Table saw opinions wanted

I am about to plunge into the woodworking hobby and I am looking to buy my first table saw. I am not going to use it to build furniture or cabinets. I am mostly going to use it to build outdoor pergolas, trellises, and kids play stuff. At least initially. I have done some reading on the subject recently. Initially I was partial to Craftsman, but after reading all the bad reviews and reports I have ruled that out. Especially since they are not really significantly cheaper than Jet and Delta. I toured my local wood working store and they had a few models to choose from. The two I was most interested in were a Shop Fox W1703 http://www.shopfox.biz/w1703.cfm and a Jet 708301K (Amazon.com product link shortened)93042244/br=1-1/ref=br_lf_hi_1//002-8383409-1042429?v=glance&s=hi&n"8366. They were both $699.00 in the store. They did not have any comparable Delta model on the show room. The Shop Fox looks a bit nicer, and has a better fence for certain. Seemed to be a little better value for the money without the name. That was the one the store guy was suggesting.
What I want to know is whether its OK to deviate from the Jet and Delta name on this one? Is Shop Fox established enough yet? I ususally prefer to go with the top seller for reasons of part availability, repair help etc.. And secondly, is it worthwhile to pay the extra $100 to get cast iron wings instead of stamped steel? Thirdly, are there any good online places to get such equipment? I found a few on my own, but wondering if you pros out there have better sources. Thanks.
Larry
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Larry asks:

Shop Fox is usually a step or so up from Grizzly. I think Grizzly sells some of the Shop Fox machines, which makes sense, because Woodstock International, the Shop Fox distributor, is part of Grizzly. Grizzly has been around since '83, improving each year.
Spend the extra bucks to get the cast iron wings. The extra mass is well worth it.
Your mail order question is answered above.
Charlie Self "Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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I just got my Grizzly Go444Z Table Saw, G5979 Wood Lathe, and G1029Z Dust Collector yesterday. I picked it up at Grizzly in Springfield, Missouri. If you get a chance to visit to any of the 3 Grizzly show rooms it would be worth your while. Most of their stuff comes from Taiwan. I see where more and more of the woodworking stuff that Delta and the others have comes from China. I was impressed with the quality of the Griz products.

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I think both of those I mentioned were made in China, but the sales guy was saying how much better the stuff in Taiwan was made.
Larry

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Country of origin is not the real factor here. It mostly has to do with what level of quality the company wants the manufacturer to build to. The company having the goods manufactured dictates the level of quality. That said, you can get high or low quality from just about anywhere including close to home.
As for the cast iron extensions over the stamped steel ones, normally the steel ones are not flat and have to be tweaked with included angle brackets. IMHO, if only for the ease of assembly alone I would choose the cast iron over the stamped steel. The added weight helps cut down on vibration also.
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The Grizzly G0444Z and G1029Z dust collector is made in Taiwan, it says so on the box they came in. They are NOT made in China.

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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Flame suit on.
I wonder if you should _get_ a table saw. DAMHIKT.
If you are "just plunging in" it's the one of last tools to buy, up there with planers, thicknessers etc, unless you have a lot of moolah and want a big piece of iron to show off.
Its price displaces a lot of other stuff that you will need.
If you are building outdoor stuff you are going to to be using long lumber, right? Unless you plan to do all you own ripping and such, a table saw is not really suited to really long heavy pieces (and even then you are going to need significant infeed and outfeed setups, which take time and/or money to set up), and is much more accurate than you need for pergolas etc. Also, table saws require quite a bit of skill to get a piece of wood that is not perfectly straight and flat to the level of quality that you expect from a table saw. Either you have to be sneaky, or get a planer, jointer etc to prepeare the wood.
I would be looking at a good saw guide and a hand power saw, or maybe a chop saw (sliding compound mitre).
I have a table saw. I am at most a casual woodworker, but have actually done more in the past than I do now. I decided that I would get back into WW and that I needed a table saw. I bought one without learning about them and their limits and requirements first. It does _not_ do the work for you. To be really effective, you need to add quite a bit to it. Handling big wood up to it is not easy.
In fact I was so pissed off it probably slowed _down_ my WW level.
I do not think I am alone, although I have been bagged for saying what I say here, several times. There are many posts here about how to keep rust off table saw tops. Someone once quipped, all too truthfully, that frequent application of wood was the best way.
I also have a philosophical outlook that too many people who buy these tools have the wrong attitude to the purchase. It's all about speed for them. This rarely works, until you get experience or skill. IT leads to frustration and disappointment. Many of these people will get frustrated and disappointed anyway, but withot the table saw they do it a lot cheaper.

***************************************************** Marriage. Where two people decide to get together so that neither of them can do what they want to because of the other one.
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Sort of agree. My first big purchase was a TS, cause I always wanted one. Then I went to trim my entertainment room in the basement and quickly learned how useless it was for cutting trim. The trim was far too long to make accurate cuts. So I had to buy a miter saw (not compound). Then there is always the need to work outside or cut large pieces of wood (tiny shop), so along came the circular saw, orange neon POS that it is. Also needed to cut some curved pieces, so along came the jigsaw, at least it's a Bosch. Coolest toy (least needed) had to be the brad nailer though.
But I still love my big honkin TS, especially with a Dado blade. Built in router table is sorta useful/PITA.

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Well I know I need a circular saw for outdoor stuff, so I will get one of those. I also need to redo the wood planks in some outdoor furniture which will be small pieces of wood. I plan to get a router as well. Those will be the first 3 purchases. A little kids play house is not necessarily going to be big pieces of lumber. I am getting a table saw as a work horse for shelving panels and the like. I realize that it cannot do everything, and like any tool it has its limitations. Which is why there are many different tools!
Larry

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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

I'm sorry to say "shrug". I tried. ***************************************************** Marriage. Where two people decide to get together so that neither of them can do what they want to because of the other one.
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Get a good compound miter saw (12" blade) and circ saw instead.
How are you going to cut 4x4s and other long lumber on a table saw? Wrong tool.
Even for stuff like shelving, a circ saw with a guide will do just fine.
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On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 23:03:56 -0600, Dave Balderstone

THAT Statement leads me to completely agree with what larry worte below...

I have been building furniture as a hobby for years and finally many years after the kids have left the nest I am remodeling the basement ... My Tablesaw has not seen much "action" on this project... Bob Griffiths
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On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 23:03:56 -0600, Dave Balderstone
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Christ! People are agreeing with me! I have been pounding this gavel for ages! <G>

***************************************************** Marriage. Where two people decide to get together so that neither of them can do what they want to because of the other one.
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I am a carpenter by trade and build some of the projects you mentioned. My suggestion is going with a circular saw and rip fence to start instead of a table saw. You will be doing a LOT more cross-cutting than ripping lumber, and the circular saw just cannot be beat for this. If you just need to buy a new tool, get a 12" miter saw, it will serve you better at this point. I would recommend your first project be to build a good set of sawhorses :) -dave

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<< I am about to plunge into the woodworking hobby and I am looking to buy my first table saw. >><BR><BR>
My own suggestion is to buy a bandsaw, as good as you can afford first. A Delta or Jet 14" is a good start (I have a MiniMAx 16, but it costs a lot more). Soup it up with the kit from Iturra. To handle crosscuts get a good miter saw.
I went the tablesaw route first, as do most people--from an Artisan CS, to a Unisaw, and am now waiting on my Felder delivery. I went 10 years without a bandsaw -- don't repeat my mistake. A bandsaw can do a lot more than a table saw if properly tuned.
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On 21 Aug 2004 13:16:20 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (DarylRos) vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Yep. I bought a bandsaw first, years ago and NEVER regretted it!
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