table saw opinions

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I plan on building my own kitchen cabinets and am looking for a good table saw. I have my eye on the Ryobi BT 3100 at Home Depot. http://www.ryobitools.com/product/product.asp?prodid $3&prodcat=1&toolcat=4
It has a router table built in as well. Does this model have all the features I would need. Is this type of router table fine for doing raised panels for doors? Thabks for any opinions.
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This saw is amazingly accurate and will do just about anything you want it to do. However.....
The sliding miter table takes quite a bit to set up properly and the table is sort of small. For building your cabinets you will likely want a saw with a bigger table, unless you plan on building your own outfeed table etc.
The saw has plenty of power for what you intend to do. I was able to rip the wide end of a pressure treated 2X4 with no problem, so ripping plywood and hardwood panels for your cabinets should not be any problem.
Yahoo groups has a ryobi group where you can obtain answers to any and all questions that you may have.
Elmar
habbi wrote:

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I have no experience with this saw, but I do have experience with making kitchen cabinets.
Plan on making an outfeed table for whatever saw you buy - before you start making cabinets. You will need the extra support to work with large pieces of sheet goods (even if you pre cut it down to smaller sizes with a circular saw, which BTW is reccomended)
Sometimes you need to build/modify tooling for your needs. This is one of those cases.
-Steve

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I do not have any first hand experience with the saw but have heard good things about it being a good value.
My comment is about the router table portion. Do not, repeat DO NOT put a Ryobi router in it. The Ryobi/Craftsman routers have the worst possible reputation. For raised panels you want a high powered variable speed router. Bosch, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, etc.
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wrote:

My son owns a BT3100 ...and I have to admit... for him... it was a good value.... he is not even a weekend warrior... saw gets only a very ocassional "workout"
Thats is all the good things I can actually say about the thing...
Bob Griffiths

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I bought the BT3100 a few months ago and I have been very pleased. It is very accurate, and easy to adjust as necessary. It is one of the few saws out there that has such a cult following. It may not be immediately apparent at Home Depot, but you can get a free "Accessory Kit" if you buy the saw before 12/31. This is a $99 package of various goodies like throat plates, casters, dust bag, miter slots, etc.
Check out this web site if you haven't already... http://www.bt3central.com
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One thing you might consider is not buying a table saw, but buying a panel saw instead. It is a whole lot easier to clamp a sheet of plywood and draw the blade through the saw rather than pushing a sheet of plywood through the blade of a table saw.
You might also get a table saw but a small bench top type might suffice for your dado cuts and such.
--

Roger Shoaf

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Roger Shoaf wrote:

But the long-term benefit ratio will be much higher with the higher quality/larger table saw...you can always do the initial large cuts w/ hand saw and a panel saw will sit idle for <long> periods of time in most home woodworking shops...
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On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 10:40:09 -0800, "Roger Shoaf"
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Not from experience, but from checking out and reading here and elsewhere.
Unless you pay a lot ($1000s) for a panel saw, they are rarely as accurate as a table saw. The Ryobi TS is not very expensive. You would not get much panel saw for the money.

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This baffels me. Why would a panel saw not be accurate? It is basicly a skill saw that rides on a couple of rails with bearings. Once the wood is clamped in place, why would the saw track anything other than a straight line?
Conversly, a table saw is only as accurate as the operators ability to hold the wood against a fence. My experience is when cutting full sheets of plywood it is a RCPITA to keep everything from twisting a bit.
I ask this not to pick a fight, but just because I am curious.
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Roger Shoaf

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Roger Shoaf asks:

Because the saw itself is not as accurate as a table saw, in that the runout of the blade is more. Youalso have more opportunities for slop in the rails and in the bearings. A circular saw does not need to be as accurate as a table saw, because circular saws are intended for rougher work.

Problem there is with the fence, the outfeed table and the operator's skill level. The table saw, if it is a decent one, is considerably more accurate than a circular saw, which is the basis for the panel saw.
Charlie Self "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
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On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 16:01:18 -0800, "Roger Shoaf"
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Hehe! Money! <G>

Wot Charlie said.
There are some very accurate Panel saws, But they cost a fortune. Thousands. IIRC, when I was trolling around the web last time about this, to get 1/64th accuracy was a starting price of maybe US$1500, maybe more for handling larger sheets.

I agree. Handling large sheets on the average TS is frightening. I would suggest rather to cut the sheet down to near size with a circ saw, then handle the manageable bits on the TS, using appropriate in, out and holding ware. Or even use a router to finish.

Well the heck with you. I wanted a good bloody fight! <G>
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Old Nick wrote:

Just step on over to one of the Sawstop threads and get as bloody as you like.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 19:16:32 -0500, Silvan
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hmp-hmp!
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choice. It will make you ever-so-happy that you avoided a total waste of time, money and effort.
--
Enjoy life and *do* well by it
-- it might well be the only chance you get :-)
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
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My usual hobby horse. Keep this in mind, along with all other statements. TSs do not suit everyone. They are not a substitute for good workmanship and care, often with other tools. They save _some_ time.
I am not one to say "you must have the best, or don't bother" usually. But IME a table saw is a large outlay per tool. The BT3100 is around US$300 from what I can see. It works quite well, but is not strong from what I can see.
I really feel that you are better off getting a handheld circ saw and setting yourself up to cut well with it. Good fences and clamps, or some other guide method, and a good circ saw with a good blade. Much more adaptable. Cutting panels, even smaller ones, with a TS is quite an "art" and usually involves quite a bit of extra "stuff" before you even start. Depending on size, a mitre sled, infeed, outfeed, etc.
You still do have to learn to _use_ a TS to get good results. It will not do the work for you. Unless you are doing lots and lots of cuts (see BT3100 does not last long) you are saving very little percent of the overall job. Remember there is timber selection, purchase, sanding, assembly, gluing, finishing, installation etcetc.

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For more info on this saw, try the following forum http://www.bt3central.com/forum/default.asp

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brag about what they bought than use it and discover the mistake they made. They're well-matched to their BigToy saws -- a bunch of Felix Unger-types who would rather clean a shop than make things.
--
Enjoy life and *do* well by it
-- it might well be the only chance you get :-)
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Steve, you are the first person I've come across that has given the BT3100 a fair shot and decided they didn't like it. It's interesting to me what a vendetta you have for this saw. Maybe you had a lemon, but you are one of a very small group who have actually tried this saw and didn't like it.
I've had mine for a few months and have put it to work on several large projects. I've found it to be the most accurate and easy to use saw I've seen under $1,000.
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wrote:

I've had a bt3000 for about a decade. pretty much the same saw.
it's OK. I bought it because I needed something that I could get accuracy from that was easily portable. it was that.
it's fragile, though. too much plastic. it really is a disposable machine. treat it nice and you'll get your money's worth, but don't think of it as something you'll be leaving for your grandkids.
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