Yet another table saw post...

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Newbie here.
A few years ago, I had the misfortune (read: ignorance) to buy a Delta 36-600 table saw. Paid <$400. It worked fine for a couple of years, but burnt brushes regularly. Then, new brushes wouldn't do the job and I turned it over to see what was what. Lots of flame with new brushes lasting a few minutes, and then nothing.
Dead saw. Carcass picking time. Removed motor from pot-metal trunion. Motor is a one piece affair with a separate lay shaft bearing the blade, reduction driven by a belt. It finally took a large bearing press to remove the cogged belt wheel from the motor itself! That, after calling around and being told that the canonical fix was to load saw into truck and remove to nearest dump.
Well, turned the commutator on a lathe and reinstalled. Unfortunately, I managed to upset one of the bearings in the lay shaft, and it had a tight spot in the turn I could not manage to adjust out. Saw is back together, runs with one hell of a loud knock!
I figure it'll die squarely in the middle of the next project, which is yet to begin. So I'm now looking for a "real" table saw ;) So, now I'm reading here, there and everywhere to see what that saw should be. I've got a few items of info, I'd like to check here.
1) Catering to the insanity of expecting to save enough money for "the best", I took a look at Powermatic. Well, Jet bought Powermatic a few years ago, vowing to touch nary a hair on the Golden Head. Latest read report indicates that Powermatic contractor saws appear to authenticate the myth of beer cans used by a hundred monkeys from the far east. Tales of parts aligned large fractions of an inch out of true, etc, etc. Scratch Powermatic.
2) Local Home Depot stocks Ridgid. Ridgid had an excellent rep, but when made by Emerson Tool. Ridgid now owned by Ryobi. Scratch Ridgid.
3) High profile brand name saws... well, yeah, but that's way too close to the insanity of 1).
4) Looked at Grizzley. Seems okay, but no recent great shakes. Looked at General International, and it would seem I found a winner. The General International contractor saws come in both right and left tilt. Consumer Report (their webpage) cites the left tilt model as the one to buy as of April this year.
Comments on any of this?
Thanks,
Longfellow
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Something wrong with JET/DeWalt 2HP?
Chuck

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Dunno. Will look into them. Thanks.
Longfellow.
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Longfellow wrote:

Firstly, you seem to be comparing wide range here...what are your use criteria first, budget lmitations second?
FWW had a review not long ago of cabinet saws and I believe it was FHB that had one on contractor saws...
I, of course, say you can't go wrong w/ the PM66, but that's me... :)
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Home use. Don't need a saw worth thousands, or a cabinet saw, for that matter. A good contractor saw seems about right, but now I know better than to get one with a universal motor (I think...). I'm thinking somewhere between $500US and $700US should be reasonable.

FHB?
Ah yes, presumably pre-Jet?
Thanks,
Longfellow
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Longfellow wrote:

I don't have specific recommendations for them, sorry. I'll look and see if I can find that review and see who came out on top in theirs...

Fine Homebuilding, companion to FWW...

Industrial line is still good...
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If it was me, I'd be looking at the GI (General International) or Delta hybrid saws. Primarily for better dust collection, and no motor hanging out the back. I've got the GI 50-185 saw (left tilt contractor), and I'm pretty happy with it even if I don't work it that hard. But in the limited space in my garage, that motor hanging out the back is kind of frustrating. And as I understand it, the cost is pretty close.
Clint

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Thanks for this! I completely missed the idea of the hybrid saw, which I gather is basically a light-weight cabinet saw: Good for dust collection and footprint, and not that much more expensive than the contractor saws.
I'll look into this!
Thanks again,
Longfellow
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We bought a Jet hybrid. Couldn't be happier.
wrote:

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I too purchased the 50-185. I got mine about 6 months ago from Bath Industrial Sales in W. Bath, ME rather than mail order so that I could look at it in person. I needn't have bothered, everything I read about it here was true: it's the same saw for the same price as the powermatic, but with larger handwheels, a nicer miter gage, and a real Bies fence. Looked the same as the Delta and Shopfox (Grizzly's line to resellers) as well. As he was ringing it up, the clerk indicated that it was their most popular saw, to the point where they had trouble keeping it in stock.
It went together perfectly right out of the box, but the instructions left something to be desired (again, just like everyone else has said). I have added a ZCI and a WWII and am very happy with it, it's done everything I've asked of it flawlessly. I love the fence and the cast iron wings. It easily passes the standing nickel test, so I have yet to bother getting billet pulleys or a powertwist belt. I'd definitely make this purchase again.
--Glenn Lyford
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Cannot comment on Grizzly contractor's saws; but I have owned a 1023S cabinet saw for nearly four years. No complaints - love the machine.
My son-in-law owns: one of the big Griz surface planers, a radial drill press and the G-0500 jointer. Good luck with all so far.
RonB
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Thanks for this. I've looked at Grizzly and liked what I saw ;)
Longfellow
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wrote:

