Reply by Charlie

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Posted on Yes, one more person seeking help on selecting a table saw...

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1100 posts in 2282 days

#1 posted 07-24-2012 07:58 PM

Seems to me your first order of business is getting the electric feed sorted out. What, EXACTLY, do you have running out there for wire? The answer to that is going to shape much of what follows. Your lights are dimming because you are running everything on one circuit, apparently.

I have a Steel City 35990. It’s a hybrid, not a cabinet saw, but it has cabinet mounted trunions, a granite top, and so far, after building all of my kitchen cabinets with it, I’m very happy with it. You’ll probably hear a lot of advice along the lines of, “Oh, you really want a cabinet saw…”, and if you’ve got the bucks, go for it. Just don’t get caught up in thinking that without one, you’re somehow diminished as a woodworker. A good saw will cut the wood you normally cut, and do it well. It should have a decent fence. Doesn’t have to be anything more than the stock fence if the stock fence can be adjusted square and locked into position repeatedly. Ease of use is obviously a factor. Once adjusted, your saw should transition easily from one cut to another. Without a lot of fiddling.

In your situation, if it was me, I’d be looking at spending a few bucks to get the electric squared away, spend around $700 on a saw instead of 11 or 12 hundred. I’d class myself as a serious hobby woodworker. I don’t build cabinets for sale to others (normally). I’m not a commercial shop. But as soon as I had a good table saw, I wanted my dust collector hooked up. And as soon as I started needing larger quantities of wood (kitchen cabinets) I quickly discovered how much cheaper it was to buy rough cut and get a decent planer. I only had a 60amp sub panel installed. My lights don’t dim when I start my saw or dust collector or planer.

I wish you happiness, but also see you putting the cart before the horse if you get another saw without first knowing exactly what you’re dealing with electrically.

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