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Opinions-Rigid Granite top Table Saw

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Forum topic by Dave posted 05-08-2009 04:05 AM 9670 views 1 time favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave

26 posts in 2496 days


05-08-2009 04:05 AM

I went to Home Depot the other day and they had this R4511 table saw for $524 ($75 instant rebate from $599).
Since I use a very old Craftsman 2.5 hp model (small table, works good, but I need more power), I was definitely intrigued by what I saw and the price was within reach. The granite top was really slick, a nice Hercu-Lift mobile base, decent rip-fence, and dust collection port. Total weight is 435 lbs, so it isn’t going anywhere during use. Also, my Craftsman saw didn’t allow for dado blades, something I’ve always wanted since I started woodworking.
Has anyone had any experience with this saw, any opinions, good or bad, would be nice to hear from the Lumberjocks Community.

Keep a sharp blade !

Dave

-- You gotta laugh a little...


35 replies so far

View Gary's profile

Gary

7524 posts in 2151 days


#1 posted 05-08-2009 04:10 AM

Lots of folks here have the Rigid. I have one and love it but, mine is cast not granit. A couple of folks here have the new one. Give them a little time to find your post and you will likely get their input
g

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 2482 days


#2 posted 05-08-2009 04:13 AM

The latest craze here is spending atleast $3 K on a SawStop table saw. It’s a must when your makeing a whopping $5 an hour in this crafty trade for fools, but ya look good doin it., well, ya think ya do, then reality sets in.

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marcb

762 posts in 2391 days


#3 posted 05-08-2009 04:43 AM

It seems to be a decently designed saw for the money. I’ve seen positive reviews of it around. Its similar to the Craftsman Hybrids (Zip Code Says as they’re reffered to) with a solid arbor casting without the tie bars meaning less alignment issues.

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a1Jim

112486 posts in 2295 days


#4 posted 05-08-2009 06:52 AM

The granite is the thing I don’t like. you can’t use magnetic feather boards.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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LesB

1075 posts in 2161 days


#5 posted 05-08-2009 07:30 AM

I have to say the granite makes me shy away. I know granite kitchen counters need regular sealing, can be etched by liquids with acid in them (juice) and also stain not to mention they can chip and potentially crack.
My experience is that you get what you pay for when you buy tools. If a good quality cabinet type saw is selling for $1200 to $1800 what are you getting for $525? But we all have budget compromises to make when we buy our tools.
You said your Craftsman was 2.5 HP the Ridgid R4511 is only 1.5hp. Even if you wire it for 240v it will still be underpowered.

-- Les B, Oregon

View glassyeyes's profile

glassyeyes

136 posts in 2047 days


#6 posted 05-08-2009 08:38 AM

PurpLev and I (glassyeyes) have the saw; PurpLev’s done a nice series on the assembly and tricking out of the saw. I’ll put some of my comments, written somewhat in a diary format, here.
I had HD load the saw in the back of my minivan—they had to use a small forklift. GET HELP getting it off and getting the main parts assembled. I came within a hair of injuring my back. I’ve had trouble getting the right wing installed; it won’t pull flush with the front of the main table. It appears that the under-the-table t-bar support channel was cut about 1/16th of an inch too far to the front. HD and Ridgid service was good. Gardner in Ohio supplies parts for Ridgid, and had to try three times to ship a new right wing. The wing weighs 52 pounds. The first one, in one layer of bubble wrap and a too-large box, arrived as gravel. The second, packed much the same, was significantly chipped. The third was better wrapped and in better shape, but was ALSO mis-cut. I eventually found enough shim stock to shim out the front rail at the wing by 40/1000th’s of an inch, and Shim all BUT the wing in back by 27/1000th’s of an inch. The rear rail is split, to save shipping costs; this offers no mechanical support to the wings. I added a heavy strap of stee, 3/16 by 1 by 48 inches, drilled to leave a slight gap at the top. Problem solved. I found Home Depot, Ridgid, and Gardner to be very helpful with this problem, although Gardner seems to have a hard time packing these properly. The first two came wrapped in two layers of bubble wrap, stuffed into an oversized box, and were padded with a few pieces of newspaper. The first arrived in pieces; the second was chipped. The third was better packed. The Gardner quality control person called on the third one, and followed up; a high level of service. It seems they get these wings in bulk, unpadded, stacked on a pallet, from the manufacturer. He said they intend to pre-pack the remaining wings so this doesn’t recur.

