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Old Jet Table Saw question

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Forum topic by Newbiewoodworker43 posted 09-19-2011 04:27 AM 13145 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Newbiewoodworker43

150 posts in 1908 days


09-19-2011 04:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jet table saw old

Greetings, I am a beginner woodworker as have come to realize that I must have a table saw to do anything of quality and value. I have done a lot of reading and realize that a good table saw is integral to my shop. I, however, do not want to invest a huge amount of money but also want to get a table saw that will be of decent quality.

I have determined that a Delta or Jet contractors table saw is what I would like to start with. I checked on craigslist in my area and a Jet table saw JWTS-10JF is offered for $325 (the older blue one with the stamped steel extensions). I realize that a new Jet contractors table saw is around $1000 but this one is at least 20 years old but has not been used much (supposedly), just stuck in the corner of a garage.

My question is whether it is worth the risk to purchase this table saw if it is in good working condition or should I hold out and keep looking. I am anxious to get started on a project but I absolutely need a decent table saw to proceed. If you think I should go for it maybe a lower price would be a better bet…

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA


18 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4859 posts in 2279 days


#1 posted 09-19-2011 04:40 AM

That saw would probably serve you well. Also look for a white Jet contractors saw with an Exacta II fence. They are usually available for around $400. A good T-square style fence that always stays parallel to the blade makes all the difference.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View gawthrrw's profile

gawthrrw

206 posts in 1913 days


#2 posted 09-19-2011 04:53 AM

I would really focus on the fence. My father has an old jet Table saw that he paid 350.00 for, then had to pay a few hundred more for a decent fence. I got an old craftsman table saw with cast iron extensions for 100.00 then got the Delta T2 fence off amazon for 199.00. It’s a lot more saw for the money. I see them on CL all the time. Something to think about.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#3 posted 09-19-2011 05:35 AM

$325 for a used Jet contractor saw could be a decent deal, but could also be too much. Most sold in the $500-$700 range…there are several variations of those saws that effect resale value. Condition is a big one. Which fence they came with is another key variable in price…the aluminum “Jet Fence” was functional, but doesn’t warrant paying a premium. The Jet Microglide was slightly better, and the Jet Exacta II fence is excellent and is definitely worth more. Solid cast iron wings also add value vs stamped steel. While the Jet contractor saws were a well proven commodity and were popular, it’s now considered an outdated design with no riving knife, a motor that hangs out the back, and were remarkably similar to a slew of other Taiwanese contractor saws like the GI, PM, Grizzly, Bridgewood, and Woodtek….many come from the same factory, and varied mainly by what got bolted to the main body…most of which are no longer available. Jet retailed thru a good dealer network and offered a longer warranty than some, both of which netted a premium at the time, but neither of which increases the value of a used saw, so don’t overpay just because it says “Jet” on the label or just because someone else paid a premium to get support from a good dealer. The older Deltas were a similar design and retail situation to the Jet (and others) with similar drawbacks, but many were made in the US until sometime toward the late 90’s. The newer 36-650, 36-678, 36-679, 36-680, 36-682, 36-980, etc., were all made in Asia.

With that said, I’d encourage you to expand your search to include other good used saws….I sure wouldn’t automatically dismiss a nice deal on a US made PM63, or Taiwan made PM64a, GI 50-175/50-185, Grizzly 1022 ProZ, Grizzly G0444/0444Z, or G0575/G0576.

The older Emerson made contractor saws were also made in the US and were a well regarded design that were sold under the Craftsman (until 1997…all had a “113” prefix in their model #) and Ridgid brands (until 2004….TS2412/TS2424/TS3612). Later models were very similar but were made overseas by TTI/Ryobi (Cman “315” prefix, Ridgid TS3650/TS3660)....many of the parts are interchangeable between these models.

I’d also be open to a good used hybrid saw from Craftsman, Steel City, Grizzly, GI, Jet, Ridgid, Shop Fox, and others.

In the end, buy the saw, not the name plate….there are excellent and poor examples of most of the brands you can think of. The saws mentioned all have the potential to be very capable…good setup/alignment and good blade selection are key to the end performance of all of them. Good luck and please keep us posted.

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

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Newbiewoodworker43

150 posts in 1908 days


#4 posted 09-19-2011 04:42 PM

Hi all, Thanks for the great advice. I apologize for my ignorance and really appreciate you helping me out. I found out that the Jet table saw has a Jet Precision fence which I am assuming is the one that it comes with as opposed to a more stable/accurate after market fence. I have decided to pass on this table saw and continue my search.

I do see an ad for a Craftsman 10” table saw with a Vega Utility fence for $250 which looks interesting. The table saw has a cast iron table but steel extensions and is only a 1HP motor. I have not determined the model number so I do not know if it is one of the US made ones (i.e. 113 prefix). I am going to check it out. I am hoping that a 1HP motor will be sufficient for my needs, at least at this point.

Any thoughts?

