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Thread: Time to upgrade the old Sears Craftsman Table Saw.

  1. #1

    Time to upgrade the old Sears Craftsman Table Saw.

    Well, I guess after 20 years of good running, it was bound to happen. The old Sears Craftsman table saw decided to seize up on me. The right turn handle broke and the rod that turns the blade to the right, is all froze up. WD40 not doing anything for it. Besides that, the motor pulley keeps coming loose. Time to treat myself, and the workshop to a NEW TOY, ER , I MEAN, TOOL!!!!

    Not wanting to spend a ton of money, because it is a Basement workshop, and who knows; in a couple of years I may get a better house and finally a Garage or a walk out Basement! So, I was thinking of another contractors type of table saw. I saw a Delta table saw in Lowes Model 36-725. Looks a heck of a lot nicer than my old Sears Craftsman tablesaw!

    Anyone checked that tablesaw out ?

    Would it be a step up from the old Sears table Saw ?

  2. #2
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    I have that same saw and love it. If you are on a budget and have limited space this saw fits the bill. I have jigs that I have built that I can do just about anything on it. It's portable and can be moved easily. I put an extension table on mine and it can get tippy on that side if I put too much weight on it without putting some counter weight on the saw top. The saw was surprisingly accurate right out of the box. It has a bessy style fence that is very accurate.
    One drawback is the dust collection on this saw. I have put a tablesaw hood under it to catch most of the dust from underneath but its not as effective as I would like. The 2 1/2 port coming from the blade guard leaves a lot to be desired. My next purchase for this saw might be a shark guard for the top.
    All in all, for the money I think you would be happy with this saw if you are on a budget.
    BTW, I changed mine to run on 220 and the saw starts faster and I seem to get a little more power out of it. Might be my imagination but seems better. Draws less amps.
    The blade that comes with it is fair at best as is with most saws. I switched to a WoodWorker II and it cuts amazing on this saw.

  3. #3
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    Just about anything is going to feel like an upgrade I would think.

    If I were you Iíd take the opportunity to get a cabinet saw. Should be able to get a used Unisaw for $500ish, if you are okay with possibly a little work to tune it up. A caninetbsaw takes up the same space as a contractor saw, sonspace isnít a reason not to get one. And theyíre heavier but take off the cast iron top (100 pounds maybe?) and the sheet metal cabinet, guts, and motor are much easier to move. I think this is one of those times where you should buy one cry once kind of deals.
    I have 3 machines over 1000 lbs in my basement shop, and a 4th waiting in the garage. Donít let weight stop you!

  4. #4
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    A contractors' style saw, a hybrid saw and a cabinet saw are going to take up about the same "relative" space, so don't limit your choices merely because you perceive that a basement shop should influence that choice. Yes, a heavier machine requires a little more work to get down there (and back up when you move), but there can be benefits. And given you want to be careful about budget, it's often very possible to acquire a nice pre-owned cabinet saw for similar money to a new contractors' style saw.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Just about anything is going to feel like an upgrade I would think. If I were you I’d take the opportunity to get a cabinet saw. Should be able to get a used Unisaw for $500ish, if you are okay with possibly a little work to tune it up. A caninetbsaw takes up the same space as a contractor saw, sonspace isn’t a reason not to get one. And they’re heavier but take off the cast iron top (100 pounds maybe?) and the sheet metal cabinet, guts, and motor are much easier to move. I think this is one of those times where you should buy one cry once kind of deals. I have 3 machines over 1000 lbs in my basement shop, and a 4th waiting in the garage. Don’t let weight stop you!
    What should one look for in a used Unisaw? This one is for sale in my area for $750 - https://jacksonville.craigslist.org/...410542236.html
    Also how hard or expensive is it to add a 220 volt circuit? My garage is only wired for 110V.
    Is a Delta Unifence a good thing? Or bad?
    Last edited by Marshall K Harrison; 01-13-2018 at 8:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall K Harrison View Post
    <p>
    What should one look for in a used Unisaw? This one is for sale in my area for $750 - https://jacksonville.craigslist.org/...410542236.html Also how hard or expensive is it to add a 220 volt circuit? My garage is only wired for 110V. Is a DeltaUnifence a good thing? Or bad? </p>
    I'll let others comment on the sale price, but it's likely very reasonable. As to a circuit, the cost depends upon access/distance and whether or not you need to hire this out or not. If you can do the work yourself, it's basically materials cost for appropriate wire a breaker suitable for your panel and other supplies. If you need to hire it out, electrician rates vary and the time required can't be known without them looking at it. Figure a couple hundred as a ballpark, but again, you'll need to speak with a local resource.

    As to the UniFence...best thing since sliced bread, AFAIK, as it works the same way that the rip fences on Euro sliders work. Some folks don't like them, however.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-13-2018 at 8:58 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    In my area, post would have been deleted by author several hours ago. Here Uni's go for north side of $1500.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    In my area, post would have been deleted by author several hours ago. Here Uni's go for north side of $1500.
    This is the only local one but others within a few hours drive have been lited for $1500+ which has me concerned about this one. I don't feel qualified to evaluate it if its still for sale. Don't know enough but I have been strongly considering the Delta 36-725 and this is only $150 more. Not bad if the saw is in good working order and nothing is about to go wrong with it.

