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Forum topic by wagspe208 posted 03-27-2019 05:08 PM 576 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wagspe208

17 posts in 115 days


03-27-2019 05:08 PM

OK, old table saw… yup, it was my grandfathers, then my dads, now mine. They are dead. I am not feeling so hot (ha)
So, same problem as most. Fence sucks. I am leaning towards the Vega Pro40. (If I can find one in stock somewhere)Seems to be well liked.
It has a 1 hp motor. It was wired for 110. Switched to 220.. less amps. (updated the switch also)
Bought a Woodworker II blade for it.
Folks seem to be all gaga over the link belt and machined pulleys. Is it the belt making such a difference? Or machined pulleys? Where can I buy the set?
I like the Tru Cut zero clearance insert. I might pop for one. But, fence is first…
What am I forgetting?
I am just an occasional hack. I don’t want to be aggravated when I use any tool…. It has much more value than it is worth…
Oh.. it has one table extension. I think I will add another. Maybe 2 on the right, one on left?? Or add one only?
Thanks
Wags


23 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117615 posts in 3937 days


#1 posted 03-27-2019 05:20 PM

I know about family tools being sentimental but it would be best to upgrade to a saw with all the upgrades built in and use you families saw as a backup or to install a dado blade in assuming you have room for that. If I own my families Model T I might want to keep it forever but I wouldn’t want to drive it on the freeway to work every day. Good luck with whatever you do.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

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pottz

5014 posts in 1344 days


#2 posted 03-27-2019 05:33 PM



I know about family tools being sentimental but it would be best to upgrade to a saw with all the upgrades built in and use you families saw as a backup or to install a dado blade in assuming you have room for that. If I own my families Model T I might want to keep it forever but I wouldn t want to drive it on the freeway to work every day. Good luck with whatever you do.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

- a1Jim


+1 probably not worth investing hundreds of dollars on.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Bill_Steele

505 posts in 2092 days


#3 posted 03-27-2019 05:45 PM

I agree with a1Jim—this is an older saw and perhaps a little under-powered—but still capable. I would consider upgrading to something newer with a larger motor. My old contractors saw has a 1.5 hp motor and sometimes will trip the breaker when I am sawing through thick stock (2”+). If you are going to keep and use it, I would suggest a thin-kerf blade—it might help get through thicker stock without tripping a breaker.

I think a link-belt is a good upgrade.

I think the saw will perform better if it is setup as accurately as is reasonable possible. To do that you’ll need to make or buy something that enables you to measure the blade to miter slot parallelism and blade to fence parallelism. I have this tool from Woodpeckers—it works well—but you could always make your own.

To help you make the adjustments to the saw you could get a set of PALS—I have them on my Jet contractors saw and they really help.

You can make your own ZC throat plates. Do you have a router table and flush trim bit?

Make your own push stick/shoe or maybe buy a fancy one from MicroJig.

I would also suggest making or buying a feather-board that can be attached in the miterslot (the Bow Feather pro is nice) or maybe even one of the feather boards from MagJig.

I added a router table and fence to the right side extension on my saw and it has worked out well for me.

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knotscott

8277 posts in 3736 days


#4 posted 03-27-2019 07:30 PM

Link belt and pulley improvements largely depend on the shape of the current belt and pulleys. Generally the belt makes the bigger difference, but if the stock belt is nearly perfect, there won’t be a huge difference. I’d only replace the pulleys if there’s a problem with the current ones.

Vega fence or Delta T2 are nice upgrades.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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wagspe208

17 posts in 115 days


#5 posted 03-27-2019 10:28 PM

I appreciate the advice that it is not worth the money… Like I said, I am an occasional hack… It is here. In fence, belt, and if I bought the insert plate I’d have 600 in it??
What does that 600 buy me?
Or if I spend 1000 will it be plug and play? Or I will still have to upgrade, update, and screw with?
I won’t turn it on 10 times a year… but when I do, I want the fence to be straight.
I’m a machinist, so the fixtures, etc. to verify straight, parallel, are no big deal.
Like any hobby… I know I won’t get out of it what I have in it cash wise. Hell, I’ll be dead. BUT, remembering some old times will be great.

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wagspe208

17 posts in 115 days


#6 posted 03-27-2019 10:29 PM

Stock belt is 40+ years old. I think it id time. Pulleys… I just looked at them…fair to good I guess.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117615 posts in 3937 days


#7 posted 03-27-2019 10:44 PM

Not sure where you live but many times you can get an excellent used saws in your price range, Something like a powermatic 66 is a very good saw that would last for years to come even though it might already be 20 years old or even a new Ridgid 4512 in the $600 range from home depot. That would work fine for the minimal amount of use you will be using it’.

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wagspe208

17 posts in 115 days


#8 posted 03-27-2019 10:59 PM

I’ll search tonight. I assume parts are still readily available for Powermatic, etcl? Will it have a good fence?
Near St. Louis, MO. In The People’s Republic of Illinois.

