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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a total newbe to woodworking, only done a few small project over the years. I always had the desire but never the time. I am currently setting up a shop in my garage. I am 68, so I only want to buy equipment one time. I already bought a drill press, Delta 18-900L and I am now looking for a good TS. I have done all the reading and searching on the forum, as well as the rest of the web and I have decided on either the Steel City 35955, 35975, or the Grizzly G0690. If I get the 35955 I will wire it for 220.

I don't plan an any really large projects, mostly some tables, bookcases, racks and such. As I gain some experience I may expand my selections. My question is this, the 3 hp saws will cost me about $500+ total, movable base and renting an engine lift to get it set up, over the SC 35955. Are the 3 Hp saws really that much better than a 1 3/4 HP saw, for a home shop like I am setting up?


Earl
 

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Depends on what you'll be making/cutting. Of your going to be cutting mostly 3/4 stock or thinner of softer wood, the 1.75 hp will be fine. If your going to be ripping 3 inch thick legs or working with a lot of really hard woods....then the 3 hp would be nice to have.
 

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where's my table saw?
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agreed

The 3 Hp saw is more of a "production" or "industrial" saw than the 1.75 Hp. For the type of projects you mentioned that should be fine. A thin kerf blade reduces the power require to rip through thicker stock because it remove a smaller chip/chunk of material. You can make more than one pass on a thicker piece to get all the way through.

In my opinion the FENCE is the heart of the table saw, and it better be self squaring and otherwise user friendly because it is the most used attachment or device on the saw. A self squaring fence returns to a parallel setting to the miter slot each time you move it from side to side and lock it in place. My Bieisemeyer and Unifence are this type and I would be a totally frustrated woodworker without them. If possible see the machine in person and inquire or have the seller demonstrate it's capability.

The 3Hp Grizzly is a fine saw for the money, .... I own several Grizzly tools, but not their table saw, so I'm making this assumption without first hand experience. But I do own a 1.75 HP Craftsman Hybrid and I really like that saw. It has a great Biesemeyer fence and runs smoothly. The tilt control and height adjustment are very smooth and easy to adjust. From what I understand the Steel City saw is similar, except for the fence. JMO
 

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I am a total newbe to woodworking, only done a few small project over the years. I always had the desire but never the time. I am currently setting up a shop in my garage. I am 68, so I only want to buy equipment one time. I already bought a drill press, Delta 18-900L and I am now looking for a good TS. I have done all the reading and searching on the forum, as well as the rest of the web and I have decided on either the Steel City 35955, 35975, or the Grizzly G0690. If I get the 35955 I will wire it for 220.

I don't plan an any really large projects, mostly some tables, bookcases, racks and such. As I gain some experience I may expand my selections. My question is this, the 3 hp saws will cost me about $500+ total, movable base and renting an engine lift to get it set up, over the SC 35955. Are the 3 Hp saws really that much better than a 1 3/4 HP saw, for a home shop like I am setting up?


Earl
IMHO, and addressing only hobbyist functionality, there are probably better ways to spend $500 than investing in underused capacity. there aren't many things the 35955, with a 1.75 hp motor, cannot do in a hobbyist's shop, assuming proper set up and sharp blade with the proper tooth count and tooth hook angle. i had a 70s vintage unisaw that i refurbished for 4 months and opted to keep two emerson electric built 10" CI TSs and sell the unisaw. mobility (better for the emerson's with their herc-u-lifts) and not being a fan of right tilt saws were the motivating factors in my case. 1.75 hp is enough for almost anything the average hobbyist will encounter.

having said that, were i a bit older, i might be inclined to go for the 35975 or 690 just to know that i owned a bone fide cabinet saw at one time. it won't enable you to do better woodworking, but they are nice. both saws appear to have cabinet mounted trunions so the primary difference appears to be the size of the motor. either way, you've settled on some good tools from good suppliers, so any choice will be a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses.



Go to this section, and there are 4 stickies by knotscott that are very informative.







.
Yes I have read those but they really don't answer my question. For just a home hobby, do I really need that much saw? Would a cheaper Ridgid R4512 be a better option, than a cabinet saw?


