Table saw options

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SWMBO bought me a Sears 10" TS over 30 years ago. It is the one with the sheet metal extensions, left and right. My thinking, 30 years back, was "Sure wish I had cast iron extensions". Fast forward to today. I'm setting aside a small portion (12'x36') of my shop for woodworking. By now I have collected 3 additional TS's all with cast iron extensions, two with 5hp motors hanging from the back, and two with retractable wheels. Didn't pay more than $30 for any of them. The thinking was that I will assemble the best TS out of the best salvaged parts. (Have hobby machine shop and am more than capable of checking bearings, aligning arbors, etc. etc.)
However, every professional shop that I see has a solid surround on the TS instead of open cast iron grating. I suppose it is for dust collection reasons?
Please give me some harsh advise about which way to go. I can not, at my age, justify buying a cabinet saw, but would like to get close to it by assembling and building around the parts that I have. I don't do enough woodworking to warrant a high quality new purchase.
If the consensus is to go with a solid top I will gladly donate the unneeded parts on Craigslist.
Thanks, Ivan Vegvary
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On 11/14/2011 7:06 PM, Ivan Vegvary wrote: ...

collection reasons?

IMO the only reasons against the open grid wings are a) mass helps and b) it is possible to get stuff caught in the grid on occasion if tip a corner a little
There's no advantage from a dust collection standpoint; there's insufficient air flow to pick up anything that far away any way, even if it were solid table.
The most critical item is that the tables are flat and coplanar and can be aligned precisely to provide 90 and 45 cuts in plane (that is, the arbor tilt axis is in line w/ the plane so there's no twist vs angle).
If you have a set of flat tables out of the collection and they have square edges that can be mounted(+) to make the precise plane w/ the base table, use 'em.
Truthfully, I think you would likely get more "bang for the buck" w/ a better fence than the tables but I can grok the wish.
-
(+) Or you can machine the edges to provide the necessary mating surfaces or can shim or whatever it takes, of course...
--
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What he said. Plus, the open grids catch fingers really well. I fought with a crapsman contractor TS for 30 years and still managed to snag a finger every now and then. Bought a Unisaw and love it. I should have kept the old crapsman and converted it to a disk sander. <sigh> Art
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I have an old Craftsman tablesaw with legs and cast iron extensions (well, one has been replaced by a sort of cheesy router table "insert"). It is rather open especially in back, but I have a dust collection contraption hanging under it. It works well enough until I win the sawstop in a lottery ...
--
Best regards
Han
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mount all three or four in-line. install various blades. then use the one you want. a pseudo homemade cabinet saw.
On 11/14/2011 08:06 PM, Ivan Vegvary wrote:

sheet metal extensions, left and right. My thinking, 30 years back, was "Sure wish I had cast iron extensions".

for woodworking. By now I have collected 3 additional TS's all with cast iron extensions, two with 5hp motors hanging from the back, and two with retractable wheels. Didn't pay more than $30 for any of them. The thinking was that I will assemble the best TS out of the best salvaged parts. (Have hobby machine shop and am more than capable of checking bearings, aligning arbors, etc. etc.)

justify buying a cabinet saw, but would like to get close to it by assembling and building around the parts that I have. I don't do enough woodworking to warrant a high quality new purchase.

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"Ivan Vegvary" wrote:

my shop for woodworking. By now I have collected 3 additional TS's all with cast iron extensions, two with 5hp motors hanging from the back, and two with retractable wheels. -------------------------------- Whatever C/I extension floats your boat; however, to paraphrase James Carvel, "It's the fence stupid".
Spend some money and get a GOOD one.
Lew
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On 11/14/11 10:35 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Back when I was researching how I wanted to build my outfeed table, I ran across a site that showed a guy who built a great tablesaw "around" his crappy contractors' saw.
He basically set the little saw down into a big table and installed a very nice fence. I don't know if it was an Incra or Biesemeyer or what, but it was a beast. Later, he found a stronger motor for cheap and ended up with a great cabinet saw.
It was all done on the cheap, except for the fence. Like Lew said, the fence is the key. Then, perhaps, the blade.
--

