Project table saw

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Blog entry by dschlic1 posted 04-07-2013 06:40 PM 2480 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have felt the need for a good table, however my budget did not permit purchasing a new saw, or even a used saw in excellent condition. So I haunted Craigslist for the last several months. I found a Craftsman contractor style saw with cast iron table and cast iron wings. The seller wanted $125, but when I saw the condition of the unit I said no way. We finally settled on $90. I knew that I would have to completely disassemble and clean up the unit. It was quit rusty. However the saw ran fine, and the blade would raise and lower (stiffly) and tilt. The seller had the miter gauge, fence, blade guard and inserts.

When I got back home and started to disassemble I started to think what have I gotten my self into! Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the saw as it was. However here is a picture of the table top before cleaning:

When I finally had everything apart and started to clean it up, I realized that mechanically the saw was in excellent condition, perhaps I didn’t buy a pig in a poke.

In cleaning up this saw I had a lesson in rust removal. I tried chemicals, electrolysis and mechanical removal. The best is mechanical removal. I wore out a 4 1/2” wire brush on my angle grinder. Of the chemicals I tried, vinegar works the best. However you have to soak the parts for several days, and change out the vinegar.

In the end I have a nice looking saw that is in excellent condition. Here are several pictures of the cleaned up saw:
The inside:

Exterior views:

The table cleaned up quite nicely, and the original machine marks are still visible. However the two side extensions sag along the 27” dimension. They sag about 25 thousandths in the middle. The front and rear ends of the extensions are true and square and line up with the center table. This actually looks like a manufacturing defect as the machining marks are still visible. I do not know how much this will affect the operation of the saw.

The fence was set up to rip 24” on either side of the blade. I really wanted to have 30” rip capacity to the right of the blade, so I move the rails (which are actually angle iron) to the right 6” or so. I had to drill some new hole in the angles and also in the extension tables. After some adjusting the fence lines up to with 0.010” of parallel to the miter slots.

The electrical switch was mounted on the right hand side of the saw, however I moved it to the left side and replaced it with a paddle type switch.

7 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3117 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 07:42 PM

It looks great! I’ve been eyeballing these old saws on CL, I’m going to have to take the plunge and upgrade from the old Ryobi.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View StumpyNubs's profile


7578 posts in 2766 days

#2 posted 04-07-2013 09:51 PM

A lot of great stuff has been made on those old Craftsman saws! I think with your tuneup and a little regular maintenance, you will have a nice machine. Enjoy!

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View taoist's profile


124 posts in 2457 days

#3 posted 04-07-2013 10:24 PM

Since the wings aren’t cast as solid pieces, you may be able to fix the problem with them not being completely flush. If there is 3 or more fasteners at the mounting area where they attach to the main table, you could keep the end ones tight and loosen the middle while using a jack to push up the middle. It might take an extra set of hands but it would be doable…Just a thought. I think you got a good deal on the saw.

View dschlic1's profile


421 posts in 1935 days

#4 posted 04-08-2013 04:55 PM

Taoist: Cast iron cannot be cold formed. It must be heated red hot in order to bend or deform it. Not a simple task. Cast iron will warp due to internal stresses, and for this reason I suspect that it is a manufacturing defect.

The model number of the saw is 113.298843. It appears to have been built in 1994. And believe it or not Sears still has parts for this model! Which makes it a even better bargain.

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3117 days

#5 posted 04-08-2013 05:17 PM

Doesn’t sound like 25 thousandths of an inch will affect your cuts at all.

I also like your idea of shifting the angle irons to increase cutting capacity.

Do you think on one of those wings could be replaced with a router table insert?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View dschlic1's profile


421 posts in 1935 days

#6 posted 04-09-2013 04:57 PM

The addition of a router table in place of a wing is a good idea Mauricio. However the wings are currently supporting the angle iron rails for the fence. Any modifications to the fence system are on hold right now until I have a better idea of my finances. My wife is under going cataract surgery next week. I need to find out how much that is going to cost.

Depending on that situation, I may purchase an after market fence.

View Dakkar's profile


323 posts in 1893 days

#7 posted 04-09-2013 05:16 PM

In that case, I don’t think I’d try to add a router table. It’s easy enough to make one of those separately. I’ve even seen one mounted to a wall on hinges. About all I’d consider adding to this one might be a movable outfeed/assembly table sometime, but only if I was planning to cut some lengthy panels.

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