The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Saving 1968 Sears Table Saw

I am redoing this page with new images.  My old page lost all the images.

I bought this heavy duty Sears table saw in the early 1980's from a Sears service-man that lived in Chenoa, Illinois. It is PN 113.29902 table saw.

It has been the work-horse machine of my woodworking shop.

Unfortunately, in December of 2015, the cam lever on the fence broke.  My dad on the farm used to call the material the lever was made of "pot metal".

I thought, no problem...........just buy a replacement from Sears PartsDirect.  I went to their site, ordered one.  But then I got an email saying this part was discontinued    This saw is only 47 years old, a fellow would expect they still carry parts :)
The cam lever is PN 6408 and must have also been used as a band saw fence clamp.

I looked online, and high quality replacement fences are $330

This piece sees a lot of stress. The cam action tightens a long 1/4" threaded rod that runs through the fence, and attaches to the stop that goes against the back of the table saw table. This piece should have been made out of steel versus pot metal, but then Sears would not have sold tons of replacement parts until they ran out of them!!

I decided to make my own replacement part from solid steel.

 I hand-traced the old design, then input it into  Google Sketchup.......

I went to McMaster-Carr and found the best size steel blank that would work. The new design is shown fitting in the blank above.  I ordered 12" long, so I had enough stock to make 2 pieces, if I messed up the first one.   The cost was a whopping $12 before shipping
I picked SAE 1018 low carbon steel because I could still work it versus an alloy it is cheaper :)

Working the Steel

Although I have every tool known to man for woodworking, I do not have many tools for working steel. I first.......

1.Sawed to length using hacksaw

2. Drilled 1/2" and 1/4" holes in the blank using my trusty Harbor Freight drill 
    press. Held piece in vise which is kept from spinning by a board against the drill
    press column.  Vacuumed up the steel stringers because they track all over the
    house if you don't.

Farm Hack-Saw to the Rescue!!

I fired up the old hack-saw I got from the farm, and the electric motor took off ok.

Youtube video of old hacksaw making groove

Dimensioned side view of cam lever

Operational Drawings showing steps I used to make new cam lever

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

At this point, all the remaining machining was done using my trusty Harbor Freight bench grinder. 

I basically did trial & error grinding until the part was functional and de-burred.  Once I got it where I liked it, I took it back to the drill press and drum sanded all surfaces to 220 grit to make it smooth and burr free.  You may have to Dremel the fence slot a little bit with a Dremel 1/2" drum sander as well.

Finished cam lever shown in up position, which is not clamped. 
Finished cam lever shown in down position, which is clamped. 

Closing Thoughts

For $12 worth of steel and about 4 hours work, I was able to make a stronger cam lever than the original design.  This saw should be ready for another 47 years of service !!!

If I had a mill, my new piece would look a lot prettier, versus my crude hacksawed piece :)   Fortunately the ugly part is hidden inside the fence!