-MIKE-

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Open grating on a contractor's saw cuts weight and makes the machine easier to push around, as well as cheaper to ship. A cabinet saw isn't going anywhere, so the top is going to be heavier, which makes for a smoother cutting, more durable machine. Go solid wings if you can -- you can use the top of your saw as a surface plate for checking how flat things are.
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On 11/14/2011 7:06 PM, Ivan Vegvary wrote:

sheet metal extensions, left and right. My thinking, 30 years back, was "Sure wish I had cast iron extensions".

for woodworking. By now I have collected 3 additional TS's all with cast iron extensions, two with 5hp motors hanging from the back, and two with retractable wheels. Didn't pay more than $30 for any of them. The thinking was that I will assemble the best TS out of the best salvaged parts. (Have hobby machine shop and am more than capable of checking bearings, aligning arbors, etc. etc.)

If you are talking about the base having a solid surround, a cabinet saw, yes it is for the dust control and rigidity, more weight to cut vibration, and to carry more weight from the normally much larger motor, cast iron top, and massive trunnion. These thing weigh in at 450~600 lbs.
I built furniture for 17 years with a 1hp Craftsman, cast iron top with stamped steel wings. Upgraded to a cabinet saw 12 years ago and will not willingly go back.
You mention 5 hp motors hanging on the back of your saws, 240 volts right? If not a 3hp 240 volt cabinet saw will run circles around that 120volt 5 hp.
If you are referring to the wing extensions being open, avoid them as they will present more problems than those that are solid.

justify buying a cabinet saw, but would like to get close to it by assembling and building around the parts that I have. I don't do enough woodworking to warrant a high quality new purchase.

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On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 08:54:35 -0600, Leon wrote:

As far as dust collection goes, my 1948 Delta is open with the motor underneath. But it has a shroud around the blade and a port (square!) out the back of the chute. Doesn't work as well as a good cabinet saw, but a lot better than a contractor's saw. Seems like something similar (with a round port) could be added to a contractors saw.
Here's a link to some photo's of a saw like mine. The dust chute can be seen in the 3rd pic:
http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id666
Mine doesn't have the closed cabinet. It looks more like:
http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?idv94
but I still have the original monstrous motor (I can hardly lift it).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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I too owned one of the old Craftsman saws for 25 years and thankfully moved up to a Grizzly 1023 about 11 years ago. I didn't like the sheet metal table either; but did not really appreciate the real differences until I got the cabinet saw:
1) In my opinion, the fence is the heart of any table saw. The Craftsman Fence was true crap. If you want to soup up any full sized saw look for a good quality fence like the Biesemeyer, A Grizzly Classic, etc. You can buy them used.
2) Power - The additional 2 HP that came with the Grizzly provided a night and day difference. But trying to put a 3-5 HP motor on a old Craftsman grade saw might be more than the trunnions will stand.
3 Trunnions - They provide the stability for the blade and adjustment convenience. The trunnions on my Grizzly are massive compared to the smaller saw. But, in honesty, the trunnion rigidity on the Craftsman was not terrible. The blade tilt mechanism was, on the other hand, terrible. It took two hands to turn the crank and fine adjustments were difficult.
If you are into building your saw I would worry less about tables and more about finding a good base. Hit Graigslist for older Delta or Grizzly contractor's saws. If you can find a rusty old Unisaw for a couple hundred bucks you have hit a home run.
RonB
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The only argument I can give is what happend to a friend of mine who the open, cast iron table. His hand was on the extension, when a kick back happened, bad cut, crushed bone and lost the finger. The weird thing about it is he converted his Rockwell TS extension from the stamped steel, to the cast iron, I put his old stamped steel ones and fence on my craftsmen.
SWMBO bought me a Sears 10" TS over 30 years ago. It is the one with the sheet metal extensions, left and right. My thinking, 30 years back, was "Sure wish I had cast iron extensions". Fast forward to today. I'm setting aside a small portion (12'x36') of my shop for woodworking. By now I have collected 3 additional TS's all with cast iron extensions, two with 5hp motors hanging from the back, and two with retractable wheels. Didn't pay more than $30 for any of them. The thinking was that I will assemble the best TS out of the best salvaged parts. (Have hobby machine shop and am more than capable of checking bearings, aligning arbors, etc. etc.)
However, every professional shop that I see has a solid surround on the TS instead of open cast iron grating. I suppose it is for dust collection reasons?
Please give me some harsh advise about which way to go. I can not, at my age, justify buying a cabinet saw, but would like to get close to it by assembling and building around the parts that I have. I don't do enough woodworking to warrant a high quality new purchase.
If the consensus is to go with a solid top I will gladly donate the unneeded parts on Craigslist.
Thanks, Ivan Vegvary
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On Mon, 14 Nov 2011 17:06:26 -0800 (PST), Ivan Vegvary

