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Old 08-16-2012, 11:42 AM
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Default Northfield #4 tablesaw

I have the chance to buy an old Northfields tablesaw.
5HP 3 phase, direct drive motor. This belonged to a school in LA, and was auctioned off in 2006. A Japanese guy living in the US at the time, bought quite a few old iron machines and had them shipped back.
He's using an Oliver, so wants to sell the Northfields.
Has anyone used one?
Cheers!
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

It's a beast. You need be über-careful... Nothing, and I mean nothing is going to stop that motor.

Don't ask me how I know. Great machine though, but unless you're cutting... say, 8/4 hard maple you probably don't need such a pig.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

That's the attraction for me, Craig... I love old iron beasts they say those old direct drive northfields are so smooth and powerful, they put a lot of newer machines to shame
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okami View Post
That's the attraction for me, Craig... I love old iron beasts they say those old direct drive northfields are so smooth and powerful, they put a lot of newer machines to shame
Okami,

Rutager has a Northfield #4 tablesaw that is also three phase but I do not remember if it is 5 or 7.5 hp but he swears by it. I also know that it weighs in at about 2000 lbs and can take up to a 16 inch blade which is just mammoth. I hope that he will see this thread and will give you more information especially about the sliding table and what it is like to use it. By the way, Northfield is still alive and well and are headquartered in Minnesota. I hope that this helped.

Fred
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

Okamisan,

I never used a Northfield, but it looks like a great saw.

However, I'd stay away from that 3 phase stuff if were you.




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Old 08-16-2012, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

Not only that, but my recollection is that, other than a portion of the Kansai, Japan runs on 60 cycles so you should be good there. No way that old motor is a universal!!!

Can you imagine a country with one portion on 50Hz and one on 60? Yeeessshh
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

Finally, I can be useful.

Okami,

They made(make) several versions of that saw: standard, regular sliding and a huge sliding table. I have the regular sliding version and I will say that is amazing and I can do large scale things and very tiny cuts due to the sliding table. The accuracy is excellent, fences pin in with 1/2" steel pins and my miters come out dead on. Some people brag about getting a nickel to balance on their saw while it is running, I can put the nickel on it and then start it up and the nickel stays! I would not hesitate to buy it if it is in good shape.

The motors are 3 phase and direct drive, so would be very difficult to get single phase- I use a static converter and it has worked great for over ten years, they say you lose 20 percent of power with a static, but doesn't seem to matter in use.

Now for the bad parts: if you don't use a guard, you really must mind off cuts as they can end up beyond the blade, which is safe on a standard saw, but all of a sudden you pull back the sliding table and guess where the off cut ends up? Back of the blade, and then usually your hand- ouch!; there are several pinch points that you need to be careful of when you move the table; and lastly because of the direct drive, it takes "forever" for the blade to stop spinning and towards the end it is quiet and still spinning- they offered brakes electronic or manual and I retrofitted a manual one- should have done the electronic except it was $700 vs $300 for manual. I make a habit of retracting the blade after use, just to be safe.

One last item, not a big one, but it has a bigger arbor 1 1/8" or larger, they had several options. Also, if you're so inclined, they offer a 4" arbor extension to hold a huge dado stack- imagine paying for a 12" dia 4" wide dado set!

Any more questions, let me know.

Rutager
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

Thanks Fred!
These saws rarely show up around these parts. Although its old and in need of a paint job, I still feel its a good buy. I couldn't buy an old Japanese equivalent, with half the power and quality for the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FredWest View Post
Okami,

Rutager has a Northfield #4 tablesaw that is also three phase but I do not remember if it is 5 or 7.5 hp but he swears by it. I also know that it weighs in at about 2000 lbs and can take up to a 16 inch blade which is just mammoth. I hope that he will see this thread and will give you more information especially about the sliding table and what it is like to use it. By the way, Northfield is still alive and well and are headquartered in Minnesota. I hope that this helped.

Fred
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

3 phase power already waiting for it here, John

Quote:
Originally Posted by joraft View Post
Okamisan,

I never used a Northfield, but it looks like a great saw.

However, I'd stay away from that 3 phase stuff if were you.




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Old 08-17-2012, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Northfield #4 tablesaw

I know...it's bizarre, isn't it?
I live on the Kyushu island, and we do use 60 cycles here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaRanger View Post
Not only that, but my recollection is that, other than a portion of the Kansai, Japan runs on 60 cycles so you should be good there. No way that old motor is a universal!!!

Can you imagine a country with one portion on 50Hz and one on 60? Yeeessshh
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