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Thread: Table Saw

  1. #1

    Table Saw

    I am new to this site and woodworking. I used to do a little woodworking several several years ago and am at a point in my life that I have the time to get back into it. I am in the process of setting up my shop and before I go out and spend the money I thought I would ask which table saw I should buy. I am not going to be building fine furniture but would like a good clean cutting accurate well built sturdy table saw. I have been reading reviews on them and its hard to tell if somebody either got a bad one or if they are just bashing a certain brand....

    So my question is, what brand and model table saw do you like?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    13,467
    First of all, welcome to the forum Shelby!

    So what is your budget? and what size of saw were you looking at? Any specific models?

    Don't overlook the used market if you're looking for good machines, some of the older ones are well worth cleaning up/restoring.

    I've got a 20 year old Delta contractors saw. At the time I bought it it was around $575 and wanted something that was going to last for a good long while. Well other than new blades and belts it has. I did have to replace the power switch at one point, but I upgraded to a external safety switch with a large bump type paddle off switch. The saw has taken years of abuse and never given me any trouble other than the switch, which wasn't a bad thing since it got upgraded to something I thought was needed. If I ever upgrade I'll be going to a full sized cabinet saw that will hopefully last for the majority of the days I'll ever need it, but the contractor saw will either go to a good home or get rebuilt for a backup.

    I grew up with a craftsman and though they are a good saw, the cheaper fences on them completely make them work like junk. We had to measure from the blade to the fence, then from the fence to the miter slot, then make sure the front and back of the fence was the same distance before locking it down. Cut fine as long as the fence was straight to the blade. They did upgrade to some beismeyer fences in later years and these seemed to be a vast difference in accuracy (in a good way).

    So that said, there are probably a lot of good finds on Craigs lists for good contractor saws just do some research on what you're thinking of getting.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Welcome to the Family, Shelby! You'll ifnd a lot of resources to draw from here.

    As to your table saw question, Darren made several good points. It would be helpful to know your budget, of course. I started in about 1999 with a Craftsman contractor saw, then upgraded to a Jet 10" cabinet saw. I'm satisfied with my decision, but there are a lot of other options out there now.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Escondido, CA
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    5,176
    The fence is the thing. It is not an accessory. You don't use a table saw without the fence. I once built a saw cabinet, put a bench top tablesaw in it and installed a Biesmeyer fence. The fence cost more than the saw and cabinet combined but I used that set up for ten years and then got a full blown 3HP cabinet saw, which I love. And I was building fine furniture with it. The downside of my hokey tablesaw was power, but that issue came up infrequently. When it did, I had a friend with a cabinet saw and I was welcome to make my heavy cuts on his saw.

    FWIW, accuracy is important for both safety and good projects, whether they are 'fine' furniture or rough carpentry. And accuracy is the fruit of a good fence.
    ++++++

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  5. #5
    I am looking to stay around $500 and have been looking at the Ridgid 4512. I do not want to get to expensive at first, I want to still be able to purchase some other tools.

    What do you think of the Ridgid 4512?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Plainwell, Michigan
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    4,857
    Welcome Shelby as said budget is where to begin, if safety is top priority, look at saw stop, great saw, great protection. I also have a craftsman 3/4 cabinet saw and it works well, but some time in the future I will upgrade to saw stop

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Yes, the extra information will help us help you. I too started with a contractor saw. Ridgid 3612 (no longer in production) from Home Depot. Good little saw. Decent rip fence, but I changed to a Biesemeyer when Lowe's blew out their stock for dirt cheep. Made by Emerson. Sears had similar saws at the time, but without the mobility system. I upgraded 2 years ago to a Grizzly cabinet saw. Need to get some rails to use the Biese fence on it!! Power of a cabinet saw is more than double that of a contractor saw in most cases. But both will cut wood, just one a little easier than the other. I couldn't part with my contractor saw, so I use it in the shop still. Mostly as a place to stage things, but if I have something long I'm cross cutting, it will act as an outfeed table for the far end of the piece.
    Shelby, glad you joined the Family! It's a great place to learn and share. Jim.

    edit: Just saw your post. Yes, the Ridgid 4512 is a decent saw from what I've read. Haven't used one and my local HD doesn't even have one on display anymore, just the picture on the box. I believe there is a Craftsman version of the same saw, but think it comes out a few dollars higher, but worth a look. It is the forth generation of TS from Ridgid. My 3612 was the first generation. All have had favorable reviews.
    Last edited by Jim O'Dell; 02-05-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Seeing you are looking at a ridged member Tony Maio is selling one http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ril-SW-Vermont might be worth a peek depending on where you hail from.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Niemi View Post
    Seeing you are looking at a ridged member Tony Maio is selling one http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ril-SW-Vermont might be worth a peek depending on where you hail from.
    I would like to have looked at it but I live in Alabama. To far for me to go or have shipped...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    That looks like a good saw. Went and did a little research and looks like it is belt driven (which will be a little quieter). I like the fact the motor is below for the fact that it can be stored more tightly up against a wall. It has a 4" dust port, which I'd recommend looking at the 2hp HF dust collector at a minimum, can get them for $140 with a coupon out of Wood magazine sometimes. Seems to have a good fence. The reviews I've seen on multiple wood forums seems to be good. I'd probably go for it myself if I was starting out. Would love to hear your thoughts on it when/if you get it.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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