metal extensions, left and right. My thinking, 30 years back, was "Sure wish I had cast iron extensions".

for woodworking. By now I have collected 3 additional TS's all with cast iron extensions, two with 5hp motors hanging from the back, and two with retractable wheels. Didn't pay more than $30 for any of them. The thinking was that I will assemble the best TS out of the best salvaged parts. (Have hobby machine shop and am more than capable of checking bearings, aligning arbors, etc. etc.) Since you already have some value in the saws you have, especially the 5HP models, my suggestion would be to keep your eyes open for a used Unisaw and sell the saws you have to pay for it. As long as the Uni doesn't have broken parts, you can handle bearing replacement if it's needed. Those saws are pretty common on the used market and deals can be had if you're patient.
Mike
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Just to add to Mike's suggestion, there are a LOT of older Unisaws in education programs at both the high school and college/technical levels. A lot of older woodworkers and cabinet shop folks were introduced to woodworking with Unisaws. The schools rotate older equipment out if their shops from time to time via auctions. Also, and unfortunately, quite a few high schools are a abandoning woodshop programs for budget and liability reasons. There are some good deals in these areas if you can find them. A local school just sold a 60's vintage Unisaw for $200 last summer. It was a little rough looking but would have been a good fixer-upper. An restored 30 year old (or older) Unisaw might be a significantly better machine that the newer ones.
RonB
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"RonB" wrote in message wrote:

Just to add to Mike's suggestion, there are a LOT of older Unisaws in education programs at both the high school and college/technical levels. A lot of older woodworkers and cabinet shop folks were introduced to woodworking with Unisaws. The schools rotate older equipment out if their shops from time to time via auctions. Also, and unfortunately, quite a few high schools are a abandoning woodshop. programs for budget and liability reasons. There are some good deals in these areas if you can find them. A local school just sold a 60's vintage Unisaw for $200 last summer. It was a little rough looking but would have been a good fixer-upper. An restored 30 year old (o older) Unisaw might be a significantly better machine that the newer ones. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Around here, schools are not allowed to auction things off. If they replace something, the old one goes in the dumpster. Collages and tech schools are great places for dumpster diving. Went to a local tech school once and came home with a Tectronix oscilloscope and a never been used 20 meter ham antenna. I got both out of the dumpster.
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On 11/16/2011 1:31 PM, CW wrote: ...

Where in the world might that be? I've never heard of such a restriction; generally gov't entities have surplus auctions all the time to try to recoup at least a few nickels...
--
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CW wrote:

"dpb" wrote:

Liability!
Scrap it and the liability chain is broken.
Lew
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On 11/16/2011 1:55 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

I've yet to run into any entity that doesn't have government auctions, though, even though that might be so. I was just curious as to where that might be that CW was/is--I suppose CA would be a good bet.
I have a shop about half-full of stuff that came from auctions at places as diverse as Old Dominion U to Oak Ridge National Lab to TVA nuclear construction sites to local high schools. Shaper came from ODU, planer from TVA Brown's Ferry, a nice older lathe from the Clinton, TN, HS, etc., etc., ...
Maybe it's another case of now the lawyers won that didn't use to, I don't know, but they still do such locally.
--
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"dpb" wrote:

Ancient history.
The introduction of SawStop technology to the market has brought a whole new definition to machine tool liability.
Lew

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On 11/16/2011 12:55 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

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