A quick Saw Stop comment

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A few years ago, I sold my table saw. An old Delta, It wasn't all that good to begin with and after 10 years or so of service it didn't fill the bill any longer.
It was an amazing thing to me, even as a remodeling contractor, sometimes cabinet maker, how little I missed it. I can buy all rail and stile sized stock at the local hardwoods supplier in the common sizes for doors and cabinet faces.
I usually took down my sheet goods with a saw and guides anyway, and the only time I really missed it was ripping shelving, or different pieces of trim. For that, it was indispensable for accuracy, ease of use and time saved.
I have a project now where I need to do a lot of ripping. A friend of mine is now an "industrial arts" teacher at a local high school. They just got a new SawStop with all the bells and whistles. We had been looking for a reason for me to go use it to try it out, and it came this week.
All I can say is WOW. I mean, WOW.
The saw is rock solid. About the only sound you hear is the teeth whizzing through the air as the saw makes little sound.
The control wheels are large, heavy duty metal, and adjust very easily and precisely. It has a slow start motor on it, but it is up to speed almost instantly. When running, there is NO vibration, I mean NONE.
The saw top was almost polished, and had a nice clean satin finish to it. With the cast iron wings on it, the table top was large and comfortable to use. There were no lap marks on it, but it appeared to be flat as a pancake. I would say polished to about 400 grit or so.
The rip fence was great. Looking a lot like the old Biesemeyers, it was a nice boxy affair that locked up tightly and accurately. Several attempts to check it repeatability were really impressive. I moved the fence from the sides, the from the ends and deliberately tried to lock down the fence out of parallel alignment to the blade. No way. It might have thrown off the measurements, but it never locked down incorrectly. And using the tape on the rails, the fence locked down exactly in the same place every time. I checked this out by setting the measurement on the fence, then checking it with my stainless 12" ruler. Same every time.
The miter gauge.... well, it was a miter gauge. It did its job, but actually looked like all the rest of them out there.
The on/off paddle was placed in the area where you can bump it with your leg to turn it off in case of emergency. The paddle is large and obtrusive, so of course I did shut the saw off a couple of times without meaning to. On my old Delta, you had to lean over, reach under the table, and mash the button to turn it off.
It was a challenge for me to keep from bumping the paddle as I have a habit of leaning over and way from the projection zone as the first table saws I learned on as a kid we set the rip fences with a ruler. With a dull blade and an inaccurate rip fence set measurement, you could shoot an 8' 2x4 thirty feet or so if you weren't careful. Small stuff was downright dicey if something was askew. I learned early that body position was very important in table saw use - I never wanted to join the girl's choir.
I would have to work around that switch or move it, I'm not sure which.
The painted areas are all thick, hard black enamel. It not only looks good to the eye, but the finish looked good in application. Several of the larger stationary tools I have looked at lately look to me to have been dipped in paint, and the excess allowed to drip off. This particular saw was very nicely finished on all parts - a nice surprise. I think the cabinet pieces and the rails and other components were sprayed.
I was ripping some 2" thick Jatoba, Mesquite, and some Bolivian Rosewood when I tested this saw. (This is why I wanted to use a nice tablesaw, this stuff was waaaayyyy too expensive to waste even an 1/8" anywhere!) He had a cheapo DeWalt 10" multipurpose blade on the saw (remember - think high school kids/idiots) for normal use. It spun this blade so well there were almost no saw marks anywhere.
We all know you can do really nice work with a fairly good table saw if you have a nice blade and the saw is tuned up. But with a lousy blade, you are up against it, no matter the quality of the machine. Even with that nasty little blade, the saw never balked, slowed down, or showed any kind of sign that it was cutting kiln dried hardwoods. No burn marks, no chatter, no "pushing back" from the saw, nothing.
Out of all the saws I have used over all the years I have been doing woodworking for a living, this has to be the most impressive. Previously, my favorite was the top end Delta that I used about 6 - 7 years ago. I wouldn't want to make a decision between that saw and this one. In the end, I think the fit and finish were about even.
If someone is looking for a saw and you can swing the extra dough, I would sure take a look at this saw from the quality standpoint. Of course the safety features are great (this is why they had this saw in a school) but I was really blown away by the utility value of this machine.
Robert
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Damn Robert, it is hard to read your review while drooling. I am getting a hard case of tool envy.
It is good to see that you can still buy quality. Even if you have to pay extra for it. Where are these things manufactured? Kudos on a great tool review.
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IIRC the first prototypes looked very similar to the PM66. I think that they could be made in Taiwan.
Apparently they now have prototypes of a band saw, a cut-off saw, a miter saw, and a hand-held circular saw.
http://www.sawstop.com/future/future_home.phphttp://www.sawstop.com/future/future_home.php
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wrote:

I rarely have tool envy, and haven't had it for years. It has been a long time since I have had it over stationary tools. But it was immediate and bad after I got over my amazement with this machine.
My buddy has just renewed his contract with the district, so I will probably have fairly good access to this saw when I want for the price of a burger and coke around lunch time.

