Just a thought.
I have a older Craftsman without a T-slot in the miter slot.
Can it be done without overheating the table.
What would you use?
I have a third party miter guage that has the option of a T-slot. The
T-slot will allow the guage to overhang the table without tipping out.
Definately, take it to a machine shop, they shouldn't charge more than 25
bucks to do it. It's well worth it rather than attempt to mill it out
yourself, unless of course you are experienced in milling.
I quote parts every day and if someone walked in the front door with a
tablesaw that needed a T-slot cut I'd be more in the $300.00 plus range. Of
course that's Canadian dollars, but still.... $25.00?????? I wouldn't even
turn a milling machine on for that much.
Mike in NB
Also consider that manufactures have always been rather efficient in use
of cast iron when making table tops. Unless the factory had intended for
the top to have a t-slot, which requires a wider miter slot rib cast
into the top, it probably won't have enough meat to work with.
If you can get away with some minor undercutting in your miter slot,
enough for your accessories to grab hold of, you probably can cut some
shallow 1/16" deep or so slots. Of course you probably will have to
modify the "T" slot tips on the accessories to fit since standard t
slots are more like 1/8" - 1/4" wider on each side than the primary
slot. Also consider that Craftsman slots are narrower than "standard"
slots to begin with so aftermarket T slot accessories probably won't fit
anyway unless they specify "Craftman compatible"
Where's this machinist of yours? I've a got a load of stuff he can do for me.
I've never seen general machine shop that would fixture and machine a part for
less than $75+.
Reminds me of a post I saw earlier today on another board: "Looking for someone
to change the alternator in my Nissan. The garage wants $100 to do it, but it's
a ten-minute job so I'll pay $25." For some reason I have a feeling that
person's still waiting for a DIY'er to help.
Yeah It was a engine machine shop, but he did other odds and ends for me. I
knew him but only as an impersonal light! I didn't really think he was doing
me and lowball favors. He did do most the work on my Charger. Maybe that
would account for the figures.
The block would still probably cost you less than $75.00. The reason for
this is that places that do that kind of work have specialized machines to
do just that. Set up is fast and easy. A general machine shop would have
more universal machines. While they could do the work at least as well as
the automotive shop, setup would take far longer and tooling may have to be
built for the job. Compare it to router cutting dovetails. A man with a
router and a jig is going to get the job done much faster than a man with a
router and no jig.
In addition to the machining costs mentioned, you'll find that
standard T-slot cutters found in machine shops are too wide (e.g.,
starting at about 1/4"), so you'd get hit with a charge (at least
$100, I'd think) for a custom cutter.
Maybe I could suggest some alternatives:
1) Could reversing the miter gauge (with the head towards the back of
the saw) give you the travel you need?
2) If you're doing primarily square cut-offs, or even angled cuts at
the same angles, why not build a cross cut sled? You can make this as
long as necessary and it'll give better cuts with less effort than a
3) Replace the bar on your miter gauge with a much longer one. Buy a
piece of 3/4" x 3/8" steel bar as long as you want. You'll have to
carefully file a bit off one side (Craftsman saws have 0.745" rather
than 0.750" slots), and drill it to fit your miter gauge head. Or,
carefully file the miter gauge slots out to 0.750".
4) Could you build something like the Delta miter gauge extension
((Amazon.com product link shortened)/) that hangs off
the front of the table? Or have an outfeed table with miter gauge
slots? There is aluminum T-track available to form the slots.
If you're still interested in adding T-slots, first, check that
there's enough metal in the table casting to cut into, and if
satisfied, you could make a hand tool that slides in the slot and uses
a piece of hacksaw blade to cut into the bottom of the miter slot
walls. It'd take a while, but cost would be low.
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