  9. #9
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    Marshall - Be aware that Clist link shows a RIGHT tilt saw.

    See how the arc slot goes up and to the left ?

    Can spot it a mile away if you remember that.

    Most folks are used to a left tilt, you can easily Google the pro and con opinions.

    But generally, a R tilt saw will sell for less than the similar L tilt... only due to overall less demand.

    Marc

  10. #10
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    Clarence - I personally would not for a moment consider a new Chinese saw when there is so many good solid machines on the used market.

    You should tell your planned uses for the saw, and your location.. Are you in or near a populous area?

    If so, have you checked your local availability like on Craigslist?

    You should be able to find a clean Unisaw or older Powermatic w a Biesmeyer or Unifence for around a couple hundred more than the new one you're considering... maybe a few hundred more if you need it quickly.


    Also, is that new Delta direct drive?

    In a budget saw like that one, if the motor dies, you may have a boat anchor.

    Marc
    Last edited by Marc Jeske; 01-14-2018 at 3:38 AM.

  11. #11
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    Marshall:

    $750 isnít a bad price. Unifence is a good fence (make sure all the parts are there - fence and rail). Iíd ask to test the motor to make sure it fires up. Run the wheels all the way through their travel and make sure it tilts all the way to 45. Peek inside to see if there are any obvious issues like a cracked trunnion (this is hard to do honestly). An easier way to do it is to remove the top, which can make moving/lifting it easier.

    As for the right tilt issue, I think the whole left tilt is safer argument is bogus marketing. The. Ice thing about right tilts is that blades stack away from 0, meaning weather you have a think kerf blade or a dado installed your fence measurements will be accurate.

    Adding a 220V circuit is pretty simple if youíre mechanically (electrically) inclined and aware of safe electrical practices. If youíre uncomfortable with the hookup part, run the wire to the panel and have an electrician check your work and do the final tie in. An alternative is to plug into your drier outlet if thatís close to your shop. I did this at a rental years ago.

  12. #12
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    Thanks of the advice everyone. Much appreciated. Marc - thnks for the warning on the right tilt saw. There is anothe one about 50 miles from me but it appears to be a right tilt also though ot a bad del at $1800. https://gainesville.craigslist.org/t...446604653.html


    Also, the Delta 36-725 aand its brotehers are belt driven. My dream saw is a Laguna Fusion F2. I just love the look and feel of that saw. Probably end up with the 36-725 until I "prove myself" to SWMBO then make a jump to the F2 when I can better afford it.


    Matt - thanks for the advice. Unfortunately the drier is in a separate room so I would have to cut a hole into the garage wall into the house to use it. And my electrician frend has moved to the backwoods of Kentucky so I can't call in any favors for help with this. My house is all steel construction so I would have to use conduit on the outside of the wall.


    I'm on a budget so a cheaper saw will probably have to be the way I start out. The Unisaw may be a good deal at $750 but by the time I deal with the electricity and anything I may need to fix on the saw its probably going to be out of my price range.
    Last edited by Marshall K Harrison; 01-14-2018 at 9:44 AM. Reason: fix formatting screwups

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Jeske View Post
    Marshall - Be aware that Clist link shows a RIGHT tilt saw.

    See how the arc slot goes up and to the left ?

    Can spot it a mile away if you remember that.

    Most folks are used to a left tilt, you can easily Google the pro and con opinions.

    But generally, a R tilt saw will sell for less than the similar L tilt... only due to overall less demand.

    Marc
    I think you'll find that most older cabinet saws are right tilt. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, interest kicked up on left-tilt saws and they became more and more the focus of folks buying this format of saw because it was easier and safer to bevel workpieces, especially panels, while using the saw surface to the right of the blade. This is likely why listings like that of older machines are often right-tilt. Unless they are PowerMatic, of course, who frankly led the charge early on for left-tilt formats.

    Not that I ever want to go back to a cabinet saw from my slider, but if I had to, I would only get a left tilt version myself. That's what my previous Jet was from the get-go, purchased in 2000.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    Well, this was an interesting day !!!

    Spent about 3 hours today in the Basement tearing apart the Sears Craftsman Table saw . Found the date code on the Saw. It is not 20 years old. It's 22 years old. Made in 1996. It's a 113 Model. Checked the parts website, and some parts they have, some they don't have anymore. Well, It was a real pain tearing that thing down. Still have won't be finished until tomorrow. But, what I did find, was not good.....

    That rod that has the turn wheel on the right side of the Saw, that is rusted, and it popped out of place. Tried shoving it back into place. But, whatever that piece is called where the end of that threaded rod goes into, that is cracked. Don't know if it is from rust , poor manufacturing, or just age.

    The inside showed signs of rust. Some of the threads on the screws and bolts were rusty. When I got the Saw blade off, I could see rust on the shaft.

    Looks like it's all going to be scrap metal

  15. #15
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    Sounds like a potential safety issue was brewing, Clarence. Scrapping it is probably a good idea given the dearth of parts availability.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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