Vintage Craftsman Table Saw - Slow Restoration

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by kleydejong, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    Introduction

    I have an old table saw that I'm bringing back to life, and I wanted to document, share, and possibly enlist some help in the process. I bought it in Summer 2017 on Craigslist for $50.

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    Says Craftsman on the front with a model number on the back of 103.21041.

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    Some research has led me to believe it is possibly from the 1960's and was made by King-Seeley Corp. - Central Specialty Division in Michigan, USA. It has a belt driven motor that hangs off the back with a Westinghouse label.

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    I currently have it fit with a 7 1/4" blade, but I believe it could go up to 8". Max depth of cut is about 2".

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    The table is in pretty clean condition. It runs just fine off 110v power. I was able to cut 2x4's or plywood easily. Haven't really tried any beefy hardwood yet.

    For context, this is my first table saw. I did some research and was led to believe that the modern $150 entry level table saws aren't anything special. So when I saw this bad boy I was pretty pleased. Cast iron top with a belt driven motor for 1/3 the price seemed like a good deal to me. I believed I would need to put some elbow grease into getting it tuned up, but I felt it could pretty quickly surpass the alternatives.
     
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  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That one...or one very similar was my first saw. The tilt gears needed to be replaced on mine. Luckily you could still buy parts. This was about 1980. Be careful with those as they were pot metal.
     
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  3. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a slightly earlier version of this saw. It has the motor hanging off the back like yours. I bought cast iron extensions for the table on ebay, and a better fence:

    good fence

    It's been a great saw
     
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  4. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    My first order of business was the fence. It runs along a metal bar on the front which it locks onto. Then there is a little hook at the back end which pulls against the rear table top. There is a tension screw under the handle which can set how hard the handle pulls against that back hook. I monkeyed with it for a while. Overall though the fence was problematic. It was a bit wobbly and capable of being locked down firmly, yet out of square.

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    I decided to try and make a DIY fence. First I removed the front rail and put in its place a plywood block instead. I used my router to make the slots.

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    Then I used plywood to make a big T square. I put a bit of melamine particle board for the face.

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    I made a C clamp which has a T nut and a bolt to push the fence against the plywood rail. All I want is to be able to lock it down and be confident that it is parallel to the miter slot every time.

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    The bolt pushes up against a Jazzmaster style control plate to give it something sturdy to push against other than the plywood. I also had to redo the knob on the end of the bolt. The wooden knob kept stripping. I got a 5 star plastic knob from Ace Hardware and fastened it to the bolt with a washer, nut, and a generous amount of caulk to fill the threads so it will always turn the bolt and not spin off.

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    Overall this fence has worked quite well. I notice that if I push with moderate pressure on the tail end that it will tilt a bit to either side. The T square part that slides along the rail is secured to the fence part with screws. I currently do not have any sort of rear hook. As a temporary solution I can use a pipe clamp or a table top magnet to prevent the tail end from wandering.

    I'm considering a few options.

    - Add some kind of angled support piece on the right side of the fence.
    - Make a second C clamp which would secure against a rear rail. It might be a bit annoying to have to secure two clamps, but I might pay that price for straight cuts.
     
  5. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    For a while I wasn't sure if the saw was capable of tilting. I only recently scrounged up the manual and discovered that the wheel on the front that I use to set the blade height can be moved forward to a second position to tilt the angle of the blade. Haven't tried making a tilt cut yet, but that is on my list to check out and possibly restore.
     
  6. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    I also have a model 113 saw I picked up a while back.

    I have the steel wings on the sides which makes for a really good setup.

    I also have a crappy fence, and have looked to do what you have done also.

    My suggestion on your fence is to add a piece of wood or metal at the end and have it connect to the rail on that end that is floating now. When you screw down your fence, it will in essence pull against the furthest rail and hopefully give you enough tension that the fence doesn't move on you.

    I am also going to build a sled for mine so I can cross cut, these are really set up well for that use.
     
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  7. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    I had some time over lunch to tinker with the fence. I tightened it down right up against the miter slot and checked for square. Then I tried adding a hook on the back bottom edge to ride against the rear wall. It did a fine job of keeping the fence from wandering, but it was very difficult to slide around. The way I have the front rail built it pushes the fence assembly forward onto the rail as I tighten the knob. A rear hook would clearly work if I were pulling the fence back away from the saw to pull against the hook.
     
