Review of Craftsman's new 12" BS


Got it a few days ago. $255 for CClub members.
Comes in 1 box, small enough to move around by yer self. Minimal assembly required, takes no more than 30 mins.
Stand is very sturdy, heavy gage steel.
Overall, paint quality top notch. Inside edges are not deburred.
Cast iron table is truly massive and most impecable in quality. Tiliting mechanism is smooth and locks solid. Checked the thing with machinist square - it is all square.
Overall construction gets 9.9 out of 10. Welded out of heavy gage steel.
Here's where the .1 went:
- wheels have clip retainers. Out into the trash can they went. Drilled/tapped 1/4, turned some caps. Much nicer now
- the blade cut in the table is not @ right angle to the blade. Every now and then I work on thinner pieces and having a gap toward in the feeding path is not appreciated. 3/16 or so.
Blade guides are the nicest I've ever seen . All ball bearing, they ARE micro-adjustable. Rock solid. R&P, smooth, positive locking, alum extrusion. Blade's back rides on the back of BB, not on face . AAAA
Takes 1/8 -3/4 blades (adverised as 1/2 max). Tracking adjustment is very easy. Has a look-through window so that you can see the blade's position on the upper wheel. Has a scale/indicator for blade-tension adjustment.
As it is to be expected, the "free' included blade was cr@p. After cutting may be 40" in 2x4, as I was adjusting the thing, it quit . May be it was plastic ? Dunno, don't care and it was expected.
Timberwolf arrived pronto and with it, it shines.
Cutting hight capacity is stated @ 7", is more like 7 1/4 (amazing that marketing dept didn't see it and advertize it as such). With a quick look, it can be adjusted to may be 8" by milling out a notch in the guide assy. 7" is more than plenty for my needs.
Rip fence is top notch. No play, locks in solid.
Blade length is 89 1/2. Rather odd. TW stocks 90" - it worked just fine. I also won't hesitate, in a pinch, silver-solder my own out of 93 1/2. I also have a TIG setup, but never tried welding blades with it . Any pointers ?
Don't want to spend $30 on a mobile base (HD has them on sale, BTW). I will simply weld on some angle on 2 feet on narrow side and then weld 2 cheap caster to the angles. THen, to move, all you have to do is to lift the other side 1/4" or so and it will roll around with ease. Kind of similar to the HF's 4x6 arrangement.
2 speed setup. Changing speeds is very easy, no bolts . A hand-crank releases tension on the drive belt and then you can move the belt on the pulleys.
All right, it is all downhill from here.
DON'T expect to stick 7" high piece of oak and rip it at 5"/sec. Don't expect anything faster than 5"/minute. The 3/4 HP motor (adverised) looks massive, but is rated at only at meager 7Amp. It ain't no 3/4 in my book.120V only, no 240v. I opened the motor control assy, it doesn't look it could be rewired to 240V. Only 3 wires come out of motor.
On high SFPM setting, motor HAS DIFFICULTY simply spinning the pulleys with a blade mounted.
Putting a hamster in to drive this thing would probably generate more power. And cost less too, few nuts a day.
Now, I can see the smirks disappearing on the faces of those that were reading this review, thinking about buying this product.
Here's my take. For this price it is a great deal. EVEN after you spend $160 to add a proper 1 1/2 HP motor. Grizzly . I'd err on side of safety, but 1 HP motor might work too ($100 @ Grizzly).
The shaft on the stock motor is metric, so is the drive pulley. Will have to bore to 5/8. Key size is suspect as well. Good news is that standard 56 will fit in like a glove. Base mount will require drilling mounting holes in the base. The stock face mount pattern is probably metric too.
No way to add a riser block, unless you cut it and weld in an extension and/or a removable extension plate arrangement.
Craftsman could've had an absolute winner with this one. 1,000,000 sold and counting, if ONLY they put in a decent motor. Would've costed them may be $10 extra for the thicker windings.
So there you have it.
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Thanks for the review... I've been watching for one since they came out.
Based on your review I think I'll wait until I save the extra $200 (cost and shipping) to get the Grizzly.
Mike W.
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