Delta 36-717 Opinions

I'm finally able to replace my old ShopSmith with dedicated stand alone tools.
So I've been reading up on various table saws, and have concluded I don't really need a "professional" grade cabinet saw (e.g., Unisaw, PowerMatic), but I would like something a bit better than the typical Lowes/Home Depot "contractor" saw for my weekend sawdust binges.
I saw an article in one of the woodworking magazines that mentioned a Delta "hybrid" table saw, model 36-717, and wondered if anyone out there has any 'hands on' time with one. And if so, what your opinion of it is?
Thanks, Len
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wrote:

I intend to buy one of these this coming weekend. I read a review of it on www.sawmillcreek.org about it. Check it out.
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I have the 36-715. I got it for a little over 600.00 and it has been a great saw for the money. The table is flat, dust collection is good and cuts are smooth and quiet. It passes the nickel test on start up and shut down, although there is a little shudder when shutting it down. No vibration at all when running though.
Set up wasn't bad and it required very little tuning. The hardest part was shimming the right extension table just right. After fiddling with it for the better part of a day, I ended up taking it off a couple months later for a router table extension. The left wing was perfect without shims and the arbor runout was almost dead on. Putting on the wing was the only part I recall that they say requires two people, but it wasn't much trouble to hold the wing vertical and start the center bolt, then rotate it into position.
Their fold down outfeed table works well with a little modification (I explain in a review of the table on Amazon). The only problem I have had so far was that they sent the wrong number of a few of the bolts and nuts, almost like someone just grabbed a handful of stuff and threw it in a bag. A minor nit that didn't really hold up assembly.
If you get one, set it up for 220v if you can. Mine starts up nicer that way, which gives me the impression of more power. A silly thing to say, I know, but it seems that if it can get up to speed better on 220v it should be less likely to bog. Not that I had any real problems on 120v.
I am sure the 717 fence is great, but for a very part time woodworker like me the T2 fence is pretty good. It is certainly much better than anything I have seen on a saw for 600.00 or less.
Overall I am still very pleased. With a WWII on it, a part of me is still amazed how smooth it is every time I make a cut.
Also have a look at the two Craftsman hybrids. They are similar machines which may be even a little better, at least in terms of the trunion design. I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on a tool with that name on it.
-Steve W

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Len wrote:

Why not get a used Unisaw or PM 66. Granted, it won't be a wannabeacabinetsaw. But it will probably cost less if that's any consolation.
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My garage isn't wired for 220v, and the electrician wants more than the cost of a 36-717 to add it.
Len
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Len wrote:

It doesn't sound like you've researched this in great detail.
Many of the used PM's and Unisaws have 110/220 motors. Changing to 110 from 220 is a matter of removing the motor and switching two wires to match the diagram on the motor plate and of course changing the plug on the power cable. That is of course if the saw isn't already wired for 110, in which case you won't need to do anything.
Special tools required are screwdriver and 5/8" (IIRC) wrench.
It's not that difficult. If you've ever replaced a power outlet in your home, you'll be able to switch over the motor from 220 to 110.
For an all-in cost of $5.00 for the wire nuts and plug plus an hour or so of work you'll have a much better saw.
Of course, it still won't be that more expensive shiney new wannabeacabinetsaw you've got your eye on. But better and cheaper aren't for everyone.
AM Wood
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Changing to

two wires

the plug

already wired

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110.
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cheaper
Please forgive my ignorance.
Except for a variation of the Grizzly 1023, all the magazine and on-line reviews I've read since starting the hunt to replace my ShopSmith have said 'real' cabinet saws require 220V. I don't have 220V, so I've been focusing on saws the reviews generally say are decent, and will run 'out-of-the-box' on the 120V my ShopSmith uses.
Keep in mind I'm just a weekend woodworker that mainly makes toys for the Grandkids, Nieces, and Nephews, and occasionally a flowerbox for the neighbor ladies. I was leaning towards a Rigid TS3650, but started looking at the 'hybrid' saws like the Delta because the enclosed cabinet is supposed to improve dust collection.
I looked at the Craftsman equivelant to the Delta 36-717, but was 'gun shy' due to bad experiences with a Craftsman circular saw and hammer-drill a while back. Since the Delta seems to almost be a clone of the Craftsman, I wanted some input from folks who had 'hands on' time with the Delta before deciding anything. Which was the point of my original post.
Maybe I'll just stick to the ShopSmith, I know it will do what I need it to. I just get tired of reconfiguring it.
Len
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Len wrote:

The Delta 36-717 may look similar to the Craftsman but the trunions are mounted on the table as opposed to the Craftsman mounting on the cabinet base. In actual operation, once each saw is aligned there won't be much difference as the hardware on them is nearly identical. You might also want to check out the lower end Steel City 10" table saw which is similiar to the Craftsman but backed by a company that won't quit until you are satisified.
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Len wrote:

