Need advice on Craftsman saw purchase - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-01-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on Craftsman saw purchase

I'm rather new to woodworking, and I've been looking for a table saw for some time. I don't need anything portable, because I'll be using the saw solely in my garage workshop and I won't be moving it anywhere else. As a result, I'm not even considering the plastic portable saws made by Bosch, Dewalt, Craftsman, Ridgid, etc.

My original thought was to purchase the Porter Cable contractor saw that Lowe's sells for about $600.00. It seems like a good saw, it's made in Taiwan (not China) and it does not have the blade alignment problems that the Ridgid 4512 and Craftsman 21833 reportedly have.

However, I've been looking on Craigslist and I found what I thought might be the "Holy Grail". It's a New, sealed in the box Craftsman belt-driven contractor saw from 1996. The guy told me he's had it sitting in his garage since the 90's and never bothered to open it or put it together. However, it's an Emerson built saw and Made in the USA.

If I buy it from the guy, I will be going to his place in person so I will see the saw (even if I have to open the box) before I buy it. He's asking $500 for it, and he told me he paid $600 originally. This seems plausible, as I found a copy of an old Sears ad from the mid-90's, and the saw indeed sold brand new for $600. I would never pay $500 if this were used, but brand new in the box...

So my question is, would I be insane to buy this? Does anyone know if the rip fence is any good? Could it be upgraded? Is there anything else I need to know about this saw?
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-01-2012, 07:01 PM
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$500 is crazy expensive for that saw. It was worth less than that the minute it left the store. 50% is the usual "rule of thumb" for used....give a take a little for condition, extras, initial quality, etc. $375 would be about the most I'd even consider for that saw, and it's pretty common to find them in the $200 range used. Even though it's new, it's not proven to work, doesn't have a warranty or any recourse if it's not right....it's the same as used in mint condition with the exception that you can't hear it run.

For $500 you could buy a new Craftsman 21833 or a Ridgid R4512 with a riving knife, warranty, and return privileges.....

The PCB270TS is in a similar league as the other two I mentioned, but it's worth noting that it has a plastic elevation gear in a location that really should be metal.

Last edited by knotscott; 10-01-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-01-2012, 08:40 PM
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Yup! I agree knotscott.

If you were a tool collector, then fine. If you want a really nice saw add a few $$ and get a hybrid, 1 3/4HP Craftsman, Rigid, Steel City etc. even the more expensive Saw Stop contractor saw, I donno.
I got a Craftsman 22124 (discontinued) for $486...on close out. Great saw with a Biesmeyer fence, etc. Shop around.
I had an older 10 Craftsman contractor saw from the '60's, used it about 50 years and once I got a better one, never looked back and parted out the old one. The fence, the heart of a table saw, was crappy. You want and need a self squaring fence, that when locked in place, is automatically square to the table slots.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-01-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-01-2012, 09:10 PM
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Just want to add my two cents. Been upgradeing my Emerson built 10" craftsman contractor saw. Added a fence, router table, extension, a mobile base, metal hand cranks and so on. What I found out...its still just a 100 dollar saw even though mine was given to me. The later emersons (mine included) had problems with the thin sheet metal frame. The tilt screw will actually bow the side out if you put too much presure on the blade while cutting bevels. The orignal fence sucks. I took a cheap route and put a 24/12 align a rip on mine because Ill upgrade this saw with a sawstop in the near future and didnt want to sink anymore money in to it. It is what it is...they are great saws for a hundred bucks off C.L. But they have their little problems. I would find out if the saw your looking at has cast iron extension wings, a router extension, herculift base and so on. Some of the very late saws had all of the above. You could sell the parts for more then 500 on Fleabay after you get good use out of it. I would still try to work him down a lil. Anyways just wanted to flex my Craftsman table saw skillz ive learned in the past month or two
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Boomhower,

I'd be interested in possibly upgrading the fence (eventually) to a Craftsman align-a-rip. Would it just fit right onto the saw (along with the rails) or would I need to do some drilling?

From my research on that saw model, I found that it does have cast iron wings and casters, but no Herc-u-lift. Then again, I thought Herc-u-Lift was found only on the later Ridgid Emerson saws so I was not expecting it. It does not have a router extension, which is just as well, because I have a very nice new-in-the-box Craftsman Pro router table which I bought on Ebay for cheap.

