Hi folks. I'm looking for advice on fixing up and using some machinery I was recently gifted. A bit about me... I'm new to the craft. Though I have an engineering background (electrical), the only hands-on mechanical experience I really have is from a manufacturing processes class and lab in college. I've been an apartment dweller most of my adult life, but have recently moved out to the country. Now that I've got some space, I've been thinking about getting into woodworking. It was a medium-term future thing until the recent gift. Now I suddenly find myself pretty well equipped, but the stuff needs some TLC.
This thread is going to be about a Rockwell 9" Contractor's Saw/4" Jointer combination. It was used heavily (at least the saw) in the 70s to build the previous owner's home, but has seen only sporadic use in recent decades. I'm not too concerned about the jointer right now (there's a nicer jointer attached to a planer on another piece) and might even remove it if possible. Here's a couple of pics:
I haven't had any luck tracking down any sort of manual for this.
The top was rather rusty (as the jointer still is). I took a wire wheel to the fence rails and miter gauge slots, and an RO sander to the top surface and fence face. I finished it off with a hand rub of 600 grit and a couple coats of paste wax. It's nice and slick now, and I've already used it to cut a few shelves.
I'm also going to be replacing the saw belt, as it has a nick in it. Does anyone have experience with these funky linked belts
? Some folks really seem to like them, but are they worth the expense vs. grabbing an appropriate belt from Tractor Supply?
The blade is actually in pretty good shape; quite sharp with only a little rust on the sides. There's also a dado set that I haven't really looked at yet.
One concern I have is the fence. The back end of it seems to have a decent amount of play. It seems like that may pose a kickback hazard if it ends up angled in toward the blade a bit. Are the mounting holes on table saws at all standardized? In other words, would I stand a chance finding an aftermarket fence that would fit?
Another thing I need to work on is the wheels for adjusting the blade height and angle. It takes quite a bit of effort, especially to start raising the blade. Once it gets up to table height, it gets a little easier. Still, I pretty much need to grab the wheel and turn it, rather than just running the little handle around. I guess I just need to clear any gunk out of the gears and hit the mechanism with a little WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil or something? Not sure how much I'd be able to tear this thing down at my skill level, but I'll see how much I can reach after taking the blade out.
Any other recommendations on general maintenance I should look at? Should I do anything with the motor itself? Seems to run ok. Any suggestions welcome.