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Forum topic by ScottyWes posted 05-26-2013 07:31 AM 3396 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 1830 days

05-26-2013 07:31 AM

Hello everyone,

I’m in the process of starting a small woodworking shop with very little funds (I’ll have about $3000 to get everything I need.) I have researched tools until my eyes bled, trying to squeeze every last bang out of my buck. Anyway, last night I came across this company which has a local store here in Tulsa:

In particular I was intrigued by these two items:

Has anyone had any experience with this company or their tools. Searching for reviews or mention of these tools online seems to come up nill which is obviously not a good sign. At least with Harbor Freight I know what the common issues are with the tools I get from them and can decide if it something I can work around or not.

Any other suggestions or advice for getting the most value for my dollar in my tool purchases would be welcome as well.


28 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#1 posted 05-26-2013 08:04 AM

Shop for a tablesaw the way you’d shop for a wife. A cheap one will be bitchy, frustrating, and high maintenance. A good one is your partner for life. Set aside about $900 for a good tablesaw and in 5 or 10 years you will break your arm patting yourself on the back.

Best bang for the buck is used equipment.

-- Rick M,

View toolie's profile


2121 posts in 2626 days

#2 posted 05-26-2013 11:40 AM

+1 on ricks comment, if you know what to look for and avoid in used tools. If not, the ridged 4512, with an integrated mobile base, riving knife, dual voltage motor and LSA is a good value at $500 at HD. If you can find a HD that will honor the harbor freight “20% off any single item” coupon, it may be had for $400. That linked TS looks to be an outdated design and mentions a spreader rather than a riving knife. Not a good sign. Just my $.02.

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

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2005 days

#3 posted 05-26-2013 11:48 AM

LOL @ Rick!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#4 posted 05-26-2013 12:05 PM

Used tools usually offer the most bang for the buck.

That TS you linked to looks an older style contractor saw….could even be an abandoned Harbor Freight clone. Regardless of it’s performance, being that it’s not a recognizable brand name, it’ll be worth about $125 the minute you turn it on. I’d keep looking.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2336 days

#5 posted 05-26-2013 12:08 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks

All of us want to save money. But be sure to look at the future as well as the present. If it costs more in the long run toown, Iit’s not a good deal. You also need to consider what type of work you will be doing. Small hobby projects, it may be fine. If you’re making furniture, probably not. IMHO

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2359 days

#6 posted 05-26-2013 12:35 PM

You get what you pay for.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2512 days

#7 posted 05-26-2013 12:44 PM

These guys are right. There is a lot of years of experience in the comments above mine. And I agree, new tools are nice, but cheap new tools are like a divorce coming down the line – it hurts and you always lose money in the end.
Personally, I am not a big used tool fan these days, with this economy. Many tools are run till they are basically dead then people try to sell them for gold. (See the many “Craigslist has gone crazy” posts)

With all that, I own the Rigid 4512, and save for the one problem with a C clip I had which I bitched about to no end, after I put in the proper C clips it has been a perfect saw. For your daily stuff, if you plan on turning it on everyday, I’d pretty much skip the HF stuff.
Try to list the absolute minimum necessary list to get you going, and start with that in quality. The stuff you turn on everyday, quality. The stuff you might turn on once a week, you might get away with used or a lesser brand.
I have a radial arm drill press from HF I bought in 2000. It is discontinued but you can still buy it from Grizzly for about $350. I use it maybe once a month, maybe. Usually takes me about ten minutes just to get it set up. Pain in the butt and the runout is not perfect. My main drill press now is a PC floor model.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View ScottyWes's profile


32 posts in 1830 days

#8 posted 05-26-2013 01:13 PM

Hey everyone, thanks for the quick responses.

Truth be told, I’ve gone through 3 wives now so I get what you are saying there Rick, lol!

The Ridgid r4512 is at the top of my short list at the moment. (And yes, I have my HF coupon sitting at the ready.) Seems like a nice deal and have read a lot of positive things about it.

I’m also considering some of the cabinet saws in $1,000 – $1,300 range from Grizzly and Steel City. These would eat a considerable portion of my budget meaning I would have to sacrifice elsewhere. But since the TS is the cornerstone of the shop this might not be such a bad compromise.

