Great TS Upgrade For A Very Reasonable Price

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Review by dfarr posted 09-30-2009 02:18 AM 4653 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great TS Upgrade For A Very Reasonable Price Great TS Upgrade For A Very Reasonable Price Great TS Upgrade For A Very Reasonable Price Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve always struggled with the cheap blade adjustment cranks (pictured right) on my 70s vintage table saw. I found these cast iron handwheels (H3189 – Cast Iron Handwheel – 6”) and chromed handles (H3205 – 4” x 3/8”-16) on the Grizzly web site. The handwheels were only $8.50 and the handles were $2.95. This was a great deal compared to other places I’ve looked at similar handwheels. The wheels come with a small center hole that I had to bore out to 3/8” and I also had to drill and tap a 1/4-20 hole for a setscrew. TheYl came drilled and threaded to accept the 3/8”-16 threaded end on the handle. I replaced both my blade height adjustment and the angle adjustment. These handwheels make the adjustments extremely easy compared to the stock handles. I’m thinking I might upgrade the adjustment on my joiner to the same type handwheel. Grizzly’s delivery was very fast and I am extremely pleased with the price and the quality of these. I wish I would have thought to do this 20 years ago!

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19 posts in 4200 days

13 comments so far

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3936 days

#1 posted 09-30-2009 10:17 AM

That’s a very helpful post. Plastic or flimsy metal cranks shouldn’t be used on any machine. This upgrade would be worth every penny.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View skeeter's profile


233 posts in 4109 days

#2 posted 10-01-2009 12:41 AM

you have my table saw. I bought it for 75 bucks and put a unifence on it and a phenolic plywood aux table.

-- My philosophy: Somewhere between Norm and Roy

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5777 posts in 4000 days

#3 posted 10-01-2009 09:45 PM

That’s a whopper of a handwheel! Looks really good though… Any interference issues due to the wheel size?

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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14477 posts in 4359 days

#4 posted 10-02-2009 02:54 AM

My Ryobi benchtop Table Saw has height adjustment and tilt adjustment handwheels made of plastic. The handwheel was useless out of box. I’ve been searching for this type of handwheel for so long time
Thanks for this review. I really gives me hope for a new lease of my table saw’s life!

I wanted to buy 2 handwheel like yours, but I may have problem tapping the setscrew hole. I would be very gratefull if you can explain further “how to” drill & tap the setscrew hole.


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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14477 posts in 4359 days

#5 posted 10-02-2009 03:15 AM

The size of the shaft arbor (ie centre bore size of the handwheel is 3/8”)
Since my table saw is almost the same like your Craftsman TS, it may accept 4” to 6” handwheel.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Karson's profile


35223 posts in 5169 days

#6 posted 10-02-2009 06:22 AM

Great modification. Nice job.

Looks like you have caused a bunch of other people to jump into the upgrade waters.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4000 days

#7 posted 10-02-2009 06:39 PM


Your handwheel looks like it came from a BT3100. A lot of users are filling the voids in them with epoxy and BBs to give the handwheel the needed strength, and heft. You might want to try that. I haven’t gone that route yet, but am SERIOUSLY considering it… Remember the shaft on these saws has 2 flat sides…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View dfarr's profile


19 posts in 4200 days

#8 posted 10-03-2009 12:52 AM

dbhost….The 6” wheel works great and no interference. The larger the diameter the greater the mechanical advantage and ease to turn for adjusments.

Woodworm…..Drilling and tapping the setscrew hole is quite simple if you have a drill press but it is possible to use a hand drill if you have a vise and a steady hand. The wheel’s odd shape makes it a bit tricky to secure in a vise in the proper position. I used a centering v-block clamped to by drill press table. Use a prick punch to mark the point where you want to drill to keep the bit from “walking” and to make it easier to get the drill bit started in the right spot. Drill the hole about mid-way on the hub portion of the handwheel inline and 90 degrees to the hubs center hole. For a 1/4-20 setscrew you need to drill a 7/32 hole. I actually used a 1/4-20 bolt rather than a setscrew. You can see the head of the bolt in the pictures. Tapping is easiest if you have a tap t-handle but you can get by using a wrench that fits the square shank on the tap. Some form of lubrication should be used and it’s best to keep backing the tap up every rotation or two to clean the threads and let the lubricant penetrate ahead of the tap. They make special tapping fluids but WD-40 or any light oil will work fine if you are only tapping a few holes.

Here’s a link with details about the metal tapping process:

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14477 posts in 4359 days

#9 posted 10-05-2009 02:12 PM

thanks for the alternative solution. I think I should give it a try first before replacing it with cast-iron handwheel.

I appreciate your reply to my question about drilling & tapping the thread of setscrew hole. Thank you for your time and effort searching and attaching the link to the tapping process.

You all are very helpful and nice people!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Steve Cherry's profile

Steve Cherry

190 posts in 2599 days

#10 posted 05-22-2013 01:17 AM

I have a Craftsman TS that has had one of the plastic wheels broken for probably 15 years. Changing the blade angle is a real pain because I’d have to take the crank off the depth adjustment, change the angle and put it back. Never got replacement handles because the only ones I found I thought were too expensive. Because of your great review, I just ordered the same handles you got from Grizzly. Thanks. What a relief it’ll be to have two good, solid crank handles again.

-- Steve - Front Royal, VA

View TOM's profile


65 posts in 2759 days

#11 posted 05-22-2013 05:33 PM

I, too, just picked up this exact table saw this past weekend (my first) ...

see this posting:

... and, of course, it has the dreaded blade adjustment cranks (pictured in the 3rd image of the original posting).

I, too, would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get new handwheels for the saw ... but I have absolutely NO experience whatsoever with drilling/tapping setscrew holes – and I do not yet have a drill press – and I fear that if I were to order a set of handwheels from Grizzly (as mentioned above), that I wouldn’t be able to utilize them for a long time.

Are there any other options out there, or am I going to have to try to learn to drill new screw holes?

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3274 days

#12 posted 05-22-2013 11:36 PM

Check out Sears Parts Direct dot com, and put in your saw model number. They may offer handwheels for your saw.

My stock HW were plastic and on, I was able to buy metal ones that are super.

View EEngineer's profile


1125 posts in 4381 days

#13 posted 05-23-2013 12:23 AM

Ah, c’mon, TOM, surely you jest!

Check out McMaster-Carr, Reid Supply, hell, try a general search for “handwheels”...

You’ll find there are lots of sources out there with handwheels out there with the hole size drilled to what you want. Now you may pay more, but that is the trade-off: you have more tools and skills, you pay less; you have less tools and skills, you pay more for them to do it for you!

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

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