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There's a huge difference in the trunnion structure.....lightweight table mounted trunnions vs industrial cabinet mounted trunnions. It's like comparing a dump truck to a pick up truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I thought the trunions of a cabinet saw were mount to the table also? Does lighter weight construction only mean more vibrations, or does it affect the accuracy of the cut (I guess that's vibration too)?
 

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I thought the trunions of a cabinet saw were mount to the table also? Does lighter weight construction only mean more vibrations, or does it affect the accuracy of the cut (I guess that viration too)?
Nope....cab mounted trunnions mount to the cabinet, which means to align the miter slots to the blade, you simply adjust the table. With table mounted trunnion, you need to loosen them, and coax them with force to move a fraction of an inch...controlling that fraction of an inch is a challenge, plus the physics make it awkward.

If all else is equal, lighter construction means more vibration and less accuracy, but most designs are unique, so every design is a little different....generally lighter construction means some compromise. Most modern full size saws have very reasonable vibration and good accuracy...not often an issue as far as the arbor/blade go....fences are another matter. Less mass equates to less stability too. Generally mass is your friend, except when moving it up stairs!

I don't have good pics from both of the specific saws you mentioned, but the pics are still worth a couple thousand words. :yes:

Here's a pic of the trunnions of an older Shop Fox W1677 (same as the Grizzly G1023SL), that was based on the original Unisaw design:


Here's a look at an older G0478 hybrid that's representative of typical hybrids with table mounted trunnions:


Here's a look at the new Delta 36-725 (table mounted):


There are some newer hybrids that offer less robust cabinet mounted trunnions that actually bolt to the cabinet fram struts (PCB270TS)


...and some older and current hybrids that somewhat bridge the gap...here's a Craftsman 22116 made by Steel City/Orion that's still available at Sears and as a Steel City hybrid saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess contractor saws are table mounted too. I guess I got a little confused. Thanks for the education.
 

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I guess contractor saws are table mounted too. I guess I got a little confused. Thanks for the education.
Correct. Here's a pretty typical older style contractor saw with the outboard motor mount....it just happens to be a Delta, but is typical of older Jet, GI, Bridgewood, PM, King, AFF, Ohio Forge, Grizzly, and many others:


Then there's the older Craftsman/Ridgid design:
 

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I guess contractor saws are table mounted too. I guess I got a little confused. Thanks for the education.
While cabinet saws are more robust than contractor saws and most hybrids, cabinet saws are not necessary for fine carpentry/cabinetry. And contractor and hybrids, properly set up, will balance a nickel just as well as a cabinet saw will.
 

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For comparison, here's a picture of the top of my Unisaw with the lid off. there are a few parts missing like the blade and blade shroud but all the important stuff is there. Some of those pieces you wouldn't want to drop on your toe. I love Knotscott's comparison between a dump truck and a pickup truck!



Bill
 

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I had a contractor model and can remember initial alignment and re-alignment a couple of times. (Over 4 or 5 years)

On my cabinet saw, I have not, ever, had to align the blade with the table top.
 
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