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Thread: Table saw mechanism/handle mods

  1. #1
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    Table saw mechanism/handle mods

    Did not want to hijack Jims injury thread but it has made me think about a point that has bugged me for years.

    My table saw is a zip code craftsman saw. Great saw nice little cabinet and is as close as one can get to a big table saw in way its built.

    But its got real crappy handles to wind the blade up or down and tilt from side to side.

    I have often thought of upgrading the handles to nice hefty steel ones with a larger diameter.

    Has anyone done this on their saw if so which saw do you have, what handles did you use, and most important of all did it make a difference in the ease with which it moved the existing mechanism.

    Also something i have not done till this day is apply anything to the gear mechanism internally. Always have been of the opinion that any kind of "lubrication" would only attract saw dust and become a paste making things worse than they are. So is there anything at all that can be done other than trying to keep it clean. I guess in my case without dust extraction its stiffness is worse than most with dust collection.

    I did notice this was one area Delta made a change on with the new Unisaw was the handles both being in the front. Never actually seen one of these saws in the "flesh" so i have no idea how smooth the resulting mechanism is.

    Can you guys with Sawstop provide some feedback on what their raise lower mechanism is like. I would be interested to hear how smooth it moves.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    How about someone without a SawStop? I have a Grizzly 1023. It has the hefty handles. When everything those handles move is cleaned and lubed, they work wonderfully. If you have never cleaned and lubed that mechanism, you will continue to need your upper body strength. Clean you don't need help with. I use a dry lube in a spray can that I used with the CNC years ago. You can get it in a graphite base (really messy) or a non-graphite, maybe teflon, not silicone, base as well. It does not attract sawdust as a CNC with its puny drive motors needs all the help it can get. Where to get it becomes the question. I can't answer that for Canada. I get mine from a supply shop in California that handles all sorts of lubricants. The can is pricey, ~$18 the last time I got one. But it lasts a long time. Lots cheaper than replacing the handles though and you still have the need for lubricant. Lots of space age lubes out there.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

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    Carol Reed

  3. #3
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    Having been a very happy Craftsman/Orion 22124 owner and now a SawStop PCS owner I can comment directly.

    First, why exactly are you operating the saw without dust collection? Are you deranged? (Its only because I know Rob so well that I ask this question so rudely and I just had to get it out of my system ).

    Things that worked for me:
    - I often contemplated new handles but, they are not really the problem so I spent the money on wood.
    - I used some foil strips saddled over the roll pins that pierce the handle shafts where the handles mount to take the sloppy "feel" out of the handles.
    - I added semi-hard plastic washers under the lock knobs to allow them to lock and un-do easier.
    - There are eccentric adjustments on the adjustment rods to correct for backlash, I kept these well adjusted with a tweak every couple of years.
    - I cleaned the threads and gear teeth with a toothbrush and applied a very light coat of spray teflon which sprays on but goes dry in a very short time (about $5 a can for a lifetime supply at the BORG).

    As to the SawStop:
    - The mechanism is very smooth and easy but, the saw costs three times as much .
    - The handles are nice but, I've seen nicer .
    - If it hadn't of been for an unexpected windfall, I would still have the 22124 and be quite happy.
    - I am not going to start a SS vs. safety practices O.T. discussion here .

    The 22124 is a well designed and well executed machine. If nothing else, shove a Shop Vac hose in the lower duct on that thing and use the heck out of it .
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-25-2013 at 01:53 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  4. #4
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    Some of the nicest handles I've seen on any TS are those Carol mentioned. They're also used on the Shop Fox saws (which I have).

    I'm not sure of shaft sizes, etc., but you might be able to adapt them to your Craftsman. Check out a parts list for the model 1023 saw on Grizzley's website. I doubt they're cheap, though.

    For lube, check out an auto parts store for 'dry lube.' That non-graphite stuff Carol mentioned is also made/sold by DuPont - and perhaps others. My local Advanced Auto Parts store has it. Small can is about US$12.00.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
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    My model 113-29943 Craftsman ts can be hard to turn for adjustments. If needed I squirt the threads with secret formula. Can't tell you the formula, but it's initials are WD-40. Bigger handles are easy to make if one has a lathe. I have made quite a few handles for various things. I enjoy making things I use for myself.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

  6. #6
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    Can't help with the rest, but I might suggest either Moly lube (what I believe Carol and Jim were talking about) or canning wax.
    http://www.amazon.com/CRC-03084-Aero.../dp/B000WTG5LC

    I prefer either over graphite because they're less messy (moly only slightly)
    over silicon because they seem to be more luby (technical term) and possibly last longer plus the "don't use silicon" (which is pretty irrelevant imho on the insides of machines, but I can understand why folks just avoid it).
    over wd-40 because wd-40 has low comparative lubricity (which somewhat to my surprise is an actual word) so I don't have to be updating the lubricating very frequently.

    Canning wax works reasonably well for flat surfaces and is cheap and fairly easy to apply (rub on, good to go). It does wear off fairly quickly in high use areas. For threads like this its a bit of a pain to get "in" the thread so something with a spray delivery is easier.

  7. #7
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    Just a thought, and likely one you're already aware of Rob, but my Ridgid has a thumbscrew in the middle of the both height adjustment and blade tilt wheels. When these thumbscrews are tightened down, the wheels are locked into position and very difficult to turn. If the thumbscrew is backed off a little bit, the wheels is still pretty stiff to turn. But if the thumbscrew is loosened considerably, the wheels turns easily (particularly the height adjustment wheel). I leave the thumbscrew on the height adjustment wheel sloppy loose 99.9%of the time. The only times I lock it down are when I'm making cuts that must be to an exact specific height, like a dado. So...how tight are the locking thumbscrews on your wheels (if they are there at all)?

    I've never had to use anything to lube my height or tilt adjustment mechanisms.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  8. #8
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    "I've never had to use anything to lube my height or tilt adjustment mechanisms."

    That's because you only use your lathe. Lube doesn't wear off on an unused tool!
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  9. #9
    I'll weigh in here Rob.

    My Ridgid TS3650 is fairly easy to raise and lower the blade along with tilting also. I've never cleaned or lubed the mechanism for height or tilt. It's easily on par with all the Delta/Rockwell unisaws I've used in my life time and easier than the Altendorf and SCMI sliders I have used.

    Now the sawstop is in a league of its own in regards to the ease with which the tilt and height adjustment works. The one shop I worked in that had one I could easily use only my pinky finger to raise and lower the blade or to tilt it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    "I've never had to use anything to lube my height or tilt adjustment mechanisms."

    That's because you only use your lathe. Lube doesn't wear off on an unused tool!
    Ha! Sounds like all of my tools these days.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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