BT3100

This saw sounds appealing but a search didn't turn up anyplace that sold them, chain stores anyway. I found references to Sears, Lowes and Home Depot but when I went to their web sites and drilled down, no such thing as a BT3100. So who sells them where I might have an opportunity to place my hands on one for a look-see first, or am I stuck with a no touch internet purchase? I'm in Albuquerque if that matters.
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Possible usefull info; http://www.bt3central.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID 83
Why not post this question here? http://www.bt3central.com/forum /
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

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Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote:

Home Depot sells them. Their web doesn't list a lot of things that they carry in their stores. I believe HD is the only place that sells them.
--
--
Steve

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Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in

The websites for the listed stores frequently have nothing to do with what is in the store. Personal visits are required.
Frank
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I looked at one at Home Depot yesterday.
I know everyone always directs folks to BT3central.com for info, but I'm wondering what people on here think about the BT3100. Lots of people on the bt3central site seem to like it, but the site is also replete with articles about fixing problems with the saw.
I have been wanting a table saw for quite a while and have been saving for a Grizzly 1023 (still got a ways to go). The bt3100 is an atractive deal at under $300, but it seems pretty cheaply made to me. (also hard to believe you can make repeatable cuts on the sliding table due to a lot of play in the sliding system) I imagine the vast majority here would say, forget the 3100 and save for the cabinet saw. Just curious though, because I could buy that today if it were a good saw... but, I'm guessing that I would end up regretting the choice as I would still want the bigger saw.
Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

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On 15 Dec 2003 04:57:00 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (YJJim) wrote:

resistance is futile. you will be assimilated

I have one. these days I don't use it much. it's my jobsite saw and I mostly work in the shop now. my BT is pretty beat- it's 8 or 9 years old and has seen a lot of use. the slide table was one of the first things to go. you can adjust the play out of it and get pretty good cuts, but the sliding parts are small bits of plastic that are hard to get to- you have to have 3 hands and it's a 'make an adjustment, put it all back together, check your cut, take it apart and repeat' kind of process. pain in the butt, and when one of the little plastic parts broke I didn't bother replacing it. the fence back rail lockdown has gotten to the point where it can no longer be adjusted to lock down. again, I no longer bother.

the only reason I'd consider the BT is if you needed a portable saw with lots of available table area. then you'll have to baby it, but it can perform well for you. if you're on a tight budget don't even consider buying new. shop for an older saw with a cast iron top you'll get way more saw for your money, and likely get a few blades and such thrown in.

the BT served a real purpose for me. I was working out of my truck, traveling a lot to work and needed a capable saw. the work I did with that BT was how I made the money to buy this house, this shop and my current workhorse- a 1965 powermatic 65 cabinet saw. I don't regret buying the BT one bit. would I buy another one today if the one I have bit the dust? maybe, but probably not. my needs have changed. I would certainly consider it when shopping, but there are a lot more portable saws on the market now than when I bought mine.

it is a good saw, but a bit fragile. if it really fits your needs, go for it. if you aren't going to be hauling it around a lot you'll be a lot happier with some old iron for the same money.
    Bridger
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I bought the BT3100 a few years ago and I love it. The only complaint I have is that it's smaller than many other saws out there. Other than that I have had no problems and the performance has been great.
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<snip snip snip>
I pretty much agree with what Bridger said, and would iterate two points.
One is that the BT3K is not really a job-site saw meant to take the abuse normally seen there.
Economically it suits a certain market perfectly, you just have to understand if you're in that market. I'm not sure you are.
The BT3K is inexpensive, thus made of less expensive materials. They're very well made, but to be happy with this saw you should be the sort who takes care of his tools. Like Bridger I've owned one since they came out on the market, and I have been very pleased. The aluminum can be a godsend if you fight humidity. It is a very accurate saw, and I don't find the adjustments any more difficult than a top-quality saw with the same features. I just moved mine across a couple of states and in setting it up again I found that it had maintained accuracy and needed no adjusting.
It's not a cabinet saw (I have a decent amount of experience with those owing to a fairly good trade school education), but it's about as close as you'll come in that price range. Think of it as owning a Kharman Ghia instead of a Porshe, or an Element instead of a Hummer. If you can live with that, you'll appreciate all the nice details of a saw that is so inexpensive. It's all about the money (and space, and time, and how often you move...): I'd rather have a Uni or PM, of course, but that would be unrealistic for me given my circumstances.
If you need the sturdiness of cast iron then perhaps you should look at used cabinet saws, as has been suggested.
Good luck, H
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When considering _that_ comparison, you gotta remember that the Kharmen Ghia body *is* designed by Porsshe. It's just on a VW chassis.
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 21:58:22 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

