The Basement #41: Moddin' the Table Saw.....

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by JL7 posted 04-30-2014 08:58 PM 19920 reads 23 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 40: New Sharpening Jigs Part 41 of The Basement series Part 42: Building ZCI's with a homemade pin router for the '113 TS »

This is another project that I’ve been kicking around for awhile now. Kind of time consuming but think it will be a good one for the long run:

First off, this is an older Craftsman “113” contractor saw. I would much rather have a shiny new cabinet saw, but lack of power and funds are preventing that! Some of the mods were done earlier and here was the saw prior to this last round of changes. I’ve never cared for those sheet metal bases on those saws. Really hard to add storage, etc. Also, the router table on the left which is solid Maple, has too much movement in it and had to go:

Most of the materials used are re-purposed, such as the 80/20 style aluminum channel (obtained used for free) along with all the gray and black plastic panels. The drawer slides were a garage sale find. Nearly all the hardwood used is old Maple gym floor I got cheap.

I did have to buy the casters, dust ports and 2 switches (they are about $10 on Amazon) made by Woodstock.

The frame design was largely dictated by the used material I had on hand, and tried to design with a minimum amount of cutting aluminum. It’s noisy and messy..


The casters are the industrial ones that have the rubber pads that can be used to level the rig:


There are 8 drawers and one open compartment. 4 of the drawers have Kaizen foam in them:

One deep drawer in the middle holds the saw blades (there is a blog on that HERE) and a tenon jig:

Three wide drawers hold 2 miter gauges, 2 crosscut sleds and a miter sled:


I covered the front of the saw with some rubber sheet material I had laying around. Not that pretty, but it covers up some of those gaping holes. I removed the factory tilt indicator thing because it’s virtually useless and requires a much bigger opening to function. The tilt scale is there mostly as a novelty. I also printed out the serial and model number of the saw (just in case) because the original plate is covered up now:

In the back of the saw, I built 2 removable panels to enclose the back and use rare earth magnets to keep them on the saw. Unfortunately, they have to be removed to tilt the blade. I may build a 45 degree tilt version some day, we’ll see:

I built an extra beam on the out-feed side of the saw to place 2 movable out-feed boards on. The challenges in designing out-feed for this rig is the Incra TS-LS fence rides on top of the back rail so you can’t have a permanent structure on top of the rail. The other issue is the tilting motor in the back, when fully tilted comes very close to the plane of the saw table. So the rail I added is just behind the motor allowing it to tilt.

The sliding out-feed boards have plastic runners that keep them in place, but can be moved or removed quickly:

Also, my downdraft table (which I had to install a lift kit on for this build!) falls just below the out-feed boards:


There is a router box on both sides of the saw. You can access the routers under the table with removable panels that are held in place with rare earth magnets. Also, both boxes are hard wired with a duplex outlet inside each box:

This is the right box (which is also the access to tilt the saw):

And the left box which has access from the end of the frame:

The table on this box is mounted directly to the aluminum frame and not the saw. All I can say is it is REALLY sturdy…


There are three 4” dust ports on the back on the cabinet and I have to change the quick connect hose for each:

The dust box for the saw has an angled bottom and works good. Haven’t tested the router boxes yet, but I’m guessing they will be marginal, but better than no dust collection:

The blast gate is mounted near the ceiling and at the back of the saw, which is un-reachable from the front of the saw. I attached a dowel to the blast gate so you can open and close the gate from the front. Also marked a line on the dowel so you can tell if the gate is open from across the shop, because the gate itself is hidden behind the ceiling mounted air cleaner:


The saw is wired separately from the 2 router tables and these 2 cords are zip-tied above the right side of the saw. This makes it really convenient to unplug things for safety reasons and also means you can’t have the both the saw and router tables plugged in at the same time….also for safety reasons. I’ve been known to hit the wrong switch before. Also, there is a little flashlight mounted there which makes reading the Incra scale much easier:

I still intend to build several zero clearance inserts for the saw and will install splitters in them. I purchased the Leecraft (CR-1) to use as pattern. This is a really nice insert and completely adjustable for height and fit:

Lastly, for those of you that have the Incra fence, you know that it is a space hog when the fence is opened wide. I found a spot is the shop where the fence can be open and doesn’t affect any other stuff, basically it opens into an un-usable space between the dust collector and the separator:

Like everything else in the shop, I’m sure there are more changes coming…....

