What table saw are you using?

emoney

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So my Craftsman contractor table saw is just not going to cut it because I need to build a couple pieces of furniture and some cabinets.
You probably don't know this, but I've moved my shop back to my garage and put everything on wheels so I can roll it outside as I feel like I've sucked in enough dust to last me. So keep portability in mind. And its because of that, coupled with the fact that I don't have 220 readily available in my driveway, that cabinet saws are OUT of the question. Doesn't hurt that I also dont want to spend over $2000. So rule #1 is it must be single phase...120v.

I've looked at the Delta Contractor at Lowes for $670ish and the Rigid at HomeDepot for $730ish. What else should I be looking at? I should add, that I do own a track saw, so worst comes to worst, I could cut up the large plywood pieces with that. I want a saw that will easily roll out of the garage. Definitely want a heavy duty table...cast iron I guess...because of the mobile aspect. And I don't want to spend over $1000.00 I have to say, between the two mentioned, I'm leaning towards the Delta. It's lighter, and takes up a smidge less room. I've seen as many pro opinions as I have con opinions on either. If you have experience with either, I'd love to hear it. Thanks.
 

Tweaker

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I have a Dewalt table saw...I think it's the DW745. Not sure if they're still making that model or if they've upgraded, but I love it. I've had a couple issues raising the blade and having to grease the rails the motor rides on but now I know to keep it lubricated and haven't had any issues since.

The rack and pinion fence is awesome. I modified mine to get a wider rip capacity from it (24"). I build entertainment centers and cabinets with it and it's been great. I also got the wheel base with the foldout legs and that was a major win. Easy storage and mobility. Perfect for what you're needing to do. Get a few roller stands from Harbor Freight and you can manage pretty much anything with it.

I just did a quick search on Home Depot's site, this looks like a pretty awesome setup: DEWALT 15 Amp Corded 10 in. Job Site Table Saw with Rolling Stand-DWE7491RS - The Home Depot

I'm not sure if the tables on the Dewalt saws are cast iron but I haven't had any durability issues with mine and it's been on quite a few jobsites.
 

emoney

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Glad you posted that link, because I just noticed that Rigid has now built a newer saw. Originally, I was comparing it to this one;

But this "new"(?) model is more similar to the Delta I saw at Lowe's

Here's the Delta;
 

mistermikev

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tablesaw was on my list of tools I was going to avoid at all costs... because statistically they are the most dangerous tool in the shop... not coincidentally the most useful tool as well imo.

Got along w/o one for quite a while and then my brother and mother gifted me a sawstop jobsite pro.

I worked as a cab maker when I was young so had the luxury of learning on an industrial delta tablesaw, so that is sort of my frame of reference. Sawstop is awfully expensive, but it IS a very nice saw and won't save you from kick backs but will save your fingers should you loose concentration, do something stupid... or just make a mistake.

despite 1.5hp motor I've cut through 8/4 ash without bogging down or anything. The ability to raise the blade w a single turn is very nice. Raising it a small amount with precision is surprisingly nice too - very well thought out. the jobsite is super mobile, yet sturdy. good dust collection setup. tools are all right there secured. the face of the saw is very durable and won't require constant waxing nor rust issues.

the one bad thing: the fence on it is absolutely crap for any sort of precision work. I contacted them, complained, they don't have a solution. the back side of the fence is not secured and just rides along on a wheel so even tuning/tightened down it moves a small amount. Bought some square steel tubing so I could increase the depth of the saw just big enough to fit a delta t3 fence on it. Makes it much less mobile... but using infinity super general, I have ripped/joined 8/4 ash for a body right off the saw with no sanding and the joint was invisible thru and thru.

anywho, hope something there adds to the conversation.
 

cmjohnson

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Don't ask me the model but I have a Craftsman table saw that my father bought, must have been around 40 years or so. It's an excellent saw with cast iron table extensions and very sturdy.

I never get complacent about safety around it, and have never had any serious incidents with it. I've had a kickback once or twice, but as I stay out of the path of kickbacked objects, no harm was done.
 

mistermikev

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Don't ask me the model but I have a Craftsman table saw that my father bought, must have been around 40 years or so. It's an excellent saw with cast iron table extensions and very sturdy.

