The Table Saw of Death

My Old Craftsman Powered Atlas

Back in '97, we had just bought 173 and we weren't exactly brimming over with cash, so a friend of mine gave me an old table saw.  When I say old - I mean old!  It was belt-driven, with the saw and the separate motor mounted on an old board.  When I brought it home, I built a stand for it out of leftover pieces of 2x4, a chunk of plywood and some caster wheels I had salvaged from some long-forgotten project.  Here she is:

As is always the case, I don't have any other pictures...but I think you get the idea.  The saw was built by Atlas Tools in 1954.  With a little digging I found the 1954 catalog:

As you can see by the page for my saw, the specs and narrative advertise a pretty solid machine, and you know what?  It was!  Let's think it through, built in '54, given to me in '97, and still running strong = 63 years!

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time. - Henry David Thoreau

The rest of the story with my Atlas was that it had no safety features - at all.  None. Nil.  Nada. Zilch!  There was no cover over the blade, no writhing knife, heck - there wasn't even a power switch!  I added that the day I got it.  The ol' Atlas was so devoid of safety features, my uncle (a bit of a woodworker) christened it the Table Saw of Death!  

But that thing did every job I needed it to the whole time we've had 173!  Then, that same uncle went out and bought himself a brand new, shiny Grizzly table saw, and gave me his old one, which was about 60 years newer than the Atlas.  This one's a Ryobi, and has safety features!

I love it!  It's got some power to it for sure, but somehow I just don't think it'll last as long as the Atlas.  Well, I gave the old one to a neighbor, but thought I could still use the stand I had made lo these many years ago.  So I painted it, changed the power switch out for an outlet, and figured I would use it as a general stand, particularly for the chop saw:

There ya have it, the story of the Table Saw of Death.  So long old pal!
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