Cabinet Saw Purchase

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"Kirk E. Dobihal" wrote in message

First and foremost, it depends upon the condition of the saw itself ... then any extras that come with it and the cost of getting it home and running, versus a new one.
Without seeing the saw in question, for $1200 I would expect to be buying one "like new", with low mileage and in excellent condition ... YMMV.
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General 650 would be my choice. US made Baldar motor, massive trunnions - much larger than Delta, and made in Canada. I've now been told mine will be in 'the middle of next week' for three weeks. Beginning to lose my patience, but if you ever put your eyes and hands on one I think you would agree it's worth the wait. Also - a silly thing but I love the fact that they put a real door on the side instead of a cheesy plastic kind.
I've put a ridiculous amount of time into researching the saw I want, figuring, someday my son will have it. I went to Muncy and looked at the Grizzly's (totally unimpressed and a long drive), spoke to the reps for Powermatic (over-priced), Jet (made in Taiwan) and Delta (Nice saw and available, X5 is a great value) at a local tool show. When I got a chance to see the General in person, I was sold immediately. Fit and finish is beautiful. Roughly the same price as the Delta, but much more substantial than the Delta.
A distributor for Powermatic told me they have risen their prices on all models effective April or May by $200, making the Powermatic that much more uncompetitive. Generals have won two recent table saw shootouts - one in the contractor size and one in the cabinet size creating a demand General appears to be having trouble keeping up with. Oh well, - mine 'should be in the middle of next week.
I've posted this previously, but if anyone wants a copy of Wood magazine's article from the October '03 issue with the cabinet saw shootout in a .pdf (Acrobat) file, drop me an email. snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
$.02, please.
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"MN Guy" wrote in message

You've chosen well, IMO. In the current market place, and were I in the market again, I would do the same.
That said, my Unisaw does what it is supposed to do and does it well despite the plastic free choice dog chow bowl dust/motor cover. I mean, after all, it has a place to hold not one, but two, count'em - TWO, miter gages built right into that sucker ... surely that makes up a bit for the "value engineering", doesn't it?
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The real answer is in the condition of the saw. I think $1500 may be light for that model today (I think closer to $1800) but you can check that out easily. The Unisaw is one of the best on the market and you will not be disappointed with it. Ed
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Kirk E. Dobihal states:

It's not a helluva deal, but you face some "buts". Is it in great condition? Is it tuned? How much use has it seen? I wouldn't touch a Unisaw at $1200 used unless it hit the first 2 marks, and was on the low end for the third. Or unless it was 40 years old and hit all 3 marks. I'd jump on that.
Look for rust, measure run-out, check miter slots, generally do everything you'd do if you were planning on tuning the saw up at home. If you find ANY problems at that price, walk away or negotiate.
After all, for another $300 or so, you get a new saw, with warranty.
Charlie Self "Adam and Eve had many advantages but the principal one was that they escaped teething." Mark Twain
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in message

OR for a couple hundred LESS you can get a new Grizzly cabinet saw with warrenty.
Dave Hall
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Be still my beating heart.
UA100
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don't tease me.
dave
Unisaw A100 wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in message

Dear Clif:
In a previous life I was a tool dealer and owned a woodworking supply store. In my career I have sold 100's of tablesaws: Delta's, Jets, Powermatics as well as Dewalts and others. Most problems one has with equipment was freight damage. Since we unloaded the trucks, put them in our wharehouse, and then loaded or deliveried them to the customer direct we had very few problems. I am a big fan of the Delta Unisaw and I have had experience with 100's of saws not just one, I am very confident in recommending the Delta Unisaw. Delta always impowered me to take care of the customer. I am sure the Delta Unisaw would give you years of good service. In my opinion I believe the Unisaw is still the best value and is the foundation of how other saws are judged. Good luck and happy woodworking to you. Mike
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Well, there's buying used, and then there's buying through a good local dealer.
There's a time and a season for both, as well as other, options.
What Mike at American Sycamore said about the dealer's role weighed heavily in my decision, because I just wanted to buy a good tool, and get on with woodworking. Peace of mind and convenience was worth the markup the dealer earned, and has earned several times again, on a major tool purchase.
That having been said, I did time my purchases to match up with the manufacturer-sponsored 10% off days. But I'm a part-time 'wood artist', not a full time professional, and can wait for a new toy to arrive. Other parts of my life are less patient.
BTW, I paid $1700 for the Unisaw left tilt, with mobile base, a passable blade, 52" Bies fence, in the back of my pickup truck. That number includes the 8.25% premium we pay for the privilege of living in the San Francisco Bay Area. 15 months ago, or so. I'd do it again, without hesitation.
On the other hand, one of my woodworker friends who scouts for old tools has his eye out for a good deal on a better quality, 6" or 8" jointer, used.
Patriarch, who remembers that consistency is supposed to be the hobgoblin of something or other....
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I love my Jet JTAS left tilt cabinet. Not a single problem with the saw. Works great. I added the biesmyer snap in splitter, zero clearance throat plate and now couldnt be happier. If I had to complain at all, and it is minor, its that the fence HDDP (or whatever that plastic stuff is) is not completely flat. Using the ts aligner it shows a fluctuation by about .0002 or so. Not much but its there
Kirk E. Dobihal wrote:

