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Steel City table saw...

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Blog entry by Chip posted 04-03-2007 10:16 PM 35361 reads 1 time favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I would like input before purchasing. I’ve been investigating table saws for the past month and I think I’ve narrowed it down to a 10” cabinet saw from Steel City. It’s not the high end model and it’s not the low end model, and I’m getting a pretty good deal on one that’s in my price range.

The thing that I liked about this model was the cast iron “arc” trunion. It’s 3 hp and has a three belt drive system. I checked out Steel City and they seem to be a reliable manufacturer.

I understand that every woodworker has his or her own preference when it comes to this piece of equipment so I guess I’m really interested in any reasons why I SHOULDN’T buy a Steel City saw (bad experience with company, have one and don’t like it, had problems, poor accuracy, etc.).

Any comments before I go lay down the money in a day or two would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!



28 comments so far

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2812 days


#1 posted 04-03-2007 11:05 PM

Chip… the only thing I would suggest is this. I bought a brand new unisaw and love it but my buddy at Timberlinetools.com is replacing all the table saws at every high school in the state it seems with SawStop saws as the schools liability insurance goes down so much they are getting rid of everything (even the year or 2 year old saws) he has nearly new Delta and Jet saws and more… I don’t know if he would ship the used ones but I would check. His name is Richard and his website has their toll free number… I wish i waited as I spend like $1700 and then got a $250 rebate when I could have had the same thing 2 years old for like $450 to $550… Who knows he may have a steel city saw.

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2816 days


#2 posted 04-03-2007 11:19 PM

Drew, thanks but Steel City is only a couple of years old so I’m not so sure there are many used ones out there floating around.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2812 days


#3 posted 04-03-2007 11:25 PM

I am not sure either but I saw a 2 year old 3 horse unisaw for $450 there last week that came out of a Junior High and had less use on it than my 2 month old unisaw… The schools are replacing all the saws… not just the old tired ones… The sawstop it driving this. The bill for a bevy of $3000 saws is less than the drop in liability insurance for a year or something like that.

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View markrules's profile

markrules

146 posts in 2839 days


#4 posted 04-03-2007 11:42 PM

I need to make a phone call. This is an awesome opportunity.

View Mike Jones's profile

Mike Jones

7 posts in 2808 days


#5 posted 04-04-2007 02:22 AM

He could unload everything on this site. Can you reply with contact info.
Mike

-- Mike Jones, Jasper, Al

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2823 days


#6 posted 04-04-2007 03:25 AM

I would say get a SawStop if at all possible. I just almost feel like it’s not if, but when will I have an accident? I plan on getting one. They definitely are quality made as well, it’s not just the safety feature that is impressive.

I personally don’t know of anyone that has dealt with Steel City Tools. The guys I know of use the Unisaw, the Jet (like myself and my brother), or Powermatic cabinet saws with no problems to speak of.

A good friend of mine lost 4 fingers in an instantaneous explosion of blood and digits last year. He is a professional and uses a Powermatic. Other than the saw eating his fingers, it’s a good saw too.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2816 days


#7 posted 04-04-2007 04:11 AM

I checked them out Todd and there were two issues I had, maybe small to you but they made me hesitate.

One of course was the price. Thay are beautiful machines but three thousand plus was a bit over my budget.

Second, I change blades pretty regularly, especially for dadoes and with SawStop you are constantly having to deal with the new stop mechinism not to mention you have to buy a second one to use with a dado set.

I hear what you’re saying about safety and agree completely, but for the time being the price is just simply to high and the added feature to much of a pain (that’s really not the word I should use here is it?) to deal with. Let’s face it, no matter what kind of doodads they add to woodworking equipment, we walk through a mine field everytime we enter the shop.

My other passion is sailing and I think the same things apply in a woodshop that I tell myself everytime I step on the boat – to minimize the possibility of any crisis – study what you’re going to do before you do it, check your equipment twice, be deliberate, stay focused, and most importantly, never ever get too comfortable.

With all that said, a SawStop will probably be the next saw I purchase down the road a bit, you know, when I’m signing off as “4 Finger .”

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2812 days


#8 posted 04-04-2007 07:50 AM

His name is Richard and the website is www.timberlinetools.com on the website is his toll free number but it may just go to his web sales guys. His real number is 801-225-3826 and he is the western US’s or maybe the entire US’s #1 Volume powermatic dealer as well. The thing is if you call him they are really planning to ramp up web sales and I have encouraged him to advertise here on Lumberjocks and on Marc’s podcast (I was a bit presumptuous and actually asked him for pricing and forwarded the prices to Richard.) I was over there tonite and I picked up about 20 Porter Cable router bits (they are not going to carry them any longer and are selling all the half inch ones for $20 each and I got 3 of the huge cabinet door bits and a giant round over bit for table tops (Normally like $120 each, it was a good thing they sold a ton already or I would have spent $600 bucks) as well as a set for raised panels and a rabbiting bit as well as a handful of 1/4th inch bits (Ogios, dovetail and dado bits). The 1/4th inchers are $10 each but they are blowing through them. Anyhow tonite they hosted the Utah Wood Turning Societies monthly meeting and I was over there and told a guy about one Unisaw… Richard had a $800 price tag on it and sold it to him for $500 (It had a really nice fence and the full side extension table. He has a ton of 3 phase and will sell those for like $300 as the demand is lower for them but there was another guy who picked one of those up and ordered a separate motor for one for like $70 to replace the 3 phase one. (Phase converters are like $100 per horse so it was smart to do that.) These are big cabinet saws…. Did I mention to you guys he found me a 4 month old PJ882 Jointer with perfect blades for $1000! He would be a huge asset for most of you guys and I think if anyone calls him if we encourage him to advertise here he would.

