Creating my own Saw Station

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Forum topic by Lee Imbimbo posted 12-27-2009 11:08 PM 4110 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 3308 days

12-27-2009 11:08 PM

I’m in the process of trying to build up my home shop so that I can begin getting into more serious wood working projects. I’ve always done construction and building projects, and are very familiar with how to use tools. But recently I’ve decided that I want to take my abilities to the next level.

To that end I have a super old Craftsman Tablesaw (circa 1980’s, model #113.298240). This is a 10” contractor saw that my father gave me, that he no longer uses, when I told him what I wanted to do. I’m hoping to add a Incra Router Table/ Fence system to this saw, and begin to make the saw work for me.

At this time I can’t afford a new tablesaw/cabinet saw, although I think when I can I’ll end up buying a really nice cabinet saw, something like the sawstop professional, or powermatic. But in the meantime I would like to incorporate the incra system to give the saw a better fence, and maybe retrofit the contractor saw to work for me, until the day comes that I can afford better

I have on occasion seen shop made table saw stations where the owner takes a contractor saw and retrofits it with better belts, and equipment and seem to effectively made a more capable hybrid version. Some of them even demount the contractor saws body from it’s legs and built them into a station.

I was wondering if I could get some ideas from the forum, on just such a thing. Either cabinets that others have already built. Belts and accessories that I could add to the contractor saw to make it more stable, help reduce vibration and more capable. And effectively built myself a tablesaw/router table combination that I could also utilize as a workbench. As I have about half of a two car garage to work in.

Thank you for taking the time to help me out on this, it is really appreciated.


9 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 12-28-2009 12:35 AM

Hey Lee, welcome to the site. It’s a great place. I have no idea about how to do what you are trying to do since all of my equip is already the way I want it. But, there is a search box at the top of the page where you might find info that’s been on this site previously. Give it a shot. Otherwise, you may have to post again during the week. Some of these guys seem to know how to do nearly anything.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4058 days

#2 posted 12-28-2009 12:46 AM

Lee, this is a particularly good idea. It iwill mprove the storage capacity and material handling of your saw. Here is a quick search that shows a couple of projects that have been posted here.

There are others but I am not sure how they were tagged.

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

View Lee Imbimbo's profile

Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 3308 days

#3 posted 12-28-2009 08:22 AM

So what are ways that I can improve the capability of this clunker of a tablesaw.

I say clunker, but the fact is that my father and I built many well crafted things on it over the course of my childhood. So it’s pretty solid for a contractor saw made by craftsman.

Things I’m thinking about
Replace the fence with a Incra-LS Super fence and position rail.

Utilize Incra’s 92” rails to make it possible to use it.

Replace the Miter Gauge with an Incra Miter Gauge for more accurate cutting.

I’ve heard about low vibration belts, but I don’t really know where to begin looking for them. Are there other ways that I can reduce it’s vibration? Or will a better belt and better base system be enough?

Are there any ways that I could upgrade the table, it’s a pretty beat-up cast-iron table, that could definitely use some love. But at the same time it could also be cool to upgrade it to a more substantial tabletop.

I mean I’m really looking for the cheap ways to upgrade this machine, but I do understand that I need to pump some real money into a good fence and miter gauge. Which I don’t mind doing something like the Incra system, because I need a router table too, and will get a lot of dual use out of them.

Thanks for all the help so far, it has been really nice to find people willing to help make my woodshop dreams a reality.

View EEngineer's profile


1119 posts in 3850 days

#4 posted 12-28-2009 05:16 PM

That model is one of the last of the 10” saws made for Sears by Emerson. The damned things seem to last forever. I have a vintage 1960’s model; many others here have virtually the same saw. I think its a fine saw and have no intention of upgrading.

You’ll get a lot of the benefit of a cabinet saw just by adding a more massive base. Do get rid of the flimsy legs and install the saw body on a heavier wooden base. This is something I still need to do but have been gathering info on different designs for the last coupla years (yeah, gathering information – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). I particularly like this design and a ShopNotes design.

As for the cast-iron top that “could definitely use some love”, there just isn’t much you can do to ruin a cast-iron top. A wiki at has lots of information about restoring old tools.

