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Considering a used Craftsman table saw

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Forum topic by skeemer posted 12-05-2011 09:04 PM 4305 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skeemer

94 posts in 1051 days


12-05-2011 09:04 PM

Hi everyone,

I’m new to the site and fairly new to woodworking. I’ve done a few small (and I mean small and simple) projects using the handful of basic tools that I have, but I’m finding that I could really use a table saw in order to move forward. Unfortunately, my budget is extremely limited as my wife and I are saving to have our first child, so I am looking for a pretty low cost with bang for my buck. I know that something like a table saw isn’t something I should skimp on, but I also want to make sure that I will continue to move forward with woodworking before I invest hundreds of dollars into tools.

So, I have been scouring craigslist for deals on used table saws and been doing my research on various sales that I find, but as I have very little experience using a table saw (and never owned one), I’m not always sure exactly what I should be looking for, or what has value.

I have found this sale: http://delaware.craigslist.org/tls/2736263571.html and based on my research this seems to be a pretty good deal for this saw, as it looks like the model number (113.298XXX) is from a time period that Emerson produced the Craftsman brand. I have sent the seller an email asking for more questions, namely:

1) Is the motor belt driven?

2) What is the horsepower on the motor?

3) Are the wings cast iron?

4) Is the rip fence the original?

I’m looking for any thoughts on this saw or any other suggestions for my entry into woodworking.

Thanks!


13 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5513 posts in 2062 days


#1 posted 12-05-2011 09:51 PM

1) Is the motor belt driven?
No…it’s a direct drive universal motor

2) What is the horsepower on the motor?
~ 1.5hp

3) Are the wings cast iron?
No…they’re stamped steel. The top is probably ribbed aluminum, but could be cast iron…hard to tell from the pic. Pretty sure it’s full size (27” deep).

4) Is the rip fence the original?
Yes…not a desirable fence, but not worth replacing on this saw.

This saw is just about worth the asking price of $50 as parts, and may even work moderately well as a usable saw, but I wouldn’t sink more into it by upgrading the fence or wings. You’d be better off with a cast iron belt drive model IMHO…then it might be worth upgrading some things on. Steel wings aren’t a problem, but cast iron wings are nicer IMO. You can tell that it has a direct drive motor by the statement on the manual “motorized saw” vs “belt driven”, plus by the location of the switch directly on the front panel…had it been an outboard induction motor, the switch would likely have been mounted along the fence and you’d probably see a bit of the cord hanging down.

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

View Logan Craig's profile

Logan Craig

34 posts in 1193 days


#2 posted 12-05-2011 09:53 PM

My brother and father have very similar looking models and I believe that is a no on cast iron and a no on belt driven.

That said they are happy with it and churn out all manner of work. I would ask him to give you the model number so you can look up the details. I can’t make it out from the picture.

Logan

-- Logan, Virginia

View Don W's profile

Don W

15228 posts in 1254 days


#3 posted 12-05-2011 10:02 PM

I had a saw similar to that. It really is an entry level saw. If $50 is your budged, then this is about what you’ll get. It will work but here is what you’ll find.

The fence is pretty bad. When you use it you will learn to measure the front and the back of the blade every time you move it to be sure its straight.

The motor is so-so. If you’re going to do the occasional project using mostly 1” stock you’ll get by with a good blade.

Remember a good blade is another $100.

If you’re sure woodworking is in your future and you can afford more, even some of the new job site saws will serve you better. The other thing is its $50. When you outgrow it, sell it again and if you only get $25, your only out $25.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3496 posts in 2647 days


#4 posted 12-05-2011 10:09 PM

Short and ugly answer…....DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY.
Hate to be a nay sayer, but you’ll spend more than ya want to bring the saw up to working status.
Just my opinion.
If it were a better saw, the price would be higher. Ya pays your money and ya takes your chances.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View jtbinvalrico's profile

jtbinvalrico

34 posts in 1058 days


#5 posted 12-05-2011 10:12 PM

knotscott is right on…...I’ve got one that looks almost exactly like that, but it’s model number 113.298240, belt driven. Mine has the stamped wings and the original fence and miter gauge. I’ve got that fence and gauge functioning perfectly…....but you need to be willing to tear these old machines down to the bearings and pins to really dial them in.

