Buying first Table Saw

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Forum topic by Deacon76 posted 03-29-2010 04:39 PM 2936 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 3008 days

03-29-2010 04:39 PM

Hello Everyone,
I’ve viewed so many discussions on this sight over the years, I decided I needed to join the fun. I have a very small wood shop, all hobby work for architectural models. I recently got into woodturning and small furniture building and realized I’m borrowing my buddy’s table saw way too often, so I’m going to buy one. I do not have a need for high production/power, but do need very good accuracy and clean cuts (segmented turning and laminating a fair amount of hard woods).

With limited space, I began looking at benchtop units, but keep hearing that I won’t be able to get the accuracy I need with these. Do you all agree with that? My budget is keeping me from purchasing a new contractor or cabinet saw, so I’ve been looking at used saws. Does this seem like the right way to go? I can work it into the shop if I can get a mobile base set-up.

I am going to look at a fully reconditioned Rockwell 34-325 saw today. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with these saws?? I can’t find too much info on line. Motor is new Universal Type Motor (2.5 HP), fence system is upgraded (Craftsman Align-a-rip), cast iron top was reconditioned and the saw is on a self leveling mobile base. Saw is said to be reconditioned to “as-new” condition. They are asking $275 for the saw. Does this seem reasonable???

Either way, any advice you guys/gals can offer when I’m looking for a reasonably inexpensive “accurate” saw, if that’s not an oxymoron, is much appreciated!


3 replies so far

View JimmyNate's profile


124 posts in 3378 days

#1 posted 03-29-2010 04:57 PM

I love my Sawstop, but it’s on a whole other budget.

Consider making yourself a couple jigs for a circular saw with a good blade. I believe you could get better accuracy with this method than with contractor saws.

If you go for a table saw (with patience, craigslist is a good place to look), look for one with a good fence like the biesemeyer or delta’s unifence. Get an induction motor if you can. Make sure the miter slots are not some odd size.

I think folks have been talking up a Rigid saw in this price range. You might do a search and see what you can find.

Good luck! Take your time and find the right saw for you, you’ll be glad you did.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 03-30-2010 02:16 AM

Sounds like a good buy for a reconditioned “as-new” Rockwell saw with a new motor and the upgraded Craftsman Aligh-a-rip! The only other thing I can say is when it comes to a saw blade, get the best, don’t skimp on the price.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 03-30-2010 02:35 PM

My workshop is just under 400 square feet. Relative to other shops I have read about on this site I consider my workshop to be mid-sized. I need to have some tools on mobile bases so I can move them around. However, I really don’t like the idea of putting my TS on a mobile base. It is critically important that your TS stay in proper alignment. I designed my shop so the TS could remain stationary but I have my planer and jointer (2 separate machines) of mobile bases.

Someone else will probably say I am all wet. Perhaps you can put a TS on a mobile base and have no problems. I would recommend a top quality mobile base and (hopefully) very smooth floors if you have to put it on a mobile base.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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