My views on table and cabinet saws.

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Blog entry by F Ben Kautz posted 07-06-2012 11:29 PM 7595 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have read many of the comments on tablesaws/cabinet saws.
I still am using my ancient Craftsman that I bought from my father.
I have upgraded the pulleys to give a higher blade speed along with replacing the belt with the link belt.
I enjoy much smoother operation and cutting power.
I use a Forrest WWII thin kerf blade, which works well.
I found a Delta T2 fence on the bargain table at Woodcraft, and fitted it to my saw. I enjoy the ability to
read from the tape. I have set the fence at 1/32 runout at the rear. This appears to help in ripping.
I installed a switch on the left side with the paddle shutoff.
Once the motor wouldn’t run. A friend showed me that I needed to blow out the sawdust and clean out the motor. It started right up.
I have added a Benchdog router table to the right side. it is supposed to be designed for the left side, but interferes with the table saw operation when running jobs requiring both the saw and router.
I have ripped some heavy stock. I know this saw won’t do the heavy stuff regularly, but occasionally I get along well. using my ruling workbench as an outfeed table. When adjusted to the exact height of the saw table, makes and excellent outfeed table.
I have looked at many table saws. I like the Laguna Platinum saw, which I have read is made in the same plant as the Grizzly. I can’t get excited about Grizzly since owning a Grizzly shaper once. It didn’t take long to sell it, and move up to a Delta, which is much smoother. The Grizzly had an annoying sound to it.
One feature I think was really great on the Laguna Platinum saw is the fence. It rides just above the table on a delrin or UHMW pad. There are fingers that come out over the guide rails at the t-square end of the fence to insure the smooth movement , and stay in smooth alignment.
Some have not liked Laguna’s service and dealing with them. I bought a Laguna 14” bandsaw and coudn’t be happier. I bought it at a show directly from Tjorbin Helshoi. I asked him what size bandsaw I should buy. He could have easily “upsold me”, but he recommended the Laguna 14. This is an Industrial quality saw. I have done 12” resaws on it with Cherry.
I have a Steel City 8” parallelogram jointer which I like, yet can’t get excited about their cabinet saws.
I still don’t get the granite thing. When I tried out all the adjustments on new Delta Unisaw, I was impressed. Although expensive, it would be my choice if I move up from the ancient Craftsman. I like the extra distance between the blade and the front of the table for getting better control of the infeed.

I believe the Jets are great saws. I have played with the PM2000 at a Woodcraft store and found the cranks and action disappointing along with the specs. The crank adjustment for bring the saw up on the casters was disappointing also.

I agree with the opinions on the Sawstop that it is a very well made saw. I have the feeling that given today’s mentality, there is a tendency to buy that saw and think you can’t get hurt. I do think my feelings are contradictory as I believe if the Sawstop can get shop classes back into the schools, so be it, as long as the point is gotten across that not all power tools have the Sawstop’s safety feature.

Some of the best advice I have listened to was from Scott Phillips when he was at the Woodcraft store in Grand Rapids Michigan. He said to bring the saw blade no more than a quarter inch above the wood.

I use a “Grip-Tite” magnetic featherboard. It has always worked well for me and is a reminder of where the blade is. I use a push board from Bench Dog. It has a handle and a heel that catches the rear of the board. It allows downward pressure on the board. I tilt it slightly towards the fence when pushing a board through.

These comments are from my experience. Others may think differently. That is one of the neat things about
woodworking. It allows us to be individuals. There is no one in woodworking that I can’t learn something from.
I have enjoyed all the comments and continue to learn from this forum.


-- Woodsurgin

5 comments so far

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3368 days

#1 posted 07-07-2012 11:58 AM

Nice post on your thoughts.

The fence on a table saw is a really big deal. Didn’t take me long with my original C’man saw to discover that.

I have a R4511 that is a great saw for a hybrid but came with a bad fence system. T2 solved that and made it a great saw.

I still have it even though I upgraded in March to a Jet cabinet saw.

I liked the Unisaw I saw in Woodcraft as well as the quality of the Sawstop. For some that blade cartridge is a must, for me, not so big a deal. Router table and shapers seem more dangerous in the shop than my TS.

I ended up with the Jet because to me it had some of the best features of the PM2000 but at far less of a cost.
Very good blade shroud dust collection, a superb fence(XactaII rides on a UHMW foot), and a suprise for me of how much I like the modular riving knife set up.

View F Ben Kautz's profile

F Ben Kautz

32 posts in 2667 days

#2 posted 07-07-2012 12:54 PM

I agree, the fence made all the difference in using this old saw. The T2 rides on a plastic button on a channel on the back of the saw.
My only complaint with the Biesemeyer fenced I have see is that they ride directly on the table. It seems they have fixed that. From what I have seen of the Jet, they are great saws at a reasonable price.

My only tablesaw injury came from trying to feed a piece of plywood that was too wide and not very long. It bound and kicked back. It left me with a bruised stomach. I couldn’t use my mitre fence because the piece was too deep.
It was a real lesson learned.

-- Woodsurgin

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2749 days

#3 posted 07-07-2012 01:57 PM

We have similar philosophies. I’m a JET guy, for sure. My stock fence is as accurate as I need and is just as accurate as my incra. I’ve got the benchdog misplaced on the right. We differ a bit on Laguna and I’m simply sick of hearing about SawStop. I’ve tried using them many times and I don’t consider them to be of the same quality as PM or Delta but that’s my opinion and I don’t expect anyone to care about that. I enjoyed reading your post.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View F Ben Kautz's profile

F Ben Kautz

32 posts in 2667 days

#4 posted 11-16-2012 05:43 PM

I believe Jet tools are well worth the money from what I have seen “tire kicking” at tool suppliers.
Again, the quality of the SawStop is without question really good.
As I previously mentioned, I am more likely to get hurt from kickback. My next saw will have a riving knife.
I had a Laguna a 13” bandsaw, which gave me a lot trouble. Laguna sent me a new upper wheel. The bearings were not good. I reworked the spindles with heavier bearings and it works well. This saw said “meber” on it. I took a chance and bought the Laguna 14” bandsaw with the ceramic guides. They work great. I have resawed 12” cherry boards with good accuracy. I do think that it is important to buy good quality blades. The Resaw King blade works well.

-- Woodsurgin

View F Ben Kautz's profile

F Ben Kautz

32 posts in 2667 days

#5 posted 06-20-2013 08:14 PM

Recently I was looking at saws. I came across a PM2000 at Berland’s House of Tools in Illinois. It seems to me that the PM has improved in quality. I remember looking at one about a year ago and it did not seem smooth when I cranked the wheels. This one was really good. My first choice is still the Unisaw. I believe they are working on their parts issues. I sure hope they’ll be around for a long time. I do believe Jet makes a really good saw.

-- Woodsurgin

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