Monday, 23 September 2013

Table saw Redux

In my last post I whined about how my table saw wasn't playing nice and now here I am with good news. We have identified the enemy.

So you may remember the saw looking like this in a recent post...

And that made me all kinds of unhappy and stuff.

So after a long day of work one day, I dug into the saw. My saw is a Rexon model RXW-10 which is an off-shore hybrid table saw. Like many other things, a high percentage of offshore table saws are all made in one factory, then painted different colours and get different stickers. This same saw was sold at various pricepoints as a Delta, Craftsman, Busy-Bee, Grizzly, etc. etc. See the square holes in the table casting? Well look at any of those saw brands from the late 1980's through middle 1990's and you'll see they were all cast from the same mold in a factory in Asia called "Rexon Industries". Whats more, the motors and driveline are all the same too. All that changed was the stickers. Today, Rexon makes a lot of house brand saws with loads of plastic parts. This saw is from the Pre-Plastic era, and was a middle-of-the line saw for its time.

With so many saws all the same, you would think there would be a plethera of parts to rebuild the saw, but for some unknown reason, no one sells replacement parts for the dang saw. No one.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So After work one night I went with the boys, took apart the table parts of the table saw and turned the saw upside down, then disconnected the saw part from the stand part.

 With everything in pieces, its easier to see whats inside and get a good look at what is going on. I know my issue is with the 'elevator' bits so I focused my efforts there and decided to just replace whatever was replaceable.

After some investigative tinkering I had the key bits off the saw. This part is the angle-pointer thinggy. It also has a set screw in it that holds the shaft in place which guides the elevator screw. The set screw was badly worn, and its mating surface was all rounded and not nice.

And this part is the elevator shaft and screw. When you turn the handle to raise or lower the saw, the gear on the end of this does all the work. On this shaft there was a circlip and a roll pin that looked worn, and easily replaceable. So we took our mittful of parts and headed to Busy Bee to see what they could suggest as fixes...

Busy Bee tried to be helpful, but since the saw is 25 years old, there wasn't much they could find. I thought they would have generic circlips and roll pins, but alas, no such luck. What they did suggest was that I find the original length of the steel tube that the circlip holds in place (between buddy's hands in the pic above) - the ends of ours looked worn, and maybe that was the problem.

Of course they don't stock the part for my saw, but they can get the part for another saw with "Busy Bee" stickers on it. No guarantees its an exact fit. It probably is. I said I would do some research and then get back in touch.

We left with a longish face and went across the road to an industrial supply house that also sells woodworking stuff. I set my parts on the counter, and the guy started rummaging through bins. Quickly he found a match for the circlip (We put 2 on since they were thinner) and a replacement set screw, but he couldn't match the size of roll pin we had. I bought a new pair of pliers and he gave me the parts for free - yay to that guy! Here are the new bits (and old roll-pin) laid out ready for reattachment.

I reassembled everything, then paid close attention as I turned the elevator and tried raising the blade. There is about 1/2" of slop in the shaft that raises and lowers the blade, so no amount of messing about is going to fix it. Here is a close up of the roll pin and circlips, and the tube that Busy Bee suggested replacing:

So my plan now is to order the tube (its a spacer, part 109 in the parts manual) and see if the old one is worn down. After that's replaced, its going to be washers or something to space out the spacer a little more. That failing, I'll go to metal supermarket and get a piece of pipe at the diameter I need and cut it to length. Something's gotta give here!

Actually I'm 90% confident I can get the saw running properly again. Its just a matter of getting the right parts!


  1. Hi there, I'm trying to restore the same saw. Any chance you have a copy of the manual? I can't figure out how the splitter attaches to the saw chassis so a photo of that would be great too. Thanks

  2. Hi Jonathon, I actually do have a copy. Let me see if I can copy and send it along via email. I don't know if there is anything about the splitter (riving knife?) in the manual.

  3. Hi Guys. I have a rexon rxw-12 1991 model. During transportation the blade alignment to the mitre slots moved about 8mm. Ive tried loosening the trunion bolts and re-aligning but doesnt help. Any ideas? I also cant find the manual anywhere online. Possible to send it? Danie Moolman, Cape Town SA.


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