  8. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    I simply measure to both sides of the blade and adjust accordingly.Mine is a 9" rockwell beaver , the fence is identical to yours.

    The fence has been such a piece of crap for the last 44yrs that I tighten it up and fine tune it with a hammer:D
     
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  9. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    Had a pretty big breakthrough tonight. I have a friend who is a pretty skilled carpenter / DIY person. He looked at the saw and we talked about some of the issues I was having. Specifically why the wobble wheel makes a slanted cut or why the dado stack vibrates like crazy. He was changing the blade and noticed that none of my blades fit snugly on the arbor. We used a caliper to check. The arbor is 1/2" and all my blades are 5/8". Derp...

    Is it possible to get some kind of conversion bushing to use 5/8" blades with a 1/2" arbor?
     
  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Many blades used to come with a small adapter ring. I'm not sure about now though, because that was 30 years ago.
     
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  11. cattzap

    cattzap Tele-Meister

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    Very cool. I'd like to find a saw like that too. They are becoming scarce. Look at vintagemachinery.org This is Keith Rucker. I follow him on Youtube. he restores vintage machinery and has a website with documentation available as well as all sorts of other stuff. Very cool guy. I have a Sears Crasftsman /King Sealey wood lathe form the 50's. Got it from its original owner along with the original tools in a wood case that it was sold in. It's motor wasn't repairable so I had to change that. It needs new spindle bearing now but that no big deal. These old saws are built to last, which is obvious. Keep us informed about how this is going.
     
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  12. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    A good saw shop would have 5/8 to 1/2 adaptors , also 1/2" copper pipe 5/8 OD 1/2 ID type M pipe. The saw looks great
     
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  13. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you can’t get your fence working to your satisfaction, this might be of interest—

     
  14. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    I decided on a 12 piece saw bushing kit from Menards for $1.99. I got 3 of em. Link - https://www.menards.com/main/tools-.../12-piece-saw-bushing-kit/p-1444421224290.htm. Never ordered from Menards online before, but the price was good and the shipping was quick.

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    They have two bushings per pack that fit 1/2" to 5/8". The individual bushings are about a 1/16th I bet as it fit perfectly flush with my thin kerf blade.

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    Installing them was very straightforward. Slide the blade on. Slide the bushing on. Slide the washer on. Use the washer to push the bushing in. Wiggle the blade until the bushing fits inside the slot. Tighten the nut.

    I ripped a 2x4 quick over lunch as a test cut. I was extremely happy with the results. The saw was meaningfully quieter. Much less vibration. The cut quality was significantly better as well. I haven't done any tests, but just by eyeing the board as it passes through the saw I feel that I'm seeing a tighter kerf line of removed material. I'm guessing with the vertical eliptical nature of the rotation of the blade it also induced some horizontal wobble. Now the blade appears to spin true and actually cuts a 1/16th to correspond with the thin kerf blade.

    Thrilled with the improved performance!
     
  15. kleydejong

    kleydejong Tele-Holic

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    I got a little antsy waiting for the mail, and while at my local Ace Hardware I picked up a new belt and pulley. I was recommended to get proper machined steel pulleys and a link belt. Didn't have them locally, but these were about $10 together, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I also bolted the saw securely to my table.

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    The old pulley seemed to wonder a bit on inspection as I hand turned it. Video here:



    Getting the old pulley off was quite a job. I removed a screw that fit into the key. But it wouldn't budge. I looked around for 5 minutes wondering if there was another fastener. I soaked it in WD40. No luck. Spent much of the evening watching videos on DIY Gear Puller solutions. Then the next morning it pulled off without much problem. I'm guessing the cold night time air and the WD40 soak settling in got her loose.

    This piece was quite dirty. I did some sanding to remove the gunk and smooth it out.

    Before

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    After

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    Documenting a better picture of the motor. It has dawned on me that this may or may not be original.

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  16. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My craftsman table saw is a different model from yours, but it’s motor is branded Craftsman. Obviously, they had someone make it for them, but it’s not obvious who. It doesn’t make any difference so long as it spins in the right direction, has the right RPM, and adequate power. Sounds like you’ve pretty much got it fundamentally working with the bushings.
     
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