Saturday, January 29, 2011

Refurbished a SkilSaw

The saw pictured here played a significant part of my childhood.  It was used to build the back deck on our house, our playhouse, and many other projects over the years.  A few years back, my dad gave me this saw and I started using it for projects.
Unfortunately, the saw had some issues.  The biggest of which was a power cord that had seen much better days.  The wires were starting to show and rather than just wrap some electric tape around the cord, I felt it was time to restore some of this saw's former glory.

Of course, I didn't take any before pictures.  It's a miracle I took any pictures at all (I'm usually very good at forgetting that part).  However, this is what the saw looked like early in the project:

Saw apart - new cord

The components


Here comes the obligatory "They don't build em' like this anymore".   Well, it's true.  This piece is super heavy (in a pinch you could huck it at a burgler's head - if you connect, he's going down).  It's solid machined metal and once I cleaned it up looked brand new.

The Main Bearing



One of the more tricky parts of the project was getting the power cord free of the strain relief.  It took a good amount of time to carefully cut the adhesive without damaging the strain relief.


I had wanted to use another orange cord to preserve the original look of the saw, but couldn't locate one.  So, a nice new shiny appliance cord goes on.


I tried to pull the contacts out of the switch, but was concerned I would break something.  This saw is at least 30 years old.  So, I spliced in the new cord.  I used a product that was new to me - liquid electric tape.  It stays flexible (or so the packaging promises), so I'm hoping it will handle vibration better than tape.


Ahh, the cleaning process.  This saw had over 30 years of sawdust, metal bits (I remember the saw being used to cut the metal roofing for our porch many years ago), dirt and grease.  I filled up the workbench a few times with Q-Tips and paper towels.  


 All that work paid off - the inside of the saw now looks factory. 


More gleaming interior:


Here is a shot of the grease I packed into the grease chamber.  Hopefully this will last another 30 years.


The big honkin' main gear / bearing is back in place:


And, here it is - back together with a shiny new blade.  Yes, I picked this blade because it had the neat blue colored cutting area.   It's hard to see in the picture, but I did paint the little "arm" that you can use to open up the blade guard.


I worked very hard to get the outside clean, but to no avail.  The dirt in the shell is part of the shell and always will be at this point.

Now the saw is ready for another 30+ years of service!

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