New (to me) 1970(ish) Delta 34-450 - Questions/Guidance

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Forum topic by GMM59 posted 05-27-2022 01:39 PM 327 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 29 days

05-27-2022 01:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw delta unisaw tablesaw

Hello folks, new member here…

I recently acquired a new-to-me Delta 34-450 with a serial number that decodes as being roughly 1970/71 timeframe. It’s a 3-phase model. I have cleaned it, polished the table, and I’m almost done completely rewiring the entire system from cord to converter to motor.

It came with the old style tubular rails and original delta fence. The work I am interested in doing is reasonably high precision, so I am worried that this old system will not be good enough for more than rough sizing.

So, I’m considering upgrading to a Biesemeyer style rail and fence system, but in doing my reading, I’m increasingly confused by a few questions.

Lots of ads talk about Delta type-1 vs type-2 for rail selection. My Unisaw is the 27” table with both cast iron wings. It has multiple cabinet openings, not the single one. How do I find out if the rail system will fit a saw like mine?

Also, there are a lot of ‘fancy’ rail/fence systems out there – Incra, ShopFox, etc. I’m looking for a reliable, stable, non-finicky system – any suggestions? Any suggestions for the miter sled? Incra seems to make a nice one.

Is anyone still making a high quality extension table? The one that came with this saw is a clearly shop-made extension constructed out of laminated particle board that’s been around too long in the sun.

3 replies so far

View Knockonit's profile


1278 posts in 1692 days

#1 posted 05-27-2022 02:10 PM

try the search function, so many threads on fences and options.
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View MrUnix's profile


9041 posts in 3688 days

#2 posted 05-27-2022 03:31 PM

It came with the old style tubular rails and original delta fence. The work I am interested in doing is reasonably high precision, so I am worried that this old system will not be good enough for more than rough sizing.

The Jet-lock fence was a t-square type similar to the Biesemeyer and others. If your rails are in good condition, it is a nice fence and was used by thousands for many, many years without any issues. The main complaint is that you can’t just lift it up off the machine due to the rear lock. I would give it a try before throwing a few hundred more bucks at the machine.

As for the Biesemeyer, you will have to drill holes – which you will have to do regardless of what fence you get. They do not just bolt up right out of the box. Biesemeyer (and now Delta since they purchased them) made two fence types… a commercial version, and a home shop version. The main difference was the size of the rails/guide tube.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View yamato72's profile


57 posts in 445 days

#3 posted 05-27-2022 03:41 PM

The original Jet-Lock fence (which sounds like what you have) is a very stout fence – does yours have the micro-adjuster (little knob on the lower right of the fence head)? A lot of folks like that and Biesemeyers and their clones don’t have it.

Accuracy vs Precision is what we need to understand here. If by high precision, you mean that you want to read and set the fence solely with the gauge/pointer on the Jet-Lock, then I understand where you are coming from as you will need an auxiliary way to measure your cuts. Honestly for high precision I use a tape or ruler anyway with my Biesemeyer-style Accu-Fence.

If by high precision you instead mean you need a fence that stays parallel after being set and re-set, the Jet-Lock is quite rigid and will work well.

FYI, the aftermarket Biesemeyer fences (and some clones) will have factory-drilled holes for the Unisaw and potentially others (Delta 12/14, PM66 come to mind). These can be found used. When properly aligned the Bieses usually stay aligned and the main issue with accurate (er, precise?) rips becomes, is the fence face laminate or UHMW (the latter of which can be wavy). I do not know if the clones always have Unisaw specific holes.

Do you have a budget in mind? And are you looking to avoid marking and drilling holes? Biesemeyer-style fences can be fabricated if you want to go that route. You could also purchase materials for just the rails and guide tube, and purchase a Verysupercooltools fence.

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