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Hunting for a good Table Saw... - Page 2

post #31 of 113
Vertical panel saw like they have at home depot...
post #32 of 113
Portable table saws have there place but it wouldn't be my first choice unless I planned on cutting with more somewhere else than my own house. They are absolutely fantastic for job site construction for ripping 2x4s, siding, etc. However, I would never recommend these as my primary saw for sheet goods. I was using a friends about a month ago at his house. I was helping him out on a project and I felt like I had to be extremely careful with a 4x8 sheet of plywood because it was about as heavy as the saw and felt like I could tip the saw over any second. It was a very scary feeling.

My first table saw was a Craftsman "contractor series" which was their fancier model because it could rip 30" to the right of the blade.. It sold for about $600 15+ years ago and was pretty stout. The cast iron top and wings made it heavy enough to handle sheets of MDF with no issues. I added a 3-roller stand as on outfeed and used it for about 10 years. It would cut hardwood pretty decent as well but you needed to keep a sharp blade in it or risk binding it on the blade as the motor wasn't super strong. A good friend of mine bought a similar sized Rigid model from Home Depot and I would have bet money the castings came from the same plant. It was an identical saw except for the base. He had the roller base attachment as well which I'd recommend if you need to move it around.

About 5 years ago I bought a 3 HP Jet cabinet saw and love this thing to pieces. I built an outfeed table for it with a melamine top and can push a 4x8 sheet of wood through it and let go and it's still on the table. This thing has unbelievable power. It's a space hog and doesn't move so it's certainly not for everyone. It will rip 54" to the right of the blade and makes quick work of whatever I throw at it. Last weekend I cut 6 sheets of MDF for six 18" subs in under 2 hours (48 pieces).

Someone suggested Grizzly. I almost bought a one over the Jet due to price but the local supplier made me an offer I couldn't refuse at the time. If there is one thing I'd recommend, try and find something that will work for you that has a strong motor and a cast iron top. The weight and the power will provide for a safer experience. I was much more scared about something being thrown back at me with the weak portable saw I used last month than I've every been with my cabinet saw. Also, try and find something with a riving knife. This isn't as important for plywood or MDF but helps with solid boards that want to "curl" back together as it exits the blade. The riving knife will keep the two pieces apart a few inches past the blade which in turn prevents the board from binding on the blade.

I had a radial arm saw and would echo those who said stay away. I found it very hard to make "perfect" cuts because the miter system had just enough play in the detents to throw things off a degree. Once the 12" sliding miter hit the market, my radial arm hit the road. I've had a DeWalt DW708 for 13 years and love it.
post #33 of 113
Most seasoned wood workers will tell you the table saw is the foundation of any wood shop.wink.gif
post #34 of 113
Good info, thanks guys. I bought a house that has two older Craftsman saws in the garage that I haven't pulled out and looked at closely yet, one's a table saw that looks somewhat homemade and the other is a fairly large radial arm saw. I've been gathering tools to do things around the house as well as DIY speaker/sub projects down the road and don't have much experience with woodworking as I simply haven't had the interest or space until now....
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDean View Post

Most seasoned wood workers will tell you the table saw is the foundation of any wood shop.wink.gif

To each their own.

I used to think that way.
post #36 of 113
"Glad you're alright. Dented garage doors are no big deal, there were no bruises or bleeding afterwards. Powerful tools of any type don't forgive when it all goes wrong."

Thanks, yeah I am fine. Back in the day when I first started to do my own woodworking projects. I learned the hard way that objects in a router table only go one direction. If you try to pull the piece of wood back it will kick, the piece was small enough that it threw it back and 2 of fingers went straight into the router hole/bit. That was messy, learned my lessons. Never go against the feed direction, get a decent router table that has that trim ring piece that has an opening big enough for the bit and nothing else. I am sure we all have a few scars that remind us to think twice and be very careful with tool.
post #37 of 113
I just picked up a cheap, used, Black and Decker contractor table saw for under $150. I am very excited about this beast! I have not measured the width of the top table price, but, it is much much wider than the $299 dollar skill table saw that I bought several months ago, which is also for sale.

How do you guys feel about the older, floor standing, contractor width, Black and Decker table saws? I want to clean it up and give it a good servicing. Any suggestions on where and how to lube or do any other things to ensure it works properly for years to come?
post #38 of 113
As the table saw in the garage doesn't look so hot, what do you guys think about this? http://eugene.craigslist.org/tls/4326952333.html
post #39 of 113
It has lasted 30 years. Knock a digit off the price and test it first. Might work great...might be pretty close to scrap metal.
post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobeer4don View Post

It has lasted 30 years. Knock a digit off the price and test it first. Might work great...might be pretty close to scrap metal.

