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Craftsman 10” Contractor Table Saw Model 21833 - Alignment

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Review by smitty22 posted 1513 days ago 19228 views 3 times favorited 63 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Craftsman 10” Contractor Table Saw Model 21833 - Alignment No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Previous review by Bobthebuilderinmichigan and good info from BoardRunner are here:
http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1225
After a few months and a couple of projects with this saw, here are some observations ;
In short, the 351-218330 seems a very good table saw for the price, with most everything I needed included. The rip fence is very good for a saw in this price class, and with a good after-market miter gauge (I caught the Incra 120 on sale) and an upgraded blade, performance is very good. It would more appropriately be classed as ‘hybrid’ vs a ‘contractor’ saw… As noted in another review, contractor saws typically have the motor external at the rear of the saw and are designed for portability, while the hybrid saw with internal motor assembly is actually much closer to a ‘cabinet’ saw. IMHO, no way is this 300 lb thingy a ‘contractor saw’. The only real problems I experienced with my saw were -
• (1) Getting if off the truck
• (2) Assembly instructions in the Operator’s Manual are skimpy at best but with a couple of false starts and interpreting the instructions, saw went together in about a day (I’m pokey).
• (3) Turning it upright after initial assembly, takes a couple or three strong folks.
• (4) A loose motor/arbor belt, easily tightened once diagnosed.
• (5) Blade alignment – see the “Unfortunately” paragraph at the end.
Features that worked or didn’t:
• Main Table – Cast, finished nicely, and very true, miter slots machined just fine. The ‘brains’ of the saw.
• Motor and arbor function – Very Good… Smooth, quiet, good power for rip or cross cut of up to 2” thick hardwoods. Didn’t have any larger stock to try, so jury is still out on the heavy stuff. This is (after all) a 115volt 1 ¾ hp saw, so wouldn’t expect it to feed thick oak very fast.
• Blade – Just OK, but replace with a good one for precision work. The Freud and Rigid worked great for me.
• Blade Access and arbor lock are excellent for blade changes.
• Rip Fence – about 4-stars, not a Beis or a PM2000 but certainly adequate, aligned OK. Just make sure to seat the fence on the front rail consistently each time before securing with the handle. It’s very repeatable if done right. Installation of the fence rails was tedious due to bolt locations.
• Arbor stops – Both the 90 and 45 degree stops adjustments are accessible from tabletop, but seemed a bit mushy.
• Blade Inserts – Both single-blade and dado plates are provided. These are metal and the support ledge bosses are only 1/8” below the table surface so zero-clearance inserts are a little more trouble to install (have to be relieved for the support bosses).
• Off/On Switch – nice, easily turned off with knee or leg. Downside: easily turned off if bumped or if switch cover allowed to fall back from lifted position.
• Extensions = OK but sure would have preferred cast versus the powder-coated steel versions.
• Blade Height/Angle adjustment – Worked OK but obviously not premium mechanisms.
• Riving Knife – and OK does it’s job. Very nice adjustment mechanism to lower or remove it.
• Blade Guard and Anti-Kickback Assy – Both work OK.
• Caster system – Outstanding! The 4 swiveling casters make it really easy to move. In the ‘down’ position on the rubber feet the saw is very stable.
• Dust collection – Chute at the bottom with 4” port, worked very well and easy access to clean saw interior by just removing the rear panel.
• Blade/arbor adjustment – this done via 4 (not 3 as manual says) bolts that hold the front and rear trunions to the bottom of the table. As noted by a couple of other LJS reviews, the socket bolt head diameter used here is too small and can be resolved by replacing those bolts with 10mm x 1.5mm x 30mm flange bolts. Without this change, the blade adjustment was nearly impossible.

Unfortunately the saw I bought has a critical defect. Even after changing the trunion bolts, the horizontal blade alignment changes radically from the lowest to highest blade positions, as much as .080” at the rear edge of the blade with respect to the front of the blade. Changing the blade angle also changes the horizontal alignment, although less severely. This condition appears to be caused by a casting or machining defect in the main arbor/motor assembly, and is not possible to correct with just arbor or trunion adjustment.
Sears service when contacted was helpful and says this saw can be repaired within the 1-year warranty period, but after the 90-day return/refund period requires removal of the saw base and fence (and return to a service center) to allow them to ship it back for repair. At this point that’s way too much trouble, and I’m pretty sure I will just sell the saw as is and reinvest in a better quality unit. After all, the blade can be aligned very well at any single height, sort of like a stopped clock that’s right at least twice a day!

If anyone has had any luck correcting this condition, I would sure appreciate knowing the solution. Thanks!

-- Smitty




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smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days



63 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#1 posted 1513 days ago

I’ve never had much luck correcting any of the many problems I’ve had with Craftsman saws. I hope it works out better for you.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile

thatwoodworkingguy

375 posts in 1527 days


#2 posted 1513 days ago

I never usualy use craftsman tools. The sander I got from them is one of the worst I have used to be honest.
I hope you have good luck with this saw.

-- thatwoodworkingguy.com ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11638 posts in 2285 days


#3 posted 1513 days ago

They wouldn’t allow you to return it or exchange it ? Does the showroom model do the same thing ?
Other than wrenches and screwdrivers (hand tools), I’ve had no luck with any of their power tools at all.
None of their help has a clue and other than selling us an extended warranty , that’s about all they can offer us : (

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#4 posted 1513 days ago

Dusty, No return or exchange since it’s past 90 days, but they will repair it if I bring it back in minus the legs and the fence. I just don’t feel like taking it all apart (again) and don’t have much confidence they would fix it anyway.

Thanks for the suggestion on showroom model, but I think the local store sold the last one several months ago.