I never get complacent about safety around it, and have never had any serious incidents with it. I've had a kickback once or twice, but as I stay out of the path of kickbacked objects, no harm was done.
some folks are certainly more safety conscious than others... but if you think it can't happen to you... ok. I've never assumed that guy with 9 fingers got there because he wasn't as safe as me... even absolute expert veterans can have a bad day/lapse of focus/event-outside-their-control.
 

cmjohnson

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I always assume it COULD happen to me, so I never allow myself to get complacent and NEVER do risky things to get a cut done. It's NEVER worth it when the price of an error can be crippling for life.
 

mistermikev

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I always assume it COULD happen to me, so I never allow myself to get complacent and NEVER do risky things to get a cut done. It's NEVER worth it when the price of an error can be crippling for life.
I actually didn't realize when I first got sawstop that you aren't supposed to run blades with anti kickback shoulders as they could prevent the blade from stopping as fast as they should... it could have happened right then... it can happen still. even having a sawstop... mechanism could fail... sure I'd have a lawsuit but a lotta good that'd do me when trying to fret a f major bar chord!
 

Roxy13

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Yeah, Sawstop or not I would still be as careful as I've always been just in case it doesn't work as it's supposed to.

I've been using table saws over 30 years now but I constantly monitor what is going on, where my hands are, etc. I make sure my blood sugar isn't low before I start using it as that makes my hands shake or even keeps me from being as focused as I need to be.
 

pavel

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I'm fortunate to have the cabinet sawstop with a nice fence, it is a precision instrument, a dream to use. I do have to remind myself that despite the safety features, it is still a huge piece of machinery that needs to be treated with respect.

When I first got it, I ran it on 110V. I since got 220V in my garage so I converted the saw with their 220V upgrade kit. It was fine for all of my woodworking in the 110V configuration, the only practical difference I see after reconfiguring it is it spins up much faster.
 

Joe Desperado

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There are some many excellent oid Craftsman 10" saws out there. Any of the cast iron 103,xxx are great saws. I have had several. I ended up most recently with the DeWalt 10" (Yellow ) saw. Probably the 745 or similar. Mostly because I store mine in a cabinet when not in use these days. Great saw. You will probably need to make a zero clearance plate for it if cutting small material. But I have had no issue making furniture or guitars with the DeWalt.
 

fumblefinger

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I'm on the Craftsman with a cast iron table and extensions side. Granted, the fence that comes with it sucks. I just measure from the fence to the channel milled in the top at the front and back to set mine. I'm sure one of the premium fences would be a worthwhile investment. I built a base for mine that rides on locking casters. Then a plywood top that slides on and off gives me an additional portable work area. Plus, I can store all of my attachments in the base. And I've made furniture with it. In fact there is a table extension I made to match one we have on it. And I've cut 8/4 purpleheart with it.
 

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cmjohnson

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Regarding kickback, there are two schools of thought on blade setup. One, keep the blade as low as possible, so it takes low angle cuts in the wood BUT if there's a kickback it's at FULL SPEED. However, there's minimal exposed blade, which contributes to safety other than kickbacks. It also gives a smoother cut finish and is gentler on the wood.

The other, keep the blade as high as possible, which of course increases the exposed blade, but since the wood is being cut almost from straight above it, this means that a kickback will not have the speed and force in your direction. But your cut finishes may suffer for this, particularly if you're cutting plywood of any kind.

And any blade height in between will blend those two factors.
 

LtDave32

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I have a Dewalt table saw...I think it's the DW745. Not sure if they're still making that model or if they've upgraded, but I love it. I've had a couple issues raising the blade and having to grease the rails the motor rides on but now I know to keep it lubricated and haven't had any issues since.

The rack and pinion fence is awesome. I modified mine to get a wider rip capacity from it (24"). I build entertainment centers and cabinets with it and it's been great. I also got the wheel base with the foldout legs and that was a major win. Easy storage and mobility. Perfect for what you're needing to do. Get a few roller stands from Harbor Freight and you can manage pretty much anything with it.

