I am looking around at table saw. You can get some great deals on
older table saws. Kind of looks like a no brainer to me - 800-900 for
a new one versus $150 for an old one.
Other than the bearings being worn out (which I have been told can be
replaced) is there any reason to not like the older tools. My friend
says that older tools are garbage and cannot compare to most new
tools. I told him I don't agree - I think that most new tools are made
of stamped out junk made in Asia (no offense to Asians). Older tools
are made to last forever.
So is it a better choice to buy an older Craftsman or Delta versus a
new one? How about the availability of parts?
Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
Realistically, there is nothing wrong with "used" tools, as long as you
know what you are looking at.
90% of the tools you see at garage sales etc. are lightly used, and have
little or nothing wrong with them that a little TLS will not fix. As to
availablility of parts etc. that is another matter.
If you stick to recognized brands, your chances of buying parts is
reasonably good. I am talking about table saws, jointers etc. Hand
tools, can be another issue, alot of the companies have been bought out
by someone and often drop these older tools, the shop units are often
maintained as part of the product line.
Most components outside of castings are often easily acquired from
industrial suppliers, IE bearings, acme screw shafts etc.
William J. wrote:
Keep not agreeing. Your friend is a fool who knows nothing about tools but is
trying to make an impression.
Most arbor bearings on older Craftsman saws are standard size, available almost
anywhere or by mail. Delta still makes many (maybe most) parts for Unisaws and
many of their contractor's saws.
Arbor bearings and trunnions are the parts most apt to create problems because
of wear. Both are fairly easy to replace. Cost is a matter you will have to
take up with Delta or Sears or the bearing house.
But it takes one heckuva lot of use to wear either out.
"Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the
frog dies of it." E. B. White
And let's also not forget (inserting mantra) a new machine
depreciates before you get it out the door at Woodcraft. A
used machine can typically (always) bring back what you paid
There are some that take issue with how shiney new something
must look. These are generally the same guys who have a
*show shop* that doesn't get used and chime in with, "how do
I keep the machine surfaces from rusting?" (Use them).
Then there is the issue of missing parts. Chances are
you'll find a cabinet saw and it will be missing the dust
door. I'm not saying that a dust door isn't a thing that
can't be found, just that you really have to commit to
finding one. Don't even get me started on the number of
perfectly good lathes without the tool rests, tool rest
sockets and tail stocks.
You can't decide one day that you are going to go and buy
all used starting now. There's a certain amount to
ejimikating that has to take place first otherwise you'll be
dragging home Sign of The Devil Rockwell International
machines (mid-70's/early 80's David) and wondering what all
the huh-bub was about.
You'll find that finding a machine that's "Plug 'N Play" is
something of a chore/new career path. Of all the machines
available the ones capable of being put from one place to
another and only need to be dusted off are few and far
between. Even the ones with low hours. Something about
someone spending scads of money one day and totally
disregarding their investment the next. There is also a
correlation to life cycles involved. Simply put, we buy
machines when we do and we use them our whole lives. Then
for the last ten/twenty years of our lives they become
neglected due to old age and health. By the time they come
up for sale they are pretty much considered neglected.
When you do find a machine in *near perfect* condition it
will be priced accordingly. This may be as much as 75% of
new and while most people will poo-poo this you have to ask
yourself, "if Delta offered 25% off a machine, how many of
these guys would be stabbing their Grandmothers to be first
in line to buy one?" I mean, look at the salivation over a
decal change and the offering of a coupon booklet for the
You won't find your dream machine lying on your doorstep one
day. You will have to commit to a lot of time to find it,
track it down and buying it. Don't think either that you
will find it on the first go around. Usually you have to
buy something less that you wanted to "get by until the good
one presents itself to you". This can and will mean a lot
of looking and a lot of moving.
When your dream machine presents itself to you there comes
the decision, sell the other machine that served you well
and you've become attached to, or keep it? The latter
eventually leads to your having rat holes and when it really
gets out of hand you'll number your rat holes. The former,
well, I wouldn't know what that's like.
If you do get past all the hurdles outlined above you'll
find yourself at a forum like Old WoodWorking Machines
(OWWM) on Yahoo and making the OWWM Website the home page on
your toaster. You'll scan the messages daily and be nodding
at your monitor a lot. You'll spent way too much time
looking at other men's machines and drooling into your lap.
You might even find that you like the hunt way better than
wooddorking and chuck the one to devote all your time to the
They can and will break your heart.
You've taken the wrong approach to this. You need to nod
and say to him, "I think you might be right (you big dork)".
The parenthesis indicate words only in your head and not
crossing your lips. I feel that anyone who wants to live in
ignorance should be allowed to do so.
Actually this isn't true. T'was once upon a time but the
children of SouthEast Asia are becoming the better machine
makers of the next (this) decade. Then again I could be
wrong and most everyone who has posted a favorable review of
their Chiwanese (insert maker/machine here) is too
embarrassed to admit they got taken. Actually, I think this
is the case more often than not. Not saying Asia is crap,
just that most hobbyist wooddorkers can't admit that they
made a bad decision whether it be Made In 'Murica or
For the most part yes but then you've never seen the
Rockwell/Delta CompacTool line either.
I wouldn't buy an old saw for $150 (well, not unless....)
You'll hear a lot of people hereabouts raving about how their lovely
old saw is so wonderful, and how it's older than they are. I'm one - I
have a '62 Wadkin.
But I didn't buy it because it's _better_ than a new saw, I bought it
because it was affordably cheap ($750) and it's an old and tired
version of a saw that would be $2500 new and simply out of my price
range. These old saws are no better than modern saws, it's just that
an old saw you can still find today is probably of a much higher
original grade than most modern saws. And I _mean_ "most" saws, not
I used it to replace a $300 plastic bucket saw. If I hadn't bought it,
I'd have bought a modern tin can for about $900 and probably hated it.
Although I could aslo have had many old saws fro $75 and upwards,
these just don't appeal - my Dad cuts firewood on one, and I won't
touch it - I think it's just too dangerous.
A generalist statement, and about as useful as most generalist
statements ever are.
Look at "domestic" power tools from the '50s. These things were
lethal! Nice shiny aluminium castings that you couldn't afford to
produce today, but the design was poor, the bearings poor and the
safety aspects often downright hazardous.
Equally there was a phase in the late '60s and early '70s when flimsy
junk (often with stripes on) still sold, but there's no redeeming
feature about them today (the word "Craftsman" is springing to mind).
For the sort of old iron that we take an interest though, your
friend's comments just don't apply. Sure, my arbor bearings are
knackered and I ought to replace them - but so are _my_ knees, and
they're two years younger. But the good thing about this saw is that
it's still basically a good design, robustly implemented, and I _can_
buy new bearings as I need them. Try that with your modern Lucky
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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