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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,703

    Exclamation Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    I. Also like old craftsman saws with the cast iron tables.
    4 suggestions.

    1. Buy a n older saw for cheap, spend money on a good aftermarket fence. I agree that repetitive stuff is best done with jigs, but you want to be able to make safe accurate cuts.

    2. Spend some time learning how to adjust the saw. If you don't know how to align the blade with the slots and the fence to the blade (and know how to check these quickly) you should not be using the saw. If you don't yet understand why you should never use the miter and fence at the same time you should figure this out before using a saw..

    3. The older contractor saws like Sears are much safer if you install a blade adjustment kit (the name is escaping me at the moment), otherwise the blade moves when the adjustments are tightened, making adjustment tedious and iffy.

    4. Watch a lot of YouTube videos of kickback and shop accidents. Turning on the saw should happen after you run through your task in your head and think about how you can avoid losing a finger, hand, or face.

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    10,001

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    I admit I have never owned a direct drive table saw, so my comments above are personal preference. But I believe that if I wanted to replace the motor in a belt-driven saw, there is a greater likelihood of finding a suitable motor at a reasonable price than if the saw had a direct drive motor.
    You are correct. Craftsman offered direct drive for a few years and gave up on them. The motor will cost you twice the value of the saw when it craps out. Direct drive on industrial grade machines is a different story. The price of these machines hold their value.

    OP what you are looking for is the heaviest saw you can find at the lowest price. That would be used not new. There are a lot of old craftsman saws out there that are hardly used. In the 60's and 70's everyone got the bright idea that they needed a table saw or it was a good present. They were never set up correctly so the fence is out of whack and the blade might be burnt. These are very easy fixes. I don't use a dado and I still have one that I can sell cheap. Make sure the arbor is at least 5/8 in.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #23
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    10,001

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    If you don't yet understand why you should never use the miter and fence at the same time you should figure this out before using a saw..
    I do it all the time as a stop block. Nothing dangerous at all. You should learn.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,720

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I do it all the time as a stop block. Nothing dangerous at all. You should learn.
    I have clamped a 1x on the aft end the fence as a "stop". As the board being cut is pushed forward there is a 3/4" gap between the piece and the fence.

    That is the only safe way that I know of to use the miter and fence together...
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,703

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I do it all the time as a stop block. Nothing dangerous at all. You should learn.
    When you use either the fence or the miter with the blade, you are relying on 2 lines to be parallel.

    When you use both the fence and the miter with the blade, you are relying on 3 lines to be parallel...if any one of them is off it will cause a problem (inaccurate cut and/or binding).

    I can't imagine a reason to _not_ clamp a spacer to the front of the fence if you want to use it as a stopblock for repetitive cuts so that the workpiece isn't in contact with the fence when it is in contact with the blade.

    Using both at the same time is poor practice, is dangerous (especially if you haven't _just_ checked the adjustment of everything), is never necessary, and is irresponsible to suggest to anyone do so.

    There is simply no excuse for suggesting anyone (especially someone with a new 'used' tablesaw from CL that may not be experienced) do something that can be so dangerous that is so unnecessary.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  6. #26
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I have clamped a 1x on the aft end the fence as a "stop". As the board being cut is pushed forward there is a 3/4" gap between the piece and the fence.
    That is the only safe way that I know of to use the miter and fence together...
    ...I think more specificically, the piece should not be in contact with the stop block and the blade at the same time....it should clear the stop before touching the blade.
    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,720

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ...I think more specificically, the piece should not be in contact with the stop block and the blade at the same time....
    That is exactly what I described.

    Or perhaps I should have said "the board TO be cut"
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  8. #28
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    ...not disagreeing with you. Mostly because of the bad advice offered by others I want to be perfectly clear that it is possible to have gap between the workpiece and the fence at the blade, but part of the workpiece could still be in contact with the stop at the beginning of the cut. You want to make sure to avoid this.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,703

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    ...the name of the aftermarket alignment parts for any of these old contractor saws is 'PALS'. If you do get an older saw, definitely get a set of these in the proper size for your saw (some recommend 2 sets for the Sears saws...I haven't done this but it would be a better alignment setup).

    No table saw is safe if it isn't aligned properly...and hardly any of them are.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
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    648

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Good advice about saws and the importance of a great fence.

