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Forum topic by ichbinpete posted 01-15-2011 01:55 PM 3872 views 3 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ichbinpete

110 posts in 1444 days


01-15-2011 01:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw newbie first crafstman steel city granite

hey everyone

This is yet another new table saw thread. Been doing a lot of reading the last few weeks, trying to figure out what I should make an investment in. My father in law bought me a Ryobi table saw for christmas, but while a nice gift, even my amature eyes could tell the fence was going to be troublesome, especially for a beginner who will likely struggly with alignment as is. So that has been returned and I know have $260 in the TS fund.

In total, I think I can spend anywhere from $500-$1000 on a table saw. I’ve been scouring craigslist (Fort Worth/Dallas area) and though I had a hell of a deal lined up on a TS3660 (guy agreed to sell it to me and then sold it to someone else before I could get pick it up, jerk), but other than that, I haven’t seen anything worth my time (if anyone in the area wants to sell me something, i’m all ears). I’ve also scoured all the local home depots, hoping to find a r4511 hiding in the above storage or floating through the stores. No luck there either.

All that said, I believe I’ve narrowed my choices down to the following:

Craftsman 22114 or Steel City model.
-with these two, I found a 22114 at a sears outlet that must have been a display model. Right now, it’s about $300 off, but I’m worried that I may be in for more pain than i care to put up with if something is not working right/missing etc. I’m also intered in the Steel City Granite version. I live in Texas and we get some interesting heat/cold fluctuations and since it would be in my garage, I thought it might make sense to have granite and avoid the extra maintenance of cast iron in my environment. I know I may be over analyzing, but seemed to make sense to me.

Craftsman 22116
-this model interests me for the dust collection, but I couldnt tell if it had a base with wheels that would let me move it around my garage since I will have to stow my stuff for the wifes car. i thought I read somewhere that it did, but now I’m not sure. Is this saw worth the bit of extra investment or would one of the other models make more sense?

My head is kind of spinning thinking it all through. Like I’ve read so many times on here, I want to make an investment that will last me a loooong time. If there are other saws in my range I should consider I”m all ears. Just note that just because I can spend that much, doesnt mean I should;)

thanks for the help and the warm welcome to LJ

scy

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.


60 replies so far

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5608 posts in 2128 days


#1 posted 01-15-2011 02:44 PM

You’re on the right track IMO. To your list I’d add the Steel City 35990C, 35990G, and 35925, the Grizzly G0715P, and G0661. IF you have 220v available, I’d consider a 3hp cabinet saw.

The 3 Steel City models are essentially the same as the R4511 and Cman 22116, but have the option of a cast iron table and wings with the 35990C. The yoke style cabinet mounted trunnions are a nice feature. The Griz g0715P and G0661 both have more conventional table mounted trunnions but both also have very nice fences.

Get the one that makes your heart beat faster, and/or the one that makes the most sense to you. With good alignment and good blade selection, these can all be good saws for you.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1667 days


#2 posted 01-15-2011 02:53 PM

Have you considered Grizzly? The G0715P looks to be in your price range. I personally have the G0690 and love it. I can tell you the fence on both these saws is very good, well made, and accurate. The miter, minimal and should be upgraded.

I am sure others will chime in with their preferences so enjoy the shopping.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View gary351's profile

gary351

97 posts in 1549 days


#3 posted 01-15-2011 02:59 PM

If i had $500-1000 spend i would not buy new. I’d find a good old cast iron ts and fix it up. everybody says the new ts are cheaply made so why waste your hard earned money. Just like that ryobi you took back you new the quality just wasn’t there. On the other hand if your looking for a portable ts i had good luck with bosch products. You know you get what pay for #1 Pete

-- A poor man has poor way's

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16043 posts in 1619 days


#4 posted 01-15-2011 03:43 PM

You might consider buying a good used saw. Maybe a powermatic or Delta. If your lucky you might find one at an auction that is in pretty good shape from $1000 to $1400. Otherwise, buy the best that you can afford new in the $750 to $1500 range. In the mean time you can do a lot more than you think with a circular saw, a straight edge, and a router.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1602 posts in 2215 days


