Well, I got the old flex drive Sears tablesaw fully adjusted today and cut
some wood with it.
I managed to reduce the runout of the arbor to about 1/4 that of the blade
itself using a cheap dial indicator that I bought from Harbor Freight for,
IIRC, $13.00. I drilled a hole in the end of a 1X3 and mounted the dial
indicator to it with a pan head screw. My saw has a hold-down on the miter
gauge so I clamped the board/dial indicator assembly to it and -- using the
marked tooth technique -- managed to reduce the arbor error to .003 inch.
My first cut was another 1X3 and was not perfectly square but off a fraction
of a degree. It turns out that the stops on the miter gauge are not
perfectly adjusted (yet) so I held my speed square against the fence and the
miter gauge and tightened it down. The next cut produced an end that
rivalled that of my very-well-adjusted power miter box. The small off-cut
stayed right where it stopped and was not kicked back by the spinning blade,
nor did the end of the oak stock scorch.
I had previously adjusted the rip fence to the best of my ability and one of
my questions (posted 11/4/04) concerned acceptable error for a fence. It
turns out that mine has a total error of about .015 inch, .007 in one
direction and about .008 in the other. Some have said that's an acceptable
number. I haven't tried using the fence yet...that'll be next. Oh, I did
adjust the ruler on the fence rail and it is now spot on.
In a day or two, I'll finish removing the surface rust, which I'm doing with
a large, flat block and 220 grit sandpaper. I'll get some rust remover to
clean up other parts of the machine and do the table surface with Top Cote
or something similar.
I also probably need to disassemble the flex drive and lubricate it. It
vibrates heavily when starting but then settles down and runs smoothly and
quietly. I'm pretty pleased with the old girl so far.
Once I've finished the restoration I'll make some jigs like a crosscut sled,
etc. Then it'll be time to do some real work...