My opinion - you would be better off money and quality wise to build your
own extension table and legs. If you have a store that you can visit to see
the table and legs, then you would know for sure if that's what you want.
I would love to. I can't get a purchase that large through purchasing (aka
SWMBO). I am considering just holding off and getting something like the
Dewalt woodworker's table saw that I saw on Amazon. Something in the
Yes, I agree with you. I too have an old Crapsman and I installed an
Accusquare 50" fence. I am now making an extension table with a router
table, cabinet, drawers etc. Believe me it is not easy, I have the
fence's railings dangling at one end while trying to cut lumber and
plywood to size. I believe at the end of the day I will have spent
just as much if not more than a new DeWalt DW746. I just found out
today the 1hp Crapsman is not powerful to rip a 7/8 hard maple.
I wished I have bought a DeWalt or even Grizzly cabinet saw, save all
the hassling and still not knowing if I could complete the job before
the cold set in!!!
Yeah, I imagine the thing to do is save the $400 or so that it will take to
buy the fence, table, and legs and just put that towards the Dewalt or
Especially when you consider the time to build, as you found out. Since I'm
just a weekender, I'd rather spend my time doing a project than modifying a
I used to have an old Contractor-style Sears saw (1950
vintage) with a 1/2 HP motor on it, so I can relate. I found though
that there are a few things that one can do to get adequate
performance out of the saw.
1) Get a good, carbide tipped blade for it. Although not
the "best" Oldham has a decent 10", 40 tooth job for about $20.00.
It would be better to upscale a bit, and, spent about $50-$70 for
a Freud, etc. You will get thicker carbide and a stiffer blade,
from my experience.
2) Make sure the saw is tuned well. THis means that the blade
has to be set parallel with the Miter slots in the top, and, the fence
has to align parallel with the blade. Also, the top needs to be waxed
with either TopCote (my favorite) or some other non-silicone type wax.
Auto waxes are "bad", floor and shoe waxes are "good".
3) Change your technique. When cutting very hard woods,
make an effort to listen to the saw, and slow down to a point that it
is NOT lugging down. With smaller, low-powered saws like this,
the only way to keep it cutting well is to keep the blade speed up.
It might be a TAD frustrating, as it takes a bit longer, but, you
will end up with a far better and safer cut.
On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 18:50:31 GMT, email@example.com (Dave Mundt) wrote:
Hi Dave, thanks.
Correction, 6/4 hard maple and not "7/8".
Did all that and now waiting for the Oldham "Signature" 10" 40 tooth
with blade stabilizers?
Did all these including replacing the arbor, bearings, link belts etc.
I tried using silicon, found it unacceptable. I'm now using a dry
lubricant bought locqlly from Woodcraft. I will try shoe wax and see
if that is help. When ripping a long board (8' to 12'), toward the end
of ripping, the lumber twist so bad and getting dangerous. I decided
to rip board as short as possible or using my circular saw to cut
lumber to size, than using my jointer and planer to plane to size.
This method takes time and waste lot of lumber.
Thanks for your tips and advise. I will definitely replace this Crap
with a "Real Saw" next spring. Any advice on cabinet saws?
Good deal. The better the blade, the better the saw will
Very good... Especially with marginal tools, it is vital
to get it tuned as well as it can be. Also, with my old saw, I found
that I had to re-align it every year. One thing that seems to be a
common thread about Craftsman power tools (routers, especially) is
that they are often "self-adjusting".
Ah...yea...that can be a problem too. I would add, then,
that having the splitter in place (if not the guard - which usually
is bad enough that it gets in the way more than help) and arrange
for an outfeed table or support. I have discussed this in another
recent thread, too, about dealing with cutting long pieces like this
for fabricating a toolbench top from 2x4 stock.
Always glad to help...sometimes it is really useful to
simply hear what works for other folks, and, to compare it with
one's own situation, to see if there is a "better way".
As for cabinet saws...I have an old Unisaw that I bought
at auction some years ago and fixed up a bit. Since it sounds
like you are pretty handy with tools and machines, I would
be comfortable recommending finding an older Unisaw and
refurbishing it. Sometimes excellent deals can be gotten
on Ebay. Also, keeping an eye on the local auctions is a good
source of machinery. Industrial auctions can be great (that
is where MY Unisaw came from) but might require either getting
three phase power or (as I did) dropping $250 or so for a
replacement, single phase motor.
Alternatively, I would not feel badly about recommending
one of the cabinet saws from Grizzly (www.grizzlyindustrial.com).
Even new, they are under $1000, and, are pretty good deals. A
friend of mine bought one, and, we have run quite a bit of
wood through it. It required a bit of tuning upon delivery
(as most saws do), and, one has to be careful to lock in the
settings, or the blade hight MIGHT change a bit on its own.
However, for the money, it is a really good deal, a very
heavy, solidly built tool. Grizzly support is pretty good,
too, which is a selling point, since there is a slightly
greater chance that you will need to deal with them to
get some issues resolved. PUt a good, carbide blade on
it and it will produce good cuts day in and day out.
If you really want to drop some bucks, and get
a higher end saw...consider the Powermatic or General.
They are really fine machines, but, tend to be a TAD
more expensive and harder to find than Unisaws. Talk
about tanks though...Actually, I almost ended up
with a 10" powermatic a few years ago (when I was
looking for a new saw and before I got the Unisaw).
It was at an auction, though, and, either the guy
selling out was good friends with a lot of lawyers
and doctors or my timing was just really bad. The
place was full of suits, and, almost EVERYTHING went
for near or more than retail. Actually, the Powermatic
saw was available at the time for about $1450 or so...
and at the auction it went for over $1600.
