Rockwell (Delta) Bandsaw Refurbish

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Project by Jeff posted 06-01-2009 08:03 AM 29882 views 12 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend of mine got this bandsaw while stationed in Hawaii. When he moved back to the states, it sat on a ship for a couple of weeks at sea and most likely where it rusted, but I have a feeling it was in bad shape before that. Anyway, he loaned it to me indefinitely, so I thought while I was going to be using it I would fix it up a bit. Before I saw it, I knew the table would need some work, but I had no clue what kind of shape it was in.

At the first look, it appeared to be in okay shape, nothing obviously broken or missing. It is a Rockwell 14” floor model, and I think it was made in 1977. The model # is 28-200. There is what appears to be a date code in the cast iron, 11-30-77. I did a little research on it, since I had basically no knowledge of band saws, and tried to find some users manuals or something on it.

After disassembling the whole thing, except the riser, I laid out all the pieces and got to work. I first cleaned all the parts with a dry cloth then used Boeshield’s Rust Free to get the top clean. I also used one of those sanding blocks that is solid sanding material. Hard to explain, but I bought it at Woodcraft, worked great as you can see. The top was in the worst condition. I used a product from Boeshield called Rust Free to remove the rust. It is non-Toxic and biodegradeable. I also used T-9 for lubrication and protection on the bare metal parts and also a blade cleaner from Boeshield. The paint was Rust-Oleum Gloss Protective Enamel. I cleaned up the small parts like the knobs and bolt threads with a wire wheel and some good ole elbow grease. I even went so far as to repaint the letters on the Start/Stop switches. And that was the only piece I had to replace was a screw that held that switch to the base.

All in all, this was a fun project since I really didn’t know much in detail about tuning or adjusting a bandsaw. Well, I sure had to learn when I put it all back together. It works well, but I have a hard time with curves, not sure if the tension is not right or if the guide blocks are not adjusted correctly, but in any case it has worked well for a couple of years now.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

15 comments so far

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4777 days

#1 posted 06-01-2009 08:26 AM

Looks like you did a very good job. I have almost the same saw, only mine has a six inch riser added to it…it runs 105” blades…and it has worked great for years.

-- Don S.E. OK

View jack1's profile


2169 posts in 5478 days

#2 posted 06-01-2009 08:28 AM

You did well on the refurbishing. That Boesheild is outstanding stuff on any cast iron top. I would suggest a Carter upgrade for guides. The bearing sets they have will make a Ferrari out of your saw. My Ridgid cuts just about as well as my friends Laguna!

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View BarryW's profile


1016 posts in 5357 days

#3 posted 06-01-2009 08:30 AM

superb job…I’ll bet it works just great…

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4915 days

#4 posted 06-01-2009 08:35 AM

Good job! Nothing like bringing a solid well built tool like this back to new. A good tuning will make a world of difference with a bandsaw. Tension, tracking on wheels, guide set, top guide height and start cutting.
Enjoy, there should be lots of fruit for this labor of love.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Jeff's profile


95 posts in 4748 days

#5 posted 06-01-2009 08:48 AM

I forgot to mention that I did replace the tensioning spring, rubber wheels and guides and of course new blades. Thanks Jack1 for the suggestion. I would really love to be able to use the saw to it’s full potential.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 5371 days

#6 posted 06-01-2009 09:28 AM

You did an awesome job bringing this saw back to it’s former glory. Is that a cast stand it is sitting on? I bet the thing wieghs a ton if it is.

View waxman's profile


51 posts in 4772 days

#7 posted 06-01-2009 02:53 PM

Well done. I love those old machines. Made back when steel was king.

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 5316 days

#8 posted 06-01-2009 05:26 PM

Looks nice. I’m working on a Delta knock-off of the same style and it was in bad shape before I started too.

-- He said wood...

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

558 posts in 4967 days

#9 posted 06-01-2009 05:37 PM

I have exactly that same saw to restore…two of them actually. I have only had the motors rewound (traded for some woodwork actually) and replaced the tires (on the one like yours). That one will get a riser block and a 1.5 hp motor. The second one has an open stand and when I finish it I will sell it. Both are older machines and the closed stand says Rockwell. The previous owner did all of his work in an open shop and on a dirt floor. His power cords were those little brown jobbies with about an 18 gauge (if he was lucky) wire. He ran them from overhead light bulb sockets and used the extenders that hold a bulb and have the outlet on the side of that extension. No wonder all of the motors were burned up. He had just bought a new band saw and a new belt sander. I stongly suggested to him that he consider having an electrician look at his set up which almost got me thrown out of his shop. “I know what I am doing”! So I loaded up his band saws and three 6”x48” belt sanders and all of the motors that he had not thrown out and left.

Thanks for giving me something to shoot for in the restoration arena as well as convincing me to use Boeshield.

-- jstegall

View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5099 days

#10 posted 06-01-2009 05:50 PM

fantastic (both the saw and the restoration)!

just looking at the before-after I’m building a sweat here… lol

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4812 days

#11 posted 06-01-2009 07:01 PM

Now that is a good restoration… will repay you for a long time.

View danr's profile


154 posts in 4635 days

#12 posted 10-06-2009 06:01 PM

Nice Job,

I have not heard of the Boeshield product. I will have to check that out. Thanks.

PS, I love the beer can rust ring on the top. I don’t know how many times I have had friends and family over to the shop and the first thing they do is set a beer can down on one of my cast iron surfaces….. never fails.

Thanks again for the tip.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4509 days

#13 posted 07-16-2010 10:53 PM

I have that same saw that I purchased from a local cabinet shop that was upgrading to something larger. If you PM me, I can send you a PDF of the owners/operater manual for that machine, or you can download it yourself from the website. Just click on the support tabs and then enter in the model of the band saw. It will tell you everything you need to know about how to adjust it and get it tracking right. It is a good saw.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View mcgriffith's profile


87 posts in 3847 days

#14 posted 12-08-2011 04:32 PM

This inspires me to maybe restore the Bandsaw I was just given. My co-worked just told me a few days ago that I could have an old bandsaw he was not going to use. It has a broken part – he said it was cracked, and I think it might be the riser you have been talking about. He gave me a CD of pics and the manual he found – not the right one but very similar, so I hope it works.

I have not got the new saw yet, but will wait until good weather to get it. I dont know much about the bandsaw operation/tuning and adustments so will be learning alot too.

I look forward to using that little contracption when I get it and fix it. Oh, I almost forgot, it is a Jet brand, and I believe it is a 14” model. I also just got a belt sander 3×24 that needs some TLC and a new cord – are they easy to replace?

-- Michael TX, Not even my wife understands my sense of humor.

View CharlesI's profile


2 posts in 3506 days

#15 posted 11-08-2013 05:08 PM

Hi all,

I’m trying to rebuild a Rockwell 28-200 14” band saw…. I am looking for a owners manual, (I have a parts list) It’s not available at Delta. Does anyone happen to have one that they could send via email? I checked on online but I could not find it there either.

Thanks everyone

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