Len
The issue is power. The 1hp RI (bullet style) motors on the older unisaws are EASILY rewired from 220 to 110. That 1hp motor has more power than the motor on any saw that you can buy today that is wired for 110 "out of the box." Does 220 work better for those motors? The answer is yes. Though the difference is that on 110 the motor runs hotter so you can't keep it on all day. The power is the same. But for a "weekend warrior" like yourself it will not be an issue.
Do yourself a favor and keep your eyes out for a used older style Unisaw or PM66 with a 110/220 motor. You'll get so much more saw for your money.
My saw was $350. I spent $80 plus shipping to have someone replace the bearings (Sawcenter), $25 for new belts and $40 for a new switch and power cable. Removed the top, tuned it up based on the FWW article of last year and it is a dream to use. The $300 I spent on a biesemeyer was optional, however a bies, or any other new fence, is going to add ~$300 to the cost of any saw whether new or used.
Point is. Refurbishing used equipment is not as daunting of a task as it seems. If you're handy enough to make some small home repairs and turn out some doodads in the shop, you should definitely be able to tackle this project. And you get more for your money.
Good luck!
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Len wrote:

Len, I also have a Shoipsmith (10ER) When I bought it years ago, I replaced the old Crapsman 10" table saw. I liked using the 10" saw over the old Shopsmith 8', buy considering space, and all the other Shopsmith functions....... Anyhow I recentlly bought an old Unisaw from the local classifieds. It was set up for 110V, which I needed. My point is, put up with the Shopsmith, and watch all ads, and auctions, and be ready to pounce, when a suitable saw comes up. BUT, keep the shopsmith. Wood lathe, horizontal boring, are a few functions, that I use every now and then, and couldn't justify buting separate tools.
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"> Of course, it still won't be that more expensive shiney new

What a great suggestion! I just can't get over how many used Unisaws and Powermatics I keep seeing in my local area in papers and various lists. It must be that everyone wants to get rid of their quality saws at a really cheap price just for me. In the real world you can wait forever for better and cheaper. This is why I finally bought a Steel City saw. Of course you could offer to sell Ken your "better and cheaper" saw. How about it?
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This has always been the problem with telling someone (specially a beginner) that he should buy used. The experienced man can find these deals because he knows where to look. The beginner can not. The experienced man can accurately judge the working condition of the used equipment and determine if the asking price is a good deal, the beginner can not. The experienced man can accurately judge what any repairs are going to cost him, the beginner can not. The experienced man can determine if he can make the needed repairs, the beginner can not. In most cases, the beginner is far better off buying new equipment with from a reputable company. He will then be reasonably assured of getting a piece of equipment that will do the job and he has a warranty to back it up. "Buy used" is often not good advice for a beginner.

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CW wrote:

Well, it worked for me and I'm a beginner. OK, I used to own a ryobi BT3000 and learned just what it meant to not have a real cabinet saw. It's a pain in the ass to be fiddling around all day with the machine instead of making stuff.
It took a lot of research to make the decision and get through the project. My finding is that determining if the equipment is good is a matter of visual inspection. If it looks cracked, it is. If the motor spins when you turn it on and there's no funny smell, it works. Small holes, in cabinets can be filled with Bondo. Large holes cannot. If the top has holes or is noticably warped, it needs to be replaced. Bearings and belts on most any older machine will be marginal at best unless they have been replaced so plan on doing so. No need to test there, just price accordingly.
Whether or not the machined surfaces are dead flat though is something that has to be tested with accurate measuring equipment on both new and used. (This is woodworking and given the instability of the product, there's no need to go overboard on this detail. I certainly am not intending to imply that we need accuracy to 1000ths of an inch.) However, since this particular hurdle has to be overcome in either case to whatever the specs the purchaser believes are necessary, it's moot in the decision to buy used versus new.
So, what's the right price? In this case Lou doesn't want to spend more than he would spend on a Hybrid saw. A reasonable starting point. Take $200 off that figure for misc replacements and repairs and something for the after market fence he would buy that will come with the saw and that's the figure.
We're talking about a hunk of steel, a motor, and bearings. There's really not much to learn.
Like I said, it won't be as pretty, but it will be so much more saw for the money. IMO it's worth the effort. Besides, when all is done, the user who goes through this learning process will really know and understand the equipment he is using.
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I have the Craftsman 22-144 equivalent of the Delta.
I was also leary of Craftsman brand afer other power tools of the same brand failed too soon. I read the reviews of the new Craftsman and bit the bullet around Xmas time that year (2004) due to a very good price.
Fit and finish were better than I expected. The right side wooden table extension is not a good fit and will eventually be replaced. The Bies. fence is good.
As another poster stated the trunnions are mounted on the cabinet. Aligning the table top was not difficult. Undo a few bolts and to some tapping, and alignment checking.
I did immediately replace the blade with a decent blade. Mine happens to be a WWII, but there are many other good brands. Comparing the as-shipped blade to the WWII shows that the as-shipped is very inexpensive. Not a surprise to me.
I have used the Craftsman a decent amount. The 1 3/4 HP motor is ok for normal tasks. It is not powerful enough for ripping 8/4 maple.
This has so far been a decent machine. Would I prefer a Powermatic 66. Absolutely. Would I prefer a Grizzly 1023. I am not so sure. I looked hard at the Grizzly but prefer the Bies. fence. I would likely choose the Craftsman over the new Grizzly hybrid although I have not been to the showroom, since I saw the new Grizzly hybrid advertised.
Dave Paine.

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