Coin on edge. If the coin on edge does not fall during start up, while the
saw is running, or during shut down, it passes the nickel test. There are
varying degrees of this test, the minimal you are looking for is for the
coin to stay upright when the saw is running. Start up and shut down is
really not a factor since you don't normally cut during start up or shut
down. Now if the coin stands up and does not roll or spin you are really
headed in the right direction.
Oh, sorry to bite your head off then. Yeah, the test is to balance a nickel
on edge while the saw is running.
Here are a couple of shots of the test in progress. You can't really tell
that the saw is running though--I need to reshoot them sometime and play
with the shutter speed until I get the blade movement clearly.
It is ONE of the obvious "fixes", A blade that does not spin true or has a
chipped tooth can add vibration. All moving parts add to the vibration.
The simpler solution IMHO is simply to dampen it rather than build the
"perfect" machine that has no weakest points.
I guess my point is... so far the only advantage anyone can offer for
having a granite top is to dampen vibration. So why would you give up
all the advantages of a magnetic top, just to dampen vibration caused by
faulty or poorly designed parts?
The obvious fix to your specific cause would be to return the blade that
isn't spinning true or buy a new one to replace the chipped tooth.
Somehow I can't see one chipped tooth causing enough vibration in a
decent table saw to matter much. Of course, I've done all of my work on
a -$200 Ryobi with a $100 blade, so I probably wouldn't notice. :-)
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
You are leaving out the fact that the top will not rust and that it will
stay flat. Cast iron will rust amd many will not remain flat. Remaining
flat has as much to do with accuracy as reducing vibration.
Additionally, magnetic feather boards/jigs and fixtures are a relatively
"New" concept. Not too many years ago they, magnetic, did not exist yet
those jigs that attached in other ways hve existed for a very long time.
I use a magnetic feather board however in some instances my older feather
board that attaches to the slot works better, it has a longer reach. Often
the magnetic feather board is too tall to use along with my Gripper.
Now that is simply being anal. No blade runs perfectly. I only use Forrest
blades, known for being considered one of the best brands and being very
flat. Does it run with out vibration? I seriousely doubt it, although a
lot less than other brands.
For some it may not. For some one making small tight fitting objects like
puzzles or cutting 1/16" and thinner veneer it would probably make a bigger
I personally will probably not ever purchase a TS with a granite top however
both cast iron and granite offer something that may be considered more
important to different people and for different uses. Some people keep
their saws out doors and or exposed to the outside climate. In desert
regoins a cast iorn top works out well and waxing the top works fine. Some
people live near salt water, rust is a daily battle and wax does not even
begin to address the rust issue. I live 60 miles from salt water and
TopCote is a must. I live in Houston, north of the Gulf of Mexico and the
prevailing summer winds bring salt in the air.
Of course, I've done all of my work on
It might be helpful to ask it the other way, too. Why NOT granite? Who
knows. The only thing that comes to mind is not being able to tap a threaded
hole in stone. I don't typically drop heavy, sharp cornered steel tooling on
the tablesaw. The only jig I have that fits that description is the big,
heavy tenoning jig. So far, I managed to not ding the C.I. top with it. I
also move somewhere else for heavy hammering. Why NOT granite?
Granite might crack, chip or break, wears faster than iron. Vibration
can be caused by many factors including case design, material, mass,
belt design, tar buildup, rpm, bent shaft, damaged blade, etc.
My lathe sometimes has a vibration issue. It helps to have a variable
speed motor--sometimes changing the speed eliminates the vibration
completely. It helps to have a pair of 800 pound cast iron legs with
a shelf full of sandbags.
Chipping and cracking was first on my mind as well. But how? In normal or
even extreme use, how or what will cause it to chip or crack? Just how tough
or fragile is this stuff? It's only a matter of time before the woodworking
magazines bombard one with ball bearings and bowling balls. I'll sit on the
fence until then.
I've destroyed two vises in my life. One when I was a kid and horsed one
of those 2 in. clamp to the table types too tightly. And last year I
wrecked one small boat anchor of a mechanic's vise by dropping.
:^) I guess I better stop using my saw table as an anvil.
Granite is not all created equal. You will see a diamond cutter take
his wedge, look at it carefully and give the stone a whack..it splits.
The hardest stuff known is diamond. Yet, there are fissures.
A properly selected chunk of granite will be every bit as strong (and
stronger) than cast iron...cast iron which is also not created equal
can be as brittle as pot metal.
It is all about apples and apples and oranges and oranges.
To make a direct comparison is foolish.
As a prof of mine sometimes did, he'd mark LOI. (Lack Of Information.)
Planes are faster than cars......well....not necessarily.
The diamond cleaves, not along a "fissure" but along the underlying
crystal facets or planes.
Granite is not a ductile material even as compared to cast iron. It has
excellent compressive strength, thermal stability, doesn't rust, etc.,
... _BUT_ it doesn't have any significant bending resistance and is far
more likely to fracture under a moderate impact than cast iron.
The two materials are so differing in their properties it's unlikely you
can even find equivalent measured values for them -- there's no
essentially no such thing as "ultimate strength" or "yield strength" for
stone as well as a measured Young's modulus.
I've no real idea how well these new tops will hold up in normal use but
the disadvantages still seem to have much going against as the pluses
have going for them to me. Time will tell, I suppose. If they're
really a great thing, they'll take over; otherwise it'll just be a
relatively short-lived fad. (The latter would be my guess at the moment)
Bombardment only makes sense if they do the same to all the saws with
cast iron tops as well.
From what I've been told, small chips fill in easily with epoxy, which
is then sanded flat.
Someone else stated that granite wears faster than cast iron. I don't
know that, but let's assume it does. When was the last time anyone
here saw, or even heard of from a reliable source, a tablesaw top in
hobby use wearing out? It just doesn't happen. Sure, it's possible in
some commercial applications, but even then, I've got my doubts.
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