Craftsman tablesaw...that bad?

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I actually have had my eye on the Delta 650 for a few months now. It's exactly the same price at HD...$599 CAN.
I've been doing ww for quite a long time, but never had the workshop square footage to accommodate a tablesaw. New house, lots of room, and the only thing missing is.....
Thanks for all the responses. I'm not chomping at the bit to get it into my hot little hands ASAP, and am not going to make any kind of impulse buy on something like this.
BUT...(and this was a hard learned lesson)
A few years ago my wife and were driving through our neighborhood on a Saturday morning. She spotted a garage sale and go tme to pull over. Expecting nothing more than the usual assortment of glasses, excercycles, and soiled baby clothes, I waited in the car listening to Car Talk. She came back a few minutes later to tell me there appeared to be a table saw for sale. Unexcited, and figuring it was a Canadian Tire benchtop box, I shuffled over, only to find a nearly mint, full size 1970's Rockwell Beaver contracter...for 35 bucks! Some SOB had bought it not 2 minutes before I got there. I asked the seller if I could just switch it on once. Oh, did that baby sing!! Do you feel my pain? Now I drag HER to garage sales.
So I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing a great deal. I guess not.
Bob
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"Highspeed" < snipped-for-privacy@sympaticodot.ca> wrote in message
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Highspeed wrote:

You're right, I did not realize that.
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umm... as realized in an above reply, they do, you just have Grizzly ship to an export forward shipper, which one has to pay for including taxes, gets high tho...
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bob wrote:

For what it's worth: AFAIK, that particular saw MAY have the older, under-sized miter gauge slot. It also may not. Otherwise, the 13 amp motor means they've got what is basically classed a "true" 1-1/2 HP motor (Delta runs 12, as do many others). The Align-A-Rip is not a world beater as a fence, but it is good.
As someone noted, the Grizzly 0444 may be a better saw, but you'd have to drive to Bellingham to get one, and I'm not at all sure that Canadian Customs will let you back through the door without a hefty charge.
Then someone was blathering about not being sure you can take it back, etc. Uh, this is Sears. Now, that's not as good as, say, Lee Valley, but in general Sears stands by their stuff fairly decently.
What I'd do: go to the store, with cash for the full price, but with 75 or 100 bucks in a separate pocket. Offer the cash, with it held in your hot little grasp, for maybe 75-100 bucks less than what they're asking. See what happens. Odds are you'll get a few bucks more off, but even if you don't, the saw sounds like a reasonable buy to me.
To me, 'scratch and 'dent' means "yard sale" time, which means don't offer what they're asking unless you have to.
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Charlie Self wrote: ...

Since I was the "blatheret", I'll clarify the thought process--for mainline merchandise, sure--no question...whether they might not have a no-return condition on a floor model fire sale is a prudent question worth asking about, imo....ymmv.
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FWIW, they offer the full 2 year warranty.
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bob wrote:

That's not quite the same thing as if when you get it home you decide you <really, really> don't like/want it, after all...especially if you can't try it out. That's one thing I never liked much about Craftsman showrooms--you could never try anything. Major manufacturer distributors (at least used to have) operating showrooms...the online craze has pretty much eliminated them, however, so that probably is no difference than anywhere else these days.
As you maybe able to tell, I've not bought a <major> piece of equipment in almost 20 years now. Once the barn is done and the shop goes up in the mow, I'm hoping to change that significantly, however... :)
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Good luck finding a place to test drive ANY tool these days, even when you don't go on-line to buy. Sears has multi-line merchandise, and I'm reasonably sure the lady buying some new panties isn't going to be thrilled to find sawdust in them when she gets home. The same holds true even at HD and Lowe's, where testing tools could readily fling dust into washing machines and telephone systems.
Most of the distributors are now gone in this area. They primarily served two markets, furniture manufacturers and schools. The schools mostly bailed on woodworking classes a decade or so ago, and most of the furniture places are in the process of folding their tents, in anticipation of moving to China or Viet Nam or a similar place. But what the hell. That's where most of the tools are coming from now. And when I say most, I don't mean 51%. It is more like 90% and rising.
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Charlie Self wrote:

...
I think the ones w/ retail/display outlets are in most places....I don't consider the Borgs nor Sears as distributors, anyway, though. I know of one place in Raleigh (or at least did a couple of years ago when I had sufficient time while visiting son to take a side trip--didn't have the time this past summer). There were places still in Knoxville when I left there 5 years ago, and I "test drove" the PM66 and Model 27 at McFeeley's in Lynchburg...but that's been over 25 years ago now...
I'm sure when I go for the moulder and larger planer I'll just bite the bullet and go w/ one of the big boys and be done w/ it...the mill shop in Wichita has a new numeric-controlled machine they ran the siding for the barn through for me--it's nice but $25k is about twice what I want to try to stay within....
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

As far as I know, McFeely's is totally mail order now. And doesn't sell stationary power tools anyway.
I know years ago there was a distributor in Roanoke, but it aimed mostly at school based customers even back then. I don't know if it still exists, and the ability of the average person to gain entry to such places is exceptionally limited anyway, and, AFAIK, always has been.
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Charlie Self wrote:

I really don't know--I left Lynchburg in roughly '80 and it's now been 15 years or maybe more since I've even been back to visit old buddies at B&W. At the time I was there they were <the> general distributor for almost everything our type wanted as toys :) -- primarily wholesale, of course, but also would handle OTC sales. I ordered the PM stuff through them for direct pick up in McMinnville as I was in the process of moving to Oak Ridge at the time. Knoxville had TN Mining as well as a Delta factory support/repair center which also had a sale/showroom in those days.

