New table saw or upgrade mine?

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Forum topic by ACR_SCOUT posted 06-09-2013 01:28 PM 4705 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ACR_SCOUT's profile


23 posts in 2766 days

06-09-2013 01:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip tablesaw

Hello all,

I am seeking opinions and points to ponder. I have a hand-me-down Sears Craftsman table saw Model: 113.298150. When it was given to by my Dad, he said “remember now, this was Pop’s (grandpa’s) before he gave it to me, take care of it”. Well I guess the years and several moves around the United States have not been too kind to the saw.

My dad and myself used it a LOT for remodels and it done fairly well. Now I am trying to do finer work like paint grade cabinets and ultimately my home office furniture. So as I learn cabinetry by building them for my garage I am learning about the saw. So here it goes.

—The rip fence is almost held together with bailing wire and duct tape.
—The miter gauge has side to side play, chacing that down drove me nuts. I just knew I was cutting square corners, I guess not.
— I am not certain the saw is tracking straight
— I think but I cannot confirm that there is a wobble in the arbor making the kref wider than the blade.

Is it better to start looking at new saws and hang my head when I tell Dad or should I try to fix this one up?

If I fix this one up it will still work in my setup with my freshly built out feed table/workbench/tool cabinet/assembly table. The sentimental value and family dynamics are retained. And I might be able to make it better than new. So does it make sense to invest in….

— fence system
— Find a new miter gauge (build a sled)
— Install the PALS
— Install Link Belt and pullies
— Forrest/Frued blade(s)
— Install a 1.5 to 2 HP motor for 220V?

About the motor, I have read a entry or two about table saw horsepower and most seem to think the 3HP is the way to go but I think 3HP for this saw might be a bit too much and even in a new saw seems to be pretty expensive.

I mostly just tinker around and when it comes to hardwoods, I have only used small stock. I must say a piece of 3/4” MDF about kicked my tail but I am not sure if it was because of the size or the dust (ick).

So do I spend the money for repairs and upgrade or to buy a new saw?

Thank you,

-- Sears Table Saw Model: 113.298150

45 replies so far

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2544 days

#1 posted 06-09-2013 01:37 PM

With a thin kerf blade your saw should have plenty of power. The .113 is a very proven saw that many people use for the finest of cabinetry. Unfortunately, the saw doesn’t come with a riving knife AND has blade wobble which can be dangerous. I’m not sure how involved replacing the arbor is but if its not to bad I would go for it. Get the saw aligned and give it a good fence and a sharp thin kerf blade and it will do whatever you want it to.

the only plus side to buying a new saw like the ridgid (also very proven) is you get the riving knife. I think that a riving knife provides alot of safety. The fence is much better then the craftsman but IMO does not compare to a t-glide fence.

View NiteWalker's profile


2739 posts in 2936 days

#2 posted 06-09-2013 01:50 PM

New saw.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View ACR_SCOUT's profile


23 posts in 2766 days

#3 posted 06-09-2013 01:52 PM

Cab you be a little more specific about the “t-glide fence”? I just did a quick search of the net but it comes up with the SawStop saw. Strange.

I have to the splitter for the saw sitting out there on the floor. It has the saw guard which is a pain in the tail to deal with.

-- Sears Table Saw Model: 113.298150

View knotscott's profile


8277 posts in 3734 days

#4 posted 06-09-2013 03:04 PM

A good aftermarket fence system tends to start for close to $200 for something like the Delta T2. There are some good choices in the $250-$300 range like the Vega or Shop Fox Classic (“T-Glide” is Saw Stop’s version of the much copied Biesemeyer T-square design….HTC, Xacta II, and many others are similar).

A true 3hp motor will need to run on 220v. A well tuned 1hp saw with a good fence and the right blade can get the job done….obviously more power helps, but motor power is only part of the equation. I wouldn’t put a motor larger than 2hp on that saw…the mechanism aren’t made for the weight or the increased torque.

If your saw has a belt drive induction motor, it has good potential, but it sounds like there’s enough upgrading needed that another saw may be more feasible, unless you’re up to a “project” to salvage the sentimental value.. Blade wobble could be bearing or arbor issues….not too difficult but would require some dis-assembly. Another good used saw could be a good choice if the right deal comes along.

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

View bbc557ci's profile


596 posts in 2433 days

#5 posted 06-09-2013 03:25 PM

Just think’n…...”sentimental” can be difficult to deal with. That said, and the way I see it, if you go for a new TS you’ll spend a bunch on one with a 3 hp motor and a good fence. But if you can find a good TS used and in good condition you could make out well. Then again, you might be able to find a good used after market fence and 220 motor. But you still have the possible arbor issue. Tough call. If it were me and I needed a TS like now or quick, I’d look for a good used TS to fit my needs and budget. Then as time and $$ allow, gather parts for the ol’ Craftsman and refurbish it, and pass it down.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View ACR_SCOUT's profile


23 posts in 2766 days

#6 posted 06-09-2013 03:31 PM

I have time and money is more the opportunity cost thing. Even if I move up in saw “quality” will I still be buying aftermarket fences and miter guages?

