Craftsman 22124 Table Saw

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I know this has been done before, but I thought I'd post a few comments on the Craftsman 22124. I'm an amateur re-entering the hobby, and just took delivery of a saw last night. I don't have it running yet, but here are my thoughts on the saw and getting it into my basement. Hopefully, this will help somebody who's now in the same position I was a few months ago.
A few comments about the saw itself:
- The trunions are mounted to the cabinet entirely seperately from the table.
- The trunions look pretty consistent with other contractor-grade saws.
- There are adjustments for backlash on both the blade elevation and tilt geartrains.
- The control wheels are rather small. The tilt wheel rubs the plastic cap over the hole through which the shaft exits the cabinet. I don't know yet if this is by design, or if I need to adjust something. It works, but I'd like to improve the way it works if I can.
- The fence looks nice, as you'd expect, but two of the cross pieces are missing paint in places. I don't think it's functional, so I don't really care, but I do think that on a $900 saw, the finish ought to be better.
- I got the saw for 10% off (Craftsman club) of $900. Shipped, with tax, it was right at $900. There's lots of documentation online of folks getting better prices than that for various reasons. I think that's more a matter of patience, and your wilingness to do things like apply for Sears cards, if you don't already have one.).
I think that in general if you look at the 22124 expecting a cabinet saw, you'll come away disappointed. The trunions aren't as solid, the power isn't there, there's only one drive belt, and the hand wheels are kind of wimpy. However, if you look at it as a foreign-made contractor saw with a bunch of nice upgrade features, I think the saw can fit that role quite nicely and for a competitive price. I'll know more when I get it set up and running.
Some thoughts on what it took me to get it down into my basement.
- The saw itself is shipped in two packages. One, for the saw itself weighs about 400 pounds and is 30x30x42. The other, for the fence, is about 72x18x6 and weighs about 70 pounds.
- The saw is bolted with two 13mm bolts to a metal pallet. Around the saw and on the pallet, are the iron table extensions and a box containing the outfeed table, hand wheels, miter gauge, switch, and various sundries. Atop the saw is a box contining the miter fence and blade guard. Atop that box are the blade, drive belt, and manual. All of this stuff is wrapped in multiple layers of what basically amounts to industrial grade saran wrap. Atop this, and bolted to the pallet with four or five bolts is a metal frame. All of this is enclosed in a cardboard box, aside from four metal legs protruding from the bottom of the pallet.
- The delivery team dropped this off in my backyard. if I had had a basement door wide enough to accomodate a 30" box, I get the impression that they would have been willing to put the saw there. They did state they'd have been willing to move it into a garage.
- Getting the saw uncrated was pretty straightforward. The box cuts off, and after loosening the bolts, the top of the metal crate frame lifts off. The only thing to be careful of is that the saw and accessories can make it tricky for one person to remove. I removed the table extensions and miter gauge box from the pallet and that made it significantly easier. Removing the red motor shroud from the side of the saw would have made it easier still.
- The extension tables and other auxillary boxes account for about 100 pounds of the weight of the saw (excluding the fence). The main assembly of the saw itself weighs about 300 pounds and has a width of 24 inches, if you remove the red motor shroud. This is the biggest/heaviest piece of the whole thing. If 300 pounds is too much weight, I'm pretty sure it'd be possible to remove the table and motor to move the saw in more manageable pieces, but that'll make set up that much more difficult.
- To get the saw off of the pallet, the official approach for the 22124 is to unbolt the saw and team lift it off. I followed the instructions for the 22114 and 22104: I flipped the saw over, unbolted it, and flipped it right side up. This worked, with the caveat that the motor swung around inside the cabinet during the flip. Nothing seems visually damaged, while everything still works, I'd feel better about it had I secured the motor. (It was at least padded with styrofoam to keep it from hitting the cabinet wall.)
- I was able by myself to get the saw down the stairs and into the basement with a lot of effort, but without much drama. I used a hand truck, lashed the saw down tightly, and tied a heavy gauge (and now trash) extension cord to the handle of the hand truck. The extension cord I then ran around the base of a tree in line with the door and back around the handle. This was to have a way to both tie off the saw to rest between steps as well as to have a way to control the saw's descent without having to rely as much on my own strength/balance/footing/grip. A rope would be a lot better, but the extension cord jerry rig probably saved me a trip to the hospital.
Something worth noting is that everybody I spoke with, and the manual for the saw, is pretty explicit about moving the saw being a two-man operation. I don't think a second man would have helped in this case. He would have been below the saw, and consequently at more risk of being pinned had the saw fallen. (I didn't move the saw at all when I was under it, and made sure it was tied off.) Given that the saw and dolly are probably in the 330-340 lbs range, whoever's below would have to be incredibly strong to arrest any kind of loss of control of the mass. I think it's a lot more important (and safer) to have good mechanical means in place for controlling the descent. The second helper will be _far_ more useful installing the extension wings, I expect.
-Mike
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I've had my 22124 for about three weeks, and like it a lot (compared to my 35 year old Craftsman saw the 22124 replaced - hope I live long enough to get 35 years out of the new saw!). I was lucky in that the delivery people carried it to the basement. I told them before they took it off the truck that if they didn't think they could get it into the basement, they may as well leave it on the truck, because I was sure i wouldn't be able to do it. I was impressed, because there was only about 1/4 inch clearance through the doors to the garage, the basement and another door into the workshop. They interlocked two slings under the saw pallet (without taking anything off the pallet) so that they could each wrap the ends of the slings over their shoulders to lift it. I think this is a standard procedure for movers. I think the guy on the bottom had the thoughest part of the job, and I was concerned about his safety during the operation.
Good luck with your saw.
Chuck
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Yeah. Would that my basement door was three inches wider. :-)
I wonder if anybody makes a low-profile door jam. That door needs replacing anyway...

