First table saw, I'm totally lost - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 09-17-2017, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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First table saw, I'm totally lost

Ok I've been wanting a table saw for 10 years now. I'm 30 and I'm tired of waiting. Thing is, I don't have 3000$ to drop on a high end saw. This leaves me with 3 options and I don't know what to do

1) used :I've been checking the used market a lot for the past 3-4 years and while I can certainly find a few delta unisaws and general, most don't have a guard or a riving knive. I'm a pilot and can't afford to lose my fingers so I guess a riving knive is a must ?

2) buying a 800-1000$ brand new saw. I was looking at the ridgid 4512 or the steel city 45925G-A36, both are the same price here and I prefer the steel city for it's granite table top and sturdy looking build. However, I've read extensively on both saws and obviously, they are far from perfect and many have returned both of them. I am aware that these returns don't represent the majority but still...

3) wait until I get more cash and get a sawstop. This option is cool but at the same time, having to wait a few more years does suck, I'm putting aside many projects because I don't have a table saw or even a circular saw !


Should I favor the 1000$ table saw with a riving knive or get an old 350 or unisaw ? I'm not making a living out of furniture making but I do want a table saw that will make a clean, straight cut. Is it possible to achieve that with a simple ridgid or steel city ?

Thanks for your input, much appreciated !
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post #2 of 28 Old 09-17-2017, 11:56 PM
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Hi Charlo489,
I'm a newbie on this site, and maybe my answer is sacrilege to true woodworkers, but if as you say, you're not trying to make a living building furniture, why not get a jobsite table saw like a DeWalt DW745, listed at Lowe's for $579? (I don't work for Lowe's or DeWalt.) It'll have up to date safety equipment (though it's not a SawStop), has power and accuracy and a good warranty which is an argument against buying used. You can use a portable stand, or build a solid workbench to mount it to.
Just my 2 cents.
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-17-2017, 11:59 PM
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Unless something has changed, Steel City when out of business. I think the current best bang for your buck is the Grizzly G0771Z http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-H...d-Fence/G0771Z It has a riving knife and a good blade guard, as well as being a good all around saw. Knowing how much your digits are required for your job, I am a retired pilot, if it were me, I would spend the extra and get a SawStop. No matter how careful you are, with power tools anything can always happen and the piece of mind of the SawStop safety feature is worth the wait.
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 05:46 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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I own 4 types of table saws ....?

I have a Powermatic 5 HP cabinet saw, a monster. I have several Craftsman contractor saws bolted together, the Sawzilla in my avatar. I have a discontinued Craftsman Hybrid saw. I also have a great Bosch job site saw.

I could easily get by with the Craftsman hybrid and no other saws. It has a 1 3/4 HP motor, great Biesemeyer fence and outfeed support built in. I run it on 120 volts, so 220 supply is not needed. It listed for $1100 new, I paid $500.00 for a floor model.

Your needs would probably be best met by the Grizzly hybrid, under $900 or so including shipping.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-H...d-Fence/G0771Z

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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)
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 06:35 AM
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" I'm not making a living out of furniture making but I do want a table saw that will make a clean, straight cut. Is it possible to achieve that with a simple ridgid or steel city ?"

I am not even going to bother answering any of your other questions as I think the answer to this question will provide answers to all questions.

The cost of a saw is not what determines its ability to make a clean, straight cut. Most saws on the market(probably all) have this ability. Some are easier to use, some are safer and others have other benefits.

If you had of been reading the posts on this forum for very long you would know that many, many people have bought used $200/$250 and up machines and had very good success with their wood cutting.

There are two main things that determine the saws cutting ability: proper setup and the operators skill.

You do not say where you live so it is impossible to see the used market in your area. That is where I would start looking.

George
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 06:56 AM
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Economically, probably your best bet would be to get a used Unisaw and if it doesn't have a guard buy a guard and put it on the saw if you think you need it. Often you can find these parts on ebay. Experienced craftsman tend to do away with with the guards because they get in the way a lot so there should be a lot of them around.
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post #7 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 07:37 AM
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This may be a dangerous place to post this since i never met the dude who owned the tools. But if your going to be waiting some time anyway get on Craig's list. I acquired three table saws, a Rigid, a Dewalt and something else, with several guards etc, along with two compound miter saws, and several large totes of drill motors grinders sanders and hand tools and a dust collector system. All for the $50.00 in gas to go pick them up.