Who designed the VW chassis ?
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But a Porsche is just a Volkswagen with six cylinders instead of four.
Kevin
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I'd much rather have an old C'man! They are iron, tend to be straight, and cost $200 or less. I have one for rip and one for crosscuts, so I don't have to change bladdes. One is a 1972 that came with wings, stand, book, and some accessories for $75! Both arbors are true to the slots and there is no measurable runout. I use Freud blades and feel no need for better. Yes, I'd like a nice fence, but that's about the only real change I'd make. I never even have the fence on the crosscutter. The motors are small, but I rarely load them and one can put on a harbor freight motor for under $100.
Wilson
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

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I got mine at a local Home Depot--I had to go to about 3-4 of them before I found one in stock. They're the only place that sells it (AFAIK). Don't judge the saw by how it's set up in the store--most of the ones I saw were not even close to being set up correctly. I'm very happy with mine. It's not a Jet or Delta quality, but hey...it was in the price range I was looking for, and better than my old Craftsman. Try it...you'll like it. (C:
Jim
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Hi, I'm new the group and would like to say 1st thanks to everyone for posting all great stuff and that I have been learning a lot from everyone's comments. 2nd, I just searched the Sears Craftmans site and that they sell everyone thing needed as addons for the BT3100 under craftmans number #22811. But they don't show anything of a table saw with that number. So if anyone can find it on the Sears site please let me know. I'm thinking about buy one some time around the 1st of the yr. Thx for all the great info. Bob L

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Bob, What I think is a key question, everyone has skipped over . . . WHERE is your 'shop' and how BIG is it ?
A big, HEAVY cabinet saw may indeed be a joy. However, if it takes up almost all your room {and is TOO big & heavy to easily move}, then it is simply an 'Object de Art'.
If you have a 'small' shop {typically in a basement or garage}, an important criteria is the ability to 're-arrange' the lay-out to accommodate different projects.
This past Summer I contracted to 'finish out' a 15-foot canoe 'shell'. To do the job correctly, I had to be able to walk completely around it. Because my Ryobi BT3000 is on wheels, I was able to easily move it toward a corner. The JET bandsaw is on a mobile base, and was moved toward the opposite side. I made a couple of 'cradles' from OSB & foam, attached them to a pair of my 'low' sawhorses and had the hull stabilized at just the right height, & position - length wise and a bit off the centerline of the shop. I could get to my 'HEAVY' bench along one side, the tablesaw just off from that, the 'small bench' with the Radial Drill Press toward the other corner, and the bandsaw on the opposite side, and the stands with the Belt Sander & Bench Grinder in the corner opposite the Tablesaw.
The next 'project' was to make a series of 'Memorial Flag Cases'. Table & Band Saws moved toward the center, a couple of my self-made 'collapsible' sawhorses and an old door {I have several for this exact purpose} made my 'parts stacking & assembly' table. Just the right height to work while sitting on the 5-gallon 'buckets' that hold my clamps, screws, & other assorted hand tools, etc. Took about 40 minutes to clean up AND change the configuration. I started with 8' lengths of 1x6 Mahogany. Easily manipulated & cut to size on the table saw.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

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A BT3100 is not a Unisaw. But, for the price, I think it's the best available.
And that comes from a Unisaw owner.
I would probably wait and buy a better saw but if the budget does not permit, buy the BT3100. There are a lot of loyal users.
Rob
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

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Personally, I would recommend buying a BT3100 as a good placeholder for the tablesaw need, and focusing the budget first on jointer, planer, compressor, drillpress, bandsaw, hand tools, etc, before investing in the better saw. BT3100 isn't the best, but BT3100+Planer+Jointer+Compressor+drillpress+bandsaw is certainly better than Unisaw and none of the others. Probably slightly cheaper, too :-)
(of course, I don't have a Unisaw to compare to)
--randy
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This is one of the best points in this thread.
In my case I have the older BT3000, a Delta planer, Delta drill press, PC router, PC Speedbloc, PC Quicksand, Dewalt biscuit-er, all for less than a Unisaw....
Someday though, I WILL have the space and dough to get a Unisaw....;)
Y
On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 00:48:45 GMT, "Randy Chapman"

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I've had a BT3K for about four or five months now. It required virtually no tweaking out of the box, and has proven to be quite accurate for everthing I've used it for. I don't think you'll find a saw for less than twice the price with as good a fence, and given that the whole machine cost less than some of the fence upgrades I've seen suggested here, I'm pretty happy with the money spent. How long it will remain this way is another story.
The only indication I've had to date that it may suffer some inadequacies is when I tried to rip a pressure treated 4x4. The blade has the depth to do it in one pass, but not the power (at least not with the 36T combo blade that came with the saw). I made the cut in two passes, and have since bought a 24T rip blade.

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