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Thread: table saws

  1. #1
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    Default table saws

    Need to replace my small table top table saw, what would anyone recommend looking at, am wanting the bigger i guess they call them stationary table saws, what is the best saw for not spending a fortune?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: table saws

    An old Powermatic 66 is what we use for making woodenware for personal use and sales along with other wood working projects, and love it. It's a straight forward machine that you can find for sale used on craigslist. Generally around 800 more or less. It may seem a bit pricey, but if your serious about getting a good table saw, then you want one.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: table saws

    If $800 is out of your budget, you can still find a decent saw for a good price by looking for an older belt drive [not tabletop] saw like a Craftsman. Features you want to look for include belt drive [AC induction motor, look for 1 or 2 capacitors on the motor housing about the size of a toilet paper 'core') a cast iron top (rather than 'formed' from flat steel), a saw arbor long enough to hold a 3/4" stack dado set and still have adequate threads on the blade bolt, and legs of course.

    Nice to have a 'good' fence, but virtually any saw can get an upgraded fence. If you use the saw largely for bee woodenware, its possible to work around the fence issue by making sliding jigs for the many pieces that are repeat cuts [the jigs ride in the saw's miter slot].

    For me, this saw is overpriced ... https://fortwayne.craigslist.org/tls...384188711.html
    ... with just a stock fence, but you can see what the cast iron table looks like.

    I'm cheap, so this saw is out of my price range, but it has a very nice fence: https://limaohio.craigslist.org/tls/...383922436.html

    This one is too cheap construction note the pressed steel table: https://limaohio.craigslist.org/tls/...375255188.html

    This one appears a bit older than my Craftsman - this appears to have metal crank handles - mine (purchased new about 1995 has plastic cranks and one of mine is broken). But the price is excellent: https://muncie.craigslist.org/tls/d/...379578866.html
    Worth checking out in person in my view. Plan to add a wheel kit, maybe upgrade the fence. You do need to see it run, and check the arbor length too. Plan on spending time checking/adjusting the relative alignment of the blade with the miter guides.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 11-20-2017 at 09:20 PM. Reason: typos
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4
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    Default Re: table saws

    The "overpriced" craftsman with cast extensions has an upgraded 2 hp motor. It is arguably worth $175 to $200.

    That Craftsman Professional saw is a screaming steal at $400. You figure out why.

    The "too cheap" saw is really over priced at $75.

    The last saw at $100 is a very good buy. I especially like that "3 hp" motor though in reality it only delivers a bit over 2 hp.

    Also, my Craftsman saw purchased in 1977 has plastic adjustment wheels. The best I can determine, the last of the metal wheel saws were made in the 1960's. Keep in mind that the bearings may need to be replaced on a saw that old.

    The old Emerson saws are pretty good for building bee equipment. If you want to do much more as in build cabinets, books shelves, etc, get the professional saw.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 11-20-2017 at 09:26 PM.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  6. #5
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    Default Re: table saws

    I've worked with a Delta Unisaw for 40 years and wanted one of my own for about 30, but I couldn't afford one. Ironically i just bought a 30 year old one in good shape for $500 off Craigslist. Nothing better in my experience.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: table saws

    My Ridgid stationary table saw has worked flawlessly since I bought it 8 years ago, I've never really liked the aluminum fence they put on the saw but it works.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  8. #7
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    Default Re: table saws

    Don't overlook the fence system. I'd rather have a good fence on a cheap saw than the other way around
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  9. #8
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    Default Re: table saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    I'm cheap, so this saw is out of my price range, but it has a very nice fence: https://limaohio.craigslist.org/tls/...383922436.html

    I've owned this saw for the past 15 years, and although not perfect, it has been a very solid machine. Certainly overkill for making bee hives, but pretty versatile and reasonably accurate. It comes with a VERY nice fence!! I think I paid about $800 new. I've pushed a lot of wood through that saw over the years.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  10. #9
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    Default Re: table saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    Don't overlook the fence system. I'd rather have a good fence on a cheap saw than the other way around
    The way around this is, make patterns that fit in the miter groove of the saw. Then you don't need a fence. Additionally, every piece will be the same without measuring and setting up the fence.

    If you plan to make very many items of bee equipment, I recommend making patterns rather than moving and setting up your fence each time you cut the width of a deep, width of a shallow, side rails of bottom boards, rabbet for the frame rests, frame for tops, frame for inner covers, etc..... By making your pattern fit in the miter groove, every time you make an item, it will be just like the last time. When setting up a movable fence each time you make equipment, there is always room for error.

