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Need some advice on table saws

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Forum topic by WattWick posted 05-25-2018 08:19 PM 1257 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WattWick

3 posts in 53 days


05-25-2018 08:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question plane tablesaw jointer

I am in need of some advice on moving forward with a table saw purchase. I am new to woodworking, I have a few minor projects that I have done but nothing involving heavy saws or tools of this nature. I have always been capable and am fully aware of the safety procedures of tools, but more importantly I am excited to get into a craft I can really see myself loving.

Here is where I am at. Over the last two weeks I have read hundreds of reviews and conversations/threads, watched too many hours of videos on different products ranging from very entry level to high end. It has to be said that I am not in the market for a high end saw and frankly do not think I will ever be. I am on a fixed income and my shop area is very small, a converted 3rd bay garage that is approx 10’x12’ and I have tool cabinets and other items like jacks, stands, standard hand tools and the like taking up a fair bit of space. So, I need something smaller. Portable isn’t really necessary but something that can be moved out of the way easily if need be.

Now, before everyone chimes in with look on craigslist for “InsertSawNameHere”, I live in a remote area and that simply isn’t a viable option for me. So, I have looked at products from Ridged, Delta, Craftsman, Hitachi, Dwalt, and others, something that can be delivered or picked up within reasonable distance. All have their pluses and a few in that list have some issues that I care not to deal with especially as it relates to safety concerns.

I recently found this site and read an incredible set of reviews from thetinman on the Delta 36-725. I was seriously considering pulling the trigger on that saw last night and decided to sleep on it. I decided to wait because I want to know if this is too much saw for my needs? I need something that cuts true, has a good fence, and can rip hardwood. I need it to be able to handle a dado insert and have easily accessible accessories. I plan on building a router table insert as well. I have some decent hand saws and a couple of planers. But, I’d really like a table saw so that I don’t have to waste money buying pre planed/jointed fine grade lumber. However, I have also been looking at a planer in conjunction with this new venture. Who doesn’t want nice flat boards?

I plan on making stools for the kitchen bar, a kitchen table, nightstands, a playhouse, some bookshelves and a few other projects along the way.

So, with all of that said, here is what I am looking at purchase wise:
Delta 36-725 or the DWE7491RS or the Ridgid R4512. (I am leaning very heavily toward the Delta)

A step down from these would be the DWE7480XA or DWE7480, or even the DWE7480 (no dado)

For a planer, I am looking at the WEN 6550

Thanks for taking the time to read all of that. I really hope this thread will help not just me but other beginners who are in the same boat of information overload.


13 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3699 days


#1 posted 05-25-2018 10:37 PM

I’m not a fan of portable saws for furniture
making for several reasons. The motors are
noisy and short lived, the arbors aren’t
very heavily built, the miter gauge slots
are weird, the tables may not be flat, and
the small table sizes are restrictive. They
are however terrific for carpentry these days with
excellent portability and well designed fences
on the upper end models.

There’s a lot of precision cross cutting involved
in making furniture. Most any saw with a
standard sized cast iron table can do a good
job of it with some sensibly built jigs. Whichever
saw you get, you’ll get used to it.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8078 posts in 3427 days


#2 posted 05-25-2018 11:08 PM

I would not buy a portable saw unless you need to move it from location to location on a regular basis….you give up too many benefits for the sake of portability. A full size saw with a belt drive induction motor offers the most potential IMO. The Delta and Ridgid are more substantial than the DW or any portable. A good used saw is often the most saw for the money….check CL and the classifieds here. A good TS is the heart and soul of most wood shops. Get the best one you can afford.

The ABCs of Table Saws

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

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

196 posts in 1459 days


#3 posted 05-26-2018 12:53 AM

Where are you located? Someone here may know if an unadvertised deal

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5227 posts in 2460 days


#4 posted 05-26-2018 01:21 AM

You said remote area. Give us an idea, because someone may just be close or willing to make a road trip as well as help out with your purchase. If you are wanting to add a router table a contractors saw gives you best bang for your buck. The base can be replaced and a new cabinet built to add storage. Lots of modifications can be made, extensions you can lift up and store away later, improved fences, miter jigs etc etc.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

196 posts in 1459 days


#5 posted 05-26-2018 04:38 AM

I would NOT recommend the Wen planer. A friend bought one and it’s terrible next to my dewalt 734. Knives don’t last (they’re tiny and there are only 2 I think) no lock on the height assembly, VERY light cuts only, did I mention no lock so the cutterhead self adjusts while the board goes through)
Stick to dewalt (NOTHING wrong with a 734, 735 is an upgrade though) or Ridgid
If you happen to be anywhere near southwest GA I may have everything you’re looking for. I’m in the middle of some upgrades

