This needs to be a low buck fix, because it isn't worth putting a lot of money in to it. So for now we'll stay away from engineering power air lift cylinders and laser guided cutting systems
Cool idea though. The cylinder is 12.5 inches long with a 1 3/4" diameter and the throw is only about 2.5" the way it is setup on this saw. You are correct with the functions of the 2 valves. That is just a flat spot on one side of that tube, it really isnt close to being pinched off. What you see sticking out of the cylinder in the picture is the maximum extension of the ram required.
I'm mostly wondering if there is someone out there who is experienced with these types of cylinders that would take it apart, put it back together again and fill it with oil and bleed the air? If it needs an O ring and we can find one, so much the better.
This is a 6 1/2" x 10" 3/4 HP saw. Its vintage 1998 so I can't find any exact replacement cylinders for it. I can buy a new cylinder for a 7" x12" 1HP saw that may require some mods but I think it would work. But, its $160 with shipping so I'm hoping there is a way to repair the current one inexpensively.