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Need help w/ C-Man Table Saw Purchase

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Forum topic by Jcc76 posted 10-03-2012 08:45 PM 1572 views 0 times favorited 54 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jcc76

21 posts in 784 days


10-03-2012 08:45 PM

I’m rather new to woodworking, and I’ve been looking for a table saw for some time. I don’t need anything portable, because I’ll be using the saw solely in my garage workshop and I won’t be moving it anywhere else. As a result, I’m not even considering the plastic portable saws made by Bosch, Dewalt, Craftsman, Ryobi, etc.

My original thought was to purchase the Porter Cable contractor saw that Lowe’s sells for about $600.00. It seems like a good saw, it’s made in Taiwan (not China) and it does not have the blade alignment problems that the Ridgid 4512 and Craftsman 21833 reportedly have.

However, I’ve been looking on Craigslist and Ebay in the hopes of finding one of the last U.S. built Ridgid saws, such as the 2424 or the 3612. I wanted to see if I could find a new (or at least gently used one), but I don’t think that’s going to be possible without the use of time travel!

But, the other day I found what I thought might be the “Holy Grail”. It’s a New, sealed in the box Craftsman belt-driven contractor saw from 1996, essentially the parent saw of the 1999-2003 Ridgids. The guy told me he’s had it sitting in his garage since the 90’s and never bothered to open it or put it together. However, it’s an Emerson built saw and Made in the USA.

If I buy it from the guy, I will be going to his place in person so I will see the saw (even if I have to open the box) before I buy it. He’s asking $450 for it, and he told me he paid $600 originally. This seems plausible, as I found a copy of an old Sears ad from the mid-90’s, and the saw indeed sold brand new for $600. I would never pay this much if it were used, but being brand new in the box, it’s awfully tempting.

So my question is, would I be insane to buy this? Does anyone know if the rip fence is any good? Could it be upgraded with a Ridgid fence of a few years later, or a Craftsman Accu-Rip? Is there anything else I should know about this saw?


54 replies so far

View toolie's profile

toolie

1770 posts in 1351 days


#1 posted 10-03-2012 09:11 PM

So my question is, would I be insane to buy this? Does anyone know if the rip fence is any good? Could it be upgraded with a Ridgid fence of a few years later, or a Craftsman Accu-Rip? Is there anything else I should know about this saw?

yes, you’d be as crazy as a march hare. $450 for the NIB c-man when you can get a mobile base and riving knife equipped, guaranteed for 3 years and returnable, 10” CI hybrid, lifetime service agreement eligible ridgid 4512 with a harbor freight “20% off any single item” coupon for $400 plus tax? that alignment problem has, based on what i’ve seen in other forums, been washed out of inventory. and if the one you get has a problem, BRING IT BACK. that’s the beauty of buying from HD. those ridgid tools carry a 90 day satisfaction guaranty. what if that NIB saw has a problem? it can’t be returned.

i have both a 70s emerson built 10” CI c-man (with a t2 fence) and a 2412 with a 1036 fence upgrade and CI wings, so i know what you mean about emerson built tools. were i in your place, if i could get the NIB c-man for $200-300, i might consider it. IMHO, gong with the NIB c-man @ $450 gets you less saw for more money than the 4512.

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

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Jcc76

21 posts in 784 days


#2 posted 10-03-2012 09:20 PM

I probably should also mention that I have a visceral disgust for the People’s Republic of China. Unless I have absolutely no other choice, I will not purchase a tool (least of all an expensive tool) from that awful place. The Chinese factories that make wares for us Americans are all owned by their Government, and that Government has been using those funds to quietly build up its military. We are literally paying for the bullets which may someday kill our own children on the battlefield.

Unfortunately, that eliminates (for me anyway) a lot of saws, including all of the current Craftsman and Ridgid ones.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1311 posts in 1532 days


#3 posted 10-03-2012 09:24 PM

jcc76, I like the way you think. Glad to see im not the only one that makes these observations !Carry on sir !

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Tedstor

1443 posts in 1356 days


#4 posted 10-03-2012 09:45 PM

I have a late 80s Crafty 113. TS. I like it, but the stock fence is/was absolutely deplorable. I upgraded to a Delta T2 which makes the 113. a VERY capable machine. Keep in mind that I paid $75 for the saw and $150 for the fence. I wouldn’t have been willing to pay much more for the saw, knowing I’d have to immediately replace the fence.
That said, $450 is kind of steep. IMO, the saw is nearly unusable until a decent fence is installed. You can probably score a ridgid or accurip for a reasonable price and it should be a direct bolt-on installation. The T2 is a slightly nicer fence, but requires some sweat to properly install.
$350 is about the most I’d pay, and only because I personally like the 113. saws (with the proper fence upgrade).
All that said, if the saw is worth $450 to YOU, then I highly recommend you buy it. You don’t see new 113’s everyday. And every penny of that $450 stays in the US economy. There is definitely value in that. Of course, I’d offer $350 and see what that gets you.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 906 days