For a guy who is unfamiliar with saw performance, what would you recommend for a test and what to look for? I'd think looking for play in the blade mounting would be something to be concerned with. I didn't notice the age of the unit at first either. Thanks!
post #41 of 113
if u guys haven't used a table saw before i wouldn't recommend one. just buy a cheap grizzly track saw your not doing cabinet work it doesn't matter if it makes a sloppy cuts b/c they are still square i have a festool ts75 and a grizzly track saw and the only difference is in quality of cut and about 100 more things but for just building speaker boxs in small scale i wouldnt waste my time on a table saw my grandfather cut a 2'' deep cut across his and with one and told me to never use one so i dont,

grizzly + acessory pack thing + another 55'' track u can cut down sheet good no problem a $300 table saw cant do sheet goods i wouldnt even waste time with one unless u are doing repeated cuts all day.
post #42 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookieattk View Post

if u guys haven't used a table saw before i wouldn't recommend one. just buy a cheap grizzly track saw your not doing cabinet work it doesn't matter if it makes a sloppy cuts b/c they are still square i have a festool ts75 and a grizzly track saw and the only difference is in quality of cut and about 100 more things but for just building speaker boxs in small scale i wouldnt waste my time on a table saw my grandfather cut a 2'' deep cut across his and with one and told me to never use one so i dont,

grizzly + acessory pack thing + another 55'' track u can cut down sheet good no problem a $300 table saw cant do sheet goods i wouldnt even waste time with one unless u are doing repeated cuts all day.

I'd disagree with you here but to each his own. I personally love my TS for building speaker boxes.
post #43 of 113
Having owned 4 progressively better table saws I will say that even a$150 8" saw will do a decent job, but what yo pay for as you move up the food chain is ease of use. You can cut sheet goods on smaller saws but it takes setup with support tables and out feed tables and you have to go slow. Bigger more professional saws are better able to deal with these challenges. With enough creativity and thought you can do anything with a lesser tool, but it might be harder. Track saws are great too but they are much slower than a big cabinet saw when you have dozens of cuts to make. Table saws are better for repeat ability an 90-degree cuts. Long tapers are not a tablesaw strength.

The main thing is that you never fear the tool. Always respect it. If you fail to do this you will become a statistic. I have a delta unisaw x5 with the 5hp motor. Given the chance it will f you up in a heartbeat, but you need to recognize that you are working with a precision tool that needs to be treated right. If you do this you will generally only be limited by your imagination.

If you can handle the extra material waste and only needed one do-all tool I would suggest a nice router. It can do it all.
post #44 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookieattk View Post

i wouldnt waste my time on a table saw my grandfather cut a 2'' deep cut across his and with one and told me to never use one .

This is exactly the reason you can find radial arm saws for cheap. They are extremely mis-understood and amazingly versatile, but also demand a ton of respect. Basically, in my opinion, they are the single most versatile tool in a workshop behind the CNC, but they have a steep learning curve and in today's instant gratification world, few are willing to take the time to learn. A RAS can rip, cross cut, bevel, dado/rabbet, miter, etc. I have one and I love it but I respect this tool most of all.

Despite what others may say, it is not the tool that is dangerous...it is the user that is dangerous.
Edited by urapnes1 - 2/18/14 at 7:55pm
post #45 of 113
Thread Starter 
I returned the Dewalt DWE7480 to Lowes unopened... I decided that I want the dado capability plus the fact that the saw table is kind of small, 22x22". I am leaning to the Dewalt 7491RS and the Bosch 4100-09, both stand mounted models for $600. The Bosh has a nifty stand but only has a one year warranty. The Dewalt has a rack and pinion fence for accuracy and a three year warranty. The Dewalt has a really, really junk miter gauge, plus the miter groove does not have the inverted T- groove, just a plain square groove.

I see that Lowes now have the Porter Cable PCB222TS table saw in stock. For some reason, it does not show up online. It replaces the PCB220TS. Does anyone know whether you can make zero clearance inserts for the new model? The older model inserts were thin metal sheet that snapped in. My local Lowes did not have an open box unit to inspect. The rolling stand is also quite different.
post #46 of 113
I've been in framing/wood working since I was old enough to pack lumber to/from site and I'll gladly take my track saw over any non cabinet/huge table saw by a very large margin. When working with angles/90,s/long/short cuts the track will get it done with one person much more accurately and only seconds longer spent setting up the cut. I like lillmike make two cuts at once quite often. I did build a table out of full sheets of mdf way all 4x8 sheets will fit on the entire surface. I have to replace the top mdf board every blue moon once it gets totally kerfed from the blade passing through the underside of actual board being cut. Tracks can be hung on the wall for virtually no space being wasted and my cutting table can be laid on its side with legs folded or double as a work bench.

