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Great Investment for a Small Shop

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Review by Chris Moellering posted 655 days ago 3163 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great Investment for a Small Shop Great Investment for a Small Shop Great Investment for a Small Shop Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is my first table saw. I picked it up at my local Lowes a about 2 months ago now. My impressions after a few projects with it—

Assembly & Set-Up
Putting it together out of the box was a fairly straightforward affair. The saw came set square and true according to my checks. That being said, I’m not a micrometer-wielding woodworker. But it’s been fine for what I’ve done thus far.

Operation
It cuts well. The supplied blade seems pretty decent. I have noticed (as I read somewhere on LJ) that the handle for the fence can hit a piece of stock if you have the stock sticking past it when adjusting for a cut. Not a huge deal, just a minor annoyance.

The supplied miter gauge seems good, though I haven’t used it since I made my sled.

The expanding table allowed me to make a simple drop-in section for my router so I could benefit from the fence.

The stand is solid. Ripping full-size sheets of plywood with one person is a bit much for it, but that would be the case with any portable saw I would think.

Overall, I’m thrilled to have a table saw and this one meets my needs for a fair price. It is easy to set up and take down in my garage shop. (Which is a must for me.)

I am sure there are fancier and better saws out there, but for a weekend woodworker like me, I’d recommend it to others without hesitation.

Edit (26 Dec 2012) I may be onto a fix for the lack of a zero-clearance insert. See here.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+




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Chris Moellering

224 posts in 1245 days



10 comments so far

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Milo

849 posts in 1916 days


#1 posted 655 days ago

Can it accept a dado blade?

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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Chris Moellering

224 posts in 1245 days


#2 posted 654 days ago

Up to 1/2” according to the Porter-Cable website. I haven’t tried one yet.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

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Milo

849 posts in 1916 days


#3 posted 654 days ago

Bummer. :( I’d want a 3/4”

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1195 posts in 2072 days


#4 posted 654 days ago

I use a Ridgid bench top table saw. It does fine. And as you say, good for weekenders. The short comings I have is the infeed and outfeed—that space from front edge to blade is shorter than floor saw… and same as the back of blade to back of table. I just don’t have room to make suitable tables to stretch out support for longer cuts.

And, mine will not accept 3/4 dado. Plenty of horsepower… so it must be other engineering constrains.

Oh, thin clearance plate. I haven’t figured out to make a zero clearance plate. Let me know if someone figures that out for these thinner steel plates.

Hopefully your fence will set to square when moved. Mine won’t. I have to play with it to make sure it clamps square.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

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Chris Moellering

224 posts in 1245 days


#5 posted 652 days ago

Fence seems good so far. I concurr on the nonstandard insert.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View B0000stwagen's profile

B0000stwagen

7 posts in 900 days


#6 posted 595 days ago

I have this saw… I love it except for the non-standard insert. Love the portability. I like the idea of using a router insert for the expanding table… will be using that.

I’ve used a dado set with it, and you can leave the standard insert in place for up to 1/4”. Dadoes larger than that required me to remove the insert altogether which presents an obvious safety hazard. Plenty of horsepower for the 1/2” dadoes it accommodates.

The other issue with the insert is that it isn’t very rigid. I built frame and panel doors, some with long stiles with a 1/4” groove. As you get to the end of the material, it was hard to get a consistent depth of groove because the insert has quite a bit of flex to it. Not enough downward pressure = too shallow, too much pressure, you can make it too deep.

-- JP

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Miehas

2 posts in 482 days


#7 posted 482 days ago

I have not ordered one for my saw yet, but I did see this when looking for a ZCI for my dado set.
http://servicenet.portercable.com/Parts/Detail/298572
5140097-90 DADO THROAT PLATE $23.11

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Chris Moellering

224 posts in 1245 days


#8 posted 482 days ago

Interesting, I made my own from scrap plywood.

-- Grace & peace, Chris+

View Miehas's profile

Miehas

2 posts in 482 days


#9 posted 471 days ago

I purchased it to see how well it would work.

It is indeed an insert designed to work with a stacked dado, but it is defiantly not a ZCI.

I ended up using it for my 3/8” dados but for anythin smaller I made my own ZCI.

View Bradpaulp's profile

Bradpaulp

7 posts in 128 days


#10 posted 128 days ago

I just picked this saw up and very happy with it minus the weird insert plate. Anyone ever make a zci for this? Be very happy to see results and how you did it.

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