Wow.
You too.
For me, I have a _lot_ to learn. I'm looking forwards to it.
-Mike
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On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 13:42:37 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@eris.io.com (MSCHAEF.COM) wrote:

=====================Goodluck with your saw.... and welcome back into the hobby....
HOWEVER... You are a better man then I am....
IF I took delivery last evening I would have had to call in sicktoday if I was scheduled to work (I'm retired now but you get the point) OR I would still be out in my shop setting it up and putting it thru its paces.....
I never had the ability to have a new "toy" sit in my shop then leave it there all by itself...lol ...while I walk up to the house and write a report and post it on the Woodworking NG ....
Heck you must be the kind of guy who can sit patiently and wait for the fish to bite... I can't do that either unless I have a beer in my hand .
Enjoy....
Bob Griffiths
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Hi Mike <snip>

<snip>
I went through the same process. I looked at the 22124 and was not that impressed as being a lot better than the 15+ year old contractor saw that I already owned.
I went for the Grizzly 1023SL instead. Came in around $1K, but I think the differences are major - at least to my "hobbyist" mentality. I made this decision mainly from the excellent reviews and comments that I read here on the Wreck.
When I looked at the Craftsman, I was not impressed with the hand wheels & control "feel". The Grizzly wheels are silky smooth and have a real precision feel to them. Another item was the power - when I fire up the Grizzly, it just sounds like a beast - like it could cut through just about anything. The Sears saw just seemed like it was trying to look like something that it was not.
I ran the "nickel test" today - ok, I used a flat washer. Balanced the thing on end at various points on the table surface - wings included. Hit the switch and the damn washer didn't budge - just sat there! SWMBO thought I glued it down.
I have only had the saw a few days, but I have to adnit that I am impressed. I got a saw worth at least what I paid & maybe a bit more.
Lou
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I also recently purchased the 22124 prior to Xmas. Like others I was leaning toward a Grizzly 1023 either left or right.
I was aware of the New Year price increase. What swung my decision was the Xmas Sears sale. I saw a post on the Wreck that the saw was on sale for something like $670 for a few days. This offer was repeated a few days later, but I found this too good to pass up for my intended use.
I agree the handwheels are flimsy looking, and a slot-over-cutter-pin arrangement. Despite being flimsy, they do not get a lot of stress assuming the trunnions are lubricated.
I like the single drive belt. The belt is tensioned only by the weight of the motor.
I have not seen how to modify the blade to table alignment. This is not even covered in the manual which makes be wonder if this is not changable, but as the original post mentioned, the trunnions are mounted to the cabinet, and so it ought to be possible to tweak the table.
Setting up the saw was not difficult for me. I picked it up at the local store, put it into a trailer and managed to offload into my garage by myself.

the
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Tyke... how do you like the saw in general, and in particular, the fence?
I'm leaning pretty far towards that saw, too
mac
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...

