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Yates American M-1701 Table Saw - Aftermarket fence?

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Forum topic by ahewitt posted 10-30-2017 04:56 PM 2385 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ahewitt

1 post in 380 days


10-30-2017 04:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw yates american 1950s power tools vintage

Inheriting this 1950s Yates American M-1701 table saw and wondering if anyone has any clue if I’d be able to upgrade the fence to something more modern/reliable/accurate. I haven’t found much on these saws other than on the Vintage Machinery site, so I’m looking for input. Thanks in advance


16 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3819 days


#1 posted 10-30-2017 05:04 PM

A lot of fence rails would interfere with the
function of the jointer. I’m not saying you couldn’t
install an aftermarket fence, but you would
either have to cut the rails off short, give
up on using the jointer or install the rails so
they stick way out to the right.

You could make a custom fence out of wood or
80/20 extrusion.

You might want to consider selling the unit as
is to a collector and buying something with a more
modern fence.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1410 posts in 1395 days


#2 posted 10-30-2017 05:10 PM

Check with Super Awesome Very Cool Tools…
Sorry, their name has always bugged me but they do all kinds of aftermarket fences that are somewhat diy and parts.
They might have something that will work for you.

Very cool saw. Yates made some very good machinery back in the day.

https://vsctools.com/shop/product-category/table-saw-fence/

View Ajs73's profile

Ajs73

160 posts in 1689 days


#3 posted 10-31-2017 11:38 AM

I had one of those a couple years back.
I’m pretty sure the fence rail is cast right into
the table. Pretty limited what you could do I’d think.

-- Andy, NE Ohio

View BobBlarney's profile

BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#4 posted 03-15-2018 01:01 AM

I have one, and I like it. I replaced the arbor and fence bearing (easy to find and replace), and had the motor serviced. It runs beautifully. The jointer table was too warped to use it, and so I removed it and the sander and replaced them with a torsion box wing. I’m going to make a router table to sit between the right side wings (they’re not handles!)

The fence is unusual but will work just fine when it’s set up properly. Also, it’s very easy to remove it for cutting large stock. The fence should ride smoothly on the four sealed bearings upon the inclined edges of the tabletop.

1. Snug up the knurled handknob, and then check that the fence is vertical to the table. There are two screws in the front of the clamp under the handknob that hold the vertical setting.
2. Place a 3/4” bar in the miter slot – I used an aluminum extrusion – and then loosen hand knob and the four socket screws on the top of the fence, and clamp the fence to the bar.
3. Push the rear clamp up snug and tighten the socket screws.
4. Place a business card (or dollar bill) between the front clamp and edge of the table where the clamp meets the edge. The card will provide the necessary clearance for moving the fence after the handknob is loosened.
5. Push the front clamp up and tighten the socket screws.
6. Lift off the fence off, and remove the card or bill, and then put the fence on again. Test that the handknob draws the fence tight.

To move the fence, loosen the handknob and push down the center of the fence and move it with that hand. – > avoid dragging the fence by the clamping handknob because this can dealign it. Also, check for squareness if you drop it on floor.< You can spot-check for squareness with an orange plastic builders triangle square – they’re usually accurate if they’re not beat up.

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

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BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#5 posted 03-15-2018 01:21 AM

Oh, there is a peculiar feature about this saw – the miter slots are 5/16” deep, not 3/8”. For a sled, I plow a 3/4” W x 1/8” deep slot to seat the T-tracks. If you want, you can precision milled 5/16” x 3/4” x 18” bar stock (cat. # 0702-0715) at Wttool.com for $25 to make your own miter bars.

A good blade for this saw is a Freud 8-1/4” sliding mitersaw blade, a TK604 or TK904.

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

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BoardButcherer

144 posts in 266 days


#6 posted 03-15-2018 02:03 PM

What’re the shortcomings of the fence that you feel the only option is to replace it? No means of cleaning it up and getting it precise again or upgrading some of the components to improve it?

I think you’re gonna have better luck doing that than you would trying to put an aftermarket fence on it with that cast rail. That’s a pretty big obstacle to get around and still be precise.

View BobBlarney's profile

BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#7 posted 03-15-2018 03:44 PM

A pic for you. Also, I put spring washers behind the lock knobs on the height & bevel handwheels, but I’ll confess that I usually don’t cinch them down because the saw has very little backlash and it holds the settings. BTW, it’s important to ensure that the Wixey DRO rail is parallel to the top surface.

