Finally got my first Table Saw ------- A Delta TS300

Well I guess you better be careful for what you wish for.... Just picked up the Delta TS300 from Lowes today. It was the last one and discounted to $220. I have it sitting in the garage until I read through the manual. Most of the reviews appeared to be good. I bought it because I needed a hobby/home type saw and couldn't pass up the price. I do realize that this saw is not to be confused with one of the great table saws but hope it is adequate enought for what I need. Any comments from owners would be appreciated. Think I also will need to get a mobile base for it too.... Any good sources?? -Thanks for any help!
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buck wrote:

Buck,
I guess the first question is what do you need it for? I have a similar, but older model 36-600, which I believe is what the TS300 replaced. Are you going to be able to cut through 6' of 8/4 maple without trip the circuit breaker? Probably not, but I've managed to use mine for 4 years now and have turned out some decent projects.
First piece of advice (and this only goes for this saw) is drop the blade guard/splitter (if that's what you can call it) in the trash can. It only attaches to the shaft coming out the back of the saw unlike better TS that also bolt through the table insert. At best is useless junk, but more likely an accident waiting to happen. Because it doesn't attach through the table insert, it flexes as you push the wood through the blade. A few times, the wood got caught in the prawl and if you don't notice it right away you end up bend the prawls into the spinning blade.
I would strongly recommend making some zero clearence table inserts and try to incorporate a homemade splitter. I bought some plastic on from Woodcraft but have not had a chance to try it yet. The problem is the table inserts on these saws are only 1/8" thick, which someone please correct me if I'm wrong, is much different on a better saw. So anything you buy off the shelf needs to be modified.
The table itself is smaller than a normal contractors saw. I built an oversize sled for cross-cutting and have some supports for ripping down sheets (still mostly use a cirular saw and guide though) or long lengths.
As long as I watch your feedrate and have sharp blades, even the tougher woods (oak, maple, walnut) cut fine. Haven't had any problems with dado blades or the fence. I don't recall the setup being too bad, but it was a while ago.
Feel free to drop me a line. You could probably DAGS on WoodChuck34 and 36-600, I think I did some back and forth with some people in the past.
One tip: And this is if you really want to tweak this thing later. I ordered replacement fence parts and that I'm planning to install after I build an extended table to the right of the saw. I'll let you know how it works, and even if it is only a marginal cut to break down those sheets, it only cost me something like $60.
Good Luck! Chuck
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On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 15:57:46 -0500, buck wrote:

For the past 3 years I've owned one of the older Delta benchtop saws that is now discontinued. I'll be looking to upgrade in the next year, but my current saw has far exceeded my expectations. I recently completed a pair of Stickley nightstands in solid walnut and a third in cherry. They turned out excellent. The joints are tight, the casings are square, and the drawers slide well (on wooden slides on grooves in the drawer sides). My point is that you can do good work with your inexpensive saw.
Here are a few pointers that should definately make things easier.
First, pitch the blade that came with the saw and buy something good. I have a Freud combo blade on mine. I think I payed about $50 for the blade at Lowes.
Second, build yourself a crosscut sled. This will allow you to basically pitch the miter gauge. The gauge that came with mine was a piece of junk. I constructed my sled with a 3/4" plywood base and 8/4 pine scraps for the fences. I used steel bars that are sold at HD and Lowes for the runners. The runners were a royal PITA, but well worth the trouble once they were square. I don't know what kind of miter slots your bed has, but my saw has non-standard T-slots. I had to stack two steel bars to make each runner - one for the narrow part of the slot and one for the wide part. Most plans for sleds that I've seen use hardwood runners, but I could not get those to work well with the smaller slots.
Third, don't buy a mobile base. I built a platform for the saw to sit on out of two layers of plywood, and used my circular saw to cut out a hole in the middle. The saw is bolted to the platform, and the platform gets bolted to a couple of sturdy sawhorses. I find this arrangement to be plenty stable. The only time it doesn't work is when I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing (like trying to rip a board with twist, which causes the whole contraption to wobble a bit).
Fourth, don't forget about your delta warrenty. I burned up the motor in my saw right at the end of my two year warrenty. I took the thing to the nearest delta service center and they replaced the moter, no charge, and no questions asked about what I had done (actually, I started to explain, and the guy cut me off and said it didn't matter).
I hope that give you a place to start. If you've got more questions, ask.
Chad
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One suggestion for a zero clearance insert, since it is so thin. Take it off of the saw and put some saran wrap on the bench. Place the insert top down and fill the hole with some epoxy. Works prety damn good. I have to refill it every couple months or so but it's cheap and easy. Other than that, good saw for the money.
CW2 Ken Gunter
CH-47D Pilot in Command & Woodworker
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.ch7.org http://www.ch47.org