I scour Craigslist everyday, checking Tulsa and Oklahoma City, sometimes even neighboring states. As far as tablesaws go the number one thing I find are cheap Craftsman saws that have been sitting in garages collecting dust (not saw dust) or job site saws that have been put through the ringer.

I’m sure you all know my pain. Anyway, thanks again for the replies and I will keep you all posted on what I come up with. In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1933 days

#9 posted 05-26-2013 01:41 PM


I have been setting up shop recently as well and have gone through many of your dilemmas.I got lucky with the jointer and planer and got them for free from a more than generous older woodworker. As far as the table saw goes though…

I watched CL for months and eventually went into what I call a craigslist depression. It’s where you check CL all the time, yet end up missing all the great deals. Eventually, I got so pissed off that I just watched CL til I found a great saw for a decent price that was far enough away from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for most rational people to want to drive and get. For me, wasting my life away for months watching CL was not worth the $300 that I could possibly save on a great deal. I drove out to this guy’s house, watched him turn on the tablesaw and router, paid him the money and took the stuff. I ended up getting a great condition 3HP delta unisaw and an old great condition 3 HP japanese Ryobi router for $1050. Mabye I didn’t get the best deal ever, but I got a fine deal, and I got an awesome saw and router. Moral of the story is that in the end, the quality of the tool takes precedence over what you pay for it.

I think you are wise to consider spending about 1/3 of your $3000 on a quality tablesaw. I don’t think anyone here would advise against that. My advice would be watch CL til you can find a decent deal on a great saw. Buy it and get to work instead of sitting at your computer agonizing.

Also, $3000 is a decent stipend to put together a shop. I am on limited funds as well, as are most, but we all find a way to make it work. I have posted a couple of bargain projects to look at if you want some ideas on how to build some shop fixtures cheap.

Sorry for the longwinded answer. +1 on what everyone else said as well. Now, get to work!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View ScottyWes's profile


32 posts in 1830 days

#10 posted 05-26-2013 01:58 PM

Thanks WoodenOyester, great advice.

Does anyone know anything about this saw:

I can’t go wrong for $50 right!

View ScottyWes's profile


32 posts in 1830 days

#11 posted 05-26-2013 02:09 PM

What about this:

I wish he had posted more information about it. Can anyone recognize the make/model?

View ScottyWes's profile


32 posts in 1830 days

#12 posted 05-26-2013 02:12 PM

If I had money hand right now I would probably get this but It will be two more weeks until my money comes in.

View cabmaker's profile


1730 posts in 2807 days

#13 posted 05-26-2013 02:25 PM

Out of those three the delta in sand springs is the one to have, hands down !

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#14 posted 05-26-2013 02:30 PM

I’d say buy the $50 Rockwell and learn on that.

Keep your eyes open for a bargain on a 3hp cabinet
saw. It looks like prices in your area are a lot higher
than my area – but this may just be a symptom
of sellers with collective optimism, not a reflection
of real selling prices.

Check the business section of Craigslist for saws too -
sometimes you’ll find good stuff there.

It should be said that I don’t believe you need a fancy,
powerful or large table saw to do nice work. Unless
you have a lot of floor space to devote to feed tables,
plywood cabinet components can often be handled easier
and more precisely with a circular saw and rail guide.
Then the table saw becomes a tool for cutting
lighter parts and joinery.

View knotscott's profile


8013 posts in 3373 days

#15 posted 05-26-2013 03:07 PM

Wow…seems like a lot of very proud saw owners in your area (meaning many are asking too much).

The Delta for $825 is a nice deal at ~ $475-$550…they probably didn’t pay much over $900 new! The other Delta for $450 is a nice saw, and is only a little overpriced IMO ($350-$375 is fair IMO). Unless the saw is pretty special, once you get up much past $350 for a used contractor saw, the newer saws with riving knives, return privileges, and warranties start to make some sense to consider. Once you get near the $1000 mark, IMO the Grizzly or Steel City cabinet saws @ ~ $1350 start to make some sense to consider if you’ve got 220v.

Here’s a Griz G0575 for $450….good saw, nice fence – ~ $350ish would make it a nice deal. – $250 (1997-2004 Cman made by TTI/Ryobi…similar to the Ridgid 3650) Good basic saw with a decent fence, priced reasonably, and will be worth what you paid down the road if you decide to sell it (can’t hurt to offer $200).

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

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