PRO’s: Very heavy due to granite top and fairly beefy trunnions; “passes the nickel test” Table-mounted trunnions; blade-to-slot and fence-to-slot adjustments easier Arbor flange runout of less than 1/1000th inch Closed cabinet, good dust collection Passable T-style fence Herc-U-Lift mobile base Motor power acceptable/not dazzling

CON’s VERY TOP HEAVY—and just plain heavy at about 450 lbs; dangerous to assemble alone Assembly directions aren’t that good, assuming at times you’ll puzzle it out. Some diagrams aren’t to scale, and many parts that should have been tagged weren’t (such as those on the Herc-U-Lift), but this is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime problem. Marginal level of quality control on the granite top assembly system Split fence offers no mechanical support for the wings at the rear (fixable) and inspires less confidence at the front, where alignment of the rail halves depends on a silly little plastic ring and the screws thru the bottom angle iron to hold them in exact alignment. The longer I use it, the less I like it. A carefully planed hardwood spline helped stiffen the two-piece front rail. The saw only comes with a splitter/guard, no riving knives, but it’s already set up to take them. Riving knives (from Steel City for the 35900 series saws) fit, but there have been minor issues. Part # SC10150 for the 2.5 mm knife, SC10151 for the 3.0 mm Phone # to order Steel City parts: 1-877-724-8665

Recommendation? I’d have to give it a qualified one, to be sure. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. The Steel City, for example, so similar it may be made in the same plant, includes the riving knives and appears to include the removable fence faces, making up for the $50 difference in price.

-- Now, where did I put those bandaids?

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Tim Dahn

1474 posts in 2283 days


#7 posted 05-08-2009 12:18 PM

I have this saw also and agree with glasseyes observations. My biggest complaint is the split front and rear rails for the fence but I made my own 72” front and rear rails now it glides ever so smoothly and I have a 44” rip capacity, also added riving knives. The top is very heavy and the granite is not for everybody, I chipped mine but was able to repair it. The power seem to be adequate, I have ripped 2×12x8 SYP lumber and it did fine.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Woodchuck1957's profile

Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 2482 days


#8 posted 05-08-2009 02:19 PM

When is a 1 1/2 hp, wired for 240V not enough ? And since when does a 3 hp Industrial cabinet saw become manditory in a hobby shop ?

View marcb's profile

marcb

762 posts in 2391 days


#9 posted 05-08-2009 03:00 PM

Lesb, That 2.5 on the Craftsman is not actually 2.5

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Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 2482 days


#10 posted 05-08-2009 04:21 PM

Marc, say it ain’t so. lol

View Miket's profile

Miket

308 posts in 2490 days


#11 posted 05-08-2009 04:47 PM

Woodchuck – You just can’t help but add a good word, huh?

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2366 days


#12 posted 05-08-2009 04:50 PM

‘say it ain’t so’ ... haha – good one ;o) – yeah, those HP ratings on the direct drives are sometimes annoying since you can’t really compare them to the belt driven saws – way off.

Dave – add a $3 18gauge pack of pneumatic nails – and you have the saw for $450 + tax…

go to home deopt – NOW.

PS. Thanks for everyone for the references to my blogs… always glad to see it can help

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 2482 days


#13 posted 05-08-2009 05:00 PM

Mike, I see your back to your stalking again. Some people just don’t learn, even after being visited by Texas finest.

View LesB's profile

LesB

1075 posts in 2161 days


#14 posted 05-09-2009 07:57 AM

I have used both a 1.5 hp contractors saw (for 20 years) and a 3 hp cabinet saw (the last 12 year) and I will chose the latter every chance I get. Before that I got by with a 10” Craftsman radial arm saw I bought in 1968, which does it all if you have the patients. I still have the radial arm and use it for most of my cross cutting work.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 2482 days


#15 posted 05-09-2009 03:15 PM

Les, I think the 2.5 hp saw he was refering to is a benchtop, Craftsman would NEVER over rate horsepower would they ? While a industrial cabinet saw maybe nice, they don’t allways fall within someones budget or needs.

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