Ok Here are my choices for a new Table saw

Page 1 of 2  

I am just a weedend Builder, but I am not getting any luck with my Delta TS200 Table saw (to many uneven cut from blade moving off square all the time). I have decided to purchase a new one and just by looking at closest HD store I have come up with the following choices based on the $200 to $500 range.
Ryobi BT3100
Rigid TS2400LS
or Rigid TS3650
I know there is a big difference in Price range from the first to last. But what would you experts say is the best for the money, or should I be looking at something else. My basic want is to be able to rip a sheet of plywood more that 12 inches.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If plywood is the primary material you cut, forget the table saw. Just go to a sheet of foamboard for backing. And do all you cutting with a circular saw with a good edge guide. There are some good ones out there and they vary in price and features. But you should be able to afford it if you are going to spend the money mentioned above.
I would also spend some more time to troubleshoot your present saw. It may not be the best, but it probably can be made to work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lee Michaels wrote:

I'll second the foam board on the floor method..
You can kneel right on the ply as you cut, and you don't have to worry about pinched kerfs or where the offcut is going, as you do with horses.
If you're careful about the saw depth, the foam will last a long, long time, sheets are very easily transported. My cutting boards are cut down to 2'x 4', for easy storage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"B a r r y" wrote

horses. This would not work if you did not have enough room to store the big bottom peice. The ones I saw had 2 X 4 frames with some kind of light sheet tacked to it. Probably hardboard or 1/4' ply.
It was heavy and cumbersome. And if you had to make a cut down the middle, you had to crawl up on the plywood anyway. It is probably easier to just do it on the floor. And invest in some good knee pads.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The thing is I am building display cases. So the Circular saw is out of the question, I want something that is more precise in cutting. My delta saw has a problem with the edge guide which cant seem to be fixed and there is not enough space to rip a sheet more than 12 inches wide. I need a step up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you use a "saw board" and a good plywood blade, you can make cuts just as accurate as a tablesaw. Here's one example I found with a quick google search: http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't be so quick to dismiss the circular saw. See this page for a "saw board" guide that you could use on the foam sheet to get very straight and precise cuts: http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm And check out this page for a frame type folding cutting table if you prefer not to work on the floor: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/panel_cutting_table.htm
I think a circular saw with a good shop-built guide will probably give you more precise and straighter cuts than you can get man-handling a 4x8 sheet through any but the largest table saw.
I've heard good things about the BT3100, but if you definitely want to use the tables saw for big panels, I'd go with as large a table and as heavy a saw as you can get.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bdeditch,
You've got a choice to make, but you really can't go wrong either way if you follow through and learn correct techniques. If you can find a local WWer to help you out in person with what others are telling you here, it might be easier and quicker.
1. Getting a new TS. The Ryobi is probably the most economical yet decent TS out there, and (but?) it is very innovative, and if you have Luddite tendencies you may not take to it. DAGS using my name and Ryobi and you'll read lots of threads discussing its pros and cons. To find out just how innovative the Ryobi is, check out the web site devoted to it by its affectionadoes: http://www.bt3central.com /
The Rigid models look pretty solid to me--they are a step up from the Ryobi in regards to solidness, but that comes at a cost too. They've got some proponents here.
You probably won't go wrong with either saw, provided that you learn to use it well.
2. Circular saw with cutting platform (either foam panel on the ground or frame on sawhorses) and a cutting guide ("sawboard"--alexy gave you a nice link there). Don't discount this suggestion, which predominates your thread. Many WWers with nice cabinet saws still use this method to cut large sheets of plywood--it's the easier way unless you have very large extensions with a sliding table.
Foam w/ guide is probably the easiest way to go, but if you opt for a frame on sawhorses w/ a guide I can suggest a very easy alternative to making the frame: go out and get a trashed panel-and-frame door ($5 at most thrift stores, free at most dumps), take the panels out and you'll have a great frame w/ straight-grained lumber. Beats all the 2x4 stuff in quality and in ease of acquisition.
-----
No one has mentioned it yet, but if you want *really* accurate edges then you'll have to get *really* accurate tools. It's hard to get a finished edge w/ inexpensive TSs for large sheets of plywood. It can be done, but good technique and a very good blade are the minimum requirements. The circular saw method can also be made to work, with a good guide, good technique, and a very good blade, but it may be easier to cut a little proud, then clean up the cut with a router. I know that means yet one more tool for you perhaps, but that's the way many (most) WWers attack the same problem you face.
My 2 H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"hylourgos" wrote
No one has mentioned it yet, but if you want *really* accurate edges then you'll have to get *really* accurate tools. It's hard to get a finished edge w/ inexpensive TSs for large sheets of plywood. It can be done, but good technique and a very good blade are the minimum requirements. The circular saw method can also be made to work, with a good guide, good technique, and a very good blade, but it may be easier to cut a little proud, then clean up the cut with a router. I know that means yet one more tool for you perhaps, but that's the way many (most) WWers attack the same problem you face.
-----
Another comment I would make about making accurate cuts on a small (cheap) tablesaw is that I could only do it if I had some good help. And the qualifier is good. I screwed up some good wood by having somebody help me who was not able to help with the cut without moving the wood in a way that compromised the cut.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

