I'm finally able to replace my old ShopSmith with dedicated stand
So I've been reading up on various table saws, and have concluded
I don't really need a "professional" grade cabinet saw (e.g.,
Unisaw, PowerMatic), but I would like something a bit better than
the typical Lowes/Home Depot "contractor" saw for my weekend
I saw an article in one of the woodworking magazines that
mentioned a Delta "hybrid" table saw, model 36-717, and wondered
if anyone out there has any 'hands on' time with one. And if so,
what your opinion of it is?
I have the 36-715. I got it for a little over 600.00 and it has been a
great saw for the money. The table is flat, dust collection is good and
cuts are smooth and quiet. It passes the nickel test on start up and shut
down, although there is a little shudder when shutting it down. No
vibration at all when running though.
Set up wasn't bad and it required very little tuning. The hardest part was
shimming the right extension table just right. After fiddling with it for
the better part of a day, I ended up taking it off a couple months later for
a router table extension. The left wing was perfect without shims and the
arbor runout was almost dead on. Putting on the wing was the only part I
recall that they say requires two people, but it wasn't much trouble to hold
the wing vertical and start the center bolt, then rotate it into position.
Their fold down outfeed table works well with a little modification (I
explain in a review of the table on Amazon). The only problem I have had so
far was that they sent the wrong number of a few of the bolts and nuts,
almost like someone just grabbed a handful of stuff and threw it in a bag.
A minor nit that didn't really hold up assembly.
If you get one, set it up for 220v if you can. Mine starts up nicer that
way, which gives me the impression of more power. A silly thing to say, I
know, but it seems that if it can get up to speed better on 220v it should
be less likely to bog. Not that I had any real problems on 120v.
I am sure the 717 fence is great, but for a very part time woodworker like
me the T2 fence is pretty good. It is certainly much better than anything I
have seen on a saw for 600.00 or less.
Overall I am still very pleased. With a WWII on it, a part of me is still
amazed how smooth it is every time I make a cut.
Also have a look at the two Craftsman hybrids. They are similar machines
which may be even a little better, at least in terms of the trunion design.
I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on a tool with that
name on it.
It doesn't sound like you've researched this in great detail.
Many of the used PM's and Unisaws have 110/220 motors. Changing to
110 from 220 is a matter of removing the motor and switching two wires
to match the diagram on the motor plate and of course changing the plug
on the power cable. That is of course if the saw isn't already wired
for 110, in which case you won't need to do anything.
Special tools required are screwdriver and 5/8" (IIRC) wrench.
It's not that difficult. If you've ever replaced a power outlet in
your home, you'll be able to switch over the motor from 220 to 110.
For an all-in cost of $5.00 for the wire nuts and plug plus an hour or
so of work you'll have a much better saw.
Of course, it still won't be that more expensive shiney new
wannabeacabinetsaw you've got your eye on. But better and cheaper
aren't for everyone.
Please forgive my ignorance.
Except for a variation of the Grizzly 1023, all the magazine and
on-line reviews I've read since starting the hunt to replace my
ShopSmith have said 'real' cabinet saws require 220V. I don't
have 220V, so I've been focusing on saws the reviews generally
say are decent, and will run 'out-of-the-box' on the 120V my
Keep in mind I'm just a weekend woodworker that mainly makes toys
for the Grandkids, Nieces, and Nephews, and occasionally a
flowerbox for the neighbor ladies. I was leaning towards a Rigid
TS3650, but started looking at the 'hybrid' saws like the Delta
because the enclosed cabinet is supposed to improve dust
I looked at the Craftsman equivelant to the Delta 36-717, but was
'gun shy' due to bad experiences with a Craftsman circular saw
and hammer-drill a while back. Since the Delta seems to almost be
a clone of the Craftsman, I wanted some input from folks who had
'hands on' time with the Delta before deciding anything. Which
was the point of my original post.
Maybe I'll just stick to the ShopSmith, I know it will do what I
need it to. I just get tired of reconfiguring it.
The Delta 36-717 may look similar to the Craftsman but the trunions are
mounted on the table as opposed to the Craftsman mounting on the
cabinet base. In actual operation, once each saw is aligned there won't
be much difference as the hardware on them is nearly identical. You
might also want to check out the lower end Steel City 10" table saw
which is similiar to the Craftsman but backed by a company that won't
quit until you are satisified.
The issue is power. The 1hp RI (bullet style) motors on the older
unisaws are EASILY rewired from 220 to 110. That 1hp motor has more
power than the motor on any saw that you can buy today that is wired
for 110 "out of the box." Does 220 work better for those motors? The
answer is yes. Though the difference is that on 110 the motor runs
hotter so you can't keep it on all day. The power is the same. But
for a "weekend warrior" like yourself it will not be an issue.
