Setting up the new (to me) Craftsman 113 Table Saw

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Forum topic by BPrisock posted 07-02-2016 12:19 PM 1850 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 903 days

07-02-2016 12:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw cast iron restoration rust tablesaw

Morning all!

It’s been a week or two since I posted my plea for help in choosing a table saw off of CraigsList. I know I came back and let you know I pulled the trigger on what I’ve decided is a great Craftsman Contractor saw. I think it came from the late 80’s but I’m not quite sure. Here’s the plate:

(for the record, the previous owner said he didn’t clean this thing off… anything painted was in pristine condition)

Anyway, the reason I’m posting this is just to document my process of restoring the cast iron top to a nice, smooth, workable condition. There’s a bit of rust and discoloration on the top and I’m going to do my best to get it back into working order. The greatest amount of rust is actually in the left miter channel.

I haven’t decided what to use quite yet to get the rust off. I’ve been reading far too much about everything people use… from vinegar to specialty rust removers to WD-40 and a scotch-brite pad. Well, I have pretty much all three at my disposal. I bought some 800 wet/dry sandpaper, a bundle of scotch-brite pads and even a very small wire cup brush to put on my dremel for some lower speed removal of rust in the miter channel. Otherwise, I’m planning on using elbow grease to get this off. I don’t have any Boeshield T-9 yet but that will be here next week. In the meantime, I bought some Johnson’s Paste Wax and was going to use that. I live in a pretty dry place (outside of Spokane, WA) so I probably won’t have to mess with rust very often (I hope!). I’ll post some pics here in bit of the before condition of the saw.

After that… I’ll swap out the blade with the new Diablo 40T and then get things squared up.

The next part will be figuring out what to do with the stand/legs/casters this saw sits upon. The current caster system leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion. They don’t roll really at all. They seem to be pretty undersized for the weight of the saw and extensions and it makes the legs twist whenever I move it at all. I’m REALLY considering building a 2×4 and 3/4” plywood base with locking casters. Nothing fancy but something that is extremely sturdy and actually movable.

We’ll get there! Enough out of me for now. Any tips or pointers you guys can see with what I’m doing (or not doing) please feel free to chime in. You were instrumental in helping me get the saw and I appreciate you taking the time to write.


25 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


19451 posts in 2059 days

#1 posted 07-02-2016 01:15 PM

If you’re worried about how it looks on top, I would use a random orbit sander with 220 or higher grit paper. Hand sanding may make it look like you did it by hand.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View BPrisock's profile


16 posts in 903 days

#2 posted 07-02-2016 01:32 PM

Just went out to the garage to take some pics. Here they are!

View EEngineer's profile


1117 posts in 3816 days

#3 posted 07-02-2016 01:46 PM

I just cringe every time I hear someone suggest taking sandpaper to a cast iron work surface. It just isn’t necessary. Scotch-brite pads are the most agressive things I have ever used on cast iron and if you get too rough with those on a ROS you can leave little swirl marks in the cast iron. If you do use a wire cup, try brass. It is softer than the cast iron and will remove rust without marking the cast iron.
I used Johnson’s paste wax on my table saw for years but it seemed every spring I would have to remove a little surface rust and rewax. I tried the Boeshield T9 one time! It has been 4 years now and the table has been free of rust – well, except for a ring where some fool left a beer can one summer! Highly recommended!

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

View Woodbum's profile


835 posts in 3268 days

#4 posted 07-02-2016 05:27 PM

I bought a saw like this or a very similar model new in ‘86 and used it until 2009. It did everything that I asked of it. I braced the legs to each other L to R and F to B to keep the legs from twisting. I attached a shelf to the braces for some on- saw storage. It did the trick. No more twisting and it rolled a lot easier. Use the rust remover from Boeshield and a green or red scotchbrite pad and some elbow grease to get the rust off. After that, treat it with Boeshield to prevent new rusting. Have fun, work safely and enjoy your new table saw.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View htl's profile


