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Thread: Need help with a table saw decision

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Need help with a table saw decision

    I'm considering buying a Delta 34-445 off of Craig's list. It has the extension table and 30" Unifence. There's also a mobile base the saw is set upon.

    Does anyone know if these saws were any good? Based on the pictures in the add, the saw looks to be in pretty good condition, and claims that the saw was used very little.

    The asking price seems a bit high, any ideas on what a decent price for this saw would be?


  2. #2
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    $150 would be a decent price. The Unifence and mobile base are a plus but the sheet metal extension on the left side is a negative.

    John

  3. #3
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    Drew do you currently have a saw at all ? That is a decent saw that is in pretty good shape. The Unifence is a great fence. What is the asking price ? Where I live (Alberta) that is a $300-400 dollar saw. Mike.

  4. #4
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    Asking is $445 but it's been up for 2 months+ (and it is still available). I'm guessing that at that price they've gotten very few bites. Someone else just posted an ad for a TS2424 in good condition asking $325.
    The problem is that the CL market is crap, there's old craftsman saws that are in (usually) poor shape for $100 or less, and then what seem to be decent older saws that seem, to me, overpriced that sit on CL for a month or two and disappear. With the occasional nicer cabinet saws, powermatic, grizzly, etc. that, I'm sure, are priced decently but are more than I'm able to spend right now.

  5. #5
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    Drew why dont you go and take a look at it. Take cash with you and then if you like it make him an offer. The worst that could happen is if he says no,but maybe he says yes. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Good luck,Mike.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2003
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    Nice saw, nice fence, nice mobile base, router table, and looks to be in nice shape, but is priced high. IMO $300ish...maybe $350 is fair for that. It's got the old style outboard motor, is right tilt, has an old school splitter vs a riving knife, and has a steel wing.
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  7. #7
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    Drew

    To be perfectly honest? It's really worth what someone will pay. $445.00 is definitely too much. That saw sold for less that $700.00, 25 years ago.
    If it's running and everything is working properly $250.00 to $300.00. I think the $150.00 might be a little low, but you never know. It does have a stamped steel extension wing though.
    That is a really crappy mobile base. I used to have the same style under my saw. Be careful if you do buy it and keep that base. When the saw is rotated on it ,sometimes the corners "dig in" and the saw starts to tilt. That base adds zero $$$$ to the value for me.
    I will tell you right up front that you may have a good cleaning job ahead of you. There is rust exhibited on the heads of bolts, and the trunnion mechanism, there is also sawdust present. This tells me that it may be a little "gummy" with respects to the blade raise and tilt mechanism. Rust means exposure to moisture. The accumulated sawdust will collect and hold that moisture, and then cake up. Any greases, or lubricants, will become part of that caked up sawdust. This isn't bad, it just needs to be cleaned up. It can actually bind up the mechanism to the point of throwing it out of alignment and stripping worm gears.
    I have JET Contractor saw of the same vintage, and style. It used to be stored in an open bay garage. That's how I know about the rust, sawdust, and grease.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 08-12-2018 at 9:24 AM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Walton View Post
    The problem is that the CL market is crap, there's old craftsman saws that are in (usually) poor shape for $100 or less,
    Oddly enough, my 1970's Craftsman/Emerson (113. prefix machines) was superior to my 1970's Delta 34- series contractor saw. I sold the Craftsman for more than I paid for it and eventually had to give the Delta away. The used tool market is a moving target. All of my used tools were bought when opportunity knocked. Luck favors the prepared and all that rot.

    The saw in your first post has a good fence, a nice mobile base and the motor is probably a solid 1 HP. If I paid $300 for that and considered the saw a free add-on I would feel I did OK. I bought a new hybrid saw once based on the value of the Biesemeyer fence, the blade and the cast iron wings; at the Memorial Day sale price the saw was pretty much free.

    My point in that many responses to "what is this tool worth?" questions are answered based on the respondent's last experience and may not apply to the current market. Compare all the used machines in your area that meet your minimum requirement and judge their prices against each other. This will help you determine a "good deal" for your area . . . today.

    If the posting has been up for more than 30 days the seller either isn't motivated or is just confused about valuation. You can certainly make an offer that you will be comfortable with and if it works, you're in. If not, move on. Do not let impatience rule your decision. that road often leads to buyer's remorse.
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

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  9. #9
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    I looked at the St. Louis CL, and it's really pretty good for table saws. There are a couple of 66's, a Grizzly cabinet saw, and even a slider for 3k. The trouble with contractors saws is that dust collection is almost impossible. Also, getting the blade to be, or even stay parallel to the fence is not so straight forward as it is with cabinet saws because the trunnion hangs from the top.

