Table Saw Restoration #1: Craftsman 113.241691 Flex Drive Table Saw

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Blog entry by Avi posted 12-25-2015 02:07 PM 3803 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Table Saw Restoration series no next part

Backstory: Hi all! I’ve landed on this website through many a google search related to projects I’ve worked on and I thought I would give back to the community by posting a journal of my table saw restorations. This is my second restoration. The first was of another craftsman (Model No. 315.228390) which went very well, I unfortunately didn’t take pictures along the way. After using that saw for a week or 2, the arbor bearings decided to fail and it now makes a terrible sound while running. Anyway, long story short, I went looking for another saw until I can replace the arbor bearings. I got the current project saw, a craftsman flex drive, for free from a friend and here we are!

Table saw in the shop

Another view with the tools I used on top

Okay, with that out of the way, here’s the project. When I picked it up at the owners shop it worked nicely, but that’s all that could be said about it. I abhor rust on my tools, and needed to clean everything. After bringing it home to my shop and inspecting it a bit further I realized that I would need to do a complete restore. Rust was everywhere. Had the cradle assembly not been an aluminum casting I’m sure that would have been rusted as well.

Top removed

The first step: take it apart. Easier said than done. With my first saw, I didn’t go beyond taking off the motor. The top remained screwed down, I just reached in to clean all the screws and stuff. This one needed a lot more work. So, off the tope came. The wings were unscrewed, the cradle removed, and everything disassembled.

Everything taken off and disassembled

I’m currently in the process of removing all the rust. The first part was to clean the main screws that operate the movement of the blade relative to the surface. I cleaned those with a wire brush, WD-40, a drill press, a steel rotating brush thing, and too much elbow grease. I chucked up the rotating brush in the drill press and had a go with that. It worked quite well. Afterwards, I went over it with the wire brush, all the while lubricating with the WD-40. Be warned, without the WD-40 the rust will become airborne and that can’t be very healthy. I wore a gas mask and goggles. In an earlier photo you can see how rusted the threads were. In the photo below you can see them all cleaned up and inserted into the cradle. This was all before I removed the cradle itself. Before inserting them I wiped them down with a rag and rubbed some paste wax all over. When I complete my work on the saw, they’ll get a spray of drying lubricant, but that’s yet to come.

Rusty screws

De-rusted screws

Next! I worked on the top of the saw. The rust on the underneath of the cast iron was “eating” at me ;). I wanted to remove it and seal it, then paint it red. Well, I got that steel/wire brush thing I used on the threads chucked up into a drill and had at it. First I sprayed WD-40 on everything (I was almost out so I was sparing with it, perhaps too much so) then brushed and brushed and brushed and… It took a couple hours but I was satisfied with where I left it. After cleaning it with mineral spirits and a rag, and then cleaning once more with paper towels it was ready for painting. Home Depot sells a spray paint from Rust-Oleum that works some magic on rust by converting it to something that isn’t rust and turns whatever surface it’s on into a paintable one. I haven’t used it before so fingers crossed.

Pre painting

Post painting before it’s had time to dry

Well, tomorrow I go look at it and start the work on the base of the saw. I’m thinking of painting it white. I need to remove the rust on that, clean up the bits and pieces that spin and move on the inside (I’ll learn the names as I go, isn’t that what this is all about?), paint what needs painting, and then try assembling it without the wings. Wish me luck! Post on here if you have a question about any tools I used or any paints or anything at all.

3 comments so far

View popsshop's profile


42 posts in 3576 days

#1 posted 12-25-2015 07:21 PM

Good project. I also enjoy rehabbing old tools and (try to) make them look new. Many older models seem to have more iron and are more sturdy. If you have the room when finished, an extra table saw can be handy fitted with a dado blade rather than have to change out the main saw. Best of luck and thanks for posting.

-- Drilling holes in wood is a boring job

View JimboBaggins's profile


4 posts in 1483 days

#2 posted 12-26-2015 01:26 PM

I have one of these myself that I bought off Craig List in a weak moment. I have started to tune it up a bit and the cuts aren’t bad with my DeWalt blade on it. I am interested in seeing your restoration as this is the only flex drive restoration I have seen on this site. Good Luck with the restoration!

View BigOtto's profile


1 post in 783 days

#3 posted 11-26-2017 02:32 PM

I just got through refurbishing this saw also. It had been sitting in the back for more than 20 years under a piece of plywood. I have removed the rust, greased up the parts, painted a few parts, replaced some rusted bolts, and she runs like a top. Just hope that the parts don’t break from non use for so long. Especially worried about the flex shaft and bearings. I was amazed how this piece of equipment cleaned up after being outside for so long. Funny, one of the bolts had broken off and was impossible to remove. So I saturated it with WD 40 and left it sit for 3 years. When I got back to it, the bolt was actually loose and I unscrewed it with my fingers. Woo Hoo.

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