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Thread: Nice older table saws going for next to nothing

  1. #1

    Nice older table saws going for next to nothing

    Greetings, FWWers,

    I've been buying, rehabbing and trading up on woodworking equipment for forty years. In recent times, I've given up the effort, because the older Craftsman, Walker Turner, Delta, Atlas table saws which formed the backbone of the hobby have become essentially worthless.

    In the past year, I've been given two TSs and passed up on two more for next to nothing. It seems few younger men are doing any woodworking or remodeling.

    Then, the few younger guys to whom I've spoken who are into woodworking have been brainwashed by the SawStop concept. They seem to think if one even walks by an older saw, it is liable to roar to life and lop off fingers. The idea of actually using a vintage TS to cut wood fills them with fear and dread.

    The ironic thing is the jointer is reportedly the machine in a woodworking shop most likely to cause injury. Despite this, good older jointers still will sell.

    What has been your vintage machinery experience of late?

    jack vines

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Independence, Kentucky
    Posts
    1,355
    Well jack I am using the first and only table saw that I have ever owned. It is an older Craftsman saw, made by Emerson I believe. I bought the saw in I think it was 1955, that makes it 56 years old, and it is still doing what ever I ask of it. I did have to replace the arbor casting three years ago, due to my careless method of trying to remove it for a thorough cleaning, and lubricating,(I cracked the casting) when it became hard to raise and lower. To my surprise I called sears parts place and they had the part in stock and it was on my doorstep three days later, Not too bad for a saw that old. I did replace the fence and added Pals to it to get everything in line like it should be. I know it isn't a three HP cabinet saw, but it has and is serving my needs. I can appreciate the new technology out there, but I am too old to invest in big new toys, I do however still get a few new smaller tools every now and then, just to satisfy that new tool smell and feel when I need a fix. So My take on your question is newer is not always better, The older iron is still around for those that can appreciate it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Painesville Ohio
    Posts
    131
    I too have a 55/56 Craftsman that I use for dados. Put a newer 11/2 horse on it and works great. Then still got the Grizzly for rips with out changing blades back and forth.
    "Its only by minute attention to every detail that you will achieve perfection"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,188
    I believe in todays economic times, younger men dont have as much leisurely time to play around in the garage pursueing a hobby like woodworking. Old machines, new machines, its still an expensive and time consuming hobby, and extra free hours or extra bucks arent as easy to find these days when you have a mortgage to pay and a family to feed.
    Human Test Dummy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    I live in a retirement area. Old tablesaws are seen frequently at garage sales and auctions. Usually they are not well cared for and sell cheaply. It is always the guy who goes first and the widow cleans out at low prices.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I live in a retirement area. Old tablesaws are seen frequently at garage sales and auctions. Usually they are not well cared for and sell cheaply. It is always the guy who goes first and the widow cleans out at low prices.
    I was going to post just this. I don't know where Jack Vines lives, but in my metro area of just under 2 million people, old Craftsman table saws go for $50-100 a pop. Their tops are rusty, many have missing wings, none have guards, most have fences, most do not have miter gauges. IMHO, the older contractor saws are going for what they're worth - the motor.

    Lots of guys have a love affair with "Old American Iron" like a 60's or 70's contractor saw. But compared to a modern contractor... really, they're not that good at all. The last two generations manufactured by, I think, Rikon, have actually introduced innovations into the contractor saw range. These saws were badged for Ridgid, CMan, and I believe Grizzly and General International had them as entry level saws.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,749
    I've been looking at a Ridgid compact tablesaw at the local HD. I'm waiting for one of my kids to ask what I want for Father's day. In the meantime, I've been looking at older saws. This may sound a bit odd, but then it's me talkin', but I notice that the grooves for the mitre thingy appear in some photos to have lugs on them that prevent using some featherboards and other mitre thingies. I associate this with cheaper table saws, although I don't see this arrangement on any router tables or bandsaws. Why do they do this, and is it a sign of a cheaper saw?
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    3,134
    Roger Tulk “I notice that the grooves for the miter thingy appear in some photos to have lugs on them that prevent using some feather-boards and other miter thingies. I associate this with cheaper table saws”

    Roger are you talking about cast iron tables with the upside down T shaped bottoms of the miter slots? Or are you looking at aluminum topped table-saws with the with the lugs cast into the top edges of the shallow miter slots that help hold the miter-gauge in the slot?
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I live in a retirement area. Old tablesaws are seen frequently at garage sales and auctions. Usually they are not well cared for and sell cheaply. It is always the guy who goes first and the widow cleans out at low prices.
    Ive enlisted my son to dispose of all my tools when I go.
    He doesnt have to hold out for top dollar, but Ive seen women dumping tools for 1/3 of their market value just wanting to clean out the basement.
    Human Test Dummy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Long Hill Township, NJ
    Posts
    467
    I saw an art deco Craftsman TS a few weeks ago with a $50 tag on it. It needed a little love but nice condition. I just don't have room for it right now.

    I'm kicking myself over passing on a Walker Turner 6" Homeowner model jointer. It was going for $60 - again I have no room for it.

    When I get room I will go to a multi-saw setup - ripping and dado machines . . .

    Cheers

    Jim

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