New table saw for an instrument maker? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-09-2009, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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New table saw for an instrument maker?

Hi All:
I'm a bit of a new guy here but have looked at the forum in the past. I build pipe organs, my shop is fairly small. I got a Delta Contractor saw about 12 years ago and it's time to replace. It's wearing out and it's just not accurate enough. I'm getting to the point in the business where I need to do some fancy work, console parts - much like fine furniture making - so need a better table saw. I have a panel saw for big cuts. As I said this is not a very big shop as space is very expensive here so I often have to move machinery around when I'm not doing woodwork. I'm looking at the Powermatic 64 A contractor saw but I was in Home Depot today and saw the Ridgid TS 3660 (the box also said 3650) sitting there with a sign that said it was marked down to $399 from $597. That's a big difference from the best price of $1,099 for the Powermatic. But I trust the Powermatic name and trust the controls to be smooth and accurate. If there is one thing that I can't stand is when I'm raising the blade up through stock and it sticks or jambs. The Delta drives me nuts this way. Without rambling on too long I guess I'm asking if it worth it for a professional to spend an extra $700 for a machine that may or may not be more precise and durable. I'm open to all suggestions. Thanx in advance:

CArl
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-09-2009, 08:30 PM
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Carl,
There was just a thread going in the last week about the ridgid saw. I believe a few members bought the one on sale. You may want to check for that thread, there was a lot of good info there.
Mike Hawkins
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-09-2009, 08:34 PM
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Well Carl I ask a few simple questions that may give you your answer. You mentioned pipe organs... That just sounds spendy. Also fine furniture...also spendy. You have had your current saw for 12 years? $700.00 over 12 years...lets see for 58.00 per year for the next 12 years is it worth it or not? Take care and I am sure you will make the right decision for yourself.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-09-2009, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Now I'm thinking about a Grizzly cabinet saw after reading several reviews.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-10-2009, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terpodion View Post
Now I'm thinking about a Grizzly cabinet saw after reading several reviews.
I have the Griz 3 hp. Love it. Customer service is top notch and the owner builds stringed instruments.

Spilling wine on oak does not make it purpleheart!
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-10-2009, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terpodion View Post
Now I'm thinking about a Grizzly cabinet saw after reading several reviews.
Good move. Changing from a Delta contractor saw to a PM or a Ridgid is a lateral move IMO...Chevy, Dodge, Ford kind of thing, but still the same old family wagon... To me, and no offense intended, it'd seem silly to spend a grand on a contractor saw in today's market. It's time for truck!

A 3hp cabinet saw will take up less space, are significantly better built, more stable, have better dust collection, better precision, and have more power, etc., than a traditional contractor saw. A 3hp motor will require 220v, but beyond that, it's tough to get more for you money than something like the Grizzly or comparable Shop Fox. $1075 to your door is pretty enticing IMO. Steel City may have some deals that are worth checking out too.

If you don't have 220v, then a hybrid saw is the next logical step up. A hybrid saw is an evolution of the 60 year old contractor saw design, that basically moves the motor inside the enclosure, which means a smaller footprint, shorter drive belt (lower vibration, better power transfer to the blade), better DC, no lifting hazard when the motor is tilted. Similar power and duty rating as a contractor saw, but all of the other advantages of a cabinet saw still apply. Steel City, Craftsman, Ridgid, Delta, Grizzly, Shop Fox, DeWalt, Jet, GI, Woodtek.

The guts of a Grizzly 1023SL:


The guts of a traditional contractor saw like the Delta or PM:
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-10-2009, 10:20 AM
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Gotta chime in here. I make small stuff in a small shop also. Always thought I did'nt want a big saw. But this time, without really realizing just how big it was "in person", I ordered a big Ol' Griz. It IS pretty big. But its also powrrfull. Better cuts in small stock. Much more stable (read : safer). And I can still cut stuff for larger projects that come up. We've been over brands a lot so I'll let that be, but yes Virginia, bigger is better.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-10-2009, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Knotscot's points were pretty much what were going through my mind when I started looking at the Grizzly catalog. This is an industrial park so I have access to pretty much any power I want. I'll get a mobile base if I decide that it can't be dragged out of the way when we need the space for non - woodworking activities. I remember talking to the guys at (the late lamented) Woodworker's Warehouse about Grizzly. At that time their quality had improved significantly. They started out as a bargain basement outfit selling the kind of junky stuff you see at Harbor Freight. For the price of the Powermatic 1.5 HP contractor saw I can get the Grizzly G1023S 3 HP Cabinet saw. I read one dreadful review about their hybrid saw but quite frankly I was suspect. The reviewer started by saying he was getting a new saw because the old one ripped off two fingers when it bound and threw the stock. (!?) Shipping took a long time for the Grizzly and then he had trouble with the power switch and then motor problems. He ended up putting on the curb with a note: "Free." Personally I'd have gone to my favorite motor shop and replaced the motor if the factory wouldn't take care of me. I deal with motors and switches with organs all the time. In any case, I'm calling Grizzly to see about warantee, shipping and other details. I have my eye on the G10123SLW or the G10123SLWX

Cheers:

CArl
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-11-2009, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like I'm settling on the Grizzly 10123SLX - that's the 5 HP model. I've read a lot of Grizzly reviews, most favorable, all the reviews for this particular piece were very favorable. Just for kicks I had a look at Harbor Freight. Their cabinet saw is visually almost identical to the Grizzly models and is quite a bit cheaper but Harbor Freight? I bought one of their drill presses many years ago and It's not quality. I had to replace the cheap Taiwan motor after a year. The bearings make a lot of noise and will probably go any day now. They have a store near me and looking at the power tools there they haven't improved. I'm not taking a chance with a major purchase like this. I like the router table on the Grizzly too. I know, they probably come from the same Chinese factory but different manufacturers specify different standards. I wish we hadn't lost our manufacturing base here in the US. I could go on a rant about that but I'll hold my tongue.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-12-2009, 07:59 AM
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You touched on exactly the types of issues I'd be concerned about and would expect if I bought a Harbor Freight cabinet saw. I''ve had good results from their mortiser, and the 13" benchtop DP I bought last year has been wonderful....BUT, a cabinet saw is too critical of a tool, and is too much money to put at risk...better to spend $1200 wisely than waste $800 IMHO. Besides, there's no bragging rights with a Harbor Freight saw even if it works great!

The 1023 format is very well proven and has a large happy following. Good luck and post pics please!
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