-- Sears Table Saw Model: 113.298150

View ACR_SCOUT's profile


23 posts in 2766 days

#7 posted 06-09-2013 03:34 PM

I am up to time and a challenge. Part of this whole wood working things is to teach me to slow down. I am retiring from the Army this year after 25 years. I’ve had some health issues that lead to all of the doctors calling a conference with me and my wife to tell me that I need to slow down. I am giving it my darn best so having a table saw ripped apart in fifteen hundred pieces should slow me down. ;-)

-- Sears Table Saw Model: 113.298150

View knotscott's profile


8277 posts in 3734 days

#8 posted 06-09-2013 04:24 PM

There are a lot of saws with good aftermarket caliber fences that won’t need an upgrade…it really depends on the particular model. Most saws come with a lousy miter gauge worthy of an upgrade, which is much easier and cheaper than most good fence systems.

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

View a1Jim's profile


117615 posts in 3936 days

#9 posted 06-09-2013 04:39 PM

Perhaps folks like Knotscott know whats table saw your talking about by it’s model number but I don’t know what your saw looks like or it’s power is or fence looks like ,I know I’m not alone trying to figure out what folks who use model numbers are talking about. I’d say if Knotscott answers your question you have a good resource without further input others anyhow.
In general I’m not thrilled with sears products and would tend to consider a better brand saw.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4007 days

#10 posted 06-09-2013 04:40 PM

Those are solid, no-frills contractor saws. You can certainly
do accurate work on such a saw. Those saws sell for
$50-$125 in my area.

I think you need to establish what’s going on with the
arbor and arbor flange.

Here’s a good page about how to fix wobble:

View GT350's profile


371 posts in 2340 days

#11 posted 06-09-2013 05:05 PM

I had a ‘70’s Craftsman contractor saw also and I really liked it and it worked well for me. It also had a slight wobble in the arbor and the other problem was dado’s didn’t have flat bottoms because the threads weren’t large enough. I bought a Sawstop Cabinet Saw and even though I liked my old saw I like this one much better. The accuracy and smoothness is much better, I would buy the new saw.

View toolie's profile


2155 posts in 2987 days

#12 posted 06-09-2013 05:23 PM

+1 for the new saw vote even though i am a fan of the 113 c-man saws. i’d look for a CL offering first and only go new if i had to. i’d keep that older saw and dedicate it to crosscuts and functioning as the outfeed table for a newer saw dedicated to ripping operations, which usually require more power. perhaps a set up like this:

i’ve been thru the cabinet saw experiment with a unisaw that i refurbished to see what all the unisaw/cabinet saw hoopla was all about. i chose to stay with my two emerson electric built 10” TSs (one is a c-man and the other is a ridgid).

but, if you want to refurbish your family TS, there are parts available and they are very simple in their components. with a good aftermarket fence (like a delta t2 or a vega 40) and a good aftermarket miter gauge (like an osborne eb-3), that c-man of yours is a very capable saw, as i’m sure you know.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View NiteWalker's profile


2739 posts in 2936 days

#13 posted 06-09-2013 10:03 PM

If you move to a quality saw, you won’t need extra accessories except maybe a good blade and possibly an aftermarket miter gauge.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2959 posts in 3797 days

#14 posted 06-09-2013 10:16 PM

Another option…

Get this saw fixed or another saw that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to rip wood well. Crosscutting doesn’t matter in any saw if you pick up a decent miter saw.

I have an old rockwell/Delta table saw. original cost about $500. It works well but does not stand up to the capabilities of the expensive saws of today. I put a good rip blade in it and use it to cut my wood to width after jointing it. For this it does a good job. It needs to be set by hand for cuts as guages on the saw are not really accurate.

Then I purchased the best 12” compound sliding miter saw I could find. It does precision cross cuts. Very precise. My table saw is for ripping. My miter saw is for crosscutting. together they make a good combination.

Other advantages of this set up. I don’t have to use a combination blade if I only had a table saw or have to change out rip for crosscut blade for each cut.

I can leave my table saw at a fence setting when making same size cut items like rails and styles for cabinet doors since I go over to the miter saw for the other cuts.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View rustythebailiff's profile


98 posts in 2301 days

#15 posted 06-09-2013 11:12 PM

I am in the same boat you are. I have been using my fathers 1952 vintage Craftsman 8” bench saw for over 25 years now (it’s a 103.22160). Like you, I am kind of attached to it since it was my dads. Plus, I have found over the years that it does the job I need it to, and keeping it has saved me money to put into other tools or wood to make stuff. Having said that, my advice is that IF you can fix your saw,and it does what you need, it is worth the money.

When I first started using mine, I tore it down, cleaned it, and made sure everything was aligned and working right. Since then I have cut everything from pine to purpleheart (though with a little bit of singeing) without any issues. I’ve cut coves, rabbits, dados (though I can’t use a stack dado because of the small arbor), just about anything I needed.

And, if your saw is doing what you need, down the road you can always upgrade. My most expensive upgrades have been a new 3/4 hp motor (the original 1/2 hp conked out after almost 40 years!) with a link belt, and I just this year found enough money for a Vega Utility rip fence (best investment I ever made). Apart from that, I’ve built everything else I needed like outfeeds and extensions, zero clearance and splitters and the like.

Good luck with your project, sounds like it could be a fun journey.[email protected]/9001581424/

-- "Necessity is the mother of invention"

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