DeWalt746 Sliding Table Saw

It's time for me to buy a new saw. I have a small floorspace available and the type of work I do requires a 30" fence system max for 99.9% of the time. This is purely a home workshop for enjoyment and not a production shop. I can't seem to take my eyes off of DeWalt's big yellow 746 saw with its sliding table...I have been using a sliding table saw for the last 13 years (Ryobi BT3000) Its a great little saw but underpowered. Im doing more hardwood these days and I think I would like a little more ooooomph! THE QUESTION IS....Are there any DW746 owners out there who would care to give me their opinion about owning one of these...or am I just being taken in by marketing and should really be looking at a cabinet type saw with 30"rails (e.g. General or Delta) and forget about the sliding table. I also have 220 power available but would prefer to leave it dedicated to my heater as my shop is in an insulated garage in Canada (eh!).
Any response is appreciated since this is quite an investment...thanx in advance
Ken Vickets Burlington, Ontario Canada (eh!)
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On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 18:12:42 -0500, "Ken in Canada"

cabinet saws are a class of machinery above the jet or dewalt hybrids. if you have need of that much saw and can afford it don't bother with the hybrid. personally I think I'd rather have an older contractor's style saw in any case, if just for the option of upgrading the fence.
if you're feeling the need for more oomph consider running another 220V line for the saw and getting one with 3 or 5 HP.
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I have a 746 with the 68" extensions and the sliding mitre table and love it. that being said. I have to think I would have spent a bit more and bought the PM66 or one of the others if I had to do it again. The motor will bog down at times while doing big cuts in oak and such and the actual open parts of the saw are real dust catchers even with the DC running. All in all I'm sure you'd be happy with the Dewalt but if you have the money and space I think I'd trade up.
Cheers, Allen Catonsville, MD

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I've got the DW746 w/52" extension and sliding table. I like the saw itself: table surface is very flat (though it could be ground smoother), the fence is nice - no racking, locks square, and is very accurate. I've replaced the standard aluminum fence face with one I made so I could attach jigs and such. I've never had a problem with cuts. It's smooth and has very little vibration. Has enough power for every thing I've tried so far - including resawing Hard Maple. Fit and finish are very nice. Blade was parralel to the slots out of the box as was the fence. It is a bit of a bugger to put together. Dust colelction suffers somewhat from the 2" outlet but it is tolerable. Thoughts on the extension and sliding table: Sliding table is difficult to get aligned to the saw table. My first table had a whooping 1/16" dish n the middle. Dewalt replaced it no questions asked. SLiding table slides had a little mush in them so if you press down on the work piece the table can be pushed below parralell with the saw. Mitre that comes with the slider is next to worthless. Has about 2 degrees of play in it. I replaced with an Incra. 52" extension: nice smooth surface. Mounts to the table saw with a big angle bracket that screws into the top from underneath and bolts to the side of the saw. The lenght of the bracket is about 1/3 the depth of the table. This results in the front and back of the extension table dropping below the saw table when the middle is flush. Since the rails also depend on the for support it is a problem. You'll need to fabricate a longer bracket. I mounted a router in the extension table and the weight cause the extension to sag in the middle. If you do this you will have to brace the table beneath to support the router. I like the saw a lot better than my old contractor. I'd druther a cabinet saw though.

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If you're going to consider the Dewalt, then you also need to look at the Jet Supersaw. I think they compete with each other pricewise. I believe the Jet is more saw. Its total cast surface, with the sliding table is actually bigger than their cabinet saw.
To be fair, some people say the Jet Supersaw has a problem with breaking the timing belt. Its a Poly V-belt (8 tracks) and helps make it run so smooth. Most of these reports occured in early 2003 and may be early model defects. I bought mine in September 2003 and I'm still waiting for it to break, having used the saw almost every day since then. I checked with Jet - a replacement belt is $41. Anyway, the saw passes the proverbial nickel test, where you set a nickel on its edge on the table and it doesn't vibrate with the saw running - and that's sitting on a rolling mobile stand.
I understand why you like a sliding table. Its definitely addicting.
Bob