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"MN Guy" wrote in message

You've chosen well, IMO. In the current market place, and were I in the market again, I would do the same.
That said, my Unisaw does what it is supposed to do and does it well despite the plastic free choice dog chow bowl dust/motor cover. I mean, after all, it has a place to hold not one, but two, count'em - TWO, miter gages built right into that sucker ... surely that makes up a bit for the "value engineering", doesn't it?
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I just thought I would mention that I had a unisaw delivered a couple of weeks ago and none of the trunions were broken, so it does happen.
I have not yet got the thing assembled (was away for a week) but fit and finish appear to be perfectly OK for woodworking.
The Powermatic definitely has a better finish on the table, it is mirror polished. Quite what advantage there is to mirror polishing is beyond me. But it does look really cool. Ditto the blade guard looks really impressive, but the transparent Delta guard is probably more functional.
If I had realised that the short fence (30") powermatic was curently available for about the same price as the unisaw I would probably have gone for that instead. The unisaw comes with a free mobile base, the powermatic is $100 more with a free tenoning jig. The powermatic is smaller though and so I would not need the movable base.
Like how often do you use the extra 20" of rip fence capacity rather than use a sled or the like? And if the fence turns out to be a limitation you can always get a longer rail.
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Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:

Can't say I use the extra rip capacity too often though when it's needed it's nice to have it.
What I do like is being able to slide the fence far enough aside to use a sled and not have to remove the fence and having to find some place to park it.
UA100
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wrote:

One can also leave cut lists, jigs, clamps, tapes, stop blocks, miter gauges, off cuts, safety gear, etc... on the other side of the fence. <G>
Barry
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B a r r y wrote:

Well hell, as long as we're mentioning...
There's all the other crap that accumulates like scraps from past projects, last weekend's paper, wooddorking magazines and... A'yup, I don't quite know what I'd do without the extra real estate.
UA100
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On 11 Apr 2004 10:36:28 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Phillip Hallam-Baker) wrote:
|I just thought I would mention that I had a unisaw delivered a couple |of weeks ago and none of the trunions were broken, so it does happen.
Mine came about 4 weeks ago. Don't see anything broken yet even though the tilt indicator was red before we unloaded it from the back of Woodcraft's PU truck and there was a hole in the carton on the motor cover side. Two Woodcraft guys and my neighbor and I managed to skid it to the floor on a pair of 4x4s. (No lift gate) They all left and I managed to get it into the mobile base singlehandedly. Whew. | |I have not yet got the thing assembled (was away for a week)[snip]
Me neither. But I was away three weeks. A week ago I started assembly and mounted the left extension table and determined that it was unacceptably warped. With the extension flush at each end of the table there is a 6 to 7 thousandths misalignment near the center and the nearside left end of the extension droops about 0.020". My old Craftsman was much better than this.
A quick call to my local Woodcraft and I'm supposed to be getting a replacement shipped direct from Delta. Tomorrow will be one week. I haven't even unboxed the rest of the stuff, except the laminate table (it looks okay) since I need the extension to proceed.
This is the pits. I sold my Craftsman to my neighbor so I'm without a saw.
I have a Leigh D4 still in the box too. I can't butcher any wood to use to try it out. bummer
| |The Powermatic definitely has a better finish on the table, it is |mirror polished. Quite what advantage there is to mirror polishing is |beyond me. But it does look really cool. Ditto the blade guard looks |really impressive, but the transparent Delta guard is probably more |functional. | |If I had realised that the short fence (30") powermatic was curently |available for about the same price as the unisaw I would probably have |gone for that instead. The unisaw comes with a free mobile base, the |powermatic is $100 more with a free tenoning jig. The powermatic is |smaller though and so I would not need the movable base.
But the short (30") fence Delta that I bought is even less money.
| |Like how often do you use the extra 20" of rip fence capacity rather |than use a sled or the like? And if the fence turns out to be a |limitation you can always get a longer rail.
I figured that I wasn't going to be landing any F/A18s and I can't imagine handling anything wider than a couple of feet and keeping it tight to the fence anyway. The most I foresee doing is some cabinets that are never more than 24" deep so I'm covered. And I still have some room for my automobiles.
Wes
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