Earl
 

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... For just a home hobby, do I really need that much saw? Would a cheaper Ridgid R4512 be a better option, than a cabinet saw?....
In a word, "no" is the answer to that specific question, but the decision is more complex than that IMHO. You can go as basic as a hand saw and get the job done, and will save even more money, but it'd be a lot of work and the cut will be rougher. There's little argument that a saw like the G0690 is a more substantial saw than a saw like the R4512, but with each step down the food chain from the G0690 level, you do give up something....motor power is the most obvious, but there are other more subtle things....the fence is a biggie IMO, solid cast iron wings, ease of aligning the blade, mass and stability, durability, longevity, ease and smoothness of operation, possibly some precision, etc. A full size saw with a belt drive induction motor like the R4512 is capable of good service for woodwing, and is about the minimum I'd recommend.

The more difficult question is which saw is best suited for you, your needs, and your situation. We all want to buy the best saw we can for the money spent. At some price point, saws like the G0690 (or G1023RL, or Steel City equivalent) should at least be a consideration...they represent the top tier of typical hobby saws at a price that's not much more than a top hybrid... you're not limited by 120v, so price difference is really the biggest consideration here (you really shouldn't need to rent a lift unless your situation is extreme). If the $500 extra expenditure for a cabinet saw means you pass up other needed tools, or wood to make a project, then maybe a lesser saw makes sense. If that extra $500 doesn't put much of a dent in the wallet, the G0690 is certainly a step up that could be the last saw you'll ever need. Since you have 220v, I would not suggest spending $1300-$1400 on a hybrid (like the SC35955), when a similar expenditure buys the next step up (like an SC35975 or G0690).

FWIW, I had, and loved a very nice Craftsman 22124 1-3/4hp hybrid saw for 3-1/2 years before jumping onto a deal for a Shop Fox 3hp cabinet saw...with good alignment and good blade selection the hybrid did everything I needed it to do, but the Shop Fox is simply in a different league....everything that the 22124 can do, the Shop Fox does more easily....no contest. At the end of the day, you won't be able to tell which saw made the cuts, but you can certainly notice the differences as you make those cuts. This is a decision that really only you can make....what's that $500 price difference mean to you? Do you tend to be drawn to upgrade things or stick with what you've got? Do you want the most saw you can afford, or just something sufficient to get the job done? It all really boils down to your view, opinions, and preferences of what constitutes a good saw.

Used is always a viable option if the right deal comes along.... (how does a sweet PM66 look to you?)

Here's a look under the hoods of an R4512 and G0690:



Machine Tool and cutter grinder Small appliance Tool Machine tool
 

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Thanks for the responses.




Yes I have read those but they really don't answer my question. For just a home hobby, do I really need that much saw? Would a cheaper Ridgid R4512 be a better option, than a cabinet saw?


Earl
Probably not. Cabinet saws really get to stretch their legs in commercial situations. Lots of weight, heavy duty components and an abundance of power allow them to be manhandled and run for extended periods. The average hobbyist isn't going to make those kinds of demands on his equipment. As noted previously, a 1.75 hp motor spinning a 10" metal blade with thenappropriate number of sharp carbide teeth and the correct hook angle is probably going to handle whatever material on chooses to engage, provided you don't try to push through the cut with the same speed you would on a larger, heavier more powerful saw.

The 4512 is a feature packed saw that more than a few WW publications have rated quite well. If one can be found that doesn't have the dreaded "blade misaligng relative to the miter slot with changes in blade elevation", they can be a fine piece of equipment and are eligible for ridgid's LSA (free repairs, parts and labor, for life). And if a HD can be found for the purchase that will honor harbor freight's "20% off any single item coupon", they can be a great value at $400.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the reply's guys. I have always been a buy the best kind of guy but being retired makes things a little different. I know if I don't get the saw I want I will probably regret it but at the same time I am having a hard time justifying, to myself, spending that kind money on tools for a hobby. I know I will need a jointer, planer and DC setup also, so it really adds up.


Earl
 

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I would say go with the bigger saw if money is not an issue. I have a Delta units saw. My neighbor and myself set it in a mobile base. I don't believe you will need an engine lift.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I couldn't help myself, after doing all my research, I ordered the Jet 708674PK XACTASAW Deluxe 3HP, 1Ph, 30" Rip Fence saw yesterday. It came down to a total of $500 difference between the Jet and the Grizzly and I just felt the Jet was worth the extra cost. This is the saw I really wanted and, knowing myself the way I do, if I got something else I would always regret it. At my age, I didn't want to get something I would want to upgrade a couple years down the road. I know this saw will do anything I will ever need.