I have to admit that all my recommendations here
have been for industrial strength saws. My feeling
is that I want a tool that I am "underusing", as that
way I am sure that it will take any abuse I manage
to dish out, and, it will outlast me.
On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 04:32:57 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Mundt) wrote:
Thank you for the explanation. If I have known about under power I
would never have bought the used Crapsman.
Would upgrading from 1HP to 1-1/2HP help and do you know of anyone
changing to 1-1/2 HP? (Sears manual says 1/2 light duty and 1 HP heavy
Thank you again.
you are welcome...actually, looking at the length of my
post (snipped from below), I am reminded of why it is that folks
that KNOW me also know never to ask me an essay question (*smile*).
Hum...dont know if that would work. Sears has a bad tendency
to maximize their profit margin for their tools...which means that
they use precisely enough metal to support the amount of power they
have at hand...and very little meat for more. My inclination would
be to start tossing change into the big, pickle jar with the goal
of getting a new, heavier saw ASAP and simply live with the
restrictions of your existing saw for a bit. After all it should
work fairly well for up to 6/4 wood, and, you might be able to
find a local woodworker with a larger saw for the thicker stock.
I have provided that sort of service a few times myself actually...
My only proviso is that I will cut it as it is marked. If it is
marked wrong...that is NOT my problem.
Now...as for whether or not it is possible. It would depend
on the saw. If the saw is a direct drive unit, then, the answer is
"no". By the time you could cobble together a replacement motor for
a direct drive unit, you would have more time and money poured
into it than it is worth. If it is a belt-driven unit, then, it MIGHT
work ok. However, I suspect there will be some interesting challenges
involved in mounting the new motor. There might be some issues with
where the power will go and whether the increased power will put
too much stress on the saw mechanism.
On Sun, 26 Oct 2003 01:30:47 GMT, email@example.com (Dave Mundt) wrote:
Thank you again. I have no problem with your posts. I came here to
learn and not to reinvent the wheel when a better wheel is available.
My neighborhood is not as friendly as yours, people here seem to
very restrictive or reserve shall I say :-).
Mine is a belt driven and I really do not want to put any more money
into it unless I am sure it will work and not fly apart. Further, when
I replaced the arbor both bearings were very loose and if I increase
to 1-1/2HP it might break the casting.
Anyway, enjoy talking to you. Do have a good weekend, I might post the
project in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking if it looks decent a few
weeks down the road, provided the weather permit me to continue.
Thanks and best regard
How old is your sears? I have one that is about 40 years old that I
got from my Grandfather. Great saw the only thing that I didnt like
about it was the fence so I bought a Delta Unifence. I built a box to
sit it on with a table extension that is flush with the top of the
saw. This gives me a lot of storage space. If you want you could put
a router in the table. You could also put wheels on the table. It is
a good project for a guy just starting out.
It's only a year old. It was pretty cheap to be honest. I got it because I
was just starting out and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy woodworking or not.
Now that I'm completely hooked, I'm looking to either upgrade the saw with a
new fence etc or get a new saw altogether.
I'm looking towards just upgrading the Craftsman, as there are still other
things I'd like such as a decent jointer.
I've already bought a rolling stand kit from Woodcraft, and that alone made
a huge difference.
Thanks for your advice!
I guess on of the factors is the particular model you have. Is it worth
upgrading? Or will you just have a mediocre saw with a really good fence?
If a year or so from now you want to upgrade the saw to a newer, better
model, if the fence can be used on the new one with no additional cost, it
would not be a waste. To see if this is a consideration, price the fence, be
sure it is compatible with a Delta, Jet, etc. They ask the dealer what a
new saw will cost you with no fence included. Just a guess on my part, but
you will probably not save all that much.
The Bies is an excellent fence (that is what I have), but also look at the
HTC. From what I've seen, it would be about equal in quality. I've not used
it, just played with it at the store.
One thing I like about woodworking is the problems that it solves. I used to
have money left over at the end of the month and did not know what to do
with it. Not any more.
I put a fence like that on my Craftsman TS. I built my own extension
table with *no* legs since I got the ~30" fence. Any longer and you
WILL need the legs. It's an easy project, I say do it.
Putting a Biesemeyer fence on the saw was the single biggest
improvement one can do to it.
On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 18:58:36 -0400, "Tom Wojeck"
Now that's very interesting. If I get the one that's 28" right and 12" left
I won't need to put legs on it? That sounds like a doable option to me.
What did you make your table out of? I was thinking about a 3/4" piece of
birch plywood with a laminate top. Do you think that would work?
When I looked at the plan that's in the instructions the fence came
with, it looked to me like they made no provision for attaching it to
the main table of the saw the same way the iron webbed wing I was
removing was attached. What I did was first make a thick wooden block
that used those screws to attach to that edge of the saw.
Then I made a white oak frame (because I had extra from a previous
project) and used that white plastic covered particle board as the
top. I used construction adhesive to attach the top to the oak frame.
I used lag screws to attach one end of the new extension table to the
wooden block I previously attached to the saw.
If you want a sketch I can draw something up and email it to you. I
have autocad and solidworks.
the fence comes with angle iron for mounting on the front of the saw
and the back of the saw. In both cases you attach the angle iron to
the edge of the table all along the front and rear. This is great
extra support to hold up your new home made extension wing.
The extension wing has been working fine, staying level ever since I
put it on.
I think your idea of birch ply with a laminate top will do the job. I
didn't have any laminate so buying a sheet of something already
plastic coated was easier.
On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 12:23:57 -0400, "Tom Wojeck"
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