I'm still pricing my various tools, and it sounds like the first major
purchase I'll want to make is the table saw. Naturally, I don't plan to
up just and buy one right away, but I like to premeditate any major
purchase extensively (I'm the kind of guy who will agonize for weeks
over whether or not to drop $10 on the "Tommy Boy" DVD and about the
time I finally decide to do it, my wife rolls her eyes and buys it for me).
So my real question here is twofold. First, do I buy new or used, and
second, what tier of product should I go with? The guy I talked to at
Woodcraft strongly recommended not going cheap just to save a few bucks,
as he said I'll end up buying something nicer eventually anyway and
won't have saved anything, but he also warned against over-doing it. He
also said that getting a well-known and well-appreciated brand-name saw
will increase its value somewhat when and if I ever decide to sell it.
So: new or used? And what brands/makes/models do people have and
recommend? What add-ons or features should I look for? I'd like to
keep it under a grand if possible for a new saw. Thanks!
You've got bigger problems than new or used if you're actually thinking
about buying " Tommy Boy ".
p.s. You'll get more bang for your buck buying used and unlike a car,
you're usually not buying someone else's problems.
At your level, anything more than a decent contractor saw would be a gross
waste of good metal. Same for me. I have two old cast iron C'men and they
work perfectly. A good fence would be nice, but I use the original on one
of them for ripping and never a fence on the other, which has a crosscut
blade. One cost $75 and one about $150, both on rollers. Unless you
develop some real skill and "need" the big cabinet saw, you're wasting a lot
of money better spent on beer!
If the arbor is straight and the blade parallel to the miter slot, I don't
think there is a meaningful difference in saws, except for HP and, in some
cases, vibration. I put link belts from HF on mine and they "seem" to make
When you get in the store and start rubbing the iron, it's easy to spend
more than you really "should". Sorta like in certain clubs where women are
known to dance.
Be brave, start small, learn the tricks, then move on! For the difference
in TS prices, you can get a couple of other tools! After a few years, you
can sell the starters for what you paid, if you keep them up. Just check
arbor runout and bearing wear before buying. Personally, I've never seen a
saw with shot bearings, although I'm sure it happens.
Stay away from 3 phase, it just ain't worth the trouble of conversion,
unless your brother owns a motor shop.
There's a nice cabinet TS at Leneave machinery in Charlotte, NC for about
$1K that is a good middle ground. They are made in Taiwan to good spec's
and with reasonable QC.
I filled my first apartment with furniture I built myself. Bed,
dresser, dining room table, coffee table, 2 end tables, bookshelves.
All I had were a circular saw, a router (both Skil), a Black and Decker
belt sander and a Skil finishing sander. I jointed everything with a
Stanley jackplane. Everything was built out of rock maple.
17 years later and we still use the same bed. I've given the
bookshelves to my brother-in-law, we have a new mission dining set so I
took the old dining table apart to re-use the wood and we sold the
living room stuff at a garage sale. That sale paid for the cost of the
wood for all of the above mentioned furniture.
I've since moved onto to a Power Tech direct drive tablesaw (Christmas
present from my wife), followed by a Craftsman contractor's saw, and now
am the proud owner of a Powermatic 65 cabinet saw.
What holds true for the man with the small penis holds true for a
woodworker: It's not what you have - it's how you use it.
I started out with a $75 B&D circular saw many years ago and a $60
Craftsman jigsaw. I avoided using the circular saw because it's so
loud. I avoided using the jigsaw because it vibrated so bad that it
made my hand numb. Recently got a $160 Bosch Jigsaw. Sold the
Craftsman. Never use the circular anymore. Wish I had bought the
jigsaw in the first place...I would have done much better in the
A _good_ jigsaw can do many things that a circular cannot - most
notably curves and stop-cuts.
(people are going to get tired of hearing me say that...if
they aren't already)
Huh? Is this the new ekinomiks as being taught at
Woodcraft U.? OK, it generally goes like this. You buy a
brand new saw and it will depreciate approximately 20%
before MasterCard has a chance to debit your bank account.
What really ends up happening is, you can buy a good quality
saw, use it for a decade or three and sell it for what you
paid for it. Appreciation? No.
Well if you'd let me get a word in edge wis...
Anything that everyone else is buying. Hang out, watch
things and it'll come to you.
: So: new or used? And what brands/makes/models do people have and
: recommend? What add-ons or features should I look for? I'd like to
: keep it under a grand if possible for a new saw. Thanks!
On my web site is a set of criteria that should be useful in looking at
second-hand saws, and in judging the specifications of new ones.
Please look under 'Circular Sawbench Safety' - 'Buying a Circular Sawbench'.
Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
Email address is username@ISP
username is amgron
ISP is clara.co.uk
Go to the bookstore/library and do a little reading. I'd recommend
browsing through "The Complete Illustrated Guide To Furniture &
Cabinet Construction" by Andy Rae. Lots of pictures and good
explanations of what you can do with various tools. If you can't
afford the book then find yourself a chair, sit down and read in the
Your best bet in deciding whether to buy new or used is to get out and
look at what's in the stores. Look at saws in various price ranges,
see how sturdy they are, how smooth and accurate the controls are or
how "junky" they feel. Grab the table and twist it, yank the fence
around - locked and unlocked. Do the same with the mitre gauge -
check it's play in the slot. You'll get a feel for what sort of
quality, or I should say lack of quality, you can deal with. Even the
well regarded brand names (like Delta) make some real junk - but what
do you expect out of a $99 table or band saw? (Yes, Delta does make
these) I looked at the cheap stuff the other day and noticed things
like a fence on the $299 10" Delta bench Tablesaw that's nowhere near
accurate. You can't even move it straight and it certainly doesn't
align when it's locked (without some serious effort). I wouldn't
trust it's accuracy but then again, it'll cut wood. I looked at their
bandsaws too, pulling the table and other parts around to see how
sturdy they were. There was substantial flex in the table with
minimal effort. One of the things you'll quickly find out is that
many of the new saws are exactly the same but have different
manufacturer names and stickers. The manufacturing (and sometimes
design) is outsourced overseas, which in my opinion results in some
I made the decision to upgrade an old (no bashing please!) Craftsman
10" contractors saw that was made in 1956 by King-Seeley. Doing so
cost me a bit but I'm happier than I would have been with some of the
newer saws I looked at. I also owned it so I didn't have to go find
one. My craftsman is heavy, sturdy and with the new fence (purchased
for $150), good blade ($80+), blade stabilizers ($10?) and link
belt/pulleys ($45) it cuts and sounds awesome. It's smooth, quiet and
doesn't noticably vibrate. For me it's as accurate as I need. Other
people have the need or luxury for even more accuracy and put the $$
into getting it.
Finally, before I get bashed, let me point out that the new Craftsman
tools are considered junk by many. There seems to be a lot more
support for their older (70's & earlier) table saws. Definately do
your research and get your hands on some saws. Find out what they
cost in case you decided to buy used. This way you'll know if you're
getting a good deal or not. Make a choice given your newfound
knowledge, budget and needs. You can always upgrade later if you just
need something to work with.
Ok folks here is *my* problem. it is basically the same as Ben's except I
purchased a Delta for $99 about 3 years ago and this last week the bearings
went out. the saw sound more like my coffee grinder than a table saw. I am
a CPA not a woodworker so this is more a hobby than what I do to earn a
living, but I enjoy it.
SWMBO has set a limit of approximately $400 - $500 for a new tablesaw.
Jerry, tell your wife that that damn exam took 3 days and that you are
going to get whatever damn saw you want. Then hop onto the Grizzly
wabpage and get that $900 cabinet saw. Us CPA's deserve at least the
low end cabinet saw of our choice. After you get the saw, probably the
first project should be that dog house you will be living in for a
while - but, hey, it will be worth it.
You want ME to help? You are the CPA. You should be able to handle the
books (or is the term cook the books?) and come up with the $$$ you need to
buy what you want.
For $750 or so, you can get a good Delta contractors saw with a Biesemeyer
Look for the fence first. It will make a "good" saw out of a mediocre
saw. Otherwise, you'll have a great saw that is only good (IF you
don't have a Bies, Unifence or Excaliber or one or two other brand
If I worked for Enron I would cook the books, but, I happen to work for
SWMBO and she gets to spend all the money I just count how much she spent.
BTY, what is your opinion of the Ryobi BT3100, I understand that it could
be a good deal????
Heh heh....sounds like a normal accounting practice to me..
===================================The BT3100 is loved by a lot of guys here on the wreck... very
inexpensive, sliding table .
small foot print etc... So check one out..... The saw also has a
user group on the wreck I believe
With a severely limited budget I would be tempted...
I have used one only once and it seemed like a toy to me... I was not in
the least impressed.
BUT to say I gave it a workout would not be true...it handled the 1x
pine stuff ok..
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