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Tip: Inexpensive Source of Iron Bases for Fixtures/Projects

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  • Tip: Inexpensive Source of Iron Bases for Fixtures/Projects

    While planning a project that needs a hefty, flat foundation recently, the
    light went on and I started shopping for cheap old table saws.

    The old school table saws commonly have cast iron tables and sometimes
    have extension wings of the same material. The main table sections nearly
    always have mitre slots that can be useful. The extensions are usually
    plain. Both are quite flat and while they may have surface rust, they are
    often otherwise in good shape.

    .

  • #2
    Dunno how much they are now, but several years ago I bought some 45 lb barbell plates for less than $20 ea

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    • #3
      Old worn harrow disks make good shop lamp bases.

      The end bells of of older multi-horsepower electric motors make good bases
      for things like grinder stands. (IF you can find 'em!)

      -bill

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      • #4
        So do worn out brake disks. Make good, but ugly, flywheels too.

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        • #5
          Cast iron table saw extensions like for the old Craftsman table saws are in big demand and fetch about $100 apiece - more than you can buy the saws for.
          "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jep24601
            Cast iron table saw extensions like for the old Craftsman table saws are in
            big demand and fetch about $100 apiece - more than you can buy the saws
            for.
            Some folks have not caught on, yet.
            $75 OBO


            $60 OBO


            $85 OBO


            $75 OBO
            All of these have very serviceable tops and solid extensions. I expect that
            the OBO would come into play for most vendors who merely want to free
            up some space. I am tempted to buy the first saw and refurb it just because
            of the appearance of the cast base. There are more examples, but I'll stand
            pat at the four-per-post limit.

            I got a particularly good deal when I paid $10 each for two NIB extensions
            intended for a SawStop table saw.

            (For the sake of self-appointed forum police, items & prices above are
            for illustration purposes only - none of it is available through me.)

            .

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            • #7
              While not something I have a need for, drill press tables are another
              possible source
              $35 for this NOS Delta DP table (380254415259)

              .

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              • #8
                I always wondered about using brake discs converting them into dividing discs anyone think it would work ok ? Alistair
                Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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                • #9
                  Some of those saw table extensions may be sheet metal or cast aluminum. Especially the Craftsmans.

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                  • #10
                    I'll tell you one thing that I thought was a great idea and turned out awful- "cast iron" weight plates (you know, the things you stick on the end of a bar at the gym). You can sometimes get them for pennies/pound.

                    turns out that they are all sorts of scrap melted into a lump, totally unmachinable. I was hoping to make a big flycutter head out of one and I destroyed a bunch of carbide learning that lesson.

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                    • #11
                      I have some weights that are cast iron and look to have been machined, probably to get them to the marked weight, you can see the tool marks under the paint from being in a lathe so it must be machinable, I haven't attempted to chuck them up and do any cutting yet but I plan on using them for fly wheels on an engine I have in mind, I also think hss will be a bit more forgiving for low quality cast iron than brittle, expensive carbide.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by the kid
                        I have some weights that are cast iron and look to have been machined, probably to get them to the marked weight, you can see the tool marks under the paint from being in a lathe so it must be machinable, I haven't attempted to chuck them up and do any cutting yet but I plan on using them for fly wheels on an engine I have in mind, I also think hss will be a bit more forgiving for low quality cast iron than brittle, expensive carbide.
                        I have some of those, they are the only kind I look for anymore. The one I tried machined very well. I used a M2 grade of HSS. Where the printing is I ran into some very small pitting but it seemed to be only at the surface.
                        Gene

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