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Thread: New to woodworking - table saw advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    New to woodworking - table saw advice

    Hello all,
    I am just getting into woodworking. For the last year I have done a good amount of milling oak trees into lumber.
    Now, I am trying to get a wood shop. I have built a few small tables but nothing to much yet. I have basic tools such a miter saw, belt sander, jigsaw, and a few other small tools.
    I am looking to purchase my first table saw and could use some advise. I have been doing some research and there is so much out there to pick from.
    My budget is around 1,200$. I will be doing a lot of thicker hardwood cuts, sometimes on boards that are slightly warped. I have 220V power in my garage as well. I will also be looking for a planer/jointer in the near future as well to help our with the warped boards.
    I am open to used. I have not been able to find a decent unisaw or powermatic around my area. I have been considering the sawstop contractor saw. It is a few hundred over what I wanted to spend, but I think it would be worth it.

    Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    5,468
    My son has a Sawstop. It seems like an excellent saw to me.

    Having almost cutting my thumb off one time, I really appreciate the protection it provides.

    If I ever replace my saw, I will get a Sawstop.

  3. #3
    I would recommend the saw stop as well. It is what I recommended to my son, but his budget wasn't quite as high as yours and he doesn't at this point intend on building furniture. He decided on the Ridgid model R4512 13 amp 10" saw. It is a decent entry level saw and was pretty well adjusted out of the box. The guards are pretty easy to work with and the fence locks up square most of the time.

    The older Craftsman table 113 model saws with cast iron tops and after market fences and miter gauges work well. That is what I have. There are good cabinet type saws in your price range on Craigs list from time to time.

    Whatever you decide upon I don't recommend any saw with direct drive for several reasons; they are very noisy,they have limited cut capacity and they usually have cheap fences and miter gauges. Belt drive saws are much quieter and have a greater cut capacity. You can also replace the motor down the road if you ever need to.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  4. #4
    Unless you are willing to invest more, SawStop is definitely not a saw I would recommend to you, because with $1200, you may only get a jobsite SawStop, a saw for contractor work, not for fine woodworking at all.

    If you are considering the SawStop contractor saw, don't! Its quality, good for the money, is nowhere near the Professional model (PCS). If I were you and were serious about doing woodworking on a long term basis (as a hobby or not), I would cry once and buy the PCS. NO one -- none -- whom I know owning a PCS regrets about their purchase decisions. While I am at it, buy the PCS with the industrial mobile base and the overarm dust collection.

    Too much money? Forget about doing woodworking as a hobby. There are many cheaper hobbies than woodworking.

    The last line is just a joke!

    If you don't want to get the PCS, buy a Ridgid (cast iron) tablesaw ($600) and Thickness planer ($400) for your budget. They offer lifetime warranty. Spend whatever is left on tablesaw safety gear such as the grr gipper etc.

    My neighbor does decent work with the Ridgid saw -- minus any SawStop protection. He has been envious of my PCS since it rolled into my shop (years and years ago). If I had to, I would have got a loan to own my PCS. Why not? I was willing to get a car loan when I was young and drove a Camaro. And my buddies were envious of my car too.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 01-08-2018 at 10:06 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Sawing thick oak that may be slightly warped is asking for a shorter life. I spent yesterday ripping 3.75" oak, 10' long and it took all of the 9 hp my slider had. If you plan to rip even 8/4 hardwood you want a full size 10" cabinet saw at the lightest. My preference would be a 12" Delta 12-14 or PM 72 either in 5 hp single phase or with a vfd if three phase. If you seldom rip thick stuff, a smaller saw will suit but no less than 3 hp given that you want the capacity for thicker. 1200 can get you a big used saw in decent shape but nothing new that is appropriate for thick, long, slighty warped boards. A bandsaw might be an option with a small jobsite saw but a good used bandsaw will be at least 1200. Dave

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Mazzino View Post
    Hello all,
    I am just getting into woodworking. My budget is around 1,200$. I will be doing a lot of thicker hardwood cuts, sometimes on boards that are slightly warped. I have 220V power in my garage as well.
    Your budget does not allow you to consider the SawStop ICS model. The PCS has the 220V option.

    Warped goods have no implications to what saw you should own (thickness, yes). You can handle any warped stock with a shop made ripping sled, whether on a contractor saw or a cabinet saw.

    If you have to handle thick stock only occasionally, switch to a thin kerf blade and make multiple passes with the ripping sled. Good dust collection would help too.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 01-08-2018 at 10:17 AM.

  7. #7
    For dealing with lumber like you describe I think a bandsaw, planer and jointer may actually be more important than a TS.

    As far as a TS, IMO for what you're doing, you need *at least* a 3HP saw, which won't be attainable in that budget unless you find one used.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    Hello all, thank you much for the replies and opinions, I really appreciate it!

