Older Craftsman 12" Bandsaw....should I refurbish it or sell it?

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Forum topic by Cory posted 03-23-2009 10:42 PM 62055 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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760 posts in 3592 days

03-23-2009 10:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw question refurbishing

I need some expert help. I have an old Craftsman model #113.243440 12” bandsaw and a model #113.298090 table saw that I am contemplating refurbishing. I’ve plugged them both in and turned them on and the blades will cut, but it’s pretty rough. I would imagine that at a minimum the bandsaw willl need new tires, blades, new switch and power cord. The table saw’s fence is shot, but the motor runs pretty well. Not sure what else might be lurking.

Do you guys think it’s worth my time to try and refurbish the saw or sell it and put the proceeds towards a new bandsaw?

Here are some pics

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

17 replies so far

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3734 days

#1 posted 03-24-2009 12:30 AM

IMHO neither these saws at their best are very good. Therefore if it were me I’d go for new, especially the band saw.

-- Joe

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2821 posts in 3610 days

#2 posted 03-24-2009 12:56 AM

That is a picture of my bandsaw. I purchase it around 1977 when I graduated from the Maine school of Luthiery. I made a dozen guitars then got married and moved. 6 months ago over 30 years later I redid the shop, cleaned the saw up, took it all apart and lubricated it and aligned the thing. It’s running the same tires, switch, and right now one of several 30 year old craftsman bandsaw blades. Today I did some resawing of a 5” piece of oak. It may not be up to the new ones but it works well. The only difference I can see is that my table is solid cast. Yours seems to be striated? Possibly sheet metal?
If I were you I’d clean it up and see what it can do. Then get another one if you need to. This one can always be fitted with a course blade for rough cutting.
BTW, the switch, mechanism, and motor are tough. I doubt if they’d need replacing.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 3825 days

#3 posted 03-24-2009 02:05 AM

I have a Craftsman Table saw with that fence system on it and I tell it was shot when I bought it brand new in 1981.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3592 days

#4 posted 03-24-2009 03:04 AM

Thanks for the input guys. I’ve never refurbished a tool before, so I’m a little nervous about getting into it. I’ll probably take it apart and see what I can get into. Worst case scenairio I’ll Craigs List it and take what I can get.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View LesB's profile


1838 posts in 3616 days

#5 posted 03-24-2009 06:03 AM

If you want a good preforming saw junk these and buy a quality saw, 16” or 18” in you can afford it. I really like the Powermatic or Jets. It will last the rest of your lifetime and cut almost anything a hobbyist can desire. You will never be happy with those old Craftsman saws….or even a new Craftsman for that matter.

-- Les B, Oregon

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18380 posts in 3849 days

#6 posted 03-24-2009 08:03 AM

Sort of depends on the level of preformance you require. I agree my craftsman table saw fence was shot when I brought it home new in the mid 70’s. Most of what I have done is rough carpentry up to this point. I may find in the near future it is a thing of the past ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3846 days

#7 posted 03-24-2009 02:31 PM

As someone who has refurbished every tool in his shop I can tell you that you really want to start with a tool that is worth the effort.

Those 2 tools are moderately OK tools. With lots of love and attention you might get them performing decent. But its hit or miss. Emmerson (models that start with 113) had some quality control issues in the 80’s which gave Craftsman the start of their bad name in power tools.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3592 days

#8 posted 03-24-2009 03:26 PM

What do you guys think would be a fair price to ask for these tools when I sell them on Craigs List?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3896 days

#9 posted 03-25-2009 02:08 AM

Current economic situations will probably only let you get may $50.00 a piece max.

It sounds like you are leaning towards selling them? If so, I suggest finding better saws to begin your restoration effort. I believe these saws (or others made during this time frame – mid to lat 70’s) have too much of a Japanese lineage for them to be worth saving. Something 15 or more years older would be a vast improvement.

Good luck and good hunting!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3592 days

#10 posted 03-25-2009 04:39 PM

Man, $50? That’s really not even worth my time to get them cleaned up. Thanks for all the input and information, guys. As usual, there’s a wealth of knowledge here.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3846 days

#11 posted 03-25-2009 05:14 PM

I wouldn’t clean them up. Low sale prices dictate a minimal amount of effort on your part.

I’d put them up as $100 OBO for each and see what happens

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3845 days

#12 posted 03-25-2009 06:12 PM

Cory, I faced a similar situation with the same model about one year ago. I cleaned it up, put on new tires and bearings for about $60. It works like a charm for me and I’ve used it to make hundreds of cuts.

Would I like a new saw? Sure. But for the price, my Craftsman serves me well. Hope this helps.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View laflaone's profile


59 posts in 3853 days

#13 posted 03-26-2009 01:30 AM

Cory, I have a Craftsman 12” bandsaw, model 113..

Cory, I have a Craftsman 12” bandsaw, model 113.24350, which I have had over 30 years. It does a very good job, because I take care of it, and very carefully fine tune it. The wheels are in parallax, tires are new when needed, etc. I suspect that a properly tuned 30 year old craftsman is as good as a 3 year old “top of the line” bandsaw that some would not keep in top shape. By the way, I had to replace one of the bearing adjustment arms a year ago. Went on the Sears parts list website, looked up the part, and had it in less than a week. Care to make a wager how many of the “top end” brands will be around 30 years from now, much less can you order the parts?

-- "non illegitimis carborundum"

View Neodogg's profile


94 posts in 3600 days

#14 posted 03-30-2009 03:16 PM

Not sure about doing much with a direct drive motor TS, I was able to clean up my g-pa’s “54 contractor craftsman TS and works like a charm, the fence even stays square! I’d focus more on the band saw if I was going to work on either one. just my 2d

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3568 days

#15 posted 03-30-2009 03:53 PM

I have a ShopSmith bandsaw on its own base. It came with the SS I bought 27 years ago. Last year I decided I wanted to make it better than it was so I got new urethane tires and some good guide blocks, and then I proceeded to tear it down and start from scratch.
When I got to the point of installing a new blade to true it up I found out where the real design flaw was. There is no adjustment for the top wheel, relative to tracking.
I called the ShopSmith “tech service” and was connected to a woman who claimed to be an expert in bandsaws. I asked.
She told me I would have to BEND the arm for the top wheel to adjust for tracking. (!) I asked if there was something I could buy to provide better adjustment and she, with some irritation told me that was it. That’s just the way it is. I said I had consulted with other experts in the field and they offered a number of ways they adjust other brands of bandsaws. She fired back that she didn’t care what othet manufacturers did, THAT WAS THE WAY SHOPSHITH DID IT!!!!!
That wasn’t the first time I had received an ear blistering from a so-called tech expert at ShopSmith, even though I have never given them any reason to get nasty. I’ve stuck with the machine for all these years and have kept it in good operating condition.
So my advice is this: Don’t hope for conventional technical assistance from SS and don’t look for that band saw to give the kind of service and flexibility other, better bandsaws deliver. As soon as I can see my way clear to buy a MUCH better saw, this one will be all taillights!
Nevertheless, I prize the rest of the ShopSmith for its flexibiliity and precision. I still use it everyday when working in the shop, utilizing its strengths and recognizing its shortcomings.
It is, by far, the best drill press I have ever had. I keep it, for the most part, set up as a multifunction sandind center with the 6×48 belt sander, a drumsander and a 16” disc sander installed. It is, by no stretch of the imagination, a good tablesaw and I haven’t had a tablesaw blade on it for some years.
That’s the story on my long experience with ShopSmith, the good and sometimes the bad.
Best regards from a septuagenarian woodworker,

-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

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