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Forum topic by HappyManny posted 09-09-2015 07:24 PM 1064 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HappyManny

12 posts in 456 days


09-09-2015 07:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw granite granite crack

Hello LJ Community,

My name is Manny and I’m a long time lurker but first time poster. Its time to upgrade from my hand-me-down portable table saw, to a more appropriate cabinet or hybrid table saw. Since I’m on a budget, I’ve been scanning my local Craigslist for deals rather than buying a new saw. I’ve narrowed it down to 2 choices and would like help deciding which one to get:

1 – Ridgid R4511 Hybrid Table saw with Granite top, in more or less perfect condition. The 1.5HP 13amp motor reportedly was used less than 20 times over the last 5 years, though I expect it was used more than they say it was. Still, it looks to be in more than usable condition. $300 and I expect the price is pretty firm.

2 – Steel City Tool Works Model 35972 Cabinet Saw with Granite top and extension wings – Reportedly the owner bought it and never put it together so it’s basically new. He says he thought he wanted to get into woodworking but never found the time to do so so he’s selling the saw. The problem with the saw is that the granite top has a crack that runs all the way across the main section of the top. In the picture he sent me, the top bisects the throat. It’s a pretty serious crack, but it appears to be a clean break. He claims it’s repairable and will negotiate on the price. $475

Which one would you guys choose? I really like the idea of a 3HP granite table saw, but I don’t know how well the crack can be fixed. Would this be worth my time to fix? I don’t really know if granite cracks can be fixed to be perfectly flat, but perhaps you guys do.

I will go with the Ridgid if you guys don’t think it’s worth it, as many reviews have said that it is a more than capable table saw, but the 3HP steel city seem like the better bang for my buck if that crack can be adequately fixed.

As for the granite, my garage gets pretty humid in the summers, so I think I want granite over cast iron.


28 replies so far

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#1 posted 09-09-2015 07:30 PM

Between Rigid and Steel City, neither. Rigid, in my opinion, doesnt make a good tool. Steel City 1. has a top that can chip easily and 2. went out of business (correct me if I am wrong, Jocks). So replacement parts will be hard to come by and customer support nonexistent.

Hold out for a PM or a Unisaw. Go with a cabinet saw. Stay on CL and look and wait.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2765 days


#2 posted 09-09-2015 07:37 PM

The R4511 is actually a very nice saw. It doesn’t suffer from the alignment problems that plague (plagued?) the 4512, and has a better fence than the 3650 that it replaced. The table is a bit smaller than most cabinet saws, but that’s easily remedied by making your own melamine wings. Certainly it’d be simple to replace the fence rails and add to the width that way if you need to.

I think $300 is a fair price for the 4511. I’d probably go that route, though it should be relatively simple to epoxy the granite together on the Steel City saw as well.

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HappyManny

12 posts in 456 days


#3 posted 09-09-2015 07:37 PM

SirIrb thanks for the fast response. Ridgid for the most part does make pretty crappy big box store tools, I totally agree, but I have seen several reviews on this site and others that say that the r4511 is an exception to the norm, and that it is a quality saw. Am I wrong in this? In my limited research, I can’t say that I’ve found a bad review for the R4511.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1795 posts in 604 days


#4 posted 09-09-2015 07:44 PM

You’ll never get that crack repaired well enough for table saw use IMHO. Especially since everything you cut has to go right over it. Even if someone could repair it and polish it to a point it wouldn’t cause problems sliding over it, it would be far from the flatness it originally was (or should have been).

With a gun to my head, I’d pick the Rigid over the SC. Without a gun to my head, I’m with Sir Irb, stalk CL for a while. You’ll eventually find a really nice saw in your price range. Although, granite’s a bit harder to find. I wouldn’t rule cast iron out if I were you though. Surface rust is easy to clean every couple weeks and without a warranty, granite is risky. There can be internal defects that can cause it to just crack out of the blue. That’s one thing if you can call the manufacturer, it’s another if you bought it from a stranger on CL.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#5 posted 09-09-2015 07:51 PM

Certain tools leave and have left a bad taste in my mouth. Years ago when Rigid was a someone and made just wrenches etc, I would buy them and be proud of them. Now I refuse to be a lab rat for their machines. When was the last time you saw a spree of “I hate PM 66 TS’s” or “The Uni Sucks”? Thats my point. Even today with the majority of their stuff being made off shore people still love them. (Uni is still in Ms, I think). I would shoot for a 80’s or earlier 66 or Uni. Look for iron and not granite. It would cost you less than $100 to have a iron TS top reground IF it ever lost flatness. Granite? I have no idea.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View HappyManny's profile

HappyManny

12 posts in 456 days


#6 posted 09-09-2015 08:02 PM

I’m seriously concerned about leaving cast iron in my garage. I live in Northeast Ohio, where temperatures regularly dip into the negatives in the winter, and can be in the 90-100 range in the summer (not to mention the humidity). I just don’t think that cast iron would be good in my situation. I keep all my other cast iron tools in my basement but there is no space for the table saw unfortunately.

