I want to modify my silly craftsman moter slots to standard 3/4??

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Forum topic by frostwood posted 09-16-2009 07:50 PM 2440 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 3216 days

09-16-2009 07:50 PM

I want to modify my silly craftsman miter slots to standard 3/4. So , I am contemplating taking a 3/4 inch straight router bit and widen the slots from .650 to .750( 3/4 ) . I am interested in your thoughts on the matter, specifically using the router to widen the aluminum slots.

-- With each new day, celebrate life. Love God with all of your heart. Share Jesus with those around you and make a positive impact on those you meet. Bob

15 replies so far

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4080 days

#1 posted 09-16-2009 08:36 PM

That scares me even thinking about it. I would second the advise of DaveR.

-- Hope Never fails

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 09-16-2009 08:42 PM

Any decent machine shop could do this for you.
You probably will have to remove the casting yourself.
As others have mentioned you will still have a Sears saw when you are done and well…


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View JimGuy's profile


5 posts in 3204 days

#3 posted 09-16-2009 08:47 PM

Frost – I have an older craftsman tablesaw with the same issue so I sympathize. When I inspected the underside of my table, the casted material didn’t seem to be “bulky” enough to be able to remove much of anything in the miter slots. I would heed the warnings above and let the beast alone. On the bright side… you get really good at making custom jigs for the saw ;)

-- JimGuy, StAlbert

View WoodByNoff's profile


1 post in 3203 days

#4 posted 09-16-2009 09:03 PM

For the price you’ll pay to get a machinist to alter the C’Man….you can sell the saw and buy a good replacement with standard grooves.

That router idea won’t work – you’ll burn up a bit and/or a machine. You’ll also probably end up with a large hole in the abdomen!

-- TomNoff

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3491 days

#5 posted 09-16-2009 09:37 PM

The other option is to make your own hardwood runners for the miter slots you currently have. The runners can be attached to any and all of your new and exsiting jigs and miter gauge. Cheaper than machining the top or replacing the saw and much safer.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3311 days

#6 posted 09-17-2009 01:34 AM

Don’t do it. Milling bits for aluminum have polished flutes and special geometry to allow for machining such a “gummy” metal. With a little heat aluminum quickly builds on the flank of the cutting edge and the speeds of woodworking tools will supply that heat in a heart beat. If you’re lucky the router bit will fail in a possibly harmless manner and, if unlucky, will grab your work quick and amazingly destructive force. At times I struggle with gummy metals when using the proper speeds, feeds, tooling and machines. I often work wood with metal working tooling and techniques but avoid trying to work metal like it was wood.

View Wingstress's profile


339 posts in 3544 days

#7 posted 09-17-2009 01:39 AM

Don’t do it! Read lwllms post above. You could seriously hurt yourself. This is not a joke. I’m an engineer specializing in aircraft design and a woodworking hobbyist at night. Although the concepts blend, the speeds feeds, materials, DO NOT!

-- Tom, Simsbury, CT

View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 3388 days

#8 posted 09-17-2009 02:06 AM

As stated above, DO NOT USE A ROUTER. If your ever coming through upstate S.C. give me a shout and bring your table. I’ll put it on the Bridgeport for you and you can see if it will hold up.

-- Scott, South Carolina

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#9 posted 09-17-2009 04:19 AM

I’m with some of the other guys REPLACE THE SAW.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Karson's profile


35126 posts in 4429 days

#10 posted 09-17-2009 05:22 AM

All of the above.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View frostwood's profile


38 posts in 3216 days

#11 posted 09-17-2009 06:09 AM

Thanks to all who responded to my situation. I have made a red oak runner for a crosscut jig etc and I will check the thickness of the table top. I have a new saw on my wish list along with a drill press and a jointer but this years wood working budget is long since been overrun. I am drooling at the Sawstop and the Grizzley 690 series. In that case it appears the extra $2000 for the Sawstop is primarily for the added safety feature, which hard for me to justify at this time. The new ridjid 4511 is interesting at $450 nut I am a little hesitant on the smaller 1 1/2 hp. as I do want any new purchase to be my last.

-- With each new day, celebrate life. Love God with all of your heart. Share Jesus with those around you and make a positive impact on those you meet. Bob

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3203 days

#12 posted 09-17-2009 07:08 AM

I have a Ryobi BT12S with 5/8” miter gauge slots, too.

After spending [insert absolutely ridiculous number here] hours trying to make miter gauge slot runners so that I could have a lousy, stinking crosscut sled, I finally got smart and ordered a Bosch 4100-09 saw … with industry-standard 3/4” slots and much, much better performance.

The only downside: the aluminum deck (brother rep’s Magswitch. Won’t work on non-magnetic top….).

My thought: the non-industry-standard slot is NOT the only shortcoming of this saw.

I’d replace it :-)

-- -- Neil

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3590 days

#13 posted 09-17-2009 03:37 PM

LOL – Even if you survive the attempt, any hint of accuracy (uniform width of slot, parallelism to blade) would be long gone.

Like others have said, start figuring out how to swing a new saw. Good luck

-- Joe

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3742 days

#14 posted 09-17-2009 03:52 PM

A note on the Rigid, I have the Rigid 3650, (same motor) and it handles the loads quite well. At the current go wrong and still be able to have more money for those other things on your list. You might also want to check Craig’s list in your area.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3763 days

#15 posted 09-17-2009 07:10 PM

Hey, not so fast!
I have done a fair amount of machining on ‘6061’ aluminum with a router. For example, I built a router table out of a salvaged 5/8” thick aluminum plate. I cut longitudinal slots to accommodate the fence with a 1/4” carbide spiral end mill chucked in my junkiest shop router, and put a router speed control unit on the line. At 1/3 power, the router ran slow enough to take a pretty good cut, 1/8” deep at a time. I used lots of cutting oil, and a reliable straightedge, and made sure the workpiece was securely clamped. YES, you can machine aluminum with your router! Just be careful! You can pretty much cut 6061 aluminum on any bandsaw too, using your worst blade, and sand it nicely on any abrasive belt or disc setup you have. nice to know when you want to fabricate a bracket, motor mount, or hardware for jigs, etc. Just a month ago, I made a 1/8” thick 6”X 7” aluminum filler panel for my Ram Van radio cavity, those new Sony units are tiny compared to OEM, and I was not going to pay $34 for the store-bought panel. A little barbecue flat black, and it looks like factory-made. Cast Iron? No way.
I’ve owned a few table saws with non-standard slots, and they all had other, far worse problems.
Having written all this, I hope you are obsessive about your own personal safety and observe all common sense procedures when experimenting with machining unfamiliar materials.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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