New use for old craftsman table saw

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Forum topic by Cwolfe posted 02-26-2010 05:47 PM 5372 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3213 days

02-26-2010 05:47 PM

recently, I purchased a used unisaw, which has replaced my dads craftsman contractor saw. Unfortunatly, we do not have enough room for 2 tablesaws and I have to figure out what to do with the craftsman. I dont want to just toss it out or sell it (I have heavily modified it (badly) to keep it running for the past year) . I was thinking about modifying/dissasembling the craftman into a different tool. I was thinking of a disk sander, but I already have one. Im stuck at the disk sander and was wondering if you guys have any ideas on what tools could be built using the table saw components.

7 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35148 posts in 4602 days

#1 posted 02-26-2010 06:07 PM

Possible router table, but maybe big for that.

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

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5767 posts in 3434 days

#2 posted 02-26-2010 06:13 PM

The motor, switch etc.. could be used to build a wide drum sander.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View SteveMI's profile


1124 posts in 3496 days

#3 posted 02-26-2010 06:24 PM

I have the same situation. Old direct drive craftsman is just sitting under a shelf.

My latest thought is to make a horizontal router/drilling station from it. Mount some pillow blocks to aluminum top. Put pulley on TS arbor and connect with belt to pulley on shaft through pillow blocks. Will have the shaft end machined to take a router collet. Being aluminum, I am going to route slots for fence in the aluminum with an metal cutting end mill. Then just a fence and sled. Could use it for dowels, routing mortises, rabbeting…

Haven’t thought through how to adjust the material height since the cutter would be fixed. Maybe, shims under the material. Also need to have a machinist tell me how to keep the shaft from moving back and forth. Maybe machine slots in shaft on each side of pillow block for snap rings.


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7 posts in 3213 days

#4 posted 02-28-2010 08:41 PM

I was thinking of using a 90 degree gear box attached to the arbor and securing the gear box to the cast iron that normally surrounds the blade under the table. This would allow for permanent router table that would allow for up and down movement using the existing controls. I’m just writing stuff as I’m thinking it up, but it might help you.

keep in mind, I’m not a machinest but I have some ideas for you. Since the shaft is going to be under some thrust load (while you are pushing wood into the cutter) there needs to be a bearing in contact with the face of the pillow block. I was thinking using a thrust bearing on the inside of the pillow blocks. One for each. Behind the trust bearing goes a shaft collar. One shaft collar for each thrust bearing.

I did some searching and came up with these parts, but have not thought about any measurements or compatibility.

shaft collar (
Trust Bearings (
pillow blocks (

Im going to try to attach a picture and see how it works. It will give a better idea of what im thinking

green = pillow block
gray = shaft
blue = trust bearing
brown = shaft collar
orange = belt and pulley attched to arbor

View swied's profile


74 posts in 3964 days

#5 posted 03-01-2010 01:59 AM

I have the same situation. I ended up just taking off the cast iron top. I intended to mount some other tool to it, but never figured out what to do. I currently have a bunch of sheets of sandpaper spayglued on the top for use with the scary sharp system. When a sheet wears out I rip it off as best I can, clean off the surface with some ascetone, and glue down another sheet. It is a bit heavy, but I can slide it behind a cabinet when I’m done. I’ll be watching this thread to see if others have any better ideas.

-- Scott, San Diego

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


722 posts in 3475 days

#6 posted 03-01-2010 02:20 AM

I have an older contractor saw that I keep a dado blade set for 3/4 (nominal) plywood along with the purpose built sled. It always takes some tweaking to get the dado set for the correct dado width for a snug dado.

This way, it’s easy. I also have a second dado blade so that if I’m doing other than 3/4, I just set it up on my main saw.

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3310 days

#7 posted 03-01-2010 03:35 AM

I’ll be getting my craftsman contractor saw in a few weeks, and the motor from my little Skil benchtop saw is going to be reincarnated as a new tool. I have plans for several that I found in old issues of ShopNotes…
Disc Sander (#12), Edge Sander (#37), Mini Lathe (#73) or a Thickness Sander (#86).

The thickness sander is a cool design, its intended to be set on top of a table saw with a link belt running to a pulley attaced to the arbor, so you use your tablesaw as is, so I might either leave that mounted on the Skil, since it requires no modification, or build it to use occasionally on my new craftsman and harvest the Skil motor for use in something else (I’m kinda leaning towards the mini lathe at the moment, who knows).

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

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