I've decided to go with the Ryobi BTK 3100.
I'm a retired Canadian naval officer who seldom used other than
pliers and hammer since I lived in Married Quarters most of my career.
Since retiring, I've bought a house and found that working with wood
is a very satisfying hobby which helps to keep us ol' folks busy.
I'll be using the saw for standard dimension lumber and will use
it mostly for ripping, cutting plywood and the occasional mitre cut
on 2 x 4. I apologize for not explaining that. Some of you would
have probably said to "go for it".
My biggest project so far has been an oak blanket chest for the
bedroom, but I'm hoping to move on to more elaborate projects.
Thanks for all the input. What a great bunch you have here.
Special thanks to kenR, Ron Magen Grandpa and Randy Chapman
who helped me to make the right choice for what I needed.
And to the rest of you, thanks for showing me the
"other side of the coin".
Sounds perfect for your needs. And despite it being a lightweight saw,
it's *very* smooth. Certainly as free of vibration as traditional saw
with several hundred pounds of cast iron.
It doesn't have the muscle of a 5HP, 230V saw, and the universal motor
does slow when cutting, so you have to watch your feed rate. But it is
precise with proper set-up, and I've been happy with it for my uses.
I missed the intro to your search for a saw, so I hope you're reading
the ultimate guide to the BT3 series: http://www.bt3central.com
DO take a look at the Shopsmith and attachments as an alternative.
You might be impressed, and I'm sure as a retired naval officer you
can afford it. It is not a toy. If you have a chance to go to a wood
show do that first to get a good look at those and other possibilities
before making a decision.
If you look for a Shopsmith, see if you can find one used, and talk to the
person selling it. These are versatile machines, but they 'work
differently' than seperate machines do. That suits some folks well. I, on
the other hand, have one that sees very little use these days. It's up at
the 'country place'. New, it's a much bigger investment than the Ryobi.
Used, not so much so.
Welcome to the craft!
As it happens, I've got both (a fatal weakness for gadgetry).
The BT30XX is fine for light use, but I would not buy it again. The mitre
gauge is difficult to work with and difficult to keep aligned thus
somewhat defeating the advantage of a sliding table. This may not be an
issue on the 3100, as I understand it comes with a standard mitre slot
add on in addition to the sliding table. I plan to make my own mitre slot
add on real soon now. The fence is quite good and it is particularly easy
to attach auxiliary fences to it. The sliding rails are also nice, as
they give you more flexibility when making wide cuts. It is *essential*
that the gearing for raise/lower/tilt be cleaned out frequently. I blow
out the sawdust with my compressor once a week or so. That said, it does
an excellent job of ripping.
The Shopsmith is something I lusted after since about age 12 (50 years
ago). I finally bought a used one about 10 years ago. The best things I
can say about the shopsmith is that it got me started wood turning and it
takes no more floor space than a bicycle. The key issue with the SS is
that the motor is at a fixed height. I'm 5'6" and for me table saw mode
is too high and lathe mode too low. Drilling is just right for everyone.
Used as a table saw, the table adjusts up and down and tilts - think
carefully about the tilting table part. When adjusted to the correct
height for cutting 4/4 the heght of the table is about mid trunk on me.
If you decide to go with the SS do look for a used one. The new prices
are way too high for what you get. Accessories and parts are also
expensive and only available from SS. The bloom is off my lust. My SS
currently is being used as a drill press and a base for a much better
If I can answer any questions for you, please feel free to e-mail me.
Remove everything between lobby and @ for correct address.
I bought the BT3000 5/92 and it's done most of what I've asked and
some not asked for. I made the mistakes of letting the rod used to
raise/lower the motor get dirty and stripped the threads in the motor
mount part necessitating another motor. Our son had bought the newer
motor so the original was pulled out of storage and used. Learn its'
capabilities safely and enjoy the new tool! The guard and splitter
STAY on mine for all cuts except dados. Protect your hearing!
On Sat, 03 Jul 2004 00:42:39 GMT, Dragon Breath
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