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Forum topic by lieutenantdan posted 02-02-2012 08:02 AM 3604 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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176 posts in 1730 days

02-02-2012 08:02 AM

New to forum. OK. I have a circa 1990 Craftsman 10” Direct Drive table saw with cast iron extensions and original POS fence. Table saw was purchased new but was never opened and assembled until 2006. Since 2006 it has seen moderate use for projects around the house (deck, work bench, basement shelving, etc.). My question is should I keep the Craftsman and get a new fence (Shop Fox Classic) or is my money better spent on a new table saw such as the Ridgid 4512 or a used Ridgid 3650? I would also sell the Craftsman to offset the cost. I think I paid about $250 dollars new in 1990 for the Craftsman as it was a special closeout deal that I could not pass up. That is why my spouse does not let me go anywhere near a Lowes, Home Depot or Sears by myself anymore. Also, if I should upgrade the Craftsman, does anyone know if the fence rail bolt holes on the Shop Fox match up with the Craftsman without having to drill any holes? And, is the Direct Drive not as desirable as a Belt Drive in respect to the Craftsman?

Lieutenant Dan

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

22 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15493 posts in 2431 days

#1 posted 02-02-2012 03:36 PM

Luitenant Dan (in my best forrest gump), ive seen a lot of guys around here adapt a delta T2 fence to the older craftsman saws. Some had to drill a few holes but it seems to have made a world of difference to them. Id venture to say that if you have enough horses in that saw to accomdate what you do a simple fence upgrade and a sled would serve you pretty well. For what its worth im still running a craftsman saw with the above specified POS fence. One of these days …..

Welcome to the gang ….. look forward to your posts.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2800 days

#2 posted 02-02-2012 03:51 PM

I’d definitely prefer a belt drive induction motor over a direct drive universal motor. They supply more torque, are much quieter, more reliable, and are cheaper and easier to fix in the event of a motor failure.

With that said, I’ve never seen a Craftsman direct drive saw that had cast iron extensions, so a pic might help clarify which model you have.

Welcome to LJ’s!

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

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2100 days

#3 posted 02-02-2012 03:59 PM

Dan, knotscott is the local authority on table saws. The rest of us have opinions but from what I have read he is probably more knowledgeable than anyone else.
With that said…..I agree with him. I have a couple of Craftsman saws. In fact I have 3 in my shop now. Craftsman did make a saw back in the mid ‘80’s that was a cable drive. I wasn’t a true direct drive. The motor drove a cable in a housing then that drove the arbor. There was no belt. Is this what you have? I think those saws had cast iron tables and possibly cast iron wings on them. The truly direct drive motor Craftsman saws I have seen have sheet metal wings and mostly aluminum tables. With that said I prefer them over the cable drive saws.
I think if I were in your position I would see what this saw is then if it is a direct drive I might upgrade the fence if the saw is handling the job. You might want a fence that you can adapt to this saw and will bolt to the next saw. A trade that is lateral is seldom a good trade.

View lieutenantdan's profile


176 posts in 1730 days

#4 posted 02-02-2012 05:37 PM

The saw is 2hp and has plenty of torque. The model no. is 113.226880. Can anyone comment on the Shop Fox with a Craftsman with the 113 code? Any drilling required?

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2391 posts in 2346 days

#5 posted 02-02-2012 05:45 PM

I agree with knotscot. I have a ridgid3650 and like it much better than the direct drive saw, I used to have.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2010 days

#6 posted 02-02-2012 06:13 PM

Both Delta and Craftsman had a small line of contractor saws (with cast iron tops) that used direct drive motors rather than the traditional belt driven induction motors. I believe these were available in the early 90s. I know of several people who have one. They are definitely a step up from today’s benchtop/jobsite saws as you still have the weight, but they are still not as good as a belt drive, for many reasons including those sited in other posts.

