Just the new guy trying to figure it out.

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Blog entry by TravisK posted 01-14-2012 10:09 PM 5084 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well as you can figure out my name is Travis, I live in Federal Way Washington. I have been in my house going on about 4 years now, and figure its about time I get my shop/garage really organized and set-up. I do not get a whole lot of time to fiddle around the garage as I would like, beings that my wife works and I have 2 little ones running around. Really makes it a challenge to get time to do things, if you know what I mean. But projects are starting to add up that I’d like to do. Now in the past, and also currently, every time I have something I need to cut I am stuck using a circular saw and whatever piece of “straight” wood I have to use as a guide. Needless to say this never seems to work out for me, and I’m left with a board that a has a wavy edge. I think this is another reason I keep putting things off that require cutting and sawing. Well now I am starting to get in a place where I can afford these things of somewhat luxury, like a table saw. Then eventually a band saw and lathe to broaden my woodworking horizons. But in the time being, I am for the most part 1 step prior to square one. I am searching for my table saw.
I have been spending a lot of time on here researching different TS’s. I just get so frustrated because just when I think I have found “the one”, I find some kind of issue with it. Now just like everyone else I do have a budget, and the more below it I am the better. I started out looking at the Craftsman 21807
found reviews to not be so great, I have pretty much ruled that out. I then moved onto the Craftsman 21833
I have found on LJ that there can be alignment issues, and having to deal with Sears C/S I don’t think I want to have to deal with, and also the lack of quality with Craftsman now a days. Now, I have not totally ruled this TS out of the picture completely. It’s just the case for it is not very strong. I then went to look at the Porter-Cable PCB270TS at my local Lowe’s store. I really don’t like the pressed wings, they just don’t impress me what so ever. Then I found the Grizzly G0715P, in which I pretty much fell in love with this machine. Then I found the parallelism issue on a couple of LJ reviews. Other than that it sounds like a great machine for the money.
Just recently I have been looking at the JET JPS-10 and 30. I don’t have too much info about the JET, like I said I have just been recently looking at it.

The bottom line is this. I am looking for a quality TS thats going to last me for years to come, and isn’t going to break the bank. I don’t want to start out with a cheap POS either, that’s just going to give me problems and heart ache and then will be looking for a replacement in 2-3 years. I mean essentially this is for the most part going to be the center piece of my shop. I really am leaning towards the Grizzly, I am just afraid of getting one with an alignment issues.

-- Travis

12 comments so far

View sras's profile


4827 posts in 3186 days

#1 posted 01-14-2012 11:20 PM

If you don’t mind a bit of a road trip, the Grizzly warehouse is in Bellingham. You might be able to check the saw out there. Maybe even save shipping (if you have a way to haul one home).

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3613 days

#2 posted 01-14-2012 11:32 PM

I have the Grizzly G0690 and love it. I had no problems with alignment when I got it and haven’t touched it yet. Sounds like you are wanting to stick to 110V, I was that way for a time but eventually I went to 220 which the 690 requires. And like you I did the track saw thing for years, but it’s kinda hard to rip boards that way, isn’t it. I was so happy went I got my table saw and you will be too. I have several Grizzly machines and love the quality on all of them. I live close enough to Muncy, PA, to drive there and I’ve been up several times to look and to buy. It’s a great way to touch and feel all the machines. As for power, 3 hp is plenty for what I’ve tried to do so far, but frankly I wonder if 1.5 hp would be enough.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 2659 days

#3 posted 01-14-2012 11:37 PM

As a absolute cheapskate that has made a vow to only buy lifetime tools; Here is what I would do ( and have done) Buy somethin like this unisaw in your area, easy low mileage unit, although I’d hunt for a better price. West coast is a bit higher cost so you may not be able to. Add on the the VFD
You’ll have to do a little bit of Wiring work for 220v in the garage ($75). All in all you should come in under $850 and have a saw that is already proven that it can last 20 years, 20 more shouldnt be a problem.
For proof of whats possible; Here is my saw with the vfd on start up. Saw is 1957 powermatic model 70 12” monster ($100) VFD ($145) wiring and plugs ($90 had a bit of a learning curve and had to replace some of the saws wire)
That’s just me and I tend to buy cheap even if I have to work on it a bit, in the end I usually end up knowing my tools better and have top quality tools in the end. The side benifit is my tool budget goes alot farther, and the wife is happier when I come home with 500 lbs of iron and can say I spent less than $200. IF you need any help let me know. I stay up there quite a bit for work.

