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  • 1966 Emerson / Craftsman 113.29902 Questions

    I am new to woodworking and inherited this saw from my father. Debating whether it is worth getting a new saw or just replacing the fence. I have been using it on and off for the past few months and have been pleased with everything but the fence and the size of the deck, if I only had a few more inches. I just don't trust the fence and don't feel like measuring everytime I cut.

    Issue is getting a new fence is almost as expensive as the saw. But on the flip side sears doesn't have any of the accessories or parts anymore...What is one to do? Does Emerson still have those parts or are there any third parties that might work.

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    I have the exact same saw. I agree completely about the fence. I built a clone of a Biesemeyer and used it for about 1 1/2 years like that, then a few months ago I bought the real Biesemeyer-what a difference! I added a Forrest WWII, an extension table w/ router insert, link belt w/ machined pulleys. In short, I've put quite a bit of $ into a saw that I bought used for $100. I'm very happy with it, and I don't think you can buy a new contractor saw that's as solid.
    A friend recently bought a new Powermatic 64, (a highly regarded saw), and it's easy to see how the inner workings of this high priced tool are not nearly as robust as the old Craftsman.
    Also, a new fence bought for this saw could be put on a new saw later on, if something does force you to replace it.
    I'd say as long as your table is flat, motor is good, and bearings are solid, this is a saw worth keeping.

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    • #3
      Kevin - Did you build the extension or purchase with your Biesmeyer? I was looking at getting the Home version of the fence.

      This saw has seen very little use. It was sitting in my fathers shed for years. I picked it up from him a few months ago.

      What link belt did you use? Did you have to get new pulleys? Do you have a pic of the saw?

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      • #4
        I built the extension, but in hindsight, it may have been better to have purchased one. I would at least change how I built it. I used 2 thicknesses of 3/4 birch ply, with plastic laminate on each side. There ended up being about 3/32 cup (in the short direction). I found a way to correct it (not worth explaining) but then I was left with figuring out how to attach the extension to the saw and the fence to the extension. Again, all these problems have solutions, but I think I should have built it more like the retail version, which I think is just 3/4 ply, laminated on one side, with stiffening ribs around the perimeter and across the width.
        I bought the 52" commercial version. I figure this will be the last fence, if not the last saw, that I ever own (I'm only 33!)

        I bought the link belt and pulley kit from Woodcraft. I did not HAVE to get new pulleys, but the standard ones are not round at all. I should say, however, that I could not get the pulley on the arbor off, so I actually only replaced 1 pulley. I think it was the link belt that made a HUGE improvement with vibration. Ever hear of the nickel test? This saw passes.

        I'm afraid I don't have any digital pictures of the saw. You might be interested in looking at oldwwmachines.com, where they have an entire section devoted to old craftsman machines.

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        • #5
          I will be building my extension table in the next few weeks using the dimensions and info on the biesmeyer site - they actually have a plan on there. The other thing I am going to do is put a 2 or 3 hp motor on it - only a 1hp motor on it now. From what I have heard it may not even be a 1hp -- One of my friends was saying there was a law suit sometime ago regarding sears overstating performance on the motors?

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          • #6
            You might consider using the 1hp motor for a while, to see if it's even a problem. The previous owner of my saw had been using a 1 1/2 hp motor, but kept it and gave me the original 1 hp motor. I mainly use 4/4 or 5/4 oak and cherry, and have not had a problem ripping or cross cutting these. The one time I did bog the motor down was when I tried resawing on the TS. That was a complete failure, and I'll not be doing it again, even if I did replace the motor.
            If you do decide to replace it, the 3 hp might be overkill. I don't think the single belt and pulleys would be able to transmit that much power without slipping anyway. This is a good saw, but no add-on accessories will turn it into a cabinet saw.

            Kevin

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