Down in the basement shop there lurks a tablesaw that is older than I am. It has lived longer than any direct drive saw has a right to expect, but back then even the cheap Craftsmans were made well apparently.
As I've gotten more involved with woodworking I've struggled a bit with the limitations of a 9" saw with a 20" deep table. At one point we were having problems with it and dad came home with this "thing" that said Craftsman on it that I refuse to call a table saw. I fixed the old one.
I've known it's going to get replaced at some point so I've been reluctant to put anything into it. Finally though I got sick of the non-carbide blades that get dull in about a week and bind in a heartbeat. Didn't want to buy any 9" blades, but I broke down and got a decent dewalt blade and a couple cheapos for ripping. They got delivered two days ago. Made one test cut with the dewalt, it did well.
Yesterday dad was down in the shop unsupervised, always a bad thing. I come back and the blade won't go up/down without a lot of effort. Investigation determines that one of the stop collars is way out of position and it somehow got wedged in really good up against another piece it had no business being near. Dad's typical solution when a handle has more resistence than it ought to is to turn it harder. When that fails, hit it with a hammer. Ask questions later.
So in the process of fixing that, I get around to making some new inserts. It's a pain to make them as the lip is less than 1/8". Even the steel one hasn't held up. So I made two of those, spent quite a bit of time planing them down level by hand..
Today I go down after dad has once again been down there by himself. I'm just about to make a cut and dad says hold on, need to make one quick cut, this is too long. He takes an 1/8th off his piece. I go up and wait for the blade to stop, get the height back to where I'd had it. Turn on the saw... nothing. Dead.
Now I know he didn't burn out the motor crosscutting that 1x pine. So it's gotta be something electrical. Tried resetting, plugging in somewhere else and looked for a loose connection. Nothing.
So it's not the end of the world. It probably can even be fixed, but I think it's trying to tell us it's ready for retirement. And the 9" blade, well, so I have a half inch less cutting height on the new saw, who cares - at least I didn't buy a Forrest. We're going to have a look at the Ridgid tomorrow, and if we can get over the experience of that "thing" from the last time possibly the new Craftsmans that I've heard so much about, but it's a bit of a drive to get to a Sears. I've been looking at the Deltas and Jets on amazon. Not going to rush into anything, there's always the "thing" if I get desperate.
I'm sure whatever we end up with will make me wonder how I ever did anything with the old one, but I'll still miss the ol' girl.