Craftsman Tablesaw tune-up #1: The Tools you'll need & getting started

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Blog entry by B4B posted 03-21-2015 05:19 AM 7451 reads 6 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Craftsman Tablesaw tune-up series Part 2: New Fence is installed and aligned »

So a couple weeks ago I pulled my trusty old craftsman tablesaw out from winter storage to give it a tune-up, check the alignment and such. It is stored in the back of my carport, which is covered and has a small shed, but there are critters that get in there, and the temperature changes and humidity can cause rust.

Uh-oh, the tilt wheel would not tilt the arbor assembly. So I did what every self-respecting lumberjock has done with their Craftsman tablesaw and proceeded to pull it apart. Rather than overviewing the tear-down or build-up I’ll just highlight a few things that are left out of most of the blogs, videos, etc that I found to be helpful tidbits.

Here is a list of tools that you’ll need to complete this breakdown (including arbor bearings replacement). Go online and print off some harbor freight 20% or 25% off coupons.

1) A good standard wrench set, I have an 8 piece set, that ranges from 1/2” to 3/4”
2) A socket set will be helpful too.
3) Snap ring pliers
4) Bearing puller
5) Screwdrivers
6) Digital camera (take pictures as you go, so you can remember how it all goes back together)
7) Something to keep all the nuts, bolts and washers in (I have a couple magnetic parts holders)
8) Wire bristle brush
9) Dial indicator or some other measuring instrument to re-align the blade to the miter slot.
10) Dead-blow hammer
11) 2×4 scraps or cutoffs
12) C-Clamps, bench vice, or arbor press, with an 8” or wider opening.

Ok, so here is a list of parts or consumables:

1) A new pair of bearings (if you are gonna take it apart, might as well replace the bearings). I got mine from Amazon, they were made by VXB. Use a pair of calipers to measure your existing bearings for an exact match. The ones I got were “2 Sealed Bearing 6202-10-2RS 5/8×35x11 Ball Bearings Inch VXB Brand” and ran me about $16 for the pair. The bearings on my arbor didn’t spin as freely as I’d expect and I felt a slight “bump” when rotating them.

2) Rust-o-leum primer, and white paint. There was a good amount of rust on the bottom of the table top, so I used a wire brush to brush what I could off. I then used the primer to prime the surface (2 or 3 coats, I can’t remember) and then a couple coats of white paint.

3) A new pair of sheaves, I got mine from Amazon, “Gates AK25 Light Duty Web Sheaves, AK Type, 2.5” OD, 1 Groove, 5/8” Bore”, these ran me $22 for the pair. The Sheaves that were on my saw were way out of balance and didn’t “hug” the arbors very tightly. These appear to be much heavier and seem to be a very good fit on both of the arbors.

4) I tried to find some of the dry lubes mentioned on Lumberjocks forums, but could not find some of the products referenced. I ended up taking a chance with Blaster “The Dry Lube” which is a PTFE based dry lubricant. My fall back would have been a similar product from WD-40.

5) A link belt or other high quality rubber belt, if your belt is worn.

6) Replacement snap rings, I got a box of assorted sizes from harbor freight, cheaply since I didn’t know about the snap ring pliers, I just pulled it off and broke them.

7) While I was in the middle of this, I noticed that Grizzly was running a closeout sale on the W1410 fence and the associated W1413 6’ rails, for about half off. After tax and shipping I paid a total of around $250 to upgrade my fence. The reviews for this were favorable across the board on this fence. I missed out on a similar deal for the Vega Pro 40 when it went on clearance on Amazon some time ago.

8) Some fine grit sand paper

9) Rust remover product ( I should have used evaporust, but ended up with naval jelly).

10) some 3:1 oil for the arbor elevation screw

11) I got a new switch from Grizzly while I was at it, H8243 110/220V PADDLE SWITCH

12) A set of hinges and 3” swivel casters

The Plan.

1) Breakdown saw (couple hours if you take your time)
2) Remove bearings from arbor assembly using deadblow mallet, snap ring pliers, bearing pullers
3) Lube all of the moving parts with blaster
4) Lube the elevation screw between the o rings
5) Brush the bottom of the table with wire brush, then (optionally) use rust remover
6) Prime bottom of table with rust-o-leum rust primer
7) Spray paint bottom of table (white or other light color)’
8) Replace bearings on arbor
9) Re-assemble and align arbor assembly
10) Re-install fence
11) build new base
12) I’ll update if there’s anything I forgot.

The breakdown is fairly easy, lots of nuts and bolts. The best thing that I found were magnetic parts holders (they are a freebe at harbor freight right now, with a coupon). I will note that my saw was shimmed with some washers. If your saw is shimmed too, take note of where the shims are (probably a couple of washers) and replace them when you re-assemble the saw! I wish I knew this before, these shims will help keep the blade parallel to the table, so that when you tilt the blade at an angle, the blade will cut properly.

