Question regarding upgrading my table saw


Folks, I have a Sears contractor saw (113.298151) and have read posts about perhaps being able to put on a newer, more accurate fence, and also about possibly being able to purchase some sort of linked belt, which hopefully would transfer more power from the motor, rather than the v belt that it now has. Has anyone else "upgraded" their Sears contractor saws similarly, and if so, would you please share your experience? Is it worth it? Any suggestions as to where I might be able to purchase these items?
Thanks so much in advance, Richard
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Is your belt slipping? If not then you are transferring as much power as the motor generates. Touch the belt after using the saw (with power off). It it is very hot then it is likely to be slipping. Does the motor mount allow for adjustment?
Any belt which does not slip is transferring all the motor power.
The linked belts are used to reduce vibration which can occur with normal v belts taking a "set" if not used often , this is where the belt does not fully straighten out after being in the same position with tight turns on the pulleys for long periods of time.
Does your fence deflect under load? Clamp the fence and see how much you gave get the other end to deflect when you push from side to side. Deflection is a common problem with inexpensive fences. If it does not deflect then a more expensive fence may be nice to have, but may not be more "accurate".
Have you adjusted the saw so the blade is parallel to the fence? This is critical since any fence replacement would still be out of parallel.
Dave Paine.

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I have an old Sears 10" saw and I put an Align-A-Rip 24x24 on it several years ago. I looked at a lot of fences, and finally settled on it because I don't use my saw professionally, and it's as accurate and reliable as they get - plus it was half the price of some of the top end fences. I don't have one single negative comment about my fence after using it for years. It was the best investment I made in this saw.
I use a standard V-Belt and haven't seen the need to go to a link belt. My saw runs smooth, does not slip, and I can't ask much more of it. I cut hardwoods and softwoods on it without thinking twice about what wood I'm putting through it. A lot of guys like the link belts, but I've never seen a need for one. I just don't see where any incremental gain (if there really is any meaningful gain) would be worth the effort.
I look at my tools this way - do they do what they are expected to do, whenever I go to use them? If they do, then I don't pursue all of the exotic options. If they don't, then I either upgrade them such that they do, or I replace them with the tool that will.
Just my experiences and opinions.
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-Mike-
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In my case, the fence was a pain to set straight, and the belt caused vibration. If you're happy with the way your fence works (although with a standard sears fence, that's inconceivable to me and I know what that word means), and the motor isn't slipping or vibrating, then fine.
I also got a set of balanced pulleys, sized to slow the blade down. In hindsight, I think changing the pulleys was the best thing for the saw, the fence was the best thing for ME, and changing to a link belt probably wasn't necessary.
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Richard, I cycled thru your choices a few years back. $ was the issue. I ended up with a Vega Pro 26" fence and the link-belt system. I was VERY impressed at improvements. I could repeatedly cut to 1/32. For a weekend warrior, this is plenty. The Sears fence was so out of wack I never realized it until I put the new vega fence alongside. Would I get the link again? you bet. I never considered slipping, it was the issue of set/vibration. I put link belt on jointer, drill press, saw and something else? I also got the replacement pulleys, but don't recall that adding any specific value. Google the link belts, everyone sells them and will run ~ $25 for each tool you put it on. Will it transfer more power? Never thought of that. If the belt slips, the motor might not be loose enough to hanging freely. A slipping belt makes weird sounds and stinks. Link belts won't fix this, that is not thier intent.
I ended up selling my Sears and getting a Unisaw. Once again I am amazed at difference in tools. Things like the side of Sears saw flexing when angling blade, a zillion turns to move blade up high, sharp webed wings etc.
Just my .01 cents. Tom
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Is your present belt slipping? If not, a link belt isn't going to transfer more power.

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Richard,
I have a similiar saw and upgraded to machined pulleys and a link belt to diminish the saw's vibration. I also installed an Accusquare fence from www.mulecab.com. I have been ecstatic with the new fence and would not hesitate to recommend it. I especially like the fact that it has t-slots all around making it extremely easy to mount featherboards and the like to it. The fence is a great value for the price.
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if so, would you please share your experience? <<<
I purchased a newer Craftsman contractor saw with the Align-A-Rip fence several years ago after using one like yours for years. The Align-A-Rip fence is great compared to the older fence. I would probably have been just as happy with my older saw had I just replaced the fence with the newer fence. Sears does guarantee "satisfaction or your money back", get one , try it and if you don't like it pack it up and take it back. All you gotta say is "I ain't satisfied". RM~
PS, I don't know what other after market fences sell for but the current price for the 24/24 Align-A-Rip is $159.
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Everyone that I know who spent the money to upgrade their Sears saw with a better fence purchased a new saw within three years. When they sell the Sears saw they realize that purchasing the new saw in the first place would have been a MUCH cheaper solution.
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would
I don't see how a new table saw is much cheaper than a good fence system that comes in at under $200. I also don't know what model saws your friends had, but the older Sears table saws were very good saws.
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Right! Especially the older ones that begin the model number 113.XXXXX which indicated made by Emerson Electric. Being a Sears retiree I am able to get some real bargains using my retiree and Craftsman club discounts on closeouts'. Two years ago I purchased a 315.228390 (made by Ryobi) table saw that originally sold for well over $700 for about $350. This saw had a lot of similarities to the old 113.XX saws', cast iron extension cut out for router, a great Align-A-Rip fence and a real nice set of wheels which being simi disabled is the main reason I purchased this saw and gave my old 113.XX to my son. This Ryobi made Craftsman saw looks to be of much better quality than any saw that I have seen that Ryobi has put their name on which I find rather strange. All I have seen from Ryobi are stamped steel and aluminum tables. Any one know if Ryobi ever made a contractors saw with belt drive, cast iron table and extensions and put their name on it? RM~
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The reason that it ends up being cheaper is that the cost of the fence system is usually much more expensive when purchased as a stand alone product than when included with the new saw.
I have found that when someone starts looking for upgrades to their Sears saw they are hoping to turn it into a Unisaw. They try the link belt, new pulleys, and finally a new fence...but they still don't have a Unisaw.
Next they start thinking that they will buy a Unisaw without a fence and use the recently purchased fence on the Unisaw. When they investigate the cost of the Unisaw with, and without, the fence they are surprised at the minor difference in price. Next they realize that their recently purchased fence is on 30" and if they are getting a Unisaw they should get the 50" model.
They try to sell the Sears saw, and recently purchased fence, for a price that reflects the cost of the new fence but end up selling for about the same amount as they would have if it still had the original POS Sears fence.
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==================I guess it depends on what Sears Saw the person owned... I have not owned a Sears Tablesaw in over 30 years ..IF I had purchased it 10 years earlier (like early 60's) when they were very good saws I may still own it...
So I agree with you IF the Sears saw was made say after 1970... before thet they used real metal... LOL
Bob G.
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