Craftsman 113 Contrator Saw

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Forum topic by BigAL46 posted 02-14-2017 02:14 PM 1367 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 615 days

02-14-2017 02:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question craftsman 113

I have been sent here by a knowledgeable wood worker and forum member in hopes that I find advice.

I recently purchased a Craftsman 113 table saw off Craigslists with the intent of following in the footsteps of another who acquired the same saw and refurbished it with great success. I set about upgrading the pulleys and belt. I replaced the arbor bearings and even one of the trunions which was sticking requiring too much effort to hit 45 degrees. I have it all back together and have it perfectly aligned using a dial indicator. It is dead-on square at the blade in all planes. I then started to using the saw and became aware that the rip fence was perhaps the weakest part of the system since it was a continuous chore to make it lock up square. So, I forked out for a fancy fence upgrade from WoodCraft.

This is where the tragedy is discovered. in the process of installing the new fence system I discovered that the table is not flat. The table itself is bowed with the lowest point or the “valley” is the area between the miter fence slide grooves. Adding on the width of the two cast iron table extensions produces a VISUALLY detectable valley after laying precision Starrett straight edge across the outer edges. The larger tragedy: I am standing here with a $700 fancy fence system which while it lock up, I’m sure, square to the blade in the line if cut, as it gets father and farther from the blade there will be an increasing angular error in vertical perpendicularity because the table warp appears non-linear. While the fence and the blade will remain vertically parallel, the stock being cut will be out of square with both the blade and the fence due to laying up-hill. Here’s a good question: how much angular error can be deemed acceptable before tolerances for precision woodworking are compromised? Once I figure the best way to measure the straight edge valley “gap” I will be able to calculate an approximate angular error. It will be small. Hence the question: how much small is OK?

I took the table extensions off and cleaned their mating surfaces. Reassembled it with no real improvement since it is not the extensions that are in error, it is the table.

What can I do to correct this problem?

1. get the table surface ground. – absolutely a good idea except there are no companies capable of grinding an area that large in this ares and the ones I did locate in conjunction with the shipping expense are ridiculously and prohibitively expensive. More money that the saw AND the new fence are worth.

2. find a new table – another great idea but of course Sears Parts Direct says that the table is no longer available. Searched Ebay. Found some tables (3) which were claimed from 113 model saws. No exact model match and I guess the next question to this forum is how close to one 113 is the table of another 113 saw? Are they interchangeable?

3. junk the whole business and cut my loses. – an idea growing in popularity.

I remember from my engineering materials class that cast iron can change shape over time due to its evolving internal crystalline structure. I have heard of lathe beds needing to be reground after some time has passed. Is this the source of my grief? What phenomenon caused the table to warp?

I am edging on toward item 3 in this list but have entered this request for help and advice at the suggestion of the aforementioned friend before doing anything drastic.

My name is Al and I am in Oakalla, Texas!

24 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3014 posts in 2321 days

#1 posted 02-14-2017 02:32 PM

How much so called warp. You can see .001 under a straight edge. Exactly how square are you trying to get. Wood moves over time, several thousandths is not excessive. Most tablesaws allow .010 error and that will not affect what you are trying to do with wood. I think you need to forget the enginerring and try to make some projects and actually see if these problems actually affect the outcome.

I had a 113 for a loong time put a T2 fence on it and it was a very good saw after that. Don’t know if the table was flat as I never checked it. The blade was at 90 to the table and the fence was square to the blade That is all I ever needed.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View JayT's profile (online now)


5891 posts in 2359 days

#2 posted 02-14-2017 02:39 PM

I was going to type a longer reply, but then read Bruce’s. He nailed it.

All of the gnashing of teeth is about the saw and assumptions that it may be a problem, but there is no actual evidence, yet. In other words, use the saw and come back if there actually is an issue with the wood projects. I’m betting it’ll be fine.

