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Fix up Craftsman contractor table saw

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Forum topic by SvenPHX posted 396 days ago 1801 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


396 days ago

Quite a few years ago I purchased a Craftsman contractor style table saw and used it a lot to make a variety of furniture and jig projects. I changed my focus to working on cars a lot and took up metal work and welding so my table saw went into disuse. Eventually a friend of mine purchased the saw, maybe 5 years ago, which he hasn’t used more than a couple times and has been sitting in the garage collecting dust and rat poop.

My missus has been getting on me to build some furniture for the new house (bed, blanket chest, media center, drawer chest, etc.) and I want some cabinets for my garage. I’ve been looking for a table saw and to knock the dust off my tools.

Last night I managed to snag back my old saw for the perfect price ($0), along with the Freud 8” Super Dado set I purchased back in the day. Where the saw was sitting there was a ton of rat poop and various things that had been eaten or chewed on by the rats.

The saw top was covered in rat poop and there’s quite a bit of discoloration and surface rust. I’m certain the top is in good shape below it and the rust hasn’t bitten too deep. A bit of elbow grease, mineral oil and scotchbrite pads will get the top nice again.

I hauled it home and unloaded it. I plugged it in and flipped the switch. Nada! Not a peep from it. Maybe the motor is bad, maybe the rats ate through some wires, maybe it’s just annoyed having sat around for a while.

My intent is to get the saw up and running again, make sure it runs perfectly true and install a Incra TS-LS system.

Later I’ll take some photos and post them and more details (part numbers, etc.) on the saw itself. I’ll use this posting to keep track of my progress and suck your brains for information on how to do what I want. Real work will start on the saw next week.

-Steve


44 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5436 posts in 2012 days


#1 posted 396 days ago

Some of those older Cman motors could be plugged directly into a 120v socket….maybe you can at least eliminate the switch as a culprit. Good luck!

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

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#2 posted 396 days ago

Here’s the plate on the saw showing the model number:

I had a little time so I started to clean the top. It started looking like this:

The picture really doesn’t do justice to how nasty the top was. Rat poop piled on it with pee and rust for good measure. A close up:

I went over the top with a scraper. The first time:

The second time. I also went through the miter slots with a wire brush:

Next steps are to go over the top with a scotchbrite with mineral oil and then wax with silicone free floor wax. I’m hoping that will finish it up nicely. If the pad doesn’t clean it up enough I’ll use some sand paper on a DA sander.

Now the good news. I got it to run after fixing the wiring:

http://s880.photobucket.com/user/SvenPHX/media/TableSaw/IMG_0158_zps89b9006f.mp4.html

In the video you can also see a lot of vibration, most likely from the worn out belt. I will replace this with a sectional belt that I think will smooth it out.

I am missing the blade guards and miter gauge and I will make some zero clearance inserts and an insert for the dado set. I think it should be ready to roll. I’ll order the Incra fence next week.

-Steve

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#3 posted 396 days ago

From what I’ve read, the fan belt type drive belt take a set when they’re left in the same place for a while and that may be what causes the vibration. The sectional belts don’t do that and should clear up almost all the vibration.

Forgot to mention, I’ll also be making a jig so I can use a dial indicator to set the blade perfectly parallel to the miter slots. Without this I don’t think even with the most super accurate fence will I get the quality if cuts I’m looking for.

-Steve

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knotscott

5436 posts in 2012 days


#4 posted 395 days ago

You’re making great progress. It’ll be good as new in no time.

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

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#5 posted 393 days ago

Had an hour tonight so I Ddismantled the wings and rails. I sanded the top, starting with 120g twice and then 220g once. I cleaned the top with mineral oil and wiped it until it was clean and then put one coat of Johnson floor wax which has no silicone. The top is now silky smooth and slippery. I plan to add a couple more coats of wax and polish it up. I’ll then take some photos when I have light for the before and after shots.

-Steve

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#6 posted 378 days ago

Here are the ‘after’ pics now I’m done with cleaning and polishing the top and reassembling the table. Left to do is to make some zero clearance inserts, replace the belt and align the blade to the miter slots.

The left extension wing will be replaced with a router table top and router lift that I will build. I have some workshop sorting and tidying up before I want to start any of that, plus the temperatures here need to drop below 100 degrees …

-Steve

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Craftsman70

241 posts in 762 days


#7 posted 378 days ago

Looks good. It cleaned up much better than I expected.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5436 posts in 2012 days


#8 posted 377 days ago

I love seeing the “before and after” pics of a restoration. It gives folks an idea of just how far a poorly cared for saw can come. With a good blade and good alignment, it’ll serve you well for years. Well done!

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

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toolie

1746 posts in 1265 days


#9 posted 377 days ago

nicely done. i have a similar c-man and opted to keep it and a related ridgid TS over a unisaw i refurbished. if you want an even shinier top, continue with the mineral spirits as a lubricant for wet/dry paper. 400 grit followed by 800 grit. those older c-man saws really last.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#10 posted 377 days ago

Thank you, I’m very pleased. It came up pretty good. One question, it has a pretty old blade but doesn’t seem to have had a lot of use although it does have some resin build up. Is it worth cleaning it up? If so, how would one remove the resin? I’ll do a couple test cuts with the blade and see how it performs.

-Steve

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3426 posts in 2597 days


#11 posted 377 days ago

Removing the junk from the blade is easy, cheap, and eco-friendly.
I use Arm & Hammer WASHING SODA (not baking soda). Warm water soak, quick brush off, dry, use.
Can’t get any easier than that.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#12 posted 377 days ago

Anything that easy can’t really work, right? :)

I’ll give it a roll tonight, thank you. I’ll probably treat the saw to new blades also, but I’ll clean this one up for cutting junk wood …

-Steve

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SvenPHX

32 posts in 402 days


#13 posted 377 days ago

My zero clearance insert made from 1/4” MDF. I hate working with MDF, but Home Depot was out of small sheets of 1/4” birch plywood and I am just too impatient to wait.

Good first crack and making another (or several) from plywood will be much easier now I have a good template.

Got some kick back from the blade when I cut the strip on the table saw. I’m pretty sure the rip fence is parallel to the miter slots so it must be the blade out of alignment. That’s the next job. I have to work out some contrivance to index my dial indicator off the miter slots.

The saw blade is soaking. More on that tomorrow or so.

-Steve

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 991 days


#14 posted 377 days ago

Mean Green, Greased Lightening and Awesome remove pitch on blades really well, dunno if it would be effective on a rusty blade though. I try to not let my blades go to that.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Tugboater78's profile

Tugboater78

942 posts in 828 days


#15 posted 377 days ago

Looking good, I recently acquired an older craftsman saw myself, the top wasn’t nearly as bad as yours. I had to give it a good sanding, polish, I got mine nowhere near as shiny as yours. I plan on doing so soon, just have so many other projects on the list that require my attention more. Also made a zci but from 1/2 Borg ply, it works but it could be better I will be using it as a template for some better ones. I have some 1/4 Baltic birch ply I may try out, as trying to cut recesses for the lip was rather a pain.

-- Justin - the tugboat woodworker - " nothing changed me like the first shnick from a well sharpened, decent hand plane"

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