Helping fixing an old table saw.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by matt0852 posted 08-31-2009 02:29 AM 7341 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View matt0852's profile


49 posts in 3916 days

08-31-2009 02:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw refurbishing

Hello everyone. Just recently I was over my grandmother’s and in the basement is an old table saw. It was my grandfather’s. It has No guard and the plate that “wraps” around the blade. (don’t know the proper name) There is however a rip fence and miter guage. At least I think the miter guage I found goes with it. The rip fence however doesn’t seem to work too well and the screws for it are bent and hard to turn. The top is rusted in spots and the slots seem a little rusty also. The base is rotted and falling apart, but I am guessing that you can just build a new one. Now I used it once and was scared to death due to lack of guards, and the motor just stopped. I am guessing this is due to a dull blade since I didn’t get a new one if I didn’t think this was worth fixing up. If this is fixable it would be great since I don’t own a table saw. Any suggestions? Is this even worth fixing? Thanks in advance.

35 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117785 posts in 4138 days

#1 posted 08-31-2009 02:32 AM

If was your grandfathers it’s worth it. If you do a search here on LJs you will see many saw resorations that can help.

View matt0852's profile


49 posts in 3916 days

#2 posted 08-31-2009 02:45 AM

Because it was my grandfather’s that’s the only reason I am giving it thought of fixing, but what I meant was if it was broken beyond repair. I hope nothing is wrong with the motor and it is JUST the blade.

View MaxS's profile


46 posts in 3754 days

#3 posted 08-31-2009 03:19 AM

Well…#1 – Be careful with this whole thing.

First thing I would do is try and find an experienced woodworker to have a look at the thing. The ‘plate’ you’re talking about is called a throat plate by some. You can buy them or make them yourself…if you have the right equipment.

Unless the top is completely rusted out…it should be an easy fix.

There are tons of after market fences if the original fence is well and truly dead.

As far as the saw just stopping during a cut….that’s probably more motor than blade….but who knows.

What are the details of the saw? Make? Model? Serial#? Single phase?

Again….I HIGHLY suggest you have someone very experienced look over the thing before you venture another go at it. Scary stuff my friend. But….very worth it for you if you can restore it to it’s original greatness.

-- Socrates: "I drank what?"

View matt0852's profile


49 posts in 3916 days

#4 posted 08-31-2009 01:06 PM

I don’t know too much about it since I was only looking for a few minutes. I’ll check it out and get some more info as soon as I can.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4146 days

#5 posted 08-31-2009 01:15 PM

Theres nothing worse than a dodgy tablesaw maybe you should get hands on expert advice before getting down to parting with money ,this could be dangerous if not done properly.Withoput seeing it’s impossible to say.Also new-ish saws are relatively inexpensive to buy sometimes on ebay. craigslist etc.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 4456 days

#6 posted 08-31-2009 01:39 PM

Scotsman and the others have some good suggestions. I would consider keeping the saw for sentimental reasons, but in the meantime, get a usable saw to work with. Then as you become more experienced with the saw, you will learn more about the older saw and be able to diagnose/restore it yourself. You may need the outside help of another woodworker and/or machinist, but getting familiar with a table saw on a working machine will be invaluable. I would definitely keep the saw.

Another comment, always respect any tool you work with, and use every safety measure available to you, but you need to get beyond being scared of a machine. Fear in itself can be dangerous.

-- Sam

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3993 days

#7 posted 08-31-2009 01:54 PM

Go to and see if there are any rebuild for this machine.

If it was a popular model like a Delta homecraft they may even have a manual for down loading.

It would surprise you how many manuals they have for machines.

Good luck and follow owwm for suggestions on how to get this tool back in the game. I agree(like my opinion matters) with what others have said.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View EEngineer's profile


1120 posts in 4174 days

#8 posted 08-31-2009 11:56 PM

Seems to me a lot of people here are more interested in scaring you out of this project!

If this is a table saw from your grandfather’s era then odds are that it is built better than most reasonably priced table saws today. Not all old iron is worth restoring but quite a bit of it is. OWWM is a prime resource and has a bunch of tips about what to look for in an old table saw and what potential “restore-killers” are. Truth is, there is just not that much that can go wrong with a table saw, even an ancient one. Barring obvious things like broken trunnions or a bent arbor, there is just not that much that will make a table saw any more dangerous than it inherently is.