I just did a quick search on Home Depot's site, this looks like a pretty awesome setup: DEWALT 15 Amp Corded 10 in. Job Site Table Saw with Rolling Stand-DWE7491RS - The Home Depot

I'm not sure if the tables on the Dewalt saws are cast iron but I haven't had any durability issues with mine and it's been on quite a few jobsites.

I cut a 2-foot board on my DeWalt with rack & pinion, I have between 0 and.002 runout from end to end.

that's one straight cutter.
 

pshupe

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Regarding kickback, there are two schools of thought on blade setup. One, keep the blade as low as possible, so it takes low angle cuts in the wood BUT if there's a kickback it's at FULL SPEED. However, there's minimal exposed blade, which contributes to safety other than kickbacks. It also gives a smoother cut finish and is gentler on the wood.

The other, keep the blade as high as possible, which of course increases the exposed blade, but since the wood is being cut almost from straight above it, this means that a kickback will not have the speed and force in your direction. But your cut finishes may suffer for this, particularly if you're cutting plywood of any kind.

And any blade height in between will blend those two factors.


I have been around tables saws and their use for 30 yrs at least. About 10 yrs ago I took a safety course at a local college. The instructor recommended having the blade gullet above the workpiece about 1/2". That keeps the blade out of the way as much as possible while reducing the backward pressure which can cause bad kickback.

My father was a general contractor and I worked with him since I was under 10yrs old. The weekend after I completed the safety course. My father and I were working on a project. There were 10 cardinal rules from the safety course. My father broker 5 of them in about 2 hrs of working. LOL But he knows his tools and knows exactly how they work. I kept reminding him when he did something questionable but he has been working with wood working machinery for over 60 yrs and never had an accident where he missed a day of work. Although he did screw his thumb to the back of drywall one day! ;-)

The takeaway is know how the equipment works and be attentive. I am hyper focussed when working on the table saw. I am also a hobbyist so taking my time and repetitive processes and full days of table saw work is not an issue.

Regards Peter.

PS - I have a King 3 hp cabinet saw.
 

SlingBlader

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I have been around tables saws and their use for 30 yrs at least. About 10 yrs ago I took a safety course at a local college. The instructor recommended having the blade gullet above the workpiece about 1/2". That keeps the blade out of the way as much as possible while reducing the backward pressure which can cause bad kickback.

My father was a general contractor and I worked with him since I was under 10yrs old. The weekend after I completed the safety course. My father and I were working on a project. There were 10 cardinal rules from the safety course. My father broker 5 of them in about 2 hrs of working. LOL But he knows his tools and knows exactly how they work. I kept reminding him when he did something questionable but he has been working with wood working machinery for over 60 yrs and never had an accident where he missed a day of work. Although he did screw his thumb to the back of drywall one day! ;-)

The takeaway is know how the equipment works and be attentive. I am hyper focussed when working on the table saw. I am also a hobbyist so taking my time and repetitive processes and full days of table saw work is not an issue.

Regards Peter.

PS - I have a King 3 hp cabinet saw.

I seem to recall a video that you posted where your dad was using the table saw sans fence; made me pucker up tighter than a snare drum. :D

But to your point, a lot of those guys from that generation learned how to do those operations without injury/incident, and honestly there's no changing their ways now. But I will stick to using my fence and push sticks, thank you very much.
 

fmunoz

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tablesaw was on my list of tools I was going to avoid at all costs... because statistically they are the most dangerous tool in the shop... not coincidentally the most useful tool as well imo.

Got along w/o one for quite a while and then my brother and mother gifted me a sawstop jobsite pro.

