Newbie with a chance to buy several old power tools.

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I'm a newbie, so please bear with me. An aquaintance of mine had a husband who died about 18 years ago; she wants to get rid of all his old woodworking tools that her sons have not already taken. The items include a Craftsman Tablesaw (cast iron top), a Delta / Rockwell Scrollsaw, an upright bench belt sander (unknown brand), and a Stanley 1/4" fixed router. All of it works, but keep in mind that its all probably around 25 years old (but hardly used the last 20 or so). As everyone seems to be a bit down on Craftsman power tools in general I'm particularly concerned about it, but as I'm a newbie, maybe it'll be OK. Also, I'll probably be able to pick it all up for around $100. Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated!
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Frank Hinson asks:

The old Craftsman power tools are often excellent, regardless of what the brand snobs say. That Stanley router is a classic.
My suggestion: buy.
Charlie Self "When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do - lose." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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Charlie is right....Go for it. Joe (happy with my Craftsman tools)

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Do it! As long as those tools work, heck of a value for a measly $100.

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I'll go one better and suggest you stop at confession on the way home....

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Every manufacturer has cut back ont he material used in tools. Craftsman was a leader in that respect. The old stuff was pretty good though. For that kind of money, I'd grab it. The saw is guaranteed to be much better than any $200 saw today.
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Yes, I agree and you will put in another three to five hundred to make it work, the way it should.
First, you might need a new arbor (get it at Ebay $20, Sears $65), you might need one or two carbide saw blades (again get at Ebay, Oldham 1040 Signature Series new, less than $15 elsewhere, $45 or more depending where and which blades you buy). You definitely need a new fence, the cheapest and reasonable fence is Mule cabinetmaker there goes another $200 to $250, more if you buy other make. Well now, if you wanna put everything in an attractive roll away cabinet, throw in maybe $200 for lumber, plywood's and plastic top and hardware's.
In the end you look back and ask, Did I make the right choice?
Ahem.... how much did you spend now?
PS: if you wanna website for the above stuff, I can probably post the website's for you. I AM NOT RELATED TO ANY SELLERS.
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while there is a vast perception that crafstman tools are bad, i have never seen any evidince that they are any worse than any other brand. i have plenty of craftsman tools including a 40 year old drill and a 35 year old skill saw. both work great.
randy

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I would probably be one of the Craftsman snobs described below (I wasn't always this way. Sears did it to me!)
However, based on price and quantity of equipment - GO FOR IT! Sounds like a heck of a deal.
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Yeah, go for it think of the money he will have to shell out to rip a decent lumber with the old crappy fence. I agree he get the TS beside "other tools" for a hundred bucks. But, how many of the tools can he use, without repairing or replacement parts?
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Any table saw in halfway working order will rip a reasonably straight line. The key is defining what "reasonable" is. Not all of us need Bismeyer fences, because not all of us attempt to split scalpel lines in half. I do my marking with an unsharpened pencil and get a warm fuzzy feeling if I come close to it on my $99 crapola contractor's saw. I don't turn out gallery furniture, and neither will any newbie. I also don't have thousands of dollars invested in tools.
This sounds like a golden opportunity for someone to dive into a new hobby for very little money, a chance that most of us would jump at drooling. Even if it does become a tool restoration project, so what? That's nearly as fun as making furniture.

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Elwood, Stop selling yourself short. I don't know about your talents, but with the right tools and, more importantly, the right attitude, you can turn out some damned nice furniture. Did you see the tables I posted on ABPW on Sunday? Did them in a day. Easy, as I have a good saw. use a sharp pencil. and I try to go "one better" on the simplest projects.
I've seen the work of some very green newbies. Yes, it is better than what I can do after a few years, but if you don't bother to use a sharp pencil you will never get to the next plateau. You don't need thousands of dollars in tools, but you must NOT accept "close enough" either. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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You are right what is "reasonable"? if, reasonable mean ripping a lumber even if you it is 1/32" out and repeatable is not the criteria than would say GO FOR IT!

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you don't need a $200 fence to rip a board to 1/32 or even 1/64, it can be done with any straight edge clamped to the table, all it takes is time end effort. That can be a good learning experience for a newbie. If you need all the bells and whistles in order to use a TS then you are more into the end then the journey of woodworking.
James
WD wrote:

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Elwood Dowd wrote:
<snip>

I agree with the idea of tool restoration being a fun activity. The feeling of accomplishment I get when I first use what once was a POS and is now a great tool is tremendous. I feel jazzed for days. I'm not much into restoring power tools, however, preferring to work with old hand tools.
Glen
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As I suggested I am not a Craftsman fan. There was a time when I just went to Sears when I needed a tool, but that was years ago. I bought one of the old cast Iron saws during that period and it served me well until I invested in a cabinet saw. If it is a sound table with sound motor, an e-bay fence might be a workable upgrade. A hundred bucks for a starter set is probably a good deal even if some of the stuff needs repair or a trip to the can.
wrote:

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Mon, Jul 19, 2004, 4:44pm (EDT-2) snipped-for-privacy@wherevernet.com (WD) burbled: Yeah, go for it think of the money he will have to shell out to rip a decent lumber with the old crappy fence. I agree he get the TS beside "other tools" for a hundred bucks. But, how many of the tools can he use, without repairing or replacement parts?
Well, seeing as how I seem to recall reading all the tools work, and nothing about what kind of fence the saw has, they will probably all be usable. I've got a B&D drill I've been using for about 29 years. B&D sabre saw, same age, just died a couple of years ago. B&D circular saw, about 21 years old, still being used.
As far a not being able to make a decent cut with the "crappy" fence (at least I think that's what you meant), no prob. All it takes is some fiddling with the fence, and aligning it with the blade. Any time I use my fence, that's exactly what I've got to do, and I can make accurate cuts, just takes me awhile longer than if I had a fancy (read expensive) fence. I'd be very happy to find a deal like that, and upgrade my present saw.
JOAT
We've got a lot of experience of not having any experience. - Nanny Ogg
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RonB wrote:

Yeah me too.
Craftman power tools before, what was it 1978? were solid good tools. Then they changed manufacturers to cheap mediocre tools.
Examples? Tables saws with fences that don't quite set well or side parts that FLEX (cheaper thinner metal) or router tables that are a pain to adjust and sometimes not terribly precise.
So yeah, my "snobbery" comes from seeing quality turn to crap.
(and yeah, I have new(ish) wrenches and screw drivers and periodically will take in a philips awl and turn it back into a screwdriver).

The $100 risk is worth the potential reward.
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wrote:

...and you know what? I once saw a vacuum pump marked for $25, at an estate sales, I tested it but it will not rotate, but it hums. Now, let see since it hums, it could be the motor bearings is bad, or it need new carbon brushes? Looking at the integrated unit, hmmmm... not bad! The gauges and motor itself is worth more than $50 bucks. Or I could always find some use for the motor?
Let's go for it, probably cost less than a few $ for the new bearings or carbon brushes. When I took it home and pulled it apart. My goodness! There were no carbon brushes and the pump's vanes were solidly impregnated in some kind of brown/black stuff. I tried using MEK, paint thinner, acetone and finally soaked it in Gunk for about a week. Nothing seems to be able to remove that shit.
...and it still sits in my garage not knowing what to do with it.
It's real and thanks for reading.
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...and when you die, there will be an estate sale, and the cycle will repeat...
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