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Craftsman 113 table saw upgrades.... #1: Not a true blog...

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Blog entry by rhybeka posted 05-03-2014 01:57 AM 1248 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Craftsman 113 table saw upgrades.... series Part 2: Fence »

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed looking at all of the possible/plausible/necessary upgrades that I need/want to do to my table saw (and other tools but this one takes precedence). So I thought well… I should probably put them in some kind of order – not necessarily in any order – maybe somewhat necessity? As a newb, I just want to make sure my equipment is running as well and as safely as it possibly can. It’s already in great condition for it’s age and I’d like to make sure it stays that way while I keep all my digits enact. :) I’m open to opinions as to changing the order or changing items in the list out for other things. If it can be useful to others – great! or even spark discussion – I’m cool with that as well. That or this blog will be my personal notepad. :) So here goes :

1. V-link Belt (Harbor Freight or Rockler)

2. New splitter/anti-kickback pawls/etc a. Shark guard waiting list

3. New Blades (freud most likely) a. Combination (thin kerf) b. Cross Cut (thin kerf) c. Rip (thin Kerf)

4. New Fence (stock fence currently a. Vega 40 b. DIY my own (per other LJ blogs)

5. ZCI inserts

6. Micro-Jig Gripper

7. Miter Gauge a. Low level Incra

8. Cross Cut sled

-- aspiring jill of all trades



13 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

766 posts in 891 days


#1 posted 05-03-2014 02:39 AM

1. New Fence
2. Miter guage
3. splitter and new blade
The above list will make a new saw out of it. Everything else on your list can wait.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

903 posts in 2331 days


#2 posted 05-03-2014 11:21 AM

I own an old Craftsman 113 saw too – a lot older than yours. I am a minimalist when it comes to tools – I won’t do upgrades just to upgrade – if I don’t see a real advantage to it, it won’t get done. That being said, I agree with most of johnstoneb’s list.

1. Fence – this is the single biggest thing you can do that will make the saw feel like a new saw. Sadly, most of Craftsman’s cost-cutting over the years seemed to sacrifice quality in the fence. The Vega 40 is a nice fence but expensive. I am a big fan of the Ridgid fence systems with the extruded aluminum rails – my saw has the AC1036 from Ridgid. Sadly, those don’t seem to be for sale anymore except used. Rolling your own fence is very possible – see Hutch’s homemade fence system here on LJ. That is the way I was going until I ran into a deal on the AC1036 used. But when you factor the cost of those aluminum extrusions, the Vega might look like a good deal.

2. New Blade – this is the second biggest thing you can do that will make your saw feel like a new saw. As I said, I am a minimalist. I use a Diablo (still made by Freud?) combination blade and don’t change to dedicated ripping or crosscut blades. Thin kerf – about 0.1” – it cuts everything I’ve thrown at it with the 1HP motor on my saw: cherry, oak, black walnut up to 1” thick. Reasonably priced and very smooth-cutting, highly recommended.

3. Miter Gauge – feh! Unless you have a really cheap version (plastic!) the miter gauges that Sears sold with their saws are pretty rugged and stay true. I put a simple sacrificial extension from wood on mine and it serves me well. I don’t do many angle cuts, though, just right-angle cross-cuts. YMMV.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

766 posts in 891 days


#3 posted 05-03-2014 12:07 PM

I agree with EEngineer on the blade a good combination blade will cover your blade needs for quite awhile.
If your miter guage is tight in the slot the Sears guage is a good guage. The only way I could get my miter guage to cut square was wrap it with aluminum foil. I tried center punching the bar no dice. I finally replaced it with a low level Incra that was adjustable in the slot and it now cuts square and accurate miters.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2102 posts in 970 days


#4 posted 05-03-2014 01:20 PM

Definitely agree with fence upgrade and a sharp quality blade. Tune it up so the blade and miter slots are square and parallel where they need to be and the saw will serve you well. I might bump up the crosscut sled higher on the list, if you think you’ll be using the saw to make more right angle cuts than angle cuts, from both a safety and accuracy perspective. BTW, I have an older 113 model saw with a Delta T-2 on it and it works well for me. I did add link belts after I built the crosscut sled and tuned it up with the PALS kit.

