Looking for thoughts on my table saw dilemma. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-03-2017, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for thoughts on my table saw dilemma.

So here's the deal...I've been using an old hand me down craftsman table saw. The fence sucks, the top is small and the base/legs are wobbly. It's past time for a new saw.
My shop is my garage, and being able to move the saw around so I can get the car in is a must...for now. A new garage/shop is in the cards come spring/summer, and it will have a permanent spot for a saw.
Is it going to be worth it for me to get a new saw that fits my needs now, or just fight thru the next couple projects till I have room for a bigger saw?

Keep in mind that I'm just an occasional hobbyist, and haven't used my table saw in probably close to a year. So it isn't anything that is going to get worked to death. Although I need to make a couple toy boxes before spring, so I will need one ASAP.
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-03-2017, 09:26 AM
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I can tell you that I was in a similar position about 1 1/2 years ago. I had an old craftsman table saw that I was having a heck of time working with.

My shop is in my garage (2 car) and I have my table saw in the same position since I bought it and just move around the other items so I can work.

I can also tell you that for us "hobbyists" bigger is not always better. However...

I came here and there were so many helpful and motivating posts and responses to my questions and concerns.

After careful consideration and getting my table saw tuned up and even built a sled for it (I was and still am a novice at wood working) I decided that the "wobbly" craftsman just wasn't cutting it for me long term.

Aside from the "wobbly"ness of it, the miter channels had "dibs" on it that made making a sled very difficult as well as impossible to find after market miters etc.

The craftsman was "de-motivating" for me and I dreaded having to cut anything on it!

I broke down with the help of the wife and bought a Delta 36-725 - much larger than my craftsman but it does have wheels.

Over all it was one of the best decisions I made for my hobby! I have since made lots of jigs, a few benches and carts for my other power tools and I really enjoy working with the saw.

I'm now in an online WW class, making useful items and having a blast with my saw.

Having the right tool for the right job IMO is one of the most important aspects of creating and finishing any project as well as keeping it fun!

So, my advice if you can afford to get the new saw now find what you want and buy it and stop struggling through projects

Last edited by new2woodwrk; 11-03-2017 at 09:30 AM.
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-03-2017, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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That Delta was one of the ones I was looking at...a little above what I was wanting to spend at the moment, but thought it might be a nice compromise that I would be happy with even after I get my shop built.
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-03-2017, 03:39 PM
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I have the Delta 36-725 - I got it when it first came out and it was a disaster - they eventually replaced the entire saw...
with a few tweaks I've been very satisfied with it.

- does yeoman's work on 110v - as in ripping 8/4 red oak
- fence is good, and stable
- dust extraction is okay, not stellar
- aligning the blade parallel to slot is not hard but a real PITA; some disassembly required
- the splitter is thick - most narrow kerf blades cause issues - Delta had / still has (?) no thin riving knife available - I took mine to a machine shop and had 0.2mm surface ground off each side.

now, if you have not used a table saw in a year - I think it's a safe bet you can cobble by and wait for the shop to appear....
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-04-2017, 07:55 AM
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"Keep in mind that I'm just an occasional hobbyist, and haven't used my table saw in probably close to a year. So it isn't anything that is going to get worked to death. Although I need to make a couple toy boxes before spring, so I will need one ASAP."

Can you make the toy boxes with the current saw? If the answer is yes then you do not need one ASAP.

George
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-04-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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George, your sound like my wife. :)

But I suppose you are right...I would be best served to wait and get what I want.
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-05-2017, 01:06 AM
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Yes - wait and get what you want because what you want may be redefined with time... but when you do make your purchase - give it a lot of time and get the best you can afford! Now my story... I built my dream shop in 2001 while I was still working (retired in 2009). Until 2009, I was a wood hacker (experimenter at best). But I always knew that I was bitten by the woodworking bug. Between 2001 and 2009, I skipped my coffee breaks and pocketed the cash (about $30/week) too buy tools. Keep in mind that woodworking was a retirement goal... so I was buying good quality tools. As for my table saw, I worked with an old Craftsman for many years and got by... In 2005, I decided to replace it. By then, I had built a few nice home projects and my wife was convinced woodworking was a passion of mine. She gave a "go" card to buy any saw my heart desired with NO price limit. Considering my researched, space limit and my $needs, I chose the smallest JET cabinet saw because it fit all my needs and budget (I had saved my coffee $). That saw has served me very well... it has seriously helped me progress from a wood hacker too a craftsman (with a + or a - master).

