Sears Craftsman 10" flex drive table saw - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 34 Old 10-09-2009, 02:41 PM
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Flex-drive

Greyeagle,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the flex-
drive. It sounds like a job that I don't want to
tackle. I'll just continue to use mine until it
dies (again).

Later...
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post #22 of 34 Old 10-10-2009, 10:50 PM
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Flexdrive-to-belt conversion ... more ...

smallRC, others:

Thank you SmallRC ... and you're welcome.

I had reached a point of giving up on the conversion. But, by chance, I had called Grainger to check on those round belts. (Another bit of idiocy came out that effort. The rep contacted their manufacturer and it seems an engineer for the company who make round belting states that there are no specifications, performance data, or limitations published for round belts! Quoted: "They're replacement belts. There are no specs since no one designs with replacement belts." Huh???) And the young rep happened to have inherited a nice table saw from a grandfather. He said it was either a Ridgid or a Ryobi, I can't recall which, and that the motor is mounted/fixed ridgidly to the saw frame. Yet, of course, the arbor/blade carriage moves for bevel cuts and depth adjustments. The interesting thing about this is that apparently, the belt runs 'okay' when twisted through some 45 degrees. And he says the saw runs/cuts very well. He said he really looked carefully at it too, checking, basically, what I'd told him about the problems with the flex drive. He did mention that the belt is a 'slim' one, about 3/8ths, and that it's a 2 horse motor. If a belt will run twisted like that, then the flex/belt conversion may not be so difficult after all. But in my experience with belt drives, the cardinal no-no is misaligned sheaves. I can't see how this saw would run well. The guy promised to email several pics of the saw, and how the belt drive is designed/arranged. Will keep you posted ...

Meanwhile, I've become an avid Craigslist watcher for the saws up for sale in my area.

Best to all ...
Grey
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post #23 of 34 Old 10-15-2009, 02:37 AM
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Possible solution in hand ...

All:

An update ...

I received the photos from the guy with the 'fixed' motor mount, belt drive saw. Turns out, the motor is not fixed, but actually slides side-to-side as the bevel angle is adjusted, slaved to the arbor pulley. The saw is an ancient Sears (103-22161) saw and has worked well for many years he reports. It is v-belt driven, and is an eigth-turn drive (the driven and driver sheaves run at a 45 to each other at maximum bevel cut angle, twisting the belt). And it runs very well, from what he says.

The photos (just three) have provided enough of an idea of the concept, and confidence that it will work, that I've proceeded with having several components fabricated in the machine shop.

When I have it all together, at least as a test setup, in a couple of weeks at the outside, I will get back to you to let you know how it goes, as well as some photos.

Grey
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post #24 of 34 Old 11-13-2009, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyeagle View Post
Thanks, Rdy2go. I appreciate it.

I noticed that you appear to be one of the few who've found this saw 'workable'. And that you cut 2x6s with it. One respondent, another website, said he broke the drive cable every time he attempted to cut anything over an inch in thickness, had replaced under warranty one drive cable, broke that one shortly after, replaced it again, under warranty, then promptly sheared another one. Upon which event, he returned the saw and exchanged it for a new one. He then very soon after that broke yet another flex drive. At that point he returned the saw and got his money back. All this within three weeks of purchasing the first saw! Surely an extreme example, but from many posts I've read, reviews, it may explain why Sears only sold these saws for a short time--as saw marketing goes.

I've pretty well, sadly, reached the point another poster had reached. It just isn't practical, isn't worth the struggle, guys. It's one of the first Craftsman tools I've personally encountered, that really is bad. And I've always had a lot of faith in Craftsman tools for everyday use. Maybe not professional level, but useful, reliable, and affordable. This was/is a surprise.

Thanks again, Rdy...
Grey
I have a craftsman saw that I got from my fater, who purchased it in the 80s. My dad had updated the fence and added a couple of extentions before upgrading to a cabnit saw and giving me this one. I have to say that I and my dad before me have never had any issues with it. As long as you have a good blade on it and don't go too fast it works fine. I have ripped 2x6s and also cut a lot of hardwood up to 2" I believe. The flex drive scares me every time I turn it on though it tends to flap around until the blade comes up to speed.

