Old Craftsman saw needs TLC

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Forum topic by scribble posted 05-04-2014 01:28 AM 1714 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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175 posts in 2196 days

05-04-2014 01:28 AM

I picked up an older Craftsman cast iron 3hp belt drive contractors saw for a song. I looked rusty but not pitted yet. I noticed the blade lift and tilt were very hard to move. I disassembled the saw as far as I could without disassemble the trunnion. I am looking for some good advice on good lubricants to use on the worm gears and anything I should be on the lookout for or recommendations for upgrades. I have seen the link belt and pulley kit and am already thinking a delta fence kit as an upgrade.

I appreciate any advice… Other than get a different saw, heard that one enough already.

-- If you can't read it Scribble wrote it!! “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

11 replies so far

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3052 days

#1 posted 05-04-2014 01:47 AM

Take a look at the Old Woodworking Machines site. It’s I got great info there. I’m no expert but I rehabbed an old powermatic 66 a few years ago and it runs great. I used a variety of cleaners, rust removers, rust protection fluids and lubricants. For the various gears I loaded them with WD40 and used a small brass brush to clean the moving parts. I bought the Boeshield products from woodcraft, see the link below. For me the hardest part was removing the rust from the top. Good luck. Please post pics when you are done.


-- Glen

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#2 posted 05-04-2014 02:25 AM

First thing I would do is take a pressure washer to it or a hose and pressure nozzle and clean all the sawdust and built up grease of that you can. Then do as Glen suggests.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2021 days

#3 posted 05-04-2014 03:07 AM

+ 1 on pressure washing, that will get rid of alot of crud. Then you can de-rust and lube.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View macatlin1's profile


78 posts in 2939 days

#4 posted 05-04-2014 11:41 AM

That looked a lot like my Craftsman 113.22411 when I got it. I disassembled it as much as possible (ie. without driving out any pins). I wiped down all the parts with mineral spirits and just did a thorough cleaning. For the jack screws, I removed the rust via electrolysis by hanging them in a bucket.. For the table, I made a shallow pan using some scrap plywood framed with 2×4’s and lined it with a plastic paint tarp. Again, I “boiled” it using electrolysis and got the rust off. Once everything was cleaned I masked off all the areas where moving parts go through or rub against and sprayed with primer and white paint. I opened up the center bolt hole in the front trunnion to accept a 1/2 inch diameter shoulder bolt (McMaster-Carr) and mad a set pf PAL’s for the rear trunnion. Upon reassembly, I “greased” the jack screws with Johnsons wax and ran things back and forth to get an even application. Silky smooth operation and the blade is parallel to the miter slots to within .004. The white interior makes it easy to check for dust buildup and just see better. Good luck, looks like a nice project!

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2433 days

#5 posted 05-04-2014 01:48 PM

I usually stay away from any oils or greases, as they just attract more sawdust and get the gears gunked up. I recently started using a dry lube for bike chains, Finish Line Teflon Dry. Does a great job keeping everything moving well and it doesn’t attract the sawdust. Just make sure you get everything as clean as you can, as far as the rust and dust goes.

macatlin1 – I like your idea of painting the insides white. Should really brighten up the insides. My next restoration I’m going to try this.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View ras61's profile


92 posts in 1517 days

#6 posted 05-04-2014 02:32 PM

I just went through the same process with a similar Delta contractor saw. To clean the rusty top I first went over it with a wire wheel on a drill to get rid of the heavy rust. I then sanded it with 150 grit followed by 220 sandpaper on a random orbital sander; this did a great job of getting down to the bare metal. Folded sandpaper did a great job of cleaning out the miter grooves.

For the internals I used white lithium grease on exposed moving parts as was recommended on this site. I also brushed some chainsaw bar oil into tight areas I couldn’t get at; this was my own idea, I figured since it works well with chainsaws and saw dust why not a table saw? I then just “exercised” the elevation and tilt until they moved freely.

You may want to check my post on this same topic to see what others recommended, it’s titled “Delta Contractor Saw Upgrades”, if you go to my “Home” you can easily find it. Good luck!