As far as guards go, there are many examples right here on LJ’s that show guards that people fabricated themselves. One thing you probably won’t find on an old saw that is the biggest safety must is a splitter. You can take care of both the throat plate and splitter by copying some of the “zero-clearance” designs that incorporate splitters here on LJ’s. Parts, even for relatively obscure table saws, are readily available on the bay. If the motor is shot, as several here have suggested, odds are you can find an original replacement there. If not, I am sure you can find one that’s close enough. If the fence is unrestorable, an original fence or an even better replacement fence can be found there. Don’t forget Craigslist.

If you know an old woody that can help, by all means ask him. If not, there are plenty of resources on the Web, starting with OWWM. No need to panic because you’ve never done this before; everyone had to start somewhere and not one of us was born knowing it all. Pay particualr attention to adjusting the restored saw; many safety issues with table saws are due to poor alignment. Do your research and you’ll be fine.

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

View matt0852's profile


49 posts in 3916 days

#9 posted 09-01-2009 01:48 AM

Thanks for the input guys. Also a special thanks to EEngineer. I’m glad you are so positive on the subject. I have been doing A LOT of research in the past few days. I found quite a few places on how to adjust table saws to be accurate within 1,000th of an inch. It also so how to adjust trunnions and arbor. I got a nice bit of information just from a 15 minute video. I can’t get started just yet though a sI still didn’t get a chance to take a look at the saw again. Hopefully once I find out I’ll be able to get a manual and get started on the project. I would feel 100000 times better restoring one than just buying one. And let’s not forget the feeling of using a table saw belonging to my grandfather. One mor ehting, I do agree with the “built better” thing. I’ve foudn that a lot of tools from decades ago work very well and last longer than modern equiptment.

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 4456 days

#10 posted 09-01-2009 03:34 AM

Seems to me a lot of people here are more interested in scaring you out of this project!

I’m not one of them if there are any…

i wasn’t trying be negative but I guess it came across that way. Restoring a tool is actually one of the best ways to learn about it and how to use it. GO FOR IT. Don’t worry about not knowing what you may be doing – - you will learn. Based on what you described, my first concern is more towards the motor and why it is stopping, but you’ll figure that out. I have a 1938 Craftsman table saw that I restored and I had to have a machinist’s help. EE has some good suggestions. What I was trying to say applies to everyone of us on this site. I have learned through my years that if you are afraid of something you have a greater chance of getting hurt. I’m an electrical engineer myself and regardless how much I know (or think I know) about something I ALWAYS exercise RESPECT instead of fear. Don’t be afraid of the saw because it doesn’t have its guard. AS EE pointed out, if you go on ebay, etc., sooner or later you’ll find what you are looking for.

-- Sam

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4025 days

#11 posted 09-01-2009 03:47 AM

Good luck and fixing grandpa’s stuff is a worthy pursuit. I’ve actually got into blacksmithing simply because I have grandpa’s old forge and blower as well as anvil and a couple of hammers. I’m certain you’ll get the job done right. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View matt0852's profile


49 posts in 3916 days

#12 posted 09-01-2009 04:34 AM

Sam, it’s alright. I understand now. I also know what you mean about that fear thing too. I remember when I first started using a circular saw, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. I feel very comfortable with the tool and I do make some really great cuts.
BTKS, Thanks. I hope I do.

View Neodogg's profile


94 posts in 3988 days

#13 posted 09-01-2009 06:11 AM

Hey there is nothing wrong with fixing G-pa’s old TS. I restored my G-Pa’s old ‘54 Craftsman, EEngineer is rite, this old TS is better than most saw today. Here is a link(well maybe copy & paste) to my TSrestore:

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!

View EEngineer's profile


1120 posts in 4174 days

#14 posted 09-01-2009 11:06 AM

Neodogg brought up a good point indirectly – lotsa pictures! I love watching old arn get restored!

I really regret not having any “before” pictures for my restore. My old saw wasn’t as bad as Neodogg’s but the table was very rusty and she cleaned up nice (here). Again, most of the tips for derusting the table came from OWWM.

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

View matt0852's profile


49 posts in 3916 days

#15 posted 09-02-2009 12:49 AM

Well guys, here is some info I got about the saw:
Rockwell 9” table saw
120v 60Hz 12.6 Amps
Series No. 34-570
Powertool Division
Pittsburgh, PA USA

I looked on that OWWM but had no luck finding anything on it. I took a look underneath and it looked alright. It was kinda dark though I shoulda looked for a flashlight. I was talking to my father about it and he told me I should just get a blade to start and see if it stops the motor before I go sticking a lot of time and money into it. What do you guys think about it? I thought it sounded pretty reasonable.

showing 1 through 15 of 35 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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