Need help choosing a table saw

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I know that there are several posts asking for help with a table saw purchase...........so here is another one. :)
I am a very novice woodworker and have decided to purchase a table saw. At present I have a radial arm saw that is not very accurate. I am focusing on using hand tool joinery, so the table saw would be used primarily to get the lumber to the proper dimensions.
After reading numerous reviews, both on and off-line, it seems that the General 50-185 is the best choice. However it also seems that the GI saw is somewhat of a pain to assemble, and parts may have to be sent back as defective.
I have also considered the Craftsman 22124 hybrid saw, and various Jet, Delta, and Powermatic saws. I would like to spend less than $1,000.
Some of the options I would prefer would be a Beisemyer style fence and cast iron extensions. I am not sure what size fence would suit me best. Would a 30" fence do well for an amateur like me, or do I need a 50+" fence. I don't think I'll ever be a professional cabnet maker, but I would like to building dining room tables and armoirs.
Any help would be appreciated.
God Bless
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Hi , If you have the room go with 50" rail. There is no down side that I can think of. I thought that most of the problems with the GI had been pretty much corrected but I have been wrong before. JG
strongarm938 wrote:

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Me, being a Craftsman person, would suggest the craftsman as well. All big saws can be a pain to assemble. My craftsman was no different. Its not so much the saw its the fence that will make the difference. strongarm938 wrote:

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Long fence? Not so sure. Stable fence, definitely.
But most of the professional shops I've seen practically bury their TS amidst out-tables to support the larger sheets of stock they cut into cabinets and such.
Makes me think that they have the idea I'd adopt if I had the room.
And, room is a big issue, even with the larger rails as they get in my way as often as they prove helpful - my shop is so small and fully packed.
----- Original Message ----- From: JGS Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 7:36 AM Subject: Re: Need help choosing a table saw
Hi , If you have the room go with 50" rail. There is no down side that I can think of. I thought that most of the problems with the GI had been pretty much corrected but I have been wrong before. JG
strongarm938 wrote:

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strongarm938 wrote:

I'm working with a Jet Contractor Saw right now, and its limitations are very evident. I'd go with a cabinet style saw on a mobile base with 50-52" rails and a Bies-style fence. I've heard good things about General in general, but I don't know if that covers the General Int'l. stuff we get here in the US or not. Buy the best and only cry once.
JP
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I just went through the same process. I narrowed my choice to the Craftsman hybrid, Delta hybrid and Ridgid contractors saw. Finally chose the Delta hybrid with the Delta T2 fence and 30" rails. I found a screaming deal on Amazon -- $713 including shipping and no tax. Cast iron extension tables, a stable fence, 1 3/4 hp motor. Set-up took about 3 hours working at a nice slow pace. Also bought Woodcraft mobile base. Toughest part was getting the saw onto the base.
Cap'n
strongarm938 wrote:

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Take a look at Grizzly. For $1,000 you have a lot of choices - including a cabinet saw.
RonB

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===================Thats the same advice I gave my son a few years ago...when he was setting up his onw shop...on a budget and not really knowing in what direction he would take in the hobby...
He has been a very happy camper with his Grizley Cabinet saw....
This old man gave it a good work out and honestly I could live with that saw in my shop without any problems....what so ever...
The Tablesaw is the actual heart of my shop... went from a Sears, to a Rockwell, to a Rockwell/Delta and about 15 years ago when I finally saw the light and purchased a Jet Cabinet Saw with a Bies 50 inch fence system... No plans on ever buying a new Tablesaw....IF my son had a little more money I would have told him to buy one like mine and it would last him forever... Again being honest that Griz of his just may last forever also... They have gone up in price a little BUT still IMHO may be the best 1st and hopefully last saw a new woodworker could think of buying....
Bob G.
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This is a Rockwell 10" unisaw model #34-450. (serial #DY6730) Motor is 3 phase, 220-460 volts. Current Bid: $52.00
http://www.govdeals.com/eas/itmDisplay.cfm?itemID 28&acctID7
This is a Oliver model #270-D table saw. (serial #68728) Motor is 3 phase, 220 volts. Current Bid: $50.00
http://www.govdeals.com/eas/itmDisplay.cfm?itemID 29&acctID7
Seller Name: Tennessee Technological University Asset Location: 915 N Whitney Cookeville, TENNESSEE 38505
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In that price range, you can get a very good contractor saw. IMO, Delta, Jet, and the other models you point out are very close in quality and any of them will suite you well. Buy one and don't second guess and drive yourself crazy over some silly detail of one model versus the others.
I have a 30" fence because I don't have the room for the longer rails. Rarely needed for my work, I've only thought it would be nice to have maybe twice. OTOH, if you have the space, work with sheet goods, go for it.
Get a good blade. The best of saws will not work well with the blade that comes with it.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome /




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Ed has a good point. I threw in a Grizzly suggestion above. However, if you are willing to spend $1,000 you have a lot of good choices. Delta, Jet or Griz and others.
RonB

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of
yourself
Ditto that. Too often, people come here had say " what should I buy for $300" and their choices are used or junk.
You have a decent price point at which you can find a very capable machine.

