Rockwell Bandsaw

I attended an auction at a local estate today.  The guy who had lived there had a nice 60’x20′ woodworking shop with a good selection of hand and power tools. By good, I mean he had a lot.  He had two woodworking lathes, four scroll saws, two drill presses, a planer, a jointer, a shaper, a bandsaw, and a table saw to name most of the stationary power tools.  It seems like he was a pretty talented guy.  I bid on and won a Rockwell International 14″ model 28-200 bandsaw.  It was easy to pick out because it has been repainted….or attacked by sherbet ice cream.  I haven’t looked it over deeply but it appears that it is in good running condition.  They ran the bandsaw before the bidding took place for a few seconds.  Then it went “pop” and the blade stopped moving.  Maybe this was good for me?  I found out after the auction that the bottom pulley was loose and had come off the motor shaft.  No big deal.  From what I’ve found out, I think this machine was made in Pittsburgh during the late 70s.  This wasn’t be best years for Rockwell but I’m hopeful that it’ll serve me well.

Here it is in all it’s orange and green glory.  Being a rather mundane person, I prefer all my machine tools in gray like God intended.  The paint job on this one does look to be in pretty good shape though so I’m not going to go to the trouble of removing and repainting it.  This model bandsaw includes the lower base where the motor is housed.  This way it should stay clear of any saw dust.  The little box out to the left side in the picture is a wooden add on by the previous owner.  He had them on all his machines and kept some of the tools that go with each machine in them.  This one includes the the Allen wrench for adjusting the guides. Seems like a pretty good idea though I might remove it if it sticks out too much.  If you’re observant, you have probably noticed the mess of magazines in the background of the picture below.  I bought them at the auction as well.  Seven boxes full of mostly woodworking magazines for $2.50.  I never knew there were so many different woodworking magazines.  I’ll be sorting for a while.  There were also a couple books as well that seemed interesting.


Here it is from the back.  The metal box behind the saw houses the belt and pulley keeping objects and fingers away from them.


Yes, it appears this machine did start out as gray.  I guess the previous owner didn’t feel like repainting everything though.  Some of the small bits under here are rusty so this will all come apart and be cleaned up.


The biggest rust issue is a relatively light coating of rust on the table .  It won’t take much to get it cleaned up.  The saw didn’t come with a fence but did come with a Craftsman miter gauge which is not pictured.  I almost lost the red table insert on the way home.  Luckily it landed in the bed of my truck.


An unsurprising issue with this saw is that the tires, the black rubber bands on the wheels, are dry rotted and cracked from age.  I’ll get some new ones to put on.  I’m not sure what the wheels are made out of.  In the older saws they were made out of cast iron (see my Craftsman Bandsaw) which was good.  These look like some kind of aluminum or zinc alloy.


Here’s the lower wheel.  It is similar to the top as far as dry rotting goes.  The plastic knobs hold the doors (covers maybe) on.  The red knobs under the table adjust the lower guides.


The tag.


Within the base is the original Rockwell 1/2 hp motor.  I would have gotten a picture of the motor tag but there was no way to do so without removing the motor.  The previous owner had wired the motor for 240V operation.   I rewired the motor according to the tag and tried it out.  The blade ran up instead of down. Oops.  The tag tells you how to reverse the motor, which I did, and was good to go.  Now, I need to get a new plug for the cord.


How did it get home?  In the S-10 of course.  I’d considered laying it on it’s back, hence the piece of wood, but a friend and I were able to get it moved in and out of the bed of the truck without a problem.   The auction was only a couple of miles from my house and the bandsaw rode fine strapped down.

Expect some posts in the future as I work on the bandsaw.

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