Opinions Wanted Looking to buy a table saw

mike

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I am in the market for a table saw. Any suggestions on brands and places to purchase? We are building an 800 sq ft addition to our building that will be a dedicated mldg cutting, joining and storing shop and if you could suggest any other wood working toys that are useful in a shop dedicated for the processing of frames that would be helpful also. I was thinking of maybe a joiner also. Mike
 

Baer Charlton

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Grizzly only repairs their's if you send it back to them in Seattle.... (at 980lbs..
that could get expensive.)

Jet/Delta/International.... all made by the same plant in Taiwan.

General has the best seat truneons.

Other than that.... grab a few of the woodworking magazine's "shoot-out"
articles or I think it's Woodworking magazine that has a year-end comparison issue.
 

wpfay

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Depending on your level of expertise and that of anyone that might be operating a table saw, you might want to consider a Saw-Stop model. If you are going to be having multiple users, look at getting some basic safety training for everyone.
Cabinet shops are experiencing the same attrition as frame shops. Very good used equipment can be had.
 

David Waldmann

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Delta Uni-Saw. Unless you want something a lot bigger - then maybe an Altendorf.
 

Bron

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Delta is undergoing some pains, FYI. ( I've had parts issues for the last several months) Grizzly and Jet seem to be the reliable companies now. They'll ship parts, they 're pretty simple machines, and motors can be rewound or replaced. I have an Italian power feeder that needed the motor rewound; probably cost the same as a new motor, but new wouldn't fit. When I started, power feeders came from Italy. Not sure about Powermatic. Used Inca saws, European in style, are a good value, considering their initial cost. ( I own two Inca machines, and really like them, as they are compact, light, and very precise.) Sheet goods, one of the big, iron saws is better. Ripping and crosscutting lumber, you can go smaller, contractor type or cabinet, like the Inca saws. As an aside, I knew a guy making very credible Chippendale reproductions using a "table saw" made from plywood and a hand circular saw, with a home made fence. It's not always the equipment. Good tools make your life easier, but they won't necessarily make the work better.
 

Baer Charlton

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I just did some serious tire(tin) kicking this weekend.

I heard the same old complaints about Grizzly, but the still rated
Grizz above where Delta has sunk to. When they "off-shored"
they didn't stop at Taiwan and take them up on their expertise
and know-how from years of making the many different colored
knock-offs.

Delta used to cast their tops here in the USA, then set the castings
out in back to weather..... a few years later, they would sandblast them
and then machine the surfaces to +/- 2/10,000ths. Now, you can stick
a straight edge on the top and see with the naked eye what their
machining is.... and how green the castings are. Sad.
Black and Decker, was the wrecker of more then the pecker.

So, my bottom line - - go with the great white Jet
Unless you want to step up to a Powermatic.... but it better be making
you some serious money.
 

wpfay

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Sawstop is the best table saw you can buy. Watch the video. Then watch it again.

http://www.sawstop.com/?gclid=CLLd14Kp7a8CFQ5rhwodAzXo0w

I would say that Sawstop is the safest tablesaw you can buy, not the best. I got to "kick the tires" of Inca Injecta at Garret Wade's showroom in NYC many years ago. Those are the best. Suffice to say I ended up with a brand new 1980 Craftsman 10" "contractor" table saw. A little tweaking to get the trunions aligned, and she's been faithful ever since (I did get a new motor about 12 years ago).

If I could find a good used Delta Unisaw with a Biesemeyer fence, I would trade up.
 

David Waldmann

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Sawstop is the best table saw you can buy. Watch the video. Then watch it again.

http://www.sawstop.com/?gclid=CLLd14Kp7a8CFQ5rhwodAzXo0w

If you want a small saw, that's probably a good option. Sawstop doesn't make anything bigger than 7.5hp or 10" diameter, although to be honest, 7.5hp for a 10" blade is overkill IMO unless you are dadoing all day at the maximum capacity of 13/16 x 3-1/8 in which case it's right on the money.

But as a counterpoint, why would you be using a table saw without a guard in the first place? 99.99% (maybe more) of the time we are using our table saw it is with a power feed. There's no need (and actually pretty difficult) to get your fingers anywhere near the blade. And you certainly can't (at least, I couldn't) trust the technology enough to use it in the place of common safety sense. Even the manufacturer doesn't trust it enough to put their money where their mouth is, i.e. a live demo of a real finger instead of a hot dog.
 

wpfay

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Even the manufacturer doesn't trust it enough to put their money where their mouth is, i.e. a live demo of a real finger instead of a hot dog.

