|Forum topic by jellywerker||posted 11-25-2013 11:32 PM||3406 views||1 time favorited||8 replies|
11-25-2013 11:32 PM
I picked up a 1968 craftsman off of craigslist recently to help me finish out some work around the house. It’s in decent shape for an old saw (it’s identical to this one: http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=13385) and I’m starting to tune it up.
The bearings are good, no play in the arbor, very little runout, little rust, so mostly I’ve just replaced the worn belt with a link belt, made a few zci’s, and put in a new blade (just a 7.25in skillsaw blade. Good enough for the cuts I’m making right now and the tiny kerf makes it so the small motor can keep up easily) and built a cart for it so I can move it around myself, as the saw currently lives in our unfinished living room. I have the most patient girlfriend.
That said, the fence is terrible and inaccurate and I’d like to build a small biesemeyer clone. I’m sure I can make it more accurate than the current splay of 1/4 over 22 inches. Since I’m not really set up to work with steel right now, and this will be a temporary fence (I’ll weld up a nice one when I can rent some shop space to move this saw into and build a new cabinet and outfeed table for it) I wanted to make it out of aluminum. My concern is that aluminum might not be sturdy enough to hold up to the cam clamp pressure over time, and that the guide rails might get distorted.
Short version: Is aluminum suitable for guide rails on a cam-locking t-square fence? I’m thinking 2×2 square tubing with 3/16in walls. Total length of rails will not be greater than 40 inches.