Someone (well a lot of people) did a pretty good job of outlining how to break down this particular table saw. But this series of videos I found were very helpful:

So after an hour or so I had the table saw broken down to a bunch of parts. I still had to get the arbor out from the assembly. I grabbed a dead-blow hammer and slowly knocked the arbor out from the first bearing. I used a small bolt to get the arbor though the last bit.

I then used the bearing puller to remove the second bearing, after removing the snap rings and eclip.

I brushed the bottom of the table, and all the parts with the wire brush, vaccumed it all off. I sprayed the bottom of the cast iron table with at least 2 coats of primer, and then 2 coats of white paint. This will help me see under the table if I drop something or need to make an adjustment.

I then used the blaster dry lube on all of the metal<->metal moving parts, the blade elevator, the angle adustment rod, the trunnions, gears, etc on the arbor assembly.

I had a good amount of rust on the sheet metal wings, so I used the naval jelly to help remove some of it, after 10 minutes it was better, but still needs a second treatment, perhaps for a longer duration. After I get the rust off, I’ll lightly sand, prime, and paint the wings on the indented portion.

To get the new bearings on the arbor, I drilled one of my two 2×4s all the way though, and the second one only partially though (to allow the arbor a place to be seated). I seated the base of the arbor (the part that holds the blade) into the partially bored out 2×4, tapped the bearing onto the arbor using the dead blow hammer and light taps (a trick I later learned, put the arbor in the freezer, and the bearing on a 60 or 100W bulb. The heat will expand the bearing, and the freezer will contract the arbor making it a little easier to re-install). I then used my two c-clamps to slowly and evenly push the bearing back onto the arbor with the 2×4 that was bored though on the top. I screwed one clamp one full rotation, then the other, alternating to apply even pressure on both sides of the arbor. After it was seated, I replaced the snap ring, e clip, put the arbor back into the rest of the assembly, and used the same clamps and 2×4 to push the second bearing into place.

I then re-assembled the saw, this took me an hour or so to do. After getting it assembled I started to get the blade aligned, again a couple hours. I thought I had it dead on with the miter slot, but then I raised and lowered the blade and it went out of alignment, but only slightly. I installed the motor, and the blade again went out of alignment. At this point I’m just going to wait until I get the saw in its base and check the alignment again, and adjust if necessary. Depending on who you ask, anywhere from .03 to .002 or less is acceptable. I’m about .02mm off from aligned (I used a digital caliper to align the blade using the mm setting).

I then took some 320 grit sandpaper and sanded the top down, adjusted the throat plate to sit level with the top. Sprayed the whole top with 2 coats of blaster dry lube. Fired up the saw and oh myyyyy. what a difference. There isn’t nearly as much vibration as there was before. I attribute this to 1) better sheaves, 2) a link belt, 3) new bearings on the arbor 4) generally good alignment.

I am contemplating having the motor cleaned up by a motor shop. I can hear it squeak, and it doesn’t run very smoothly when I hand-turn the arbor. It’s a craftsman 113.12202, 1 HP motor (Is it really1 hp, I don’t know).

Where I’m at today:

Oh, why no before or dis-assembly pictures? I didn’t take any during the dis-assembly or assembly phase, it was kinda a spur of the moment thing. Here’s what the saw looks like now:

The saw from the Front.

The saw from the Back (that’s Daisy napping on the bed).

Underside (yes the blade is backwards)

One of the two new Sheave and the link belt. I was genuinely impressed with the quality of these. I lost the keyway bar when I took this apart, I think I can get a replacement from Tractor Supply.

What’s next:
1) Re-attach the saw to the original Craftsman Base
2) Wire up new switch
3) Clean up the wings and re-attach them
4) Attach new fence to saw (I think I will have to drill and tap new holes in the existing saw)
5) Build new base for saw.

-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.

4 comments so far

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 03-21-2015 11:49 AM

I love those older saws.
Mine has aluminum fence, (better than some of the metal ones that came with those saws, )
You should get many years out of that saw now.
Nice to see people re-built the oldies.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View B4B's profile


163 posts in 1964 days

#2 posted 03-21-2015 03:12 PM

This saw has been needing some tlc for some time, I wasnt too keen on doing this since I wasnt sure how hard or how long it would take. It is the only saw ill have for the forseeable future Since I dont have the $$$ or space for a cabinet saw yet.

-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.

View NormG's profile


6501 posts in 3610 days

#3 posted 03-22-2015 09:00 PM

Very industrious undertaking, but it seems the outcome was well worth it. Sometimes old machine are old for reason, they just were made to last

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Fuegoman's profile


8 posts in 668 days

#4 posted 04-09-2018 12:05 AM

Disregard, I see the answer above :)

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