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G'day, all. Just picked up a Craftsman 113.298750 table saw off of CL for $45. Well, I gave the guy $60 since the machine doesn't spit out $5s, but he also helped me move it (in his truck) and threw in a roller stand. Any way, I was using an old Craftsman plastic PoS and felt like this was a solid upgrade for me. You see, I'm a relative newby to woodworking. Seems like I made the right choice in doing my research, but I need help finding, at minimum, a spreader for it. Any ideas?

Old Saw:


New Saw:


Thanks for any help,

n
 

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Welcome! My first cast iron saw was one of these, or very similar. First thing you want to do is get the table top smooth and protected.

Unless there's heavy rust, I'd just use some 400 grit by hand in long, straight motions from the very front to all the way back, using as even pressure as possible. Try not to swirl, go side to side, or go nuts on one spot. You'll almost immediately feel the effectiveness of the sandpaper fade, so change hand positions on the paper to get all the life you can out of it. You'll probably go through a couple of sheets, either way. The goal should be just to get the table clean enough so that it's not transferring rust to the wood, and smooth enough to let to wood glide as effortlessly as possible. It's debatable whether or not it's worth it to remove all evidence that there was ever rust on the top. It's up to you, but be weary that the more you sand, the more material you're removing from the top of the table.

Protectants only last so long, so you'll have to make a habit of reapplying either wax or some sort of spray on. Wax is cheap, but it takes more effort to apply. It's easy to get too much wax. With too much wax, it's effectiveness as a friction reducer is gone. In fact, it's more difficult to slide wood across when there's too much wax built up.

Spreader? Maybe you mean splitter. Before you get a splitter, you need to get a zero clearance throat plate(hit up google to see what it is and why you need one). Whether or not you buy or make a zero clearance throat plate, Google "micro jig splitter". They make a different size for a few different blade widths(or kerfs). Speaking of blades, what kind of blade is on the saw right now? Before you get zero clearance plates and splitters, you have some saw blade exploration to do.

Obviously you know the saw runs, or you wouldn't have bought it. How smoothly does it run? If there's excessive vibration, a lot of people like to switch to the link belts. Just google "table saw link belt."
 

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i have two similar saws, one a c-man, the other a ridgid. i kept them over an “old arn” ‘72 3 hp unisaw i got for $40 in gas money, refurbished and subsequently sold (not a right tilt fan). with proper set up, a sharp blade with the proper tooth count and hook angle for the operation being performed, there’s not a lot that saw won’t be able to handle in a hobbyist’s shop.

as for splitters, there's:

http://www.ereplacementparts.com/?gclid=CMiA0p3WtrkCFU6Z4Aod2FQAlg

http://www.m-and-d.com/ridgid_parts.html?id=z4qASCIj

and ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Craftsman-Table-Saw-Blade-Guard-Splitter-Anti-Kickback-Complete-Assembly-/161094140766?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2581f5835e

the ebay offering appears to have all th enecessary pieces, sans some mounting bolts (common hardware items).
 

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I had a very similar Craftsman POS like your first saw. I cleaned it up and sold it on CL for $125. I sold it too low, too, as people were fighting to get it.

Clean up your new Craftsman, start with a good 50T combo blade and life will be wonderful.
 

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Great choice on the old Craftsman. I have had one for more than 10 years and love it. I recently bought another for $50.00 to keep for spare parts. The motor alone is worth more than that. I would get the machined pulleys and link belt from Inline Industries for starters. Makes it a real smooth running machine. As Robin suggests the splitters from Microjig with a zero clearance insert work well. The fence is not great but if you adjust it as per the owners manual it is workable. I still have the original on mine. Good luck and be safe.

http://in-lineindustries.com/products/accu-link-belt/
 

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Forgot to mention, before you get a zero clearance blade throat plate and splitter, you'll want to make sure the blade is perfectly aligned to the miter slots. If you align the blade after you use the new throat plate for the first time, you'll need a new plate because it will no longer be "zero clearance" and it'll be impossible to use the best method of aligning the micro jig splitter.

Another thing, you might want to get a dry lube for the internals of the saw. You want a dry lube so sawdust doesn't stick to parts that have been oiled.

And another thing, for my table saw I always use a digital angle gauge. You can't rely on the angle indicator on the front of the saw, and the angle stops may even inhibit you from reaching a true 45 or 90 degrees. They're about $30 and it's really invaluable when you want a true cut at 45, 90, or anywhere in between. A good straight edge will give you 45 or 90, but nothing in between.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that those old craftsman tables are sometimes bowed in on both sides toward the blade, making a slight cup shape. This means that without changing the angle of the blade, the actual angle of the cut can be different depending on the width of the board, where the downward pressure is coming from, and even how long the board is. For a lot of projects it might not make much difference, but you want to know what the situation is before you need that kind of accuracy. Just take a straight edge you trust and place it across the top of the saw over the throat plate, perpendicular to the blade. If you don't see light anywhere underneath the straight edge, you're good to go. If you do see light, you may have a problem. One thing you can do to make short rips accurate or long crosscuts is to make a crosscut sled that's larger than the surface of the table. The sled(hopefully) will be flat, giving you consistent cuts.
 

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call the guy back!

Ask for the guard/splitter! It may have been thrown a way, but it will be safer to have it. It will also cost more to replace it then it's worth...just a thought, since you paid a little extra for the saw.
 

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<snipped for context>

Something to keep in mind, however, is that those old craftsman tables are sometimes bowed in on both sides toward the blade, making a slight cup shape.

One thing you can do to make short rips accurate or long crosscuts is to make a crosscut sled that's larger than the surface of the table. The sled(hopefully) will be flat, giving you consistent cuts.
I have one that's about 30 years old and it's just as you describe - warped. It was like that from the day I bought it. I took the table back to the store for a replacement, and every one they had in stock was exactly the same. The price was right at the time, so I kept it anyway.

It amounts to about a .020" dip in the center. I've actually considered having it ground flat.

Yes, I made a crosscut sled. Great advice.
 
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