#5 posted 01-15-2011 04:20 PM

I HAD the Craftsman 22114. Steer clear of it. While it looks good from the outside it is way under powered. Looking at CL is a good start. Also check publicsurplus.com and interschola.com. Now Interschola does run all of their auctions through Ebay they are great to deal with and usually have great deals. If I were looking for another saw it would all depend on the type of woodworking I was doing. Are you building cabinets with ply? Or, furniture of hardwood? Two very different saws would be needed for each. I had an old Delta unisaw that I picked up for free and restored it. It was an AWESOME saw and did everything I asked. I was 2hp 3ph and ran better than anything I had ever used. I sold it in favor of an older Oliver 232. The old unisaws are eveywhere and parts are usually availble through various sites including vintagemachinery.org, formerly owwm.com. Another saw to look out for would be an older Powermatic 66. It is the same basic size as the unisaw I believe it is a littel better built and would be considered an upgrade to the Delta. Both of the mentioned saws can be placed on a mobile base if you need mobility. DO NOT let a 3ph saw shy you away. They are a few relatively inexpensive options for phase conversion. A 3ph saw will also cost you less than its single phase cousin. A VFD, variable frequency drive, is the most economical and if you can wire a light switch, you can install a VFD. The cost would be in the $100-$200 range depending on hp rating required. A single phase replacement motor would be at least double that price. If you decide to go the older saw route and do a little resto or just clean up take a close look at the saw and if possible run and listen to it. If the saw is more than 25 yrs old, figuew on replacing belts and bearings at a minimum. Look for cracked or repaired cast pieces, especially the trunnion and motor bracket assemblies. If you find an older PM or uni and need to spend a little time cleaning and doing bearings it well worth the time and effort. $250-$300 on a used saw and a little time on your part and you will have a $1500 saw for cheap.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2426 days


#6 posted 01-15-2011 05:01 PM

I’ve agree with CharlieL, Its lots of used American Made saw Unisaw’s, PM 66’s, and other brands. No need to spend high dollars on the new stuff.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View makedust's profile

makedust

53 posts in 1670 days


#7 posted 01-15-2011 05:12 PM

Welcome to LJ from a woodworker in Lewisville, TX. Enjoy the sight. Good luck in finding your new table saw.

-- "Happiness is creating dust"

View ichbinpete's profile

ichbinpete

110 posts in 1444 days


#8 posted 01-15-2011 05:14 PM

Thanks for the recommendations guys.

As for refurbing and old saw, does anyone have a good read on the process or what I should be looking at. I was really leaning towards used new or new because I wanted to get in and get started and not spend a ton of time getting something up and going. I’d be a bit worried that I would get discouraged and loose interest.

I did find a Unisaw in my area for $550…thoughts?
http://dallas.craigslist.org/ftw/tls/2141366406.html

horizontalmike: the grizzly catalog is on order and I have looked at the 715. Looks like a good saw. How much difference will that extra .25HP make? I do have a 220 in the garage already, so that likely wouldnt be a problem, just need an extension cord to get to “my side’ :-D

KnotScott: Very much enjoyed reading your posts on LJ and thanks for the reply. The saw’s you listed are all the ones I’ve been looking at and am having trouble figuring out which one I want. The Granite Steel City makes my heart beat the fastest, without actually seeing it in person. The weight, the style and the good reviews of the r4511 make the SC version seem like my winner. My only concern is the complaints I hear about the 2 part rails. Being a newb, I can guess as to why those might not be great, but can you or someone elaborate? I’ve also already looked on ebay at some Delta T2 fence and rails sets and would think I could get something like that hooked up and solve that, no? More $$$ but something I’ve considered. I would probably only go with the cman if they had one of their blowout sales, which i hear one should be coming soon.

MedicKen: Your comment in regards to the type of woodworking I would be doing, can you go a little further on that? At first I would be doing a fair amount of cabinet work, lots of Circular saw rips and cleanup with the TS (I assume. I am taking a class at woodcraft next weekend on cabinet making. Good idea?) But in the future, I imagine I would like to do some hardwood furniture work. Are you saying I would need a different table saw for something like that, or rather i would need a different type of saw, ie scroll saw or RAS? I really like the idea of using a beast of an old saw, all fixed up, but am afraid of what I could get myself in to with something like that.

