gloat gloat gloat (sort of)

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Tax time... A very brief couple of days during which my bank account balance gets higher than three digits...
The last three tax times in a row, I had to take a pass on the new table saw I wanted due to reality intervening. This year, reality intervened again, to the tune of a $1300 bill to get my wisdom teeth cut out, but if I juggled this, that and the other and held my mouth right, I could *just* afford $400 for a new saw.
I've been shopping for a long time, looking at every saw I could get my hands on and kicking the tires. I had settled on a Crapsman for a variety of reasons that mostly boil down to a price vs. quality compromise. I visited the saw many times, and couldn't talk myself out of loving it. (I love my Crapsman drill press too. So what?)
I had been watching the price fluctuate, and was hoping to catch it on sale when the refund came in. That worked out as I hoped, but when I went to Sears to pick up my new toy, they were sold out. My heart sank when I saw the empty spot where the display had been.
They were back ordered until May. I had the option of buying it at the sale price, plus an extra 10% off, and waiting until May, but I didn't want to do that. I sighed in resignation and prepared to leave. As I was walking away, the sales guy told me to wait, and said he thought I could get the one saw they did have 30% off, putting the price right in line with the one that got away.
So I got the $579.99 saw for $405. Instead of stamped sheet metal, I got cast iron (waffle, yes, but still cast iron), a wider overall table, and all the trivial little minor upgrades, and I only went $5 over budget. (http://tinyurl.com/27bzm )
I spent a long time putting it together, taking my time and making sure everything fit just oh so. I was very impressed with how well-packaged it was, how clear the instructions were, and how well it all fit together. I've read about people having problems with the rails, but mine went on perfectly with no trouble. All the hardware was well-packaged, with nothing missing, and only one extra washer. All in all it beat the crap out of the last Grizzly product I bought in all these areas. The only bitchy part was getting rid of all that blasted cosmoline. (And getting it out of the trunk of my Oldsmobile...)
Why am I gloating about a Crapsman contractor's saw with waffle wings and a wimpy motor that has been considered by all reviewers to be little better than a solidly mediocre saw with a better than average fence?
Well, I saved $175 for one thing. That's a big enough chunk of change for anybody to notice, I should think.
Mostly, however, I'm gloating because I have finally gotten to operate a real saw. My first and only TS was that Skil 3400 I picked up on clearance, and I've never had the opportunity to use anything else. Warped table, sloppy fence, undersized/sloppy miter slots, crappy miter gauge, gigantic non-standard throat, banshee-like universal motor with a ton of arbor flop, no angle adjustment wheel, a startling kaWHANG at motor start, absolutely *horrendous* vibration... It was a saw many of you told me to turn into a boat anchor long ago.
I haven't even adjusted this Crapsman yet, and I haven't replaced the stock 24T blade, yet it cuts better than my Skil did with my decent quality 50T Freud. I think once I line it up it's going to do an outstanding job for me.
Most of all, I can't get over how eriely quiet the thing is. A click, a little purr, the sound of spinning carbide. If I didn't feed a piece of wood through it, it wouldn't make enough noise to require hearing protection. By comparison, that Skil made enough noise to scare people two houses down.
I'll know more as I come to know the machine, but so far, I'm VERY happy with it. My only problem is that it's even bigger than the one I planned to buy, and it's farkin' HUGE in a 10' x 12' shop that already has a mini lathe, drill press, big workbench, sander/grinder stand, router stand, scrollsaw stand, and a tool cabinet. I'm going to have to completely rearrange my shop to get the best possible use out of this thing, but it's all going to be worth it.
I'm going to make some beyootiful stuff with this thing.
Too bad I'm all out of money for lumber, and it's still way too cold for glue. :)
Thanks for listening to me babble. I know a lot of you out there would never buy a Crapsman anything in a thousand years, and that this is a sorry excuse for a gloat, but I'm still grinning from ear to ear. This is a NICE saw to me!
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Hey, congrats. I was gonna buy me a real saw last month until the car ate $500 of the $1000 in the budget. Probably just as well, 'cause last week it blew an axle and I replaced a flaky bearing at the same time, for another $660 counting tow bills. (Canuck Bucks, but with the way the greenback has slid lately we're almost talking real dough!)
I was gonna go for the Delta, the General Int, or the House of Tools clone (Canwood), but I may now look at the Crapsman again, especially when they come on sale (really, the only time to buy from Sears) and if they have one of their "zero percent" financing deals (with the up-front charge, it works out to about 2 - 2.5%).
Unless JOAT can provide a free plan to turn a Nissan Sentra into a cabinet saw?
I'm really tired of my Skil 3400... but the little POS doesn't owe me anything, it's paid for itself.
djb
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

I know how it goes. That's why I bought the saw immediately, in spite of all the flak I'm taking from relatives for being financially irresponsible.
If I had waited, I'd have found some other compelling reason to spend the money.

