Any tips for making my own table saw

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Blog entry by mellob posted 09-22-2009 01:11 AM 943 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I currently have an old craftsman table saw. The saw itself works fine, it’s the table that is not very good. The center table seems ok, the “extensions” on either side are bent, and I’m afraid that the fence might not be straight either. Here’s what I want to do: tear the saw down to just the mechanics and the center table. Build a cabinet for it, with dust collection (which is absent on the current one), bigger surface for ripping sheets, and a longer fence. Any ideas on easily making sure fence is true with blade? I am going to make the cabinet mobile so i can put it against the wall when not in use. Another reason for a custom cabinet is that I am tall, so I want to raise the table saw a bit. I will have a table top for it that will make it flush with a work bench to extend work surface. Also thinking of adding a router table into it also. Any other suggestions are very welcome and appreciated. Thanks

8 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 3293 days

#1 posted 09-22-2009 04:16 AM

hmmm… are you sure thats what you want to do?

I’m not so sure the pay-off is worth the time/effort/materials of salvaging parts from your old saw to re-invent the wheel.

Besides, if the table isn’t that great, the rest of the parts probably aren’t either (especially knowing its a craftsman).

I would recommend looking for a used saw on Craigslist. Put it on blocks if you want it higher. My saw is on blocks.

-- Happy woodworking!

View darl's profile


3 posts in 2588 days

#2 posted 09-22-2009 04:34 AM

I am using an old Craftsman also. I found two identical saws and used them as extentions. Made a new front rail out of angle iron and maple laminate. A new rip fence from internet plans. Works great.

View Mike's profile


247 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 09-22-2009 06:01 AM

Did you search Craigs List for a Table Saw? How old is the Craftsman saw that you have?

-- Mike, VT

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


115171 posts in 2996 days

#4 posted 09-22-2009 06:03 AM

The parts will cost more than a good used table saw.

-- Custom furniture

View mellob's profile


6 posts in 2590 days

#5 posted 09-22-2009 07:10 AM

Yeah that’s what I was afraid of. I just looked at fence systems and they are more than a new contractor saw. Guess the contractor saw is the way to go since i have limited room in the garage, and not a lot to spend. Any suggestions on a decent one that wont break the bank?

View Mike's profile


247 posts in 2802 days

#6 posted 09-22-2009 05:48 PM

Saw stop makes a good contractor saw, I looked at, it is about $1,800 somewhere in that ballpark. You can pay less a lot less. If you going to cut 4 X 8 sheets of plywood, I would recomend something heavier. I also saw the Dewalt the other day, it looked like a nice saw.

Here is a lnk to read.

-- Mike, VT

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 3293 days

#7 posted 09-22-2009 08:02 PM

Just look for an old Delta or Rockwell (same thing different vintage) that is in decent shape. They are bombproof and you can always get parts and after-market accessories that fit, since they are the most common saw ever made.

I love my classic Delta-Rockwell contractors saw.

-- Happy woodworking!

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3067 days

#8 posted 09-22-2009 08:15 PM

unlike some believe – a contractor saw isn’t any smaller than a hybrid saw, or cabinet saws – in fact, with the motor hung from the back ,it actually takes MORE floor space than the other options… don’t get hung on “contractor saw”. used contractor saws, and used Unisaws are not far off from each other in terms of cost as well, if you can find something in your area on craigslist. here in Boston unisaws go for 400-800 depending on motor, fence, and condition, either one will do better than a contractor saw in my opinion.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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