My Shop #1: Table Saw

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Blog entry by DannyBoy posted 10-14-2009 06:24 AM 9801 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My Shop series Part 2: Table Saw Fence »

If you had read The Great Table Saw Debate Continues then you know I just recently purchased an old Craftsman Emerson saw. This was a major step in my home shop. The old saw literraly crapped out on me in a major way. (Could have killed me if I wasn’t careful.)

Well, after a couple of weeks I have finally gotten to work a bit on tuning and doing a few cuts. I’ve worked through part of a quick project and I have to say I am not disapointed in the saw at all. That particular model is well made and the motor has plenty of power. Plus, it seems to be plenty customizable.

Table Saw

Well, the first thing that I upgraded was the legs. I absolutely have to have a mobel base. My shop is just too small to work without one. However, price is a major concern. Also, I have the unfortunate asset of an unlevel floor (dug out basement) and not enough head room to lay down a level floor (or money). So, I settled on the retracting casters from Woodcraft . I was able to pick up a set while on vacation a right after I bought the saw so the wheels went on early.

Wheel Legs

This was also my first experience with something I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do: modify the saw. And by “modify” I mean drill holes. The stock legs on the the saw didn’t have holes that line up for the casters so I ended up drilling (using a step bit) new holes and attaching them that way. Worked out well. But, it isn’t the last time I’m going to have to do something like that (more on that later).

Fence Box

So far, I like the saw and the possibilities that it opens up for me. The next step, which I am in the middle of, is to buy and attach a new fence system. I already have the fence, but I’ll do a write up and review on that separately. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures and if you have the chance to get one of these saws, you won’t be sorry.


P.S.: Sorry for the blurry pics. Phone camera’s suck.

-- He said wood...

14 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


24524 posts in 5127 days

#1 posted 10-14-2009 07:45 AM

I’ll be curous to see how you ulike the delta fence on it.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 4624 days

#2 posted 10-14-2009 08:39 AM

Looks like that old saw still has a lot of life in it. Thanks for the tip on th e casters… next project.

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 4719 days

#3 posted 10-14-2009 08:59 AM

That blade up so high is scary even from afar.

View JoshO's profile


48 posts in 4852 days

#4 posted 10-14-2009 10:07 AM

I am confident you will like that fence on that saw – it made a world of improvement on mine. But, fyi: get ready for more modding of your saw to use it.
It doesn’t appear as though you have the blade guard installed, but I wonder if you have a 1/2×5 bar sticking out the back for the safety pieces to be mounted to. That was directly in my way for my fence. The blade guard and accessories were no where to be found online for my saw, so a hacksaw fixed the problem. You will likely also find the holes not lined up.

-- What do you mean it's square? How did that happen?

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5124 days

#5 posted 10-14-2009 02:26 PM

Congrats on your new table saw, I know you will like you new fence.

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4915 days

#6 posted 10-14-2009 03:49 PM


but you never did say what the new TS cost – I’m wondering what their price range is.

and what condition was it in when you got it in terms of alignment and surface rust etc. How are you finding those finger-catching side extensions?

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 5316 days

#7 posted 10-14-2009 03:57 PM

I should have mentioned in the write up (it was late and I was half asleep writing it) that the saw did not come with the standard blade guard or any of the mounting hardware. I’ve priced replacements on ebay, but the fence seemed to be a more pressing concern for me since the stock fence is crap. That being said, I’m not even sure I want the default guard. I’m thinking more along the lines of something I saw in Shop Notes a while back which would attach to the fence system rather than the back of the saw.

Aaron, I paid $150 for mine and I think I got a steal. The gent that sold it to me already have two others in his modest garage workshop and really wanted to get this out. It came is pretty good condition – no major rust. I had to scrap a small amount of wood glue from one part, but otherwise it setup well. The “finger-catching” extensions aren’t a problem at all. In fact, they work well as a place to hang the end of a power chord, a drill (nose down), or my jig-saw in a pinch. Going forward, these are probably going to be phased out with a shop-built router table. In the mean time, though, they aren’t a problem.


-- He said wood...

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4915 days

#8 posted 10-14-2009 04:06 PM

Nice! i’d say thats a good deal too. those TS mods from shopnotes look interesting – but i dont have a subscription…

i’ll be interested to see what you do with this. that (and similar models) appear to be relatively common and “good” craftsman tools.

View Joe Kimmell's profile

Joe Kimmell

32 posts in 4606 days

#9 posted 10-14-2009 04:51 PM

Hi Dan…..I share your enthusiasm cause I have that exact same saw & stand, only mine is late 70’s with a solid topped rh wing. Even though I lust for an old Unisaw someday, this saw was a major upgrade two years ago, and it still serves me well. .....for $50! The fence is ornery, and I hope to replace it soon. The stand & casters are VERY mediocre, at best. The legs are way too flexible, and the casters are too lightweight gauge metal for the weight they need to bear. I’ve been thinking of stiffening up the legs with hardwood bracing from the inside. But it’s a good saw….good investment.
Have you checked Sears online to find parts availability yet? Sometimes they do well, other times you get stuck because lots of major components are obsolete on the Emerson stuff. ~Joe

-- Beer and Bandsaws just don't mix. Take my word for it!

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5028 days

#10 posted 10-15-2009 01:08 AM

congrats on your new saw.


View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 5174 days

#11 posted 10-16-2009 01:49 AM

Danny, the older they are, the better they get. Enjoy!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View bunkie's profile


419 posts in 4598 days

#12 posted 10-16-2009 02:38 AM


I used to have one of these. Mine was upgraded with an Incra fence, machined pulleys and a link belt. Once I fine-tuned it, it was a fine saw.

I actually liked the blade guard. It was very easy to install and remove, which is the single most important aspect of a guard as it encourages diligent use.


-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View EEngineer's profile


1151 posts in 5064 days

#13 posted 10-16-2009 08:02 AM

Oh! But it’s not a SawStop! How you gonna keep from cuttin’ your fingers off? :)

Sorry; sarcasm /OFF

I have a similar saw (circa 1965 – 1970) and love it! Fences are always the really big issue with older Craftsman saws. That saw, with the T2 fence, will probably do anything you need to do!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3738 days

#14 posted 02-23-2012 01:22 AM

I can tell you from experience that that saw is a sweetheart.
Here is an idea; on the right side fence, make yourself an extension out of some two by’s about 12 inches wide by the depth of the saw, and go to a metal fabrication shop and have them make you an insert to fit into the new frame of quarter inch steel. Measure your router and drill the holes and mount it. You can use the fence on the router and the TS. I wish I still had mine. I used a Bosch that adjusted by rotating the router to bring it up and down, but Porter-Cable has one with a better adjustment.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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