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2812 days


#9 posted 04-04-2007 07:55 AM

Oh Guys he has a deal that is soooo good on a mini lathe you will not believe it but ask him about it. He sold the wood turners 43 of them tonite… Not kidding… He also said he has 60 more saws coming from the Alpine School District….

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2823 days


#10 posted 04-04-2007 05:04 PM

Chip,

I agree on the blade changing inconvenience. I just keep seeing my friend missing all of those fingers.

It’s funny that I would be so much more concerned about safety. I used to be a pretty hardcore freestyle rock climber. I had many more opportunities to lose my life as opposed to just a few fingers.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2816 days


#11 posted 04-04-2007 07:55 PM

Well, inconvenience never justifies being lacks on safety issues. That’s for sure.

A mistake perhaps, but I just can’t justify the price right now. Slow and steady is the course until I can afford one.

Thanks for the input though.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Scott Jenkins's profile

Scott Jenkins

1 post in 2793 days


#12 posted 04-06-2007 01:28 AM

Chip,

I started looking for a table saw about a month and a half ago. I looked at just about every table saw out there. I actually even looked at the table saws at Timberline tools in Orem, UT, as I live in Utah, and my old Orem High woodshop teacher told me about how they were selling the old Utah schools table saws for cheap. They didn’t have a good selection of them when I went in there and I realized that I was going to have to buy a “hybrid” table saw any way, because I live in a condo and only have one 110v outlet in my garage. I narrowed my search down to all of the “hybrid” table saws such as Delta, Grizzly, Jet, Craftsman, and even considered buying a Ridgid contractor saw. I finally decided to buy a Jet and had an order placed and everything when my Dad went to the largest tool store in Utah, M&M tools in Salt Lake City, and discovered Steel City tools. He insisted that I check them out, so I went down to Salt Lake City and talked to a salesman there. They sell basically every brand out there including the Jet that I was going to buy where I live, and he told me that he personally felt that the best value out there is Steel City, so he talked me into buying the bottom line model, the 35601, which is 1 3/4 hp. I paid $899 and submitted a mail in rebate for $100. This price is better than any of the other hybrids out there, as I have really shopped around. I have had it for about 3 weeks now and have only had a chance to use it once, but I am really happy with it. The fence is very smooth and I think that it came with a lot of nice features for the money, such as an extension table, and a pretty nice blade. I had two problems with it from day one, neither of which I attribute to Steel City. One is that the top of my fence rail was scratched up and the other is that my tape wasn’t put on well, so it came off. I contacted Steel City, and they were going to send me a whole new fence rail, but I compromised and asked for a second blade instead. Three days later, I had a new tape and really nice blade sitting on my porch. I was really impressed with the customer service, which is what they brag about, and they are definitely living up to it. If you have the capability to run one of the saws with a bigger motor, I would recommend it, because the 1 3/4 hp is strong (I cut through 3/4” alder and it had no problem) but it isn’t super fast, which was to be expected. In fact, if you go with 3 hp, I would suggest buying one of the deluxe models. They aren’t that much more expensive, but the ones I saw in the show room before purchasing mine were some of the nicest saws I have seen, and far better priced than anything comparable. I don’t think that you would regret your purchase if you decide to buy one, especially considering the fact that the customer service is top rate.

-- Scott

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2816 days


#13 posted 04-06-2007 01:47 AM

Scott… thanks a lot for writing that post. It confirms what I was thinking and makes me feel more confident in the saw I bought yesterday which was the Steel City 3 hp Deluxe. I went with the 3 hp because I read an article that said it cuts through 8/4 oak like butter. I use a lot of hardwoods so I wanted that power.

Thanks so much for giving me all that info. Very nice of you! I will sleep better tonight.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2961 days


#14 posted 04-06-2007 04:40 AM

So we need to call Richard at timberlinetools.com to find out what he has available? I didn’t see a used tool section

View Drew1House's profile

Drew1House

425 posts in 2812 days


#15 posted 04-06-2007 06:30 AM

Call him, they dont have room to stock 60 used saws at a time… If you talk to him he can tell you what he is getting in and pull one out for you if it looks like what you want. He just told me a bunch of the saws that are coming (they are delivering 60 saw stops to Alpine School District schools tomorrow but will not collect the new saws till the electricity gets hooked up to the new saws) and a bunch of them are powermatic 66s I think with the new Beisemeyer clone fence but I am not sure about that. They are 3 phase but they found phase converters for $150 they think will work in conjunction… You just have to talk to him. The deals are not sitting out as he wants to blow through the used ones and really makes his money selling the new ones. Also he does not have floor space for all these used saws so he literally is selling them for like $50 more than he gave on trade so he can blow them out and get them out of the shop. You could also email him at richard@timberlinetools.com.. work out the deal with him and ask what he has and then he will probably set you up with one of his on line guys to figure out shipping etc.

The last load of 40 he had he sold in 2 weeks so Scott… If you showed up the wrong day and did not know who to talk to you will be left looking at his 3 used saws individuals have in on consignment. Not the way to get the deal…

Drew

-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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