I built many projects using a 113 saw with upgraded fence. I never checked the table with a precision straight edge, but it most likely was a bit off. So what? The projects came out fine. I sold the table saw and now use a band saw for rips and clean up the cuts with hand planes. Though very close, I guarantee those edges are not perfect 90 degrees. Yet still no problems. Because wood moves and compresses, you have more margin for error than if working with other materials.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4736 posts in 861 days

#3 posted 02-14-2017 02:53 PM

DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
A good craftsmen …can hide his mistakes …..LOL :<))

Welcome 2 LJ”s

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View smitdog's profile


404 posts in 2254 days

#4 posted 02-14-2017 03:54 PM

I got a 113 from Craigslist on the cheap and never thought to check the table flatness just like you. Sounds almost identical to my story, trued everything up and had it cutting very well until I tried to cut a wide panel of ply on it and I realized the right side of the table was way too high. After taking everything apart and examining things I found that all the webbing underneath the right miter slot was cracked and the table to the right of the slot went WAY uphill, like 1/8” gap under a straight edge uphill! I don’t know what the previous owner did to bend it like that but there was nothing I could do to fix it.

So my solution was to cut the darn thing off! The table was flat as could be from the left side of the table to the right miter slot, so I figured what the heck… A short time later and a couple cutting disks and I was back in business. I lost the use of the right slot but I attached both cast iron wings onto the left side of the saw and attached an extension table to the right side. The saw still works great and once I get my old PM66 I scored restored and running I’ll still keep my frankensaw with a crosscut blade or a dado set in it.

If you find it won’t work as-is then don’t be afraid to get crazy with it, if you try and fail worst case scenario is you buy a new top for it.
Good luck!

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View dschlic1's profile


442 posts in 2118 days

#5 posted 02-14-2017 07:01 PM

My 113 table has a dip of about 1/32” of an inch in the center close to the blade. After several years of using the saw, I have not had any issues with it.

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2445 days

#6 posted 02-14-2017 07:48 PM

Craftsman vs. Starrett – Craftsman will always lose.

View HokieKen's profile


6298 posts in 1287 days

#7 posted 02-14-2017 08:00 PM

Craftsman vs. Starrett – Craftsman will always lose.

- dhazelton

My thoughts exactly :-)) That table was never ground to any tolerance that wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb against a Starrett straight edge. The best next step, IMHO, is to make some cuts with the new fence and see what happens. Yeah, there may be some angular error and yeah, it’ll change with boards of different widths. But you’ll never get any kind of meaningful measurments from the table. Make some rip cuts on some fairly thick boards and measure the boards.

There’s a good chance you’ll find you don’t have a problem. But, if you find out otherwise, use some feeler gauges and determine just how much gap there is under the straight edge and update us. There’s always hand-scraping for small areas requiring just a little material removal. It’s tedious but doable if you have a Starrett straight-edge to use as a reference.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View BigAL46's profile


10 posts in 615 days

#8 posted 02-16-2017 04:47 PM

Thanks to all who took the time to reply.

I have not made a decision on whether to keep the saw, put the new fence on and and be happy but I am leaning that way at least until I can ascertain whether the problem is really affecting the work I want to do. I am the kind of guy who will always wonder whether or not the results I have produced would have been better if this problem did not exist.


View runswithscissors's profile


2843 posts in 2173 days

#9 posted 02-18-2017 04:54 AM

Should you decide the issue matters, one solution would be to remove the top and have a machine shop mill it for you. I have no idea what that would cost, or whether it would be worth it, but maybe something to consider.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View TheFridge's profile


10351 posts in 1634 days

#10 posted 02-18-2017 05:05 AM

After looking into the same thing I tell you, it is not worth regrinding. I had a cheap quote of 400$.

Make some cuts and measure them. Get a 20”?x 48”ish piece of ply and cut it down a 1/4 at a time and measure maybe?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View EEngineer's profile


1113 posts in 3761 days

#11 posted 02-18-2017 01:05 PM

About 8 1/2 years ago, I went through exactly what you are going through. I acquired an old Craftsman 113 saw, restored it, replaced the fence, trued it up and have been using it happily ever since. I have put a lot of board-feet through this thing since then. In fact, I just refinished my kitchen and used it to do some finicky trimming on premade cabinets where things like a deviation from right angles or straightness of cut would have shown up like a sore thumb.