Do yourself a favor and keep your eyes out for a used older style
Unisaw or PM66 with a 110/220 motor. You'll get so much more saw for
My saw was $350. I spent $80 plus shipping to have someone replace the
bearings (Sawcenter), $25 for new belts and $40 for a new switch and
power cable. Removed the top, tuned it up based on the FWW article of
last year and it is a dream to use. The $300 I spent on a biesemeyer
was optional, however a bies, or any other new fence, is going to add
~$300 to the cost of any saw whether new or used.
Point is. Refurbishing used equipment is not as daunting of a task as
it seems. If you're handy enough to make some small home repairs and
turn out some doodads in the shop, you should definitely be able to
tackle this project. And you get more for your money.
Len, I also have a Shoipsmith (10ER) When I bought it years ago, I
replaced the old Crapsman 10" table saw. I liked using the 10" saw over
the old Shopsmith 8', buy considering space, and all the other
Anyhow I recentlly bought an old Unisaw from the local classifieds. It
was set up for 110V, which I needed. My point is, put up with the
Shopsmith, and watch all ads, and auctions, and be ready to pounce,
when a suitable saw comes up. BUT, keep the shopsmith. Wood lathe,
horizontal boring, are a few functions, that I use every now and then,
and couldn't justify buting separate tools.
"> Of course, it still won't be that more expensive shiney new
What a great suggestion! I just can't get over how many used Unisaws
and Powermatics I keep seeing in my local area in papers and various
lists. It must be that everyone wants to get rid of their quality saws
at a really cheap price just for me. In the real world you can wait
forever for better and cheaper. This is why I finally bought a Steel
City saw. Of course you could offer to sell Ken your "better and
cheaper" saw. How about it?
This has always been the problem with telling someone (specially a beginner)
that he should buy used. The experienced man can find these deals because he
knows where to look. The beginner can not. The experienced man can
accurately judge the working condition of the used equipment and determine
if the asking price is a good deal, the beginner can not. The experienced
man can accurately judge what any repairs are going to cost him, the
beginner can not. The experienced man can determine if he can make the
needed repairs, the beginner can not. In most cases, the beginner is far
better off buying new equipment with from a reputable company. He will then
be reasonably assured of getting a piece of equipment that will do the job
and he has a warranty to back it up. "Buy used" is often not good advice for
Well, it worked for me and I'm a beginner. OK, I used to own a ryobi
BT3000 and learned just what it meant to not have a real cabinet saw.
It's a pain in the ass to be fiddling around all day with the machine
instead of making stuff.
It took a lot of research to make the decision and get through the
project. My finding is that determining if the equipment is good is a
matter of visual inspection. If it looks cracked, it is. If the motor
spins when you turn it on and there's no funny smell, it works. Small
holes, in cabinets can be filled with Bondo. Large holes cannot. If
the top has holes or is noticably warped, it needs to be replaced.
Bearings and belts on most any older machine will be marginal at best
unless they have been replaced so plan on doing so. No need to test
there, just price accordingly.
Whether or not the machined surfaces are dead flat though is something
that has to be tested with accurate measuring equipment on both new and
used. (This is woodworking and given the instability of the product,
there's no need to go overboard on this detail. I certainly am not
intending to imply that we need accuracy to 1000ths of an inch.)
However, since this particular hurdle has to be overcome in either case
to whatever the specs the purchaser believes are necessary, it's moot
in the decision to buy used versus new.
So, what's the right price? In this case Lou doesn't want to spend
more than he would spend on a Hybrid saw. A reasonable starting point.
Take $200 off that figure for misc replacements and repairs and
something for the after market fence he would buy that will come with
the saw and that's the figure.
We're talking about a hunk of steel, a motor, and bearings. There's
really not much to learn.
Like I said, it won't be as pretty, but it will be so much more saw for
the money. IMO it's worth the effort. Besides, when all is done, the
user who goes through this learning process will really know and
understand the equipment he is using.
I have the Craftsman 22-144 equivalent of the Delta.
I was also leary of Craftsman brand afer other power tools of the same brand
failed too soon. I read the reviews of the new Craftsman and bit the bullet
around Xmas time that year (2004) due to a very good price.
Fit and finish were better than I expected. The right side wooden table
extension is not a good fit and will eventually be replaced. The Bies.
fence is good.
As another poster stated the trunnions are mounted on the cabinet. Aligning
the table top was not difficult. Undo a few bolts and to some tapping, and
I did immediately replace the blade with a decent blade. Mine happens to be
a WWII, but there are many other good brands. Comparing the as-shipped
blade to the WWII shows that the as-shipped is very inexpensive. Not a
surprise to me.
I have used the Craftsman a decent amount. The 1 3/4 HP motor is ok for
normal tasks. It is not powerful enough for ripping 8/4 maple.
This has so far been a decent machine. Would I prefer a Powermatic 66.
Absolutely. Would I prefer a Grizzly 1023. I am not so sure. I looked
hard at the Grizzly but prefer the Bies. fence. I would likely choose the
Craftsman over the new Grizzly hybrid although I have not been to the
showroom, since I saw the new Grizzly hybrid advertised.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.