My big brother was a carpenter who talked to trees and they listened, His mother was a virgin. I hope to be just like him.
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post #8 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 08:23 AM
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I think quality of blade has a lot to do with quality of cut.
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post #9 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 11:21 AM
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Unisaw or a Grizzly is what I would look for, SawStops are neat, but in the 40-50 years of wood working I have only had one mishap with a table saw or any other wood working machine, and that was on the 4th of July weekend this year, and it was caused by me no one to blame just not paying attention and got a hell of a kick back, tried to bury the push stick into the heel of my thumb, and it still hurts

A riving knife might have prevented it
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post #10 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Economically, probably your best bet would be to get a used Unisaw and if it doesn't have a guard buy a guard and put it on the saw if you think you need it. Often you can find these parts on ebay. Experienced craftsman tend to do away with with the guards because they get in the way a lot so there should be a lot of them around.
I know this goes against strong safety practices, but I've found that some safeties actually caused me problems. The clear plastic shields get dusty immediately and will start to haze in time which hurts visibility. The splitter or riving knife is in my way for many cuts and must be removed. Taking it on and off becomes a hassle so I leave it off.
Safe practices by the operator trumps any safety feature a manufacture can install.
Be smart and be safe.

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 #11 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 12:18 PM
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agree and disagree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catpower View Post
Unisaw or a Grizzly is what I would look for, SawStops are neat, but in the 40-50 years of wood working I have only had one mishap with a table saw or any other wood working machine, and that was on the 4th of July weekend this year, and it was caused by me no one to blame just not paying attention and got a hell of a kick back, tried to bury the push stick into the heel of my thumb, and it still hurts

A riving knife might have prevented it
I agree! Because the riving knife or splitter covers the back side of the blade that accident or "lapse of focus" could not have happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I know this goes against strong safety practices, but I've found that some safeties actually caused me problems. The clear plastic shields get dusty immediately and will start to haze in time which hurts visibility. The splitter or riving knife is in my way for many cuts and must be removed. Taking it on and off becomes a hassle so I leave it off.
Safe practices by the operator trumps any safety feature a manufacture can install.
Be smart and be safe.
I disagree!
Safe practices are always a must, but for that one time, "lapse of focus" you can't go back and get a do over. The splitter keeps the workpiece from moving away from the fence at the rear of the blade, a cause of most kickbacks. It is physically impossible for the work to rotate, and come up and over the rear portion of the blade and it's not a safety gimick by any means. I removed the plastic blade cover on mine by drilling out the rivets leaving just the plate and no anti-kickback pawls. By having no blade cover to get in the way of narrow rips it works much better, BUT there is still the danger of your fingers entering the "red zone", the red painted area on the throat plate. That's when it's time to grab the push block and continue moving the work past the blade and out the far side safely.

The newer saws make the removal and reinstallation of the riving knife much easier and with no tedious adjustments required. That is not the case with the older Craftsman contractor type saws which I use almost exclusively. It's a real PITA to get it back on and parallel with the blade, so I rarely remove it. When I do need to make a cut like a 2 cut rabbet, I use the newer Craftsman hybrid which has an easy on/easy off riving knife.

I would not personally use a table saw without a riving knife or splitter in place, unless it was absolutely necessary. JMO.

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; 09-18-2017 at 03:00 PM.
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post #12 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 02:07 PM
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First table saw, I'm totally lost

I was recently reading a review on the Rockler miter fold dado blade and one of the purchasers was really pissed at Rockler because he couldn't use the dado blade since it was incompatible with the sawstop dado brake. The main reason he was angry was because he spent thousands on the sawstop saw on recommendations from his Rockler store only to discover it had severe limitations. You can't remove the brake if it isn't compatible with what you want to do.

For the above reasons, and possible false brake triggers ruining a brake and a blade for no reason, the sawstop is not for me.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #13 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 03:39 PM
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I have a Bosch contractor saw I take to jobsites and it works fine. In my shop is a DeWalt hybrid that works better. The only reason I would upgrade my shop saw would be for a wider fence. Some of the major keys to success, IMHO, is sharp quality blades, proper technique (including keeping you saw tuned), and sturdy work supports. Good luck!
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post #14 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 04:44 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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table saw used without a splitter or blade guard

I started this challenge to see what methods other woodworkers would use when making this leg brace, a design from Lola Ranch's Bret:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/le...allenge-33352/




My friend mdntrdr used a RAS for his approach, which I found really scary!



There are just times when the safety equipment gets in the way, so you must be cautious when making these type of cuts. Experience also helps ...... just sayin'

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)
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post #15 of 28 Old 09-18-2017, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I know this goes against strong safety practices, but I've found that some safeties actually caused me problems. The clear plastic shields get dusty immediately and will start to haze in time which hurts visibility. The splitter or riving knife is in my way for many cuts and must be removed. Taking it on and off becomes a hassle so I leave it off.
Safe practices by the operator trumps any safety feature a manufacture can install.
Be smart and be safe.
I know what you mean. I've had a Unisaw for 17 years and the guard has never been on the saw. The saw I had before that was a Craftsman. It also came with a guard and since I had it I went ahead and put it on the saw. On about the third or fourth cut the board closed up behind the blade and pinched the guard. In the process of trying to get the board loose from the guard it nearly beat me half to death. After that the guard came off and went straight in the trash. It was the first and one of the few times I've been hurt on a table saw.

