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Sawstop contractor, vs. pcs 1.75 hp vs. pcs 3.0 hp

by kryptix
posted 11-28-2016 06:52 AM


26 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8129 posts in 3524 days


#1 posted 11-28-2016 10:27 AM

Get the PCS 3hp, and never look back. It’s a significant step, and should roll just fine in your shop, plus it actually has a smaller overall footprint. The PCS is a better design with better dust collection, and the option of 3hp is nearly twice the power. It’ll be the last saw you ever love.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#2 posted 11-28-2016 11:34 AM



Get the PCS 3hp, and never look back. It s a significant step, and should roll just fine in your shop, plus it actually has a smaller overall footprint. The PCS is a better design with better dust collection, and the option of 3hp is nearly twice the power. It ll be the last saw you ever love.

- knotscott

I was leaning toward the pcs 1.75, you don’t think running a 220 extension cord out the bottom of the garage door and around about 15 feet to my basement will be an issue?

Also, any recommendations on how to pass a cord semi-regularly to the basement without ruining my insulating value? I was considering an exterior outlet plate stuffed with insulation when not in use…

Lastly, any recommendations where to get a 220v extension cord?

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#3 posted 11-28-2016 12:11 PM

Make your own extension cord, it’s a piece of cake and a lot of us can talk you through it. If you get the PCS, maybe consider getting the ICS mobile base (if you can swing it). It sets a new standard in mobile base design and will really help you maneuver it around that 90° turn with ease. One other thing: you could get the 1.75 HP PCS and upgrade it to the 3 HP later buying a new motor from SS. Yo might find it to be not much more expensive than buying it as a 3 HP from the getgo. Just a thought. I do agree that starting with it (the PCS) would be the best approach.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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gmc

57 posts in 2304 days


#4 posted 11-28-2016 12:20 PM

I bought the 1.75 PCs due to a recommendation from a guy at the wood shop. He said it had plenty of power and he was right. It had never bogged down. Definitely the best decision I ever made. It is a great saw with plenty of power for me. I have never regretted buying it over the 3 HP model. Like most decisions it is personal choice.

-- Gary, Central Illinois

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#5 posted 11-28-2016 12:59 PM



I bought the 1.75 PCs due to a recommendation from a guy at the wood shop. He said it had plenty of power and he was right. It had never bogged down. Definitely the best decision I ever made. It is a great saw with plenty of power for me. I have never regretted buying it over the 3 HP model. Like most decisions it is personal choice.

- gmc

Well I’ve never had anything more than a job site saw, so I’m thinking either way the power would be a huge boost. Only worry I have is tripping my 30A circuit that also runs a 2hp HF dust collector if I plug both in with the 1.75hp… is that a legit worry? I guess I can always run one from an extension cord but then I’d be back in a similar position vs getting the 3 hp and spending $100-150 connecting it to my unused dryer outlet (I have a gas dryer)...

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#6 posted 11-28-2016 02:48 PM



Make your own extension cord, it s a piece of cake and a lot of us can talk you through it. If you get the PCS, maybe consider getting the ICS mobile base (if you can swing it). It sets a new standard in mobile base design and will really help you maneuver it around that 90° turn with ease. One other thing: you could get the 1.75 HP PCS and upgrade it to the 3 HP later buying a new motor from SS. Yo might find it to be not much more expensive than buying it as a 3 HP from the getgo. Just a thought. I do agree that starting with it (the PCS) would be the best approach.

- Fred Hargis

Just doing my research, does anyone know what kind of 220 plug the PCS uses? I’d want to take a look at the plug and my dryer outlet before pulling the trigger in either case…

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bbasiaga

1240 posts in 2143 days


#7 posted 11-28-2016 03:29 PM

You can go on amazon and buy 220V plug converters for about 20bucks. The plug on my PCS 3hp wad a nema 6-20p. It is the one that looks mile a regular outlet but with one prong turned horizontal. You can go to their website and download the manual to see it. The cord On The machine was Only About 9’ long. I went to home Depot and bought another 15’ of three conductor 12 gauge ‘appliance extension cord’ wire from their by-the-foot wire rack, and two ends for it. One to match the plug on the saw, and one to match the twist ok outlet I had. You could do the same to match your dryer plug, most likely.

I’ll say it again just in case you missed it above….the PCS will take up less footprint than the contractor version. So if space is a concern go that way.

