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Thread: Are Craftsman table saw miter grooves nonstandard?

  1. #1

    Are Craftsman table saw miter grooves nonstandard?

    Good morning Guys,

    New member here so don't be too hard on me on my first day!

    I have a Craftsman 10" table saw (model #137.218071) that I'd like to build a sled for. However, I've been told that Craftsman tables have non-standard miter grooves so "standard" miter bars won't fit. Can someone shed some light on this?

    Thanks!

    Harvey

  2. #2
    I can't speak for your model saw, but my Craftsman TS has 3/4" wide miter slots and all the accessories I've purchased fit just fine. I believe there were some models that had T slots that were different.
    Lee Schierer
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  3. #3
    The older Craftsman table saws had miter slots that were 3/4" wide and required bars that were slightly under 3/4" to slide properly. Normal (i.e. Unisaw) miter slots were sized slightly larger than 3/4" so as to fit a 3/4" bar. Therefore Delta accessories would not work on the Craftsman saws because the bars were too big.

    I believe at some point Craftsman joined the modern world and used normal sized miter slots, but I couldn't tell you when. It is easy enough to find out if you have a 3/4" wide bar of something or a caliper than can measure to about a thousandth of an inch. The old Craftsman ones will be about 0.075" and normal ones will be closer to 0.755" - 0.760"

  4. #4
    No need to buy "standard" miter bars, make your own. My favorite material is leftover scraps of engineered hardwood flooring, others use hardwood or other materials.

  5. #5
    My Craftman's table (made from a stamped sheet aluminum) has two slots. They are .650 wide x .390 deep. However there are 4 short "tines" (2 on each side) that are level with the table's surface that prevents any miter bars from lifting straight up out of their slots. (Would this be a cheap version of an inverted T-slot?) The original fence that came with the saw fits quite loosely in the slots. (Perhaps this is yet anther reason why Craftsman is no longer an industry leader it once was!)
    Last edited by Harvey Hartman; 11-23-2019 at 5:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Hartman View Post
    Good morning Guys,

    New member here so don't be too hard on me on my first day!

    I have a Craftsman 10" table saw (model #137.218071) that I'd like to build a sled for. However, I've been told that Craftsman tables have non-standard miter grooves so "standard" miter bars won't fit. Can someone shed some light on this?

    Thanks!

    Harvey
    They don't seem to give any specifications on the miter gauge online. Looking at the picture it doesn't appear to be a standard 3/4" slot like the old saws. Anyway any sled I've ever made I just used a piece of hardwood such as hickory for the runners. I've never had to replace the wooden runners.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Columbus, OH
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    Definitely go with hardwood runners. I bought some 1x4 maple at HD which is about 3/4". I hand sand the runner to better fit my slots. Nice thing about having some hardwood on hand is that I can make a sled when needed for a specific purpose. I have 4 different sleds now, 2 general purpose and 2 for specific tasks. I only have about $5 invested in runner stock for all of those.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Elmodel, Ga.
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    Like Harvey, I once had a stamped aluminum jobsite Craftsman saw. The miter slot was 5/8". The tabs could be cut out to accommodate some accessories but not worth the effort for me. I tired quickly of the small surface and limited use and bought a larger Delta contractor saw.
    SWE

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    9,641
    Hi, if You’re building a sled make runners from quarter sawn hardwood. No measuring required.

    I wonder if your saw is metric?

    Regards, Rod

  10. #10
    Lots of good info above on your question.

    Another material to consider for runners is Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) plastic. It's solid and slick. It can be machined easily with hand tools, so you can custom fit it to your milter slot's size. Here's an example, but you can find it cheaper elsewhere. LINK Caveat: I used it on a sled that saw only occasional use - I do not know how it would hold up under heavy use. (But under heavy use, I'd expect wood runners to also wear.)

    Good luck,
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    NE Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Lots of good info above on your question.

    Another material to consider for runners is Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) plastic. It's solid and slick. It can be machined easily with hand tools, so you can custom fit it to your milter slot's size. Here's an example, but you can find it cheaper elsewhere. LINK Caveat: I used it on a sled that saw only occasional use - I do not know how it would hold up under heavy use. (But under heavy use, I'd expect wood runners to also wear.)

    Good luck,
    Fred
    This how I make nearly all jig runners. No seasonal movement (which in my shop, even with quarter sawn hardwood means you either have a loose runner in the winter, or a sticky one in the summer), and the added bonus that they are infinitely adjustable for fit. If oversize, a shoulder plane will make quick work of a couple of thousands of extra runner, and undersized, if mounted with countersunk conical head screws, you can adjust the runner to a perfect fit simply by torquing the screws a bit. With these techniques, zero-play jigs are a breeze.

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