Looking to buy a table saw

the_0utsiderMarch 12, 2009

I had one of the very small table saws that bit the dust. It didn't handle large wood very well....

Looking for a replacement, is the following saw stable enough where i can push plywood through and the table will stand still or must i buy the second one? While i would like a big table, i only have so much space....

TIA.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=46813

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93380

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HandyMac

The problem with HF merchandise is that it is extremely cheaply built---their customer service is replacement only. Now, there are some fairly good items of HF machinery---that first saw does fall into that catagory. I know a couple of woodworkers who use that saw and have done well.

For another $100 or so, you could get a Rigid or Delta saw that will be a much better long term purchase.

Big wood as how big? Sheets of plywood? Neither saw you listed have enough table area to handle plywood without out/side feed support. Meaning buying the second saw gets you no more useability than the first one.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 6:03PM
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the_0utsider

I understand the issue of support with HF. I have bought a few tools there and there is a store in town so i went straight to start the search.

I am going back into making furniture so i will be cutting items like ripping 4x8 plywood (with feed roller help)and up to 2" thick solid wood.

Is the smaller type of table saw heavy enough to not wiggle away as i push plywood into the saw???? The one i have that just died sure wasn't....

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 6:14PM
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sierraeast

When i first got into carpentry & repair as a business, i went the harbor freight route and spent more time, agony, money along with undue frustrations taking tools back, having them crap out in the middle of projects, etc. Spend some money and go quality because even though there's never any guarantees, chances are way less that you will have down time and you will produce a better product. Work smarter, not harder! If you go with a portable, you can make your own out feed cabinets large enough to accept sheet goods using the cabinets for storage. If it were me, I would bite the bullet and get a decent shop saw that will have more than enough power than what you might need. If you insist on a portable, bosch makes an impressive saw imo. I currently have a dewalt but used a bosch on a jobsite and was impressed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 7:48PM
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brickeyee

Try grizzly.
At least the quality is better than the HF junk.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:55PM
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bobismyuncle

I have had bad experiences with the Griz. Two of three pieces I own have had problems and customer service stunk. I will not buy from them again.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:39PM
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the_0utsider

Thanks everybody but this still does not answer my major question - Will the smaller of the two sizes of saws that i link to be sufficient to cut full sheets of plywood without vibrating and wandering away from me like the small compact saws will and did???

I don't mind paying a few hundred more and get the cabinet table saw but if the Med saw will work, I just might consider it if it is rediculously less expensive.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:37PM
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bobismyuncle

Still not answering your question, but most people who have limited space and saws of less than gargantuan proportions do this:
- Cut the plywood to rough size on the floor on a sacrificial rack of some sort - egg-crate of wood, a few 2x4s, or a sheet of foam insulation.

- Trim to more accurate dimension on your table saw.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:12AM
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HandyMac

No, neither of those saws has the table size to do what you want. The cheaper one will tip with a sheet of ply.

What bobs said is a better way---cut with a circular saw to almost the dimensions and use the TS for final sizing.

However, the smaller saw will still not be safe for reliably cutting 8' lengths of ply.

And outfeed roller stands have to be lined up perfectly with the blade or the roller will move the wood during cutting---which causes miscutting or binding. Binding is one of the major causes of kickback.

The folks here are experienced woodworkers who are giving you good advice. I started out with a small saw just as you did---and am still wondering how I did not have a serious situation---I cut up a lot of oak ply for desks/bookcases with a tipping saw and outfeed roller stands that cause a problem on EVERY cut. I did not know better---and had no internet forum to use for information.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:49AM
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aidan_m

"I am going back into making furniture so i will be cutting items like ripping 4x8 plywood (with feed roller help)and up to 2" thick solid wood. "

You need a cabinet saw. No portable table saw will perform adequately for cabinet or furniture making. The heavier the unit the more stable. Stability and control are essential for safe, accurate woodworking.

You are taking huge safety risks by using cheap equipment.

Invest $1K or more in a quality tablesaw with a good heavy duty rip fence if you are a serious cabinet or furniture maker. The saw should be 220 volt, at least 3 HP, and too heavy to transport to a jobsite. If you need a portable tablesaw for on-site use, get the cheap HF one for that.

For my home workshop, I have one similar to this one listed on Craig's. Five years ago I paid $1,500 for the saw, rolling stand, extension table, and rip fence, everything new. At my place of business we have two Rockwell (Delta)cabinetsaws, model 34-450. (similar in design but wired for industrial use: 480 V 3 phase) They have been in service over 40 years and are still wonderful. I highly recommend the Delta cabinetsaw, new or used.

Here is a link that might be useful: delta unisaw

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 12:46PM
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bobismyuncle

Like I said, I outgrew several table saws. I went to a seminar with the late Roger Cliffe (author of "The Table Saw Book"). At one point he said he refinanced a Ford Pinto to buy a Unisaw and never regretted it. In a few months I ponied up for a Unisaw and never regretted it either.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:36PM
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cabman

You don't say to much about what you want the saw for. I would not buy anything from HF that has any moving parts. As for a saw. If you just want a saw for an occasional project look into a Jet or Grizzly saw. If you want a saw that will last you a long time you will need to spend a lot more. The best advise I can tell you is get one with a good fence. Look for a Biesmeyer (SP) or similar fence. Second is a Minimum 1.5 HP motor. Nothing worse then binding or burning wood with an under powered saw. Buy the best you can afford. Even if it's a good used saw. Both are dangerous. The name brands with a good cast iron base and table will last a life time. You can always build extentions for the big sheets. But you will still need a big enough table to give yourself enough room to move the fence out to make a 24" rip.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:05PM
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brickeyee

"I have had bad experiences with the Griz."

I have a couple of grizzly pieces that are about 15 years old.

The 16 inch band saw needed some serious work to align the two wheels in the same plane.

The 8 inch jointer ate a motor after only 3 weeks, but they did replace it and payed my shipping to return the bad motor.

It is not Delta quality, but it has performed well.

My circular saw is a 20 year old Unisaw (still branded 'Rockwell' at that time).

It runs like a top.
I have cast iron wings on both sides, and a larger extension table, but still cut plywood down with a Mag77 worm drive portable.

It takes two people to run plywood over just about any table saw, and the seconds person is rarely available (or safe in the shop).
Ninety pound attorney wives and 4x8 sheets of plywood are NOT a good combination (though I love her to death).

You can use a smaller 'bench' saw on a larger wooden framed table to increase the safety with larger pieces.

I have not seen a bench saw in years that can handle anything larger than four quarter hardwoods.
You need a 1.5 horsepower (3 hp is much better) induction motor to deal with hardwoods over four quarter.

If you used the 'maximum developed horsepower' junk of Sears fame, my 3 horsepower Baldor motor is over 60 horsepower.

You can still slow it badly in eight quarter oak by overfeeding.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 5:36PM
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