First Table Saw


I'm shopping for my first table saw. Initially I will use the saw for basic chores - fixing pump house door, making cabinet doors for cottage kitchen, ripping engineered wood flooring that I'm installing. Also mitering picture frames (both wood and metal). I'll probably start learning how to make furniture items and boxes. I may eventually want to make finer furniture and inlaid jewelry boxes, but that might not be for a couple years. My thinking is that, for now, I'd like a good quality saw to do my basic chores and picture frames. As I grow into making more precise items I'd like a machine that can grow with my needs to a certain point (a machine that I can add parts/functions to such as dado and router capability). Eventually I figure I'd buy a really nice table saw in the event that I want to expand into finer furniture. I've heard good things about the Delta 36-680 as a good table saw to begin with. What is your opinion? Also, does it make sense to initially buy a less expensive but quality saw that can grow with my interests for a while, then buy a really good machine later on? If so, what would you suggest for my first machine?
Thanks in advance, Greg
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If you are on the budget, check out the Ryobi BT3100. For less than $300, it's probably one of the "best bang for your buck" saws on the market. The sliding miter table and the built-in router table are great features. I owned this saw for two years now and am very happy with it.
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The Delta is a fine saw. For the same price you should also consider the Craftsman 3/4 cabinet saw. http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&fromAuto=YES&bidsite=CRAFT&pid922104000
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snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com wrote in

$600 for your first saw is 2/3rds of the way to the starting price of a saw that could be your last saw too. Only you can decide whether to shell out another $300.
That's a fine saw. If your skills progress at the same pace as mine, that saw will be "better than you" for quite some time. 30" rails and cast iron wings are nice.

It did for me. But many others have said "Cry once." Mine was $800 and I'm happy but there are times I wish I had a Unisaw. And, like I said, the current saw's abilities far exceeds my skills.
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Agreed. For $895 plus shipping you can put a Grizzly 1023S in your shop. I have owned one for four years and it is a fine machine.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1023S
RonB
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Second that. I have a Delta Contractor saw with Biesemeyer fence. It does everything I want it to with ease. Adjusting that fence accuraely is just so easy and it locks solidly.
I don' tknow the $$$ situation, but do check out some of the saws with better quality fences to start with. You can buy a $2000 cabinet saw also, but for most hobbiest, it is overkill. OTOH, if you have the bucks . . . . .
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome /




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Greg,
You might check out what Grizzly has to offer in your price range. I've got the left title cabinet saw and have been very pleased with it.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/items-list.cfm?keyS0000&sort=price
Most on this forum, would probably suggest buy as much saw as you can afford.
todd
snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com wrote:

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Good saw, nice choice.

IMNSHO, Yes. There are those who would say buy once, cry once, but I disagree, to a point. Until you have owned a tool, used it and learned from it you will not know what you really want/need. Also, what you want/need evolves.
That said, it is important to get something decent that will not frustrate you.
I started in a contractor saw and now own a cabinet saw. Do I think contractor saw was a waste? Heck no. It served me well for a decade until I outgrew it.
I think the 36-680 is a good saw, and better than most 1st time saws. Others have suggested going straight to a cabinet saw. I think that's really over-the-top for a beginner.
You're on the right track $500-$600 (new, a lot less if you stumble into a deal on used equipment) is the right price point to get something that will perform well enough for your needs for years.
Cheers,
Steve
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from
I have to mostly agree, but maybe ways to get around that conundrum. Things such as taking a few woodworking classes where they have the higher end products, such as a cabinet saw for student use. Similarly, joining a local woodworking group where you can get exposure to both types.
I was eighteen when I bought my first tablesaw, a contractor's saw. And although it did what I wanted it to do, which became much easier when I added an aftermarket fence to it, I always had the vision of a cabinet saw in the back of my mind from when I was doing woodworking at school.
It was like driving my first car, a Rambler station wagon. It ran on and on and was dependable as hell, but it looked like crap and had very little power. Then I upgraded to a 67 Thunderbird. It like going from night into day, although after that my wallet started to feel the bite. :)
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on
No doubt; it's nice to have nice things... I get enjoyment out of my cabinet saw.
However, I will be so bold as to say that I'll bet that there is no way that you would have waited until you could afford the Thunderbird to get into your own set of wheels.
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that
Ok, you got me there. Wheels first, luxury for impressing the ladies second. :)
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wrote in message

second.
Getting back on topic....
There-in lies the flaw in the "buy the best, cry once" philosophy
(not that you were pushing that adjenda, but you gave me such a nice leg up onto my soapbox)
You don't need the best saw to make dust, but you do need a saw.
Make Dust!
Steve
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========================= If we replaced the word Tablesaw to Bandsaw ...then Steve, your point could be proven by my experience.... In the mid 60's I went out and purchased a 12 in Craftsman Bandsaw that I still use almost every day....it is NOT my any means a good saw....but it has done everything I have asked it to (I do not ask it to do the impossible) for 40 years.... I really have not outgrown it YET...
I have owned a Cabinet Saw however for almost 20 years the original Craftsman TS did not last 3-4 years before it gave way to a Delta Contractors saw which was replaced after 15-20 or so years of use by my Jet Cabinet Saw ...
One day I may "bite" for a "good" bandsaw...
Bob Griffths
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Thanks for the input re my new saw, nice thread.... Today I went shopping for my saw with a friend who has owned table saws for years. I realized that nearly any contractor's saw is going to leave me with a lot of sawdust in the shop due to the open design. I plan to use my saw a lot during the rainy winter and my shop also opens into a studio where I do artwork that I don't want to have sawdust all over places where I'm mounting pictures etc.
That said, one of the stores had a deal on a Delta 10" Unisaw 26-R51 for $1499. In addition I get a coupon worth $100 towards some other accessories. With a cabinet saw I'd be able to drastically improve the dust collection situation. Of course money is always a factor, but if I'm going to have this saw possibly for decades I don't want to regret my choice every time I turn on the machine.
What do you think??
Also, the store is a box shop and they won't deliver. They said that the saw only shipping weight is 456 pounds. I can't imagine how I'd even get that out of my truck. I haven't yet had a chance to check if the weight is broken down into smaller parts, do you know???
Cheers, Greg
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I ordered the "JET 708663MBK 3 HP Left Tilt Tablesaw with 50" Fence Premier Fence and Mobile Base" for $1499.99 from amazon with free shipping.
That price for the unisaw does seem attractive. Good luck.
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I always check amazon when I make a purchase, more often than not it's the cheapest way to go. RM ~
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snip.

Great saw, but don't think that cabinet saws are dust-free. Unless you invest in an over-arm blade guard with suction you will still spew as much as 1/4 of the dust. It depends on the cut; a through rip is pretty clean, but a less than kerf rip will throw nearly all of the dust forward without suction from above.
-Steve
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Dust collection isn't perfect. Check the archives for the many discussions.

My neighbor had an engine hoist, and we picked up the entire crate using a few straps/ropes, and swung it onto the mobile base. The store should have a forklift to put it into your truck.
The top is removeable, and the wings are shipped unattached. This makes it easier if you are using a dolly and 2x6's. And two friends. And pizza.
Most of your woodworker friends will be glad to come assist you with your new toy, er tool.
Patriarch, owner of a 2003 vintage LT Uni...
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