Ryobi BTK3100 - I made a decision

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".
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Even though I suggested against it, I hope it suits your needs well and you make a mountain of sawdust <and some great projects too> ;-)                             Mark L.
Dragon Breath wrote:

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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
Kevin
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wrote:

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On Sat, 03 Jul 2004 00:42:39 GMT, Dragon Breath

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.
Bill.
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wrote:

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!
Patriarch
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On Sat, 03 Jul 2004 05:01:37 GMT, patriarch

Shopsmith. I must admit that right now I'm leaning towards the Ryobi, but a look at the Shopsmith won't hurt. Tks Patriarch.
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wrote:

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 lathe.
If I can answer any questions for you, please feel free to e-mail me. Remove everything between lobby and @ for correct address.
LD
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wrote:

look at. I'll take a look at the Shopsmith. Tks again.
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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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