chisels
IMAGE 1
This image shows from left: Mortise and Japanese chisels with a Pfeil carving gouge on the right.

Introduction

9 APR 2017
I purchased my Craftsman Contractor's table saw on 7 FEB 1996. That makes it twenty-one years old.

And during those twenty-one years this table saw never let me down one time. Not once. I got my moneys-worth out of this machine in spades. Today we have very sophisticated table saws from which to pick and choose. Would they hold up as well as my lowly contractors saw? I have no idea.

I have decided that is time for me to move on to one of the newer table saws. This is discussed on another page if you are interested. I want to go over all of my experience with my contractors table saw.

chisels
Photo 2. Sharp chisels.

Generally speaking, table saws do not do much without accessories such as sleds, miter gauges, rip fences and so on. Unfortunately, this table saw came with a very poor miter gauge and a terrible rip fence.

Miter Gauge
I made do with the miter gauge and am still actively using it today for making finger-joints. But it has not been fun. If it were not for the fact that I do not make finger-joints very often, I would have purchased a much better miter gauge for this saw.

Rip Fence
The rip fence is another story altogether. IMHO, the fact that it can not be set parallel to the blade without a great deal of effort makes it very dangerous to use. I will confess that I once used it to rip a few 4'x8' sheets of plywood. I did that because that was the most expediant method of cutting these sheets at that time. That was many years ago and well before Festools were available in this country. I am very glad I have never had to do that again.

In todays world, ripping sheet goods would be child's play with the Festool TS75 track saw. Times sure have changed. And for the better, I might add.

Improvements

I'm not sure that heading is correct because what I am about to discuss is what should have been done to this power tool when it was assembled at the factory, wherever that was.

Blade Out of Alignment
After using the table saw for some time I came to realize that the blade was not running parallel to the miter gauge tracks. I used a digital caliper to determine that the far edge of the blade was not the same distance from the miter gauge track that the close edge of the blade was. Acutally, I marked and used the same point on the blade for both measurements. This, IMO, is more accurate than using different parts of the blade to make this accessment.

To bring the blade into alignment with the miter gauge tracks requires that the entire trunion-cradle assembly - the heavy cast housing that the blade is bolted on to, has to be loosend and adjusted extremely carefully. This was not a fun project but the very time-consuming task was worth it. Once everything was put back together the blade was perfectly parallel to the miter tracks.

Arbor Is Too Short And ...
Another issue with this table saw was that the arbor was too short to hold my entire set of Forrest dado blades. Then I also discovered that there was a gap between the unthreaded section of the arbor and the threaded section. The following image shows this clearly.

no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 2
This image shows this gap.

So, what obviously happens when using the dado set is that the outer blade rests in this gap and is not concentric. This results in jagged finger joints as shown in the next image

no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 3
This image shows the finger-joint cut with the non-concentric dado blade.

no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 4
This image shows how the gap was eliminated by the judicous use of J.B.Weld Steel Stik goop. While the task was somewhat difficult the resultant repair lead to stellar performance of part of the dado set.
no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 5
This image shows the magical goop used to fill the arbor gap. This is an awesome product that solved my arbor problem perfectly. Highly recommended!!

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no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 3
This image shows how the gap was eliminated by the judicous use of J.B.Weld. While the task was somewhat difficult the resultant repair lead to stellar performance of part of the dado set.
no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 3
This image shows how the gap was eliminated by the judicous use of J.B.Weld. While the task was somewhat difficult the resultant repair lead to stellar performance of part of the dado set.
no tear out from Festool track saw
IMAGE 3
This image shows how the gap was eliminated by the judicous use of J.B.Weld. While the task was somewhat difficult the resultant repair lead to stellar performance of part of the dado set.

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END!!!