-- "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum" - James L. Petigru, 1860

View johnstoneb's profile


2914 posts in 2168 days

#7 posted 05-04-2014 03:02 PM

All good suggestions. You will definitely want to upgrade from the original fence. The Delta t2 is an excellent upgrade. I went with it on my 113. There are other good fences out there if the Delta is hard to find.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View scribble's profile


175 posts in 2196 days

#8 posted 05-04-2014 07:10 PM


What was the reasoning for the 1/2” shoulder bolt in the front trunnion?

I have gotten the jack shaft for the raise and lower housing to move smooth in its carrier but the actual housing seems like it is very stiff still. I removed the c clip and tried to separate but didn’t go hog wild for fear of damaging something.

-- If you can't read it Scribble wrote it!! “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

View macatlin1's profile


78 posts in 2939 days

#9 posted 05-05-2014 10:27 AM

Scribble, the shoulder bolt provides a fixed reference for rotation. Without it the front trunnion can shift sideways or rotate about either end bolt. The shoulder makes sure that the trunnion assembly rotates about the center of the front trunnion. I found that it helped to make a easy adjustment. Before adding the bolt, the front of the saw blade seemed to move from side to side when taking measurements (not while running). My technique was to measure the front of the blade (same tooth) and zero the dial indicator then shift to the rear of the blade (again same tooth) and use the PALs to shift the trunnion. Again at the front, zero the indicator and shift to the back and then use the PALs. After 3 iterations the readings were zero (+/- .002) at both the front and the rear. Then lay the blade over 45 and check again. If the readings differ the trunnions need to be shimmed.

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175 posts in 2196 days

#10 posted 05-05-2014 01:24 PM

I think I am understanding you correctly that you changed the tilt lock down bolt to a 1/2” shoulder bolt from what it was or am I thinking of the incorrect bolt.

-- If you can't read it Scribble wrote it!! “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

View macatlin1's profile


78 posts in 2939 days

#11 posted 05-05-2014 04:53 PM

In the picture, on the left is a gray colored fitting that is attached to the table with 3 bolts. And, from the look of the adjusting wheels that would be the front of the saw. The bolt I replaced was the center bolt of these three. This provides a fixed rotation point for adjusting the blade to be parallel to the miter slots.

I’ve attached a picture of what my saw looked like when I first got it home.

This is what the internals looked like after disassembly. Note: Not all parts are shown.

This is what the vat looked like while the table was undergoing electrolysis.

This is what the arbor bearing looked like after painting and bearing replacement. This didn’t need de-rusting but simply a good hard wire brushing.

This is another shot of the arbor bearing showing some of the places I masked off for painting. Pretty much anywhere there was metal to metal contact. Prior to assembly all the bear metal got several coats of wax.

This picture is of the internal blade shroud and elevation pivot for the arbor bearing. In the lower right hand of the picture is the bearing circle for blade tilt.

This is the underside of the table after painting. Note: I even masked off all of the bolting locations. Since only the 3 at each end of the blade slot are critical, the outer ones could have been painted.

Assembled saw with new 3 HP 220VAC motor. At this stage I hadn’t added the link belt.

The left hand PAL adjuster. The black and red items are shims for the tilt alignment.

This shows the right hand PAL installed. The adjuster is made from a 1/2 inch square key (like between a pulley and a shaft) and some 1 inch wide steel strip. The bolt is a 1/4-20 bolt with a lock nut. The trunion bolt was replaced with a piece of threaded rod and has a nut and a nylon lock nut.

This is the dial indicator at the front of the blade. As you can see the tool is simple, a block of wood, some 3/4 steel strip (filed to slide in the slot) and some screws and bolts.

This is the indicator at the rear of the blade. If you look closely at the blade you can see the “X” to have the indicator always touch the blade in the same spot. The indicator always hovered around the same distance away from zero. Probably due to flexing in the wood block.

Just a closeup of the indicator block. The bevel on the right side is to allow the indicator to be tilted to measure the blade when the blade is tilted 45 degrees. This measurement is to set the pivot axis parallel to the surface of the table.

I hope this helps. Work carefully and have fun!

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