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3008 days

#4 posted 01-14-2012 11:38 PM

Good luck on the TS search. When I first started out a couple of years ago I had a cheap Ryobi saw—I did some decent work with it despite its horrible limitations. Now I have a Ridgid 4511 and it has been a big upgrade—-still, would like a good cabinet saw, but I think the Grizzley saw you have in mind should be a wonderful place to start.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View StumpyNubs's profile


7609 posts in 2857 days

#5 posted 01-15-2012 12:38 AM

One thing I know about Table Saws is this: There is always a better one out there that you just HAVE to have… it’s a lot like computers!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The best woodworking show since wood was invented is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2707 days

#6 posted 01-15-2012 01:16 AM

Just wondering if you have looked at the RIDGID R4512? i have seen a lot of jocks here with it and have a friend who has one and he loves it. Just thought i would point it out…otherwise from what you have been looking at i would go with the grizzly. Seems like a good bang for the buck.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View smndrummer's profile


47 posts in 2402 days

#7 posted 01-15-2012 01:29 AM

Yep, I’m going to recommend the Unisaw route as well. It’s usually a bit of a project in itself, but a rotary phase converter can be made very simply with a 3 phase motor and a starting scheme (capacitor start, pony start, or pull start). It may seem a bit ridiculous to buy such an old piece of equipment knowing you’re going to have to do work to get it running well, but trust me, the old machines are awesome for the price, and their durability has been proven many times over. If you’re at all interested, google OWWM and check out the site listings for unisaws, powermatics, and Olivers. You’ll find prime examples of how bad a machine can look and yet with a little effort, become a very precise and usable machine once again. You can find my restoration job here This machine is a beast, and works perfectly every time. Just food for thought. – Rich

-- - Rich

View Hanman's profile


58 posts in 2389 days

#8 posted 01-15-2012 03:49 AM

I have an old Unisaw and it’s a beast. I bought it for $50 from the local high school shop because the cast iron fence clamping mechanism was broken. I bought a Vega table saw fence and now it’s as good as I could ever ask for and I barely have $250 in it. I’m also a contractor and I have cut miles of 2 by lumber through this saw and it still cuts as true as any saw I’ve ever used. They aren’t easy to find, or at least I haven’t seen many like mine, but if you can find one you can probably save yourself a few bucks and they just don’t make power tools like they used to.

-- It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S. Truman

View TravisK's profile


3 posts in 2383 days

#9 posted 01-15-2012 06:22 AM

I would love to drive up to Bellingham, Sras, but they are closed on the weekend. The only one, out of three, that is closed the whole weekend. The Grizzly 715 is pre-wired for 220, but can be rewired for 110. Running a 220 line is something I really want to undertake. I am more mechanically inclined than electrically. Yes, I have looked at the Rigid 4512 online, not up close and personal though. It’s just that for some reason I’m thinking its going to be one of those TS to last. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but if I remember right I’ve read on here that Rigid and Craftsman are essentially one in the same. As far as going the craigslist route, I’m not to sure. Getlostinwood thats a lot of tech jargon. Sounds like it could be some major heart burn and head aches. Another thing is I don’t have a pickup truck any longer to pick this kind of machinery.

But none the less, thanks to everybody here that has so far given opinions and insight.

-- Travis

View captferd's profile


173 posts in 2450 days

#10 posted 01-15-2012 06:26 AM

My table saw is a Saw Stop but I have a Grizzly Dust collector. If their table saws are built as well as my Grizzly Dust collector you can expect a really precise, high quality machine. I have a friend that will own nothing but a grizzly product.

-- CaptFerd

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2861 days

#11 posted 01-15-2012 06:48 PM

glad to meet you Travis. 1st off, you’re going about things the right way by gathering all the info you can for what you want. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what saw (or any other equipment) you wind up with, you will undoubtedly have to “fine-tune” just about everything you buy. That’s a part of all this woodworking hobby you kinda learn on the way. Good luck with your purchase. You’ve came to the right place for info. There are a lot of gr8 woodworkers on this site. You shouldn’t have any problem finding the right answers OH, and p.s. : you may want to check out Craigs List. You might get lucky

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3028 days

#12 posted 01-15-2012 07:10 PM

A little comment about the Ridgid 4512. If you don’t like what you read about the Sears 21833, there is no need considering the 4512, they are the same saws with different paint jobs.

I have a 21833 and it does have alignment problems. I can adjust it and in a few weeks, it’s out again. When it is in adjustment it works great. It, like the Ridgid, is a lot of saw for the price, but I don’t think it is going to be lasting very long. Too cheaply designed and built.

The Grizzly tools have a lot of supporters and I think worth a look. I would also consider Steel City and General International. Of course, i you get to the point you can justify $1500 or more, the SawStop has to be a consideration. When you get to the really serious big iron, Delta unisaw and Powermatic.

Don’t forget Craig’s List. I have seen $3000 Unisaws on there for $750. Now that is a deal you just can’t ignore

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