Yeah, I checked this morning, even the sales literature mentions that cabinet mounted trunions make it easier to alter table/blade alignment. Adjustments are pretty clearly Sears' intent, even if not explicitly documented.
FWIW, in my research I ran into someone who called Sears and found them to claim that they were working on a new revision of the documents. Maybe this is one of the reasons why. After all, they did document the anti-backlash adjustements...
-Mike
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MSCHAEF.COM wrote:

Possibly. My saw is of a completely different vintage and manufacture, but Sears seems to spec the same sort of docs regardless of who actually makes the goods they put their brand on. Their manuals are usually quite good, and the manual that came with my saw went into some detail to explain the importance of checking this alignment, and demonstrating how the adjustment is made. If they don't send you a copy of the revised manual, you should be able to download it as a PDF eventually.
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It is covered in the new manual, but it is the same as every other cabinet saw. Just back off the 4 bolts that hold the table to the cabinet and move the table into adjustment. Piece of cake.
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I need to get my hands on the new manual.
-Mike
PS: Elsewhere in the thread, somebody asked if the motor was capacitor-start/capacitor-run. I'll look this weekend, when i'm back in the same city as the saw.
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Dear Group, As a proud owner of the 22124 since last june, I am glad to see others taking delivery of this nicely appointed saw. The current, February 2005 Workbench Magazine reviews four of the hybrid saws and the Craftsman Pro comes out on top! If you want a decent review check it out. I have had nothing but good luck with mine and I do recommend the saw to anyone looking for a good deal. Get it on sale with your Craftsman Club discount for under $800. You can't go wrong!
Happy with my 22124,
Michael
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wrote:

==================================Maybe I am reading you wrong.... BUT let me say...
For some reason I get the impression that you feel the need to justify your purchase... Why ?
If you are satisfied with your purchase then that is the only fact that matters.... Period !
Now get out in the shop and made sawdust....
Bob Griffiths
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MSCHAEF.COM wrote:

Interesting. I just spent half an hour trying to get it for you, and I couldn't find it. I know I downloaded the manual to my last saw before I ever bought it, but I can't figure out where they're hiding this stuff now. Maybe they have done away with the practice.
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Thanks for the thought! I really appreciate it.
-Mike
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MSCHAEF.COM wrote:

Oh, you haven't gotten my bill yet. $186,000 per hour, times half an hour... You owe me $93,000. I'll take a cashier's check or a money order. :)
I do wonder where the manuals got off to. I figured it would be a two click process to dig it up for you, and when it wasn't, I spent some time rooting around. No luck though. I hope this isn't some side effect of Sears being absorbed by K-Mart.
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...

That was, what, a couple weeks ago? I wouldn't think that Sears/K-mart could move that fast initially.
-Mike
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On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 13:42:37 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@eris.io.com (MSCHAEF.COM) wrote: very helpful review, Mike... I hope you enjoy your saw!
(I think the 2nd guy, at the least, could have controlled the rope around the tree thing to control your "decent"... lol

mac
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Does it have a capacitor start capacitor run motor? Jim
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...

Yes. There are two capacitors off the bottom of the motor.
My father and I got the saw set up and running this weekend. It runs like I was hoping it would: quiet, stable, and makes excellent cuts (test rips and crossuts through oak and poplar... more challenging wood later).
The only sour note was that the front tab of the splitter, the tab that goes through the throat plate, was either too wide or located too far forward. It interfered with the throat plate and made it impossible to secure it to the table. I'm not sure quite why this was, but after a great deal of thought, ended up trimming the tab to fit. Not great... did I miss anything obvious that would have caused this?
-Mike
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