Craftsman Tablesaw "Restoration" #1: Free is a 4 letter word

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Blog entry by HandyHousewife posted 11-04-2017 12:53 AM 980 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Craftsman Tablesaw "Restoration" series Part 2: Fence is on! »

A few months ago, my husband and I got a tablesaw (among other things) from an aunt that was clearing out after years of hoarding…I mean, collecting stuff at estate sales. We’d never had a tablesaw before, so we were pretty excited to get it, even knowing that it was far from in perfect condition. Even if it needed some work, it was still better than just having a skillsaw, right?

Well, yes and no. ;-)

After blowing out the motor, the first thing we did was ask on here about how to fix some bearings on the motor and clean up the top. Fellow Jocks were extremely helpful, and I got the top cleaned up and waxed to a pretty respectable slickness.

And then disaster struck. The motor gave out shortly after we replaced the bearings.

Cue panic

Even though we knew that it was a possibility, we were mid project, and needed a table saw. Craigslist (for once) to the rescue! We ended up buying an older Delta direct drive saw (we’ve nicknamed her “the screamer”) to finish our project, but frankly, neither of us like her as much as the Craftsman, so after reading quite a few positive reviews, we replaced the Craftsman’s motor with a 1.5 HP motor from Harbor Freight. I also went ahead and bought one of those v-link belts while I was at it, since the old one was fraying pretty badly.

Then, while tightening the fence one day I noticed that the T portion of the fence where it tightens down was cracked.

It was an old crack, and the previous owner had screwed through it to hold it together, but it was crumbling around the screws and the fence was as terrible as everyone had said anyway, so I again asked my fellow Jocks about finding one on the cheap. As it turns out, there is no such thing as a cheap table saw fence, so I grit my teeth and shelled out the cash on a new ShopFox (Aluma-Classic) fence. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Plus, the fence could ostensibly be used for any saw that we might end up with in the future, so it’s not a total loss, even if our bank account did send accusatory glances our way.

Fair warning, the Aluma-Classic doesn’t just bolt up to a Craftsman 113 saw. Or at least not ours. So for now, we have a lovely white fence and it’s rails hanging around in the garage waiting for us to install it. As soon as we work up the nerve to drill into the cast iron top.

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

3 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3190 posts in 3512 days

#1 posted 11-04-2017 03:09 AM

Install the fence now. A good fence makes a real saw out of the old craftsman’s. Cast iron is not hard to drill. None of the after market fences will bolt up directly they all need some new holes drill in the saw or the fence.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View CO_Goose's profile


215 posts in 3131 days

#2 posted 11-04-2017 05:03 AM

Don’t be afraid to drill into the cast iron, it isn’t difficult to do. I upgraded the fence on my Craftsman Table saw, and it was a game changer. It locks parallel to the blade EVERY time, is easy to slide and make fine adjustments, and has a scale on it that is accurate enough to use. Don’t wait on this upgrade, you will love the saw when you are done.
Just make sure that the saw blade is parallel to the miter slots first, there are several tutorials on that.

-- Just making sawdust

View HandyHousewife's profile


72 posts in 2070 days

#3 posted 11-06-2017 09:54 PM

Thanks guys! You both were just the motivation needed to get it done, and you are right—it’s gonna be awesome as soon as I get the little measurement sticker applied! And drilling the holes wasn’t nearly as scary as we thought it would be. :-)

-- Striving for function *and* form, but settling quite happily for function. ;-)

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