I wouldn't invest in converting it to belt or drive and at this point and if the shaft broke and I couldn't locate another quickly I would probably scrap it but it has done a really good job for about 20 years now (I think the flex shaft has been replaced once). It wouldn't hold up for profesional use but it has gone through a number of weekend projects.
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post #25 of 34 Old 01-30-2010, 02:08 PM
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how well does it work

I am a framer by trade for over 25 years now and originally bought the saw new back in the mid 90's. I mounted it on an uncovered 16' trailer.I have bounced it around on the roads for over 1,000,000 miles now. Originally and intentionally lost the legs and base to mount it. I bought it cuz it was cheap and I had originally intended to replace it as money got better. Turned out to be good enough for framing. Yes the fence is junk, but it is workable and I still use it. Yes the cable "slapps" on startup. Yes I cut a lot of 2x's with not much problem just go slow, some hard woods, but mostly OSB and masonite soffit material. I have on occasions even cut the wierd stuff (formica, PVC, fake poured marble, even some aluminum once). *never once any fingers* The saw has been drug around all over the country out in rain, snow, every kind of imaginable weather including 2 tornadoes. One tornado knocked a building wall down on it. That is another reason I have not replaced it with a "good" saw. The bouncing around over the years has caused many stress cracks in the housing box which I have welded back together numerous times over its life. Over all this time, I have probably only replaced the blade 4-5 times as framing is not really very critical to clean cuts, as long as it stays sharp enough to cut.

I have had only 2 problems with it. One is that I have had to replace the flex shaft twice over its life. I figure this is not really a big problem and the thing costs about 70-80 bucks or so. Hey, I figure it is a normal wear item. The bigger problem I have is with Sears. THe first time I replaced the shaft was not a problem. Went to sears repair center and asked for the flex drive shaft and the old man working there for many many years just nodded and and went back to get one. THe second time was a nightmare! THe old man had died and another man was there. He simply INSISTED that I have the model number on the saw. He said it was located on the base. LOL My base was gone for many years by then. THen he said it was also located on the body. My little stamped plate had already been welded over twice! He wouldnt budge till I gave him the number. Various searches with sears online would shut me off at the model number. I even had called sears to find an old catalog to see if I could see the goofy picture and look at the model number that way. No luck.

After several months of searching and doing without the saw, I was at the service center and thought i would try one last time. Went in and a lady was there. I described the part and she nodded and went back and got one! I told her about not knowing the model number and she said the number would do her no good anyway. She was not a regular employee, but knew where the part I had described was on the shelf and just went and got it. Turns out she ws filling in for the retard that needed the number as he was sick that day. Funny thing was, the retard was her HUSBAND and with her being familiar with the part I was describing and also being familiar with the store for filling in for him in the past, knew exactly where it was!

Well, it is probably about time to get another one and start my search for that retards wife again unless someone out there knows what the model number is? I had got the model no. and written it on the saw with a sharpie, but the weather and time has faded the writing away.
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post #26 of 34 Old 02-22-2010, 09:48 AM
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Mr. Barkley, interested others ...

Unfortunately, after all the work, the effort I put into the conversion, I finally gave up. Reason?

After over a month of work, just as I was starting the final assembly of the belt drive system I'd designed, a friend pointed me to an add in a local newspaper for a Craftsman cast iron top table saw for $50! Less than four hours after she called me about the ad, the saw was sitting in my new shop. It was a nearly ruined disaster of a saw. Both arbor bearings out of the housing (somehow, it still wanted to run!), the vibration and noise rendering it unusable, and covered in rust. Also, both table extensions on the saw were cracked at the inside rear corners. But, guess what? Both the extensions on the flex drive unit were in perfect condition, unbroken. Sooo ... easy swap.

A week later, all the rust had been cleaned off, the top polished and waxed to shiny cast iron, it had been completely disassembled, then re-built with two new parts (bearings and retainers), and has run utterly perfectly since. I've been overjoyed with the precision, and ease of use. I've read so many complaints about the fence that came with the saw, yet I've had zero problems with it, for my purposes. It's accurate enough that once calibrated and locked down, I use the cutting gauge to make most cuts with. The most serious criticism/complaint I have is that Sears 'motor-mount'. In my opinion, its by far the weakest part of the saw. Terrible, weak, really bad design.

The Flexdrive unit that I spent soo much time and effort on, alas, is now sitting in pieces, in my outdoor storage shed. Have the motor in my shop however, nice and dry. I spent at least a hundred dollars having parts fabricated, and untold hours trying to reconfigure the thing. I'm not one to give up easily, but it just didn't make sense to continue, especially since I now have a perfectly gorgeous, polished, working saw ... for about a week's easy effort.

One good thing that did fall-out of all that 'wasted' work, was that I learned a hell of a lot about how table saws work, and how to repair them, when I knew next to nothing when I started all that. And some of that knowledge went into the rebuild of the belt drive.

By the way, the Sears Model Number, Mr. Barkley, on the flexdrive I have is: 113.241691

I'm sure there are other numbers for slightly different units, or older or newer models of the same basic unit, but my guess is that this number would at least get you a flexdrive cable, if you still needed it. Since that drive cable was definitely an out-sourced component, I'd bet Sears used the same one on all of them.

And, you seem to have had the same difficulties with the Flexdrive unit that others have had. Though, in some applications, the saw does work well--enough.

