rockwell delta super 900 radial arm saw

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Forum topic by Pete_Jud posted 03-01-2009 11:07 AM 24031 views 4 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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424 posts in 4203 days

03-01-2009 11:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I was just given a radial arm saw for the shop. It had been sitting for a number of years under a shed roof with no sides. I have never been a big fan of the radial arm saw, but this one has caught my fancy. I will post before and after pics as I restore it. I was very happy that all joints, levers, and knobs still moved, and the motor runs great. I have never seen one of these before, and am wondering when they where built. This saw is a 7 1/4 inch blade model, and I was thinking of just using it for cross dados after it is cleaned up. Any info on this old saw would be great.


-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

15 replies so far

View Steve Carniglia's profile

Steve Carniglia

1 post in 3804 days

#1 posted 03-21-2009 05:15 PM

Hi Pete.
We have had one of these in our family for 50+ years. It also runs great. We finally upgraded to the Dewalt 12” chop/radial arm and we are selling ours on ebay as of today. The saw actually will take 9” blades and we built a guard to allow it to take 10” blades. We aluma-welded it together and painted it with the same as the saw . It works just fine. I have the original manuals too and we think the saw was built about 1957-1958. By the way, it works fine for Dado but I just dont like all that medal flying in front of me so we usually use the table saw. The smaller dado blades (4 inch) are a bit more comfortable. It sure is versitile for dados on angles and almost works like a wood mill. Good luck with it. (Its sure a heavy little beast). Steve ([email protected])

-- steve

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3803 days

#2 posted 03-25-2009 03:16 AM

That looks like a nice one. I just picked up a Rockwell Delta 33-791 12” last fall for $500, in extremely nice shape. I contacted Delta asking them about it. Gave them the Model Number and Serial Number, I was interested in when it was manufactured, they were able to tell me February 1978. I was also looking for a manual, wanting to buy one, they found it and sent it, and told me they don’t charge for manuals.

I was also looking for some parts, a missing knob, the kickback bar, etc., all of which I was still able to purchase.

I never liked RAS ’s much either, probably due to the B&D/DeWalt 7740 ( I think) I had which this one replaced. But I like this one, I figured I would, that’s why I picked it up when the opportunity arose, I wasn’t really in the market for one. But I always kind of wanted one of this style but wasn’t willing to shell out $2,400 or more to get a new one.

But I’ve very happy with it now…

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View jagans's profile


20 posts in 3462 days

#3 posted 02-26-2010 12:11 AM

I have been working with a radial arm saw for many years, and for the life of me, I cannot understand the preference for a table saw over the RAS. Yes, The blade is on top. That allows you to see the line you are cutting, it is not hiding below like a snake in the grass. I own a Super 900 and I think that it is one of the best homeowner saws ever built. The way you can micro tune the arm is incredible, and you can make cuts with the RAS that the table saw cannot even think about doing. The trouble with the radial arm saw is that it is misunderstood. I have seen them advertised on eBay and elsewhere sporting blades with dull blades with extremely aggressive attack angles. With a good Blade of 0 degree hook angle there is no safer saw to use because you can see what the blade is doing. A Radial Arm saw can, and should be located perpendicular to a wall that is long enough to build a nice table on which you can feed the work when ripping. With the right blade you can cut any type of material you can think of with a RAS. With a table saw you have an island taking up half your shop that can be used for short boards, and you cant see the cut. I am, of course, talking about a cast iron Dewalt or Delta Rockwell saw not one of the current crapsman offerings. Craftsman did private label Dewalts up until about the early 70’s, and if you have one of them you are OK.

View romiinx's profile


6 posts in 3451 days

#4 posted 03-26-2010 08:13 AM

would any of you fellows know of one of theses saw someone might sell some parts off ?

-- Randy: I make alot of sawdust

View jagans's profile


20 posts in 3462 days

#5 posted 03-26-2010 04:32 PM

Hi Randy,

You may actually be able to buy parts for your saw from Delta Rockwell. Take a look at the Old Woodworking Machines web site. The bearings in the Super 900 motor are fairly common, and easy to replace, as I recall.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5216 posts in 4411 days

#6 posted 03-26-2010 04:55 PM

Pete, you will never be happy with that saw. Send it to me ‘cause I enjoy helping others when they have problems.

