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Is an old craftsmn tblsaw worth putting money into?

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  • Is an old craftsmn tblsaw worth putting money into?

    I recently inhereted an old craftsman table saw. I'm guessing that its about 30 or so years old. Before
    i got ahold of this i was contemplating buying a new
    saw, i've had my eye on the 3650. I'm just wondering
    if its worth upgrading the old saw. the way i see it the
    old saw will need a new fence, probably new belt and
    pulleys i;m not sure what condition the motor is in
    (it seems to run pretty good) the saw vibrates quite abit
    im guessing becouse of the old stand it sits on. Im
    planing on doing some home improvement stuff on it
    and hopefully start building some furniture down the
    road. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate
    it. Thanx, Razman

  • #2
    I would say it depends on your budget. I had a 20 year old Sears saw. Ended up replacing it.

    If you are new and have many tools you'd like to add a cheap fix would to be buying an aftermarket fence. Cost 250 - 300 for a bies or bies clone. You can also add 50 inch rails which I went with and use ALL THE TIME. very handy for ripping large boards. Also handy to have extra saw table to move fence to side when using sleds or mitre. Another convenience is having a place to put the the wood I'm working with to the far side of extension table.

    With 50 inch upgrade you'll have to build your own outfeed table.

    Before I bought a new fence, I'd make sure I could get blade in line with mitre slots. and tuned enough to make me happy.

    The ultimate reason I went with a new saw was my motor was only 1 HP and I wanted cast iron wings with my saw. Tallying up a motor upgrade, new fence and cast iron, I figured I'd just buy a new saw.



    • #3
      I would check it over completely----Jake brings up a good point----put a blade on it and see if you can get the saw aligned----also, before mounting the blade, grab the arbor shaft and see how much movement it has. Clean up and lube the gearing to tilt the blade and raise and lower it. Look at the table for general flatness----doesn't have to be perfect.

      You can get information on your saw from this site:

      I would make a guess---it this saw has been sitting a while, it's likely the belt causing the vibration.

      Any, here are some of the costs you may find.

      New, machined pullies and link belt---$55

      New arbor bearings---$15-65, depending if you replace them yourself.

      New fence---Biesemeyer $270 to 350, depending on length of rails.

      New miter gauge----$70 to $200, depending on model.

      Now, in fairness, the fence and the miter gauge would be superior to the stock 3650 similar equipment.

      If everything checks out, for a half to 2/3rds of the price of a new saw, you can have a superior saw, with top of the line accessories.


      • #4
        Thanks you guys for the input. After checking out that old machines website(which is very cool) I learned that the saw
        is probably older then I thought, but that may not be a big deal becouse it does hold some sentimental value to me.
        I think i'm going to go ahead and upgrade it. There is a
        little slop in the arbor bearing not much but I figure I
        may as well replace them now that I have the saw apart.
        Does anyone know where I can find a couple of machined pulleys The ones I pulled off the saw were 2-1/2 inch do I have to use the same size if I switch to a link belt and how do I know what bearings to buy are they
        standard. Also I was wondering since I do have a couple of
        220 outlets in my garage is there any benefit to switching
        the motor to run at 220.
        Thanks to anyone who can help


        • #5
          Now you've done it
          Asked that 220 VS 110 question again , sorry not fair to you but the regs will get it. The short answer is yes you will see benifit from switching to 220V. The very long answer is available in multiple threads, here is a good one to start with .. welcome to the group


          • #6
            Going waaaaaaay back to high school physics, I think if both pulleys are the same diameter, the diameter of new pulleys doesn't matter as long as they're still a 1:1 ratio. Be darned sure of the exact size of the motor and arbor pulley shafts when buying them otherwise you'll be spending a lot of time with a brake cylinder hone.

            As I understand it, the bearings are pretty standard, but unless you have the tools to remove and intsall them, I'd take it into a shop that does this type of work. Just take the whole assembly with you.

            Questions about the motor may be in an instruction manual which you might locate through the old tools site. Look the motor over. Mine turned out to have oiled bushings, in and out board. The fill caps need to be facing up and all they need are a few drops of 3 in 1 oil. And if you're lucky, either on the motor case or in the manual, they'll have a diagram for switching to 220.

            Good luck.


            • #7
              " I think if both pulleys are the same diameter, the diameter of new pulleys doesn't matter as long as they're still a 1:1 ratio. "

              Dave, I believe you are right about the ratio, but I think the blade rim speed (or blade RPM) will change, and this could bring the blade RPM up to a speed that could exceed the max RPM of some baldes. Would be best to do the calculation and determine the blade speed (RPM of arbor) with the proposed pulley size.

              Look here if you need help calculating the new speed;