I routinely see the belt driven version of that saw, with cast iron wings around here for $75; and very often the fence has been replaced along the way by someone else…...I’m pretty sure the cast iron wings have sort of a “web” look to them. In fact, I’m on the prowl for some of those…..I’ll pay about $50. And for my money I’ll get an extra motor, pulleys, some bearings and shafts to play with, and some cast iron wings.

Set your number between $50 and $75, be patient, and you’ll get what you are looking for. Try to steer toward a machine being sold by someone who recently upgraded….it will have been better cared for, will likely come from a functioning shop, and will serve you nicely until you either upgrade or refurb it. Plus, any guy enjoying a brand new saw is gonna be easy to deal with. Avoid the neglected stuff that’s been sitting under carports for years.

View Alexdi's profile

Alexdi

17 posts in 1095 days


#6 posted 12-05-2011 10:32 PM

The price is about $25 less than is typical for that model. You absolutely will upgrade if you stay with woodworking, but purely for the working space, it’s still better than most of the portable saws. I don’t think you’ll see a better deal for $50 if it checks out. I didn’t see any among the Delaware listings dating back two months. (Note: Some sellers list only ‘saw’ or ‘tablesaw’; a narrow search for ‘table saw’ may miss these listings.)

I’d hold out for a more recent Craftsman contractor saw or an older Ridgid 2424/2412 in the same mold. They tend to go for around $200. Build, power, solidity, accuracy, and noise improve quite a lot with the jump from universal-motor saws to belt-driven contractor models. As Don pointed out with the blade, you’ll soon spend much more than $50 on accessories and jigs, so it’s a bit of false economy to choose a poor saw from the outset. The saving grace here if that if the saw works at all, you can resell it for exactly what you paid for it.

If you pass on this one, be aware: the extent of the bargain is often determined by how meticulous the seller has been about preserving the original parts and functionality. If you have to replace a miter gauge and blade guard, expect to spend $100. A replacement OEM crap-fence will cost at least $75. A proper replacement starts at $150. Little things add up when you’re dealing with cheap saws. Likewise, certain flaws can ‘total’ the saw: things like an uneven table, cracked or warped mounts, significant arbor runout, and so on.

The saw really needs to be turn-key to be worth your money.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3445 posts in 1500 days


#7 posted 12-05-2011 10:40 PM

I used a Craftsman T.S. for about a year. It worked to rip fence and deck boards, but not high enough quality to build furniture. When a seller describes the condition as “Fair”..... Run away!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Don W's profile

Don W

15228 posts in 1254 days


#8 posted 12-05-2011 10:43 PM

the other option, offer $25.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View IrreverentJack's profile

IrreverentJack

724 posts in 1530 days


#9 posted 12-05-2011 10:53 PM

Good questions, good advice above (IMHO). I would avoid a motorized saw. Loud and unpleasant, I suffered with one for 20yrs. As James stated, look for a user that has been recently replaced/upgraded. You’ll probably find something better selling with upgrades and extras for $100-$150 that will be a much better bargain. That said, you could probably part it out on Ebay and make a little money. Good luck. -Jack

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7132 posts in 1370 days


#10 posted 12-05-2011 11:10 PM

Das Franckensaw..

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

View skeemer's profile

skeemer

94 posts in 1051 days


#11 posted 12-17-2011 03:32 PM

Thanks for all the responses everyone. I decided to step up a bit after finding a JET saw on craigslist last weekend. I found a JET JWTS-10JF about an hour away and picked it up earlier this week. I love it so far! I haven’t done too much yet, but it cuts smooth as silk, is quiet, and seems like a solid tool.

The only issue I’ve had so far is it looks like the fence location reader is set to the outside of the kerf rather than the inside (and even then it is off by about 1/32 – 1/64”, which sets the width of cut off by about 1/8” – 1/4”. It looks like where the fence rail is attached to the table is slotted, so I might be able to slide the rail over a bit and then adjust the sight on the location reader.

Also thanks for all the warm welcomes, and I look forward to learning the craft!

View Chipy's profile

Chipy

374 posts in 1280 days


#12 posted 12-17-2011 03:48 PM

A used Rigid saw is not a bad starter saw it has a better fence than the Craftsman and is belt driven.My second was Ridgid TS 2412 not a bad saw.I have seen thees saws on E BAY and craigslist list for about $150.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5513 posts in 2062 days


#13 posted 12-17-2011 09:19 PM

Great…treat yourself (and your saw) to a new blade, and get it aligned spot on. A little Boeshield T-9 buffed and dried, followed by some furniture paste wax, and you’ll be set! Enjoy.

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

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