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1980s 10" Craftsman Table Saw help

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Forum topic by TBar posted 10-07-2009 04:08 AM 6360 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TBar

10 posts in 2850 days


10-07-2009 04:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

Hi all,

Several members graciously helped me tweak up my 1980s vintage 10” Craftsman table saw several months back. I’ve got a new question – I set a straight edge against the stock fence the other day and noticed that it was not particularly true. What are my options here? Should I be investigating an aftermarket fence (how exactly do those work – are they paired with particular saws)? Should I find a way to bolt / screw a sacrificial fence onto the existing one to true it up?

Any thoughts are welcome.

Thanks,
Trevor


9 replies so far

View upperwoodsman's profile

upperwoodsman

40 posts in 2811 days


#1 posted 10-07-2009 05:34 AM

I used the Universal Fence Clamps from Rockler with some 3/8 X 3.0 Oak
it seems to work alright. I will be upgrading to a better fence later on
but for now its gooood.

-- Scott JoBurg MI The More you know the less mistakes...........

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3288 days


#2 posted 10-07-2009 02:02 PM

Trevor, the problem with Craftsman saw fences is the locking mechanism creates a bow in the fence when it is locked down. In theory you should be able to eliminate the bow by adding shims and a plywood fence but I never could quite get it to work on my old Craftsman saw. The problem I had was finding plywood that was straight and true.

You certainly can add another fence to the saw. The Delta T-2 fence works well on it and several members here have posted blogs on doing this. I tried it on my saw and, while I got it on, the fence had a 3/8” gap between the fence and the top of the saw. I could have eliminated this by adding a plywood sub-fence or drilling out new mounting holes in the cast iron top but, opted to return the fence instead of continuing to mess with it.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View herg1's profile

herg1

42 posts in 3179 days


#3 posted 10-07-2009 02:13 PM

Some time before I gave my Craftsman saw to my youngest Son I put a Bessy fence on it. You have to add the rails but that’s not a problem.

-- Roger1

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TBar

10 posts in 2850 days


#4 posted 10-07-2009 05:46 PM

Thanks for the replies. If I buy an aftermarket fence, is there anything specific I should look for to determine whether it can be made to fit well or not?

Scott – that’s exactly the problem I see. The fence has some pretty serious bow. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to notice!

-Trevor

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5181 posts in 2660 days


#5 posted 10-07-2009 08:33 PM

Trevor, I’ve still got a 1985 Crapsman 10 ” contractor t.s. When I bought it new the fence was a piece of junk. I put up this for about 6-8 months. Measure with a tape from blade to fence-over and over and over. I got disgusted doing this, and got to reading about after-market fence and rail systems. I bought a Delta Precision Saw guide w/ 30” rails(don’t know if they still make them or not—23+years old)> Mounted easilly to the Crapsman. Dead-on accurate then, and still is today. I’ve still got that saw, but also have a ‘09 Delta X5 Unisaw. I use the Crapsman to cut dados and rabbits, and got them back to back. I’ve heard good things about the T2 Delta fence and rails from the LJer’s on here. Get rid of the fence and rail you have on now. You’ll never be able to really fix the problem until you either buy a new saw, or update the one you have now.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

786 posts in 3298 days


#6 posted 10-07-2009 08:40 PM

I highly recommend the Vega utility fence. It comes in a couple rail widths:

http://www.amazon.com/Vega-U26-Table-Fence-System/dp/B00002261Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1254940698&sr=8-1

Worth every penny on my old Craftsman table saw. You can see it here:

Click for details

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View TBar's profile

TBar

10 posts in 2850 days


#7 posted 10-07-2009 08:41 PM

Rick – thank you.

So let me ask you guys something – it looks like a decent fence can cost north of $200. Am I better off plunging $200 into a better saw?

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

786 posts in 3298 days


#8 posted 10-07-2009 08:58 PM

Depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. An 80’s Craftsman may not be worth fixing-up when you can get a nice new Ridgid with a granite top for $600. You can also find decent used saws on Craigslist and such. It may not make financial sense, but sometimes we do things just because we can. Here’s a site with more Craftsman info for you:

http://www.woodbutcher.net/craftts.shtml

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3288 days


#9 posted 10-08-2009 03:06 AM

Trevor, about upgrading your saw or the fence that is largely a personal decision. I know a lot of guys who are perfectly satisfied with Craftsman saws (and I also see a lot of them for sale on Craigslist). All I can say is that after dealing with the Craftsman saw issues for over 10 years I gave the saw to a neighbor and rewarded myself this year with a new saw for all the pain and suffering I put up with over the years. A new fence would have resolved a lot of problems with the saw but I had gotten to the point where I simply did not want to spend any more money on it. So it was time for a new saw, for me at least. But I did have to ask my wife for an advance on my allowance though. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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