I can see both sides of this. Mixed.
You might think that you don't have much money or have an emotional attachment to the saw. That with an aluminum table, it is light and portable. That you want to use that saw... instead of replacing the saw, whatever it takes. Or that whatever it takes., you want to modify that saw, just for the sake of mod'ing it.
- You could see how much meat is there to mill out the slots. Like mentioned, from 5/8" x1/4" to 3/4"x3/8" is 1/16" each side of the slot (1/8" total) and 1/8" deeper...
And some saws that have tabs in them where the slots are 5/8" wide with the tabs and 11/16" to 3/4" wide below the slots... I've had friends that have routed out those slots, creating a 3/4"x1/4" slot. Then they used 3/4"x1/4" flat bar stock for the miter bar.
Funny thing about that, is that if you are going to replace a miter gauges miter bar with 3/4"x1/4"... they could of just as well replaced that 3/4"x3/8" bar to a 5/8"x1/4", right?
Going deeper from 3/4"x1/4" to 3/4"x3/8" presents another problem. Usually you are going to cut right through the bottom. So you'all think that by welding in a piece of jig miter slot might take care of that... That slot material, being made to go in wood to add a miter slot to a jig... is very thin and soft. It could be TIG'ed. But that jig miter slot material, again, is soft aluminum and the original slot is a structural part of the table, so would have to be braced with additional materials.
Here's more factors. The table needs to remain flat and square. The 2 slots needs to remain square and parallel to each other. The slots need to be within a semblance of parallel to the trunion axis, so they can be adjusted in to tune. If jig miter slot material is used, it will have to be braced with additional material to regain structural strength. If not, it will not remain flat, square. etc. The trunion and housing bolt pattern (measurements and layout) must remain the same... So in reality, It would be just like using parts from a saw to create another table.
Welding and machining costs vs. Pay-back in pride of workmanship.
Or you could sell that saw and buy another used one that suits you.
Yes, I can see both sides... I bought an extra parts saw for my jobsite saw ($25)... the mechanism was stripped in the parts saw. Besides using some of the parts in my saw and saving some of the other parts-- I also took the aluminum table and cut it in half- to use as extension wings For my saw... It's good for what it does and is very light and portable... I've tuned it beyond it's intended expectations... but it has to be checked and re-tuned... Because I don't expect it to keep a tune forever.
Heck, it's a portable saw, Right? It gets thrown in the back of my pickup to go to other jobsites. It gets set up when needed and put away each night. Being mobile and portable "is" it's job. I don't expect it to be anything more than it is. It's resale for my portable saw itself (without the stand/which is worth more than the saw) is probably only $50 to $75 (used).
"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
Last edited by MAFoElffen; 05-26-2013 at 12:18 PM.