Craftsman Table Saw acceptable?


I have a craftsman bench top style table saw. I have used the miter slide thingy to cut a few angles. It worked acceptably. My question is though how accurate is this thing supposed to be?
When the slider is in the slot there is a lot of play in it. I think about 1/8-1/4" play. Is this normal? Am I supposed to find accuracy in my technique as opposed to my tools?
--
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1/8 to 1/4 play is not acceptable to me. A saw with that much play is dangerous. Jim

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dnoyeB wrote:

Accurate work is facilitated by accurate tools, although in the hands of a klutz, the finest equipment does little good. 1/4" of "play" seems almost unbelievable since the slot is only 3/4" wide (or less), but whatever it is must be unacceptable to you or you wouldn't be asking about it. Do have any plans on upgrading the saw soon? If the bar is steel, you could try peening it.
dave
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David wrote:

Well I bought it before I knew what I was doing. I am just learning. Yes the slow is very narrow and maybe I exagerated. Perhaps its 1/16-1/8" play. Anyway, while holding apiece of wood up against it, I can move the wood left or right with it. So I have to be careful to keep it to the right, or left, but not switch.
Im not building any furniture *yet*. But before it gets too old, I would sell it and buy a new one, if its not a respectable tool.
I think I have been influenced by my purchase of a Miter saw. No one respected the Craftsman or the other Black & Decker saws I was considering. So I ordered a Dewalt. Money is tight though.
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9:16
If you're on a budget (who among us is not) keep an eye out for a used Delta/Jet/ect. contractor saw. They are commonly put on the market by people upgrading to cabinet saws. Benchtop saws are what they refer to as work site saws and the only reason to buy one is if you have to put it in the back of your pickup every day. Having said that, even a good quality worksite saw (i.e. Bosch/Dewalt) is going to cost nearly as much as an entry level contractor. For a home shop you want the induction motor, better fence, and cast iron of the contractor.
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I started with a batch of benchtop tools. Most of them were worthless for what I wanted to do. I think they're really intended for smaller projects like magazine racks or bird feeders. If you plan on making furniture, or anything out of plywood, you really need a better saw. If I could start again, I would have invested in some hand tools. I japanese hand saw, some chisels, things to sharpen them with and maybe a couple hand planes. It's cheaper to start that way. You can start making things sooner, then add machines as you grow. Now, I have maybe half the machines I want, and maybe half the hand tools I want.
Now that you have the miter saw, use it. As an example though, you could have used a hand saw to cut it, then cleaned up the miter with a hand plane and shooting board. It would take longer, but done right would probably make better miters than the miter saw.
I also wish I had found this newsgroup before investing in the first batch of tools. I probably would have passed on the jointer, tablesaw, bandsaw, and first two routers that I bought. The drill press and planer turned out ok.
brian
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dnoyeB wrote:

If money is tighter than time, you might consider finding use equipment that's not TOO used. Getting serviceable used equipment can stretch a dollar, if you aren't opposed to that idea. Personally, I like to buy everything new because I don't want someone else's problems, but I'm aware that there is a huge market "out there" for used tools and equipment.
Dave
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David wrote:

Yea, I bought the craftsman new. But The dewalt, whenever it arrives, will be used. So I imagine I could get another used something if the craftsman is actually a problem. Just wondering if it is indeed a problem or if they are all like that.
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dnoyeB wrote:

You can make a cross-cut sled more accurate than the miter gauge by using tight fitting runners. I use 2 of the Incra aluminum, adjustable width runners on my sled. You can adjust them to take any slop in the slot.
Dave
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<<Snore. >>
Whattsa matter ... never heard of Rosanne Rosanna-Danna?
Richard Feder
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Lee Gordon wrote:

Actually, it was supposed to be Emily Litella. (Who doesn't ask nearly as many questions as Richard Feder. BTW, is he still living in Ft. Lee, N.J.?)
A.J.
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Never mind.
--
To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"

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How about building a crosscut sled for it? Maybe even a miter sled. Just because it is a benchtop saw doesn't mean you can't make a lot of things with it. The "Little Shop That Could" project in Popular Woodworking used a Skil benchtop saw and they built a dozen nice projects with it. They upgraded to a contractor's saw with the "Little Shop Mark II" when the budget was bigger.
If money is tight I always say try to make do with what you have instead of giving up and waiting for something better. I can't tell you how many things I joyfully made as a teenager and young adult with a Hersh saw table (a circular saw mounted underneath).
Mike
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wrote:

Don't expect too much precision.

That much slop is unacceptable. There are several techniques to tune up the miter gauge, or you might consider replacing it.
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about 1/8-1/4" play. Is this normal? <<<
I'm thinking you have the wrong mitre slide thingy in the wrong saw or visa versa. RM~
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Mon, Jan 30, 2006, 4:45pm snipped-for-privacy@ThisOneIsFake.com (dnoyeB) wanders in and mumles: I have a craftsman bench top style table saw. I have used the miter slide thingy to cut a few angles. It worked acceptably. My question is though how accurate is this thing supposed to be? <snip>
One word - saw sled.
JOAT Shhh... that's the sound of nobody caring what you think.
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J T wrote:

I couldn't imagine sawing while sleding? What exactly is a saw sled?
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Tue, Jan 31, 2006, 8:29am snipped-for-privacy@ThisOneIsFake.com (dnoyeB) doth asketh: What exactly is a saw sled?
You are gonna "have" to learn how to use google. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=SAW+SLED+PLANS
JOAT Shhh... that's the sound of nobody caring what you think.
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A suggestion:
Head on down to the local library and check out all the books you find there on woodworking and table saws and enjoy a few weekends of reading and thinking. This news group and the web in general can supplement what you find in the library.
There is probably a connection between being able to resolve the "miter thingy" looseness and actually constructing usable items from wood.
The solution to your problem at this point does not lie in the purchase of any equipment (except perhaps some measuring instruments). Remember that no tool is perfect and learning a craft means learning to deal with less-than-perfect tools. It also involves an appreciation for some often subtle economic tradeoffs. Any efforts applied to mastering the Craftsman table saw's weaknesses now will pay big dividends the rest of your life if you continue with the hobby. It is just far too early to give up on the saw you have.
Good luck!
Chuck
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chuck wrote:

Great. Lots of good answers here. Im feeling better about my table saw, and the ways I can potentially augment it. So much so that I may not even have needed the Miter saw. But I still plan on eventually building that small walkway over the swampy land through the trees in my backyard for fun. That will require some long cuts no doubt :)
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