fact!
I manhandle 30" x 144" (sometimes 200 pounds each) all day. I learned to live with 'taking the tool to the job' years ago (1986) when I first built my first Corian top. A sawboard or, as I use, a 12' aluminum 6" wide straight edge. 1/4" thick works. I also have some deadnuts straight store-bought ones. After that, make sure your blade runs parallel to the shoe of the saw and that it runs vertical. I assure you, that I can take a 1/2" strip off a 12-foot slab of acrylic with more accuracy that sliding that slab through a big saw.
Can$ 0.02
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've used a sawboard and circ saw with a finishing blade for cutting some wood doors to size. I almost prefer that method to a table saw now for most things.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ok I like that Idea, but does the blade of the saw cut thru the supports? Or are they below the cut line of the saw? I am still going to buy a table saw, but thanks for these ideas as well, I really like them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, the support (frame, foam, what have you) is sacrificial, just like the top of most sawhorses on site, except the frame/foam is much more supportive. You set your circular saw to a smidgen below the cut depth. I usually aim for 1/16 to 1/8".
H
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here's $.02 more - I've used my very old Skil circular saw with a good Freud blade in birch plywood, against a straightedge clamp guide, with excellent results - no visible chipping. Have fun with your new TS, but for big ply, I'd agree that a circ saw with a good blade and a straightedge or sawboard is the way to go. Make sure you cut it with the good face down (circ saw) or up (TS), and you can try covering the cut line with masking tape - I've read this can help reduce chipping with melamine etc, but I've never had chipping problems since I got the Freud blade. Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bdeditch wrote:

I bought a Ridgid saw (TS2424) some years ago and have never had reason to regret it. I have tricked it up quite a bit from stock configuration: router wing added with lift, additional extended right handed wing, overhead guard, dust collection from above and below, and fold away outfeed table. It takes care of my needs quite well.
http://home.carolina.rr.com/jayhanig/table saw1.jpg
It's been my experience here that the Ridgid naysayers here have never used one. Their opinions are formed on the basis of a poorly setup saw on display at the borg or by their delight in what they already bought, precluding all others from acceptability.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wise words. Too many preconceived ideas, no true experience from the nay-sayers. I can go on for a week yakking on about how much I appreciate my TS2400LS. It fits my needs exactly. Fold it up, toss it in the van, off I go.
There are a few 10-foot sliders with 14" blade saws,(one Altendorf, one SCM) with scoring set-ups at my disposal if I need a 'saw'. When I need something that nuts, even a General 650 won't be good enough. (Mind you, if I could have (have access to) only ONE saw...that would be the 650. I have used it..it's a beast.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps a combination of things. Rough cut to a manageable size on hte floor with the circular saw, then finish cut on a table saw.
If cutting plywood is the majority of work you do, consider building a large table around it to support the sheet goods.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bdeditch wrote:

Have a look at the Ryobi Setup on my web site.
I have done desks and drawers with Oak plywood and Oak trim -- sounds similar. I do use a circular saw and edge guide to get the pieces to manageable size -- but all the final cuts are done with the table saws or a router. You do need the precision for desks, drawers cabinets and jewel boxes...
http://woodwork.pmccl.com/Business/infobusiness/shop/shop.html
Just get the table extension and build the outfeed table. An infeed table (or rollers) is the next step.
Have a look at the desk. It might give you some ides of what you can do with the saw. http://woodwork.pmccl.com/Business/productsbusiness/productsfurniture.html
There are some cabinets on the site as well.
I do use the router on the side table, and I have modified the fence in their accessories kit so I have a longer and higher split fence -- I just set it up with a thick three foot ruler...
Also check http://bt3central.com /
They have a lot of information on the BT3K. Check the forum for a good discussion of the pros and cons...
Whatever you get you will make it work. We all do that. :-)
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ok, I have to ask - what's imprecise about a circular saw? It takes less than an hour to build a good guide for a circular saw that will serve for years and is a precise as any table saw. Unless you have a table saw with massive extensions and the oomph to hump the plywood sheets around, the table saw is the wrong tool to use. Money is the answer. With enough of it you can set up any size table saw you could ever want, but if money is an object - and it appears it is if I remember the list of saws you're looking at, then reconsider the circular saw.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Marlow wrote:

blade and you know what? I still can't get the chip free results I get on my Uni outfitted with a double sided Freud Melamine blade. :) Somehow, something gets lost in the translation...
I use the handheld saw for preliminary cuts, but for the "money" cuts, it's on to the Uni.
Maybe you've had better luck doing it with a circular saw than I have.
dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.