    I'm a furniture maker with a full shop at my disposal, the one comment I would add to the discussion is if you buy really good equipment and take reasonable care of it, it will always at least hold it's value. And, when it comes to table saw and dado cuts you want plenty of horsepower.

    Don

  11. #31
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Hi Don, I agree completely.

    From what I've seen at HD, Lowes, and Sears...I think that if you are going spend $400 or more you can get a very good new saw that will last a lifetime. Anything less will likely still be pretty good and portable (there are lots of good fences on the new saws...extruded aluminum is good stuff), but probably not a lifetime saw.

    If you keep your eyes out, you can probably find a cast iron craftsman that doesn't need much for $100 or so, get a good aftermarket fence for $200-$300 (I got a Vega brand), learn to adjust/align it (you need to do this with a new saw as well) and you will have an excellent saw with parts available, easy to replace motor, and a heavy duty workhorse of a saw.

    I don't think I would buy a new saw for less than $400 or so unless I thought it was a real deal.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,150

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    With only $300 I would not be looking for new. Watch craig's list in your area and look for something with a cast iron table. Not a perfect answer but it will get you closer to a good answer. Now add one more 0 to that number and just get an Uni-saw. All problems solved. Less than that and there is a lot you need to know about saws to know if you are getting a good deal. cast iron table is a good reliable one. the rest has to do with the carriage and how well it does it's job. I woudl mention a fence but no saw except the very best come with reliable fences. poor is about the best you can hope for along that line.

    Otherwise power will be the next big issue. To little is a big pain.

    I recently found a cast iron Craftsman with a rugged carriage. belt drive a bit under powered and a decent fence for $50.I will eventually make this saw one for doing nothing but easy rip cuts or something and get a better saw. but for $50 I almost cannot loose. It gets the job done and does it better than my old $300 saw.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,892

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Well I feel good reading this thread. I bought an old (70's model?) Craftsman w/upgraded fence for $85 on Craigslist. I didn’t know that it was such a "keeper". I have been practicing making medium boxes with a dado set and doing OK.

    Does anyone know where to get a blade guard/splitter/pawls for it? The old guy that I bought it from said that he never used these safety things. I would feel better if I had it. I checked the Sears manual and they are discontinued. Is there and aftermarket source?
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,936

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Nabber86.. Try... ereplacement parts.com They are about the best source I have found for any part you need for any brand of power tool. Very fast service. If you have a problem, or end up with wrong part, they will work with you to make it right. I cannot praise them enough for all the things I have bought from them over the years.

    cchoganjr

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Rome, GA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Stay tuned.. I have a guy gonna call me back with specifics on an older sears craftsman table saw for $75.00 on Craig's list
    Let's Eat Grandmaw ........... Let's Eat, Grandmaw.......Grammar Saves Lives

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Rome, GA
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    http://nwga.craigslist.org/tls/4251363472.html

    Here's a link to the saw
    Thanks
    Let's Eat Grandmaw ........... Let's Eat, Grandmaw.......Grammar Saves Lives

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,557

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    The link in post #36 does not have any info about the motor, so that is a question. The left part of the table is clearly stamped steel, not cast, so that is a minus.

    A similar price, but with a belt drive induction motor:
    http://nwga.craigslist.org/bar/4279730756.html

    Both saws appear to be low end models when manufactured, but the current selling price also reflects that. Assuming you want to use a dado set, check the arbor length before you buy. If you buy one of these and don't like it afterwards, there is a good chance you can resell it at a similar price. Not much to lose, assuming you check that that the saw doesn't have any glaring problems before you hand over the cash.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,591

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I do it all the time as a stop block. Nothing dangerous at all. You should learn.
    Yes, as long as the miter gauge is between the blade and fence, I don't see an issue with this.
    Regards, Barry

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,703

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    I don't agree Barry, and I doubt you will find anyone that is responsible for teaching (or writing) about using a table saw safely agree with you. It is simply too many constraints to have the blade, the fence and the miter slot/guage all working at once....and it is NEVER necessary.

    If you are using the miter properly (with the workpiece firmly held) there is zero to gain from using a fence...and plenty to loose.


    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?

    Ridgid R4510 contractor saw. Does absolutely everything I need it to do. Lifetime warranty and very mobile. That's important in a small shop. It handles a 3/4 dado with ease. I rabbit joint all my boxes.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

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