|Project by EEngineer||posted 10-05-2008 07:03 PM||17260 views||8 times favorited||18 comments|
I’ve blogged about the restoration of a 40-year-old Craftsman table saw. After restoration and tune-up, it has been an excellent addition to my shop. Buuut…
The switch always bothered me. Craftsman put a tiny rocker-switch on the bottom of the table. Reaching under the table and feeling for the switch was always a chore and, in a panic situation, trying to shutdown was downright dangerous!
Adding a new fence with 36” to the right of blade really improved the ability of the saw, but I was always fighting the long extension with no table under it for thinner stock.
And dust collection – a perennial problem with contractor saws.
1. I ordered a decent machinery switch from Grizzly. I mounted it to the far left-hand side of the fence – out of the way, easy to access. I really think the switch belongs on the left anyway – I am right-handed and tend to support stock with my right hand, leaving the left for starting. Also, in a panic situation, my right hand would probably be guiding or supporting stock and the left hand would be free to shutdown.
2. I enclosed the back of the saw and added a 2 1/2” dust port to the base of the saw for my shopvac
3. I rewired the motor and switch (still 120 VAC) with an accessory outlet to turn on the shopvac when I fired up the saw.
4. I built an extension to the table to fit between the extra length on the fence – 3/4” MDF edged in cherry and laminated with leftovers from a kitchen remodeling job years ago.
What a difference! The saw is much nicer to use now. As an added bonus, the switch seems to have improved saw performance, too! It used to dim the lights and take almost 3 seconds to run up to speed. With the new switch, it comes up to speed in less than 1/2 second and the lights barely flicker. I think the old rocker-switch was adding quite a bit of resistance to the circuit and causing the motor to draw more current. I was seriously thinking about running 220 to the garage but that seems unecessary now.
(Please ignore the messy shop in photos – there just never seems to be enough time to clean.)
-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"