The Hitachi C10FL I bought off a widow last year has to be one of the best shop investments I have made. It needed a little work, mostly tuning up. Replacing the worn out v-belt with a HF link belt made this smooth running and relatively quiet. I’ve had it long enough to develop a short list of undesirables for this model. Some of the items on my complaint list are well known design shortcomings. Some are just what bothers me for their respective reasons, like the width of the aluminum rails cutting into my workspace, the splitter instead of a riving knife, the steel plate table extensions that just won’t match up for a perfectly flat top, and the favorite: the whale tail fence handle that keeps poking me in the ribs when I am not paying attention. Every product has its compromises and we learn to live with them, mostly. But there was one shortcoming (pun not intended) that bothered me enough I had to do something about it: the height of the saw.
The Hitachi C10FL sitting a proud 37.5” above the floor.
I am 5’ 6”, the last I measured (and I’m pretty sure I may have lost an inch since then), so a 37.5” height is uncomfortable, forces my short arms closer to the top of the blade than I care for when I push a board past the with a push block, and the sawdust coming off the blade hits me in the neck and upper chest. So I did some digging on the Web. While a controversial measurement with some, a consensus is that the average table saw height is 34-36” . Short Sicilians were obviously not on the menu when Hitachi designed this saw. Furthermore, I had its predecessor, the Skilsaw 10” contractor saw on a shop made base, a total height of 34”, to prove that I needed to knock the Hitachi off it high horse.
Close-up of the sheet metal base.
The solution I settled on turned out to be the easiest, the least labor intensive, and the fastest one: I cut the legs down. A total of 3.5” was removed from the legs, one at a time while the saw sat jacked up on a hydraulic table. I removed each leg, measured off the length from the bottom end, cut, placed the caster mounting plate on the new end after press fitting the rubber feet, marked the holes for the bracket, drilled, then reattached. An angle grinder made the cutting easy, followed up by some filing to remove burs and irregular edges. The most difficult part of the task was in unbolting the legs and bolting back on. There isn’t a lot of room underneath the base skirts. One of the by-products of the project is a better location for the casters in relation to the bottom edge. When the casters are engaged now, they lift the leg up enough to allow the saw to clear rough terrain, which my shop floor thrives on. Before this, they barely did so and the rubber feet would drag on the floor.
The solution applied. The tall base skirts made it look stouter than it is.
Close-up of the work done.
A couple of people have remarked on it looking like a ‘little saw’. Picture angles attribute to the misconception. In the end, it’s my saw. It works for me. So there. :)