Some of the better track systems have accessories that really come in handy (dust collection, router track attachment, tables, etc...) so virtually one could get a track saw that can be doubled as a table saw with all the bells and whistles while saving space.

Just my 2cents.

But if a table saw is truly what the OP wants then there is nothing wrong with that. Being comfortable with your tools and their ability to do what each individual needs them to do is what it really boils down to. I just wanted others to see what options are out there when looking a buying a rig to build cabinets or whatever they desire.
Edited by audiovideoholic - 2/23/14 at 8:17am
post #47 of 113
What about using a track, or guide, ( or what ever you want to call it) with a regular circular saw? I noticed a cheap $45 track/guide at Lowes the other day. It fits into the flange on the front of any regular circular saw, and seems to be pretty decent from what I can see.

What is the cheapest track saw that is available? I am in need of a new circular saw, and would like to get a track saw, but I just can't afford the $400 to $700 price range that some of these track saws go for.
post #48 of 113
Cheap tracks like that are seldom straight, typically not strong enough to resist flexing during use, and don't typically offer a zero-clearance cutline. I have worked with cheap guides, I didn't find them to be accurate enough for cabinetry, that's when I made my sawboards.

A shop-made zero-clearance sawboard is a better solution than buying junk if cheap is the primary concern. With care, a saw board can get you all the accuracy you need for a typical speaker project.

The difference between a proper tracksaw and a shop made sawboard is night and day though. With the sawboard, I broke stock down to rough sizes, then squared things and did final cuts on the tablesaw.
With the tracksaw (and I'll admit that I have a "cheap" one), I square the panel, then just cut to size. Cuts are as straight/square as I can measure.

A basic 60" EurekaZone setup would be $200 plus shipping. Add the UEG (without base, because you have one in the kit) for another $50. With this - ripping and crosscutting are covered. For my main saw, I use an inexpensive Skil HD5687 sidewinder. Might not be the best out there, but it is sturdy. That cost me $79 when I bought it at Lowes. Let's be fair and add another $15 for a decent 24 or 40-tooth Diablo or Bosch blade. I use the 24-tooth for ripping solid wood, and a 40-tooth for everything else when it comes to woodcutting. I have other blades that I use for other materials, like tile or aluminum.

That adds up to $344 plus some for shipping, but I didn't account for the discounts currently offered at EurekaZone, they might offset.

A simple cutting table can be built out of 3 10-foot 2X4s and rest on a couple of folding saw horses. That's all mine is. It will hold a 4X8 safely for ripping or crosscutting, and it takes next to no room when stored. When I wear it out, I can replace the cross-pieces with a new set for less than $10

It is totally possible to spend more on a tracksaw system. I know, I have. The simple setup I described will get you started though. If it works for you, you can add to it. If not? Well, I've spent a lot more than $344 on tools that don't get near the use I thought they would.
post #49 of 113
Reading around seems the Grizzly is one of the lowest priced....review here http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/grizzly-track-saw-review/
post #50 of 113
LiLmike, or anyone else, can you please explain what you mean by using a Saw board? Is that just a straight piece of wood that you clamp onto the board being cut, then when making cuts, run the circular saw butted up against the board so that it follows a straight line?
post #51 of 113
^ Close. Take a board and screw it down to another of the same length. Make a cut using the first board as a guide. Now you've got a saw board..align the edge to your mark on your workpiece, clamp your saw board to it and make precise cuts all day long. :-)

-Nate
post #52 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotbunny View Post

^ Close. Take a board and screw it down to another of the same length. Make a cut using the first board as a guide. Now you've got a saw board..align the edge to your mark on your workpiece, clamp your saw board to it and make precise cuts all day long. :-)

-Nate

The only issue I have is getting something that is "straight" over 4 feet. I found that a piece of angle iron/aluminum (thinner stock) screwed down on the board provides a near perfect edge. This way "any board" can be a good board. smile.gif
post #53 of 113
^ Yup. I do the same.
post #54 of 113
I've been reading this thread with great interest. Because 99% of what I'll cut will be 24x48 and smaller, I wonder if I a track saw is the better option vs a table saw. I fully see why a track saw if you do full panel work, but everything I'll work with will be pre-cut down because of transport space in back of car :P
post #55 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony_Gomez View Post