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Funny thing about that saw: my local Dewalt dealer/service center told me last week that he won't be stocking it because the quality isn't there for the price. This store is loaded with everything Dewalt sells, except that saw. They also sell Delta, and that is his preference for bigger equipment (it's also what he personally owns). I bought my new 735 planer at this store this week (only place in town that has been getting shipments of the 735), and these guys seem to know what's going on. Woodcraft has the saw on display, and I must admit the Jet Super Saw for $50 less "looks" better. Well, $50 less, but then add about $300 for the Jet slider!
Let us know what you find out . . . I'm still shopping for something myself (leaning to the Jet SS at the moment: cast tables, good fence, dust collection, left tilt, don;t cae about the slider right now).
Cheers,
Scott
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On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 22:39:06 -0600, Scott wrote

After my recent shopping experience, I've come to the conclusion that if a dealer owns brand X, his preference is going to lean towards that brand. That's usually not a problem except when you've seen brand Y and know the dealer is blowing smoke about the competition...makes me wonder how much of the other stuff is true.

The local Woodcraft here has both on display. After being on display and having customers beat them about, tear them apart, having staff members use them for demos, etc... The Dewalt seems to be holding up a bit better than the Jet. I don't know if this is common among all Jet & Delta saws, but looking at them today and having to pick from only those two saws, I would actually lean towards the Dewalt. That said, I'm not impressed by certain things on the saw and when all is said and done, it's simply the 744 on steroids. It has much better features than the 744, but it also shares some of the same problems areas as the 744 (dust collection and spliter removal/attachment).

Good luck on your search and decision. Having just gone through that myself I can tell you the hardest thing is cracking open the wallet and buying something this big for the shop.
Wayne
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Boy, ain't THAT the truth! Funny how most of us will buy a new car @ $20,000+ or so, and have it lose $5,000 in value the minute we drive off the lot, and thnk little of it. Yet we agonize over +/- $200 cost of different table saws. Maybe it's because we want the saw to last us forever, whereas the car will be gone in 10 years of so? Or maybe we (SWMBO?) think the nicer saw is a mere luxury, whereas the car .... hmmm.....is a luxury too!
Cheers,
Scott
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Scott,
I own a supersaw and really like it. I also have a 2 hp dust collector. I've been sorely disappointed in the dust collection ability. After reading a lot and exchanging ideas with others, I've come to the conclusion that table saw dust collection is a real challenge for every manufacturer. The enclosed cabinet with dust port provides "automatic vacuuming" for the dust that makes it below the table. This is good thing and saves some hassle. The cabinet forces the dust to collect in one place. However, it does not force any more dust to go below the table. You still need some kind of enhancement above the table, especially if you use a zero tolerance throat plate.
I still like the supersaw a lot, but I wanted to set your expectations about dust collection.
Bob

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Ditto that. I have a jet Cab saw connected to an Oneida cyclone and have observed the same. If the saw dust goes down, then it get sucked up. But certain cuts, specifically ripping off < 1 kerf-width, tends to send nearly all of the dust forward. This is a function of table saw geometry, not a manufacturer's design.
Keep that broom handy.
Steve
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I keep stairing at the dirt simple setup in the Workshop book by Taunton Press. One shop owner mounted a 4" PVC pipe attached to a 4" dust collector hose. He set it up so the mouth of the pipe swings down to a spot about 6" in front of the blade on the infeed side. It looks crazy, but I tried it. It sucks up every spec of dust in sight. You just have to get used to a 4" pipe resting on your wood as you cut it! The book said his employees had to "get used it". I'm not ready to go that route - YET, but it doesn't seem as crazy today as it did a month ago.
Bob

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Bob,
Thanks for the insights. I usually put my Ridgid portable dust collector next to my dusty operations anyways, to catch to ambient stuff the 5hp shop vac misses. But if it collects the bulk of it below, the I'm happy. I WAS looking at a $600 Delta that has NO collection whatsoever . . .
Scott
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Just wish to do a bulk Thank You to those who respnded to my plea for info...not sure which direction I'm going to go but it sure is nice to have various opinions to weigh. Thanx again!!!!
Ken

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