-- Smitty

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smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#5 posted 1513 days ago

Another very good review and discussion of this saw is here: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/990
Several followup posts addressed the same alignment issue experienced on mine. Phillbob noted that the blade alignment problem was due to a mismachined arbor support bracket pivot. No solution.

-- Smitty

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#6 posted 1512 days ago

Update: PhilBobb was dead on the money: The problem he noted is the same as mine, machining and casting errors on the motor bracket and main trunion cause a varying interference between the trunion and bracket as the blade is raised or lowered. This causes the blade motor bracket and arbor to skew as the bracket rotates on the main pivot pin that connects those two.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1290a.jpg

After a long day of working this, my saw is now an empty lifeless hulk, but I’ve completed the machining to correct the problem. Tomorrow I’ll reassemble chinese torture puzzle. http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1310a.jpg

If anyone is interested in the fix, I’ll start another post in the Tools section showing the details. It’s an ambitious project!

-- Smitty

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2064 posts in 1662 days


#7 posted 1512 days ago

I bought mine about 2 months ago. I haven’t had a problem at all. I do admit that it is quite heavy. I almost had a cow picking it up to put it up right, should of had some help. But every time I check the allinment it dead on runs quite and roll around real smooth. As far as the on off switch. It’s moveable, I would move it to where its far out enough on the rail to not be bumped easly, but can still be turned off with you leg or knee.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View ewoodzman's profile

ewoodzman

1 post in 1891 days


#8 posted 1512 days ago

In the early 70’s I too bought a craftsman table saw that I could not align. The resulting kick backs convinced me to give up on it for safeties sake. I have not bought a Craftsman power tool since. I wish you good luck and I hope this resolves to your satisfaction.

View gbook2's profile

gbook2

10 posts in 1510 days


#9 posted 1510 days ago

smitty22: Thanks for the comments on the alignment problems with the saw. I too am having alignment problems when I raise and lower the blade. I thought it was a rip fence problem, but every time I brought the blade to its highest position, it was in perfect alignment… until I lowered the blade a little, then I saw it was way off.

The idea of lugging the thing out of my basement and having Sears send another one is just a miserable thought.

How did you end up fixing it?

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#10 posted 1510 days ago

Hi gbook, I’m going to create a blog or new thread with the process that it took to fix this mess, but in a nutshell:
1. Drop the the motor to free up the main trunion assembly.
2. Remove the trunion assembly.
3. Machine the motor/arbor support structure to provide clearance between it and the main trunion assy.
4. File or machine the excess web casting from the main trunion.
4. Shim the motor arbor support so that the edge of the lower spur gear area rides on the main trunion boss/bearing area.
5. Reassemble the whole thing.

Here are a few pics that might give an idea of the scope of the fix:
The Problem Area – Pic #1
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1290a.jpg

Crooked holes – Pic #2
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1328.jpg

Main Trunion assy, cleaning up the casting where it interferes with the arbor/motor plate:
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1326.jpg
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1327.jpg

Machining the arbor/motor trunion:
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1385.jpg
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1382Medium.jpg

Primary milled area, before/after:
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1319a.jpg
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1394a.jpg

The Result, almost back in operation:
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d134/Tex223/Woodworking-1/IMG_1412a.jpg

IMO, would have been easier to take it back, but no guarantee that it would have been fixed right, so I just did it meself! Best of luck with yours.

-- Smitty

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smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#11 posted 1510 days ago

Well, the table saw is all back together but the news is not good. The blade slewing as height adjusted is still there. not nearly as bad at the highest position but still unacceptable. Blade stays reasonably straight up to about 2” blade height, so it’s at least useable for 90 deg cuts of up to 2×4’s. I’m speculating that machining of the motor/arbor trunion pivot or other bearing surfaces is involved, but that will remain a mystery.

Sorry I couldn’t come up with a solution for others with the same problem.

-- Smitty

View gbook2's profile

gbook2

10 posts in 1510 days


#12 posted 1507 days ago

smitty22, I’m sorry it didn’t entirely work out, but thank you for your detailed description of your fix. I decided after reading the steps you posted that it was not worth it for to try to fix it myself. So I’m returning it and have Sears coming to pick up the saw tomorrow. Thankfully they said they will refund the entire amount I paid, and will not charge for pickup. I did need to take off the motor and trunnions to get the thing into the basement, so hopefully Sears will help me get the pile of steel out of the basement now.

I saw the 21833 isn’t listed on Sears.com any longer. Maybe they noticed all of the problems too and decided to pull it. The saw has a lot of good features, but if it can’t cut straight, its not worth anything.

I decided to go for the Grizzly G0438RL saw instead. It is about $200 more than the 21833, but I think it will be well worth it.

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#13 posted 1506 days ago

gbook, sounds like a good move, best of luck with the Grizzly!

-- Smitty

View Chriskmb5150's profile

Chriskmb5150

253 posts in 1673 days


#14 posted 1506 days ago

Had this saw for a few days. it had terrible alignment issues so i took it back. (i was nice enough to put it back in its box) got my money back and shopped around for a week or so. Would’ve probably bought the delta 36-715 with the T2 fence if the guys at woodcraft in austin had it set up better. (the fence was stuck and it seemed to not be set up very well.)
so I decided to get the 22116 with the granite top and biesemeyer-style fence because it was only $662 and seemed like a decent machine. First 22116 to arrive was damaged in shipping so i refused it. Second 22116 is due any time now. 22116 seems like a good saw for the money, i guess time will tell. I wouldnt buy the 21833 again no matter the price.

-- Woodworkers theory of relativity - the quality of your scrap is relative to your skill level

View smitty22's profile

smitty22

590 posts in 1544 days


#15 posted 1505 days ago

Me Neither!

Hope the 22116 works out well for you.

-- Smitty

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