Best $600 Table Saw?

OK, so we got our stimulus check. We're still debating whether to squander the money on food and gas, make a joint decision on a big-ticket item, or give ourselves each another $600 in mad-money. I had a real frustrating time trying to adjust the fence on my old Craftsman TS yesterday, and I'm thinking that if I can talk SWMBO in to the mad-money option, I'd really like to get a good TS.
My major dislikes on the Craftsman are the fence and the fact that it would be very hard to make a zero-clearance insert in the table.
Can anyone point me to recent TS reviews in any of the woodworking magazines?
Thanks, Ed
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Anything with a Biesemeyer (or good clone) fence.
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On Sat, 05 Jul 2008 11:17:34 -0500, Ed Bailen wrote:

You're pretty much limited to a contractor saw for that price, and the way the dollar's been going a lot of those are over $600 now. Take a look at Jet, General Int'l, Delta, and Grizzly.
Or, if your Craftsman is in good shape, consider buying a good Biesmeyer fence for it.
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The Ridgid TS3650 (and 3660--different box, same saw) got enough good reviews here I went and got one myself. It's a great saw, quiet and stable. It passes the nickel test while running, but does jolt a bit while starting.
The herc-u-lift system makes it easy to move around if you need to.
One warning: The cast iron top must be protected. My storage rule is nothing is to be put on the saw except wood, and only when it's going to be cut really soon.
There's not much table surface space behind the blade, so almost all rips are going to require some kind of support. (That's about the only con I can think of right now.)
It's available at Home Depot for around $500.
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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hello,

I have one and I like it, nice saw, works well, I like the heculift system. go for it.
regards, cyrille
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Puckdropper wrote:

It's easy enough to add surface area behind the saw. I have a dropleaf table attached to the back of mine. I can let it droop when space is at a premium but most of the time it's extended to give me maximum work surface.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Right!
If space is not as precious, it's even easier. Here's mine: <
http://www.bburke.com/images/east.jpg
The underside of the table is shelving where all kinds of stuff is stored. The top is simply 1 1/2" MDF (3/4" laminations), laminated with white formica, edged with scrap ash, and inlaid with oak tracks. The tracks are overkill, next time I'd simply rout the tracks into the MDF.
The base and legs are simply dry 2x4's.
Building something similar will increase your skills.
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"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in

*trim*
That's not a bad idea. Is it set up to be portable with the saw, or do you have to haul it out, too? My "shop" is a really a warehouse right now, storing quite a bit of the family's junk. I have to fight for every inch of aisle width to get big stuff like the table saw or hockey bag out. :-(
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

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Puckdropper wrote:

It is bolted to the saw and moves when the saw moves. If you look at the steel ribs on the wings (I have a Ridgid TS2424 which doesn't have solid wings), the internal webbing is a bit shallower than the outer webbing. This allows you to mount a pair of metal u-tubes between the underside of the wing and the top of the wing without the top part of the sandwich sticking up.... creating a good platform to mount a table top to it. The table top extends just to the back of the motor, then there is a piano hinge which supports the rest of the table top... which is just long enough to reach the floor when it is folded... but no longer.
In that way, the saw is essentially no bigger than it was, and yet it has considerably more table surface when it is needed. It works great.
I will post four photos on ABPW. One will be a close-up of the wing so you can get a clue on how I mounted the table (which will be in the back of the picture... you can just see a corner of it.) You also can see how I created a little more surface area for the wing by building an extension to the side out of oak and melamine. The last one is a screen capture of the plans which should give you an excellent understanding of the construction.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in

Thanks! I might try building one myself in the not too distant future.
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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I have a Ridgid TS3650 also and like it very much. Since I share my work space with the good family vehicle the Herc-U-Lift is great. If you don't want to make your zero clearance inserts they are readily available.
--
Mike
Watch for the bounce.
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Dell has way to much time on his hands. See his do nothing machine at
http://tinyurl.com/5tokso
Or if you are in the Eugene, Or. area, stop in at the Woodcraft store and see it there(they wouldn't let me play with it)
--

Richard


Richard L. Rombold
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On 10 Jul 2008 06:10:38 GMT, Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

YES!! Had mine for about a year, I guess.. No problems and I'm more impressed every time I use it..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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I have a Jet contractor with the Xacta fence and am very happy with it, however I would not buy new again. You can find a good quality contractor saw on craigslist for less then $200 in most places. I wouldn't even worry about a lightly rusated top; that can be fixed easily with WD40 and scotch brite.
Use the rest of the money to buy wood or put it in the bank for the Unisaw or for when gas is $6/gal.
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Ed,

A few years ago I needed a better saw for working on our house, but I just didn't have the cash for a new saw. So I bought an "Accufence" (www.mulecab.com) for less than $200, and wow, what a world of difference. It was fairly easy to install, easy to adjust, and is very accurate. It made my cheap little saw into a decent woodworking tool.
I'd still like to get a new saw, and have been looking at the Jet Prosaw series, but I still don't have the money to spare. Especially since my little old Craftsman has been serving my needs quite nicely since installing the Accufence. I've built dozens of cabinets and other projects since installing the fence.
Anthony
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snipped-for-privacy@arrL.net says...

"We got our stimulus check" and you're only looking to spend $600. ;-) We got ours too, and it went right into the bank. ...until we buy a house. *THEN* it'll buy a $1200 table saw[*]. ;-)

Lowes had a deal on a Delta with choice of fence for about that kind of money a while back. I think I want a cabinet saw though. I've been looking at a Grizley (about $1000), but I remember from a while back that many here didn't think much of them. Unisaws are a bit more than I want to go, but more research to do...

I haven't yet, but I'll be dong a google groups search on this NG before I buy.
[*] The check is *ALL* mine! <evil grin> Seriously, a table saw is on order the second we know where we're going to be living. I can't see moving one though.
--
Keith

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