Usually when you get hurt you are doing something you know better and can almost see it coming.
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post #16 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 08:26 AM
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Cool

I do make my living with my saw's. And at one time I had tens of thousands of dollars tied up in the latest greatest equipment, a whole shop full of it.
When my house burned down, the shop was close enough it went as well. Along with all that high dollar equipment. Now I got maybe ten grand worth of used and cheap new equipment. And I'm making the same money and same quality stuff I did when I had all the best.


I have a pistol range setup in the back of my land. A friend of mine showed up with his New SW 10MM Automatic "Nickle Plated" cannon. He took his time and squeezed off a magazine of ammo at the target. Managing to put three or four rounds into the kill zone on the target. Then proudly asked could I match that with my Ruger Redhawk 44 Magnum, Single action cowboy pistol. I pulled my pistol raised and fired one round, hitting dead center Bullseye. Then holstered my weapon, smiled and said, that's all the practice I need today. My point? If ya don't know how to use the tool, it won't matter how fancy it is.


You can't do this stuff in the city!
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post #17 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 08:50 AM
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17 years experience counts!

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I know what you mean. I've had a Unisaw for 17 years and the guard has never been on the saw. The saw I had before that was a Craftsman. It also came with a guard and since I had it I went ahead and put it on the saw. On about the third or fourth cut the board closed up behind the blade and pinched the guard. In the process of trying to get the board loose from the guard it nearly beat me half to death. After that the guard came off and went straight in the trash. It was the first and one of the few times I've been hurt on a table saw.

Usually when you get hurt you are doing something you know better and can almost see it coming.
Most of the folks here asking questions do not have that experience. They may not even own a table saw like the OP asking here. So, when I post about splitters it includes my 50 years of experience using a table saw, both with and without the splitter.
I know real well about kickbacks and how and why they happen.
Your experience with a board closing on the splitter/blade guard, is not really a kickback, but it could have been without it. Reaction wood is not possible to predict, so it can happen at any time.

In my case I don't use a blade guard as it just gets in the way. I made a little laminated wood blade cover on a friction bolt mounted to my splitters that I can adjust to full up or down right on the workpiece and that works great ... for me. In the full up position it still allows for maximum depth of cut so there not that limitation.

Sop safety is a personal thing and I know my buddy who makes raised panel doors doesn't use a blade guard or splitter on the table saw, nor a blade guard over his 16" Porter jointer, and has exposed belts running outside his planer etc. He works long hours and has been doing this for 30 or more years. He still has 9.5 fingers.... Shapers are one of the most dangerous machines, just ask him.
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post #18 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 09:16 AM
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And sometimes accidents just happen. Almost happen. One evening about 11 years ago, I was working with the table saw. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS unplug when I am working around the blade. Always. Except for this one time. And I was aware that I hadn't unplugged it. I literally thought to myself, 'didn't unplug....but this is o.k....nothing will go wrong...'

I was measuring the height of the blade. My daughter was about four years old and had been playing in an adjoining room. She walks in to tell me something. And without my noticing she reaches up and asks, "What's this, daddy?" and touches the ON/OFF switch.

I don't know who screamed louder. I whirl around from the saw and yank the cord out of the wall. She runs from the room. I had felt the wind from the carbide teeth whoosh on my knuckles.

To both of our credit, neither of us cried. Moral of the story: take your pick.
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post #19 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 09:21 AM
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Half the safety stuff on tools these days are ment to keep the manufacturer from being sued by fools that hurt themselves. Some safety measures make good sense, while other just get in the way and cause problems. Until someone learns how to fix stupid, I don't recon any tool can be made safe enough.
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post #20 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Well guys, I did contact grizzly and the G0771Z might fit the bill. They do ship to Canada afterall, it's 160$ usd but with the taxes and duties, the saw will probably cost close to 1300 $ USD delivered. Not cheap by any means.

I do have a local guy selling steel city. It seems that in 2015 it went out of business but their website is still up and running. Should I avoid that company ? I'm pretty sure their quality is on par with grizzly, I guess they're all made at the same chinese factory.


So far, the grizzly is interesting but I end up paying a lot for duties and shipping. For the same price, I could get a local full blown steel city cabinet saw or for 700$ USD, I could get their nice contractor saw. I'm gonna check my local general dealer for a 50-200R table.

I've decided that I wanted at the very least a riving knife since I'm new to woodworking and can't afford to lose a finger. This requirement makes buying a used table pretty much impossible since 99% of them don't have those knives
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