Do check the bearings; replace if necessary. Do align the saw and be picky; good alignment is the single biggest safety tip.

Linkbelts are a scam – save your money to buy a better blade. Any higher quality V-belt will not take a set and give you vibration-free operation at 1/5 the cost.

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

View Lee Imbimbo's profile

Lee Imbimbo

69 posts in 3308 days

#5 posted 12-30-2009 04:38 AM

I’m in the process of designing a Router Table/Tablesaw Station to fit my Craftsman Contractor Saw, and outfit it with a really nice fence.

Right now I’m thinking about outfitting the duel table with an Incra LS Super system on 92” rails, and upgrading the pulleys and belt on the table saw.

I already have a Triton TRA-001 Router, so I don’t need a router lift.

However, I’m trying to see if there isn’t a wood splitter/blade guard that I can get for the tablesaw. I don’t know if it would be even possible, but at one time it appears that craftsman did sell a riving knife/wood spreader with kickback teeth.

I’m also thinking about upgrading the miter gauge to an Incra Miter gauge that I could use on both the Tablesaw and Router Table.

Can anyone else think of any thing else I should take into account when designing my new saw router table system?

I do ever so love planning out these projects. MAybe over the next month or so I’ll get a chance to finalize the design and then I’ll post it here and keep you in the loop as I build it.

I’m also thinking about incorporating two car scissor lifts into it, and make it so that the platform can raise and lower wheels, and when I’m using it have it firmly planted on the ground. Anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish that?

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3436 days

#6 posted 12-30-2009 06:28 AM

Hey Lee, welcome to LJ’s. I have a Craftsman 1950 10” Tablesaw restored and I love it. I use a 7’ Shop Fox rail and fence set, a Leeson 1 1/2 hp motor and have equipped that with machined pulleys and a link-belt. Here is the best place and price for the link-belt. Just look under electric motors.
As far as a guard is concerned, there are boom arms with built-in dust collection. As far as i riving knife is concerned, you may have to settle for the splitter that you can install onto your zero clearance plate.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View EEngineer's profile


1119 posts in 3850 days

#7 posted 12-30-2009 01:37 PM

The shopnotes design I referenced in the earlier post had a pretty nifty caster lift in it. Step on a board and slide it to one side to engage the casters at each end of the cabinet. After you get it moved into place the reverse operation lowers it onto leveling feet to make it stationary.

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

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3435 days

#8 posted 12-30-2009 02:57 PM

I designed for my own use, but never built, a station meant to be an island in my garage, that included a router table perpendiculr to the TS and on the right side of it. The intention was to beable to use that side to extend my TS capacity by taking of the router fence, then extending to the back was a outfeed table that I could remove a panel from to insert my Miter saw so its table was fluss with the whole thing. Then next to it on the left side of the TS I had a down draft table so as to increase my TS table on that side aswell. Then I wanted to put an extention on that, where a flat peice of ply wood would hang by a piano hinge, and have a flip out support to hold it flush with the table. I built this around my Sears contractor TS, a newer crappier version the reveiw for it on the LJ site said it was a dangerous POS, I agreed and replaced it with a much better Craftsman, that no longer needs all of this enhancement. Glad I didn’t build it, it would have been a waste of time and money. Now, however, I am going to start building a bench with the MS, RT, and DDT, all incorporated that goes along the back wall of my garage, 36 1/4” H X 2 1/2’ D X 9’ W. I am also going to incorporate a small patch of butcherblock and a wood vise, all of the dog holes, ans the hieght is just right to use as an outfeed for my TS. Also many of my other tools will finally have a home, router bits will be organized, many benefits. Total cost $22 for 2X4s and $30 for vise. All the rest is scrap from previous projects, or old parts from dismantleing old stuff I replaced.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 3426 days

#9 posted 01-26-2010 05:06 PM

Hello Lee,
I’m in the process and almost completed with building an upgraded cabinet for my SawStop contractor saw. I also integrated a router table at the end. Here’s where I’m at with it.

I’m redo-ing the router portion of the cabinet as I wasn’t happy with the look. I’m almost done with the redo and all I’ll have to do is patch, paint and trim.

BTW – I too work in my 2-car garage and at a minimum need to get my wife’s car in the garage.


-- Ted

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