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Forum topic by mmaluso posted 11-03-2014 02:51 PM 1596 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mmaluso

16 posts in 766 days


11-03-2014 02:51 PM

Hey guys. I’m new to the forum and to woodworking in general. I’m a graphic designer by trade and have always been a tinkerer, DIYer, and perfectionist. Recently my wife and I finally bought our first house so I now have a garage to play around with. I’m looking to start setting up my shop and the first thing I want to get is a sturdy but modestly sized (and priced) table saw. I’m planning on doing misc house projects, building shelves, cabinets, furniture, etc.

Anyway, with that in mind, my budget is very modest (under $200 would be great) so I’m looking on Craigslist and found a Rockwell Model 34-660 for $80 OBO delivered. It’s belt driven and looks to have most of the original parts. I’m assuming the top is reasonably solid since it’s rusting.

Rockwell 34-660, $80
http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/tld/4731034153.html

Some other options on CL right now…

Makita 2703, $165
http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/tls/4734461474.html

Craftsman Model Unknown, $90
http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/tls/4734705369.html

Delta Model Unknown, $250
http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/tls/4723986952.html

Are any of these a good deal? If they are in working order is there anything else I need to check for when I go take a look? I’m planning on buying some freud diablo blades to go with whatever I pick up unless you all suggest something else. If these are all junk, are there any brands/models that I should look out for on CL in my general price range? Thanks!


45 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#1 posted 11-03-2014 03:59 PM

The Makita and Craftsman are portable jobsite saws with direct drive universal motors. While they might be made to work, that type of saw would never be my first choice for someone with more space. They are loud and lightly built—made for ease of moving from job to job, not for a solid, long-term investment. I would immediately throw those (or any similar job-site saws) out of consideration.

The Rockwell isn’t really any better and could be worse. It still uses a universal motor and the belt does transfer the power, but not like a true contractor saw with an induction motor. If/when that belt breaks, good luck finding a replacement.

The Delta is getting to the right style for an entry level saw in your price range and is the only one of those four I would even consider. It has an induction motor and is truly belt driven. Those are good, solid saws that can be made to work well. I’m not a big fan of that fence system, if the fence even comes with the saw, as none of the pictures show it, but that could be upgraded later. $250 seems high to me even if it is complete, but prices can vary by market. If there is no fence, then that price is way too high. It’s also very tough to tell anything about condition due to the poor pictures.

If the Delta comes with the fence and everything is in good shape, $200 would be the highest I’d pay. Not a great deal, but fair for both buyer and seller.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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knotscott

7215 posts in 2840 days


#2 posted 11-03-2014 04:05 PM

I agree with Jay on all accounts. The first three saws are not great choices IMHO. The Delta at $200 or less is the best of those choices.

Here’s a full size cast iron contractor saw with a belt drive induction motor, and an upgraded fence for $200 in Denver.
http://denver.craigslist.org/tls/4740678922.html

The ABCs of Table Saws

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

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1061 posts in 3078 days


#3 posted 11-03-2014 04:35 PM

I also agree with Jay on all counts.

Believe me, you don’t want that Rockwell. My brother had one (was given to him – and too expensive at that). I used it helping remodel his home and the damned thing was an accident waiting to happen! Sh!tty fence, sh!tty table, sh!tty saw!

The Craftsman that knotscott referenced is the old Emerson design (113 series) and has stood the test of time very well. That fence is the Align-a-rip made by Ridgid (I think) for Sears and I sues a similar fence from Ridgid, the AC1036. Very nice fence – recommended!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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mmaluso

16 posts in 766 days


#4 posted 11-03-2014 04:45 PM

Thanks for the quick feedback everyone. I’ll forget about those job site saws and send out some emails concerning the others. I gave The ABC’s of Table Saws a quick skim but will make sure to read that over carefully later today.

How heavy are the contractor saws? They don’t look too bad but I know that can be deceiving sometimes. I would have my brother-in-law help me (I’m 160lb and he is 130lb) and wondering if we would be able to easily move it around. Would I be able to take one partially apart and fit it in the back of a VW GTI hatchback or am I definitely going to need to borrow an SUV/truck?

What’s with the open design of the table extensions on the Craftsman? Is that for weight savings because it’s cast iron? Is it possible that a board or something would catch on that? So $200 is fair for this one? Is there anything I should ask about when i contact him or when I’m physically inspecting the saw?

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#5 posted 11-03-2014 04:47 PM

I agree with the others ,a portable saw is a saw you will have to replace in short order. It would be a great idea to seach table saws on LJs there must be 100 threads that cover the subject. All said and done take the time to look at Knotscott’s line he’s our resident saw expert.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View JayT's profile

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#6 posted 11-03-2014 04:57 PM

I have a Craftsman 113 and it works well. You won’t catch a board on the grate extensions—fingers can be another matter if you aren’t careful. I’ve pinched mine a couple times but nothing serious. The open grates are handy for clamping things to the top, if you need to.

Moving one of those saws is pretty easy. Take the motor and wings off, unbolt the saw from the stand and you should be good to go, even in your VW. I moved mine by myself that way, so will be no problem for two. The only space issue I could see is the stand, but you can break it down into some smaller parts, if necessary.

