Table Saw Upgrades

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Forum topic by Hermando posted 06-19-2012 09:22 PM 3941 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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75 posts in 2998 days

06-19-2012 09:22 PM

Hello All, I am sitting on the fence (so to speak) about upgrading the Craftsman contractor table saw I own. I have tossed back and forth the idea of buying a new saw for my hobby, but have found some good deals on some upgrades. I bought the saw from a woman up in the mountains here in Colorado for $45 and its the model 113.299315 with 1/2hp induction motor, cast iron top. It also has the steel sheet metal extension wings and the 24” Align-A Rip fence.

The saw itself is pretty solid and has enough power with adjustments fairly easy to make. I have upgraded to a link belt and tuned it up fairly true. Although the rip fence is better than most sold at the time, similar to the Ridgid table saws. I have not always trusted the ripping accuracy of the fence. The extensions wings being sheet metal steel still has a sag from the weight and just never lay flat across the entire table surface.

I recently purchased a Shop Fox 26 Classic from a guy off Craigslist for $100. It is in great shape, but the factory holes do not line up with the craftsman mounting holes. Question should I drill the cast iron top or drill the fence brace to fit. At some point I would like to upgrade to a Steel City or Jet, but may not be for some time and the craftsman is still a good machine for my needs. If I decide to upgrade I could always use the Shop Fox, but will have mounting holes for the craftsman in addition to the factory mounting.

Second question, I have been planning on getting the craftsman cast iron wings. Most are not solid surface, but have the ribbed cross braces. Very solid though. Is there any disadvantage or advantage to having the cast replace the steel extension wings.

Thanks for any suggestions or opinions.


6 replies so far

View Bobmedic's profile


381 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 06-19-2012 09:33 PM

The best thing to do is what works for you. If the upgrades are cheap enough then I would say go for it. I wouldn’t spend a bunch of money upgrading something that you are looking to replace because you won’t get the money back out of it. I have a Ridgid R4512 table saw and I love it. I haven’t had any of the troubles that some people have had with alignment issues. The stamped wings can be a problem because they are seldom flat and can be dented easily. I don’t particularly care for the web design of the Craftsman wings but if it is what you want then go for it. I don’t think you can go wrong with a fairly inexpensive TS like the Ridgid or for a little more the Grizzly. Many on here have them and like them. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


View knotscott's profile


8147 posts in 3576 days

#2 posted 06-19-2012 10:15 PM

The Shop Fox Classic is a pretty good Biesemeyer copy, and is a definite upgrade from the Align-a-rip fence. If you like it, mount it….cast iron drills more easily than steel, so I’d drill the cast table. You’re saw is left tilt, so you can actually slide the fence rails to the right a little farther to gain more rip capacity if you want to….it’d be a good idea to support those rails if you do that. You can always sell you’re Align-a-rip fence to offset the upgrade costs.

Cast iron wings tend to be flatter and are heavier, which adds stability. The downside is usually cost.

Adding a decent blade is always a good investment…the saw’s performance is largely dependent on the blade and the alignment.

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3171 days

#3 posted 06-19-2012 10:15 PM

Someone said they did not like the cast web wings because there are so many edges there to screw up your work.
That made sense to me and I have always been pretty satisfied with the stamped steel wings. I made sure mine were installed absolutely flat and they have stayed that way.

View Hermando's profile


75 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 06-19-2012 10:28 PM

Thanks for the advice for drilling the holes for the fence. I didn’t want to make to many mods to the fence rails as it cost more than the saw. I was given a single cast extension which I cleaned the rust and mounted and liked the true flat surface and not imperfections of the steel wings. I might keep the Align a rip for when I decide ( can afford) a real nice upgrade and then the shop fox will still be original

View JHS's profile


3 posts in 2404 days

#5 posted 06-19-2012 10:40 PM

I have only been a member of your group for six weeks. I want to purchase a good table saw and I would like some advice.
Can someone help me?

My top Budget is about $800 and that is it! Of the following which is the best buy for the money: Sears #21833 (made by Steel City) $650 Porter Cable PCB270TS (Lowes) $600
Grizzly #G0732 $800
Grizzly #G0715P $800

Or, does someone have another saw that they would suggest?

Thank you for your assistance!

John Shattuck
Pensacola, Florida

View knotscott's profile


8147 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 06-19-2012 11:20 PM

John – Be aware that the aware that the PCB270TS has a plastic elevation gear that has had several reported issues. It also has what I think is a fairly weak fence compared to others in this class. Steel wings are typically a given in this price range. (I added more info in your other thread…)

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

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