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-05-2017, 07:00 PM
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If the saw you want will fit your budget and the available space in your garage then get it now. Will it fit in the garage if it is on a mobile base? If you have to compromise on what you really want due to budgetary or space constraints then wait.
You don't say much about your current saw, but some of the old Craftsmans can be upgraded with new fences, top extensions, etc. and work really well. I have one I bought in the 1970's and have added an aftermarket fence and done some other upgrades and it works well and is very accurate.
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-05-2017, 10:08 PM
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Dewalt DWE7491RS is a great saw that is portable and takes up very little space. Iíve been amazed with mine since getting it. Itís no cabinet saw, but for a hobbyist or general contractor it is awesome!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-06-2017, 07:35 PM
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It sounds like you don?t have an immediate need for a new saw, but know you?d benefit from a better saw.

I think many of us have been there. You begin with a ?starter? saw and it serves you well, but one day you discover you outgrew it. And you want (deserve) something better. If you get a good saw, I doubt you?ll regret it.

But, you also said ?That Delta was one of the ones I was looking at...a little above what I was wanting to spend at the moment?. If waiting will let you buy the saw you REALLY want, them I?d wait. Otherwise, you might as well start enjoying the saw you want (deserve).
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-18-2017, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I was really regretting not getting a bigger saw tonight while trying to cut some 17x18 panels. My current table isn't big enough, so this was the alternative.
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-18-2017, 09:45 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Fences are of 2 types....

The best type uses the front rail on which the fence head slides and clamps up, like a Biesemeyer, strong and self-squaring.
The second type clamps on the table at each end and rides on the front and rear rails for support and to some extent "self-squaring" but it's not very effective. Older Craftsman fences have a screw handle which shortens a long rod inside the fence causing it to clamp against the front and rear table edges.

A bandsaw fence may not have rails in which case you can use a long bar clamp to secure it. The bar clamp is held vertically in a slot in a wood "sandwich" or you can just make a dado in a single piece of wood. The 3 piece "sandwich" is shown here:








To make the fence "self-squaring" attach a wood scrap across the front edge by screwing on the front. I actually did this at some point and may have this "experiment" hanging on a hook somewhere in the shop. This eliminates all the fussin' around with the OEM fences that just are a PITA. There are many You Tube on DIY table saw fences.
You don't have to put up with a fence that is annoying. :frown2:
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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 #13 of 21 Old 12-19-2017, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately that won't work on my saw due to the rail on the front of the saw not being flat enough to put a clamp on. Although I wish it would work, because the fence on it now sucks.

Either way, I still wouldn't able to have cut it on this saw without making the table bigger. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have squared up all 3 pieces before I glued them together. When I was doing it, I thought I'd save some time and just cut them square and to size all at once. Would have worked great...but my fence only goes to 11". So, I had to resort to the straight edge and circular saw.
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post #14 of 21 Old 12-19-2017, 10:28 AM
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unless you can lay flat a 4x8 sheet to the left of the blade, and a 4x8 sheet to the right of the blade, the table saw will not ever achieve "big enough"
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-19-2017, 12:00 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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table saw workstations

An image search came up with many solutions including this:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...g&action=close
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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 #16 of 21 Old 12-19-2017, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I think I found a saw...a local has a delta listed...he says it's an older (20 year old) delta with a unifence and it can be run on 110 or 220. I'm going to take a look at it timorrow.
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-19-2017, 08:37 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Those Unifences are valuable

Since they are discontinued, they don't come up often. I love all 3 of mine. :smile3: The front rail is also hard to come by. I'd say the fence alone would bring around $300.00. Don't let on you know all this and just act like it's a "nice older saw"...heh ...heh.. Dual voltage motor is also a plus.

Let us know and take some photos either way, if you buy it or if you don't!

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 #18 of 21 Old 12-20-2017, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
unless you can lay flat a 4x8 sheet to the left of the blade, and a 4x8 sheet to the right of the blade, the table saw will not ever achieve "big enough"
Of course you mean lay flat lengthwise.. to be able to rip the short side right?
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-20-2017, 01:22 AM
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I use a Delta table saw with a unifence. I bought it 20 years ago and still runs well. I'd recommend waiting though to get a permanent home for your saw instead of having to keep moving it. I've had both situations and my table saw is now the centre of my shop and doesn't move.

Scott Bennett - Sharing the enjoyment of woodworking via Woodshop Therapy.
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-20-2017, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the saw ended up being a pile of saw parts. He said that the "thought" all the parts were there except for the nut for the shaft. The motor wasn't the original, and it was just a little more than I wanted to mess with. He was asking 150 and wouldn't come down. It might be wort it to someone.
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