Agree with most everyone who already posted
Just wanted to add, I too have a Rockwell Model 10 contractor's saw! Bought it used years ago, have added fence, upgraded motor, new belt, added dust collection cabinet and outfeed table, still can't justify getting anything bigger or better.
Believe me if you can spend that 350 on a used table saw it will be much more bang for your buck. ANything new at that price is pretty much a waste of good money.
Any of those saws that are on the prior post on Craig's list are good saws at a good price. It is a no brainer.
Yes, you would be crazy not to buy any of those contractor saws for $350 - $400. Money well spent!
I haven't read the whole thread so this has probably been
touched on already.........
Don't forget the old "classics" like 1950's Craftsmans. With
fence upgrades the can be pretty impressive. I have 2
old 50's table saws. They are great.
Scope ebay and sort by distance from you and you may
get very lucky. Like $50 or less.
Then there is the "cool" factor when working with a machine
thats older than myself.
I bought a ridgid last winter and have loved it. I just finished cutting deep and shallows with 3/4 box joints using one of the jig patterns ffrom this forum. Works great. If there is atool show coming to your area, you can get a pretty good discount by buying them there. Last year in Columbus it was $100.00 off normal cost at Home Depot.
The best way to buy a tablesaw is used, and it usually includes a few add-on items which would normally cost way more than you can imagine. A general rule of thumb with tablesaws is the bigger and heavier the better but the more difficult it is to move around.
If you have never used a tablesaw before you will be horrified by the amount of debris and dust it generates in a closed area. Portable table saws let you roll them out of the garage where you can make a mess on the driveway instead of the garage.
The only one in your price range is the Craftsman 21829 which sells new for $380 when on sale to Craftsman Club (free) members. This is a portable version of what was sold as the Ryobi BT3100 that has virtually a cult following. Its best feature is the sliding table and it is an enclosed direct drive saw which has a shop vac attachment. It still makes a mess, but nothing like a contractors saw does. FWIW, Consumers Digest likes it (tinyurl.com/3cyc6p).
Unless you can find it used, the Siemens 4000-09 which was recently replaced by the 4100-09 is out of your price range. The 4100 has the latest European safety features and the 4000s were on closeout at Amazon at $350 but suddenly rose in price again.
If all I wanted a saw for was home projects or making a few bee hives, I wouldn't spend $350 for a saw.
I am a carpenter by trade and have a little Makita job saw that I can pick up with one hand. I set it on a bench or saw horses and I have ripped miles of boards over the years with this little saw. I rip plywood with a straight edge and circular saw. If I needed a replacement, I would probably buy another small jobber like a hitachi or something. If I was setting up a home shop, I may want something better like that ridgid, dewalt or craftsman.
for $350, you could buy a hitachi or something similar with a stand from Lowes. (around $150) dado blade set ($50 -$75) no circular saw? (another $100) have a circular saw? use that $100 for lumber.
Making cabinets? You can probably find a useable saw for around $1500.
I'd stay away from any direct drive saw. Motor bearings are just not as rigid as a true arbor, especially when you want to mount a dado blade.
If you can't find a true cabinet saw for less than $1500, you're not really trying. I see tons of Unisaws and PM66's for under a $1000. I know where a Northfield #4 is sitting right now for $800.
OK Ross, now you have my attention. If you find any "Old Iron" near Berkey Ohio, please let me know! There will be a sweet treat in the mail for you!
OK, Teledo area and Detroit looks driveable...
Delta contractor with Biesemeyer for $150
Delta Rockwell model 10 for $75
And a Unisaw with Unifence for $750
Seriously, the trick is to look every day. The deals don't last long, but they are out there. Check Craigslist, eBay, local shopper rags, large metro newspapers, and auction listings. I paid for my shop by buying and reselling and upgrading in the process. Now I have a PM66, Delta 18" planer, Northfield 16" HD jointer, PM60 planer, Delta 20" bandsaw, a pair of 32" Crescent bandsaws, 14" Delta wood/metal bandsaw, etc, etc. I'm starting on my metal working shop now. I want to have all the toys in place before I retire.
I think most of these are great deals. Especially if they are new. That was one of the requirements, I believe,
1- good enough to make hives
2- under $350
Ok, maybe we got a little off subject here. LOL I am sure that is OK. Makes for good conversation.
Robee, you are correct. But we'd be remiss to not bring out
the valid point that all new $350 table saws are crap compared
to a good used quality saw.
Every new saw I've seen in the $350 range is usually chinese
junk badged for US sale.
A good used Unisaw at $350 is a steal on the buyers part. A
new $350 junk saw is a steal on the sellers part.
That is true Sundance, so true.
We have an older Craftsman with cast deck that I bought cheep & rebuilt.
What a fine machine, cast iron deck,the works.
Also have a contractor grade Delta that takes 2 men & a boy to move.
Also have one of those $100 Menards POS that is just a joke.
By all means fine a good older model & stick some cash into it if you have to.
These are much better units than almost any thing that you will purchase new now days.
You wont be sorry.
Here is something else to think about. I have an inexpensive (Gheap) Delta portable saw. It works well for many things that I do. When I wanted to make box joints for some hive bodies, the arbor wasn't long enough for my dado blade.
Are you making box joints or rabbets?
I deciided to buy my boxes instead of make them. By time I bought the wood and put in the time I didn't feel that it was worth making them. I found a local place to get them from for $5.25 a medium and $8.25 for a deep.
I bought a new one 1 1/2 ago, I was looking for the best saw I could find all the way around, I looked at all the craft-mans saws even the $1000.00 saw have more plastic than a lot of toys, flimsy rip fences and wobbly legs just worthless in my book, I did find one made of all metal and the tightest and best rip fence I found and it was on a $600.00 Rigid saw so I bought it and am very pleased with it, best saw I have ever used. a good saw is worth the extra money, I understand not wanting to spend much but when buying a table saw get a good one even if you have to save a little while before buying. here's the saw I bought.
I guess it depends on the price of the wood. If you go to the lumber store, and pay those high prices, then maybe it isn't worth making your own. If you have a mill nearby, then it may be different. I can buy industrial grade 1x12 lumber for $.20 a foot. Winds up costing about $2 for a hive body.
Originally Posted by joekurm
You also have to take into consideration what you feel your time is worth, as rough stock will have to be planed, sized and worked into boxes. Instead of sitting in front of the TV in the evening, I think my time is well spent in the workshop. I get "shorts" from an Amish mill down the road for 15-25¢ bf, quality varies from clear to #2. Sometimes I get poplar or basswood, too. Fun to work from rough to finished. Just don't think of it as work, and make those cold, snowy winters worthwhile - before you know it you will need those new boxes for brood and honey!
Originally Posted by Michael Palmer
Ditto what mostly everyone said on saws. Don't get a cheap crap$man if you can afford a used cabinet saw. BTDT... Delta, Powermatic, Jet... save up if you have to - go with more metal, little or no plastic, larger HP motor. My advice - free, but priceless.
Mike hit it on the head. If you have cheap wood, it can be worth it. Of course time is also a factor. I found I couldn't easily beat Dadant's price since I could pickup and not pay shipping or sales tax (ag product). On raw wood, I have to pay tax, and I don't have a ready source at a cheap price. My time is also worth something to me since I have a real job and a bunch of other hobbies I enjoy. I do find it worthwhile to make tops and bottoms as those are over priced for the amount of wood involved. Traditional construction methods, developed long before plywood was common and the glue was weatherproof, are too complex for today's world. Piecing tops and bottoms from planks is crazy today.