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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought the community might like a thread on restoring an old table saw, plus I’d appreciate any feedback given.

The vast majority of the folks here (or anywhere else) would say that it’s not worth the time invested, but I still decided to work on it. If only to resell it, or keep it around for anything not heavy duty, until it dies.

This is what I started with:



Partial disassembly:



The picture was taken after soaking the top with paint thinner, so it doesn’t look as bad as it was when I brought it home. Fortunately, there aren’t any rust pits, just a very heavy coat of gunk. So far, it took roughly an hour of wire cupping & wet/dry sanding with 800 down to 100, then reversed, to get to this point:



I’ll have to do something about the blemished spots. Thinking careful scraping with a razor should do it.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've sanded my Unisaw with a ROS sander and 220 grit to clean it up.

Did the saw have any extension wings? If not, I'd be on the lookout for some.


Yes, it came with steel extension wings. Took them off for cleanup, everything is coated with rust. I’m using a combination of ROS and a sanding block.


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Some of the older Craftsman saws were pretty good saws. The really old ones were very good saws at the time. Some of the fences could be improved on with an aftermarket but the older ones were good enough to get by. One thing you'll benefit greatly from is an outfeed table. The distance behind the blade is pretty short on those, similar to an old Rockwell I have for a backup. In fact that just might be a Rockwell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice project. How are the innards? Rusty but cleanable? Will be fun to follow.


Yep, rust-o’clock everywhere but surprisingly, I was able to start it. It’ll take a complete removal of the base and the top, plus the engine mount, to get to the rest of it. One thing at a time.


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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some of the older Craftsman saws were pretty good saws. The really old ones were very good saws at the time. Some of the fences could be improved on with an aftermarket but the older ones were good enough to get by. One thing you'll benefit greatly from is an outfeed table. The distance behind the blade is pretty short on those, similar to an old Rockwell I have for a backup. In fact that just might be a Rockwell.

Nah, it’s a Flex drive Craftsman made circa 80’s. When the flex shaft goes, the saw will be a paper weight. Either I use it until it happens and then sell for parts/repurpose, or restore and straight up sell it. Seeing how it took me less than 24 hrs to sell the jobsite Delta I had, I’m not worried about my marketing strategy.



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Discussion Starter · #9 ·




Cleaned up most of the gunk, but there are still blotches that won’t come off. Not sure what it is, some kind of petrified goo. Definitely not wood glue. Am very apprehensive about going lower on the grit, since I had to sand the middle with 80 grit.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finally, it’s finished (thanks to the self isolation):



What did I end up doing:

-Replaced the arbor assy (the old one had stripped threads and was impossible to redye)
-Cleaned the motor
-Removed the original casters since they weren’t really spinning anymore lol
-Replaced and relubricated the shaft (yes, I actually found one that fits !)
-Installed a new Shop Fox fence

There’s a huge difference between what I had before, and this one. For one, even though it’s a flex drive, so far it doesn’t bog down on anything I’ve thrown at it. Not a high end tool, but it cuts true and straight, and that’s exactly what I need for now.


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Nice job. I had that exact TS including the stamped wings and weird castors. Even the swirls in the cast iron looked like mine. Faced with the same question, I opted to sell it for $75. It looked so close to mine, I checked to see if you lived near me and were the buyer...

The one thing I miss is the little exact-i-cut plastic thingee. Made some cuts pretty easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good job on the restoration, it looks great.
What is a flex drive ,I have never heard of that? It looks like a belt drive to me.
Herb

It’s a variation of a direct drive, where the motor is connected to the arbor via a flexible shaft. The original idea was sound, but the way it was made was not. There is a big jolt when the saw powers up, but the heavy table dampens the vibration and the encased shaft doesn’t have too much lateral movement to induce more vibration.


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@qulevrius Duh, Now that I look at the pictures again, I see the flex drive. I have never seen one before. I thought it was a belt drive and that the belt loose ,off the pulley. I wonder who thought up that kind of set up after all the years of tried and true belt drive. I have a direct drive 12" Craftsman and love it. I use it mostly with 10" blades, and the power is unstoppable,on 220v.
@PhilBa a piece of white tape works too. for the exact-ti-cut

Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@qulevrius Duh, Now that I look at the pictures again, I see the flex drive. I have never seen one before. I thought it was a belt drive and that the belt loose ,off the pulley. I wonder who thought up that kind of set up after all the years of tried and true belt drive. I have a direct drive 12" Craftsman and love it. I use it mostly with 10" blades, and the power is unstoppable,on 220v.
@PhilBa a piece of white tape works too. for the exact-ti-cut

Herb

I do use a 7-1/4” blade for precision cuts on plywood. Works wonders, because of the kerf and the teeth. With that being said, I didn’t know Craftsman made 12” direct drive saws, that’s half way to an industrial grade machine and seems weird to not have it with induction.


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@qulevrius I did a search on that saw, and it seems the weak link is the flex drive. They do not seem to be available for replacement. Some guys have changed them over to belt drive, but they say that it is a PITA.
It will probably serve you well if you baby it along and don't put too much money into it, save that for a future saw.
You could probably use an 8" blade too. You have to remember that the smaller blades have slower rim speeds ,so you have to adjust your feed rate down some, but you probably do that automatically by the feel of the saw. I know I do.
Herb

My 12" TS is an induction motor, looks like the 12" Radial Arm Saw Motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@qulevrius I did a search on that saw, and it seems the weak link is the flex drive. They do not seem to be available for replacement. Some guys have changed them over to belt drive, but they say that it is a PITA.
It will probably serve you well if you baby it along and don't put too much money into it, save that for a future saw.
You could probably use an 8" blade too. You have to remember that the smaller blades have slower rim speeds ,so you have to adjust your feed rate down some, but you probably do that automatically by the feel of the saw. I know I do.
Herb

My 12" TS is an induction motor, looks like the 12" Radial Arm Saw Motor.

I’m using a 7-1/4” because I already have a few for the skilsaw, and because they cost twice as cheap as the 10”. I hear you on the feed rate and as you mentioned, it’s a feel thing.


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