Tools tools, I love toys, I mean tools #7: Replace or Modify - the tale and end of my low end jobsite saw

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Blog entry by paxorion posted 01-22-2015 08:55 PM 1562 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Thanks American Express for subsidizing my Bessey Tradesman clamps on Small Business Saturday Part 7 of Tools tools, I love toys, I mean tools series no next part
About a year ago, I was faced with a decision to replace or modify my $40 Black Friday table saw. The saw was a Skil 3305 table saw. Each time I used the saw, I was gripped fear of injury because the saw
  1. Proved to be impossible to properly align the blade to miter slots, as many hours (and bashed knuckles) led me to conclude that the saw was not designed to allow the owner to perform that basic safety calibration.
  2. Had a horrible fence that would not reliably lock parallel and was think enough to be a deflection risk
  3. Did not have sufficient capacity to rip more than 11.75”
  4. Uses an odd throat insert design that means self-made ZCIs are complex if not impossible to make
  5. Features non-standard miter gauges that means third party upgrades are not feasible

The sum of all these issues made me wonder if it was worthwhile to keep the saw and perform some modifications by adding an auxiliary top, build a new fence, or build a table saw station a-la New Yankee Workshop. Or is my limited woodworking time worth calling it quits with this saw and spending the money to replace the saw. Given that my time was worth at least as much as the saw and material expenses to modify the saw, I decided to throw in the towel and replace the saw. This decision is what inspired my table saw criteria analysis post.

PS: In the end, I was able to sell this Skil 3305 table saw on Craigslist for a lovely $40. Not bad for cost recovery.

-- paxorion

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