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1897 posts in 2081 days


#6 posted 05-26-2018 01:15 PM

If only doing plywood and 4/4 hardwood, I would consider the Bosch 4100 with gravity rise stand. It folds up and easily stores out of the way. One of the best saws in the genre of compact & portable. But the fence only goes….27” for a cut? And not 100% accurate (maybe…98%). Be prepared to use a hand plane afterwards. Over 4/4 thick hardwood, you run the risk of saw blade bogging down depending on wood species.
Which brings up a follow-up question: would hand tooling (hand saws, planes, etc) be more at home in your small shop than machinery?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View WattWick's profile

WattWick

3 posts in 53 days


#7 posted 05-27-2018 05:53 PM

Thanks for all the thoughts and insight. There have been some big storms here (north Idaho) over the last few days and internet is spotty at best. I ended up treaking to the blue store yesterday and got the last Delta 36-725 they had. Ended up getting 10% off because it took them 30 minutes to find the box (said they had 3 in stock but only had the floor model and the one I bought). So all in all not a bad deal. I am starting to assemble the saw this morning! I am very excited to say the least.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

469 posts in 1513 days


#8 posted 05-27-2018 06:17 PM

Congrats on your new saw, From what you described about your needs and space I think it will work out for you just fine.
Keep in mind that no saw will give you straight true cuts right out of the box.
The instructions will cover this I am sure, but there are also several articles on the web about first time table saw tune ups.
Take the time for a proper tune up and all will be fine.
good luck.

-- John

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8078 posts in 3427 days


#9 posted 05-28-2018 03:08 AM



Thanks for all the thoughts and insight. There have been some big storms here (north Idaho) over the last few days and internet is spotty at best. I ended up treaking to the blue store yesterday and got the last Delta 36-725 they had. Ended up getting 10% off because it took them 30 minutes to find the box (said they had 3 in stock but only had the floor model and the one I bought). So all in all not a bad deal. I am starting to assemble the saw this morning! I am very excited to say the least.

- WattWick

Congrats on your new saw. Optimize that investment buying putting a decent blade on it, then do a good job with the setup. Good blades start at around $30.

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

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

232 posts in 701 days


#10 posted 05-28-2018 01:55 PM

It’s always great to get a new tool.
I will echo the recommendations to spend time setting up the saw.
An inexpensive caliper is indispensable (IMO), I use mine on every single project and tool setup.
A square that is actually square is also indispensable, unfortunately finding one is a lot harder than it should be.
The time spent getting the blade and the fence parallel to the miter slots and the blade tilt stops set to 90 and 45 degrees is worth every second you spend on it.
Good luck, be careful, have fun.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View jonah's profile

jonah

1768 posts in 3350 days


#11 posted 05-28-2018 07:46 PM



I will echo the recommendations to spend time setting up the saw.
An inexpensive caliper is indispensable (IMO), I use mine on every single project and tool setup.
A square that is actually square is also indispensable, unfortunately finding one is a lot harder than it should be.

That has not been my experience. For example, I have two $4 plastic speed squares that are just as square as my PEC cosmetic blemish combination squares, which are just as square as the engineers square and the used Starrett I have. It’s really rather easy (and surprisingly cheap) to find good layout, setup, and measuring tools.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

232 posts in 701 days


#12 posted 05-29-2018 04:00 PM



That has not been my experience. For example, I have two $4 plastic speed squares that are just as square as my PEC cosmetic blemish combination squares, which are just as square as the engineers square and the used Starrett I have. It s really rather easy (and surprisingly cheap) to find good layout, setup, and measuring tools.
- jonah

I am glad your experience with squares is different than mine but I have not had that good of fortune.
In any case a square that is truly square is essential.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View DBDesigns's profile

DBDesigns

68 posts in 49 days


#13 posted 05-29-2018 05:41 PM

Regarding the table saw acquisition, I am a little late to the party since you already bought one. My usual advice is twofold with table saws. Belt driven saws are better because if the motor burns up or is under-powered you can replace it without replacing the whole saw. A high quality sharp blade is worth more than the saw when it comes to accuracy and cutting speed. I used a cheap Delta home center special for years with expensive Amana or Freud blades and had great success.

As for as squares, flat squares like framing squares can be adjusted into square with a pencil, a sheet-rock wall and a hammer. Just draw a straight line, put the square down on it then flip across the perpendicular line and see if it lines up. If the square is off you adjust it with a hammer and a center punch. You can also test a flat square with a level on a wall.

Good luck with the new saw. I bet you come up with a lot of new projects before the week is over. I recommend getting on youtube for jig building projects. Stumpy Nubs is a great series that is worth checking out.

-- I remember when Grateful wasn't Dead

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