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Discussion Starter #1
Im looking to get a my first TS mainly to work on little projects and furniture for the home. I’m thinking about a used ryobi bt3000 in good condition for $180 or a craftsman cast iron contractor TS (probably the 113 series) with a suspect rip fence my brother-in-law will give to me for free. If I go with the craftsman, I would most likely replace the rip fence. One of the things I liked about the ryobi was the built in router table. Can anyone offer help in the direction should I go?
 

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More info needed on the craftsman. Is it a flex drive? Induction motor belt drive?

If it's a belt drive, I'd take that and add a delta t2 fence.
 

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Definitely the 113 Craftsman over the Ryobi. As well as being a superior saw the price is right. I own two of them, one since new. As far as the fence goes it can work very well if adjusted according to page 13 of the owners manual. As well as alignment there is a tension adjustment under the head of the fence that is often overlooked. If adjusted properly the fence tracks very well and an occasional coat of wax on the mating surfaces helps. Granted, it is not a Beisemeyer but will function very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm leaning towards the craftsman now, which appears to be a Craftsman 113.298843 with a belt motor (please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm really new to woodworking). What would you recommend for a replacement fence? I've heard the delta t2 is a good option as well as a vega fence? What decent options are there for around $150.
 

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For $150, you're almost certainly going to have to look at used, though the T2 might be available for just < $190. Keep your eyes peeled for a used Biesemeyer, Xacta II, Unifence, Vega, Accufence, HTC, Steel City Industrial, Excaliber, Shop Fox Classic, Shop Fox Original, or even a Ridgid or Cman Align-a-rip fence.

As long as the saw is full size (27" deep), and has a belt drive induction motor (preferably 13 amps or more...1 to 1.5hp), it should be a good buy.
 
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