Craftsman TS rebuild

I've a couple of older (40-50 yrs) Craftsman contractor's saws, one of which I have been using for a couple of years with few complaints (after installing new arbor bearings, machined pulleys, link belt, custom extensions, and a decent fence). However, I am not pleased with the legs the thing sits on. The way the saw is attached allows for a lot of wobble on shut down/wind down. So I'm gonna build some new legs, and am hoping to find a way to make the box itself stiffer (the screw for the arbor tilt tends to distort the sheet metal and I don't trust it to keep a set). I've also been thinking of trying to mount the motor so that it hangs below the table (if I can get enough swing for the tilt), instead of hangin' off the back. Anyone have experience with these kind of modifications, or suggestions/warnings/incantations I should heed (short of shelling out for a new saw--that's not in the budget)? I have some steel, and a friend who welds (a future skill).
BTW--I'm an inveterate tinkerer: if I can build it with scrap I couldn't be happier! (Does that make me a cheap bastard? <g>)
Dan
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Dan Cullimore wrote:

It has been done (commercially) but in those applications the mount was shoved way up inside the saw cabinet close to the arbor. I would mock the whole thing up in wood first. In my head and with my limited arm chair injineering I'm not seeing it being too successful but you never know.

No. That makes you a woodworker.
UA100, who, like all other woodworkers, is also a cheap bahstad...
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snipped-for-privacy@gte.net (Dan Cullimore) wrote in message

http://www.woodbutcher.net/craftts.htm I have a 60's era Craftsman 10" contractors saw that I inherited from my Grandfather. The sears fence was no good so I replaced it with a 30" Delta Uni-fence. I also put the Delta overhead guard on it. I also mounted the saw on a big heavy plywood cabinet that I built. I put a link-belt on the saw and this made a HUGE difference. I also am using a thin kerf WWII saw blade. All of these up-grades could be moved to another saw, if you ever wanted a bigger saw in the future. I am real happy with this saw, and dont see a need to change at this time. I may get a cabinet saw someday, but I will always keep this saw. Scott
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snipped-for-privacy@vmtw.com (vmtw) wrote in message
<snipping old stuff>

Thanks, Scott. I enjoyed Rod's philosophy about saws most of all, as it confirms the assumptions I've made. When I get to build the climate controlled shop I want I'll get a "real" saw. In the mean time (and probably for some time to come) I'll be quite happy with this old "crapsman" that cuts boards straight and true as I need.
I've already done most of the retrofits Peterson recommends (not the PALS yet, but it's on my list; a Forrest blade is still a dreamed-for purchase, too).
What I really need is advice on the construction of legs, ways to make the short metal cabinet that came with the saw more rigid, and moving the motor into position below the arbor/trunion/table assembly. I do plan to make a mock-up of these retrofits, but would like to hear from anyone else who has tried them, especically the last.
I'd even appreciate someone talking me out of it. My reasoning about moving the motor is not at all firm, just a thought that the saw might suffer fewer stresses were the motor not hangin' out the ass. I know most cabinet saws have the motor below the table/trunion assembly, and can't see the reason contractor's saws were built differ'ntly, except to make them portable, which mine is not nor will be. (If I ever need a portable table saw, I'll buy one of those little guys with the plastic body!)
Thanks to the comments so far. I'll keep (dare I say it?) "trolling" for more experience.
Dan
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Dan Cullimore asks:

I suggest the motor hanger design handles the stresses quite well: when was the last time you heard of a contractor's saws cabinet or table failing?
Consider, too, that you'll have a choice of making modifications to that already flimsy cabinet if you place the motor inside. The motor has to have some place to go when you tilt the arbor assembly, which is the reason it is hanging out the back on ligher duty saws. Bring it back inside and you need a motor cover to one side or the other (depending on tilt: probably to the left on your saw).
If it was me, I'd build a box stand (cabinet in other words) to set the saw on, add some storage in the form of a drawer or two and a shelf, bolt the cabinet that exists to that, and stick with what I've got otherwise.
Charlie Self "A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." H. L. Mencken
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With all due respect to Rod's philosophy, a saw that cuts straight and true is a real saw. Many a Craftsman Model 100 has long served its operator well over many a year. Wanting a different saw is one thing, but finding something remarkably better in another saw is something entirely different. Don't sell your Craftsman short - the old ones are good saws. Very good saws. They are very stable, easy to adjust (although you'll only have to adjust it once) and with a good fence they are very accurate. Again, with the caveat that sometimes "wanting" something is plenty justification enough, do not expect that any "real" saw is going to make a better woodworker out of you than an old Craftsman - the true measure is in the guy behind the saw, not the saw.

My recommendation is to forget the PALS. Your Craftsman will adjust to within .001 without them, and after you get it adjusted it's all set unless you drive your car into the side of it. Setting yours up as it is should not take more than an hour of your time. So - what's the need for add ons?

I think you're worrying about things that time has proven there is no need to worry about. These saws are still in use reliably some 30 or 40 years after they were manufactured. Do you really expect a design flaw to show up now? The saw does not suffer stresses from the rear mounted mouter. That weight and the stresses associated with it are carried by the stand that the saw is mounted to. Just go ahead and align the saw and have some fun with it. Unless you are really talented with this type of thing - and it does not sound like this is your forte based on your questions, then you are more likely to create a bigger problem with any modifications you make than any problem you fear might pop up now.
Now, go make some sawdust...
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com
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