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Thread: vintage Craftsman table saw upgrade

  1. #16
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    Good to know. I've never ordered from them. Only know about them because I have a 113 saw and looked up upgrades once.

  2. #17
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    Any contractors saw, the ones with the motor at the back on pulleys, will suffer from misalignment and will require constant adjustment. While the PALs bolts will make things easier, sadly they will not make the alignment issues less frequent. Its the nature of the beast, e.g., the contractor's saw, exacerbated by the age of the saw.
    Regards,

    Tom

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Mrsa View Post
    Glenn, I had the wrong number. Correct model number is 113.29901.
    This thread may help. Besides Grandpa's a950 Emerson I had a 1970's "113." contractor. I added a decent fence, PALs, machined pulleys and a link belt. I also wrapped a 90# bag of Redi-crete in plastic and tossed it in the base for ballast.
    Emerson Saw.jpg
    (BTW, I don't know why the miter gauge is positioned like that. It was just a photo. Never use your gauge like that.)

    I could get the blade very well aligned at 90 degrees but, as with nearly all contractor format saws, bevel cuts were a challenge. I made a lot of nice stuff on that saw. As I branched out in what I was making, the limitations became more troublesome. I could do operations that the tablesaw was challenged with by using the router table and hand tools. As will happen, a good deal came along on another saw. I upgraded to a hybrid that came with a commercial Biesemeyer fence, cabinet mounted trunnions, etc., and was able to get wonderful, burn-free bevel cuts at any angle I desired. Fortune stepped in again and I upgraded to a 240 volt, 3HP, cabinet saw . . . sort of the entry level for an actual cabinet saw. Had this not happened I would probably still be using the hybrid. As a matter of fact, I am using it right now while I am between shops.

    The 1950's saw I still have is a big step up from the 1970's saw in mass and build quality. I plan to use it as a crosscut station as mentioned in the "revival" thread linked above. You will have to judge if your 1960's machine is a keeper or a stepping stone. This decision can sometimes take years. If you can't make that decision right now I would continue to improve your saw, get some use out of it for a while with the free service of gaining experience as to what will and will not work for you going forward. Consider any upgrades now as a price of admission to the learning game. I am not implying you are inexperienced. I am saying that you may need some hours on your current saw to make up your mind whether it is a keeper or a step toward something else. Enjoy.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-26-2021 at 10:17 AM.
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  4. #19
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    Google Inline industries, they make PALS, and the Dubby saw sled. They have a lot of videos, including one that shows him restoring a Craftsman saw that starts out in bad shape.

    I am sure you can find it on you tube also, but he is THE guy. If you decide to redo it, he sells the PALS, steel pulleys, and a link belt that really smoothed my Dads saw vibrations.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 02-26-2021 at 3:54 AM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McCurnin View Post
    Any contractors saw, the ones with the motor at the back on pulleys, will suffer from misalignment and will require constant adjustment. While the PALs bolts will make things easier, sadly they will not make the alignment issues less frequent. Its the nature of the beast, e.g., the contractor's saw, exacerbated by the age of the saw.
    I've had my 113 saw for over 30 years and I did the alignment about 5 years after I got it. I checked it a couple of years ago and it had moved maybe 0.002 according to my dial indicator. I rarely do bevel cuts so maybe doing a lot of blade tilting is the issue. Raising the blade up and down doesn't seem to bother it.
    Lee Schierer
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    I've had my 113 saw for over 30 years and I did the alignment about 5 years after I got it. I checked it a couple of years ago and it had moved maybe 0.002 according to my dial indicator. I rarely do bevel cuts so maybe doing a lot of blade tilting is the issue. Raising the blade up and down doesn't seem to bother it.
    I can second this. I had one for over a decade and outside of bevel cutting (which I did very little of), it was a solid machine. I did the typical link belt/machined pulleys/Vega fence upgrades and that saw was VERY accurate. I sold it to a friend who needed a good saw, but I told him I had first right of refusal if he ever decides to sell it. It was a really good machine, and I'm hoping he gets Sawstop fever at some point, because I'd like to have it back.

  7. #22
    Thanks Michael for the referral!

  8. #23
    Thanks Tom for the advice!

