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Buying first table saw - Would like input

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  • Buying first table saw - Would like input

    Hi All,

    I'm new to woodworking and finally have my own shop and I've started stocking it with tools to begin my woodworking journey.

    At this time, I don't have the expendable budget on this new hobby to justify hundreds of dollars on a table saw, nor do I live in an area where great older saws often come up for sale. So, my options are typically the fairly cheap table top saws (Mastercraft, King, Craftsmen) that are available for around $50-100.

    However, I came across this saw locally. The seller is asking $200, but I'm confident I could negotiate down to $150. The idea of a contractor saw rather than a table top one is much more appealing. But I also don't want to buy junk.

    Does anyone have any experience with Craftsmen contractor style saws? From what I can tell, this unit is a Craftsmen 315 series model. I've attached a picture to show the saw.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

    thats a huge step up from the typical big box store saws.
    im pretty sure that saw is the same as the ridgid 3650(now discontinued) but now sold by busy bee

    $200 is fair, might need a good blade or two
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont




    1940's Craftmaster Lathe

    https://www.facebook.com/artistryinwoodca/

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    • #3

      Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

      I knoe this is unconventional advice for N American folks, but are you sure you need a table saw? As you will have disovered, good ones are expensive and they take up a great deal of space. They are also probably the most dangerous machine in the workshop and responsible for huge numbers of nasty injuries, particularly the way they tend to be used in N.America i.e with guards removed and without riving knives. None of this is helped by irresponsible woodworking magazines and forums which routinely display unsafe practices - one of the two reasons I stopped taking Fine Woodworking. Unless you are intending to work mostly with sheet materials you are much better off with a decent bandsaw and a router table which will more safely do most of the stuff usually done unsafely on a table saw and lots of things not possible on a table saw at all. I have been making furniture for 20 years and never felt I wanted a ts.

      Just food for some thought.

      Jim

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      • #4

        Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

        My Craftsman contractor saw dates from 1992, an earlier model that that you have shown. The fence shown appears to be sturdier than the one originally on my model, which I changed out. Apart from that it has been a good worker, requiring no other repairs. I believe what you have shown is a good deal. Roy
        Are you solving the problem, or becoming part of it?

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        • #5

          Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

          Originally posted by Fetcham View Post
          I knoe this is unconventional advice for N American folks, but are you sure you need a table saw?
          That is indeed an unconventional way to see things. For the vast majority of us, the table saw is the centerpiece (both physically and metaphorically) of our workshops.

          Mike in Waubaushene, WoodBob and 4 others like this.
          Happiness is a new blade!

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          • #6

            Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

            Not a bad saw. Good price. You can likely sell it for what you paid if you decide to move on.

            Regarding Fetcham's comment. I love my SawStop but I have to admit that I use the table saw less and less since getting a good bandsaw. I imagine that if I had an 18 or 20" bandsaw instead of a 14", I'd use my TS even less. There is some merit to considering a bandsaw-centric shop versus a tablesaw-centric one, depending on what you do for projects.

            Cheers
            Randy

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            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

              I think in total fairness the projects will dictate which saw is preferred. Band saw or table saw but in reality the safest saw that could replace both is the track saw and the complimentary router as the gentleman from Sussex suggests. I've often mentioned the track saw as a TS replacement.

              In my corner the bandsaw doesn't have the capacity to cut sheet goods and the track saw does that job very well.
              Redneck Albertan and stotto like this.
              "Do it Right!"

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              • #8

                Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                I agree with the gentleman from Sussex.

                Tablesaws that can handle lumber that a bandsaw can, cost thousands,

                Tracksaws or circular saws are best for sheet goods.

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                • #9

                  Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                  I have no first-hand experience with bandsaws, but would presume that what holds for less costly table saws to a great extent likely holds for the less costly bandsaws. Power and rigidity both matter and both cost money, so informed compromises are necessary. My 5 H.P table saw is out of commission at the moment, so I'm using a borrowed DeWalt job site saw. I am amazed at how well it cuts with a thin-kerf blade, and I can clean up the edges and faces with my larger jointer/planer. I have not used my table saw for cutting sheet stock since I bought a track saw.

                  If you are on a limited budget, you can give that saw you are considering some TLC and get it to do a pretty good job for you, within its performance limitations. If you plan to do case work and cut plywood or other sheet goods, like others have said, consider a track saw when your budget allows. It will do a much better job on sheet goods than most regular cabinet saws will, and save you having to maneuver cumbersome panels on and off your table saw.

                  Sweeps

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                  • #10

                    Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                    OP's saw appears to have a cast wing which "may" accept a router, and it does have a noce mobile base.

                    $200 looks very good for what is there.



                    while I agree a bandsaw is very nice/safe in comparison, a "good" bandsaw doesn't often come cheap.

                    an old 14" can be found, but a good motor, blade(s), bearings, etc can add up (as can a table saws requirements)
                    [insert something witty here]

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                    • #11

                      Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                      I had a Craftsman tablesaw for years and it did everything I wanted/needed it to do, I upgraded as my requirements changed.
                      I think at $200 its not a bad deal, if you can talk him down to $150 even better.
                      It would be a good initial investment and may be the only tablesaw you need, unless your requirements change as well.

                      Vince

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                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                        The one thing the OP's use saw has that most table saws do not have is good control over the tilt of the blade. That is something I really wish I had.....

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                        • #13

                          Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                          Originally posted by Mark Nowicki View Post
                          Tablesaws that can handle lumber that a bandsaw can, cost thousands,
                          Or ...
                          Bandsaws that can handle lumber that a tablesaw can, cost thousands....

                          That is not a bad price. If it was advertised on an online used site, it is probably gone already.
                          the other Ken
                          ------
                          "Each flitch, each board, each plant can have only one ideal use. The woodworker, applying a thousand skills, must find that ideal use and then shape the wood to realize its true potential" - George Nakashima

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                          • #14

                            Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                            Do not discount a track saw for cutting lengthwise on solid lumber either. I'd like a buck for every piece of hardwood flooring that I have ripped in half with a track saw. Track saws will do whatever cutting you require and they do it safer than both the TS and the BS. Straighter, truer and right on your line every time too.
                            "Do it Right!"

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                            • #15

                              Re: Buying first table saw - Would like input

                              I have a Craftsman Cabinetmakers series table saw that I managed to squeak in by buying it in November 1990 before Brian M's GST raised the price. I have never regretted replacing the table-top one that I had previous with this Craftsman; it has never required any repair of any sort in all that time and still works very well. The saws were made then by Emerson Electric who used good quality bearings and motors with really good castings so they tended to last a very long time. The only complaints that I had about my saw were related to the bent sheet steel parts in the motor mount that had to be judiciously re-bent/shimmed to make everything align properly; once that was done it ran/runs very smoothly. Mine has been a really good saw for a contractor style saw. It's no UNISAW but has soldiered on for a long time now and seems to be ready for a lot more work. It even still has the original Gates v-belt on it!

                              I think the OP could enjoy that saw and get lots of work out of it.

                              My 2 cents

                              Ken

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