Later today I am going out to see about buying an 1982 Craftsman table saw;
27" deep, but with stamped wings. He has put on a new fence (AlignaRip?)
and a new 2hp motor.
So, I have two questions:
1) He says the motor can be changed to 240v (which I would want to do), but
he has put a magnetic switch on it and doubts that can be changed. So, what
would it cost to replace the switch?
2) He wants $275 for it. I was about to buy the entry level Delta for $400,
so this one with a somewhat more powerful motor should be worth about that.
If he has put all these upgrades on it, he has probably maintained it well.
Any thoughts its value?
I have a very similar saw : 1982 or 1983 vintage, cast table, stamped wings
(originally), stock motor, etc. IIRC, I paid about $380 for it new.
My $0.02 worth:
1. With the original pulleys and belt my saw wouldn't pass the nickel test,
even with the nickel laying flat to start with. I put on the after-market
pulleys and fancy belt and it is much better. The PALS alignment package is
also a must. (Additional cost to you)
2. The original fence was unusable for fine woodwork (if you're cutting
fence boards or planter boxes, its OK). I put on a Vega and the difference
is huge. I don't know anything about the fence you noted. The miter bars
are marginally adequate; I square mine manually every time I start a
3. The stamped wings are a major drawback too. Getting them aligned and
keeping them aligned is a chore. For "fine" joinery you'll want to replace
them (a good chance/excuse to put a router table on instead). Look for cost
and availability of the cast wings. (Additional cost to you)
4. On my saw, the part of the arbor that the blade seats on is only 1/8" or
so long. If I put a blade stabilizer on the flange side of the blade, it
causes the blade to seat on the threaded part of the arbor, and it doesn't
seat concentrically. Likewise, dado blades aren't possible.
5. Craftsman saws (including the vintage we're discussing) are notorious
for having slightly undersized miter bar grooves. Some aftermarket jigs and
tools don't fit well, or at all. Some manufacturers offer
6. I bought and installed the Sears casters to make the saw "movable" They
didn't work fer shit. The stamped steel legs are too wobbly to maintain a
I could go on, but I'll stop. Overall, I'd say the Craftsman line is
marginally adequate at best. The bottom line (for me): I fancy myself doing
"fine joinery", and I'd forego the old Craftsman saw and get a new Delta or
Jet or whatever.
It had new pulleys, a new link belt, a new rip fence (even if it is a
craftsman), a full size arbor, a new motor, everything cuts perfectly
square, the table is reasonably flat, and it doesn't have a mark on it.
It must be a different model than your, but I still appreciate the input.
Of course, moving it will be a real chore...
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