Finally, I have to add, my strong recommendation to change out the belting on any power tool, to the Fenner belting. I had to order the belting from Grainger and that took a couple of days. I also replaced both sheaves with cast iron units instead of the fonky aluminum ones that came on the saw originally. I couldn't believe the difference. And, yes, I swear this is true, I was able to balance a penny(!) on edge on this saw, and it remained standing, through startup, run, and shutdown ... almost. It fell over, finally, just as the blade turned, quivered, through those last few revolutions at shutdown.

Thanks to Woodworking Forum here, for all the help, and providing the channel to get so much great input on this 'project'. Greatly appreciated.

Best to all ... and thank you all for the responses.
grey
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post #27 of 34 Old 02-23-2010, 09:51 AM
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Some of those parts are worth saving. The cabinet and legs can be turned aroung to make a router table. You've already recycled the extensions. Keep the nut and flange. The bearings can be re-used in a pinch. The motor mounts can be used for short pieces of strap. (Just used mine for bandsaw blade tensioning cranks.) A board screwed between two miter gauges makes a quick cut-off sled. The adjustment screws are acme right- and left-handed threads. Definitely save those. As poor as the fence is, it is better than none. Sell it on CL or use it on a future bandsaw. A thnker/tinkerer will use almost everything.

St. Louis, MO
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post #28 of 34 Old 02-25-2010, 02:23 AM
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Yep ... I do still have all the parts. Rarely, ever throw anything 'mechanical' out. I always figure that not only will I eventually find a use for unused 'good stuff', but also, have often found 'old' stuff useful for reference, for going back to see how it was done, either to do it that way myself, or, just as useful, to avoid repeating somebody else's lousy design work. Or, just to experiment with. Those Acme screws are or can be very handy. And you're certainly right about the legs. Haven't found a use for them yet, but I'm working on it. They look flimsy, but if they'll support all that cast iron ...

Best,
Grey
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post #29 of 34 Old 02-26-2010, 10:07 AM
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By the time I finished, the only thing to the trash/recycle bin was the aluminum castings. I wish I still had the cabinet and legs to use with the old Cman shaper top I am getting ready to mill out for a router table.
Dan

St. Louis, MO
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post #30 of 34 Old 06-15-2010, 10:03 AM
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Craftsman Flex Drive TS

I've had my flex drive table saw for about 8 years now. I've replaced the flex drive once. I also installed a Delta T2 fence, solid wood wings (ditched the thin metal ones), installed a dust collection bag, added roller wheels with locks, and added a rolling outfeed piece.

I found that the secret to the flex drive wobble was twofold. First, I made a small piece of wood to place over the opening where the flex drive enters the cabinet. Secondly, and most important, was to remove the motor and motor mounts and replace the bolts with more heavy duty bolts and to insure that the motors' alignment was true. This made all the difference in the world, and now I hardly have any wobble at all.

I've been able to rip pressure treated 2x4s, 3x4 oak, and any other wood that I've tried.

btw, another performance difference is to make sure that you don't use a very long extension cord with the saw. I replaced the cord on my saw with a smaller guage cord with greater length.

Last edited by Toolman2; 07-06-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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post #31 of 34 Old 12-18-2010, 05:20 PM
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Hey GreyEagle:

E-mail me --- [email protected] --- I have one of these I modified years ago --- Still working although it doesn't get a lot of use.
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post #32 of 34 Old 12-18-2010, 06:57 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Grey Eagle has not been here since 2-25-2010

Also he gave up on the flex drive and got a newer saw.
From Post no. 26 on 2-22-2010
Quote: Unfortunately, after all the work, the effort I put into the conversion, I finally gave up. Reason?....... bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #33 of 34 Old 04-13-2019, 03:57 PM
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Red face Flex Drive Works like a Champ

Seeing that this post is 10 years old, I will respond with reservations. I acquired a flex-shaft table saw about 18 years ago. It was already dated by then. I have used it since. Not a problem with it. Is it weird? Yes. The shaft snakes around a nearly 90 degree mount and whirrs mightily when operated. Even so, it does so effectively without any suggestion of efficiency. Why? I cannot lubricate the shaft that connects the motor to the saw, and therefore it operates independently of my whim. I have lubricated the motor bearings (sealed, but not impenetrable,) several times since I acquired the saw. It was equipped with an extended table and a Beisemeyer fence so well worth the expense. Nevertheless, maintenance has been an issue, and I expect that it will not survive as would a direct or belt drive saw. Why? No reason other than mechanics. This saw has far more moving parts than the average, and therefore a greater vulnerability to failure. That said, I have no reason to believe it will fail anytime soon, and if it does, I can probably repair it with minimal cost. I would part with this saw in exchange for a direct or belt drive Powermatic, but nothing less. Performance is it's own endorsement. Questions?
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post #34 of 34 Old 04-13-2019, 08:46 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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The old flex drive bug a boo ....

Check out these threads:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...ble-saw-29819/


https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...41691-a-44342/


https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...able-saw-3363/
See posts 11 and 22 by Greyeagle


https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...ble-saw-29819/


https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/...x-shaft-32586/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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