I think you have a point though Sir Irb. Perhaps I’ll just keep saving my money and buy a saw brand new from a different company, like SawStop, but I really think granite is the route I want to go. I do recognize that granite and cast iron both have their pros and cons however.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#7 posted 09-09-2015 08:31 PM

Just FYI. I live in south Louisiana and have zero rust problems on my uni, jointer, drill press, hand
planes, chisels, saws, etc. Johnsons paste wax is your best friend. If it works in south Louisiana it’ll work in Ohio. Don’t let rust be the only issue and reason why you don’t get a cast iron topped saw. Which are by and large more common.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#8 posted 09-09-2015 08:48 PM

Thousands of people successfully used cast iron tools in the northeast. I live in Rochester, NY, and experience similar extremes. You just have to keep up with it a little bit. About every year or so, I clean the top off good, give the cast iron a light coat of Boeshield T-9, rub it out, and apply a coat of paste wax….not a real big deal.

With that said, both of the saws you’re considering were associated with Steel City, who’s now out of business. That doesn’t mean that can’t be good saws for you, but parts could be harder to come by.

Have you investigated getting a new main top section for Steel City 35972? That’s a much beefier saw than the R4511. It couldn’t hurt to talk with a granite counter top technician to see how the repair would go.

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

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#9 posted 09-09-2015 08:58 PM

I m seriously concerned about leaving cast iron in my garage.

I have a lathe out on our covered screen patio with no problems of rust (all of my other tools live in the garage). And where I’m at in Florida, we typically see 80% or higher humidity and 20-30 temperature swings between night and day. Some mornings the floor of the patio is covered with water from condensation, but the lathe is just as happy as can be.

Keep it waxed, cover it with a breathable cover when not in use and keep air circulating if possible (my patio has a ceiling fan that I keep on low speed most of the time). It’s not as difficult as some people make it out to be.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2765 days


#10 posted 09-09-2015 09:09 PM



Certain tools leave and have left a bad taste in my mouth. Years ago when Rigid was a someone and made just wrenches etc, I would buy them and be proud of them. Now I refuse to be a lab rat for their machines. When was the last time you saw a spree of “I hate PM 66 TS s” or “The Uni Sucks”? Thats my point. Even today with the majority of their stuff being made off shore people still love them. (Uni is still in Ms, I think). I would shoot for a 80 s or earlier 66 or Uni. Look for iron and not granite. It would cost you less than $100 to have a iron TS top reground IF it ever lost flatness. Granite? I have no idea.

It is certainly cheaper to get granite machined than cast iron, if only because of how many granite countertop shops there are around.

On Ridgid making crappy tools: I respectfully (but completely) disagree. I have a whole passel of Ridgid tools, including:

a TS3650 table saw (purchased 7 years ago used)
a 12” non-sliding miter saw (purchased 8 years ago new)
an 18V drill & impact driver (2 years ago new)
a full size router with plunge and fixed bases (7 years ago new)
a trim router (2 years ago used)
a random-orbit sander (8 years ago new)

Most of those tools are 5-12 years old, yet all of them work flawlessly. Ridgid doesn’t make the best tools out there, but their stuff is decent and the prices are great.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#11 posted 09-09-2015 09:29 PM

I’ve seen a couple of granite countertops crack along the glue line. As to having it resurfaced or machined, im pretty sure cast iron is a lot easier to machine than granite.

Rigid doesn’t make a cabinet saw. A contractors saw will never be a cabinet saw.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2437 days


#12 posted 09-09-2015 11:48 PM

Why will people run in circles and jump through hoops to avoid conditioning the air in their shops?
At least put a de-humidifier in there. It’ll be good for your wood and projects as well as your tools.

I air conditioned my shop, even without insulation in the beginning, just to get rid of the humidity and for my tools.
Since then I have gradually been insulating a little at a time.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View jonah's profile

jonah

687 posts in 2765 days


#13 posted 09-10-2015 01:58 AM


Rigid doesn t make a cabinet saw. A contractors saw will never be a cabinet saw.

Nobody is claiming otherwise. Some people don’t have $600-$1500 to spend on a cabinet saw, however. I didn’t, so I bought the best saw I could afford: a $300 used Ridgid 3650. Around here you can’t get near a working cabinet saw for less than six to eight hundred bucks. Any that appear for less money than that need serious work or are 3 phase. Sometimes both.


I ve seen a couple of granite countertops crack along the glue line. As to having it resurfaced or machined, im pretty sure cast iron is a lot easier to machine than granite.

Cast iron may or may not be easier to machine (I don’t know for sure), but for every metal shop capable and willing to machine cast iron, there are probably five granite countertop fabricators that can machine granite.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3114 days


#14 posted 09-10-2015 02:08 AM

for that money, I’d say both are possible options. I’d recommend shopping around your area for a countertop/granite shop and see what they would charge to fix and resurface that cracked piece. than compare the prices and see if it’ll end up being worth it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HappyManny's profile

HappyManny

12 posts in 456 days


#15 posted 09-10-2015 05:07 AM

Thanks for all the replies guys. Unfortunately it seems that the Steel City is off the market.

I called the company that bought up all of steel city’s parts, and they DO have replacement parts for most SC equipment, including the replacement granite top for that saw (it was $200 btw), but they don’t ship granite because it doesn’t ship well so I’d have to drive 6 hours to pick it up at their warehouse in Toronto (which I was actually willing to do). When I called the owner back to see if I could get him to bring the price down a bit, he informed me that it was sold. Best wishes to whomever bought it.

So I’m now looking at a Dewalt DW746 that seems to be in like new condition judging by it’s pictures and description, though the owner wants 595 for it. At the price should I hold out or is this a good deal? Seems expensive to me, so perhaps i’ll be able to talk the owner down a bit on the cost… perhaps 450-475? What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance for the help.

The CL link for the Dewalt is :

http://cleveland.craigslist.org/tls/5145832859.html

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