I'll post some pics when it gets here and I try to wrestle it into the mobile base. I am looking forward to learning everything I can do with it, I'm sure I will be asking for lots of help on future projects.


Earl
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My Jet shipment got here and guess what? The DC-1100VX-CK Dust Collector and mobile base were all that was on the pallet. It turns out the 708674PK I ordered is on back order until late October. :furious: I hate it when you are told something is in stock and then you find out later that it's not. I ended up changing the order to the 708676PK, as those are definitely in stock. It's funny, I was questioning whether I needed to go to a 3 hp saw, over a 1 3/4 hp version and now will end up with a 5 hp version. Well at least I will never have to worry about what it will handle.


Earl
 

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My Jet shipment got here and guess what? The DC-1100VX-CK Dust Collector and mobile base were all that was on the pallet. It turns out the 708674PK I ordered is on back order until late October. :furious: I hate it when you are told something is in stock and then you find out later that it's not. I ended up changing the order to the 708676PK, as those are definitely in stock. It's funny, I was questioning whether I needed to go to a 3 hp saw, over a 1 3/4 hp version and now will end up with a 5 hp version. Well at least I will never have to worry about what it will handle.


Earl
gotta love bait and switch sales tactics. too bad you couldn't get the tool you really wanted and will now have to settle for a much larger and pricier TS.
 

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where's my table saw?
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As an owner of a 12" 5 HP table saw...

You had better put your big boy pants on with that much power. :yes:

A kickback on that unit will be an unforgettable experience, I know I had one the first time I made a cut on mine. I had used a table saw for many years and "thought" I knew what I was doing. I did, except the wood had closing tension, grabbed the blade and what didn't explode, came back at me.

As the owner of the 1 3/4 HP Craftsman Hybrid, I feel more at home on that one. Kickbacks are usually predictable, at least in my experience. The use of a splitter on a 5 HP saw would be mandatory in my opinion and that would help prevent the closing type of kickback.

Another type of kick back happens where the plywood panel loses contact with the rear of the fence and starts to roll up onto the spinning blade, which then propels the panel right back ya. :thumbdown::eek:

The last type I am aware of is where the cut off is a narrow piece and is riding between the blade and fence and it decides to grab and comes back ya. Usually you just stand off to the side, turn around and see if the dog and kids are out of the way...hopefully the shop door is open and the piece sails harmlessly across into the neighbors yard, not his Mercedes.
 

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The 3 hp cabinet saws are nice but for your needs I think the smaller saw would work for you. In 1972 when I was 18 years old I bought a craftsman contractors saw. It had a 2 hp motor on it. It would do anything I needed so I know the 1.75 hp saw would work for you. Then in 1986 I went into business and used the saw in my shop. I used it for 23 more years commercially. From time to time it would overheat because I was cutting too much oak at once but it did the job. In 2009 the motor needed an overhaul and the motor shop didn't want to work on it or I would probably still be using it. If you don't get a saw like this one that is direct drive you could expect most any saw to last the rest of your life new or used. There is nothing I can do on the Delta Unisaw I have now that I couldn't do on the old craftsman with the exception of ripping a lot of hardwood at one time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I am hoping that, with the new riving knives and separators, kick backs will not be as big a problem as in the past. I have been cutting with my old Delta saw for many years, without any separator or riving knife on it and never had a single kick back but it wasn't much of a saw either. I don't look forward to having any kick backs with a 5 hp saw. I am setting up a work bench, that will also be used as an outfeed table. With good procedures I hope to not have any kick backs.


Earl
 

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I am hoping that, with the new riving knives and separators, kick backs will not be as big a problem as in the past. I have been cutting with my old Delta saw for many years, without any separator or riving knife on it and never had a single kick back but it wasn't much of a saw either. I don't look forward to having any kick backs with a 5 hp saw. I am setting up a work bench, that will also be used as an outfeed table. With good procedures I hope to not have any kick backs.


Earl
just curious as to what good procedures, which exclude either a riving knife or a splitter, have been used when ripping a length of hardwood that closes up and/or twists as it's being ripped? even with a 1 hp TS, this can be a potentially dangerous situation.
 
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