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17172 posts in 2571 days


#5 posted 09-19-2011 05:22 PM

I’d go for the Craftsman over the Jet. A friend of mine had that 10” Jet saw you first spoke of and had problems with it. I like Grizzly tools and have not used their table saw, but if it is like their band saw and jointer that I have, I would definitely look there. Use a thin kerf blade and 1 HP will do!
I use a Ryobi BT 3000 and it does everything I want to do on it. The only drawback with it is that it does not have the miter grooves in it. It has a sliding table off to the left. I made a sled that fits over the center section and it is top shelf now!

...............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#6 posted 09-19-2011 05:39 PM

The Vega is an excellent fence that sells for > $250 by itself new. If the saw is in good shape, it could be worth $250, but I’d be inclined to see if they’d go to $175-$200 due to having steel wings….check overall condition before determining price, and see what else is included….things like mobile base, blades, dado, inserts, manual, the existence of the original blade guard and miter gauge can all impact value somewhat, and are good indicators how the saw may have been cared for. Dirt and minor rust are ok, severe rust and overall signs of neglect are not a good sign, but with some elbow grease most can be spruced up to good functioning condition. The odds are good if someone added a Vega fence, they took good care of the saw. The 1hp motor essentially has the same power that were rated at 1.5hp by several newer Craftsman and Ridgid saws (somehow the “business laws of physics” have changed in recent years!) ...if the pulleys are well aligned, the belt is good, the blade is well aligned, and you’ve made a good blade selection, the saw should cut just about anything you’ll need to. Cast iron wings can be added later if you like…just about any 27” wing can be easily made to fit…cast iron drills easily if need be.

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

View RickLoDico's profile

RickLoDico

55 posts in 2527 days


#7 posted 09-19-2011 11:28 PM

The Jet is a fine saw. The one I had served me very well before upgrading and it had the stock fence on it which I had no trouble with at all. I paid 535.00 for it new and sold it for 350.00. I’d go for it if I were you.

-- He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

View gawthrrw's profile

gawthrrw

206 posts in 1913 days


#8 posted 09-21-2011 02:22 AM

Yea, the craftsman i was talking about is a model 113. Its got a 1 1/2 hp on it and i’ve never had an issue.

-- Rob, Dallas TX

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2159 days


#9 posted 09-21-2011 02:26 AM

I’ve got the exact same saw that Rick sold and you’re considering. Mine cuts perfectly and I’ve had zero problems. It’ll take something like a vintage Martin or Oliver to make me get rid of mine. Now, dust collection isn’t ideal and it is a contractor saw without any bells and whistles. But if you’re looking for a solid saw at a good price, I love this saw.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View BuckI's profile

BuckI

49 posts in 2614 days


#10 posted 09-21-2011 02:53 AM

I had a Delta Contractors saw and really liked it except for the dust collection (or lack of it) and when bevels were needed it was difficult to get it back to 90. It seems that these contractor designs flex a lot whenever a bevel is needed and I got tired of adjusting the trunions to get decent cuts. I did get a cabinet saw from Steel City and couldn’t be happier with it-it solves both of those previous problems I had with the contractor. I can say both Delta and Steel City make good saws based on my experience, if you can find a hybrid/cabinet design in your price range I’d say jump on it, you would probably be happier in the end.
Good Luck,
Kevin

-- Kevin, Ohio

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile

Newbiewoodworker43

150 posts in 1908 days


#11 posted 09-21-2011 02:34 PM

Thanks to all for your responses. I did find out that the Craftsman was a “113”. For the $250 including the Vega fence I am going to go for it. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get it home and into my basement! I read somewhere that the first real tool a potential woodworker should get is a pickup truck and I am finding out that this appears to be very true.

I’ll let you know how I make out.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile

Newbiewoodworker43

150 posts in 1908 days


#12 posted 09-26-2011 08:52 PM

Just wanted to let you all know that I purchased the $250 Craftsman table saw with the Vega Utility fence. It took some doing to get it into my vehicle as I do not have a pickup and ended up taking off the motor and removing the table saw from the legs. Getting the saw down into my basement was also difficult but got done with some “help” from my daughter and wife.

Anyway I got the tablesaw put back together and happily made my first cuts after aligning the blade, etc. It works great and I am very happy with it.

Thanks again for all your help and advice.

—Howard, MA

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

13003 posts in 2159 days


#13 posted 09-26-2011 08:53 PM

Nice job. That’s a nice fence. I hope it serves you well.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#14 posted 09-26-2011 08:55 PM

Nice….thanks for the update. The Vega fence is pretty slick. Now we need pics, and confirmation that you put a decent blade on it! ...then you can hang around like one of the regulars! LOL… ;-)

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

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile

Newbiewoodworker43

150 posts in 1908 days


#15 posted 09-26-2011 11:34 PM

I have to admit that I did not upgrade the blade as yet since I was so anxious to get going. It has a thin Kerf Dewalt blade on it now and seems to work ok. I have been looking around and thought I would look in to a thin kerf Forrest blade with 80 teeth. I am not sure if this is overkill as I have not graduated to doing “nice” projects yet. I am really focusing on work benches, outfeed tables, lumber carts, etc. to outfit my blossoming shop in my basement.

I also need to do some work on the cast iron since there is some surface rust (I think) and I want to apply a coat of wax. I will get some pictures uploaded soon.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

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