    I respectfully disagree with several on here who say, get the belt driven saws. O.K. if one is available, but, I can tell you without any doubt, they are not required. Mine has made thousands of bee boxes and they are all direct drive, older models from Sears, (made from early 1990's until around 2005), All of mine came from Craigslist. Most expensive was $150.00. They all have the cast metal table tops, all have a long arbor to accommodate a 3/4 dado set. And all have metal legs. I have never had a problem with any of them. I rarely use a fence, because I have a pattern for each piece of wood that is used in making bee equipment.

    Here are a couple of photos of the patterns.

    Bee patterns.jpg

    Just leave the patterns hanging on the wall until needed, then insert the guide into the miter groove, clamp to the saw table with a wood clamp, and every piece will be just like the last one.

    Also note that all my patters have the wood running under a shield, so there is no way to get your hand into the saw blade. Safety first!!!!!

    Pattern that shows miter groove anchor.jpg

    Deep rabbet pattern.jpg

    This photo will show the guide that fits in the miter groove.

    cchoganjr

  11. #10
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    Default Re: table saws

    For bee hives I am not sure it is not better to have two cheep saw rather then one good one. Sorta assembly line fassion. I do like the motor being not direct drive cause every motor I burned out cost more then the saw it was on. You can get by with any motor on a belt drive if it goes out.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #11
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    Default Re: table saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    That Craftsman Professional saw is a screaming steal at $400. You figure out why.
    I'm guessing you don't mean the 7 1/4" blade. Hopefully it can handle full sized.

    Looks like a good upgrade from mine, which is closer to that $75 hunk of junk.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: table saws

    gww... I guess your experience is different than mine. I have never burned out a direct drive motor. For that matter, I have never had any problem of any kind with the 6 saws I had in my shop for building bee equipment.

    I started building bee equipment in 1998, and for the next 17 years (I retired last year), I made more than 500+ boxes each year, 200+ tops, 200+ inner covers, and 200+ bottom boards. (I sold nucs during this time and I put them in new 10 frame equipment). Still have 4 of the six saws I used all that time. Sold two of them last year.

    In cutting box joints, I cut the two end pieces at one time, and I cut the two side pieces at one time. So I only cut box joints in 2 pieces of wood at each pass. I know a lot of people cut all 4 at one time. I believe that would require a better saw, perhaps a belt drive. But, cutting through 2 boards at a time was never a problem for my Sears Craftsman saws.

    You are right about two saws. and if you are going to make a lot of bee equipment, 3 saws will really make it nice. Put a 3/4 dado, for box joints, on one and leave it. Put a 1/2 dado , for groove in side rail of bottom boards, on one and leave it. Use the other one with patterns do do all the ripping. I had 6 saws, but, I was building a lot each year.

    cchoganjr

  14. #13
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    Default Re: table saws

    Cleo
    I did not own a table saw my whole life till about ten years ago. My first one was a skill 4100. I used it for about three years and it burned out. I bought another one and it lasted less then 30 days. I like the skill cause it would cut a full 3.5 inch deep. So I returned the skill and bought another one. It lasted less then 6 months. I tried to replace the motor on my first one. The motor was $300 and the saw new on sale was $209. The last one bocsh did fix it cause a bearing was going out and I caught it before it compleetly ruined the motor.

    I now have a bosch contractor saw which is made buy the same company that makes the skill but it is a better but also more expensive saw. About $600 new, I bought used for $275. I have the skill that they fixed on warrenty and I have a craftsman (with the metal handles rader) flexshaft that I keep a 3/8th dado on all the time. I paid $25 for the craftsman from my son in law who was trying to sell it on a yard sale for $50. Nobody probly bought it cause in the city every body is probly driving cars and this thing take two men and a boy to move it.

    I have a craftsman 6 inch jointer that the motor did go out on and I put a motor from a free treadmill on it and so it is still usable. My very first table saw, I bought at a flee market for like $35 and even though it ran it did not cut one board and the motor burned out. It made a BBQ table for awhile.

    My belief on the skilsaws is that their is no soft start and they have lots of power but cheap cheap chineese bearings that when they go it gives slack which eats up the little copper bars on the stators. At least the first one that I took apart had that.

    One differrance between me and you is almost every thing I am building is done with oak which might be a bit harder on tablesaws then pine.

    I just love that old craftsman for what I use it for but the fence on it is crap and the tape measure on it is not correct. It works great for what I use it for. For making frames and hand holds on boxes I have little marks on the table for where to set the fence and use the frame top bar to set the fence when making frames. Those are my jigs. Most of my stuff is crap but it is working pretty good. The bosch is a little taller but even though also direct drive seems to have better parts and bearings.
    Mom has used a junky delta forever and so I get your point.

