help with contractor saw upgrade
I’m looking for some advice on a good way to upgrade my craftsman contractor style table saw. I wouldn’t say that I’m unhappy with the saw itself, just how I have it set up. It has a 42X27 table and is on a nice stand with wheels. The fence could be upgraded and I wish the dust collection was a little better, but those are things I can do later.
I guess I’m looking to design a better version of what I have now. I like having an outfeed table, and an extension to the left is nice too. It also doubles as a bench (which I really don’t have room for), but I didn’t do a good enough job trying to keep it flat. It’s badly sagged and isn’t very sturdy.
Some of the things I’d like to include are some drawers under the left wing, and perhaps a vice or bench screw. Heck, maybe I should build the outfeed and left wing workbench style and make it a work bench too.
Have any of you done this kind of thing before and if so, would you mind posting pics?
Here’s what I’m starting with-
It looks to me like you've got a really nice start with it. You could always replace the top to get something flatter and smoother.
Mine's not overly well thought out, but it works for the most part.
This one's not mine, but it may have some ideas that you like:
Edited 1/30/2008 10:07 pm ET by Knotscott
The smaller photo is similar to what I'm thinking. I like that it has lots of drawers and not just shelves that can get covered in dust. I also like the idea of having the aux top be wood like a bench with a vise. That would be really useful in my shop. I'm just trying to figure out how to get the whole thing on wheels and keep it solid. I'm thinking of using LVL's (ripped down of course) for the base.I remember seeing norm build an assembly cart a few years ago and thinking that the way he did the casters was pretty nice. I just can't find a good photo anywhere.Thanks again for the help.
I don't have that kind of room in my shop, unfortunately, but I do have a handful of ideas I've gleaned over the years.
Have you seen Powermatic's new bench top / right outfeed table with vise? I would take the saw off the stand and build your own - complete with either a bin to collect the dust or cabinets/drawers. Incorporating a router table is another good idea if space is a concern. The only drawback is that you have to remove the router fence and lower the bit if you need to cut large/long stock on the tablesaw.
I've heard that the Delta Unifence is among the easiest to install. I've got the Unifence (came installed) and have no complaints.
Chris @ flairwoodworks
- Success is not the key to happines. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer
I do belive that FWW had an article on sturdy folding away outfeed and extension tables. Time to go rummaging through the issues ;)
"It is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: it feels so good when you stop"
Here's the setup I made 6-7 years ago when I overhauled my Craftsman TS. The first objective was to contain the sawdust and get it to the DC system. The top right compartment does that pretty well. I isn't perfect, but when I had the Jet 650 cfm DC 75% - 80% of the sawdust got sucked up and I only had to clean the compartment every week, or so. Now that I'm using a Jet 1100 cfm DC, I'm getting closer to 90% of the sawdust.
The rest of the stand has drawers for my sawblades, dado sets, zero clearance inserts, etc. Just like clamps, you can never have enough drawers, right? - lol
One problem with contractor style table saws is that they really aren't designed for dust collection. One trick I recently heard about is to buy a large metal roof jack that can be installed beneath the saw with a DC hose connected to the "stack". I haven't seen it, but it sounds like a workable idea. A piece of 1/2" screen can be used to keep any large chunks out of the DC - and make recovery of a dropped arbor nut relatively easy.
You've got a really nice setup - but if you are looking to upgrade, here is what I did.
The melamine top was purchased from Woodpeckers and can be custom designed to size, router cutout location and Tee slot configuration. I mounted it on angle iron from the hardware store. (Don't forget recesses for the miter slide travel.)
I later added drawers for router supplies on the left side. All of this is mounted on an HTC mobile base. It moves easily - but the addition of the drawers made it a little unstable. So I added a leg of 1/2" black iron pipe to a floor plate. When I want to move the unit I simply 'screw' the floor plate up a few turns so it clears the floor and off we go.
Sorry pics are so large. I had a mental lapse.
"I sometimes think we consider the good fortune of the early bird and overlook the bad fortune of the early worm." FDR - 1922
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