My epx on the infamous sears qualities (table saw)


Over the years I have heard most opinions on sears being poor. I just wanted to voice my experience.
Last year (5-15-05), I bought the Craftsman 10" Profesional table saw, (cabinet saw) with the biesemyer fence. I paid around 800$ for the package. I work in a cabinet shop, and was mainly familiar with the Jet cabinet saws.. but in much research prior ot the purchase, the craftsman seemed extreamly competitive at a much more reasonable price. Being a guy that takes great pride and care of his tools, I have not had one single problem with the saw AT ALL. I replaced the stock extention table, front and rear fence rails with a much larger set, giivng me ~60" on the right side of blade, and overall near 80" total table surface. I purchaced the saw with an additional 3 Year in home extended warranty. Last week, I noticed my Trunnion was out of alignment slightly... and having my first year come up, I decided to have the anual service checkup done. The service guys came out 2 days later. My 1st disapointment was the 2nd guy was along for training.. not too bad, but to make matters worse, the real tech. had no experience working on a saw of this model, and was mainly a tech. for lawn equipment and washer/dryer stuff :rolleyes:
I explained the alignment trouble... and even more, had to explain how to even go about making the alignment adjustments, and where to even locate the bolts to loosen the trunnion !!!
At that point, while the guy in training was knelt down, looking inside the cabinet of the saw, I had to ask him not to touch it. I explained to them that I was under the impresion that calling a service "technitian" meant having someone come out that was qualified, and knew about the machinary. I continued to explain that I was perfectly capible of making the nessisary alignment myself, and would feel more comfortable knowing exactly what bolts had or had not been loosened or retightened inside my saw.
At any rate, one of the biesemyer fence nylon guides that ran across the table surface had a metal shard inside the nylon material, wich over time became exposed from the friction, and created a fairly nice scratch accross the entire length of the table top, on the back side of the blade..
Being they felt like idiots, the guy did not even hesitate to simply agree, and immidiatly order me a complete new table top, and both extention wings! along with new nylon guides, and a free blade.
So, I guess the story is here, no matter what the quality of tools, or the way the tools are advertised (HP ratings.. etc) the life of the tool is all about how the owner uses, and cares for them. bottom line.
*I realigned the trunnion and had the saw cutting perfectly again within 15 mins afther they left my shop* -Mel Graham
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I purchased the same saw the prior Xmas (12/04). This is my first table saw. I did not get the warranty and if I had such technicians appear at my house, I would also have felt to have wasted the money.
I quickly replaced the stock blade with a WWII. I did a quick alignment of the fence by adjusting the rail, but during the summer did the better job of loosening the table top and aligning checking the alignment with a micrometer. Easy to do, but tedious due to the iterative nature of the tap to align being tap to mis-align in the other direction.
The saw has not given me any problems, but I have on a couple of occasions wished for a more powerful motor. Cutting 8/4 maple requires patience, multiple cut and I still got burning which I feel is due to the motor not being up to this particular task since I had to feed much slower than normal. On other woods or thinner stock I do not get any burning.
I replaced the insert with a zero clearance insert after a cutoff piece got stuck in the overly wide slot. Glad it was stuck and not ejected. Due to the unusual opening size, you really have to look around to find an insert which fits. I think I found mine at Lee Valley. Measure the size and look for the same dimensions.
The only time I use the standard insert if for bevelled cuts. The paint on this was very poor and rubbed off on my pieces, so I just sanded it down to bare metal and coated it with the same stuff I use on the table top.
I am using the standard rails. The as-provided wooden right wing extension is badly made and will soon be replaced. Where did you order your 80in rail set? This is very tempting.
The trunnion benefits for periodic cleaning to keep the adjustments smooth.
The adjustment wheels are more flimsy than I would prefer, but the normally smooth mechanism does not require a lot of strength.
The as-provided mitre gauge appears to be hefty, but is instantly adjustable to exact angles which is common for many brands. I purchased an Incra 1000SE and have been very happy at the accuracy, speed of adjustment and repeatabity.
I have not see the Delta equivalent, other than in magazine ads. The Delta has legs under the extension. The Sears does not, which was easier for me since I needed to place the saw on a mobile base. I have to move the saw if I need to cut a piece whose length left of the blade is more than 24in.
For the price this is a decent saw. I would buy this again for the price, but admit to yearnings for a 3HP model the likes of the Grizzly 1023 or a Unisaw, etc.
Dave Paine.

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I cut my own Zero Clearance inserts using the factory plate as a guide. Using wood, I sand them down to match the surface and then raise the blade to make the ZC Slot.

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I also cut my own throat plates, from bulk nylon type material (forget the correct material name atm). Agreed that the stock plate has too large an opening for standard blades. I occationally use it for dado (if the size is close) or bevel cuts too, but only as a last resort, if it is close fit, and I dont have a plate already made for that type of cut.
The fence rail I replaced the stock with, I had actually made myself. I purchased 8' length angle iron, and tube stock from a local matal shop, and cut it to the length I needed to fit my shop space.. ~78 inch total. I found some paint that actually matched the shade of white that Biesemyere used, so it seriously looks like the original.
The wooden extention table I felt too, was poorly made, but my replacement was basicly the same construction as the original. I used solid oak for a frame, and double laminated mdf, rather than the partical board that the original used.
I also replaced the stock miter gadge with an incra, being that I quickly got tired of double checking the angles, since the stock one had only a needle to verify, wich does not give you accurate readings.. and means several test cuts to get the proper angles.. also, I do a lot of 22.5 degeree cuts, wich the miter gadge does not have a set stop for.. only 0, 45 and 90.
I am in process of switching it over to 220 finally, and am excited to unleash the full potential of the motor. Dont get me wrong, Im not under any impression of having more power with 220, but the startup difference alone is worth it, along with not bogging down so easily is what I am after.
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Oh, as for the fence replacement. I think all-in-all, the total cost of the iron was around 50-70$, and a day's labor.. cutting/fitting, drilling the holes, taping a few holes for threads, etc.. and paint. compared to ordering one from Biesemyere (wich I found they only sell complete packages, not just rails) wich would have cost around or more than 400$ it was absolutly worth it :)
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Craftsman Professional 10" Table Saw
I wanted to give a note on converting this saw to 220. the 1 3/4 hp motor was a snap to convert, as mentioned by many others, and most other saw types.. its as simple as popping the cover off the motor and switching the wires to how the diagram shows. The motor includes a spare wire nut taped inside there to complete this.
However, in the manual of the saw, it reads:
"The ON/OFF switch is a 4 pole switch, and does need modified."
This is a MISSPRINT from the manufacturer! The switch does NOT need modified. Other than changing the plug to a 220 style end, no other modifications are required. The thermal overload will handel 220 as well. This misprint caused a great deal of confusion for me, as well as extra down time for my saw, while trying to find someone on the Sears tech. team that actually knew somthing about it.
Hopefully this will help someone else out there, that also comes across this dilema.
-Mel Graham
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