    Having a table saw well tuned, and stable(heavy) makes it easy to do good work, while not having those things makes it a real fight.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I looked at the St. Louis CL, and it's really pretty good for table saws. There are a couple of 66's, a Grizzly cabinet saw, and even a slider for 3k. The trouble with contractors saws is that dust collection is almost impossible. Also, getting the blade to be, or even stay parallel to the fence is not so straight forward as it is with cabinet saws because the trunnion hangs from the top.

    Having a table saw well tuned, and stable(heavy) makes it easy to do good work, while not having those things makes it a real fight.
    The thing is that I'm looking for something a bit more entry level (sub $500) at this point. And while there are some that are great saws for more than that, it is difficult for me to justify spending more than that for a single piece of equipment on a hobby that I'm just starting. Assuming that I stick with it, dropping a few grand on a much better saw in a few years will be much less of a concern. Additionally, in my current house space is low so that is also a concern. (Plans to move in the next few years)

    I'm not trying to find the deal of the century, I'm just looking for a tool that will provide decent quality for what it is, will allow me to get a feel for the work, and is priced appropriate to what it delivers. It just seems like it goes from under $100 rusted out hunks to over $800 nice with little in between. Maybe I'm wrong in assuming that there should be something in between?

    That one PM66 that's on there is beautiful though, if I had the space for it and knew that I would stick with it I'd snatch it up in a second.
    Last edited by Drew Walton; 08-12-2018 at 2:05 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Walton View Post
    The thing is that I'm looking for something a bit more entry level (sub $500) at this point. And while there are some that are great saws for more than that, it is difficult for me to justify spending more than that for a single piece of equipment on a hobby that I'm just starting. Assuming that I stick with it, dropping a few grand on a much better saw in a few years will be much less of a concern. Additionally, in my current house space is low so that is also a concern. (Plans to move in the next few years)

    I'm not trying to find the deal of the century, I'm just looking for a tool that will provide decent quality for what it is, will allow me to get a feel for the work, and is priced appropriate to what it delivers. It just seems like it goes from under $100 rusted out hunks to over $800 nice with little in between. Maybe I'm wrong in assuming that there should be something in between?

    That one PM66 that's on there is beautiful though, if I had the space for it and knew that I would stick with it I'd snatch it up in a second.

    Drew
    If that saw is working properly, I promise you that it is capable of doing some very fine work. It just takes a little more attention on the operator's behalf. It's never going to be a "set it and forget it" saw. You'll alway have to double check it prior to use. That's just the nature of contractor saws though
    It's also light enough, weight wise, that if you get into a major home renovation it can be moved into the house to save time.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  12. #12
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    If you are just starting out get a DeWalt jobsite 10Ē saw,



    5F9FCEC4-D4E1-43A7-B921-4DC0E7EFDBB3.jpg


    Get the stand that comes with the saw and make a couple if saw horses that are the right height to create a outfeed table thatís some what portable .

    Youíll be money ahead of buying a older contractors saw that may not function properly.

    Once you decide if youíll stick with the hobby and move to your new location , you can up grade to a cabinet style table saw.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2005
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    West Lafayette, IN
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    $445? Sheesh, Iím selling a Ď43 Uni for $300, itís 3 phase but for another $200 for a VFD youíd have it converted single phase.

  14. #14
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    New Jersey
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    I haven't looked but the Rigid Contractor saw isn't a bad saw and can be had for about your budget. If you were in the military, you could get a discount.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Drew
    If that saw is working properly, I promise you that it is capable of doing some very fine work. It just takes a little more attention on the operator's behalf. It's never going to be a "set it and forget it" saw. You'll alway have to double check it prior to use. That's just the nature of contractor saws though
    It's also light enough, weight wise, that if you get into a major home renovation it can be moved into the house to save time.
    +1. Nothing wrong with a contractor saw. I've done a lot of pretty good work on my 34-444, which has that same sheet metal wing and a 52" Biesemeyer. Yes, that wing is occasionally an annoyance, but it's fully functional. The price on "yours" seems high - I paid $400 for mine - but I don't know your area.

    If it starts up and runs right, you're getting a reasonable starter saw with a respectable fence. (The fence is one important part of getting good cuts. I started with a portable jobsite saw and got rid of it as fast as I could because the fence stunk.)

    Good luck Drew!

    Edit: Is driving to Cleveland to buy Matt's Unisaw an option for you?
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 08-12-2018 at 3:10 PM.
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