Old Table Saw vs. New Table Saw

I am looking around at table saw. You can get some great deals on older table saws. Kind of looks like a no brainer to me - 800-900 for a new one versus $150 for an old one.
Other than the bearings being worn out (which I have been told can be replaced) is there any reason to not like the older tools. My friend says that older tools are garbage and cannot compare to most new tools. I told him I don't agree - I think that most new tools are made of stamped out junk made in Asia (no offense to Asians). Older tools are made to last forever.
So is it a better choice to buy an older Craftsman or Delta versus a new one? How about the availability of parts?
Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
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Realistically, there is nothing wrong with "used" tools, as long as you know what you are looking at.
90% of the tools you see at garage sales etc. are lightly used, and have little or nothing wrong with them that a little TLS will not fix. As to availablility of parts etc. that is another matter.
If you stick to recognized brands, your chances of buying parts is reasonably good. I am talking about table saws, jointers etc. Hand tools, can be another issue, alot of the companies have been bought out by someone and often drop these older tools, the shop units are often maintained as part of the product line.
Most components outside of castings are often easily acquired from industrial suppliers, IE bearings, acme screw shafts etc.
Dave
William J. wrote:

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William J asks:

Keep not agreeing. Your friend is a fool who knows nothing about tools but is trying to make an impression.

Most arbor bearings on older Craftsman saws are standard size, available almost anywhere or by mail. Delta still makes many (maybe most) parts for Unisaws and many of their contractor's saws.
Arbor bearings and trunnions are the parts most apt to create problems because of wear. Both are fairly easy to replace. Cost is a matter you will have to take up with Delta or Sears or the bearing house.
But it takes one heckuva lot of use to wear either out.
Charlie Self
"Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it." E. B. White
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William J. wrote:

And let's also not forget (inserting mantra) a new machine depreciates before you get it out the door at Woodcraft. A used machine can typically (always) bring back what you paid for it.

There are some that take issue with how shiney new something must look. These are generally the same guys who have a *show shop* that doesn't get used and chime in with, "how do I keep the machine surfaces from rusting?" (Use them).
Then there is the issue of missing parts. Chances are you'll find a cabinet saw and it will be missing the dust door. I'm not saying that a dust door isn't a thing that can't be found, just that you really have to commit to finding one. Don't even get me started on the number of perfectly good lathes without the tool rests, tool rest sockets and tail stocks.
You can't decide one day that you are going to go and buy all used starting now. There's a certain amount to ejimikating that has to take place first otherwise you'll be dragging home Sign of The Devil Rockwell International machines (mid-70's/early 80's David) and wondering what all the huh-bub was about.
You'll find that finding a machine that's "Plug 'N Play" is something of a chore/new career path. Of all the machines available the ones capable of being put from one place to another and only need to be dusted off are few and far between. Even the ones with low hours. Something about someone spending scads of money one day and totally disregarding their investment the next. There is also a correlation to life cycles involved. Simply put, we buy machines when we do and we use them our whole lives. Then for the last ten/twenty years of our lives they become neglected due to old age and health. By the time they come up for sale they are pretty much considered neglected.
When you do find a machine in *near perfect* condition it will be priced accordingly. This may be as much as 75% of new and while most people will poo-poo this you have to ask yourself, "if Delta offered 25% off a machine, how many of these guys would be stabbing their Grandmothers to be first in line to buy one?" I mean, look at the salivation over a decal change and the offering of a coupon booklet for the X-5 line.
You won't find your dream machine lying on your doorstep one day. You will have to commit to a lot of time to find it, track it down and buying it. Don't think either that you will find it on the first go around. Usually you have to buy something less that you wanted to "get by until the good one presents itself to you". This can and will mean a lot of looking and a lot of moving.
When your dream machine presents itself to you there comes the decision, sell the other machine that served you well and you've become attached to, or keep it? The latter eventually leads to your having rat holes and when it really gets out of hand you'll number your rat holes. The former, well, I wouldn't know what that's like.
If you do get past all the hurdles outlined above you'll find yourself at a forum like Old WoodWorking Machines (OWWM) on Yahoo and making the OWWM Website the home page on your toaster. You'll scan the messages daily and be nodding at your monitor a lot. You'll spent way too much time looking at other men's machines and drooling into your lap. You might even find that you like the hunt way better than wooddorking and chuck the one to devote all your time to the other.
They can and will break your heart.

You've taken the wrong approach to this. You need to nod and say to him, "I think you might be right (you big dork)". The parenthesis indicate words only in your head and not crossing your lips. I feel that anyone who wants to live in ignorance should be allowed to do so.

Actually this isn't true. T'was once upon a time but the children of SouthEast Asia are becoming the better machine makers of the next (this) decade. Then again I could be wrong and most everyone who has posted a favorable review of their Chiwanese (insert maker/machine here) is too embarrassed to admit they got taken. Actually, I think this is the case more often than not. Not saying Asia is crap, just that most hobbyist wooddorkers can't admit that they made a bad decision whether it be Made In 'Murica or Chiwanese.

For the most part yes but then you've never seen the Rockwell/Delta CompacTool line either.

Yes and no for all the reasons stated so far.

I appreciate you giving me the floor.
UA100
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wrote:

I wouldn't buy an old saw for $150 (well, not unless....)
You'll hear a lot of people hereabouts raving about how their lovely old saw is so wonderful, and how it's older than they are. I'm one - I have a '62 Wadkin.
But I didn't buy it because it's _better_ than a new saw, I bought it because it was affordably cheap ($750) and it's an old and tired version of a saw that would be $2500 new and simply out of my price range. These old saws are no better than modern saws, it's just that an old saw you can still find today is probably of a much higher original grade than most modern saws. And I _mean_ "most" saws, not "all saws".
I used it to replace a $300 plastic bucket saw. If I hadn't bought it, I'd have bought a modern tin can for about $900 and probably hated it. Although I could aslo have had many old saws fro $75 and upwards, these just don't appeal - my Dad cuts firewood on one, and I won't touch it - I think it's just too dangerous.

A generalist statement, and about as useful as most generalist statements ever are.
Look at "domestic" power tools from the '50s. These things were lethal! Nice shiny aluminium castings that you couldn't afford to produce today, but the design was poor, the bearings poor and the safety aspects often downright hazardous.
Equally there was a phase in the late '60s and early '70s when flimsy junk (often with stripes on) still sold, but there's no redeeming feature about them today (the word "Craftsman" is springing to mind).
For the sort of old iron that we take an interest though, your friend's comments just don't apply. Sure, my arbor bearings are knackered and I ought to replace them - but so are _my_ knees, and they're two years younger. But the good thing about this saw is that it's still basically a good design, robustly implemented, and I _can_ buy new bearings as I need them. Try that with your modern Lucky Golden Hedgehog.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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