    Unfortunately or fortunately, I am really into Musky fishing which is also a very expensive hobby.
    As much as I am sure the PCS is amazing, at this point I cannot afford that much or am not sure if I want to as then I would not be able to buy other tools to set my shop up for a year or two.

    The Ridgid table saw looks promising for only 600$ new at home depot.

    I actually called the gentleman for the used Ridgid table saw below and was going to look at it tomorrow evening. He said he is flexible on the price. Any opinions on that?

    Also, does anybody have any recommendations or opinions on jointer and or planer?

    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/tls...447406630.html

  9. #9
    I am in a similar position as you looking for a table saw. My budget is the $1200 to $1500 range. Be patient and keep an eye out for used machines in your area. I live in a much smaller market than you and there is still some good saws available. A PM 66 in great shape for $900 and a PM1000 that is less than a year old with 50" fence and included router in extension for $1400. If you want a new saw (there is definitely appeal in getting a new saw), there are some good saws in that range. Jet Proshop, Laguna fusion F2 (10% off through the 31st of Jan) or a grizzly hybrid. There is no saw that is perfect for everyone, look around and what you like best is probably what is best for you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Technically warped lumber can be handled with a sled, although thick oak on a 10' sled is more than I'd want to put through any small saw. Lumber that is warped is also likely to be cupped or twisted. Both are dangerous to deal with on a tablesaw. The op might want to consider having someone dress the boards to get them in condition for him to handle with lighter machinery. Dressing rough heavy hardwood is not a good way to start woodworking, especially with small machines. I do a fair amount of it ( usually for free ) for friends who don't have my heavy equipment and it is still hard work without also fighting the machine. Just know the risks. Dave

  11. #11
    For well inside of your $1200 budget you can buy an excellent Unisaw or Powermatic cabinet saw.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Mazzino View Post
    Hello all, thank you much for the replies and opinions, I really appreciate it!



    Also, does anybody have any recommendations or opinions on jointer and or planer?

    https://cleveland.craigslist.org/tls...447406630.html
    It is hard to beat the Ridgid thickness planer for its price and performance. Also lifetime warranty. If you have the Ridgid power drills, you know what it means. They replace your dead batteries for life...I have got three new batteries since my old ones died after 7 or 9 years! That was more than the cost of a new Ridgid drill.

    If that old saw is good for your woodworking (not for ripping thick oak stock, as David pointed out), try $250 or less. For that condition, I would not touch it for anything over $200, remember a new and latest model cast iron Ridgid is less than $600. That saw does not have cast iron wings which matter. (Does the new saw have better dust collection? You check that on the site.)

    Just noticed this online: HD is offering a package deal of the TS + Thickness planer + a dado blade (which is a $100 value) for $1017.97.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 01-08-2018 at 11:41 AM.

  13. #13
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    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    Hi Simon,

    Thank you much for the input. The Ridgid one seems like it would work good and be a sturdy saw. I have a Ridgid nail gun and am very happy with it.

    And by thick oak cuts I mean 2" in thickness. I know some people are cutting 4" hardwood. I do not think I will b e cutting anything that thick. Do you think the Ridgid would handle 2" thick hardwood cuts okay?

    I cannot seem to find the combo deal at HD online. Would you mind sending me the link? I noticed they also have what looks like a nice Wen 6" jointer for 250$? For around 1500$ I think I could have a small starter shop to get me going. What are your thoughts on that jointer?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Mazzino View Post
    Hi Simon,

    Thank you much for the input. The Ridgid one seems like it would work good and be a sturdy saw. I have a Ridgid nail gun and am very happy with it.

    And by thick oak cuts I mean 2" in thickness. I know some people are cutting 4" hardwood. I do not think I will b e cutting anything that thick. Do you think the Ridgid would handle 2" thick hardwood cuts okay?

    I cannot seem to find the combo deal at HD online. Would you mind sending me the link? I noticed they also have what looks like a nice Wen 6" jointer for 250$? For around 1500$ I think I could have a small starter shop to get me going. What are your thoughts on that jointer?
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-1...4512/202500206

    Scroll to the bottom to see the package offer.

    Why do you need a jointer? Use a shop-made planer sled with the thickness planer which has 12" to 13" capacity vs 7" to 9" capacity on a jointer. Google "thickness planer sled" and you will see many different designs.

    I don't have a jointer anymore and I build 60 to 65% of my work out of rough lumber.

    2" thick stock -- see my earlier thin-kerf blade suggestion.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 01-08-2018 at 12:14 PM.

  15. #15
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    Location? If we knew we could let you know about anything local that might be near both of us.
    For some reason this site occasionally forgets to add my location and I have to remind it.

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