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Thread: Steel City granite top tools.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Steel City granite top tools.

    Several years ago there was a lot of talk on this group about Steel City granite top tools and how long they would last.
    Would they stand up to something heavy getting dropped on them? Would the miter gauge slot chip out on the edges?
    After considerable time has past, How are they holding up?

    I don't own any granite top tools but thought it was an interesting idea.

    Steel-City-10-Cabinet-Saw.jpg
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  2. #2
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    Dec 2005
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    West Lafayette, IN
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    Didnít seem to have worked that good. SC is out of business and I havenít heard about granite tops in quite a while.

  3. #3
    I've had the Craftsman version granite table saw, and haven't had any problems with chipping or any other damage. That said, I've never dropped anything heavy on it, and I probably subconsciously treat it more gingerly than I would have with a cast iron top, from fear of chipping. I've been very pleased with it- it's rock solid (literally) and perfectly flat, maintenance is minimal, and the only drawback I've noticed is that I can use things such as magnetic featherboards.

  4. #4
    I too would be interested in hearing about how those granite tops have held up. That always seemed like an interesting solution/approach, regardless of the company's demise.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    Steel City is still around, now located in Quebec, with a French only website. It doesn't look like they are very serious about staying in business though. They only sell through Normand, which has 3 locations in Quebec & Ontario. All the tables are cast iron now.

    Didn't Ridgid have a granite table saw at one time?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Alberta
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    Rigid and General International both flirted with the idea.

  7. #7
    I had them on a Craftsman hybrid and, like John, I never had an issue with them nor did I drop anything heavy on them either. When the saw died and I tossed it - worm gear broke and there were no parts available for it, I kept the granite wings and now use them as a flat surface to sand on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Alberta
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    Frank thanks for the info that Steel City is still around in name anyway. I checked out Normand's web site and they have a pretty big range of Steel City machines, the most I have seen in at least 8-9 years or so. I still have a Steel City shaper that I bought about 10 years ago,one of only three machines that I have purchased new.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Auburn, WA
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    I have had the Ridgid 4511 for several years. It doesn't see very heavy usage, but it has held up well. I think I have one minor chip in the top -- must have been careless and dropped something on it.

    My only real complaint, except for the exclusion of magnetic tools, is the miter gage tee slots. They are ground into the top and have a surface finish somewhat like 600 grit sandpaper. They are not polished like the table top surface. Unfortunately, these slot surface are somewhat abrasive, which tends to scar the sides of a steel miter gage bar. Even worse, these abrasive surfaces also sand off the nylon adjustment disks of my Incra miter gage, defeating their purpose.

    The extra mass of the granite top does noticeably damp vibration, and not having to deal with the casti iron rusting problem is also a plus. That said, I would probably not choose a granite topped table saw again.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Stoops View Post
    The extra mass of the granite top does noticeably damp vibration
    Do the granite tops weigh more than cast iron tops? Iron is significantly denser than granite.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Auburn, WA
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    I do not have a definitive answer to your question, but one important difference is that, if I recall correctly, the granite top is a 3-piece 1 3/4" thick slab, with some pockets for mounting and clearances. Typically, cast iron table saw tops have a solid rim with a ribbed stiffener array underneath, eliminating a substantial percentage of the weight.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Not really an issue given the loose tolerances for wood tools. But a proper granite surface plate is supported at only three carefully calculated points. otherwise it will sag and droop loosing it's accuracy.
    Bil lD

  13. #13
    The granite top Steel City table saw (35990G) weighs 35 lbs more than the corresponding cast iron model (35990C).

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