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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #6: Refinishing a Skilsaw 3410-02 Table Saw Top

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 10-04-2014 06:23 PM 2476 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Pennysaver Acquisition: Delta Belt/Disc Sander & Scroll Saw Part 6 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 7: Marble Pieces for Scary Sharp Sharpening & Cheap Trim Router Fix »

I have already blogged about the poor quality rip fence that came with this model table saw. The minor modifications I noted earlier have made the fence mostly accurate. Eventually, I will either add material to it to build it up in size and maybe make it dead-accurate or I’ll build my own.

Yesterday, I posted a question in the forum about using a Gripper push block system on a textured surface. That generated a variety of comments. What I got out of it is that the rough, textured top that came on this saw was not going to give me a safe working saw. In retrospect, this explains why I have shied away from using it, even when it was the best tool for the job at hand. I just knew it wasn’t safe. I mean, this top is so rough, if I pushed a 12” piece two-by-four on the top, it would move a fraction of an inch and stop dead. I decided I was too far into this project to abandon it. It was time to sand. This is what the top looked like before I got started. That rough texture is not pitting, but hard granules sitting on top of the surface and baked into the powder coat finish:

The aluminum top on the 3410-02 is a very thin casting. The entire saw has to be dead-level to be sure the four corners of the top would be in the same plane. I clamped the saw to the top of a leveled Black and Decker Workmate. I started off the sanding with 150 grit on an 1/4 cut sheet oscillating sander. This got quite a bit of the rough powder coat off and took down to the aluminum some of the high areas. At this point I changed over to wet sanding with 320 grit using a large hand block, using a straight edge as I went to make sure I was addressing high spots and not creating any lows. I finished off the sanding with 400 grit. This is what the top looked like after the sanding:

After sanding, I wiped down the top with a mild detergent and water. When dry, I applied two coats of The Original Formula HC Johnson Wax. The surface now looks like I had applied a couple of coats of Future Acrylic finish to the top:

To test the success of the sanding and waxing, I took that same piece of rough lumber and pushed it onto the top. It skated nicely across and off the back end of the saw.

But of course, this can’t be the end of the tale….

Putting it all together, I once again saw how the riving knife didn’t appear to be in the right plane in relation to the blade. Quite a bit of (more) finagling and I lost patience with. Both bolts came out and I pulled the knife assembly to see what I could find. I blew out the sawdust and made sure it was clean. The knife appeared to be straight. It had to be in the way the mount was securing to the base. Sure enough, the knurled underside of each bolt was moving the mounting plate when tightened down. What solved the problem was the addition of a regular and lock washer to each securing bolt. This is a perfect example of pricing/marketing overriding usability and safety. Here is the riving assembly and mount with the washers added. It’s aligned now:

Next step? Build a heavy wooden base with individually leveling feet. The feet are coming in mid-next-week. I should have the base built by tomorrow.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



4 comments so far

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Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#1 posted 10-04-2014 08:13 PM

I just finished ripping a 2-1/2” strip (measured off the front fence rail) from a piece of 5/8” OSB with two adjacent factory cut edges, the longer of the two against the fence. A square showed the cut edge to be square vertically all along the cut. A straight edge along the length of the cut showed it was dead on and square to the smaller adjacent factory edge. Nice. Even with the rough side running along the table top the wood moved easily across the top. Very nice. But of course, happy endings always end in a twist. The measured width of the piece was 2-7/16” wide. Tomorrow I will work on the taking some plastic off the fence’s clear measure indicator.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

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kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1178 days


#2 posted 10-04-2014 08:27 PM

Why would anyone produce a TS with a rough surface? Odd..
Great to see that you acted on it and got results!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 824 days


#3 posted 10-04-2014 08:32 PM



Why would anyone produce a TS with a rough surface? Odd..
Great to see that you acted on it and got results!

- kaerlighedsbamsen

Thanks.

This isn’t the only table saw I have seen with a textured surface. When I bought it a while back, it was all I could afford at the time. I would have returned it had I used it right after I brought it home.

Why produce something like this? Who knows what drives marketing to do such stupid things. Engineers and marketers should be forced to run what they design and sell.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1178 days


#4 posted 10-05-2014 10:23 AM

I think the marketers are to blame here. Professionally i have seen a lot of weird things happen to a product or a service not related to function once marketing has their say..

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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