I've been reading this thread with great interest. Because 99% of what I'll cut will be 24x48 and smaller, I wonder if I a track saw is the better option vs a table saw. I fully see why a track saw if you do full panel work, but everything I'll work with will be pre-cut down because of transport space in back of car :P

A table saw's big advantage is that you can cut multiple boards down to the same size repeatedly and quickly. A track saw still needs you to align the track accurately and you will never get exactly the same size cut like a table saw because the line will always be inaccurate to some degree... So if you are planning to build shelving or a cabinet, a table saw will make life a lot easier. The drawback is that a table saw takes up a lot of room, expensive and most of all, probably the most dangerous power tool out there, with the possibilities of kickbacks being a major issue.
post #56 of 113
I glanced at this saw on display Saturay. I didn't pay much attention b/c I was in a hurry, but if someone was in the market for a $600 table saw, I'd probably give this a thorough consideration. It has some decent specs for a saw in the price range.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_510897-52010-36-725_0__?productId=50081568&Ntt=delta+table+saw&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Ddelta%2Btable%2Bsaw&facetInfo=
post #57 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon S View Post

A table saw's big advantage is that you can cut multiple boards down to the same size repeatedly and quickly. A track saw still needs you to align the track accurately and you will never get exactly the same size cut like a table saw because the line will always be inaccurate to some degree... So if you are planning to build shelving or a cabinet, a table saw will make life a lot easier. The drawback is that a table saw takes up a lot of room, expensive and most of all, probably the most dangerous power tool out there, with the possibilities of kickbacks being a major issue.
I've used table saws before on many occasions (always with safety in mind: push blocks/sticks, glasses, outfeed table etc). But I now longer have access to one and am looking at doing woodworking again. Having never used a tracksaw, I'm trying to get a feel for if it is good for me or not.
post #58 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

why does the track on a track saw have to be attached to the board being cut?

seems like a 'table' (that would sit on 2x4's or something on the ground for blade clearance) could be rigged up almost like a giant paper cutter:

push the board in, run the saw across...repeat. users weight would hold the board being cut in place.

i have to believe something like this is being done...i just don't know what to call it.


You would need to use a worm drive saw that cuts up through the piece, rather than a regular skill saw. What you are describing could get you killed. The saw blade and the pushed board are going in the same direction, so the saw would/could climb on top of the board and shoot toward you. Sort of like ripping with a radial arm saw. With a radial arm saw, it can grab a piece of wood and shoot it out the other side. Have you ever seen a radial arm saw grab and shoot out a piece of wood? It can have a enough force behind it that it would do some damage to a person.
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post #59 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

You would need to use a worm drive saw that cuts up through the piece, rather than a regular skill saw. What you are describing could get you killed. The saw blade and the pushed board are going in the same direction, so the saw would/could climb on top of the board and shoot toward you. Sort of like ripping with a radial arm saw. With a radial arm saw, it can grab a piece of wood and shoot it out the other side. Have you ever seen a radial arm saw grab and shoot out a piece of wood? It can have a enough force behind it that it would do some damage to a person.
I think you might misunderstand this. The board is secured by a stop on the left, and the saw would cut perpendicular to the stop.
post #60 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony_Gomez View Post

I think you might misunderstand this. The board is secured by a stop on the left, and the saw would cut perpendicular to the stop.

No, I did not misunderstand anything. I own and have used power tools for a long time. I was a commercial GC for 25 years. I have a couple radial arm saws and a table saw. My radial arm saw and table saw are commercial units with 5 HP motors. Have you ever ripped a piece of wood using a radial arm saw? It is dangerous compared to doing so on a table saw. The rotation of the blade and the direction of the wood being pushed into the saw are going the same direction. The blade can climb the wood and shoot the board out. Years ago, saw mills used to chain the radial arm saw motor to a wall, so that if the saw climbed the board, the chain would stop the blade from knocking the stop off of the arm and running the blade through someone. This was for cross cutting, not ripping.

What LTD proposed would be close to taking a piece of plywood and running it backwards through a table saw. Board and blade would be traveling in the same direction. In this case the board would climb the blade (rather than the blade climbing the board) and shoot out the other side. Weights are not going to hold the saw down, if it starts to climb a board.
Edited by AV Science Sales 5 - 2/24/14 at 2:15pm
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