I would LOVE to own a $4000.00 Powermatic 10″ table saw like this one. The quality of the
cuts would be amazing and sometimes I feel that it would be hard NOT to make perfect furniture with a tool like that. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will ever happen. And that’s ok, because I have a perfectly capable 1953 Craftsman table saw that was originally bought for $53.88. No, I did not put the period in the wrong spot. I even have the original
receipt to prove it! This saw, along with many of my other tools, were handed down to me from generous people who wanted to see the tools take on a second life.
Most of the tools I have acquired are what many people would consider “vintage” or “antique.” I like that. These tools were some of the best back in their time, without all of the bells and whistles. Very basic, but solid. So, why can’t they still be great tools? Unfortunately, many of these classic tools have sat in wet basements, unused for 10,
20, or 30 years. But, with a little TLC, I am trying to revive some of these old beasts to give them a second chance in creating some fine woodworking projects! Hopefully, after seeing how easy it is to restore some of these oldies but goodies, it will inspire you to actually buy that old tool you may find at the garage sale for $5.00!
Now, for some before and after pics of a few of my favorite well broken in tools! First up is the 1953 Craftsman table saw. A little cleaning, polishing, and then a fresh paint job was all this little guy needed!
This next tool was given to me by the gentleman who installed my furnace. He explained to me that as a child he spent hours with his father in their wood shop building wooden Christmas decorations that they would sell for extra cash. His father passed away years ago and all of his old woodworking tools had been sitting in his basement collecting dust and rust. When he saw the beginnings of my wood shop, he decided that he wanted his father’s tools be put to use. This drill stand was a lot of fun to restore (which really only involved taking it completely apart, cleaning the rust off with a wire brush and scouring pads, and then polishing it with steel wool). The data plate shows that it is a “Mall Drill Stand.” I haven’t been able to find ANY information on this specific drill stand, but a little digging on the company shows that the Mall Tool Company was bought out in 1956 – so it has to date pre -1956. I would love to find out the full history of this tool, but for now it works great and looks pretty classic too!
The drill that came mounted in the drill stand is a Shopcraft Model 9748 drill. Nothing special – A single speed 3/8″ drill. It works though! Again, I haven’t been able to find much information on the drill.
As my brother says, “I’m a firm believer in…” you fill in the blank. I say, I’m a firm believer in NOT reinventing the wheel and not buying something brand new when you already have something that does the job. Would I like a $3000.00 Powermatic drill press? YES. Can I justify spending $3000.00 on a Powermatic drill press? Ye…well, no I guess not. I’m content to use a 1950s era Mall Drill Stand! New is good. Old is even better!