Also, 30 amps with a saw, dc and lights is pushing it. In theory both of those units could pull 20 amps at 2hp. In reality they may not run under full load often but it could be close.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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knotscott

8129 posts in 3524 days


#8 posted 11-28-2016 03:43 PM

I don’t think using a suitable 220v extension cord will be an issue at all. As Fred mentioned, it’s very easy to make your own. It’ll have better overall current delivery than a 120v circuit because 220v splits the current across two hot supply legs vs one. 1.75hp is adequate, but it’s not hard to lug a motor that size. Having the extra power means that the motor doesn’t work as hard, so should last longer in theory. It also allows you to dictate the pace rather than having it dictated to you. A 3hp motor will also be less sensitive to setup and blade changes.

There are pros and cons with each motor, that you’ll have do decide on. Additional upfront cost being the biggest downside of the 3hp, but will offer immediate benefits as well. Rarely (if ever) is extra power a bad thing.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#9 posted 11-28-2016 03:46 PM

Just doing my research, does anyone know what kind of 220 plug the PCS uses? I d want to take a look at the plug and my dryer outlet before pulling the trigger in either case…

- kryptix

You’re overthinking this. The dryer outlet is likely a 30 amp, and it may be a 4 pin (later day model) or a 3 pin. Neither is a problem and can be made to work with the saw. The plug on the saw would be the 6-20p Brian mentioned. Any of the stuff you need will be readily available at any borg or electrical supply. Just don’t get too wrapped up in worrying about it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Blindhog

77 posts in 1197 days


#10 posted 11-28-2016 03:55 PM

I have the 3hp with the Industrial mobile base. Having the extra power for working with solid wood is something that am glad I have. Your woodworking interests may change in the future and having the extra power when needed is of high value to me.
Either way, you won’t go wrong with SS PCS and the mobile base really works great!

Hog

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#11 posted 11-28-2016 04:00 PM


I have the 3hp with the Industrial mobile base. Having the extra power for working with solid wood is something that am glad I have. Your woodworking interests may change in the future and having the extra power when needed is of high value to me.
Either way, you won t go wrong with SS PCS and the mobile base really works great!

Hog

- Blindhog

The only thing I can think of right now that I’d want the extra power for is batching out things like cutting boards out of 8/4 stock, but that’s something I haven’t done because it would be a pain… I actually have some 8/4 hard maple and purple heart lying around that I meant to do this with.

I’m really leaning towards getting the 3 hp now, but I’m going to have to sell it to my wife that I want to spend $3100 on a saw and base we didn’t budget for when I convinced her she didn’t really need that handbag she wanted…

At least the saw probably has better/easier resale value?

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Matt

160 posts in 1099 days


#12 posted 11-28-2016 04:23 PM

I have the PCS 175 w/ 36”. I love the saw, it also was an upgrade from a portable TS and there is literally no comparison. I’ve run 12/4 poplar through it with the factory blade (still basically new) and it was slow going, but no burning and aside from a slight hiccup (could hear the motor slow slightly) with me feeding the wood too fast, I haven’t had any performance problems. That being said, I don’t think that running both a 110 DC with a 15a+ motor, a TS with a 15a+ motor and lighting on the same 110v 30a circuit is a good idea and I’d be surprised if you didn’t pop the breaker fairly often.

If I was to do it again, in my situation at the time, I’d still purchase the 1.75HP 110v saw because I don’t have available access to 220 with out significant expense that isn’t worth the investment in my current house. (Moving soon). If I had access to 220 I’d get the 3HP model. When I move my shop (and home) I’ll have 220 available but unless I could sell my PCS for almost what I paid for it, I see no good reason to upgrade because I’ve been very happy with the available power. I’ll add I’m a hobbyist so speed is the last of my concerns.

Edit – If I was to do it again – I would get the 52” rails – I didn’t think I had the space, but I do with how my shop works.

-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

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clin

929 posts in 1144 days


#13 posted 11-28-2016 06:51 PM

I have a 3 HP PCS and love it. If you get the PCS, as mentioned by others, you want the ICS mobile base. It is much more maneuverable. It has 4 swivel casters and the PCS mobile base has two fixed and two swivel.

However, the ICS base is larger and extends out the back of the saw. So the net footprint is similar to the contractor saw with the motor hanging off the back. I think the ICS mobile base uses about 6” more out the back.

