The Sears company Craftsman introduced a three-wheel band saw bearing the model number 103.24300 in the early 1950s. Because Craftsman stopped manufacturing the 103.24300 band saw in the 1960s, its original “super-alloy” blade, a first at the time, is very difficult to come by in operational condition. However, this model accommodates modern blades, provided they are the right size.
The Craftsman 103.24300 band saw accommodates 62-inch-long band saw blades with widths of thee-sixteenths inch, one-quarter inch and three-eighths inch. Originally, Sears offered the “super-alloy” band saw blade for this model as part number 36729. Modern manufacturers offer alloy-tipped band saw blades that serve as a fitting substitute.
Blade Use Tips
In the original operating manual, Craftsman recommends matching the cutting radius to the blade size, as cutting too sharp causes blade difficulty. The manual recommends cutting a maximum radius of one-half inch for three-sixteenth-inch blades, one inch for one-quarter-inch blades and three inches for three-eighth-inch blades. Working at least one-quarter inch over the radius yields the best results. The company also recommends lubricating the blade thrust rollers on occasion. As the Craftsman 103.24300 is designed for woodworking, cutting metal is not recommended.
While the vast majority of original 36729 band saw blades have long since dulled, 103.24300 owners can still track down original blade-related components via online auction sites, tool collectors sites, enthusiast communities and even flea markets or antique fairs. This saw uses the Sears part number 18232 blade thrust roller, the part number 36411 blade tension adjusting knob and the part number 36816 blade tension spring.
Craftsman's 103.24300 has a 12-inch depth of throat with a four-inch throat capacity. Its table measures 12 by 12 inches. A 1,750 PRM motor powers the machine, which operates via a three-inch motor pulley and a four--inch machine pulley. This woodworking band saw features double-row precision ball bearings mounted on the drive shaft and double-row Torrington needle bearings on idler wheels. A reinforced cast-iron flame encloses the Craftsman 103.24300's mechanical components.