When I researched and wrote the ToolCrib.com table saw buying guide I pretty much panned benchtops. I recommended to folks that they go for a guide and circ saw if they were seriously considering a benchtop.
Sometimes you’ve just got to work with the tools at hand though. Maybe you got a benchtopper before you knew much about saws. Maybe – as happens in some cases – you got it as a gift and you can’t bring yourself to part with it. Maybe you just can’t afford an upgrade. No matter what your situation is, the fact is that sometimes you just have to keep on keepin on.
This thread at WoodNet caught my eye. Now, they’re talking about the Craftsman 113.298762 which looks to me like an old contractor type saw, so your mileage may vary. Here are a couple of quotes that got my attention:
“I put a Vega on my old Craftsman; turned a P.O.S. into a pretty decent saw.”
“Replaced the POS miter gauge witha Incra 1000SE and it’s a wonder saw now.”
And then THIS GUY posted a picture of his Craftsman 113.298844, which looks like an old benchtop saw. He mounted it directly onto a large cabinet, added a fence and a miter gauge and reported that it reduced vibrations considerably.
Check out the pic Benchtop Mounted on a Cabinet = Cabinet Saw? ;)
He did mention later in the thread that he would probably not have added such a nice fence to his benchtop if he hadn’t gotten such a good deal on it…
Anyway, I hope these examples give those of you with “cabinet saw envy” hope that you can extend your current tools rather than necessarily buying a whole new saw.
Craftsman table saw (the WoodNet thread that sparked this off)
aftermarket table saw fence (discussion focused on contractor saws)
accesories for 113.298762
Craftsman Align-A-rip 24/24 fence
A Table Saw Buying Guide: Benchtop vs Contractor vs Cabinet vs Hybrid
Which Portable Table Saw Has the Best Fence?
Best Table Saw Miter Gauge: Incra vs. Osborne vs. Kreg
My Craftsman contractor table saw has been perfect for serious DIY construction. Especially with my worktable built to the same height to rip 4×8 sheets of plywood.
That’s a great idea – way to build your bench to accommodate your CM contractor saw! That’s smart thinking. How’s dust collection on the CM if you don’t mind me asking?
I normally wheel it out of the garage and let the dust fly where it may!
Aha – good call. Glad to hear you’re taking care of those lungs.