As for 240 V power, a 240 V load draws half the current of a 120 V. So if you are running an extension cord, it’s actually better to do it with 240 V. Though I understand, that you are only looking to use the extension to reach the 240 V and apparently don’t need one to use the 120 V. Also, because it draws half as much current, it will use up less of the total available current.

Remember, just because it is a 3 HP rated motor doesn’t mean it is going to draw 3 HP. And if you ever draw full power, again, the 3 HP 240V, will draw about the same as the 1 3/4 HP will at 120 V and full power. Maybe even a bit less.

Don’t be afraid of 240 V power. It’s not some difficult thing to add. It’s no harder to add a 240 V circuit than a 120 V. If your power panel is in the garage, just add a 240 V circuit. It’s common to just stub out a short piece of conduit and add an outlet near a breaker panel. But still simple enough to run some more conduit and put the socket where you really want it. It’s very much a DIY project. Just do a little research online.

Where things can get harder is if you need to run a circuit through existing walls etc. But, even that is doable, just more work. No house is a forever house, and 6-10 years is a long time. Especially compared to the one Saturday afternoon, or maybe full weekend, you would need to do some electrical work.

Electrical work can be intimidating if you have no experience. But do your research, do it to code, and when done, you’ll realize it just wasn’t a big deal. Better still, ask around, you can probably find a buddy who has some experience. Still do your own research just in case said buddy is an idiot.

If you do want 240 V through an extension, as mentioned, just make your own extension cord. There are several plug/socket types. The different ones are for different currents. Just match the PCS cord at one end and the wall socket at the other. You can buy appropriate cable at the BORG.

For longer runs you want larger wire, but the socket type will limit how large a wire you can use. If needed, you can replace the plug on the PCS with a higher current plug so you can plug directly into a higher current socket, on the end of the extension cord (if needed).

I’m pretty sure the PCS plug is the smallest size (lowest current) there is, but if not, you want to be sure that the wall socket and circuit rating are enough. Again, I think the PCS draw is very much on the low side and I don’t think this is an issue.

-- Clin

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#14 posted 11-28-2016 06:58 PM



I have a 3 HP PCS and love it. If you get the PCS, as mentioned by others, you want the ICS mobile base. It is much more maneuverable. It has 4 swivel casters and the PCS mobile base has two fixed and two swivel.

However, the ICS base is larger and extends out the back of the saw. So the net footprint is similar to the contractor saw with the motor hanging off the back. I think the ICS mobile base uses about 6” more out the back.

As for 240 V power, a 240 V load draws half the current of a 120 V. So if you are running an extension cord, it s actually better to do it with 240 V. Though I understand, that you are only looking to use the extension to reach the 240 V and apparently don t need one to use the 120 V. Also, because it draws half as much current, it will use up less of the total available current.

Remember, just because it is a 3 HP rated motor doesn t mean it is going to draw 3 HP. And if you ever draw full power, again, the 3 HP 240V, will draw about the same as the 1 3/4 HP will at 120 V and full power. Maybe even a bit less.

Don t be afraid of 240 V power. It s not some difficult thing to add. It s no harder to add a 240 V circuit than a 120 V. If your power panel is in the garage, just add a 240 V circuit. It s common to just stub out a short piece of conduit and add an outlet near a breaker panel. But still simple enough to run some more conduit and put the socket where you really want it. It s very much a DIY project. Just do a little research online.

Where things can get harder is if you need to run a circuit through existing walls etc. But, even that is doable, just more work. No house is a forever house, and 6-10 years is a long time. Especially compared to the one Saturday afternoon, or maybe full weekend, you would need to do some electrical work.

Electrical work can be intimidating if you have no experience. But do your research, do it to code, and when done, you ll realize it just wasn t a big deal. Better still, ask around, you can probably find a buddy who has some experience. Still do your own research just in case said buddy is an idiot.

If you do want 240 V through an extension, as mentioned, just make your own extension cord. There are several plug/socket types. The different ones are for different currents. Just match the PCS cord at one end and the wall socket at the other. You can buy appropriate cable at the BORG.

For longer runs you want larger wire, but the socket type will limit how large a wire you can use. If needed, you can replace the plug on the PCS with a higher current plug so you can plug directly into a higher current socket, on the end of the extension cord (if needed).

I m pretty sure the PCS plug is the smallest size (lowest current) there is, but if not, you want to be sure that the wall socket and circuit rating are enough. Again, I think the PCS draw is very much on the low side and I don t think this is an issue.

