I'm a newbie, so please bear with me. An aquaintance of mine had a
husband who died about 18 years ago; she wants to get rid of all his
old woodworking tools that her sons have not already taken. The items
include a Craftsman Tablesaw (cast iron top), a Delta / Rockwell
Scrollsaw, an upright bench belt sander (unknown brand), and a Stanley
1/4" fixed router. All of it works, but keep in mind that its all
probably around 25 years old (but hardly used the last 20 or so). As
everyone seems to be a bit down on Craftsman power tools in general
I'm particularly concerned about it, but as I'm a newbie, maybe it'll
Also, I'll probably be able to pick it all up for around $100. Any
advice will be GREATLY appreciated!
The old Craftsman power tools are often excellent, regardless of what the brand
snobs say. That Stanley router is a classic.
My suggestion: buy.
"When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do - lose." Dwight
Every manufacturer has cut back ont he material used in tools. Craftsman was
a leader in that respect. The old stuff was pretty good though. For that
kind of money, I'd grab it. The saw is guaranteed to be much better than any
$200 saw today.
Yes, I agree and you will put in another three to five hundred to make it work,
the way it should.
First, you might need a new arbor (get it at Ebay $20, Sears $65), you might
need one or two carbide saw blades (again get at Ebay, Oldham 1040 Signature
Series new, less than $15 elsewhere, $45 or more depending where and which
blades you buy). You definitely need a new fence, the cheapest and reasonable
fence is Mule cabinetmaker there goes another $200 to $250, more if you buy
other make. Well now, if you wanna put everything in an attractive roll away
cabinet, throw in maybe $200 for lumber, plywood's and plastic top and
In the end you look back and ask, Did I make the right choice?
Ahem.... how much did you spend now?
PS: if you wanna website for the above stuff, I can probably post the website's
for you. I AM NOT RELATED TO ANY SELLERS.
while there is a vast perception that crafstman tools are bad, i have never
seen any evidince that they are any worse than any other brand. i have
plenty of craftsman tools including a 40 year old drill and a 35 year old
skill saw. both work great.
I would probably be one of the Craftsman snobs described below (I wasn't
always this way. Sears did it to me!)
However, based on price and quantity of equipment - GO FOR IT! Sounds like
a heck of a deal.
Yeah, go for it think of the money he will have to shell out to rip a decent
lumber with the old crappy fence. I agree he get the TS beside "other tools"
for a hundred bucks. But, how many of the tools can he use, without repairing or
Any table saw in halfway working order will rip a reasonably straight
line. The key is defining what "reasonable" is. Not all of us need
Bismeyer fences, because not all of us attempt to split scalpel lines in
half. I do my marking with an unsharpened pencil and get a warm fuzzy
feeling if I come close to it on my $99 crapola contractor's saw. I
don't turn out gallery furniture, and neither will any newbie. I also
don't have thousands of dollars invested in tools.
This sounds like a golden opportunity for someone to dive into a new
hobby for very little money, a chance that most of us would jump at
drooling. Even if it does become a tool restoration project, so what?
That's nearly as fun as making furniture.
Stop selling yourself short. I don't know about your talents, but with the
right tools and, more importantly, the right attitude, you can turn out some
damned nice furniture. Did you see the tables I posted on ABPW on Sunday?
Did them in a day. Easy, as I have a good saw. use a sharp pencil. and I
try to go "one better" on the simplest projects.
I've seen the work of some very green newbies. Yes, it is better than what I
can do after a few years, but if you don't bother to use a sharp pencil you
will never get to the next plateau. You don't need thousands of dollars in
tools, but you must NOT accept "close enough" either.
you don't need a $200 fence to rip a board to 1/32 or even 1/64, it can
be done with any straight edge clamped to the table, all it takes is
time end effort. That can be a good learning experience for a newbie.
If you need all the bells and whistles in order to use a TS then you are
more into the end then the journey of woodworking.
I agree with the idea of tool restoration being a fun activity. The
feeling of accomplishment I get when I first use what once was a POS and
is now a great tool is tremendous. I feel jazzed for days. I'm not
much into restoring power tools, however, preferring to work with old
As I suggested I am not a Craftsman fan. There was a time when I just went
to Sears when I needed a tool, but that was years ago. I bought one of the
old cast Iron saws during that period and it served me well until I invested
in a cabinet saw. If it is a sound table with sound motor, an e-bay fence
might be a workable upgrade. A hundred bucks for a starter set is probably
a good deal even if some of the stuff needs repair or a trip to the can.
Mon, Jul 19, 2004, 4:44pm (EDT-2) firstname.lastname@example.org (WD) burbled:
Yeah, go for it think of the money he will have to shell out to rip a
decent lumber with the old crappy fence. I agree he get the TS beside
"other tools" for a hundred bucks. But, how many of the tools can he
use, without repairing or replacement parts?
Well, seeing as how I seem to recall reading all the tools work,
and nothing about what kind of fence the saw has, they will probably all
be usable. I've got a B&D drill I've been using for about 29 years.
B&D sabre saw, same age, just died a couple of years ago. B&D circular
saw, about 21 years old, still being used.
As far a not being able to make a decent cut with the "crappy"
fence (at least I think that's what you meant), no prob. All it takes
is some fiddling with the fence, and aligning it with the blade. Any
time I use my fence, that's exactly what I've got to do, and I can make
accurate cuts, just takes me awhile longer than if I had a fancy (read
expensive) fence. I'd be very happy to find a deal like that, and
upgrade my present saw.
We've got a lot of experience of not having any experience.
- Nanny Ogg
Yeah me too.
Craftman power tools before, what was it 1978? were solid good tools.
Then they changed manufacturers to cheap mediocre tools.
Tables saws with fences that don't quite set well or side parts that
FLEX (cheaper thinner metal) or router tables that are a pain to adjust
and sometimes not terribly precise.
So yeah, my "snobbery" comes from seeing quality turn to crap.
(and yeah, I have new(ish) wrenches and screw drivers and periodically
will take in a philips awl and turn it back into a screwdriver).
...and you know what? I once saw a vacuum pump marked for $25, at an estate
sales, I tested it but it will not rotate, but it hums. Now, let see since it
hums, it could be the motor bearings is bad, or it need new carbon brushes?
Looking at the integrated unit, hmmmm... not bad! The gauges and motor itself is
worth more than $50 bucks. Or I could always find some use for the motor?
Let's go for it, probably cost less than a few $ for the new bearings or carbon
brushes. When I took it home and pulled it apart. My goodness! There were no
carbon brushes and the pump's vanes were solidly impregnated in some kind of
brown/black stuff. I tried using MEK, paint thinner, acetone and finally soaked
it in Gunk for about a week. Nothing seems to be able to remove that shit.
...and it still sits in my garage not knowing what to do with it.
It's real and thanks for reading.
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