I just bought a 1985 Martin T-71 sliding table saw. Is anyone using one of these saws? Any advice?
From contributor K:
We have a similar vintage Martin at my workplace, and I have worked with another one in the past. A very solid, precise machine. What do you want to know about it? We use ours for sizing and miterfolding cabinet components, straightlining lumber and jointing veneers.
The trunnion rise/fall and tilt action is actuated by a foot pedal. The hydraulic pump needs to be kept filled with the appropriate fluid. There are 4 ports for oiling the trunnions at the outfeed end of the saw base just below the table. You need an oil gun , just like a small grease gun for a chainsaw bar, to feed these ports and fill the slider reservoir. It helps to raise and lower and tilt the blade while pumping oil to distribute it evenly. This is a weekly chore.
For parts, Edward Papa at Simantech in New York has sold and serviced Martin for at least 30 years and has been very helpful to us. Also you can contact Martin USA for support. We have had ours for 5 years and have only replaced a pair of drive belts. When we bought it, I was told that parts were still available for the hydraulic pump, but it might become an issue in the future. We haven't had any problems with it.
We don't have a digital fence. I don't think a digital readout would improve the accuracy much on this saw, but a digital fence positioner that eliminated dancing around the slider beam would definitely save time.
I would recommend asking Martin USA for a manual. It will show you all the lubrication and adjustment points and general pointers for using the saw. Useful accessories are a ripping shoe for jamming plank ends under, and clamps that engage in the slider t- slots, which you can make yourself. Martin/Aigner parts and accessories are not inexpensive.
Assuming the saw is in good shape, it will serve you well.