Good luck on your woodworking journey, and be safe.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View RCT's profile

RCT

85 posts in 2469 days


#5 posted 05-03-2014 03:19 PM

PALS kit +1
If the top’s not square nothing else will help
New blade is a must if the Blade is old/dull check after cleaning (cleaning is cheeper)
If the cutting your doing can be handled with a Cross Cut sled then the rip fence can go down the list
Same with the Miter Gauge but the Incra’s slot bar can be had and should install on to the 113’s gauge
V-link Belt last it will help hide other inperfections but get one when they are fixed
(they are great for the feel of the saw)

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

371 posts in 1839 days


#6 posted 05-03-2014 06:22 PM

Thanks guys! Looks like I should shift my thinking a bit then – and reprice Hutch’s extrusions. The more I think about it the more I’m thinking that’s my issue with my cuts not being straight. I haven’t been lucky enough to find a T2 for decent – though EE may be right on a vega looking pretty good after pricing Hutches out again. If memory serves it’s close – but there’s less work with the vega since all of the holes are in the right places ? I think I can get by with a Freud combo blade that’s decent – the miter may just stay as it is and I’ll find a better piece of scrap wood to beef it up with :)

-- aspiring jill of all trades

View sawdustjunkie's profile

sawdustjunkie

209 posts in 435 days


#7 posted 05-03-2014 06:31 PM

I also have a 113. Craftsman.
I bought a Muelcab fence about 6 years ago. bolted rite on without any problems.
They still sell them. I think there about $290 now.
Check them out. www.muelcab.com

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

371 posts in 1839 days


#8 posted 05-04-2014 04:53 AM

Thanks Steve! I like the look of it – and adding my router to the right side was something I had been considering. Hmmm…$280 isn’t bad.
http://www.mulecab.com/M1040Rip.html

Vega’s coming in not too far behind. I found this on amazon:
Vega PRO 40 Table Saw Fence System With 42-Inch Fence Bar, 40-Inch to Right
by Vega
Price: $257.96 & FREE Shipping

-- aspiring jill of all trades

View RCT's profile

RCT

85 posts in 2469 days


#9 posted 05-04-2014 05:28 PM

You could look here as well
http://vsctools.com/shop/table-saw-fence/

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

1896 posts in 516 days


#10 posted 05-04-2014 06:06 PM

My take, since your miter gauge should be adequate for most work (I finally upgraded to a Osborne—very happy with it), all but 2 & 3 are relatively inexpensive—so I’d do all of those first! You can buy one ZCI for standard cuts and then make your own for dados and angled cuts. The PALS kit will straighten out that blade, and the v-belt makes it much smoother and quieter—far more than I had imagined. I’m a big Grr-ripper fan, but that’s not essential for operating it.

My one suggestion is that you might consider a MJ splitter until you can afford the shark guard.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

371 posts in 1839 days


#11 posted 05-09-2014 12:52 AM

Thanks Charles! Shark Guard is actually in production as I type – t-minus 3 weeks. Saving my current pennies for a thin kerf blade. The debate is which blade first??! There’s too many decent midline blades out there – I’m looking to spend ~$50 – but my debate is combination blade, plywood blade, etc… I’m leaning towards plywood blade first since 90% of the projects I have now are plywood…buuuut…. I’m still on the fence :) I managed to pick up a link belt at HF this past weekend but I haven’t gotten it installed yet.

-- aspiring jill of all trades

View rhybeka's profile

rhybeka

371 posts in 1839 days


#12 posted 05-15-2014 10:32 AM

pooh good call RCT! I remember Mark S. doing a spot on those guys :) Supporting them would be great too. Tough decisions!

-- aspiring jill of all trades

View RCT's profile

RCT

85 posts in 2469 days


#13 posted 05-15-2014 05:34 PM

rhybeka
I was at one time in the process improvement filed. It’s interesting to see ideas come to life
(this guy building a fence for himself) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhZ5Mo9ma2U&list=PL671DEB1C05E2AD96
then to see how the compromises of the design come about to make the idea mass produce-able. The advantage with supporting a group like this is the compromises are explained by having to
repeat steps many times. Rather than the norm of some marketing guy changing design for profit.

-- "Ya but what does he know anyhow?"

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