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Forum topic by rufusruffcut posted 09-20-2014 08:18 PM 1012 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rufusruffcut

2 posts in 813 days


09-20-2014 08:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw used unisaw ridgid jet

Hey All,

I’m pretty new to woodworking, but I’m ready to take the next steps to get better at the craft.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time combing through the old threads in this forum, especially the ones talking about older table saws. I did see a thread that once featured a table saw buying guide from knottscott, but it appears that link has been deleted.

Right now, I’m struggling a bit to choose an appropriate saw. I’ve been combing Craigslist here extensively, and here were 3 saws that caught my attention:

Delta Unisaw: http://maine.craigslist.org/tls/4660672100.html
Ridgid 4511: http://maine.craigslist.org/tls/4665496939.html
Jet: http://maine.craigslist.org/tls/4668247765.html

I was hoping to keep within a $300 or so price range, but the Unisaw would certainly change that. Also, I don’t have my shop wired for a 220 plug for it, so I would have to take that cost into consideration as well. I had looked at a couple of older Craftsman saws, but it just seemed like a very split audience when it comes to those saws.

Overall, I want the best I can get for the money. If that means going over budget to achieve that level of quality, then so be it.

Any wisdom you can impart on this new woodworker would be immensely appreciated.

CK


16 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8315 posts in 3116 days


#1 posted 09-20-2014 08:33 PM

They all look like pretty good deals to me.

If you wanted to leave your saw outside sometimes
or if you’re in a seaside area a granite top might be useful.

I like the Unifence style fences personally. They can
be retracted for use as a cut-off stop, among other
tricks.

View scvwood27's profile

scvwood27

117 posts in 1419 days


#2 posted 09-20-2014 08:39 PM

Do you have 220 outlet?

View Big_T's profile

Big_T

119 posts in 825 days


#3 posted 09-20-2014 08:55 PM


Also, I don t have my shop wired for a 220 plug for it, so I would have to take that cost into consideration as well.


View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

809 posts in 2317 days


#4 posted 09-20-2014 09:06 PM

Me, I’d go for the UNI, good $$$ to get all the saw yu’d ever really want, but will you need it. You need to make some decions about how deeply you want to get into this and how much space you’ll have for a shop. I run an older style Ridgid which I have because the deals were on track with budget, is it a great saw, probbably not but since I havent been spolied with a cabinet saw I don’t really know what I’m missing and I have yet to really run into a situation where I haven’t had enough saw or something that I couldnt get done with a circ saw or the band saw. All in ALL I’d say that starting out it’ll take you a long time to out grow the Ridgid, and it’s got a mobile base that makes it real easy to move around a smaller shop.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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wseand

2754 posts in 2509 days


#5 posted 09-20-2014 09:11 PM

I like the Delta the best looks in better condition. Only thing is, I would look at the Arbor, he said it could use a new one.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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knotscott

7225 posts in 2843 days


#6 posted 09-20-2014 09:16 PM

If you’ve got 220v, that Unisaw is the best tool of the bunch. It’s also a really nice deal @ $500. Check to see that the motor is single phase.

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

View DKV's profile

DKV

3940 posts in 1972 days


#7 posted 09-20-2014 09:26 PM

Have you read any of the “what should I buy” threads on this site? I think every table saw question has been answered at least 6 maybe 7 times. If all you’re looking for is some conversation then these guys will luv ya to death. Nothin’ but a lot of old, lonely, retired guys playin’ with their wood and thinkin’ about how it used to be…in the olden days…when men were men, machines were machines and all were American made.

PS, do you have 220v?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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rufusruffcut

2 posts in 813 days


#8 posted 09-20-2014 10:03 PM

Thanks to you all for chiming in on this. Here’s a quick update:

I went and looked at the Unisaw this afternoon. What I didn’t know is the Unisaw was used in a cabinetmaker’s shop and recently replaced by a Powermatic PM3000! That saw was a massive thing of beauty.

Back to the Unisaw – it’s in really great condition overall. The motor runs like a Swiss timepiece, the top is almost perfect, and the Unifence was like new. This guy definitely keeps his tools in top shape.

To the arbor, which I now understand why he said it could use a new one. They used the Unisaw for lots of dado cuts, and over time, it wore the thread pattern down on the arbor. As a workaround, he simply put a larger washer on before the arbor nut and snugged it in well, which he said worked just fine for him. It will work fine with this setup, but obviously I’m interested in getting the arbor replaced or if possible, repaired. I’m going to check with a couple of local machine shops to see what they think can be done with it, or if I need to replace it and the cost of fabricating a new one. The replacements online are few and far between, so I’m exploring all options.

In the end, the former owner knocked another $100 off it as a way to help cover the cost of a new arbor, which I thought was pretty dang nice of him.

Next steps – get it cleaned up, get the arbor fixed or replaced, and get my 220 line installed. I don’t have 220v right now, but I’m fortunate to have a really great friend that is an electrician that will help me install from the panel. Luckily, I’m about 30’ from the panel, so it shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I’ll snap a few pics once I have it completely set up.

In the end, I decided on the Unisaw because I felt it was the best of the bunch. Sure, I’m gonna have to put another $300 or so in it before I flip the switch, but I know that it will be a saw that will last as long as I want to use it.

That Ridgid in my previous post won’t be too far away though – my brother in law is going to pick it up tomorrow.

Thanks again guys, and believe me, I’m sure this won’t be my last ask for advice. Really appreciate the feedback.

CK

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2535 days


#9 posted 09-20-2014 10:07 PM

Of the ones you listed jump at the unisaw and get a 220 circuit put in. You could steal your dryer circuit if you had to. Anyway I’d go 500 on that old unisaw. Take care.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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knotscott

7225 posts in 2843 days


#10 posted 09-20-2014 10:19 PM

Congrats….you and your BIL grabbed the best two saws of that trio IMO. From what I could tell the Jet was a smaller compact JTS-10DD direct drive saw with a universal motor.

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

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

809 posts in 2317 days


#11 posted 09-20-2014 10:24 PM

UNisaw for $400,,,, I think that might almost earn you a YOU SUCK!, If you’d mentioned the electrician frien before I never would ahve suggested the ridgid! Congrats, !

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2228 posts in 1914 days


#12 posted 09-20-2014 10:48 PM

You made the right choice,a unisaw is the real deal from the days when men were men,tools were made to last.
Now I’ll go play with my wood,lol.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1725 days


#13 posted 09-20-2014 11:56 PM

Buy quality and buy once. Ya dun gud! :D

-- Art

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3567 days


#14 posted 09-21-2014 12:11 AM

I would push for the Delta Unisaw, you will never outgrow it and it will be the last saw you ever need to buy.

My first decent saw was a Jet Contractor saw just painted blue instead of white as the one you are looking at. A great saw that I simply outgrew as a pro woodworker.

I like the Ridgid saws with the cast iron tops. As a remodeling contractor that has seen a lot of cracked and chipped granite counter tops over the years, I would never consider a table saw with a granite top.

Go with the Delta. Every year you own it you will look back and think to yourself “man I almost passed that up.”

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

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Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3567 days


#15 posted 09-21-2014 12:12 AM

Oh geesh, I just looked back and saw you bought the Unisaw – Congrats!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

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