Small saw *other* than BT3000?

I'm thinking about what to do with my chunk of the tax refund, if I can afford to spend any of it on anything non-essential this time around.
My table saw is much better than nothing, but I've raised the bar as high as it will go, and it's starting to really piss me off. I think it's time to put it to rest.
Now, the BT3000/3100 is a good, small saw with lots of blurfls, but I don't really want one because of the whole sliding table concept. I could change the way I work, and I will surely have to build a new series of jigs anyway, but I'm very comfortable with my sled and all its bolt-on accessory jigs. I think I would strongly prefer a table with good old fashioned miter slots to the sliding table thingie. Plus the sliding table sticks out, and I think I'd always be running into it.
So, let's rule out the Ryobi saws and look at what's out there in the small but not crappy arena. My priorities are:
* $500 absolute maximum upper price limit, cheaper is more realistic, sucking it up and going the extra $150 for some blurfl ain't gonna happen
* small form factor, like a benchtop on a stand, but preferably without direct drive and a screamin' demon universal motor
* must have a blade angle crank wheel, and be able to return with certainty to 90.0 degrees
* MUST COME WITH A DECENT FENCE
Those are the gottahaveits. Other things would be a bonus, like standard miter slots, ample room in front of the blade, ability to take easily made zero-clearance inserts, ability to take a full dado stack, easy to adjust, etc.
I don't really care about extension wings and the like. No room for them anyway. Even after I build a bigger shop, it's not likely going to be that much bigger, given the amount of land I have to work with. I'm settled in pretty comfortably as a box/small project maker, and I'm not looking for a big saw for big stock. I can live with doing all the big jobs with portable tools.
Suggestions for stuff I should be looking at? I suppose with my size constraints, I'm pretty much steering clear of contractor sized saws, and staying in the realm of benchtops. What did the people who didn't want a BT3000 buy?
Yeah, I should probably STFW.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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shop for an 8 or 9 inch older rockwell cast iron saw. they have a small footprint, good bearings, are easy to set up with about any motor you want. I'd be looking to pay not over say $150.
figure on building a cart or bench for it. that's the fun part.
figure on replacing the fence. I bought my biesemeyer online from their scratch-n-dent page and saved some money. http://www.biesemeyer.com/specials/index.htm the rails are made from stock sizes of steel tube and angle. pretty easy to fab up. look for a homeshop fence. keep checking back, one will show up.
    Bridger
On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 19:03:53 -0500, Silvan

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On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 19:03:53 -0500, Silvan

Maybe you can find a used contractor saw without the usual extension table within that price limit--or one *with* a table that you'll simply take off and throw in the attic. My guess is that'll be the only way to get all your gottahaves.
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Chuck Taylor
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You can take the sliding miter table off. You can sell it on eBay if you really hate it. A miter slot accessory table with standard 3/4" wide, 3/8" deep slots is available.

At $299 plus $37 for the miter slot table, the BT3100 is there...

The BT3100 is belt driven, and its universal motor isn't real loud...

If that's truly a must have, you can now rule out the BT3100. The crank does double duty for blade angle and elevation, with a lever to switch functions. You have to compromise somewhere, and I've decided to live with this.

That rules out a lot of saws, even some over $500. I'm assuming you find the BT3100 fence acceptable. I think it locks down more solidly than several of the low-end contractor saws I've looked at.

For the BT3100: * Standard miter slots are an option. * Not much room in front of the blade, but note that this is where the sliding miter table comes in handy--it can crosscut 16" out of the box and can easily be extended to over 23". * Making and using ZCTPs is simple. * A full width dado stack is supported. Ryobi recommends a 6" dado set. There have been reports of clearance issues with 8" dado sets--others report using them with no problem. * I can't comment on ease of adjustment, since I haven't spent any time adjusting other saws, and very little adjusting my BT3100.

You have small form factor as a gottahaveit, and ample room in front of the blade as a bonus. I don't think there's a saw on the market that has both.
You could go for a used or real cheap new (Harbor Freight #46813) contractor saw--that gives you space in front of the blade, two separate hand wheels, and an induction motor, but finding one with a good fence for under $500 might be a challenge, and you have space issues.
The Bosch 4000 and DeWalt DW744S are both near the top of your price range. I'm pretty sure neither has a blade angle crank.
Good luck with your tax refund!
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