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Moving up from my old Craftsman contractors table saw?>

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Forum topic by FumbleThumb posted 03-29-2012 02:07 PM 1341 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FumbleThumb

7 posts in 1713 days


03-29-2012 02:07 PM

After 12 years with my Craftsman portable table saw, I’m ready for something a little bit more substantial. There is a used Ridgid TS3650 table saw available locally on Craigslist for $300.

Any thoughts on quality and asking price, or alternatives that I should consider? I’m still a beginner woodworker on a budget.

Thank you,

Don

-- Don


8 replies so far

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3039 days


#1 posted 03-29-2012 02:58 PM

Hi Don
Welcome to Ljs
I strongly recommend the new ridgid 4512 model @ $549 I’ve heard on line that Home Depot will take Harbor frieghts 20 percent off coupon, if that’s the case that would be only $ 440 for a new Ridgid, HD also gives Vets 10 percent off in case they won’t accept the coupon that’s still $54 off. I know that one of the older model Ridgids had trouble with their fence but I’m not sure if it was the 3650or not. In general the Ridgid Contractor saws seem to have very good reviews.
If you can afford the new one I’d go for that one if not I would go check the fence out on the 3650 and see what you think and see if they will take a little less even though $300 does not seem out of line.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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knotscott

7210 posts in 2837 days


#2 posted 03-29-2012 04:25 PM

If it’s in good shape, $300 seems like a fair asking price, but I’d try to get if for less if possible….$250, $275. It’s generally a well regarded saw that should be plenty suitable for good hobby work….on the plus side it’s a full size cast iron belt drive contractor saw with a 1.5hp induction motor, solid cast wings, Herculift, and decent fence….it’ll accept many standard accessories and upgrades, and many parts from the Emerson and TTI/Ryobi made contractor saws will fit. On the downside, it’s an older design with an outboard motor, a standard splitter (not a riving knife), and there’s no warranty with used so check it over and run it if you can. With good alignment and good blade selection it can be a nice saw.

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

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FumbleThumb

7 posts in 1713 days


#3 posted 03-29-2012 10:59 PM

Jim: Thank you for your advice about the 4512 model saw. I investigated that model and coveted it above a used 3650 for some of the reasons that you mentioned. The $500+ price tag steered me more toward a used 3650. I will check with HD about their accepting HF coupons. When I stopped in at HF last week the checkout person gave me a 25%-off coupon good on Easter only. Maybe I can get lucky with HD and be able to use it on a new Ridgid.

knotscott: I understand what you mean about the risk of buying used. I’ve rarely gotten burned, but then again, I’m not really knowledgeable enough to figure out if a used 3650 saw is in good condition or not. I’ll see if the HF coupon route goes anywhere with HD. It might be worth the extra $ for new to get the warranty and the assurance that the machine that’s in original condition.

-- Don

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William

9906 posts in 2304 days


#4 posted 03-30-2012 12:47 AM

If your asking my opinion, I prefer the 3650 over the 4512.
I have the 3650 and have always been happy with it. After reading some online reviews I went down to harbour freight and looked over the 4512 real well and was not at all impressed by it. I could go into specifics, but there’s already a ton of info out there on the subject and I don’t care tonight to get into an argument.

If you want a GREAT saw, but the TS3650 and put an Incra fence on it. That’s just my opinion.

The one improvement I see on the 4512 that I have heard is there is the addition of a riving knife. That is the ONLY complaint I could possibly come up with about my 3650. All my saw has is a splitter that is joined with the blade guard. It is so crappy that I have it removed. A riving knife is the one improvement I hope to make to it in the future.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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toolie

2023 posts in 2090 days


#5 posted 03-30-2012 02:28 AM

fumble….judging from the issues i’ve read about concerning the blade alignment of the 4512, i’d go with the 3650. more than one post on the ridgid forum have noted a condition where the blade position relative to the miter slot CHANGES as the blade is raised and lowered. this means that alignment is ok for ripping a 3/4” workpiece, but ripping a 2” thick workpiece results in a non-square ripped edge. after the 3612 (which was built by emerson electric for ridgid), the 3650 was one of the best contractor saws ever built. 36” rip capacity, herc-u-lift, dual voltage motor and CI extension wings are just a few of it’s features. if you don’t like the splitter and blade guard assembly, buy the splitter and anti-kickback pawls assembly from an aftermarket source. works great with dimensional lumber and while you give up the blade guard, at least you’re relatively well protected agianst kickback. this is how i have both of my emerson elctric built 10” contractor Tss configured. if you buy a 3650, it will likely be the last TS you ever buy.

william…..if you can come up with a way to incorporate a riving knife into the 3650, you will have done somethng many have tried to do but have yet to succeed. the arbor asembly has no facility for attaching a riving knife. pics of a successful incorporation will be greeted with great enthusiasm, but i don’t think it can be done without completely re-engineering the arbor assembly.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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William

9906 posts in 2304 days


#6 posted 03-30-2012 02:34 AM

Toolie, I know this, thus the reason I don’t already have one.
It’s a challenge I hope to tackle within the next year or so, and you are correct. It may involve completely redesigning the arbor assembly.

One reason I haven’t already tackled it is that, while so many have talked about it, I keep hoping someone will come up with an aftermarket means of installing one.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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FumbleThumb

7 posts in 1713 days


#7 posted 03-30-2012 08:49 PM

Gentlemen: Thank you for your opinions and comments. As usual, the more that I look into something, the less certain the decision becomes. The 3650 and the 4512 each seem to have their advocates and their detractors, as well as their own pluses and minuses.

I did stop in at Sears today and crawled around and under the Craftsman version of the R4512. I did like that the motor was fully enclosed in the base of the saw. I wasn’t too crazy about the stamped steel wings, but then again I don’t know that all-cast-iron a la the TS3650 would make much difference to me at my skill level.

I’ve studied more about riving knives on lumberjocks. My current portable 10” saw had a splitter that I took off years ago because I found it difficult to work with it on the saw. I gather that a riving knife is a big improvement, but until I use one I can only guess what the difference is.

I did read sereral comments by people that had some difficulty keepeing the R4512 blade aligned with the miter slot, but that seemed to be a rather isolated problem.

Well, I’ll continue to investigate the TS3650 vs. R4512 question. And I did purchaae a $500 million MegaMillions ticket for the drawing tonight, so I expect to able to afford a new saw pretty soon if the R4512 wins out over the 3650.

Don

-- Don

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William

9906 posts in 2304 days


#8 posted 03-30-2012 09:06 PM

One other attribute I think you should think about before making your decision, table mounted trunnions vs. cabinet mounted trunnions.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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