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Forum topic by cdhilburn posted 01-19-2011 11:08 PM 1828 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cdhilburn

100 posts in 2151 days


01-19-2011 11:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw bt3000

I bought a cheap bench Delta table saw a few weeks ago for $50 and while it will make sawdust I really did get what I paid for. I just found a BT3000 that I can get for $80 and for the money seems like a heck of a deal. I thought I would go pick it up tomorrow. What do you guys think of that saw for that price? I am a newbie and don’t have the $500+ to invest in a better saw right now. Any input would be appreciated. Attached are photos of the Delta and the BT3000. My real question is would it be an improvement and worh the additional money?


9 replies so far

View HallTree's profile

HallTree

5663 posts in 3234 days


#1 posted 01-20-2011 01:04 AM

I had a BT3000 for years and gave it to my son when I moved to a senior moble home park. I miss it. I really liked that saw. It is a little different than the average TS, due to the left side sliding miter table. It has a very good, accurete rip fence.
It think it is a good TS for a small shop. If it is in good shape, $80 would be a great buy.
I love it. Some hate it.

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

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


#2 posted 01-20-2011 01:29 AM

Hall tree is right, some people REALLY hate it… like me. The problem is a lack of repeatability, due to the fact that the rails on which the fence sits have a tendency to migrate laterally, especially if you’re making a lot of repeated cuts on your setting. The little clamps, as I recall, on the body of the saw, just don’t have enough grip to keep the rails where you want them. Although the idea of rails that move laterally is a GREAT idea, it just disappoints due to the cheeziness of the parts. Ditto the live feed table with the great concept of a miter bar, if you want perfect, exacting precision cuts over and over….Avoid this one! Find a saw with an old cast-iron top, with a big old 3/4” X 3/8” miter gauge and a fence that’s adjustable for squareness. Get one with a motor that doesn’t look like Edison designed it. Be sure of a 3-prong plug. You’ll be happy with it until you’re ready for a brand new saw.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Camper

232 posts in 2323 days


#3 posted 01-20-2011 02:01 AM

I am with poopiekat cast-iron top, 3/4” X 3/8” miter gauge, belt drive and adjustable fence…sometimes its tough to find the latter but at least the first three…on a good day you can get a nice one for $100 on CL.

-- Tampa-FL

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1075 posts in 2260 days


#4 posted 01-20-2011 02:52 AM

What is CL? Sorry for the dumb question. I’m new and don’t know most of the acronyms.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5609 posts in 2699 days


#5 posted 01-20-2011 03:09 AM

I have the BT3100 and love it. No lack of repeatability here… For the $80.00 you can part it out and make more $$ if it is complete…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View cdhilburn's profile

cdhilburn

100 posts in 2151 days


#6 posted 01-20-2011 03:15 AM

Thanks for the input. What you guys are saying is consistent with what I have seen elsewhere. Some hate it some love it. I was thinking that it had to be an upgrade over what I have and for $80 it may be worth a shot. I have seen a couple of sites where guys have tricked them out and love them. I have been looking on CL for a while and my area is not a big woodworking area so I have only seen 2 decent ones in the past 3-4 months.

View MrDan's profile

MrDan

200 posts in 2755 days


#7 posted 01-20-2011 04:05 AM

I have a BT3000 and my appreciation of it has grown equal to the amount of time & energy I put into it to learn how to make it operate precisely. When I first got it I hated it because everything was out of whack (I bought it used) and I couldn’t make any straight cuts. But once I learned how to tune it up by reading the manual and scouring this website: http://www.bt3central.com/ it got a lot better.

It is very unorthodox in it’s design, but that’s also what makes it so great. This saw is highly adjustable, I think that’s why a lot of people hate it because if it isn’t adjusted properly it seems like the saw is defective or something. But I equate adjustability with quality. It gives you the opportunity to finely tune your machine. But with that said I still say the best thing about this saw is that it has a riving knife that moves with the blade. That feature alone is why I still have it. There is no other saw in it’s price range that has that feature (in the US at least) and a riving knife is arguably the safest feature a saw can have to prevent horrible accidents due to kickback (aside from the very expensive SawStop technology). Here’s a video to demonstrate: http://www.finewoodworking.com/ToolGuide/ToolGuideArticle.aspx?id=31896

The cons to this saw are the throatplate and the blade guard/riving knife assembly. The throatplate is not flush with the tabletop and that can cause all sorts of annoyances when making certain cuts.
The blade guard/riving knife assembly is a bummer because it is one big piece that cannot be taken apart. For many cuts you might not want the guard on, but if you take it off, then you lose the safety feature of the riving knife—and then you risk kickback.

For me, in order to make my saw functionally friendly and safe I bought two after market items that made a world of difference. I bought the Shark Guard (comes with riving knife) and a new throatplate from the Leeway Workshop. And for the record, I have no affiliation with this company other than being a happy customer…
The shark guard is great because it incorporates a low profile riving knife that allows you to remove the guard while keeping the riving knife intact, so you always have that safety feature working for you.
I urge you to check out the website because even if you can’t afford these two items to upgrade your saw, there’s a ton of design info there to help you make your own if you so choose. I just calculated what it would take me to make my own and added to that the trial and error frustration that was inevitable and decided to just buy them pre-made.

Bottom line in my opinion, if you can get the saw for $80 and are willing or able to spend the extra time (to build) or money (to buy) the shark guard and a new throatplate you’ll have a very safe saw that’s a pleasure to use—providing you tune it up properly—for just over $200. And I don’t know of any other saw that you could spend that little on and get so many great features.

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 2390 days


#8 posted 01-24-2011 01:05 AM

CL=craigslist

-- Life is good.

View cdhilburn's profile

cdhilburn

100 posts in 2151 days


#9 posted 01-24-2011 01:17 AM

Thanks! After doing some more research it appears that there is a love hate relationship with these saws.

I think I am going to deal with what I have until I can get a cabinet saw so I am one and done. I don’t ever see owning a unisaw. There is a Grizzly in town at $785 and a General 50-240GT for $550 a few hours away. I think I am going to watch these guys and see if they come down some. A guy sold a Jet cabinet saw on Friday for $250 in 6 hours on CL. I told him I wanted but he was a couple of hours away and wouldn’t hold it until I got there. I was bummed out but I think for less than $500 I can get what I really want!!

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