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

View ichbinpete's profile

ichbinpete

110 posts in 1444 days


#9 posted 01-15-2011 05:16 PM

Thanks ron. Any chance you’re stopping by sears outlet over there and want to tell me if the cman they have there is worth my time? ;)

Are there any guilds or anything in this area? I’ve got a friend in New Hampshire who is part of a woodworking guild that has a couple thousand members. Haven’t come across that yet in DFW.

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

View ichbinpete's profile

ichbinpete

110 posts in 1444 days


#10 posted 01-15-2011 05:29 PM

Since we also breached the topic of 3HP saws, is there a cheapest, best 3HP saw to consider? You guys really are bad for the wallet

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1667 days


#11 posted 01-15-2011 05:57 PM

ichbinpete said,
Since we also breached the topic of 3HP saws, is there a cheapest, best 3HP saw to consider? You guys really are bad for the wallet

Uh…yup. When I started out looking at TS last year, I was looking in the $400 range. What I ended up with was my G0690 with router extension and spent ~$1750 delivered. I went WAY over budget and regret NOTHING!.

I think knotscott mentioned somewhere, that the G0690 and Laguna Platinum are essentially the same saws from the same factory made with the same key parts. And that that Laguna goes for $1695 without a router extension. Thus my vote for best 3hp is the Grizzly G0690 or G0691 if you need longer rails. The router extension is nice to have but a bit pricey.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1667 days


#12 posted 01-15-2011 06:08 PM

CharlieL,
I thought I would check out your profile and your woodshop so I went there to see your 1995 contractors saw. I didn’t find anything… at all. You make some strong statements about equipment and not having to keep up with the Jones’s and all so I thought it would be neat to see how you have managed your DC system and particularly with regards to your TS.

Do you think you could post some images of this for us to see and maybe learn some new tricks in DC?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5608 posts in 2128 days


#13 posted 01-15-2011 06:08 PM

That Uni doesn’t show a fence, so it could be a bit steep for an older saw with no fence, but if there’s a Biesemeyer with it, could be a nice deal if its in good running condition and has a single phase motor.

The Grizzly G1023RL and G0690 are among the better bangs for the buck in new 3hp cabinet saws IMO….both get good marks. Steel City and Shop Fox probably have something comparable in 3hp near that price range too.

The split fence can pose problems lining up straight…a single piece is better, but obviously takes up more space to store and ship. You could always add a piece of steel tube stock to solve that. I like the idea of adding a T2 also. Selling the stock fence and adding a T2 would add roughly $100 or so out of pocket, assuming you get $50-$75 for the stock fence.

FWIW, very few report the 22114 or 22124 as being very under powered. It depends in part on what you’re cutting, but the alignment and blade selection are also big factors, and even the power supplying the saw is a factor. I could cut hardwood to full blade height with my 22124 at a pretty reasonable clip… with the right blade. Obviously my 3hp cabinet saw is notably more powerful, but the 22124 worked well for me.

An extra 1/4hp is always nice, but shouldn’t be very noticeable.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6968 posts in 1667 days


#14 posted 01-15-2011 06:18 PM

So did you replace or create an entire bottom plate as a cover? How do you deal with the rear/motor area?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Rightbrainer's profile

Rightbrainer

1 post in 1443 days


#15 posted 01-15-2011 07:04 PM

That Unisaw looks like it’s from an old school production shop because it seems to have no miter gauge, no fence, no blade guard, no motor cover and no bottom cover. By the time you have collected or fabricated all the missing pieces, you’ll be in a lot deeper than $550 bucks…and that’s assuming it’s not three phase. I’d keep looking.

In my humble opinion, if you must compromise, a good fence on a so-so saw is better than a cheap fence on a good cabinet saw. You can go a long way with a contractor style saw with a good fence. Contractor saws are harder to set up accurately and have less power, but you can still do great work if you take your time. A good outfeed table, it makes things go better, too. Happy Hunting!

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