I just acquired an older Sears flex-shaft tablesaw. It seems to run well
enough but I ordered a replacement shaft from Sears (before they're
discontinued) just to have on the shelf. I also ordered an owner's manual.
My questions are these:
1): The rip fence has a total runout (as measured by my dial indicator) of
about .015 inch, which is not linear from front to back At about 2 " from
the front edge and at approximately the center of the blade, the indicator
reads zero. Between those points, it varies a total of about .003-.004 inch
in one direction. All the way from front to back, it varies from about
.008" in one direction to about .007" in the other. Is that too much? It
seems excessive to me. Is there anything I can do about it short of
replacing the fence?
2) The saw sat for a long time and most of the bare surfaces are lightly
pitted with rust. Can I clean it up with steel wool and/or hardware cloth
without compromising accuracy?
If you consider the run out spec for the blade of typically .005", it
is likely in tolerance. To improve on it, you'd have to replace the
fence. Although, spending several hundred dollars for a fence for
this old of a machine is questionable. I would suppose if you're
doing precision cutting with very low tolerance, it may be
worthwhile to you. Considering most cuts for woodworking is
usually OK within 1/16 of an inch (.0625), You're a magnitude
better than that. So for weekend projects, I think you're plenty
I don't think you have a choice; remove the rust and prevent it from
reoccurring. I've used an air compressor driven grinder with a
copper brush on the end to remove the rust and then use
Top Cote (get this at a wood crafting store) to keep the rust
off and the top slick.
If you can't cut a grove into your fingernail with the edge of a
blade's tooth (while it isn't running of course), get the blade
sharpened or replaced. A combo blade cost to sharpen is
around $13, depending on the number of teeth. Harbor
Freight has TS blades that are good enough for the
weekend woodworker for about half that.
Good to see someone wanting to put an old codger back to
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