    I don't mind using junk if it does well on what I am doing and so the belt driven ones make sence for me. Find a tread mill for $5 with a 2.5 horse motor on it and you can be back in buisness if something does go wrong.
    I could not justify that I do enough work to get my money back from a table saw purchace but once I had one and it quit, I couldn't live with out it. I could and have did everything I do now with a circular saw and did my whole life including your hand holds in hive bodies but now must have table saws even if they are not the $2000 ones.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps Cleo, What did you charge for your nucs that you sold in ten frame boxes?
    zone 5b

  15. #14
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    Default Re: table saws

    I currently have 3 Craftsman belt drive table saws two of which have 1 hp motors and one with a 3 hp motor. I have cast extensions on two of them and stamped steel on the third. All are belt drive. The oldest saw was purchased new from Sears in 1977 and has cut untold thousands of feet of lumber over the years. Two of the saws have American made Biesemeyer fences which allows me to cut with accuracy and ease of setup.

    Looks like a good upgrade from mine, which is closer to that $75 hunk of junk.
    The Craftsman professional saw is a 152.22124. It is a screaming steal because it has a cast iron top on a solid base and it has an American made Biesemeyer fence from Mesa Arizona with the 7 layer plywood side rails. Biesemeyer was sold to Delta about 20 years ago. Quality went down significantly when they moved production overseas. The saw sold for $1100 though it was occasionally put on sale for about $800. Put a high quality blade on that saw and you can make any piece of furniture your heart can dream up.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  16. #15
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    Default Re: table saws

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    One differrance between me and you is almost every thing I am building is done with oak which might be a bit harder on tablesaws then pine.

    Ps Cleo, What did you charge for your nucs that you sold in ten frame boxes?
    gww.... Actually about 95 percent of my bee equipment was made with poplar. I bought saw mill poplar, strip stacked it for one year.

    In the early 2000's I got $100.00. By 2010 I was getting $150.00. The last 2 or 3 years I got $175.00. I was selling from 175 to 250 per year. You could charge a lot more and still sell every nuc you can make. I liked selling nucs better than making honey.

    Here are a couple of photos I believe from 2012.

    2012 Nucs, (2).jpg

    2012 nucs.jpg

    cchoganjr

  17. #16
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    Default Re: table saws

    It depends on your intent for the saw but beware, a number of the cheaper direct drives will not accommodate a dado blade. You'll want a descent dado blade the will cut up to an inch. If you're planning on doing any furniture or finish/precision work, a good fence system is a worthwhile investment. I too use a Biesemeyer fence system with a 54" extension, can't tell you how sweet it is to slide the fence to a mark and have it cut dead on square and to that exact measurement. Even with a good fence system, I still prefer a sled for the ease in cutting box joints.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  18. #17
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    Default Re: table saws

    Cleo
    I built my own band mill and am making my own lumber and there is no pine around here though I did finaly get a few pine logs this year. I sticker them for close to a year and then start building.

    I ask about the premium on the nucs cause I do all my (not on your scale) splits into ten frame equiptment and really don't mess around with actual nuc boxes. I will not get big like you and am too slow at things to think I could but will probly end up doing any small scale saleing just in the way you did and so thanks for the answer.

    Fussion
    I like the bosch contractor saw but with enough space, I think I really like the craftsman. It just seems to be built with stronger tilts and up and downs compared to the newer ones. I have no ideal how old my craftsman is but it is a tank but jet the controls are still smooth.

    I would have liked to have been around a few saws before buying any cause you only know what you know or can guess with out any experiance.

    I like haveing a couple of saws also just so if I want to leave one set to a certain cut but need to square up a board of fix an edge, I don't have to change my settings to do it.

    I am glad you gave more background to your earlier comments about the four hundred saw because I will use that info while keeping my eye out for the deal of the century.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  19. #18
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    Default Re: table saws

    Eikel... You are soooo right. The cheaper saws will not accept a good dado set, but, those old Sears Craftsman saws with the cast iron table and extensions will. And absolutely, if you are going to make box joints, a good dado is a must.

    If anyone is looking to purchase a dado set, I would recommend the Freud SD208 or the Oshlun 0842. You can find them for just a little over $100.00, maybe a little more. You can make a lot of cuts before they need sharpening. Of course you can buy more expensive sets, but, for bee equipment I have found these two will do a very good job. If I had to pick just one, I would pick the Oshlun 0842.

    cchoganjr

  20. #19
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    Default Re: table saws

    I just found both of those dado blades on sale. The frued was like $89 and the oshl.... was like $77 and I could not make my mind up cause I had heard good about both. I bought the frued and it is much better the the $15 or so craftsman one that I had used for a year and was now creating burnt wood.

    This is another thing I would have liked to see a couple in use before I had to buy one but I am happy so far with the frued.
    I still wish I could put the other one on my saw just to see.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps I have decided that box joints are good enough for a stationarey apary and quit doing the finger joints and just make two cuts to get the box joint with a plain blade.
    zone 5b

  21. #20
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    Default Re: table saws

    gww... You will be happy with the Freud. Nice dado set. I have used them both, both work well.

    cchoganjr

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