I watched a video where the inventor did just that. But it was very controlled, nothing like real life situations. If he had lost his grip on a piece of wood, or tried to force something that was binding, a bandaid would not have been enough. As it was, he allowed the blade to just nick the side of his finger. I real life the finger would have been moving into the blade at a much higher rate of speed.
Maybe they should test it with a chicken leg and a fast crosscut action...bet they still sever the leg.

I agree wholeheartedly about the possible disadvantage of sawstop. It is no replacement for correct operation and the use of power feeds, featherboards, push sticks, and other devices that take the place of hands. The machine is almost never at fault when an accident occurs. Sawstop might just give operators a sense of false security, though I'm certain they don't use that as a selling tool.
 

Baer Charlton

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I know only one woodworker.... out of the literally hundreds I know and
interact with... who ever lost a finger in the woodshop.

I have a scar from doing the same stupid thing. Work many very long
days... you're dog tired ... but the project is almost done......

and you go to wipe that mass of sawdust off of the router table....

Yes, I have had a "problem" with a table saw..... 10hp Powermatic
has a wonderful kickback when you get sloppy...... that bruise spread
up past my belt, and down to my knees.

One of the first things you learn (or should learn) in a woodshop is
the band saw. With the bar down to hovering over the wood, it is the safest
saw of all..... and the first thing you make - - is a raft of push sticks....

Next are feather boards.

I would never own, work around or condone the ownership or use of
a Sawstop.

When seatbelts became manditory... they saved lives (good or bad thing?)
but the rate of speeding excessively, and accidents have risen dramatically.
They all think that bit of nylon and balloon in the steering wheel has you
covered and your safe to be stupid.

Dull knives cause more trips to the ER than sharp ones.
 

Jeff Rodier

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The local college owns one of the saw stop machines. After testing it twice at $200 per test they stopped showing it off.
 

MIK

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I have a 10 inch Jet Cabinet table saw which I truly like. It is a left tilt saw. I almost have a total Jet workshop...not counting the framing equipment.
 

Jeff Rodier

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I have a Jet for general light duty work also. If I were doing serious work with it I would have gone for a cast top rather than the stamped.
 

MIK

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I have a Jet for general light duty work also. If I were doing serious work with it I would have gone for a cast top rather than the stamped.

My Jet has a cast iron top.

If you can find a really old Delta cabinet saw, now that was a workhorse!
 

Jeff Rodier

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You planned for it to do more serious work than I planned for mine. It comes in both flavors and the difference is money and weight. If I owned my building I would have gone heavy but have already moved it several times. Both are good saws but the stamped top requires some ingenuity for certain projects.
 

Bob Doyle

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I know only one woodworker.... out of the literally hundreds I know and
interact with... who ever lost a finger in the woodshop. ...s.


Baer, I too almost lost a finger (or two) to my table saw. My carenter neighbor also almost lost a couple of fingers to his saw, and his is a much better one than mine. My wife works in a high school and had a student that had to have 4 fingers sewn back on.

All these examples could be written off as operator error, I was rushing, my neighbor had "a fainting spell" his heart is weakening, and the high schooler was high.. None of these errors are atypical of a shop setting. we are all stupid at times, rush at times and are getting older.

If I was responsible for the safety of people working for me I would have a Saw Stop. I would like a better saw than the one they use, and am under the impression that a Saw Stop would be available as an add-on option to other saws in the future. But were I setting up a high school wood shop, were I setting up a frame shop with a table saw in the mix then I would seriously consider a Saw Stop, before they became required equipment by OSHA.

iI can completely understand a true professional such as yourself being leery of a new gadget with extraneous bells and whistles, but for worker safety, and where the workers may not be anywhere near as talented or experienced with all manner of woodworking equipment safety would be paramount. And if they were "trained" using a SawStop then they would, IMO, be more apted to lose a finger/hand than someone that had no experience with the SawStop. They would have been careless and lax about safety as the machine took care of it. I agree that safety equipment can go too far, but with this kind of "accident" waiting to happen the safety afforded by a SawStop is worth considering....
 

Baer Charlton

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Baer, I too almost lost a finger (or two) to my table saw. My carenter neighbor also almost lost a couple of fingers to his saw, and his is a much better one than mine. My wife works in a high school and had a student that had to have 4 fingers sewn back on.

and as for sewing the kids fingers back on...... well, I have my own very serious opinions about
how woodshop is taught now that teachers can no longer use a judicious paddle.

The SawStop was offered as an add-on long before he decided that he could make
more money bringing in an inferior saw out fitted by the "Ultimate Safety Device".....

It's not just me that is not enamored by the SS, it runs very deep in the woodworker
community. There is a base (even with the motor-heads) that safety starts between
the ears.