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

View Jeff Mazur's profile

Jeff Mazur

117 posts in 1475 days


#8 posted 03-15-2018 04:38 PM

If the fence can be gotten aligned parallel to the blade and slots easily enough, my inclination would be to build an “over-fence” – something that can be attached securely to the original fence to make it prettier, a bit taller, and adaptable to other goodies like sac fences, hold-downs, workpiece guides like Jess-em makes, etc. It’s common practice to add such covers to inadequate fences or ones with special requirements; I don’t see why it couldn’t be a nice solution for you.

Here’s a decent video by Bob Van Dyke that might get you started with some ideas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGba2FX-rvc

Good luck!

-- Woodworking is a beautiful, physical, cerebral, and noble art.

View BobBlarney's profile

BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#9 posted 03-15-2018 05:08 PM

Yep. It works for me.

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

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BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#10 posted 03-15-2018 05:27 PM


If the fence can be gotten aligned parallel to the blade and slots easily enough, my inclination would be to build an “over-fence” – something that can be attached securely to the original fence to make it prettier, a bit taller, and adaptable to other goodies like sac fences, hold-downs, workpiece guides like Jess-em makes, etc. It s common practice to add such covers to inadequate fences or ones with special requirements; I don t see why it couldn t be a nice solution for you.

Here s a decent video by Bob Van Dyke that might get you started with some ideas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGba2FX-rvc

Good luck!

- Jeff Mazur


-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

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BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#11 posted 03-15-2018 06:10 PM

Hmm, my extended comments got lost somehow.

One more point about the fence – it is pre-drilled for three 3/16” bolts for mounting sacrificial fences on either side of the metal fence.

Overall Impression:

These saws were well-designed and made from quality materials – there’s not a scrap of plastic anywhere. They were assembled by human hands and made to be serviced and repaired by human hands – you won’t break anything by taking it apart, and there are no exotic parts in it. I even replaced the arbor bearings without a press. I cooled the new bearings in dry ice to shrink them, and warmed the casting with a heatgun to expand it – the bearings slipped right in with fingers.

The top was carefully machined, the motors are TEC with a castiron casings and machined pulleys, and are conservatively rated powerwise. The elevation and tilt mechanisms have acme threaded screws passing through phosphor bronze pivots, and there is very little backlash such that it’s not usually necessary to lock down the handwheels. Although it has an 8” blade (and less expensive than a 10”), the max depths of cut are 2-3/8” @ 90d, and 1-5/8” @45. The arbor shaft is a true 5/8” diameter, and it can accomodate a 7-1/4” blade that will still cut 2” @90d and 1-1/4” at 45d.

So if the OP decided to pass the saw on, I hope that he gave it to a friend. With a little TLC, this is an excellent compact saw for a basement shop. It will certainly outlast me.

P.S. If you take the saw apart to service it, I recommend painting the inside of the cabinet and top with white or yellow paint – that will make it much easier to see inside for adjustments or cleanings.

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

View airkuld's profile

airkuld

1 post in 193 days


#12 posted 05-05-2018 09:20 PM

Sorry I can’t offer any suggestions but if you go with a new fence would you consider selling your old one? I just had my Yates American saw moved from PA to WI and the movers lost the rip fence and the planer fence!

View BobBlarney's profile

BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#13 posted 05-05-2018 09:52 PM

Make them search, and then pay. You might also contact the people who moved into your previous home – they might have found it, and by some miracle, have kept it around.

In the meantime, when I get downstairs, I’ll see if I can make some measurements. The fence is not complex, or you may be able to fit an aftermarket fence to it.


Sorry I can t offer any suggestions but if you go with a new fence would you consider selling your old one? I just had my Yates American saw moved from PA to WI and the movers lost the rip fence and the planer fence!

- airkuld


-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

View LNRR's profile

LNRR

18 posts in 1039 days


#14 posted 09-25-2018 10:18 PM

I am restoring a saw like this and have most everything. I am needing a blade guard. If anyone can help I would sure appreciate it. Also there is a 2nd fence for the joiner which I have on mine. I think I saw one of these on ebay a few months back. This fence tilts like present day joiner fences.

-- David Tenn.

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BobBlarney

65 posts in 1307 days


#15 posted 09-25-2018 11:31 PM



I am restoring a saw like this and have most everything. I am needing a blade guard. If anyone can help I would sure appreciate it. Also there is a 2nd fence for the joiner which I have on mine. I think I saw one of these on ebay a few months back. This fence tilts like present day joiner fences.

- LNRR

Blade guards were an additional cost option for this saw, so I think it would be extremely difficult to find one. That said, they looked like they were well-designed, and I’ve thought about fabricating one like it. Another option would be to buy an aftermarket guard, or make one that is attached to the fence such as this: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/178994

-- Curator, Museum of Unfinished Projects

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