-- [email protected]

View Sonofaframer's profile


3 posts in 3267 days

#7 posted 09-09-2010 03:07 AM

First entry, folks; hello all! Among the tools I’ve recently inherited from my father was a marvelous Rockwell Super 900 RAS. I completed cleaning and oiling today, and everything works quite well … with one exception. When you flip the On switch, the shaft won’t begin to spin without a bit of help. Once rotating, the RAS runs quiet and smooth. My dad warned me about the problem; as a result of “giving it a spin”, he almost lost a finger to a router bit. What he DIDN’T do was tell me what I needed to fix. Any ideas out there? I have all the specs written out, if that would help.

-- Michael, Master Framer's son

View fingerless's profile


1 post in 3228 days

#8 posted 10-18-2010 08:12 PM

I need to remove the motor from my Rockwell Super 900 RAS. I can’t seem to figure out how to get it out of the carriage. Perhaps something is rusted stuck or is there a trick that I need to know about?

Any help appreciated, thanks!


View ryzilla's profile


1 post in 3208 days

#9 posted 11-06-2010 09:46 PM

Michael: I just resurected my dad’s old Super 900 RAS. From the sounds of your problem yours has the same issue… try replacing the motor start capacitor. Electrolytic capacitors generally only have a 20-30 year service life. Even if you’re not horribly electrically inclined, this isn’t a difficult fix (the cap is in the housing on top of the motor. You may need to change the terminals to hook up the new cap as well).

I spent $5 (+10 s/h) for a capacitor, and $4 at Ace Hardware for terminals (16-14AWG insulated female disconnect, #34523, or equivalent) and back in business.

Here is the exact capacitor and vendor I used. You may be able to do it cheaper than I did if you know an electrician that has a cap handy or can score one locally

View JTWoodworking's profile


1 post in 3060 days

#10 posted 04-04-2011 05:16 AM

Thanks for the great information on this forum. I’ve been working with an family Super 900 RAS and it just recently developed the pause at start up. I’ll try to cap and see what happens. Otherwise I just cleaned it and re-lubed the bearings. I’m hopeful that the cap does the trick.

-- Jim

View horsepuckey's profile


2 posts in 2712 days

#11 posted 03-17-2012 03:09 AM

I recently aquired a super 900 RAS for restoration and regular use but the nut that secures the blade on the arbor shaft is gone along with the accompanying washer and spacer/ stabilizer. Anyone out there have this stuff for sale The nut is a 5/8 LH . A locally purchased LH nut wouldn’t work. My Thanks: Lucky B.

-- horsepuckey

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4203 days

#12 posted 04-02-2012 06:52 AM

The thing that is holding up the restore on my mine is that I don’t know what size the arbor wrench needs to be. Can’t get the calipers in there to get a reading, and need to get the blade off. I am talking about the flats on the motor shaft. Or arbor shaft. Need that to get the blade off, as the nut on the other side of the blade with a simple wrench is easy.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5640 posts in 2943 days

#13 posted 04-02-2012 11:35 AM

I can’t help with the arbor size, maybe you can get it with a set of dividers. But once you figure it out, here is an excellent wrench to use it’s cheap and well made. These are very thin for working on cone nuts (bicycles) and other tight spots. I use the 14 MM on my Dewalt MBF…the fit isn’t exact, but it still holds more than enough to changes blades. Just convert your size to the nearest metric dimension.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jagans's profile


20 posts in 3462 days

#14 posted 04-02-2012 07:05 PM

The back wrench size is 5/8” If you use an open end wrench, it will have to be 1/4 inch thick or less. You can easily make a back wrench out of a piece of 1-1/2 inch by 1/4 inch flat steel, or just grind down a spare 5/8 open end wrench to 1/4 inch thick.

Good Luck, Jim Agans

View martymarq's profile


3 posts in 1529 days

#15 posted 06-13-2015 07:59 PM

A lot of good info here re super 990. Glad I joined. My question has been partially answered. So I have a chance to get one at an auction VERY cheap, but not in great shape and it’s an online auction so I can’t view before bidding. Table has been replaced with plywood, needs rewiring at least. Recommend taking a chance? Maybe good for selling parts? I repeat, it’s VERY cheap.

-- I wish I had a bigger garage.

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