Old Blue

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Blog entry by hairy posted 05-16-2012 05:11 PM 3815 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I convinced myself that I need a small tablesaw in my basement. I have a big one in my garage, but I have to move 2 cars to use it. Craigslist came through for me with a Craftsman Model 103.02041, from back in the 1940’s. Here’s the pic from the ad.

It was in use up to when the owner recently upgraded. It’s in great working shape. It was missing 1 small part that I was able to fabricate. The drawer mount was busted, and there is a big hole cut in the bench , under the saw,right where the drawer is. I moved the drawer to the back of the bench, and use the hole as a dust collection port.

I made a crosscut sled and a miter sled. Big thanks to stevinmarin for the miter sled video. It really is that easy

The on/off toggle switch is built into the motor, so I added a switch in the cord where it is easier to use. The saw has a 1/2” arbor, so I’m using 7 and 1/4” circular saw blades with adaptor rings from 5/8” to 1/2”. I have 1 and 9/16” of blade above the sled. If I need more tablesaw than that, I’ll move the cars.

It’s a tilting table, not a tilting arbor. I spent some time making sure the blade was square to the table, then adjusted the stop to keep it there. I thought this was a good time for a Wixey. I set it on the table , zero it out, then crank the table to what angle I need.

With the saw, the Wixey, a half sheet of 1/2” baltic birch plywood, the dust collector fitting, and a new sawblade, I’m right at $120. These old saws are well made and easy to adjust and maintain. If you’re in the market, give these old tools a second look. There’s a lot of work left in Old Blue.

-- My reality check bounced...

11 comments so far

View Randy_ATX's profile


879 posts in 2497 days

#1 posted 05-16-2012 05:37 PM

That is a nice looking little table saw Harry – I love older tools. I am also keeping the link to the simple table saw miter video as I really need to get one of those built!

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View poopiekat's profile


4364 posts in 3790 days

#2 posted 05-16-2012 06:17 PM

Although I’m not that familiar with this model, I started my earliest woodworking on a late ‘50s Craftsman 7 1/2” saw with the hammered bronze finish, under my father’s eye. More recently, I’ve passed on so many vintage saws either because of the 1/2” arbor, or nonstandard mitre slots, i.e. not 3/4” X 3/8”. And now I wish I’d been a little more flexible! Great find on a great saw, Hairy!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3632 days

#3 posted 05-16-2012 06:45 PM

Glad it works for you ,those oldies can be goodies.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View canadianchips's profile


2602 posts in 3052 days

#4 posted 05-16-2012 11:11 PM

These are the tools I like to see . The older the better, still got a LOT of life in them.
Thanks for sharing !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2859 days

#5 posted 05-17-2012 12:02 AM

probably better than a new one from sears

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View gul's profile


400 posts in 3017 days

#6 posted 05-17-2012 06:22 AM

Old is Gold!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3728 days

#7 posted 05-17-2012 12:51 PM

Nice little saw, hairy.

View chrisstef's profile


17489 posts in 3062 days

#8 posted 05-17-2012 01:18 PM

Blue you my boy Blue! My uncle posesses my grandfathers first tablesaw, the small gold version of that craftsman. Ive been tasked with a full on restoration of it in the coming months / years or whenever i can free up the time.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View kevinw's profile


195 posts in 3795 days

#9 posted 05-17-2012 08:25 PM

I have a very similar or identical saw to this one and it has served me well. Bought it 25 years ago. Still using it.

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View jcinwilkes's profile


3 posts in 2746 days

#10 posted 10-28-2016 03:57 PM

I recently purchased a 103.23420 in mint, I mean MINT, condition. The miter slots are 3/16” deep X 3/4” wide. What did you make your runners out of?

-- God is good, God is great, Drums are loud.

View hairy's profile


2729 posts in 3587 days

#11 posted 10-28-2016 04:30 PM

Mostly I’ve used oak. I save scraps just for runners. I need to make some featherboards. I guess any straight grain dry hardwood will work. I also use them in bandsaw sleds with no problems.

I have everything to make a bigger crosscut sled for Old Blue, sometimes it needs it. I’m going to make it 12” x 30” wide. I just need to overcome inertia.

-- My reality check bounced...

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