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Breathing life into a trusty saw

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Blog entry by GodofBiscuits posted 122 days ago 963 reads 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought my Craftsman table saw about 6 years ago now and it’s been a good saw as long as you took extra special care to ensure the horrid fence it came with was straight each and every time you moved it. The fence system that came in these saw is appalling to say the least and down right garbage when compared to a good biesemeyer style fence. Last week using the saw, I moved the fence and spent several minutes trying to get it straight so I didn’t ruin the beautiful piece of curly walnut I was about to run through it when I lost it, ripped the fence off and chucked it out the door and half way down the driveway. Not having the funds available to buy that shiny new sawstop cabinet saw I’ve been drooling over the last couple years, I set out to find an inexpensive alternative. After an hour or so of weeding through forums on craftsman tools and a post on this sites forums, I decided to go ahead and replace the fence system with the Delta T2 fence and rail system. I mean, after all, it wasn’t the table saw itself I was unhappy with, just the joke of a fence it came with.

Let me tell you…. I have never been this happy with my crappy little fifty dollar craigslist find than I am now with it’s new fence system installed. It cost me just over $150 for the fence and rails but man oh man was it worth every penny. This thing is amazing and after some initial modifications to get it to fit my particular saw, and fideling with the alignment, this thing is dead nuts accurate. I now can set the fence on the saw using the tape rule on the tube and know its exactly where it saws it is. I have it down to +/- 5 thousandths and the fence locks down perfectly parallel with the saw blade. My initial cuts while setting up the alignment were so much smoother than any cuts I’ve made before and thats even with it being out of alignment at first.

This is the table saw as I’ve used it for years. The right side wing has already been taken off as the stamped steel wings were pretty much useless to begin with.

With the old fence removed, I had to spend some time measuring the mounting holes and getting everything lined up so I could drill new holes for the front and rear rails. the table looks so small without anything attached.

With the Delta T2 system installed, I now have a table saw that will hopefully serve me for another 6 years at least. With the longer and heavier rails, I can now make a set of wings that will work a whole lot better than the stamped steel wings that came with it.

With the fence at Zero, the blade sits at the face of the fence perfectly.

All in all it wasn’t the easiest thing to get installed since the mounting holes in the fence rails did not line up with my saw but with a lot of measuring, a lot of mocking up and marking and four very nerve wracking holes later, I have a table saw I can use without frustration. Not to mention all the material I am going to save because my fence isn’t garbage.

Now to make a couple wings, slap a router into one and start building some jigs so I can get the full potential out of my saw.

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?



5 comments so far

View jroot's profile

jroot

225 posts in 2146 days


#1 posted 122 days ago

Oh, I am SO glad to see this posting. I am cursing the saw I have because of the @#$% fence that comes with it – measuring front and back EVERY time one cuts a board.

Thanks for your input.

-- jroot

View Bothus's profile

Bothus

428 posts in 1800 days


#2 posted 122 days ago

Great post thank you.

I gave my Craftsman table saw to my son a few years ago and even though he is not really a woodworker I’m tempted to upgrade his fence just like you did. I hate that ol’ fence.

Thanks for posting.

Jerbo

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View jbartle's profile

jbartle

13 posts in 669 days


#3 posted 122 days ago

Did the upgrade to my Craftsman that I bought new in 96 with a Vega 40 inch. Wish I had not waited 15 years to do it. If you make a cabinet for the base you will enjoy the upgrade even more.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

640 posts in 796 days


#4 posted 121 days ago

I changed to that fence last summer on my Cman saw.. It actually made a decent tablesaw. I was actively looking for another saw when I did the upgrade.
You will be so happy with that fence.
The other thing I did was upgrade the miter guage with one that would adjust to the width of the slot.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Roger's profile

Roger

14311 posts in 1428 days


#5 posted 95 days ago

Oh heck yes! You’ll be happy as a Lark with that new fence. I added a Biesemeyer to my old ‘50’s Craftsman, and luv every cut I make with it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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