I've got one too. Their prices have gone up, but the 1023 used to be at about the top of your price range. Very solid and trouble free so far.
-j
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Here's my story. Bought a Jet Contractor saw. Works great. I've built a number of pretty nice things with it and never had a single problem with it. It is the JWTS-10 I believe. I decided to upgrade to a cabinet saw and bought the Grizzly 1023SL. I'm more than happy with that one as well. True, it's a full cabinet saw but it's price is virtually unbeatable. I also have heard good things about the GI stuff but alas, have no experience with them. I had planned to sell the Jet once I had the Grizzly up and running. 7 months later and I've still got the Jet (the Grizzly works great....I just don't want to give up the Jet!). So that's really all I can add. Ultimately, you have to decide just how big and heavy a saw you want. Generally, the heavier, stronger units will give less vibration than the contractor versions but for all but the diehards, a contractor saw works pretty well. Cheers and let us know what you decide. cc

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Longfellow - First of all, thanks to responding to those that are offering you advice. Nothing frustrates me more than someone asking a question, I or someone else responds with some great info, and perhaps a follow-up question, and then silence. Nothing, like they fell off the face of the earth.
Anyway - I was recently in the same boat as you. I was looking for a 'real' tablesaw after dealing with a POS craftsman 1956 model. (Its all that would fit in my old, so called, shop). Anyway - I moved and I had the room for a proper shop and figure I needed a proper saw.
I looked around at various things, read reviews, read old posts here, etc. I came to the conclusion that, dollar for dollar, feature for feature, the Grizzly 1023S was a good choice. It was similarly priced to the big named contractor saws yet had some features similar to the unisaws, PM66s, and others yet was 1/3 the price.
Griz raised their prices a bit recently but they do also have sales. Check it out. http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1023S <<<< ITS ON SALE TODAY
Good luck
-B

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If it is of help . . I just bought a Delta 36-507X with a Biesemeyer 30" commercial fence two months ago. ($995.00). It's the last of the American Made Contractors saws by Delta. My dealer had bought a load of them before they went Chinese . . . Mine says "Proudly Made In America" . . . Reason I am telling you this is because he told me just about all the Delta Industrial Dealers were encouraged to do the same . . . So you might can find one. Delta will give you a list if you call . . . . Call them and ask where they were made . . By the way, the saw is very well built and aligned true on the money out of the box with a (5) year warranty . . .My neighbor is a millwright & helped me check the trueness.
Steve

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Comments, sure. Research the old Oliver, and other pro level table saws, and get the right one. Famous woodworker Sam Maloof uses an old Clausing. I have semi-access to an Oliver 270D 16" saw, an amazing piece. With some of this equipment you'd think aliens came and designed them and designed the manufacturing for them, out of this world quality. Especially compared to what is being made for common market these days. http://www.oldwwmachines.com/
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Actually never mind, upon reading further I notice you want to spend up to $700... a saw like I suggest can cost $3000... even if it's 50 years old. Sorry.
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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wrote:

I was startled by your comment scratch Powermatic... and Scratch Ridgid.... I never thought to much of the powermatic Contractors saw (Artisan model I think) and I do not see any proof that Jet has downgraded any powermatic product...and I sure can not hold Emerson responsible for making a product to Sears Specs...garbage in always means garbage out...
My only advice is to look a several saws...UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL NOT ... in catalogs... and really look and evaluate the fence on the saws... Just can not tell you how much a good fence is worth...
Lots of luck...
Bob Griffiths
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Agree with both of Bob's comments. I purchased a Powermatic 54A jointer about a year ago knowing full and well of its eastern origin. Nevertheless it is a fine machine that is worthy of the yellow paint job. I did have some issues with the owners manual but apparently it originates in the good old USA.
Do Not - I repeat, do not purchase a saw or other major tool based on catalogue info. Touch the machines you are interested in and use the internet for users opinions. In addition to Amazon and other suppler sites there are some sites that offer independent reviews (for example: http://www.woodworking2.org/toolpage.htm ). Granted, some user reviews are colored by emotion but several of these folks provide good, feature-oriented reviews. Also, a few suppliers, like Grizzly, will provide the phone numbers of one or two users in your general area. This gives you the opportunity to talk with a user and actually view the product if not available in a store.
Any major toy, ('er tool) purchase is worthy of our research and personal conclusions. To that end, it is our responsibility to serve ourselves.
RonB
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