Questions & Opinions on older Craftsman Table Saw

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I've had a 10 inch Craftsman Table Saw for about 25 years which I bought used and without an owner's manual. The saw has been used mostly for rough cuttings, nothing really exact. What I know, I've learned from my many mistakes. The rip fence is not great, so I have to sort of coax it parallel with the blade. I raise the blade to max height, take measurements, the distances, at the front and back of the blade to the fence. I try to get these measurement exact by moving the front or back of the fence. I have never made any adjustments to see if the blade is truly parallel with the guides in the cast iron table top. I don't know if there is an adjustment. The label on the motor is 1 hp/ 14 amps. The saw model # is 113299040 Manufacture # 1 77 .
Questions:
1. Can this saw be used in hobby work working, or will I just get frustrated with the results? Assume I try to build some book cases and cabinets and then move on to other projects.
2. Would it make sense to spend $300+ on a good fence for this saw ? Example a Biesemeyer Type if it would fit.
3. Is it possible to get an Owner Manual for this saw?
4. I was looking recently at a new 10" General 2 hp , 115 volt Table Saw as a possible replacement. Thoughts?
Thanks for opinions and advise.
John
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I have a 40-ish year old Craftsman Model 100 myself. I've put a 2HP motor on it, installed an Align-A-Rip fence on it (great cost effective alternative to high end pricey fence systems), and I did a complete alignment on the saw. It is more than satisfying for hobby woodworking. I've built kitchen cabinets, vanities, bathroom cabinets, etc. with this saw, and never had to perform unnatural acts to do so. It cuts accurate and true every time. I never measure with a tape from the fence to the blade anymore. I just rely on the calibration on the fence. Sure - it's not a really nice cabinet saw, but it has not failed me yet. I've shoved 8/4 hardwoods through it, and never thought twice about doing so.
I built table extensions to match the size of my fence system and installed my router in one of the extension wings. I like that configuration a lot. Lets me use the fence for the router as well as the saw.

If you've got the money for that, then you'd be satisfied. I paid closer to $150 for my Align-A-Rip from Sears.

Do a google for old machines. There is an old machines web site that has manuals for a lot of this old stuff.

Probably not going to be a lot more saw than what you have. Yours is probably a cast iron table - is the new one? Have you priced or tried to find a bigger motor for your saw? That's one of the easy upgrades to throw at it and make it a much better performer than it is now. And... align it.
--

-Mike-
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I've got the same saw, courtesy of my FIL (who hadn't even unpacked it) about 15 years ago.

With a careful tuneup I find it to be acceptable. Woodworking is purely a hobby for me also.
It's left-tilt, which is nice; the trunions are solid. If you get into tuning it up, check the runout on the arbor. Mine's a bit high. The stamped steel extensions (mine has two) are pretty shabby out of the box, but you can shim them level with the table top and add supports from the base to the left wing to firm it up and they're OK.
Now, if I had the budget and the space (12x16 utility shed shop) I'd be looking at a new saw.

The original fence does suck. I'm just living with it. If you get the blade aligned properly to the slots in the table, it does OK. Don't trust the ruler though, especially if you use a thin-kerf blade.

Yes. I misplaced my original and ordered a copy from craftsman.com; look under Parts & Accessories. As I recall it was under $10.

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On Fri, 14 Dec 2007 11:41:28 -0500, "John"
[snippage]

You shouldn't have to work that hard at it. See next:

You really need to at least measure to see how parallel it is. For one thing, that affects how square your miter gauge (or cutoff sled) is to the saw blade. All sorts of bad things can happen if you don't have the miter slots parallel to the blade.
Once you have that done, then squaring the rip fence is a simple matter of measuring from the miter slot to the fence, both front and back (and more precise due to the longer measurement arm). When the measurements are equal, your fence is parallel to the blade.

Not an adjustment per se, but it can and should be adjusted. The procedure is to loosen the four bolts underneath the table from which the trunnion assembly hangs. Unless your model has changed, there are star washers between the bolt heads and the table. Loosen only enough to be able to move the table with a rap with a mallet. There still should be some friction which keeps the process from resembling ice skating.
Measure from one tooth of the saw blade (mark it with a Sharpie or something) to the miter slot. Rotate the blade (you're doing this with the saw unplugged, right?) so the tooth is at the other extreme of rotation (but above the table) and measure to the miter slot. If necessary, give the table a light rap with the mallet, remasure, both front and rear, and repeat as necessary until the measurements are identical.
Snug up a couple of the bolts and repeat the measuring. When all is perfect, snug up all of the bolts. The ones at the front can be tough to reach. I found I needed a couple of extensions on my ratchet, and a flex socket (or universal extension) doesn't hurt, either.

What Mike Marlow said, generally.
I have an article on my website (sig below) that discusses making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. There's a whole list of things to consider doing to improve the saw's utility.
I had my model 100 (same as his) for several years until I got my Unisaw, and I was able to accomplish some decent work with it. The sewing cabinet project on my website was done with the Sears.

