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Bosch 4100 table saw

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Forum topic by bigjoe4265 posted 05-17-2010 05:38 PM 5749 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bigjoe4265

52 posts in 1686 days


05-17-2010 05:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

At 41, I have begun my journey into woodworking last year with the purchase of a Bosch 4100 contractor saw. I wanted the mobility of the gravity rise stand, however looking back at the purchase I wish I would have opted for a large stationary cabinet style saw. I don’t know that I’ll have the same flexibility or precision with the contractor saw. Does anybody have any experience with this particular saw or any other contractor saw. How can I make this saw better? I’d like to add an igaging digital rip fence if at all possible. Possibly build a rolling cart for this saw with an integral router table. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.


10 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2402 days


#1 posted 05-17-2010 05:49 PM

unfortunately I took upon the exact same route you did. my first saw was the Bosch 4100 portable saw. now , for a portable saw I think it’s the best in the market – bar none! but for fine woodworking, it leaves ALOT to be desired such as precision, table surface, table in front of the blade size and noise.

I ended up selling mine, and bought the Ridgid granite top hybrid saw – could not be happier – the difference is unbelievable. and I LOVED the bosch (and still do – just not for fine woodworking applications though).

that aside – the Bosch can be put to great use, and can be modified to do many things, and very well. but I personally think that if you’re serious about woodworking, a better fitted saw (if you have the space) would be a better solution.

Good luck with whatever you choose to pursue.

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

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bigjoe4265

52 posts in 1686 days


#2 posted 05-17-2010 06:02 PM

I have been eyeballing an old Rockwell cabinet saw on Craigslist locally. Called for the model number to see if parts were still readily available for it, but haven’t heard back. The owner wants $50 for it. Don’t know if it’s worth it or not. I like most everyone else is frustrated by the fact that you can’t find very many “Made in the U.S.A.” tools anymore.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5610 posts in 2129 days


#3 posted 05-17-2010 07:22 PM

Blade selection, and the saw’s alignment have a lot of influence on any saw’s end performance. You can optimize your saw, but you can’t change it’s stripes too much…it’s capable of good work, but it’s still a portable jobsite saw. A good full size contractor saw, hybrid saw, or cabinet saw will offer several inherent advantages…more table space in front of the blade, more mass and stability, smoother belt drive induction motor with more torque, better reliability, etc. The Bosch 4100 is a very popular jobsite saw, so I doubt you’ll have much trouble selling it. Then you can look for something more suitable in a stationary saw.

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

View mstenner's profile

mstenner

57 posts in 1908 days


#4 posted 05-17-2010 08:07 PM

I have a 4100 and am pretty happy with. In my tight shop it was really that or nothing. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. How to make it better? These tips are mostly standard stuff.

  • crosscut sled – the saw takes a crosscut sled well. Mine is 4’x2’ with about 18” left of the blade. It makes many things possible.
  • zero clearance insert – a minor pain to make for this saw but they make a huge difference
  • buy the side and rear extensions – these are not that expensive, they’re well designed, and work well. I actually made an additional extension for the rear that folds up. when set up, it gives me about 5’ of outfeed support beyond the table itself. I can post pictures if folks are interested.
  • blade – I use a woodworker II and a forrest stabilizer. yes, it makes a noticeable difference
  • upgraded miter gauge – I got a nice incra, although it’s more handy than necessary

I certainly agree that the space before the blade is a bit short (even a few more inches would make using a miter gauge easier), but I’ve found the saw to be VERY accurate (~0.001” for rips and crosscuts). I was careful to set it up well and it’s been extremely stable and reliable.

My biggest complaint is that there’s no lock on the blade height, which is a pain when doing lots of dados. I try not to turn it off between cuts in that case. Next biggest complaint is that the table top is not super-flat. It almost never matters, but when using a tenoning jig (for example) you want to be sure you’re applying pressure the same way every cut.

-- -Michael

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bigjoe4265

52 posts in 1686 days


#5 posted 05-17-2010 08:22 PM

I found a umhw zero clearance insert for the Bosch at Peachtree Woodworking. I also purchased a Freud Diablo D1084L blade for cutting umhw and double-sided melamine to start with.

Michael, I would like to see your plans and photos for the outfeed support you spoke of.

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1764 days


#6 posted 05-17-2010 09:19 PM

At the end of the day, once you’re done upgrading a Bosch 4100 with all the fixins, you’re not THAT far off in terms of cost from a good hybrid or even cabinet saw.

If it’s lightly used, you could probably sell it and get a decent return.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1928 days


#7 posted 05-17-2010 09:57 PM

I second Michael’s comments, entirely.

I have the digital rip gauge, set mine up meticulously, have the left and rear outfeeds, an Incra 1000SE miter gauge, and a WWII blade. I keep the table fairly well waxed.

So far, while I’ve often WANTED a cabinet saw … I’d be hard pressed to say I ever NEEDED one.

I’ve made a few of my own ZCIs. With my DC (rather than the ShopVac), dust collection is adequate, though the ZCI means most is coming off the blade.

My table seems awwwwfully flat. My fence has been solid. With a Forrest Dado King AND with a tenoning jig, I’ve had pretty darned good results.

I’d use it as long as you can, and figure out where it IS, and where it ISN’T meeting your needs. If you DO upgrade, at least you’ll know a LOT more about what you want.

-- -- Neil

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mstenner

57 posts in 1908 days


#8 posted 05-18-2010 03:11 AM

I created a blog post about my outfeed extension. Neil’s comment reminded me that I didn’t mention the fence. The fence is really very good. Sure, it’s short like the saw itself, but it’s easy to adjust, locks tight, stays straight and hasn’t needed adjustment since I first tuned it. You could get a fancy digital fence (that would probably be convenient) but I made a small jig with a $10 dial indicator that I clamp to the right of the fence. When I want something really precise, I attach that, do a test cut, and then adjust as necessary. Precision to 0.001” easily.

-- -Michael

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112939 posts in 2331 days


#9 posted 06-05-2010 07:18 AM

You won’t find a good saw for $50 maybe $ 500 you will.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View iamwelty's profile

iamwelty

234 posts in 1869 days


#10 posted 06-05-2010 01:02 PM

I was ready to pull the trigger on your saw when I stumbled upon the Ridgid R4511 Granite tip saw like Purplelev. Very happy with the Ridgid and it was actually cheaper. Onve of the few times I came out ahead…

-- There is a fine line between eroticism and nausea...

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