Craftsman TS Upgrade #3: Fence and Zero Clearance Insert Installed

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Blog entry by Tedstor posted 08-04-2012 11:46 PM 3073 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: A package at the door Part 3 of Craftsman TS Upgrade series no next part

Its been a somewhat busy week for me and I had to install the fence over a 4-5 day period. All said, I’d estimate the total install time at 4-5 hours. And the results were not 100% perfect. The front of the fence sat a nice, cozy 1/16 off the table, while the rear was about 1/8 (maybe even 3/16)( See 2nd pic below). I suppose I should happy it wasn’t worse seeing as how I drilled the rear portion of the table and the rail with a hand drill. I could have removed the rear rail, enlarge the holes, and reinstalled; but since the face of the fence is adjustable, I decided to just lower the rear portion of the face a bit and call it good. I also had to adjust the squareness of the fence, but only a small fraction of a degree. Once adjusted, I drilled a couple small holes on the far left side of the front rail and installed the craftsman power switch with a couple self-taping screws.

Then I replaced the crappy stock blade insert with a Leecraft. I was going to make my own, but I scored the Leecraft for $11.50. Didn’t seem worthwhile to make my own at that price, and the LC fits very nicely. I positioned the insert in place, then secured it with some cedar wedges I had lying around. (see pic I forgot to take a pic before, so you’ll notice the kerf is already cut).

At the end of the day, I’m really happy with the outcome. I always knew the stock fence sucked, but I didn’t grasp the full extent of its extreme suckiness until I installed the T2. It glides like butter out of the box, and is even smoother with a little pariffin wax on the rails. Locks down tight and square and seems to be of fantastic quality.

However, I must admit. The install was a bit of a PITA. And it wouldn’t have been hard to screw-up the install irreparably with all the drilling that was necessary on the craftsman. Assuming comparable performance; I might elect the mulesquare or Shop Fox fence if I were to do it all over again. My understanding is those bolt-on to the 113 Craftsman saws with no modification. However, they do cost $75-100 more, which is the only reason I chose the Delta.

My next, and possibly last, upgrade will be new pulleys and possibly either a serpentine or link belt. Stay tuned.

6 comments so far

View Viking's profile


882 posts in 4407 days

#1 posted 08-05-2012 12:02 AM


I caught a deal on the Delta T2 fence on a few months ago for $129 to install on my secondary table saw a 1970’s craftsman. Have not installed yet but, expect to do some drilling to fit it up. I want to dedicate the Craftsman to doing dado work. Now trying to find replacement ZC Inserts for it. My Craftsman has the 3/16 steel insert, which is hard to find in non- metallic rlacement inserts.

The Harbor Freight link belts are way cheaper than the others and work great.

Look forward to your future posts on your projects.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4885 days

#2 posted 08-05-2012 02:33 AM

Nice work!

View JL7's profile


8787 posts in 4177 days

#3 posted 08-05-2012 05:34 PM

You won’t regret theT2. That’s a good setup. I see you moved the switch to the left side, which is great, but unless you re-wired it and added some cord length, you may not be able to tilt the blade all the way. I learned this the hard way!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3845 days

#4 posted 08-05-2012 06:15 PM

You’re right. I actually clamped the switch to the rail to identify any unforseens before permanently attaching. And the blade tilt is indeed an issue. I plan to either:
- install a new cord
- route the cord through the saw body. Of course, I’d have to drill a hole in the left side of the saw.

I’ll probably do both and try to attach/obscure the cord to the underside of the rail. It’ll be worth it to have the switch in its current spot.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3717 days

#5 posted 08-05-2012 06:25 PM


We have the same saw. I put 1/4 plywood to fill in the webbed wings and held them in place with liquid nails. They are painted gray. No issues in 6 yrs.

Also, I have a link belt, replaced the plastic hand wheels with aluminum ones. I used a Ridgid AC1036 fence that I found at Home Depot junk rack for $50 and it is sweet. Is still have a pretty decent Craftsman miter gauge I use and added a MCLS fence to it over the years.

I also have some ZCI and then have had this saw on two different rolling bases and that made a huge difference in reducing vibration. I REALLY like my saw and enjoy using it. Pics on my workshop page and my picture trail website.

Let me know what pulleys work and where you got them if you would.

Thanks for sharing.

View SirFatty's profile


547 posts in 3424 days

#6 posted 08-31-2012 04:27 PM


I also have the same saw… why would you fill in the cast iron wings?

-- Visit my blog at

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