You have plenty of motor for any kind of blade you want to spin, and it already has a pulley on the end of the crankshaft. How hard could it be? :)

Mine too, definitely. Best $50 I ever spent without a doubt, but I'm glad I don't have to use it anymore.
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Sat, Feb 21, 2004, 11:54pm (EST-1) dave@N_O_T_T_H_I_S.balderstone.ca (Dave Balderstone) says: <snip> Unless JOAT can provide a free plan to turn a Nissan Sentra intoa cabinet saw? <snip>
Don' need no steenkin' plans. This should be all you need, plus a big belt, to go around a drive wheel. No prob.
http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/dragsaw/ds27.gif
JOAT Georges Clemenceau supposedly said, "War is too important a matter to be left to the military". If this is so, it is then obvious that peace is too precious to be left to politicians.
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 28 Feb 2004. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKEVOCALS /
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That looks like Gramps' tractor.
But there's not much room for an outfeed table...
djb
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

Don't need no steenking outfeed (or infeed) table. One man on each side - a third man feeds 'em wood. Swing the wood into the blade: Zinng! Pitch the piece(s). Repeat.
Two of my neighbors and I put up seven cords of wood between breakfast and supper with a similar rig (30" blade on an Allis 25) a few years back. Important to keep attention focused on the job at hand!
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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That just ain't gonna work on baltic birch ply...
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Congratulations. I am glad to hear that you finally could swing a decent saw. I used an older model Craftsman saw for quite a long time with excellent results (don't know much about the new models). One tip; use a good rip blade with a low tooth count to keep from bogging it down and keep the feed rate up. Your 50 tooth blade is kinda high for most ripping on a lower powered saw. Enjoy.
--
Alan Bierbaum

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It's like magic, isn't it? When I got my table saw (I upgraded from circular), it was amazing, to say the least. I felt like Norm or something. I don't have to sand this edge straight! I did have some trouble with burning, but I later discovered that my fence was out of square. I don't even have a "good" blade on my TS and when I make a good pass (I can do that at least half the time now) I don't need to sand, plane or scrape the edge. I just love that.
Congrats on the new tool.
-Phil Crow
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"Silvan" wrote in message

<snip>
Congratulations! It's not the tool, it's the desire in the user. I have a friend who's a renown acoustic guitarist. In his hands a Silvertone sounds like a pre-war Martin... you've got it!
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Congrats!!! Remember, the tool is just to ASSIST you in doing your woodworking so don't feel like you have to have the top end machine. Beautiful stuff was made way before the tablesaw was invented. Too many of us feel we can only do quality work with the best equipment, but in fact it's our ability that makes the biggest difference. Have a blast with it!
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

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Congratulations. What Larry C. wrote reflect my thougts as well.
I am sure that many professional do not have the time to fiddle with equipment that is less than top notch and for them the cost of quality machinery must be balanced against productivity, but for amateurs just bein able to cut straight is a success.
I always liked woodworking but I really got the bug when I built myself a tablesaw (if you can call it that) by mounting a 7+1/4" Crapman circular saw, upside down, under a home made table. There was no fence, I had to clamp a home made fence (L shape). I was amazed that I could actually make a straight cut in oak. Of course it took for ever just to position the fence to make ONE cut, but for hobbies I have more time then money.
When I got a hand me down Crapman contractor saw from my brother, I thought THAT was a great improvment. 10" saw, and all the controls on external weels ( instead of wing nuts under the table).
The old craftsmans (not a brand name) made beatiful object with simple tools.
Enjoy your new toy and brag about the things you are going to make.
MG

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MG wrote:

First I have to spend another day or two twiddling and tweaking the thing, looks like. I didn't get the right wing on quite right, and it sticks up a hair. So that means I get to re-do the rails too maybe. Whee. All this anal-ness will pay dividends later though.
Then I have to re-arrange my shop rather dramatically to try to make better use of what little space I have. Where I've got it just isn't going to work. Amazing how much more imposing the reality of a 48" x 60" footprint is in the flesh (iron) than on paper. :)
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On Sat, 21 Feb 2004 23:05:23 -0500, Silvan

You'll never live down this false gloat/troll, Silvy.
And to mention quality in the same sentence with Crapsman and Oldsmobiles is punishable by firing squad in some countries nowadays. <tsk tsk tsk>
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I'm going to cover the table with poly to keep it from rusting.

My Oldmobile is almost an antique. Best $3,000 I've ever spent.
As for the saw, give me your address and I'll ship you my old one. Then everything will suddenly make sense to you. :)
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On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 00:37:37 -0500, Silvan

I just KNEW you wouldn't keep your word on the poly thing. Damned addicts. I swear...

<snort>
It's on my website. I double-dog-dare ya!
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Silvan, send it COD, that's an expensive piece of mail. Unless you can drive it up. Dave in Fairfax
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dave in fairfax wrote:

I have no idea where Monsieur Jacques lives, actually.
(Looks at web site... Oregon? OREGON??? My guess was off by 3,000 miles. Expensive piece of mail indeed.)
Change of plan, Monsieur... You can come get it.
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On Thu, 26 Feb 2004 21:26:00 -0500, Silvan

Why do you think I double-dog-dared ya? <bseg>
.-. Life is short. Eat dessert first! --- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Yeah, well unless you double triple super duper ultra mega dog dare me, and then send me a check for the shipping, it isn't going to happen until maybe the next century or so.
But you're still on! :)
(It's really a nice saw. Crapsman schmapsman. Call it a Ryobi because that's what it really is. It's a lot nicer IMHO than the BT-3100, which just never did float my boat. Maybe I'll use the $175 I saved to get one of those exhorbitantly expensive TS Aligner Jr. dealies and some wood to work.)
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