I have an older Craftsman Contractor saw (belt drive) and I did put a Delta T2 fence on mine, and I did have to drill holes. The thing is, there is no standard for screw holes for fence rail attachments. The shop fox fence is designed to attach to grizzly and shop fox saws. It is entirely possible that they based their screw holes off of another mfgr’s setup. That said, most likely you will have to drill holes. However, don’t let that stop you. The hardest part is getting it lined up so that tape measure on the bar is accurate to the blade. Once you have that, make a drill guide to get the right height position for the hold. Get some machine oil (or you are going to quickly dull your bit) and frequently coat the bit with it as you are drilling. Drill slowly. I learned that one the hard way. When going through that thick of cast iron, the bit will want to grab when it breaks through. My first hole, the drill was ripped out of my hands, and I had a sore shoulder for a week.

A good fence can make a decent saw a good saw.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View yank's profile


57 posts in 3557 days

#7 posted 02-02-2012 06:28 PM

Are u sure you have the right model # ?? It does not come up on the Sears web site for table saws.. It may be eliminated from the inventory and information section.

-- My Father was my mentor for my woodworking hobby and knowledge. Luv ya Dad.

View home8401's profile


9 posts in 1733 days

#8 posted 02-02-2012 06:55 PM

Hi, Im a new member and heres the first thing I did after reading how to install a Delta T2 fence on my old Craftsman Saw. The article I found here was enspiring to say the least. So I ordered the fence and it arrived last Tuesday.
The thing I was concerned with was the length of the fence itself. Sure enough, my table saw bed is only 21” deep and the fence arm was roughly 30” long. I posted a note here asking for anyone with experience of how to go about this. Not much help but would like to thank those who did offer suggestions. Well I took matters into my own hands, sence I have done about everything there is to do.

Well here it is for all you guys who have a Delta 36-T30 t2 fence or are pondering to send it back or you guys who have been listening to all this stuff and afraid to buy one. I’m not much of a procedure writer but will do my best.

If you already have a Delta fence on your saw and have built an extension out the back to compensate for the length of the fence read on. If you have one and don’t know how to remedy the problem, read on.

Here’s what I did, I followed the nice article on here “Retrofitting A Delta T2 Fence ot a Craftsman Saw”.
The only things I found different were, I couldn’t install the rails and mark the holes from under my say, there just wasn’t enough room. And secondly, the steel is a mild soft steel and very easy to drill.
Anyway, I installed the front rail after drilling holes. Installed the Tube on it and put the fence on.
Went around to the back of the saw and put that rail on using clamps.
Picked up the fence, turned it over and removed the black clamp with the white block installed with it.
Put the fence back on tha table saw and held the black clamp under the fence, setting it on the back rail
where it will ride as fence is moved back and forth. Used a pencil and marked its new location on the bottom of the fence. Removed the fence and again turned it upside down.
I wanted the fence to look like I had never touched it so used measurements at the back end of the fence to extablish the cut lines. In other words, If you look at the back end of the fence, you see the sides of the fence(which are aluminum) stick out further than the steel body of the fence. I wanted mine to look just like that after I whack a bunch off the rear. I started by measuring from the point where the black clamp bracked had once been bolted to the fence to the end of the heavy steel main body ended and transfered that measurement to my pencel mark and marked where it would be cut. Did the same for the aluminum side pieces. Once cut marks were made, I was ready to cut. On the bottom of the fence there are access holes and inside there are six bolts and nuts. I loosened everyone of those nuts but do not remove them. Now slide the aluminum sides off and lay them on your cut table. I used a hacksaw to start the cuts and then I used my power cut-ott saw. It is a Makita hand held tool used for sanding or you can install a 4” cut-off wheel and it cuts thru steel and aluminum like butter.
I cut both side rails and the main steel where I had marked them. You should end up with three pieces you cut off and they should all be the same length if you did everything right. Careful, that steel and aluminum is not only hot but has sharp edges. Use a couple files to dress up the cut area and remove all burrs. Remove the black plastic plugs from the aluminum pieces you just cut off and tap them into the new ends of your aluminum fence.
Hold the head of the black bolts and washer out and slide the aluminum sides back on and set them in the locations they were in before the surgery. Don’t forget to set the black rear clamp back on the fence at the marks
you made. Drill new holes and Install that clamp along with the white glide block. You will notice that when you removed that black clamp there was a piece of steel welded on and the holes in it were threaded. The threading
was needed so no nuts were needed underneath. If you have not installed the rear angle iron rail then you do not need to build up the black clamp, just install it and then when the fence height is set. everything will work. If your rear rail is already installed then you will have to build up that black clamping bracket. By the way, when I drilled for the rear black clamp, I didn’t bother with tap and die work. I just turned the fence on its side and reached in from the end, put on lock washer and nut and tightened.
My fence glides like it is sliding on butter. I love it. All this mod took me about 30-45 minutes. Far less time than building all that wood extension stull. and it looks professional.
Best of luck.