It just never occurred to me to check the flatness of the table. I don’t have a Starrett – instead I use an ancient Popular Mechanics metal yard-stick that I inherited from someplace. So I laid that across the table and – waddaya know! – my table has a dip in the center, also! Eyeballing it, it might be almost 1/16”! I guess after 40-50 years of supporting the motor and trunnion weight the cast-iron table has sagged a little.

Am I gonna lose sleep over this? NO! I’ll just continue to use the saw to make drawers, shelves, dadoes and cut up sheet goods like I have for the last 8 1/2 years.

I swear, there must be a lot of frustrated machinists working wood lately. In metal, a few thousandths here and there can make a huge difference. Much of that just doesn’t matter in woodworking!

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

View BigAL46's profile


10 posts in 615 days

#12 posted 02-18-2017 03:49 PM

Ok. I put the straight edge across the table with extensions in place and measured a gap of 0.043”. I removed the extensions and measured just the table and got about half that much or 0.21” I obtained these measurements by stacking a feeler gauge under the straight edge.

View jimintx's profile


836 posts in 1733 days

#13 posted 02-18-2017 04:46 PM

Hello Al, from another Texan, here. Welcome to a good place on the web to talk about wood work and shop stuff and quite a few other things as well. One of the many things that make this site great is that it is so easy to post a picture here (compared to some other sites I go to). If you can, show us a picture of your set up.

I began table saw use with one of those Sears saws, purchased by my Dad is circa 1964, or so. I used it up until the turn of the century, so call that three+ decades. It is in use now, as far as I still know, by a hoe improvement contractor that bartered with me for it. It had the sort of irregularities you are seeing, and those tolerances were fine.

Notably, my Dad was a master machinist and he was always checking things with machinists tools, but he had grown up in a family of wood workers, sawyers, and carpenters, so he did understand the tolerances and how to accommodate them. He instructed me accordingly. For example, I learned at an early age to “leave the line” when making a cut ;-D

I suspect you meant to type in post #12 that you measured the gap on the table itself at 0.021”. I can’t imagine that variance form perfectly planar will effect your work. I would say you have put together a good table saw, so go make some sawdust with it.

See ya around here!

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View BigAL46's profile


10 posts in 615 days

#14 posted 02-26-2017 03:55 PM

Screw it! I bought a Grizzly G0691.

Although the saw has not been delivered yet, I have one complaint. Curbside delivery is all they will do. Had to pay $35 for a tailgate drop. In other words the truck driver will not even unload it off the truck on to the ground unless you pay extra. Since it weighs over 500 lbs, I am having to hire a fellow with a Bobcat that has fork attachments to carry it about 250 yds back to the shop. I’ll take some pictures and post them when it turns up.

Anybody wanna buy a refurbished Craftsman 113 for $350? I replaced the trunions, added new knobs (it had no knobs when purchased), precision machined pulleys, link belt, and belt guard. I also replaced the arbor bearings. I found a new stand since the one that came with it was bent. You can have the old stand and all the spare parts. I paid $300 for it and with upgrades I have close to $500 in it. You all know what’s wrong with it. I’m keeping my new blade. You can have the blade that came with it!

BTW: I have a completely new, never installed Accusquare M01050 fence system, never installed for $290, you pay the shipping cost. Will have to have new box made for the rails. Looks like really nice fence.

-Al in Oakalla-

View bandit571's profile


21307 posts in 2831 days

#15 posted 02-28-2017 05:38 AM

My old 113 saw. I found out that IF I added a strip of 1x scrap alongside the fence, I could add a shim as needed to keep the side straight. Fence had slots to add a wood fence to it, for use with dado blades. I usually just left it in place for other tasks. 2 screws, a piece of pine 1×3, and maybe a shim ( if needed)....couple dollars.

Same with this thing. I could shim as needed to get it perfect o the blade and fence. I could add longer pieces as needed. Not a big deal.

No longer have the room for it, sold it about last spring. Bought the saw new at Sears back in the 80s…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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