I know the place, but can't think of the name at present...I don't know its fate, either. A buddy and I were doing decoupage plaques at the time--he had dropped out of school after starting on his own w/ a single spindle old Craftsman light-duty shaper peddling them through Davis Paint in Lynchburg. Davis was selling them like hotcakes and financed him to buy a larger planer and shaper and gave him shop space in their basement (one of the big old retail/manufacturing multi-story brick buildings downtown w/ 3 levels of basement of 10-12'ft height and massive wood beam/columns...pretty spooky in the "mausoleum" :) ). I was brand new out of school and saw ad where he was selling the small shaper and answered it. We then built stuff together and grew it to something like 40,000 lb-ft/yr turning the high-platform shoe bottoms for Lynchburg Shoe. Consequently, we had access to anywhere...
Ah, the memories... :)
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That's the saw I have. Heh, so I didn't know any better at the time :^) It has been reliable for me, although the motor's belt pulley has a tendency to try to slide off the motor shaft that no amount of tightening has ever completely suppressed. It was reasonably well alligned to start, the the rip fence seems to stay perpendicular reasonbly well. I don't have a good measure of runout for the arbor to give you. Nothing about the saw has caused me to run screaming from the shop yet, with determination to replace it. Nothing about it has endeared it to me for all time either.
Jim Kirby
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I feel that Sears, maybe Shears(?), has moved beyond "fairly decent". Ordered tools on line from West Coast of US and was told my credit card was denied so order was cancelled. Ordered from Lowe's. Tools were received on East Coast despite cancelled order. Contacted Shears who said they'd credit tool charge but NOT shipping charges. After prolonged E-mail exchanges our son waited in line for an hour and they refused credit to card and gave him a gift card for tool charge. Credit card company cancelled the S&H charge. I HATE HMO mentality!
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Ok - You asked. I have seen some of the supposed-Craftsman cabinet saws in the store and that was what I was expecting to see when I opened the link. It wasn't. and I cannot imagine they are asking that kind of money for this contractor-LOOKING saw.
I just sold a 70's vintage Craftsman that I paid $240 for and recently sold for $75. It never was a great saw but I muddled along for years before I upgraded to a Grizzly 1023s. This machine looks a lot like that old machine.
The only bargin here is the current vs list price - and that is not a bargin. If you have $480 to spend take a look at www.grizzly.com. They have a good line of contractor's saws and reasonably priced cabinet saws. If you can afford more cash look at the Grizzly 1023 series or the JET and Delta Unisaws. IMHO the JETS and Unisaws are overpriced compared to the 1023 but others have different opinions.
The table saw is the heart of the workshop. Get a good one.
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I have a saw very similar to it, but with a larger motor, and am very happy with it. But I paid $200 for it used two years ago when the one pictured was selling for $500 new.
I would not consider paying $480 for a floor model, unless table saws are really expensive in Canada for some reason.
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This doesn't strike me as an extraordinarily good deal but it's not exactly a rip-off either. There is no doubt that better tools are made but when a Craftsman is all you can get...or all you can afford...the choice is a no-brainer.
I have a Craftsman table saw...an OLD one that has a flexible shaft to drive the blade. I bought it (in terrible shape) for a VERY low price, restored it, threw away the blade and fence and added a carbide blade and a new Craftsman Align-a-Rip fence.
Is it a Delta Unisaw? No, and I make no pretense that it is. It is also not a high-end contractor saw but with patience and careful setups I can do good work. I don't try to do fine furniture but the carcases I build are square.
The Align-a-Rip fence is no Biesemeier but if I take my time to ensure there is no sawdust in the rail groove and tweak it carefully before I lock it down, I get demonstrably square cuts.
Bob, if you decide to go with the Craftsman, get a decent blade and...this is important...buy a dial indicator. You can get one for around $15US at Harbor Freight. Use it to carefully align the miter slot to the arbor...and then the fence to the miter slot.
You may also want to face the fence with melamine or Baltic birch to protect it from the unthinkable. I did.
Just one additional comment: I consider my dial indicator to be the most important tool in my shop. It's not one I use every day but nothing can adequately replace it.

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In a nutshell, why buy a Craftsman when for the same money you can have an equivalent unit from Jet, Delta, Grizzly or General? If you have to ask about the quality of the unit, it probably ain't there.
I had a Craftsman for over 20 years that served me well as my first saw. When I got serious about woodworking and demanded exactness and performance, I had to upgrade the saw with better wings and a "real" fence (Incra, not the POS that came with it that never stayed aligned). After spending 300 bucks on upgrades, I ended up taking the upgrades off, selling the old saw to a newbie, and buying a Jet contractor saw. I never regretted it, other than not taking the big leap to a cabinet saw.
Bob

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<<They say the first rule of journalism is to never ask a question unless you already know the answer, but I will plead ignorance.>>
At the risk of initiating thread drift, I would just like to point out that this is most certainly not the first rule of journalism and I would be willing to guess it's not a rule of journalism at all. If a reporter already knows the answers to all the questions he is about to ask, he shouldn't be wasting anybody's time asking them. This is not to suggest that he ought to be completely ignorant (it's a good idea to have at least some familiarity with the subject), but if he asks only questions for which he already knows the answers, he is unlikely to unearth any new and potentially useful information. Of course there are always exceptions and one instance where this "rule" does come into play is in a TV newscast when, at the conclusion of a live on-the-scene report, the anchorman asks the field reporter a follow-up question, it is usually one that they have discussed beforehand so the anchorman doesn't ask a stupid question and the reporter doesn't look foolish because he was asked something he can't answer.
Lee
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No, it's not. The first rule of journalism is that there are no rules. If a journalist allows himself to be completely governed by rules, he misses out on many, many excellent opportunities to elicit useful and interesting information from interview subjects, especially in one-on-one situations.

You really need to find a better class of friends. <g>
A.J.
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