I bought a Sears XR2424 (I think) fence when it was offered as an aftermarket fence shortly after they introduced it. It was around $150. That price was worth it for the improvement it netted. I don't know that $300 would be. Incidentally, the "2424" refers to how they had it configured for left and right of the blade. After a few months I realized it would be much more useful set up as a 1236 (or thereabouts) which I then did.
Also look at the Ridgid saw sold at Home Depot. If their fence is available separately, it's the same one and would bolt on just fine (perhaps after drilling some holes--cast iron is easy).

I sent a PDF of a similar manual on the back channel.

General or General International? The first is Canadian built, the second is Chiwanese built, although distributed by the Canadian company. It'll be hard to find any American built saw anymore, particularly in the contractors style. Take a look at the Steel City line, too, which although still Chiwanese built, the company was put together by former Delta people.
--
LRod

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LRod wrote: <snip>

How well does that fence work? None of the Home Despots in the area have one set up to look at.
<snip>

A couple of models of which are also sold by Sears as Craftsman.
--
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--John
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On Fri, 14 Dec 2007 16:38:32 -0500, "J. Clarke"

I was happy with it. It was certainly a quantum improvement over the 1960's fence the -100 had. Of course, now that I have a Unisaw with a Biesemeyer, I can safely say it's no Biesemeyer. However, it did credible work. I think the only thing I would watch for is detritus getting in the "track" on the front rail.
--
LRod

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The Craftsman table saws of this period are reasonable sturdy contractor style saws. The attachments - fence, miter gauge, steel extension wings - are flimsy and should be replaced. When properly aligned, and with a good blade, the saw is quite capable of fine woodworking.
I built the T-square style fence on mine for about $100 - http://home.san.rr.com/jeffnann/WoodWorking/Shop/Shop.html . Several aftermarket fences are readily available.
The manual can be purchased from Sears for $7.50 or downloaded from http://www.owwm.com/files/PDF/Craftsman/113.29940.pdf -- JeffB remove no.spam. to email
John wrote:

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Thanks to all the responders to my request. I'm a bit overwhelmed at all the information you 'll sent and how fast it was sent.
John

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You hadda do that didn't ya Jeff? Every time I see the pictures of that fence you built I drool. One of these days I'm going to build one just like it for my son's saw. That is really nice work.
--

-Mike-
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Thanks again Mike - you know you're not going to rest easy until you just build one. What are you waiting for???
As my excuse - I just couldn't resist answering the OP's questions... they pretty much had my name on them! -- JeffB remove no.spam. to email
Mike Marlow wrote:

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Now I'm just waiting to finish up a couple of small painting projects in the garage and one small project in the basement, and then dambit(!) we're going to start this fence project for real. I mean it. For real. Just as soon as I knock off these few small projects...

Yeah, it did. I'd have pretty much been forced to post your pics if you hadn't.
--

-Mike-
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On Friday, December 14, 2007 8:41:28 AM UTC-8, John wrote:

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On 4/10/2014 7:40 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Guys this is from 2007
--
Jeff

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On Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:40:03 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Instead of measuring to the blade, measure to the slot. The blade has be parallel with the slot, in any case. If you can't get it parallel, or if it won't stay parallel, it's a loss, IMO.

Probably, once set up correctly.

I wouldn't spend that much on it but others are free to disagree. If you can't get it working without a lot less work and expense than that, I think a new saw is in order. That's half of the price of a reasonable saw, so it crosses my fix/new threshold.

Probably. Have you tried a web search on the model number?

Not familiar with that saw. I'd want 240V for anything over 1.5HP, or so. It can probably be wired either way. Grizzly is also well worth consideration.
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On Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:24:03 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

But if he can't get the slot parallel to the fence, he has a pretty short "line" to measure the "front and back" distance to the fence. If he can get the slot parallel to the blade, then he can measure the distance to the fence at the front and back of the table. That'll make the measurements significantly more accurate.
OTOH, if he can't get this right, the arbor may have so much run-out that it's a total loss. That was really my point.

Agreed. If he can get by spending $100 or so, it's probably worth it. $300 crosses my threshold but that's just MHO.

I don't either but that's why I have nice stuff. It's a hobby, so by definition there is no ROI calculation needed. "Because I want it" is a good enough answer. ;-)
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wrote:

Oops. My previous server blocked all this Google barf.
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:22:34 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Of course it did. You're too senile to ever think that you could do something wrong.
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:30:02 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

Ah, my stalker is back. ...and still has the IQ of a stupid rock.
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:44:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Not bad, but you're still a senile fool anyway. :)
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:48:47 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

It's not bad because it's the absolute truth. You demonstrate that fact with your every post. Keep it up. Some may not have gotten the message that you're a useless lefty totalitarian (but I repeat myself).
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