#5 posted 10-03-2012 10:08 PM

I bought a USA-made Delta contractor’s saw off Craigslist for $125, and it’s a solid, solid saw. Keep looking. If you find one and the fence is bad, a new Delta T2 fence is $150, so you’re still coming in less than $450.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View crank49's profile

crank49

3481 posts in 1694 days


#6 posted 10-03-2012 10:27 PM

I hate chinese products also, but do you really think Tiawan is not part of China?
Imports are imports. Virtually nothing is made in the USA in the realm of table saws except for the foreign owned Delta Unisaw. That sucks, but that is the way it is.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Jcc76's profile

Jcc76

21 posts in 784 days


#7 posted 10-03-2012 10:54 PM

Taiwan is an independent democracy that is also a U.S. ally. The PRC refers to them as being “part of China” but that is a legal fiction that the rest of the world goes along with, so they don’t anger Beijing. They really are two completely separate countries.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1407 days


#8 posted 10-03-2012 10:57 PM

you don’t list location…a good (older) Delta Uni or contractor saw with the Beis or Unifence is common at around $600 for the former, $300 for the latter.

Other than here of course…the Amish snap up every one they can find (with is a testimonial in itself…Delta made some great USA tools).

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 966 days


#9 posted 10-03-2012 11:16 PM

Aint that the kick in the pants though? We want USA made stuff, but it costs too much. We hate Chinese manufactured goods (believe me, I agree with your reasoning on the bullets) yet they are cheap enough for us to buy in bulk. Think Apple and Walmart.

If you are serious about supporting US manufacturing, and you are serious about woodworking tools… The answer is a Powermatic TS. If you search hard enough, or get lucky, a used PM66 should pop up for $500-1000k. It’s worth every penny as I absolutely love my PM66 (built in 94 when I graduated HS.) Had to get a new fence/rail, but the saw is just solid…

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View toolie's profile

toolie

1770 posts in 1351 days


#10 posted 10-04-2012 01:20 AM

Jcc ….... politics aside, if you’d like a nice, totally refurbished 1972 unisaw, let me know. i have this one for sale with 48” of rip capacity:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/tls/3265166040.html

and every dollar will stay in the US economy.

but if you’re not local, and the NIB saw is worth it to you, by all means buy it and enjoy it. i review tools based on functionality and value regardless of country of origin.

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

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#11 posted 10-04-2012 01:34 AM

You can see my reply here. Feel free to respond to those who offered answers there as well.

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

View Jcc76's profile

Jcc76

21 posts in 784 days


#12 posted 10-04-2012 08:40 PM

Toolie,

That is a VERY nice, well-kept saw. I wish I lived in New York so I could come and see it. Unfortunately, much of what I see in Craigslist around my area looks pretty jacked up (lots o’ rust, sawdust, evidence that a truck backed into the saw, etc) and they still demand $300-$400 or higher for the thing. It would be unheard of to obtain a serviceable saw for less than $300, let alone $50 to $100.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5563 posts in 2098 days


#13 posted 10-04-2012 08:50 PM

My concern with a saw that’s new in the box being sold by a private owner is that there’s no recourse in the event the saw has a problem. At least a used saw in mint condition can be run and tested….this one is an unknown at the moment. If the buyer is willing to guarantee that the saw isn’t stillborn or doesn’t have major issues, I might consider going $375, but even that is a lot of money for a saw that needs a fence upgrade….with a decent fence added to the equation you’re looking at in excess of $500 for an older style saw with no riving knife. These are well made saws, but not particularly well designed IMO. I’m not saying that this couldn’t become a nice saw for you, but I really don’t think it’s the best saw that your budget can buy. I understand you’re reluctance to buy a new Asian made saw, but for $500, I personally would rather buy a new saw with steel wings and a better fence, riving knife, and updated design than the older Emerson style with a splitter, grated cast wings, and a really lame fence. With a 20% HF coupon, a new R4512, 21833, or possibly even the PCB270TS could fall below $500 new. For $200-$300, that older Emerson is alot more attractive to me, but at $500 I wince.

(It’s worth noting that the PCB270TS has a plastic elevation gear…..metal gears in that location would be much preferred).

Regardless of my opinions (or other’s), you’ve got to do what suits you best. Good luck, and please keep us posted on the outcome!

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3540 posts in 2683 days


#14 posted 10-04-2012 09:50 PM

NAHHHH! Too much for the saw.
Don’t wanna sound like a “blaster”, but keep lookin’.
By the way, I’m NO fan of C’man stuff unless it is old iron. No service/parts support.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1684 days


#15 posted 10-04-2012 10:32 PM

You might have trouble getting parts for the C-man in years to come. They anticipate parts usage and only stock parts for so many years. Plus C-man changes the part from the original contractor so all parts don’t interchange. Found this when I did gun repair.

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