Folks, I have a Sears contractor saw (113.298151) and have read posts
about perhaps being able to put on a newer, more accurate fence, and
also about possibly being able to purchase some sort of linked belt,
which hopefully would transfer more power from the motor, rather than
the v belt that it now has.
Has anyone else "upgraded" their Sears contractor saws similarly, and
if so, would you please share your experience? Is it worth it?
Any suggestions as to where I might be able to purchase these items?
Thanks so much in advance, Richard
Is your belt slipping? If not then you are transferring as much power as
the motor generates. Touch the belt after using the saw (with power off).
It it is very hot then it is likely to be slipping. Does the motor mount
allow for adjustment?
Any belt which does not slip is transferring all the motor power.
The linked belts are used to reduce vibration which can occur with normal v
belts taking a "set" if not used often , this is where the belt does not
fully straighten out after being in the same position with tight turns on
the pulleys for long periods of time.
Does your fence deflect under load? Clamp the fence and see how much you
gave get the other end to deflect when you push from side to side.
Deflection is a common problem with inexpensive fences. If it does not
deflect then a more expensive fence may be nice to have, but may not be more
Have you adjusted the saw so the blade is parallel to the fence? This is
critical since any fence replacement would still be out of parallel.
I have an old Sears 10" saw and I put an Align-A-Rip 24x24 on it several
years ago. I looked at a lot of fences, and finally settled on it because I
don't use my saw professionally, and it's as accurate and reliable as they
get - plus it was half the price of some of the top end fences. I don't
have one single negative comment about my fence after using it for years.
It was the best investment I made in this saw.
I use a standard V-Belt and haven't seen the need to go to a link belt. My
saw runs smooth, does not slip, and I can't ask much more of it. I cut
hardwoods and softwoods on it without thinking twice about what wood I'm
putting through it. A lot of guys like the link belts, but I've never seen
a need for one. I just don't see where any incremental gain (if there
really is any meaningful gain) would be worth the effort.
I look at my tools this way - do they do what they are expected to do,
whenever I go to use them? If they do, then I don't pursue all of the
exotic options. If they don't, then I either upgrade them such that they
do, or I replace them with the tool that will.
Just my experiences and opinions.
In my case, the fence was a pain to set straight, and the belt caused
vibration. If you're happy with the way your fence works (although with
a standard sears fence, that's inconceivable to me and I know what that
word means), and the motor isn't slipping or vibrating, then fine.
I also got a set of balanced pulleys, sized to slow the blade down. In
hindsight, I think changing the pulleys was the best thing for the saw,
the fence was the best thing for ME, and changing to a link belt
probably wasn't necessary.
Richard, I cycled thru your choices a few years back. $ was the issue.
I ended up with a Vega Pro 26" fence and the link-belt system. I was
VERY impressed at improvements. I could repeatedly cut to 1/32. For a
weekend warrior, this is plenty. The Sears fence was so out of wack I
never realized it until I put the new vega fence alongside. Would I get
the link again? you bet. I never considered slipping, it was the issue
of set/vibration. I put link belt on jointer, drill press, saw and
something else? I also got the replacement pulleys, but don't recall
that adding any specific value. Google the link belts, everyone sells
them and will run ~ $25 for each tool you put it on. Will it transfer
more power? Never thought of that. If the belt slips, the motor might
not be loose enough to hanging freely. A slipping belt makes weird
sounds and stinks. Link belts won't fix this, that is not thier intent.
I ended up selling my Sears and getting a Unisaw. Once again I am
amazed at difference in tools. Things like the side of Sears saw
flexing when angling blade, a zillion turns to move blade up high,
sharp webed wings etc.
Just my .01 cents. Tom
I have a similiar saw and upgraded to machined pulleys and a link belt
to diminish the saw's vibration. I also installed an Accusquare fence
from www.mulecab.com. I have been ecstatic with the new fence and would
not hesitate to recommend it. I especially like the fact that it has
t-slots all around making it extremely easy to mount featherboards and
the like to it. The fence is a great value for the price.
if so, would you please share your experience? <<<
I purchased a newer Craftsman contractor saw with the Align-A-Rip fence
several years ago after using one like yours for years. The Align-A-Rip
fence is great compared to the older fence. I would probably have been just
as happy with my older saw had I just replaced the fence with the newer
fence. Sears does guarantee "satisfaction or your money back", get one , try
it and if you don't like it pack it up and take it back. All you gotta say
is "I ain't satisfied". RM~
PS, I don't know what other after market fences sell for but the current
price for the 24/24 Align-A-Rip is $159.
Everyone that I know who spent the money to upgrade their Sears saw with a
better fence purchased a new saw within three years. When they sell the
Sears saw they realize that purchasing the new saw in the first place would
have been a MUCH cheaper solution.
I don't see how a new table saw is much cheaper than a good fence system
that comes in at under $200. I also don't know what model saws your friends
had, but the older Sears table saws were very good saws.
Right! Especially the older ones that begin the model number 113.XXXXX which
indicated made by Emerson Electric.
Being a Sears retiree I am able to get some real bargains using my retiree
and Craftsman club discounts on closeouts'. Two years ago I purchased a
315.228390 (made by Ryobi) table saw that originally sold for well over $700
for about $350. This saw had a lot of similarities to the old 113.XX saws',
cast iron extension cut out for router, a great Align-A-Rip fence and a real
nice set of wheels which being simi disabled is the main reason I purchased
this saw and gave my old 113.XX to my son. This Ryobi made Craftsman saw
looks to be of much better quality than any saw that I have seen that Ryobi
has put their name on which I find rather strange. All I have seen from
Ryobi are stamped steel and aluminum tables. Any one know if Ryobi ever made
a contractors saw with belt drive, cast iron table and extensions and put
their name on it? RM~
The reason that it ends up being cheaper is that the cost of the fence
system is usually much more expensive when purchased as a stand alone
product than when included with the new saw.
I have found that when someone starts looking for upgrades to their Sears
saw they are hoping to turn it into a Unisaw. They try the link belt, new
pulleys, and finally a new fence...but they still don't have a Unisaw.
Next they start thinking that they will buy a Unisaw without a fence and use
the recently purchased fence on the Unisaw. When they investigate the cost
of the Unisaw with, and without, the fence they are surprised at the minor
difference in price. Next they realize that their recently purchased fence
is on 30" and if they are getting a Unisaw they should get the 50" model.
They try to sell the Sears saw, and recently purchased fence, for a price
that reflects the cost of the new fence but end up selling for about the
same amount as they would have if it still had the original POS Sears fence.
==================I guess it depends on what Sears Saw the person owned... I have not
owned a Sears Tablesaw in over 30 years ..IF I had purchased it 10
years earlier (like early 60's) when they were very good saws I may
still own it...
So I agree with you IF the Sears saw was made say after 1970...
before thet they used real metal... LOL
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