- clin

I’m pretty sold on getting the 3HP PCS at this point, most of the debate now is if I want it now (when its honestly getting too cold to even assemble) and to burn up 4-5 months of my warranty before I even use it much, or to just wait to see if any deals are around in the March-April time frame. With Zoro’s high retail cost the deal today amounts to about $300 off for a 3HP saw plus ICS base. Side benefit is that it would be a bit less of a strain than adding a $3k line item to the holiday budget.

As for an extension cord, does it matter which hot prong you wire to which hot socket on the wall plug? Since one end is a dryer outlet (I’m not sure if its 3 or 4 prong), and the other is 6-20R, I was having a hard time finding online which hot wire goes to which prong in the dryer plug side.

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#15 posted 11-28-2016 07:10 PM

You can’t get the hots backwards/reversed (makes no difference). As for the future deals, about the best they offered so far was a some freebies with the saw….not much of a discount in the price. Of course, tahat’s not to say they won’t do something different in the future. But I can understand where you’re coming from…except on the warranty. But then, I’m not one to worry about warranties too much. Good luck with the choice.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Woodmaster1

1045 posts in 2735 days


#16 posted 11-28-2016 08:24 PM

If you get th pcs 1.75 make sure you get the better blade guard. I hate the blade guard that came standard with it. The guard that has dust collection is the one you want.

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#17 posted 11-28-2016 09:06 PM



You can t get the hots backwards/reversed (makes no difference). As for the future deals, about the best they offered so far was a some freebies with the saw….not much of a discount in the price. Of course, tahat s not to say they won t do something different in the future. But I can understand where you re coming from…except on the warranty. But then, I m not one to worry about warranties too much. Good luck with the choice.

- Fred Hargis

Thanks for the help everyone, decisions to make tonight but I’ll be in the same place probably by Easter either way.

Just out of curiosity, for 110V it doesn’t seem to matter what the outlet is rated at amperage wise, the plug that goes in is usually the same. Doing some research it looks like for 220V, different amperages tend to have different plugs, is this a safety issue or just a standards issue? IE if I make a cord with a dryer plug male at one end and 6-20R at the other end, will that potentially burn out the connection or the saw or worse yet start a fire? I think dryers tend to be 30A rather than 20A…

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#18 posted 11-28-2016 09:36 PM

Your safe using the 30 amp outlet for the saw. Even 120V plugs/outlets have 20 amp configuratiosn as well as the more common 15. You’ll note that the 20 amp outlets are dual purpose (in both voltages); they both accept 15 amp plugs along with the 20 amp ones. There is even a 30 amp outlet/plug for the 120V circuits, but you don’t see many of them in residential use.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#19 posted 11-28-2016 09:41 PM


Your safe using the 30 amp outlet for the saw. Even 120V plugs/outlets have 20 amp configuratiosn as well as the more common 15. You ll note that the 20 amp outlets are dual purpose (in both voltages); they both accept 15 amp plugs along with the 20 amp ones. There is even a 30 amp outlet/plug for the 120V circuits, but you don t see many of them in residential use.

- Fred Hargis

I’m reaching back to high school physics here, but from what I remember, if I put the 15-20A device into a 30A outlet the only issue I should have is that I can’t trip the breaker unless I really have a short right? And in that case, if I just make the extension cord with something well over rating, like 8 or even 6 gauge wire, the extension cord should not be a fire issue either?

I’ve wired 110V outlets and light switches before, so I’m thinking this shouldn’t be beyond me, but a 110V shock in high school always made me a bit leery around electricity :).

This stuff is only an issue because I don’t know what the wiring is like for my garage right now, all I know is that its a 110V 30A circuit which I’m assuming means its not possible to wire a 220V drop since there should only be one hot wire, and getting another wire there is too big of a job because I have a semi-detached garage so even though the exterior distance from the box to the garage is only about 8 feet, trying to run something without leaving a wire exposed is a pain. The garage is connected through an enclosed breezeway with a cathedral ceiling so nowhere to run a wire without digging up the ground or snaking multiple walls.

For an extension cord I can just put a pass through next to the dryer vent and plug it in running the wire on the driveway when I need it. However, will this be an issue if it rains? It seems conceivable that I may not notice a slight drizzle while working and some moisture could in theory follow the extension cord down to the plug?

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pintodeluxe

5757 posts in 2961 days


#20 posted 11-28-2016 09:55 PM

I have the 3hp PCS with the industrial mobile base. That hydraulic base is amazing! It lifts the whole kit and kaboodle off the ground (including my 52” fence rails) for easy transport.