Last edited by Jcc76; 10-04-2012 at 12:31 PM. Reason: content
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc76 View Post
It seems like a good saw, it's made in Taiwan (not China) and it does not have the blade alignment problems that the Ridgid 4512 and Craftsman 21833 reportedly have.


I wouldn't write these saws off.....the initial models had an issue, but its been a long time since anyones reported a problem with them. They're pretty darn good saws for the money.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Boomhower View Post
...You could sell the parts for more then 500 on Fleabay after you get good use out of it. ...
I've bought and sold quite a few of these saws for parts, but never one as new as a 1996 model. I think much over $200-$250 for parts is optimistic. On the older models, the grated wings can fetch in the range of $25 to $50 each....shipping tends to be cost prohibitive, so it's usually a local sale. The motors go in the $50-$75 range...newer motor might go for a bit more. Motor mounts go in the $10-$15 range, as do the miter gauges, and hand wheels. Blade guard assemblies, leg stand with wheels, and those nasty Emerson fences tend to go in the $20-$25 range. You might get $5-$10 for a switch or a throat insert. There's not usually a lot of interest in the face bezels, trunnion brackets, or bevel lock lever. The guts, body, and surprisingly the main table top have little value...I can't seem to give them away except for scrap metal, even though I'd think the main tables would make a heck of a nice solid cast wing. I see some parts listed for more, but I'm not sure how many actually sell at the higher prices, and many of them are new. BTW - selling the parts is a fair amount of work if you have to pack and ship everything....

As I mentioned before, my concern with a saw that’s new in the box being sold in a private sale is that there’s no recourse in the event the saw has a problem. At least a used saw in mint condition can be run and tested….this one is an unknown at the moment. I understand you’re reluctance to buy a new Asian made saw. If the buyer is willing to guarantee that the saw isn’t stillborn or doesn’t have major issues, I might consider going $375, but even that is a lot of money for a saw that needs a fence upgrade….with a decent fence added to the equation you’re looking at in excess of $500 for an older style saw with no riving knife. These are well made saws, but not particularly well designed IMO. I’m not saying that this couldn’t become a nice saw for you, but I really don’t think it’s the best saw that your budget can buy. For $500, I personally would rather buy a new saw with steel wings and a better fence, riving knife, and updated design than the older Emerson style with a splitter, grated cast wings, and a really lame fence. With a 20% HF coupon, a new R4512, 21833, or possibly even the PCB270TS could fall below $500 new. For $200-$300, that older Emerson is alot more attractive to me, but at $500 I wince.

(It’s worth noting that the PCB270TS has a plastic elevation gear…..metal gears in that location would be much preferred).

Regardless of my opinions (or other’s), you’ve got to do what suits you best. Good luck, and please keep us posted on the outcome!

Last edited by knotscott; 10-04-2012 at 04:51 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 04:53 PM
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 05:07 PM
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I thought that a newer motor might be 1.5hp vs 1hp, and would get more.

The Emerson saw in question doesn't come with the Align-a-rip fence though does it? Watch and see what this gem of a fence sells for.

I will say that I got two goof balls bidding on a pair of steel wings once, and ended up getting $47 for the pair, plus they paid s/h! Ya never know...

Last edited by knotscott; 10-04-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-04-2012, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc76 View Post
Boomhower,

I'd be interested in possibly upgrading the fence (eventually) to a Craftsman align-a-rip. Would it just fit right onto the saw (along with the rails) or would I need to do some drilling?

From my research on that saw model, I found that it does have cast iron wings and casters, but no Herc-u-lift. Then again, I thought Herc-u-Lift was found only on the later Ridgid Emerson saws so I was not expecting it. It does not have a router extension, which is just as well, because I have a very nice new-in-the-box Craftsman Pro router table which I bought on Ebay for cheap.
Mine bolted right up. The casters are a big plus too bad about it not having the router extension, those go for around 200 by their self.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sears-Crafts...item4ab98f734c


Yea scott those Emerson fences are really nice I have one for sale if anyone is interested. Its "vintage" though so the price will be adjusted accordingly
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