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Thread: '03 Minimax SC2 vs. New Grizzly Slider

  1. #1

    '03 Minimax SC2 vs. New Grizzly Slider

    First time here!

    I'll keep it brief. I'm at a point where I want to get a slider for my small shop. Budget is under 3k (less is better). So I have the option of picking up a brand new Grizzly 10" sliding table saw for $2850 delivered (it's on sale + 10% coupon) or there is a well-kept 2003 Minimax SC2 near me, which I talked him down to $2300.

    Can a 15 year old slider really still be better than a new one?

    Any help would be, well.. helpful! Thanks

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    San Francisco, CA
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    8,610
    Do the two saws have the same capacity? I'd lean strongly toward the one with longer stroke.

  4. #4
    Yes, same stroke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
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    5,210
    Do both have scoring? Scoring blades that run off the main blade are less than ideal but scoring with a separate motor is nice to have. Older isn't necessarily a negative. Condition is key but older machines without electronics are usually built better for the price and a better value. Erik here has sold the MM so he might chime in. I'd be holding out for 2K with the Grizzly as plan B unless the MM looks really good. then I would prefer it at 2300. I'm not a fan of a support arm on a saw relatively short stroke saw. Dave

  6. #6
    Yep, both have scoring. Not entirely sure if either runs off the main motor vs. seperate motor though.

    My concern is the bearings/mechanism for the slide. Wouldn't it be prone to wearing out and losing a level of precision over 15 years of use? (My knowledge on how the slides function is very little, so perhaps wear is negligble?)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Central WI
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    It takes a lot of use to wear the bearings on the slider. I'm more concerned with the thickness of the extrusions and the build of the cabinet that supports the cast iron and the sliding table. Being able to inspect the cast iron table for flat is a big deal to me. If the fixed table isn't flat, the slider is hard to adjust. If the build isn't heavy and you drop stock that you can barely lift on the machine, the settings can go. Motor bearings are more likely to need replacement but that isn't a big job. Check the sliding table with a dial indicator set on the fixed as it moves along it's length and check that the crosscut fence can be easily set to 90 when put on. It is a royal PITA if the fence is difficult to adjust. Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Grassy Lake Alberta
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    923
    Hey Stuart I bought a Minimax Sc2 about that age or older about two years ago. I replaced bearings in the slider assembly on mine.It was a time consuming process but worked out well. The saw is built like a tank,great quality. My scoring was belt drive off the main motor. Once I had the saw all dialed in ,it was an excellent machine. For me it showed me how great a true sliding saw was. I sold it and now have a Felder k700s. Everything is adjustable on the Minimax. I found it as well as most other Italian machines I own, built with a simple,very stout and straight forward design. No real extra bells and whistles just real good function. I have never seen or laid hands on a Grizzly slider so have no knowledge to share on them.

  9. #9
    Mike,

    Thanks for the info! That is definitely helpful. How was much was it to replace the bearings? How many hours did it take?

    I'm definitely a fan of buying older, quality machines. I have a fully restored 1972 Powermatic 66 right now, along with my restored 16" Moak jointer and a older General 25" drum sander built like a tank. So the Minimax would "fit" better in my shop than a new Grizzly. Just wanna make sure it's at least up to par as the Grizzly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Florida
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    1,003
    That my Powermatic 66? How’s it doing?


    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart Lang View Post
    Mike,

    Thanks for the info! That is definitely helpful. How was much was it to replace the bearings? How many hours did it take?

    I'm definitely a fan of buying older, quality machines. I have a fully restored 1972 Powermatic 66 right now, along with my restored 16" Moak jointer and a older General 25" drum sander built like a tank. So the Minimax would "fit" better in my shop than a new Grizzly. Just wanna make sure it's at least up to par as the Grizzly.

  11. #11
    Greg!! Fancy meeting you here! Yes sir, she's rock solid and a joy to use. I plan on keeping it in addition to a new slider hopefully, I just couldn't let myself part with such a well-restored beauty! How's the Hammer working out for you?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
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    923
    Stewart I measured the bearings with a caliper and ordered new ones from Mcmaster Carr. The fun part is installing them in a carriage that rides between the extrusions that make up the sliding table, That in itself is not too hard, getting the "timing" right so the slider has the full length of stroke is the fun part. You have to start the pieces in the right place in relation to each other. I parked a sawhorse with a piece of plywood screwed to the proper height to support the sliding extrusion and proceeded to try and try again. After about 50 attempts I nailed it. It really helps to use a pencil to mark starting positions,something I started after about attempt number 37. My guess is this machine would be equal to or better than the Grizzly. Like I said before I have no firsthand knowledge of Grizzly sliders. I have there 5 h.p. cyclone dust collector and one of my old employees has a 1023 cabinet saw that is a real nice machine. That is the sum total of my Grizzly exposure.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Florida
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    Thats good to hear. The Felder is working out well even though I don’t get much shop time these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart Lang View Post
    Greg!! Fancy meeting you here! Yes sir, she's rock solid and a joy to use. I plan on keeping it in addition to a new slider hopefully, I just couldn't let myself part with such a well-restored beauty! How's the Hammer working out for you?

  14. #14
    It will be interesting to see what people have to say about that Grizzly once there are enough of them out there for people to post some reviews. It certainly is dramatically less expensive than even the next least expensive option. Just looking at the pictures, one not-so-appealing aspect is that the fixed part of the sliding table appears to project out quite a way from the front of the saw--so far that it looks impossible to stand in the conventional position when using the rip fence. On the Hammer K3, the projection is only around a foot or so, depending, which makes it possible to position yourself more or less where you'd want to be. Also, one of the reviews on Grizzly's website suggests the riving knife is designed such that it cannot be mounted low enough to remain on for non-through cuts. If that's true, it's a significant negative, since getting a riving knife installed and aligned absent a quick release that holds the setting is fussy and not fun IME.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Racine Ohio
    Posts
    47
    Where are you located Stewart? I have a minimax sc4ws with a 102" stroke. scoring blade 5hp motor 220 single phase that I'm looking to sell in the near future

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