Total table saw revision, or just buy a new one?

I have a 10" Ace hardware contractor's saw. I paid $99 for it. I have made a few "improvements" to it over the years, like grinding down the funky non-standard ridges in the miter gauge tracks, but otherwise it is a fairly stock saw with a cast aluminum top that for some reason has stayed reasonably flat. The fence is crap, of course, and the miter gauge is laughable, so I made a few of my own (90, 45, and 22.5 degrees), hence the grinder work.
I'm starting to finally come down from the Remodeling Project from Hell---700 new square feet and counting since September---and now that warm weather is arriving, I am pulling all the old moldy crap out of the garage and drawing plans for the New Shop, now that we have some interior storage. My goal is to be able to work indoors without dragging everything out and setting it up outside on sawhorses.
So. I have a ton of scrap lumber and some sheet stock, including some laminate. I figure while I'm at it, why not build myself a new table saw with all the scrap, using my existing saw for parts!
My plan is:
1. replace and/or augment the weenie aluminum top on my saw with something larger than 18"x24" built from the laminate, probably 4 feet across and maybe 3 feet deep so I can actually use the thing for plywood
2. build a stable, heavy floor mount for it, maybe with retractable wheels so I can take it outside when The Mess gets overwhelming in the garage
3. build a vacuum fitting into the cabinet to keep the dust down
4. design and build a fence that actually works, or failing that go buy a Bismeyer and make it fit
Am I nuts to go into a project like this? Will I end up with a bunch of new scrap and a table I can't put back together right, and have to go buy a regular cheapo table unit anyway? Or should I revel in creative navel-gazing bliss and marvel at my own rat-like industrious little handiwork, and further gloat about having kept all that scrap in the first place?
Also, any advice is appreciated on table size, height, other features to build in while I'm at it, etc.
thanks all
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A few years back I had a FWW book called 'Shop accessories you can build ". It had plans for making a sliding table saw. In reality, a TS is a very simple machine and with a ready made donor for parts, very feasable.
The same book also describes a Shopmade Rip Fence Assembly.
Have a look in your local library or check with Taunton.
Bernard R
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<snip>
There was also another in the Best of FWW series that actually had details of a wooden table saw, something like Shop Tools you can build yourself.
Bernard R
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Thanks! I'll look for these books
Bernard Randall wrote:

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The one point I would make is that you are building something around a cheap piece of machinery. I have done this in the past and when the machine broke, there were no spares and replacements were different enough that they wouldn't fit. The rule of machines is that they will break just after you have finished all of your hard work.
John
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If you try it and don't like it, what have you lost?
Montyhp

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I'd say it depends on your sense of adventure: It's certainly worth it if you enjoyed the effort, it works to expectations, and is reliable. I'm a little uneasy about a cast Al top; which I think begs the question, how roughly is the saw to be used/moved/punished? And, well, like the last guy said, what have you lost if it's not to expecitations?
If I were you, and I'm not, I'd try it if I had the time and the ambition. It's certainly a good challenge.
Pop
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Mass is good. If you look in the right places and go for decades-old industrial cast iron, you can get a table better than anything you'll ever make, and it needn't cost that much.
Making your own table saw is for people who have the equipment to machine flat cast iron tables. I know when I'm beat.
(Bought a Wadkin last year that's the same age as I am. Never regretted it).
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Smert' spamionam

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Andy Dingley wrote:

You don't need no steenkin' special equipment. Just a file and a lot of patience. :)
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On Thu, 01 Apr 2004 20:55:04 -0500, Silvan

Filestine !
If you're flattening cast irion by hand, do it right and use a scraper.
Of course, you'd have to make three of the things, if you're doing it right....
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Yeah, that's what I meant. Make a scraper out of a file. I think Jeff Gorman's site is where my concept of this comes from.
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