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Chad and Chuck..... What great info and suggestions. I will follow both of your advice and get a different splitter and possible a different blade. I will get a mobile base since I need to move it around inside the garage. From what you guys have said there is a lot of replacing and tweaking going on here. The way I look at it is to compare the TS300 to the El Cheapo $100-200 bench models in the marketplace (flimsy, tinny, sloppy) and all of a sudden this saw doesn't look too bad. I looked for used saws as suggested by others, but to be truthful they can be pretty hard to find (especially when you really need one). Shoot, reading in the woodworking forum, users are always complaining and tweaking their $1000 saws. Seems like nobody is ever happy with their saws LOL! I almost bought a Ryobi BTS20 for $210 the other day but after seeing the playing with the Delta TS300 at the discounted price, I thought the Delta was much much superior. I guess time will tell. I suppose you can get good and bad in anything. Thanks again for your help.
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Buck,
Coincidentally, I'm helping a neighbor make an end-grain butcher block island and last night we had to rip some 8/4 stock into 1 3/4" strips. I probably tripped the circuit breaker about 8 times. This is really where is becomes strikingly obvious that a better saw comes in handy....
Forgot to mention before that I also use the Frued blades exclusively, but the ones they sell at the Borg are not of the same quality that you would buy online or at a woodworker's store.
I started out with Delta's universal base (the one where you make the wooden rails). I have a Shop Fox for my jointer and I hate it. I found that Delta's design made is a lot easier to move the TS around. Chuck
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Chuck..... Are you talking about your saw tripping? Are you sure you don't have some electrical problems. Maybe too much on same circuit, too long power cord, etc. Seems to me you need some dedicated line or something. Some time ago I was cutting quite a bit of 8/4 maple, walnut, red oak on a cheapo 15 amp saw, but did have a new blade, and never had a bit of electrical problem. I like Frued blades also and didn't know that the borg's were not as good.... will check that out. Thanks again.

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. I like Frued blades also and didn't know that the

not carry the enitre line of Frued blades.....
I like Frued Bl;ades also...BUT the Borg does not carry any of the specific Frued Blades I normally use... NONE....
With Frued I think I get a blade that is about 90 percent as good as a WW11 at half the price... that kind of trade off is fine for my useage...
Bob Griffiths
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buck wrote:

You've got a better saw than the POS I started out on, FWIW. You've got good advice so far about building a sled, and about ditching the total junk blade guard/splitter. If it hasn't been suggested already, I recommend either a combined crosscut/miter sled, or dedicated sleds for each. You probably need both. You don't really ever want to use the supplied miter gauge for anything where the results matter at all.
I haven't bought one, but I've got my eye on these:
http://ttrackusa.com/mjsplitter.htm
There's also some guy with a nifty little pin splitter delivered to you for something like $8. I lost track of that. Maybe my mentioning it will prompt someone else to refresh our collective memory.
Another thing... I haven't seen anyone mention the fence yet. I haven't used that particular model, but I've used fences similar to that in design. They're prone to alignment problems. Usable, yes, but you should pay particular attention that it hasn't locked down skewed to the blade, and that it has, in fact, locked down. They are prone to deflect at the back under presure.
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