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Thread: Cabinet Saw Choices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Washington State rainforest
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    Cabinet Saw Choices

    I havenít had a table saw in my shop for years (yep, Iím one of those guys - the bandsaw is the centerpiece of my shop) but I will need to produce many half lap joints in a production environment.

    Iím looking through the choices for a table saw in the shop that will be used mostly with a dado head and sled for cutting dimensional cedar, and rarely for sheet goods.

    Since the range of uses will be fairly limited, I donít see the need for a Cadillac. At the same time, itís going to get a lot of use and I like to buy machines that just work, and work consistently without fussing around with them (For instance, Iíve got Felder and Minimax in the shop)

    Iíve looked at the hybrids (like the 1.75h Powermatic PM1000) and beefier cabinet units (like the 3hp Grizzly 690) and of course everything has its downsides. The Sawstops look like excellent saws even without the added safety feature but a bit more than Iíd like to spend. Iím open to other options.

    Iíd like to keep the table saw budget to $3000 or less, preferably less, so I can invest in a Minimax jointer/planer down the road.

    Currently stuck in analysis paralysis. Thoughts, ideas?
    Don't ask me how I know that!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Upland CA
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    4,238
    Grizzly 3 HP ...Enough power for the dado head, without spending too much. If you want to go higher, the 3HP SS, for the added safety.

    I wouldn't go below 3 HP when you plan to run a dado head most of the time. I got rid of an underpowered RAS a while back for that reason.



    PS: If you are cross cutting dados in dimensional cedar, You might want to consider a RAS.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 06-07-2019 at 12:06 PM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SoCal
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    19,537
    I hung a 2HP motor on an old Craftsman/Emerson 113. contractor saw and it was great for dados. I aligned the saw well for 90 degrees, used a sled, no fence, small footprint, small price. A hybrid would have a smaller footprint and much better dust collection but, again you could do without the fence and rails. I have a slightly used Craftsman 22124 'zipcode' saw designed by Orion that was the 'king of the hybrids' in its day. If you were closer it would be a great fit for what you want to do. You could look for something similar in your area.
    She said ďHow many woodworking tools do you need?Ē
    I said ďWhy? Do you know someone who is selling some?Ē


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Depending on the size of the stock--might be easier/safer to control on a RAS than to try to push through a table saw. And if the widths/dimensions are consistent for some runs--a few stock-holding jigs on a table might allow the use of a hand-held router and jig with straight bit. Might be more cost-effective to dedicate a $300 tool to the task, might even save a little footprint at the same time.
    earl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    You can always look for a good used cabinet saw for this dedicated purposes and I'd probably do that first, even though I genuinely like "new" tools. That said, if you go "new", buy the most stripped down version of a 3hp cabinet saw (relative to fence length, etc) from whatever brand you choose, be it Grizzly, Jet, etc. You should be able to keep your cost way down that way I would think. Short fence is fine for this application yet still provides ripping of good width when necessary for some project that comes along. With Grizzly, you're looking at under $1600 for a new machine for the 1023 series.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    If half laps, why not on a shaper?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    512
    Save your money and buy a SawStop you will not regret it. High quality saw and the safety feature is worth the extra few hundred. IMO.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Washington State rainforest
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    Thanks for all the input! Really helpful.

    It looks like Iíve secured a long term arrangement producing for another outfit, so I need to hit the ground running while limiting expense if things donít work out.

    Iíll probably go with the Grizzly for now. The shaper (with a sliding table) is something i hadnít considered and will definitely look at down the road.

    Thanks again! The sawmill creek community always come through!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
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    73
    Tom, I bought a Grizzly 1023SL (left tilt) in 2003 and it’s still running strong. Never had any problems with it.
    ďLearn what you can control and what you cannot..Ē Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

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