I think Leon is right, they are made in Taiwan. He was able to get an "institutional" discount when purchasing the saw of 10%, so the saw was about $2700 with everything I described (including those nice cast iron wings) and and extra large fence and table extension to the right side of the table.

Thanks!
Robert
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If he is with a high school, there probably won't be sales or use tax either, which here in Jersey is 7% ...
--
Best regards
Han
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Have you gotten over the "shakes" yet?

Yeah they let you have it for free the first time, to get you hooked. Now you are going to have to pay for your fix. LOL

And to tell you the truth that is not that far out of line considering a new JET Exacta retails for $2100 and the PM2000 is the same price on Amazon, and the new Delta Unisaw is more than that at Woodcraft.
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Snip

Thanks for the review Robert, I have not had the privilege of using one yet but felt the same way the first time I first was able to touch and fondle the Industrial model at the local Woodcraft. They apparently have a bit less expensive "Pro" cabinet saw soon to be available. I saw it at the WW show.
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My pleasure.

I would love to see it. If they stick to their guns and make another fine machine, the temptation to buy would be pretty damn ugly. It has been a long time since I have just >wanted< a tool.
If you only observed and checked out the controls on the machine, you need to find one you can use.
All these years I had heard they were good machines, but never really paid much attention to them as I got tired of the constant whining and bitching about their business practices, and whether or not the extra safety features were for weenies. When I saw a blog or forum entry anywhere on Saw Stop I just skipped it.
I had seen them in Woodcraft, but never even took the time to look them over. Actually using one is what got my attention. I have seen saws that have great fences, but the rest of the saw was just so-so. I have seen saws that work great and operate great, but come with "OK" fences.
I just haven't seen the whole package come together with no apparent compromises like this in a really long time, and the reason I commented here was I was just so damn surprised!
I asked him if I could buy my own blade to put on the saw when I used it, and he was completely fine with it. Now THAT would be worth a good look! Just a thought if you are actually curious enough to pursue it, the Woodcraft here in town will let you cut a board or two under supervision in their teaching shop if they "think" you are serious about buying. It would be worth "thinking" that whether you were or not just to test drive it.
Robert
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Now that is a visual!
Robert sneaking into the school with a stainless steel Haliburton handcuffed to his wrist. He opens the breifcase and produces a shiny, new Woodworker II blade and loving installs it on this new wonder saw. He uses the saw. He then carefully takes back his prized blade and reinstalls the old, junk blade.
He then puts his back his wonder blade into its secure home. He then sneaks off of campus with his secretly cut wood and trusty saw blade safe. He stops off at a bar to get a drink to calm his nerves after fondling the new wondersaw.
LOL!!
Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.
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wrote:

He smiles as he looks at the small refrigerated compartment where he keeps his test wiener. "One day" he smiles to himself, "I'm going to do the test..."

It's hard, eh?
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You have to know I am dying to see that thing fire off. In talking to my Woodcraft buddy, he said the blade/motor stop is quite loud and very dramatic.
I can only imagine the disturbance it will make when one of his knotheaded kids sets that thing off.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
Robert
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wrote:

I should imagine. That's a lot of energy getting dumped in a short period of time.
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wrote:

I should imagine. That's a lot of energy getting dumped in a short period of time. ------------------------------------------
Not to mention what happens in the pants of the guy who sticks his finger into the blade.
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wrote:

As I said: "That's a lot of energy getting dumped.......LOL
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Lee Michaels wrote:

It's the aural equivalent of a slap to the back of the head. :-)
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Actually, from the description of the injury (minor abrasion), the person who actuates the stop is going to be more jarred by the noise than the incident. Which is a good thing.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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Well if it is an "old school" school, the slap of the blade will be followed by a delayed whack of the pants backside by the shop made paddle.
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On Sat, 9 May 2009 14:32:18 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

Not nearly as big a disturbance, I'd guess, as the one made when said knotheaded kid runs his hand into a non-saw-stopped saw. My observation is that there is a *lot* of activity going on right after that action!
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
My laptop knows me too well - it just announced "your battery is low!"
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On Sat, 09 May 2009 17:57:28 -0700, Tim Douglass

The problem would be when the kids know what is going to happen and do it intentionally, either just to cause trouble or on a dare. At least $100 every time to replace the unit and cheap blade.
The first thing I'd do is remove or paint over everything that said Sawstop on it and just not tell them.
-Kevin
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Kevin,

I have sold many to schools and I tell them just that. Debadge the saw before the students see it.
David.
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