I worked as a cab maker when I was young so had the luxury of learning on an industrial delta tablesaw, so that is sort of my frame of reference. Sawstop is awfully expensive, but it IS a very nice saw and won't save you from kick backs but will save your fingers should you loose concentration, do something stupid... or just make a mistake.

despite 1.5hp motor I've cut through 8/4 ash without bogging down or anything. The ability to raise the blade w a single turn is very nice. Raising it a small amount with precision is surprisingly nice too - very well thought out. the jobsite is super mobile, yet sturdy. good dust collection setup. tools are all right there secured. the face of the saw is very durable and won't require constant waxing nor rust issues.

the one bad thing: the fence on it is absolutely crap for any sort of precision work. I contacted them, complained, they don't have a solution. the back side of the fence is not secured and just rides along on a wheel so even tuning/tightened down it moves a small amount. Bought some square steel tubing so I could increase the depth of the saw just big enough to fit a delta t3 fence on it. Makes it much less mobile... but using infinity super general, I have ripped/joined 8/4 ash for a body right off the saw with no sanding and the joint was invisible thru and thru.

anywho, hope something there adds to the conversation.
Can you share a picture of your fence mod? I have the same saw and would love to upgrade the fence
 

mistermikev

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Can you share a picture of your fence mod? I have the same saw and would love to upgrade the fence
well, I can snap a photo or two tonight when I get home... and am happy to help with any q you may have.

I'll also try to explain it as the pictures probably won't tell you quite all the hangups.
first off getting the sliding extension off is required. I can't tell you exactly what all is involved but basically you start taking out screws until you can jimmy it off.

then, I bought some 1" square tube, and some 1.25" square tube from metals depot 2' long. this allows one to modify the depth of the table to bring it from what I believe is 24 1/4 out to 27" (if I'm remembering right) which is required for the delta t3 fence.
It also prevents you from drilling holes in the expensive saw stop as the square stock serves as an intermediary. so... basically I lined up the square stock on the saw stop so it sat just under the mitre rabbets, and marked out where existing mount holes were.

then I drill through the square stock on my drill press. I took a graduated bit and expanded the holes on the outside of each of the tube stock pieces so the head of the screws would fit through into the hole on the other side, and i could get a socket in there to turn them. I used the existing mounting screws that were originally holding on the extension on the sawstop.

then it's just a matter of lining up the delta t3 on this square stock, and marking out where holes will be, taking the square stock off, and drilling on my drill press.

since the screw holes are going to be covered once the square stock is mounted -it would be impossible to be able to reach the bolt heads with a socket... so I marked out a 'slot' under each screw location, took my dremel cut off wheel, and cut in a 'slot' where I could slip a box wrench in to hold the bolt while i tightened it down on the delta side.

now, on the down side... i no longer have a sliding table... but now I have permanent table extension from the delta rails. the sawstop will still fold up and is mobile... just a little bit more cumbersome with the delta "legs" protruding off the top.
 

emoney

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So to update, I settled on the Delta 36-725T2 from Lowe's. Mainly because when I went to look at it, I was hit with, "You know, if you open and use our Lowe's Credit Card you can save 20% once on anything you purchase". So the addt'l $100+ off the price kinda sealed the deal. Got it home and put together but haven't had time to do a true set up, but man, I didn't know what I was missing with a good fence before. Sheesh, what a difference from my Craftsman Contractor Saw. Bought a new general purpose blade, of course, as I've heard not so great things about Delta's factory choice. Also have some Zero Clearance inserts on the way along with a new 8" Dado Stack (it'll be my first time using one).

As to the "safety conversation"; My FIL is a General Contractor his whole life and I'll never forget one summer during my college/early marriage days to his daughter, he hired me mainly to insure I kept his kid fed/clothed/housed/etc. And I will never forget the day he introduced me to his Cabinet Maker.....guy literally had 2 fingers and thumbs left on either had, lol. And he was proud of it, believe it or not!? It was a good summer, however, as I got to work with every specialist on a new home construction from the cabinet guy to the brick layers/vinyl siding folks to the plumbers/electricians. I learned more that summer than in any of the 6 years I've spent in college, for sure. Oh, related side note; the electrician used to think it was funny to tell me, "Sure the breaker's off, now change out that plug"....right before I got a shot of 110volts, lol. Wasn't so funny to me at the time.

Thanks all for weighing in. In the end, it's always about the $$$
 

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