4238 posts in 1362 days

#5 posted 07-02-2016 10:00 PM

Nice buy!
I’ve owned two of these over the years and the one thing it needs is a longer reach for the fence.
Take some measurements of the angle iron that are the fence runners and go get some angle iron to replace the short ones just have to drill a couple a holes and to cut the angle get a metal cutting blade for your skill saw and it will cut like butter.
Couple hours work and you’ve got a saw that will cut sheet goods all day long.
I made mine to cut 50 something inches but you may not need that but at the time I did so worked great.
Just my $.02

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 2104 days

#6 posted 07-02-2016 10:30 PM

Too cool, I have a similar table saw 113, only older. It works great. I like using 7 1/4 diablo (skill saw) blades in mine. I have an original 1hp motor.
Yup, lots of ways to remove rust. I want to follow your saw build adventure. So many possibilities, I enjoy projects like this & you should too. Keep the pictures & updates coming.

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View knotscott's profile


8150 posts in 3578 days

#7 posted 07-02-2016 10:40 PM

I’ve refurbed several of those old Craftsman contractor saws. To the dismay of EEngineer, I’ve used my RAS with WD40 on most of them. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it on something like a nice shiny PM2000 with a mirror finish on top, but it’s never been a problem on one of those old Sears saws. On some of the bad ones, I’d actually start at 150 grit. If you work your way to finer and finer grits, you can get rid of any sanding marks you leave, but on an old saw like that it really didn’t matter much to me.

Your on the right track with a good alignment, decent new blade, and a coat of paste wax or Boeshield if you think you need it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View firefighterontheside's profile


19451 posts in 2059 days

#8 posted 07-02-2016 11:02 PM

Scott, did you use a RAS or a ROS?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View MrUnix's profile


7050 posts in 2401 days

#9 posted 07-02-2016 11:07 PM

I also tend to shy away from anything that will remove metal on machined surfaces. Solvents and scotch brite pads will clean that right up. Follow up with paste wax. You can spend the bucks for T9 if you want, but it is just paraffin wax dissolved in mineral spirits with a little bit of mineral oil thrown in for good measure. You can make up your own for a fraction of the cost.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View knotscott's profile


8150 posts in 3578 days

#10 posted 07-02-2016 11:42 PM

Scott, did you use a RAS or a ROS?

- firefighterontheside

Ha, ha….definitely a ROS! Geez….wonder what a RAS would do to it?!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View firefighterontheside's profile


19451 posts in 2059 days

#11 posted 07-02-2016 11:46 PM

I think it would make some UGLY swirl marks.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View TMGStudioFurniture's profile


55 posts in 1022 days

#12 posted 07-03-2016 12:04 AM

It’s best to use a chemical to remove the rust, something like ‘the must for rust’ or similar (available at Home Depot and maybe Walmart). I use that with fine steel wool. This removes rust, and not good iron.

I agree it’s a bad idea to use a sander on a machined surface that is supposed to be flat. Furthermore, the chemical will remove rust below the surface – the sander won’t. The sander doesn’t know the difference between clean iron and rust, the chemical does.

I also found that I needed to use some paint stripper on the top in some places, as some of those marks were from old paint/varnish/whatever and were not rust.

Like Woodbum suggested, it’s best to build a shelf which ties all 4 legs together. If you don’t do that, since each leg has a wheel on it, the legs flex as you try to move it. It’s a bad design, but is easily fixed.


View Jose's profile


34 posts in 918 days

#13 posted 07-03-2016 12:29 AM

I have one like that and have been using it for over 20 years. I did replaced the fence with a better one, build a better base and added two additional extensions to it.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1777 days

#14 posted 07-03-2016 04:54 AM

evapo rust works good,then use a scotch brite pad,different colors are like different grits. put the scotch brite pad under your ros and go to town.You can fine different colors of scotch brite pads at places the cater to the pro auto painter crowd.

View 01ntrain's profile


259 posts in 1273 days

#15 posted 07-03-2016 05:34 AM

Wow….I was reading the OP and expecting to see the worst…..

Then I saw the pics. Really? There’s nothing on that saw that can’t be taken off with a green Scotchbrite pad and a bit of WD40…in about 5 minutes. That saw looks barely-used.

I get this sight and I like it a lot….but, it can also be tedious and overwrought with serious over-thought on the simplest of tasks. I guess I’m glad I’m not paying for the band-width.

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

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