Thanks for lookin’

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

40 comments so far

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 04-30-2014 09:25 PM

Awesome setup man! At first I thought it looked ridiculously expensive to build, but it sounds like you found everything on the cheap, and free 80/20 is just insane. Really nice work.

-- Rex

View firefighterontheside's profile


21615 posts in 3347 days

#2 posted 04-30-2014 09:28 PM

Jeff, that is kick a$&! Looks great. You seem to have a talent for doing stuff like that, because it seems it didn’t take long to do.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View firefighterontheside's profile


21615 posts in 3347 days

#3 posted 04-30-2014 09:36 PM

Randy, are you reading or looking at the pictures?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4455 days

#4 posted 04-30-2014 09:42 PM

Thanks Rex. Yeah, it would be insanely expensive if I had to buy that material. I am always on the hunt for good deals though!

Hey Bill, thanks…..I’ve been working on this for a month…...

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 4165 days

#5 posted 04-30-2014 09:50 PM

Great looking TS/Router Station!!!
I have to say that I am jealous….
I would love to be able to work with some 80/20.
As Bill said, you have a gift/skill that is suited to builds like this, VERY IMPRESSIVE!!!

I’m just looking at the pictures….
As my tablet reads me the web page!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4477 days

#6 posted 04-30-2014 10:17 PM

That is quite the upgrade.
Very impressive.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View William's profile


9950 posts in 4332 days

#7 posted 04-30-2014 10:47 PM

Photos are not showing up on my phone Jeff, but I’m adding it to my watch list just so I can come back to it when they get my internet back on.
I know you’re happy to have it done and I can’t wait to see it.


View lightcs1776's profile


4280 posts in 3144 days

#8 posted 04-30-2014 10:48 PM

Incredible build, Jeff. Everything looks extremely functional and well thought out. Outstanding.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4455 days

#9 posted 04-30-2014 11:03 PM

Hey Randy, as cool as it seems, IMHO, the 80/20 is not that fun to work with… is kind of a PITA at times to be honest. But if cut right, it is stable and always square…....thanks buddy.

Scott, really appreciate it!

William, plenty of time… hurry.

Thanks Chris!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Andy Ponder's profile

Andy Ponder

243 posts in 3198 days

#10 posted 04-30-2014 11:06 PM

Jeff, I’m at a lose for words.

Very we’ll designed and executed.


-- AP--I thought growing old would take longer.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4089 days

#11 posted 04-30-2014 11:09 PM

Impressive, your shop stuff is amazing. Really cool upgrades.

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4455 days

#12 posted 04-30-2014 11:24 PM

Thanks Andy…..much appreciated…..

Hey Shane, thanks for stopping by. What are you building these day?? Thanks….....

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View boxcarmarty's profile


17507 posts in 3850 days

#13 posted 04-30-2014 11:49 PM

Jeff, I think we need to re-purpose some of your time into my shop…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View jbschutz's profile


624 posts in 4182 days

#14 posted 04-30-2014 11:51 PM

Great build, Jeff. I think you should be consulting with a saw manufacturer to incorporate some of the ideas you have integrated into this baby. I am jealous and in awe!

-- jbschutz

View JayT's profile


6459 posts in 3701 days

#15 posted 04-30-2014 11:55 PM

Jeff, nice upgrade on the table saw station. I need to do something similar with my 113, though not springing for 80/20. Have you reinforced the right side of the saw to prevent the side flexing when you change the bevel? If so, how did you do it? Another project that needs done with my saw.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

showing 1 through 15 of 40 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics