Buying a used table saw. Thoughts on this one? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-13-2018, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Buying a used table saw. Thoughts on this one?

I'm not new to woodworking, but this is my first time buying a table saw. Just looking to get a used one to do basic things with. Previously I used a Delta contractor saw (Unifence, open frame stand) in a former neighbor's shop. Between the belt drive, large work surface, and the incredible Unifence, I loved it!

Anyway, this Craftsman is available down the road for $100. New 1hp motor. No fence, but I will be putting a different one on it anyway. Thoughts? He said he is getting rid of it because he is not using it often enough to justify the space it takes up.

Would there be a downside to going with a common benchtop saw instead? See...albeit larger, I like the idea of a more robust saw like this with a larger work surface, longer miter gauge tracks, and a more powerful motor and belt drive. I do not need to tote the saw around, so this Craftsman would be fine from a size perspective. I do not want anything larger or heavier, though! Whether benchtop or this, I would probably build it into a slightly larger, rolling workstation to expand the worksurface.

If this is a good find, what specifically should I look for when I go inspect it?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-13-2018, 02:31 PM
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The fence was probably the only thing wrong with that saw. I believe it's the type which has the fence you screw a knob to lock it. With a different fence it should do pretty good. It won't have a lot of power to cut hardwoods but if you are patient should do fine.
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post #3 of 27 Old 04-13-2018, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The fence was probably the only thing wrong with that saw. I believe it's the type which has the fence you screw a knob to lock it. With a different fence it should do pretty good. It won't have a lot of power to cut hardwoods but if you are patient should do fine.
Thanks for your reply, Steve! This is great news. Though your comment regarding hardwoods begs the question...would a benchtop saw be worse in that regard? This is a 1hp motor. I am assuming that is the problem, that a benchtop saw will have less power to cut hardwoods, and a heavier duty saw than this will have more power. Am I correct?

There should be no problem attaching a new fence, correct? Can the table surface and miter gauge slots be cleaned?
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-13-2018, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by lem73 View Post
Thanks for your reply, Steve! This is great news. Though your comment regarding hardwoods begs the question...would a benchtop saw be worse in that regard? This is a 1hp motor. I am assuming that is the problem, that a benchtop saw will have less power to cut hardwoods, and a heavier duty saw than this will have more power. Am I correct?

There should be no problem attaching a new fence, correct? Can the table surface and miter gauge slots be cleaned?
It's the 1hp that is the issue. You really need a minimum of 2hp to work very much hardwood. I used to have a 2hp saw and cutting a lot of oak the motor would get hot enough to trip the thermal overload and I would have to go do something else for a while and let the saw cool off. Doing small jobs though the 1hp motor might cut slow but you shouldn't overheat it.
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-13-2018, 03:20 PM
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I've been using a saw like that for about 35 years and with a good fence it's been fine. The 1 hp motor bogs a bit with 1 1/2 inch hardwoods but for general use it does the job. I may replace mine with a 2 hp 220V motor some day, if the stock motor ever quits.

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post #6 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 10:24 AM
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Who really knows what anything is worth from an image on the internet?

These older contractor saws and some of the bench saws from Craftsman, Ridgid and Delta run the gamut of being good saws to over used junk with motors ranging from 1/2HP to 1-1/2HP with some having aftermarket motors of 2HP. I have seen prices from free to several hundred dollars.

At a glace the saw has a reasonably new motor (that is a plus) although it is a 1HP instead of a 1-1/2hp that can be commonly found on similar saws. It is right "down the road," that is another plus

You are planning on putting a fence on it, that is an additional cost.

It does have a miter gauge so that is something.

Maybe it is a good deal for a good saw...maybe it isn't.

My advice, take the dollar value you figure you would put toward a fence and rail system, add it to the $100 then search CL or whatever selling sites you use and see what is available in that price range. You might end up pleasantly surprised what you can find.

Good luck
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 10:40 AM
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Don't get spun up about it "bogging in hardwoods". For likely 90% of what you might be doing that motor will be just fine. How often do you work with anything over 1" for your projects, and how often is that hardwood?

I would check the arbor bearings, tilt and lower of the blade, without power spin the blade and look for any visible wobble. Turn the saw on and raise the blade, does it run smooth?

The issue with most of those old Cman saws is the fence, you are going to address that, so if it checks out you are likely to have a decent saw that will last you a long time.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 10:55 AM
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You may have already made your purchase, but if you haven’t, I recommend you pass on this saw.
As you know, it doesn’t have a fence. A new fence assembly can cost as much or more than the saw, depending on what type you buy.
I suggest you wait and buy a table saw that is complete and ready to go. Just be patient. There are better deals out there.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 11:19 AM
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My personal opinion would be walk away, for many reasons. First I would get the sears model #s, then check if it had a comparable (new) motor installed. It needs a fence replaced, which will cost ++$200.00. If you got it for free, and it has a properly sized motor, it may be worth the expense and effort to clean it up, but I think there are better deals in used table saws out there...keep looking. As far as benchtop saws...I have NEVER seen one with a nice stable fence system and without that they are dangerous! I talked to a contractor who used one on a jobsite to rip a 2x10 that was long...and as he started the rip cut the weight of the board flipped the table saw...not too cool! I suggest that you keep looking. I am sure that you will find a decent deal...possibly at estate sales, garage sales, craigs list, and the like.
Good luck!
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 03:34 PM
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The motor is worth the $100, so basically the rest of the saw is free. You would likely want a better fence on any used saw, and if push comes to shove you can always sell any good fence you buy for it. So, all in all it looks like a no brainer to me, maybe not for a professional that is using 8 hours a day, but for the average DIYer it will be a good saw.

