Table Saw Station #1: Getting Inspired

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Blog entry by MDeSchepper posted 01-11-2010 05:38 AM 8484 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well my wife has heard a few complaints I’ve had with my current table saw. Okay, a few years ago after we bought our first house I wanted to start woodworking as a hobby. I only dabbled the little amount in middle school. After that high school and college I never really did any woodworking. So for Christmas one year after in the new house (and a garage I might add) my parents bought me a craftsman table saw. See below:(image courtesy of

Portable Craftsman Table Saw

It had a great benefit of being very portable which was a plus having only 1/2 of a two car garage. My wife does get the other half while my truck is parked outside (it is a F-250 and won’t fit either). Quickly I began to see some cons with the saw. First and most importantly was it is very top heavy leaving me with a very unsafe feeling while ripping plywoods. Second was the large amount of plastic that it’s built out of, especially the plastic top. No standard track like everyone else’s table saw. Anyways, I don’t want this to be a review so I’ll get back to the point. Christmas ‘09 brought me a 1956 Craftsman 8” table saw. Real old but simple and durable. Plus it’s heavy and has that nice cast iron top we all love. It was in fair shape. Needed some cleaning but no major rust issues. Here it is:

Now I can get inspired to work around this! So my first step is to turn this into a cabinet saw. A new fence is in order as the stock fence won’t stay square and is wobbly. After much searching I found an inspiration to follow. I found these at

I have some ideas for some modifications to meet my needs and wants but those are still stuck in my head. Now to put them to wood.

-- Mark DeSchepper -- The things I make may be for gifts for others, but making them is a gift to myself.

4 comments so far

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3509 days

#1 posted 01-11-2010 06:34 AM

Good luck to you. I think you’re gonna like that old saw, especially with a new fence system. Budget for a really good blade if you haven’t made the purchase already. My opinion, FWIW, is the blade is one of the holy trinity of a TS system, the other two being the fence and the TS itself. Post pics as you progress.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View MDeSchepper's profile


37 posts in 3095 days

#2 posted 01-11-2010 04:19 PM

Yeah, the blade that came with was a 7 1/4” circular saw blade. Previous owner’s idea of cutting wood was using a chain saw so I don’t think he ever really used this properly. Right now I’ve got my eye on either a Freud or a Forrest. Also open to any ideas or advise along the way.

-- Mark DeSchepper -- The things I make may be for gifts for others, but making them is a gift to myself.

View Grandson_Of_Rue's profile


31 posts in 3085 days

#3 posted 01-11-2010 09:15 PM

I am partial to the Freud stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with the Forrest stuff I am just not one to use it and it seems I always read good things about Freud and nothing much about Forrest. Friud works great for me and I use saw blades, router blades and the Diablo Dado. One last thing on Forrest what I have heard has been positive and from woodworkers so I feel that is some merit.

My 67 delta uni was a great saw but mediocre at best for accuracy untill I added the new fence, a Jessem Miter and invested in high end blades. Now it is an accuracy champ.

I ahve this similar set up but mine is a contractor saw so I added a Bench Dog Router extension table which is a direct cast iron bolt on to the Ddelta and really nice. For those of us with restricted space these types of set ups are very useful. Oddly enough I use the entire table when routing fairly often.

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 3213 days

#4 posted 01-12-2010 02:51 AM

Yes,,, good luck to you. I just built a cabinet for my SawStop contractor saw and I also added a router at the end of the table. I had the plans that you show here but I ended up purchasing another set that was more in line with what I wanted ~ A solid base with heavy duty casters because I too use my garage as a shop and need to get my wife’s car in the garage. Check out Woodplans Online if you’d like to see them. I also posted my progress on a blog yesterday if you’d like to check it out ,,, All I have left to do is some cosmetic work (wood fill, paint and trim). I tweaked the design quite a bit to add a lot more storage but the mobile base is exactly as it was in the plans.

If you go with the plans from ShopNotes (i believe that’s where they’re from) I recommend enclosing the router to contain the dust.

-- Ted

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