  9. #24
    Tom, I've come to realize this. My table saw requires constant care which I don't mind giving since I brought it back to life, in addition to a same age radial arm saw, and several hand planes which I inherited from my father. I'm a bit proud for having done so. It has been a good learning experience. The growing question now is how much more money do I want to put into the table saw, even given my emotional attachment. To upgrade the motor and fence system would cost another $500.00 as compared to purchasing a new mid-range table saw. Your thoughts wold be appreciated.
    Mark

  10. #25
    Lee, thanks for the advice! your suggestions will be useful to tune-up the table saw further to obtain more precise cuts. The cost of a new motor and upgraded fence system (Shop Fox or Delta/Biesemeyer) would be another $500.00 investment. Being an owner of a vintage table saw, would you consider such an investment worthwhile versus a new table saw purchase ($1000 to $1500)? Your thoughts.
    Mark

  11. #26
    Thanks Will. I'mgetting the impression that the Craftsman table saw's life can be extended depending on cost, intensity of use, and needed precision.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Mrsa View Post
    Lee, thanks for the advice! your suggestions will be useful to tune-up the table saw further to obtain more precise cuts. The cost of a new motor and upgraded fence system (Shop Fox or Delta/Biesemeyer) would be another $500.00 investment. Being an owner of a vintage table saw, would you consider such an investment worthwhile versus a new table saw purchase ($1000 to $1500)? Your thoughts.
    Mark
    I still have the original motor on mine. About once a year I pull the little plastic caps over the bearings and add a few drops of oil. My motor is 1 Hp and I find it adequate for all the cutting I do. My saw will walk right through 3/4" hickory, maple or oak. I have crosscut and ripped 6/4 walnut, soft maple and red oak with no issues. I've also crosscut and ripped 2 by construction lumber including treated. Unless your motor s failing why replace it? For a little more than $750 you can buy a Rigid 4520 with a 1-1/2 Hp motor, cast iron top, riving knife, extension tables and a pretty decent fence. However the miter slots if a keyed type. At my age, I will stick with what I have as my woodworking is declining in quantity, not increasing. If I were 40's and serious about woodworking and had the money, I would probably buy a Saw Stop. My TS was paid for on the first project I built. The Beismeyer fence was paid for on the first project I made with it.

    I also have a Craftsman Radial arm saw, one of the better ones with a good guard, that rarely gets used since I got my table saw.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 02-26-2021 at 3:48 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  13. #28
    Lee,
    Your recommendations and descriptions of what you have cut on your Craftsman table have been very useful. Aside from my emotional attachment to my table saw, which isn't extreme, I'm 70 years old and I expect to be able to safely engage in workworking for 10 year just for my own interest and pleasure, no production demands. I go back and forth about this issue of further upgrade or buy new, especially if I become more involved in box construction where more precise cutting is required let alone to the wood stock squared (I don't own a jointer and it has been recommended to me one is necessary if I would like to pursue more precise, refined box construction). Not know alot about the quality of brands, in regard to a Rigid, I don't know if I would face similiar problems with aligment and a lack of satistication with component parts (i.e., the fence system). I know Saw Stop is top quality, but at $1500, that's a significant lay out of money.
    I'd like to get your thoughts about the radial arm saw. I had to disassemble the armiture to relube it so I could change the angle of cut from 90 to 45 degrees L/R. I cut out a new cutting table out of 1" MDF board, but haven't finished squaring the table surface to the cutting blade. I've seen pictures of a variety of workshop made cutting surfaces, each having kerf cuts at 90 and 45 degrees L/R. I don't clearly understand the reason. I think it has somethimg to do with the height of the table surface relative to the depth of the blade cut, but am unsure. Is it necessary to make these kerf cuts? Also is the fence scarifical, as I've seen some have similiar kerf cuts.
    Your thoughts would be approeciated.
    Mark

  14. #29
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    I'm 71, don't tell anyone...The problem with Craftsman radial arm saws (and most others) is accuracy and repeatablity. The reason you see cuts at angles in the tables is that for cleaner cuts you need to bury the teeth a little bit into the wood table. The same is true for rip cuts. The stops for angles aren't precise. Swinging from left to right to make a picture frame will be a frustrating experience. Height adjustment isn't smooth going down. The saw throws sawdust everywhere. You get a lot of blade noise with some blades. The size of the table and length of the arm limit your cuts to their range. Sectioning a sheet of plywood on a RAS is not easy due to the work height and limited range from the fence. Some of the saws have very poor blade guards, hence the recall by Sears. Mine has the improved blade guard, but it is a pain whenever you want to change blades. Oh, yes, I almost forgot you should use negative hook angle blades on a RAS to reduce the self feeding.

    Yes you need to replace the fence periodically as well as the table.

    A table saw is a far better tool for nearly all cuts.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  15. #30
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    Nov 2013
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    Waterford, PA
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    If you don't mind spending some time building the rails, look at the VSCT (very super cool tools) fence. You would be able to utilize the existing mounting holes in the saw and it makes a very nice, accurate fence when you're finished. They have videos available that cover the rail fabrications etc.

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