Expect to do bit of cleaning and possibly replacing arbor bearings which is relatively easy and will not cost that much.
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 06:32 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I'd get that saw!

The price is very fair. I would put this $240.00 fence on it and you will be in woodworker heaven. The fence is the heart of the table saw and this one is great.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Delta-Power....c100005.m1851
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
I've been using a saw like that for about 35 years and with a good fence it's been fine. The 1 hp motor bogs a bit with 1 1/2 inch hardwoods but for general use it does the job. I may replace mine with a 2 hp 220V motor some day, if the stock motor ever quits.
I have also had a saw like that for about 35 years. Does everything I want it to. I upgraded the fence many years ago.

George
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post #13 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
It's the 1hp that is the issue. You really need a minimum of 2hp to work very much hardwood. I used to have a 2hp saw and cutting a lot of oak the motor would get hot enough to trip the thermal overload and I would have to go do something else for a while and let the saw cool off. Doing small jobs though the 1hp motor might cut slow but you shouldn't overheat it.
My 1.5hp table saw begs to disagree there Steve

I think its an issue of hobbiest vs professional. Yeah, if youre ripping 12/4 hard maple 8 hours a day every day without ever changing blades, 2hp might be the minimum. For us home shop guys though, 1-1.5hp is plenty, given the use will mainly be short cuts in 3/4 material. Heck, a sharp ripping blade in my saw will go through 3 inches of maple without issue, just cant ram it through as fast as i could one of those fancy 5hp saws
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-14-2018, 07:23 PM
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If you are not going into business... Buy the saw. Put a fence on it. Cut wood. Be happy.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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post #15 of 27 Old 04-15-2018, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for all the replies! So...I have good news. After a ton of research, I instead bought a Jet unit for only sixty bucks more! $160 for the saw with Xacta fence (I like the Delta Unifence far more, but this thing is dead straight also!), open frame stand, 1.5 horsepower (external) motor, cast iron wings, rolling base, and a Rockler router table assembly on the far right (with leveling insert, fence and a pair of clamp accessories). I also bought a Delta tenon jig and a clamping miter gauge for $20. I don't have the specific model number of the saw on me at the moment, but it is white and sits on an open frame stand (rather than enclosed).

Good deal, or did I goof this one up?
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-15-2018, 09:05 AM
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post #17 of 27 Old 04-15-2018, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
The motor is worth the $100, so basically the rest of the saw is free. You would likely want a better fence on any used saw, and if push comes to shove you can always sell any good fence you buy for it. So, all in all it looks like a no brainer to me, maybe not for a professional that is using 8 hours a day, but for the average DIYer it will be a good saw.

Expect to do bit of cleaning and possibly replacing arbor bearings which is relatively easy and will not cost that much.
Frank,
I’ve taken the other side on this one. Even the new motor is weak at only 1 hp.
The saw has little value without a working fence and the unit is not worth putting addional time and money in. I recommend keep looking. Better deals are out there.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-15-2018, 02:12 PM
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He bought a different saw!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lem73 View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies! So...I have good news. After a ton of research, I instead bought a Jet unit for only sixty bucks more! $160 for the saw with Xacta fence (I like the Delta Unifence far more, but this thing is dead straight also!), open frame stand, 1.5 horsepower (external) motor, cast iron wings, rolling base, and a Rockler router table assembly on the far right (with leveling insert, fence and a pair of clamp accessories). I also bought a Delta tenon jig and a clamping miter gauge for $20. I don't have the specific model number of the saw on me at the moment, but it is white and sits on an open frame stand (rather than enclosed).

Good deal, or did I goof this one up?
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Frank,
I’ve taken the other side on this one. Even the new motor is weak at only 1 hp.
The saw has little value without a working fence and the unit is not worth putting addional time and money in. I recommend keep looking. Better deals are out there.
As far as having a 1 HP induction motor, not the brush type in this case, I used one for years, even decades on my original Craftsman 10" table saw from the '60s. The only issue I remember is sawing 2" - 3" thick hardwood. If it made more sense to make 2 passe, that's what I did. For most home shop uses it will be fine. If you are making furniture on a regular basis, you had better have sharp blade with 24 teeth for ripping or limited resawing. I prefer to resaw on the bandsaw with the correct blade rather than the table saw even with a 24 tooth blade. It's easier and safer.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-15-2018 at 02:20 PM.
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post #19 of 27 Old 04-15-2018, 07:59 PM
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One weekend a couple years ago I was helping a friend build some shelves for his store, the 1 1/2 HP motor on his Craftsman contractor saw packed it in Sunday afternoon, stores were closed so I searched through my shed and found a 3/4 HP motor, we hooked that up with 220 Volts and went back to work. He is still using that motor on his saw today and getting along just fine, granted he is not working 8 hours a day cutting 3" oak with it.

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post #20 of 27 Old 04-15-2018, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by lem73 View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies! So...I have good news. After a ton of research, I instead bought a Jet unit for only sixty bucks more! $160 for the saw with Xacta fence (I like the Delta Unifence far more, but this thing is dead straight also!), open frame stand, 1.5 horsepower (external) motor, cast iron wings, rolling base, and a Rockler router table assembly on the far right (with leveling insert, fence and a pair of clamp accessories). I also bought a Delta tenon jig and a clamping miter gauge for $20. I don't have the specific model number of the saw on me at the moment, but it is white and sits on an open frame stand (rather than enclosed).

Good deal, or did I goof this one up?
Good find...

My experience is that most any tablesaw can be made into an accurate and reliable centerpiece with a good tune-up. The one exception is my neighbor's craftsman saw with a warped fence...that thing is downright dangerous but he won't listen to me because it was his father's saw. It tried to kill me more than once.
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