Quick measurements.
Wobble at arbor, under .0005”. At 10” blade… almost .005…. makes sense. Radial runout, less than .001.
The miter slot to is out quite a bit… over .010”.... so maybe a PALS thing (If I go with this piece)

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bilyo

655 posts in 1463 days


#9 posted 03-27-2019 11:05 PM

Wags, I fully understand the desire to keep and use family tools. Most of what you propose is easy and inexpensive and will improve the functioning of the saw. You can easily make your own zero clearance insert. Either mdf or plywood work fine. I glued plastic laminate on mine. Link belts are a great improvement for smooth running. As long as the pulleys are the same width and are working OK now, they should be good with the link belts. I have used both one from Wood Craft (Accubelt or something like that) and one from Harbor Freight. I can’t tell the difference. My only question would be in the fence upgrade you have selected. A good fence no doubt, but for a saw that will only be turned on 10 times a year, do you need one that good? For occasional use, could you forgo a bit of rigidity and repeatability? $600 seems like a lot to invest in this saw. These are just questions I would ask myself in your position.

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a1Jim

117615 posts in 3937 days


#10 posted 03-27-2019 11:18 PM

Wags Powermatics 66s where the top of the line saws and had and have great fences, These saws are still sought after, this means that if you find one in the $600 range or anywhere under $1000, after checking it out I would jump on it with both feet. One thing you’ll need to know is that most of the better saws are 220 volts so if you don’t have that available you might conceder a new 110 saw like the Ridgid,it’s not any were near the quality of the PM 66 nor is it’s fence as good but it’s a pretty good saw considering its a new saw. in that price range. There are a good number of new saws even cheaper than the Ridgid but they will just put you back to point you are now or even worse.

https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

124 posts in 72 days


#11 posted 03-28-2019 02:09 AM

I put a lot of money and work into my own C’man 10” FlexDrive table saw. It is a project I call: ‘Lipstick on a pig’. And yes, the fence was a major reason for it.

It all started with the VegaPro 40 fence and sort of snowballed from there. Added a couple cast extensions, new switch, new power cord, mobile base, dropleaf outfeed table, and dust collection.

Was it worth it? To me, yes. Mainly because I don’t do a lot of precision stuff, didn’t want to drop $2k+ on a better saw, etc. And after some frustrating setup and adjustment, it does cut reasonable accurate. Not patternmaker accuracy, but good enough for what I do.

Upgrading to a link belt will help with vibration, but if your pulleys are shot, they’ll probably need to be replaced. Zero clearance inserts are difficult, but not impossible on the older C’man TS, as the originals are somewhat thin to begin with. I think mine is barely 1/8” thick, but ZC inserts can be made, if that’s what you want.

Snap a pic of your saw, and with the blade guard attached (if it still has one). I can give you some thoughts about the issues you might encounter installing the Vega fence.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

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wagspe208

17 posts in 115 days


#12 posted 03-28-2019 06:58 AM

“That nice of a fence”... good point… bad news is, I know it is wood and .001 doesn’t matter if it rains…. But, I’d hate to spend 300 or 400 on a fence that was close… and not the extra hundred on a good one…. or known as a good product..

1964 Powermatic not far from me…

I know it is silk purse, sows ear….. but it is worth it to me. I want to enjoy it, not fight it.

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

124 posts in 72 days


#13 posted 03-28-2019 08:14 AM

I spent $369 for my Vega Pro 40 online. Since I added the folding outfeed table (one of those ‘why didn’t I do this sooner’ modifications), I needed to fabricate a new rear support rail for it (old man blurry cell phone pic):

The new rear support needed the addition of a couple more support brackets, which I got without any hassles from Vega. They have good customer support.

The extra table wings, I got off eBay, for something like $60 for two of them. The Vega includes braces so you could fabricate the table extensions out of plywood/MDF/laminate instead of looking for OEM cast ones. In hindsight, I would have added a router table in place of one of the table extensions.

You can get the C-man reasonably accurate:

One of the frustrations in checking the blade alignment to the miter slots, was the quality of machining of those slots. A lot of cutter ‘chatter’ marks, which made measurements challenging and inconsistent. I had the same issues with fence alignment due to the machining quality. But it can be done if patient and willing to accept a bit less than ‘0’.

I don’t know how old your saw is, but if it has a blade guard/splitter set up like this:

And you want to retain that guard, you will need to slot the rear support rail. On the Flexdrive saw the rear trunion support rod extends out the back of the table to hold the guard assembly. Not certain how the belt drive models are set up without seeing a picture.

This saw has served me well since I bought it new sometime back in the 80’s. Of course, there are better saws to be had. Back when I got it, I would have really loved to have purchased a true cabinet saw such as an old Delta, Powermatic, or Oliver. But they were expensive, heavy, and a lot of the used ones ran off 3 phase power.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

124 posts in 72 days


#14 posted 03-28-2019 11:39 AM

Okay, I just did an image search for your model of TS. It’s obviously older than my 40 year old machine, but it looks to be a nice tool. I’d think about setting it up for smaller ‘stuff’, tweak it for accuracy as much as possible, and run with it. It’ll never be a ‘big saw’ (as you know), but it’s got history, so I’d use it as is.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

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firefighterontheside

20169 posts in 2217 days


#15 posted 03-28-2019 12:22 PM

I’m just south of Stl. I looked on craigslist and Facebook and don’t see too many decent table saws right now. If you found one, you could steal the fence and wings. It may be cheaper that way. My father in law had a Vega on his Craftsman for many years and was very happy. He’s over in ofallon. We both bought Sawstops several months ago at Kunz in Trenton.

I definitely recommend a fence, one wing on left and at least one on the right. Make sure you have a nice thin kerf blade to make the most of that 1 hp motor.

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

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