I had the Porche, therefore, I was the shop's ambulance driver. New employees are
amazing..... they lie about what they can do or have worked on.

Abbie Normal was a kid who presented us with a high school transcript that said
4 years in woodshop.
Took the end of his fore-finger off with a scroll saw..... (we ran a hot dog through
and it took a count of 4 to get through.... ) When his parents wanted to sue, we
showed them the hot dog test, and then the bogus transcripts. We suggested he
learn a safer trade like selling shoes...... he joined the Army.... we didn't want to know.

Stevie Wonder was a little older, and we wondered how he did it. Split the web and
straight back to the wrist.... on his right hand. We don't know if he took off his left
thumb before or after..... all on a band saw. Said the guard was in his way and
couldn't see the cut.... so he moved it from where it had been for over 12 years.

That is when the charge nurse told the receptionist to hurry up and give me her number,
before I brought in a worker that had taken off a whole limb instead of pieces.
 

Bob Doyle

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Alright Baer. Then I will say that a valuable safety tool for a business is a SawStop. Screw the personal safety of the workers, I want to protect my business from lawsuits by resume padders, pot smokers and highly distractable people. If I am not worried about an idiot losing a finger or two I may be worried about losing my business to an idiot. ;)

I don't doubt that the table is too light for the saw. I don't doubt that the motor is ill suited. And I don't doubt that getting bit by the blade right before it locks up will wake up the fool running the saw. Even if that fool is me.

When you hear about old mill accidents, people arms getting caught, people falling in, you don't instantly blame the person that fell in. You look at the machine and you address the unsafe components. Blade guards, belt guards, feather boards, push sticks. Then you train people to use these tools properly. I think the SawStop is just a first generation safety product. It'll get updated, improved, modified.

One last thing I'll say, if I had lost my hand, fingers to the table saw I would never use it again. Either out of fear or out of inability. Probably wouldn't be able to use a router, drill or other tools that require a pretty solid grip. But I think if I had used a SawStop I would have a very boring story to relate and no scar :) If I had an employee lose a finger or hand I would probably still be in court, if I had a SawStop I would be out $200 and a few hours of work time fixing the saw. And no lawyer costs...

That said, at home I still have the saw that bit me. It has no blade guard, still. And I still use it.
 

CAframer

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There are lots of reports on, and comparisons of, Sawstop products on woodworking sites (such as this one). Personally I value the increased safety, and reduced liability risk. We have two Sawstop units in our community's shared access woodshop.
 

Baer Charlton

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That said, at home I still have the saw that bit me. It has no blade guard, still. And I still use it.

Thought about this yesterday as I ran some 3/4x3/4 stock..... "boy this would be embarrassing if
I lost a finger today.... "

I don't know if we kept the guard or not.... probably got sold for scrap.

Now the stupid that I share space with.... (OK, my table saw is in his garage
across the street from my garage (?) that has the bandsaw)

I have bought and left at least a half dozen safety glasses/goggles over there.....
and he still refuses to use them....
 

Bandsaw

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I will comment on the idea of aquiring a tablesaw as I have been using tablesaws for over 50 years, was well trained in a cabinet shop during high school and college, and have owned my own saws for 40 years. I currently use a Unisaw which I bought new about 30 years ago - it's a fine saw.

Tablesaws do many different cuts from sheets of plywood to long, thin boards, to joinery cuts on smaller workpieces, to miters on picture frame mouldings. In each case there are potential accidents and the saw has to be setup correctly for each. For example an out feed table or even a helper is essential for sheets of plywood or long boards. For small joinery cuts a "sled" can be an essential safety device.

The key piece of advice I can give to a new saw owner is to get some training by a suitable person. You must learn the danger dynamics of the back side of the blade so you can make good decisions on setting up cuts. Within the woodworkers I have had a first hand connection there are 5 hand injuries - all happened cutting small parts without a sled and were caused by the backside of the blade energy causing the wood to shift suddenly- "KICKBACK". To prevent the wood shift a splitter or riving knife should be used on a saw ALWAYS. I learned this when I was about 15.

You can also shove your hand into the front of the blade and in many cuts the saw guard would prevent this. Few old time woodworkers ever used the guard. And in many cuts the guard is simply in the way or arguably may be a safety hazard itself. I use a guard when suitable.

I have seen the Sawstop demonstrations a number of times. I recently searched out and used a sawstop for a few projects. It's a great saw. Now that my Grandson is showing interest in my shop, I've got him on handplanes, chisels, and handsaws, I'm considering buying a Sawstop - I think it's the best safety devise you can get.
 
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