-- Wendell

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2499 days

#9 posted 02-02-2012 07:07 PM

I don’t know what your future plans are but I sense that you may be retiring and turning to woodworking as a hobby you will pursue with some intensity in the years to come. If that is not true – stop reading. If it is true consider this thought – -

If you really “get into” woodworking, eventually you may not be happy with either the Craftsman or the Ridgids you are speaking of. If that is true, you may be talking about an interim step before stepping up to a more powerful, more precise (and more expensive) saw later. If that is the case, I would opt for getting by with your Craftsman until you are ready for the “big step”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2800 days

#10 posted 02-02-2012 07:57 PM

If this is your saw, then it’s likely some holes would have to be drilled. Rarely do we hear of someone being able to add an aftermarket fence directly without at least some drilling. Cast iron drills fairly easily though. If adding a fence to this saw is the route you prefer to take, I’d consider going with the Delta T2 fence over the Shop Fox, simply because it’s more cost effective and is a similar design. (< $155 shipped from

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

View lieutenantdan's profile


176 posts in 1730 days

#11 posted 02-02-2012 08:06 PM

That is my saw. Only mine is in at least 100 times better condition. The saw blade on this model is attached directly to the end of the motor shaft.

-- "Of all the things I have lost in life, I miss my mind the most."

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2238 days

#12 posted 02-02-2012 08:25 PM

Will it accept zero-clearance inserts? If not, that alone would make me go buy a Jet or other reputable saw. My late ‘90’s craftsman had a thin steel throat plate and would not accept mdf inserts. It was loud, underpowered, and too lightweight. There might be a good used saw in your market that is only somewhat more expensive than a new high-quality fence.

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

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1526 posts in 1930 days

#13 posted 02-02-2012 08:49 PM

Lt Dan, I had the EXACT same saw as you. I tried to tweak it and it is not worth keeping or upgrading. I ended up buying a nice used Craftsman 1996 model 113.298.xxxx belt driven saw and I have loved it for years.

See pics on my website link below.

With my current saw I filled in the webbed wings with Liquid Nails and 1/4 ich plywood, painted gray. I got a Ridgid AC1036 fence for 50 bucks, drilled 4 holes and it is great.

I ten added a link belt, built a cheap mobile base, a zero clearence insert and a Forrest WW II 30 tooth blade and this saw is the bees knees.

Total investment less than $500.

I see saw like mine and the Ridgid saws on Craigs list and E-bay ALL the time.

Best of luck to ya!

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1526 posts in 1930 days

#14 posted 02-02-2012 08:50 PM

Knott Scott…THAT IS THE SAW I HAD, and what he (the OP) has. Good job finding that! :-)

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2800 days

#15 posted 02-02-2012 09:31 PM

The sad irony of that pic and the link to the story, is that the motor burned out on that saw right after he got done getting the fence installed and adjusted. Which was my concern for the OP before I even found the link….ya just never know.

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

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