Delta 36-980 opinions sought


This is a new offering from Delta, I believe, with left tilt arbor, 1 1/2 hp motor and T2 fence system. Retails in the mid $600s. I'm looking for a solid, accurate saw for weekend hobby work. Just unloaded a Shopsmith, which served me well for a major kitchen cabinet project, but was all but impossible for working with larger pieces. Try ripping a 4x8 on that postage stamp table.
OK ... excuse the rant, but I'm looking for opinions on the 1 1/2 hp motor and the T2 fence system. Will that motor be powerful enough for ripping 5/4 hardwood? Is the fence system accurate??
Cap'n 321
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I have the 36-675, which is the right-tilt, 1 1/2hp, and T2 fence. The motor hasn't bogged down on anything at all since I learned to tune the saw correctly. I also added a Forrest thin-kerf blade, which makes it seem more powerful because it it's chopping less wood. I've cut 5/4 Oak and Cherry without any hesitation whatsoever.
I did not like the T2 fence and have since replaced it with a Unifence. The face wasn't very flat, the rear of the fence had too much flex for my liking, and it was impossible to read the scale accurately. To be honest, I actually didn't get bad results from it, I frankly just didn't feel comfortable with it. The Unifence has been a nice improvement.
I got an amazing clearance deal on my saw, $198 new from the Borg. But if I were buying a new saw for retail price right now, though, I would probably either get the Ridgid or the Craftsman. The Ridgid comes with solid cast-iron wings, a good fence with micro-adjust, and built-in mobile base. The Craftsman base is a mostly enclosed cabinet instead of the open, steel legs, which means it's beefier, quieter, and has better dust-collection. Both of these can be had for a little less than the Delta you mentioned.
Jon
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It's a decent saw. The motor is as strong as one is likely to find on 110v operation. The T2 fence is very sturdy, compared to what you used on the Shopsmith. Ans pretty accurate, too.
I might have purchased that saw, had the Unisaw not captured my heart 3 or 4 years ago, and had it been available then. It's a pretty decent value, from the one I saw at the local Rockler store...
Patriarch
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