$200 is fair with the Align-a-Rip fence. I see those saws routinely sell for $125-150 around here with the crappy stock fence. Any aftermarket upgrade costs another $200 or so. The fence on that saw is good enough that you shouldn’t ever need to worry about upgrading it.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View mmaluso's profile

mmaluso

16 posts in 766 days


#7 posted 11-03-2014 05:02 PM

Sounds great. I emailed him so we’ll see what he says. I’d just need a standard socket and wrench set to break it down right? KnotScott, thanks for the link by the way. Hopefully it works out. I hate scouring Craigslist.

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knotscott

7215 posts in 2840 days


#8 posted 11-03-2014 05:19 PM

They’ll weigh ~ 250#. Two guys can move it pretty easily. The motor and mounting plate rods are held by two 13mm bolts….loosen those bolts, remove the belt, and slide the hole motor and mounting plate assembly out the back. Then you can just flip it upside down or on it’s back for transport. If the saw looks good, ask what they’ll take for it….ya never know!

You can also remove the fence, wings, and base if you want to.

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

View mmaluso's profile

mmaluso

16 posts in 766 days


#9 posted 11-03-2014 05:27 PM

Ok that’s helpful.

So that particular Craftsman is sold. I found a new one though. This is the same model right? http://denver.craigslist.org/tls/4743680879.html

Is this upgraded fence just as good as the Align-a-Rip? The extension length is way overkill for me but I could live with it for a short time before I fill the garage up with other tools. At that point I could just remove the white extension and cut the front fence rail down to size right? Or maybe I could just live with that extra space as an additional work surface and/or router mount.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#10 posted 11-03-2014 05:39 PM

Yes, same model Craftsman. The Biesemeyer would be considered a higher quality fence than the Align-a-Rip and is worth the asking price by itself. The long rails on that fence really need legs at the end for support. If you could get that saw, you would have a couple of options.

#1 cut down the rails to a more usable length. Advantage here is that you have a premium quality fence that you can keep, even if you decide to upgrade the saw at some time in the future. Downside is that you won’t ever get that length back without buying a new rail. This style of fence rests on the saw table (no rear rail), so you won’t be able to totally get rid of the white extension. You would be able to cut it down to the same length as the rail.

#2 Sell/trade the Biesemeyer. You could likely sell it for enough to buy a new Delta T2 fence or similar that is a more appropriate size for that style saw. Another option would be to see if there is someone out there that has a Biesemeyer or clone with the 30in rails and wants to trade for the 54in. You could make that trade and get a bit of cash to boot.

Either way, that saw could be a very good option, if it is still available. Don’t know if you would have an issue getting the fence rail in your VW, however.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1625 posts in 2097 days


#11 posted 11-03-2014 05:40 PM

The Beiseimeyer is about the best money can buy. The fence kit alone is worth AT LEAST $210 imo. And if you ever get into a bigger/better saw, you can transfer that fence too.
The mobile base is a valuable feature in many cases too. Even if you put your saw in a stationary spot, you can probably use the base for another machine/purpose.

Jay beat me to it…...and said it better

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Tedstor

1625 posts in 2097 days


#12 posted 11-03-2014 05:50 PM

BTW- the Delta in the original post has been listed for two weeks now. You could offer him $150, slap a T-2 fence on it for $200, and have a damn good saw that could be the last you’ll ever buy for $350. Some will make a (good) argument that a new saw, with a warranty, would be the smarter play for the $450 range though. But I’d personally rather have an older Delta with a superb fence, over a new Ridgid with an OK fence.

View mmaluso's profile

mmaluso

16 posts in 766 days


#13 posted 11-03-2014 05:58 PM

Well i just emailed the Biesemeyer seller and basically told him I’d come pick it up ASAP. So we’ll see what he says. The Delta seller has not responded. I have enough projects lining up that it would definitely be nice to get something that works as-is and not have to upgrade immediately.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#14 posted 11-04-2014 05:02 PM

Any news about the Biesemeyer fence saw? I see the CL post has been deleted.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View mmaluso's profile

mmaluso

16 posts in 766 days


#15 posted 11-04-2014 06:25 PM

Nope and I just checked the post and it says deleted by author so I guess it sold. I sent my email 8 hours after he posted it. I also sent out many other emails that have not been responded to (I hate craigslist). I wasn’t expecting these things to sell so fast :/.

Found this one too but it seems to be priced very high compared to the ones with upgraded fences. It does look clean though. What would be a fair offer? The standard fence would be fine for me to safely learn on right?
http://fortcollins.craigslist.org/tls/4722410634.html

I’m a little worried about the extra space that these rear motors take up. Are the enclosed belt motors out of my price range?

On another note, I’m interested in buying a drill press and dream of owning a lathe but would never have space for it. So I’ve been scoping out some old 10ER shopsmiths and wondering if I should just get that to have drill press, lathe, and use as table saw temporarily until I find a good deal on a dedicated table saw or save up for a nicer one. The Mark V seems to be out of my price range though so I don’t know if the 10ER would even be worth it.

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