The best saw will also underperform if not set up well. You seemed concerned about the difficulty of assembly. Expect to spend a half day in assembly and setup. Just expect to have to do it. This may be a bit counter-intiutive but the more expensive the saw, the more kit-like it will be. To generalize, $$ means heavier and havier means that they break it into more pieces to ship it.
OK, that's not enturely true because the stand on a contractor's saw can have alot of pieces, but you only have to put that together once..
I strongly recomend making an outfeed table.
Cheer,s
Steve
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

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Have you considered a Grizzly? I made a lot of great furniture with the "Big Green" and it made me some good money along the way as well.
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Ed's earlier post pretty much sums things up...contractor model in Delta/Jet (same thing other than color I think) with cast iron extension table to the left and composite table to the right are pretty good tools. I opted for the Delta with Uni-fence and 36" extension table and 4 years later I am still very pleased with my decision. Solid machine that accepts universal accessories like tenoning jigs etc. (don't know about Craftsman now but that was a real problem a few years ago). Easy to build your own infeed/outfeed tables if you have the room. Otherwise the $20 Workforce roller stands sold at HD (in MHO one of the very few things you will encounter in that place that is under-priced) will help.
Original post about the radial arm...surprised to see no rants about TS vs RAS!!!! I had the latter as my only large cutting tool for years and there are time I wished I still had it. If kept "tuned", I think it is still as good a tool as the TS, maybe better. But the "tuning" part took time and patience. Not an issue with a good TS.

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Subject: Re: Need help choosing a table saw
Long fence? Not so sure. Stable fence, definitely.
But most of the professional shops I've seen practically bury their TS amidst out-tables to support the larger sheets of stock they cut into cabinets and such.
Makes me think that they have the idea I'd adopt if I had the room.
And, room is a big issue, even with the larger rails as they get in my way as often as they prove helpful - my shop is so small and fully packed.
----- Original Message ----- From: JGS Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 7:36 AM Subject: Re: Need help choosing a table saw
Hi , If you have the room go with 50" rail. There is no down side that I can think of. I thought that most of the problems with the GI had been pretty much corrected but I have been wrong before. JG
strongarm938 wrote:

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If you are leaning towards hand tools, I would suggest a band saw. Much more pratical for a hand tool user, IMHO. You can rip, resaw, crosscut (thought crosscut you might want to use hand saws). Hand planes for dados, or back/stair saws with a chisel. Just a thought.
HTH
strongarm938 wrote:

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I agree. Bandsaw.
Mark
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On 8 Apr 2006 19:46:40 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

============================I sure do NOT agree... At least for the work I do..
Sorry but in over 40 years in this hobby the Tablesaw has provewn to be mnore useful then the Bandsaw... (until ya need the bandsaw that is)...lol
Bob G.
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Bob G. wrote: Sorry but in over 40 years in this hobby the Tablesaw has provewn to

My first big tool was a RAS, which in hindsight was a mistake. My next one was a table saw. My third one was a big bandsaw. I regret buying the RAS as it is seldom used these days. I use both the bandsaw and table saw often.... but I use the table saw more.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

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Food for thought:
Some folks think a better tool will permit them to do better work. That may not be the case. Some people may be (1) not knoledgeable enough to adjust their current tools, (2) not willing to adjust their current tools, or (3) the current tools simply cannot be adjusted. However, I suspect the incidence of number 3 is very low.
A couple years ago, I bought an old and well-used Craftsman table saw. It was badly rusted and the fence simply could not be adjusted to do precision work. Yet, I was able to complete some simple projects by allowing for its deficiencies. A few weeks later, I added a Sears aftermarket fence and now I can do very fine work.
I have adjusted both the fence and the blade to within .0015" of parallel with the miter slot. The blade is not a WWII and has a runout of about .003" but the only problem that causes is a kerf that is about .003" wider than that of a WWII. As long as I'm aware of that, I can allow for the runout and still do very fine work.
If you're willing to do a little restoration, you can pick up a good enough table saw for around $150. Another $16 will get you a reasonable dial indicator from Harbor Freight and a little elbow grease will get you a saw on which you CAN do precision work. Maybe you'll have to pick up an aftermarket fence like I did but the total cost will be far below what a new saw would cost. I have about $400 into mine including the saw, the new fence and a carbide-tipped blade. The work I can do is comparable to any new mid-range contractor saw on the market...maybe better than some because the fence is more adjustable.
strongarm938 wrote:

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