As far as a cord… Amazon sells them.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#21 posted 11-28-2016 10:41 PM

Just elevate the cord at each end slightly to keep the water from trailing it back. You don’t need to use a heavier wire for your extension, if you terminate it with a 20 amp plug, 12-2 with ground will work fine. A dead short will still trip the breaker. For running the wire across the drive across the drive, you might want to consider SJOW cable (that’s the spec for outdoor use/good abrasion resistant cable) though there are heavier grades.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#22 posted 11-29-2016 02:47 AM

Well, got home to take a look at my breaker box… Some things are probably better left without close inspection :) I think there must be a lot of double tapping breakers going on since there really doesn’t look like there is enough room to fit everything. I guess I’ll have to take the plate off to look more closely but that’s what you get in a 100 year old house I guess.

There’s 4 double post breakers though labeled: Garage (30A), Basement (15A), Sub Panel (50A) and AC (30A).

Sub Panel is upstairs which was an addition.

What’s the chances that my Garage is already wired for 220V with that labeling and how can I check? All of the outlets are standard 15A 110V outlets… It’d be great if I can just put in a new socket…

What I’m kinda curious about now is whether that dryer outlet is on the 30A Garage circuit or the 15A basement circuit since I don’t think a dryer would work on a 15A circuit but the outlet is in the basement about 3 feet from the panel…

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Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2641 days


#23 posted 11-29-2016 11:45 AM

Generally speaking, the dryer circuit would be for that use only…and I would think it would say “dryer”. I agree it won’t work on a 15 amp circuit, and I haven’t seen all that many 240V/15A circuits either….they usually are 20 amp. At this point I’m not sure what to say…did you order the saw yet? If you have a multimeter, maybe you want to check the dryer outlet to see if it’s active.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Redoak49

3531 posts in 2137 days


#24 posted 11-29-2016 12:02 PM

Just for info, the extension cord shown is 14 gauge wire and rated for 15 amps. Probably not a good one for a shop 240 volt extension cord.

I have made up heavy duty 12 gauge cords for my shop with appropriate plugs.

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kryptix

93 posts in 739 days


#25 posted 11-29-2016 12:46 PM



Generally speaking, the dryer circuit would be for that use only…and I would think it would say “dryer”. I agree it won t work on a 15 amp circuit, and I haven t seen all that many 240V/15A circuits either….they usually are 20 amp. At this point I m not sure what to say…did you order the saw yet? If you have a multimeter, maybe you want to check the dryer outlet to see if it s active.

- Fred Hargis

Didn’t pull the trigger yet, wife was in a mood so decided that after bonus in the spring was probably better and I need to reorganize my garage again first from that impulse buy of an HF DC the other day for $120 shipped (need to build a cart for it and the thein baffle I have planned) since it’s taking up a ton of room right now. Also impulse bought the TS75 and rails the other day on EBay’s pre Black Friday sale.

The track saw is honestly more useful for my next big project anyway since it’s gonna be a slab coffee table with a thick 10/4 walnut slab 36 inches wide downed by hurricane sandy.

All that said I ended up working til almost 2 because I spent all day researching saws, so no chance to find my multimeter but the dryer outlet is hooked up right now using 10/3 wire at least to the panel, whether it’s hooked up inside I can’t say… here’s a picture of the panel but I can say from switching out light switches that my 110v wiring is definitely labeled all wrong except for the dining room circuit which controls my dining room lights along with range igniter, microwave and hood…

I guess since I’m pushing the purchase I’ll have a chance to figure out the wiring…

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Marcial

154 posts in 693 days


#26 posted 12-15-2016 04:37 PM

To chime in on the contractor vs PCS, I purchased the SS contractor’s saw last spring after my Jet contractor’s saw motor went out (for the second time). Because I use a tracksaw for sheet goods, tabletop surface area is not an issue and I chose the smaller fence both for space and finance considerations. The workbench I built this fall would not have been possible with the Jet saw, and the SS contractor’s saw had no problem with 8 ft long 8/4 hard rock maple and white oak. I was going to get the roller base, but Woodcraft did not have it in stock at the time of purchase. I have not needed it, so money saved. If your budget like mine is limited, the savings can be applied to hand tools, marking and measuring tools ( I have the karma to live close to Bridge City Tools), materials, etc, etc, etc.

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