Craftsman Jointer Restoration

When I saw this Craftsman Jointer (model 113.232240) for $100 I couldn’t pass it up. Most jointers I’ve seen in the $100-150 range are shit.

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The manual is dated 5/97, so it’s over 20 years old. My Internet searching suggests this model originally sold for around $600. The only original parts that appear to be missing are the side panels, blade gauge, and push block. I bought a couple of push blocks this summer at an estate sale, so I’m set there.

They don’t make many tools like this anymore. This thing is a beast of solid metal and weighs a ton. Here it is in my basement. It had some rust, but otherwise it was in good shape and the rolling base was built well.

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I went at the table and fence with a razor blade, which easily removes most of the surface rust. I sprayed everything with WD-40, let it soak, and then did another pass with the razor blade. I love that feeling when you start to see some shine.

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Then I cleaned up the stand and the base. The leveling feet in the stand were rusted and beat to shit, so I trashed them. Drilled holes in the base and properly attached it to the stand with bolts instead of tape like the previous owner.

I replaced the bolts on the belt guard which were rusted really bad. A little elbow grease and a brass brush cleaned up some of the rest on other bolts throughout the stand. I removed the screws for the switch and ran them over a brass wire wheel on the grinder. I also took apart a lot of the fence assembly one piece at a time and used the brass wire wheel to clean it all up.

To continue cleaning the tables and fence I had to order a brass wire brush set for the drill. Everywhere in the area sells the steel wire set, which eats at the metal too much.

Look how much of a difference a few seconds makes.

I went over both tables and the fence with the brass brush and followed up with a polishing wheel. Then I put it all back together and applied a coat of paste finishing wax to those surfaces. Look at that shine! I love that you can see the reflection of the blade guard.

I could see a few nicks in the knives and they had some rust. I’d rather start with a fresh set, especially since they were only $17.

I’m going to add a dust/chip collection chute I can hook my hose up to, but that’ll be an upcoming project. Will wait until that’s completed to do final adjustments to the tables and knives since I’ll be removing the tool from the base several times.

Upgrading a Used Table Saw – Part 2

I’ve done a lot more to my used Craftsman table saw (model 113.298032) since the upgrades in part 1 of this series.

To go along with building my dust separator, I needed a way to connect it to the table saw. I used a dust hood ($8), 4″ hose ($20, with plenty extra for future uses), hose clamps (2x $1.29), 4 in.- 2 1/4 in. adapter ($1.78), and some scrap wood.

While I was grabbing parts from Menard’s I grabbed a push stick (yellow-orange in picture below) for $2. Eventually I’ll make one or two other versions on my own to use with different cuts or sizes of wood. Since I had to add the insert on a side for the dust hose, I add some places to hook stuff. I’ll probably add something similar to the other side of the stand and maybe put in a bottom for more storage space.

I grabbed a nice Diablo 60 tooth blade ($34) from Amazon, a zero clearance insert ($34), and a splitter kit ($35). After installing the blade, I tuned up all of the alignments on the saw following tips from parts 1 and 2 of a YouTube guide. Once everything was aligned properly I was able to install the insert and splitter. The combo will help prevent tearout, not give space for pieces of wood to fall down into the saw, and help prevent kickback since this old saw doesn’t allow a riving knife. You can never be too safe on these machines.

In part 1, I mentioned fence customizations. The plan there was mainly based on reviews I read about this saw before buying it. Many people said the fence was junk. After aligning everything, making sure to move the fence from the T end (not the end by the blade), and using the saw for a bit, I think it’ll work just fine for me.

At an estate sale I found a miter gauge that actually fits my slots. I bought a digital angle gauge ($15), which not only helps to make sure the blade is aligned properly with the table, but will allow accuracy when setting angled cuts.

Check out part 3.

Upgrading a Used Table Saw – Part 1

I found a used Craftsman table saw (model 113.298032) on Craig’s List last weekend. Most of the saws I’d been watching had significant rust and this one was in good shape, so I paid $125. I have a lot of ideas to improve the functionality of this saw and utilize it for the space in my workshop, so this will be the first in a series of posts.

Original image from the Craig’s List ad.

The power cord had exposed wire and a bunch of places wrapped in electrical tape. I paid $5 for a 10 foot extension cord from Harbor Freight, cut off the end I didn’t need, and wired it into the switch.

The belt had a little nick in it, which you can see on the right side of the picture. Probably would have been fine, but I wanted to replace it. After reading a tip, I went to Auto Zone and they easily matched up the belt with something in stock ($10).

The metal on the bottom of the stand was bent all over the place, making the casters virtually useless. It was like trying to push the saw down a bumpy dirt road. Harbor Freight sells an awesome mobile base kit, which was about $32 after a 20% off coupon. All of the reviews said it works better than the name brand kits which cost twice as much or more.

You have to supply your own wood for the frame, so I bought four 2x2x42″ exterior deck balusters, for $0.97 each. The instructions call for 1 1/4″ square material, but if you know lumber measurements, the 2×2″ is way off. The fit was snug and took some convincing with a rubber mallet, but these pieces worked great.

Rolls around nice and smooth now. Easy to lock in place too.

Future upgrades will include dust collection, fence customizations, a guide sled(s), a router table, and zero clearance inserts.

Read about more upgrades in part 2.

Resurrect a “Dead” Power Tool Battery

Ever had a “dead” power tool battery that wouldn’t charge? It may not have been dead-dead. Some chargers have a safety feature that prevents trying to charge a battery completely out of juice. I was able to bring a Craftsman power tool battery back from the dead using a trick I found in the comments on a YouTube video. Sometimes it pays to read the comments.

This battery was part of a used Craftsman cordless tool set I practically stole. The set was a battery charger, small circular saw, reciprocating saw, nice case for those 3, drill/driver, nailer/stapler, and 2 batteries. Everything is in excellent condition and I only paid $30! The original sticker price on the box for the nailer alone was $80.

Used Tools

I’ve been wanting to get more tools so I can do different projects with wood. It’s a lot cheaper to start out with used tools, especially as I learn. If I use certain tools a lot and find I need an upgrade, then I’ll fork over cash for new.

On a Saturday I hopped in the car and drove all over Saginaw looking for garage sales. There was no plan, other than to follow every sign I saw. I bought and bargained for a few things and then when I went home to eat lunch I found a big community garage sale about 25 minutes away. Off I went!

I probably hadn’t been to a garage sale in over 20 years. It was a lot of fun searching and it was interesting to see how different the items were from one house to the next. I was really hoping to find a table saw, band saw, and drill press, but no luck on any of the 3. I did make a good haul though.

The saw and miter box combo was brand new in the box, but most of the items needed some love. I sanded, stained, and waxed the wooden mallet and hammer handle. You can’t really see from this picture, but they both turned out great. The biggest tasks were taking apart the two sanders for a thorough cleaning because they were full of sawdust. I also disassembled the router but it wasn’t nearly as bad.

What gems have you found at garage sales?