back on its wheels and position the saw properly.

                      The trailer tongue gives lots of leverage.
                      Interesting idea, but it's a very heavy, well built trailer, not an aluminum TSC model. I can barely lift the tongue.

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                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                        Originally posted by streetcore View Post

                        Interesting idea, but it's a very heavy, well built trailer, not an aluminum TSC model. I can barely lift the tongue.
                        Well that does change things!
                        Egon
                        from
                        The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                        • #13

                          Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                          Originally posted by streetcore View Post
                          Hey everyone,
                          I know it weighs about 450lbs and have been reading a lot online about moving and transporting these things. I have Mazda minivan and a hand cart. Here's my plan:
                          A mid 70's unisaw with a stamped steel base cant be 450#, can it? 250-300 tops I'd say. I've manhandled a few unisaws and general 350's of this era and while I'm a fairly strong guy I'm no CFL linebacker,


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                          • #14

                            Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                            I moved my General 650 twice.

                            First time by myself, removed the table only, tilted the saw on plywood and slid it into my Subaru wagon. That part was much easier than I thought it would be.

                            You don't need to remove the motor, if you have space, you may not need to remove the top either.

                            The saw moves around easily on a good handcart, I"d put a ratchet tiedown around it to be sure it's secure, I've taken mine down stairs without issue like that.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Moving and Restoring a Unisaw by myself

                              Using your trailer would be easier. Get the saw close to the trailer and tip it so the edge of the top is resting on the trailer. Then tip it up so it is resting on the top (upside down). You could raise the motor so it rests against the underside of the top for support. Reverse for unloading. This is how I moved my General 650 in the back of my Tacoma.

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