Cheap Table Saw

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by JustinSC, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. JustinSC

    JustinSC Extra

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    There's a table saw on sale at Menards for $88...wondering it was worth buying for DIY stuff? Its a 10" table saw with stand and 28tooth carbide tipped blade. Looks to be a pro-tech from the ad. Any info would be awesome.
     
  2. CodyL

    CodyL Extra

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    WIthout seeing the ad and saw specs, i can only offer a bit of guidance. Cheap table saws generally suffer from at least some of the following: lack of power, very small surface area, inaccurate fence, light weight. Now wrestling 3/4 mdf with these problems will potentially get you in a bind (literally). You do not need a $3500 unisaw for DIY, and you can build outfeed tables and buy replacement fence systems, but I think you are better off going down to Home Depot and getting a close-out rigid or Delta saw in the $250 range as a first saw.
     
  3. JeffTodd

    JeffTodd Stunt Coordinator

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    In addition, @ Home Depot, the Ryobi BT3100 is a helluva saw @ 300 bones....and I think right now they are offering a free accessory kit ($100 value) as a rebate thing.

    For the price it's an excellent table saw with plenty of the options of higher priced saws. It is very accurate right out of the box with the need for only minor adjustments. Its a 15 Amp(~2HP) unit with a 10inch carbide tipped blade (40 tooth I believe).

    In my opinion the extra spent on the saw will go a long way. Like Cody mentioned, cutting sheet goods could get nasty if your equipment isn't build to do the job.
     
  4. Mark_E_Smith

    Mark_E_Smith Second Unit

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    I just bought a Grizzly band saw. Wow this thing is great. Has all the features of a $700 band saw for $375 + shipping. I have a medium Craftsman table saw and its fence su#ks and its realy to small to build any serious sized speakers. I am saving up for a Grizzly 10". These people seem to be the PE of power tools. Check them out!
    Here http://www.grizzly.com/
     
  5. Jeff Elliott

    Jeff Elliott Stunt Coordinator

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    Simple equation to help you decide:

    Cheap table saw + MDF = missing fingers + expensive hospital bill

    The fences on cheap saws don't lock parallel to the blade. This can quickly lead to kickback and other bad things. Also, as mentioned before, these saws are generally weak and will struggle to cut 3/4" MDF. An underpowered saw is the most dangerous tool in the shop, period. The table saw is one tool to spend some money on. You can save a few bucks on other tools.

    Good luck
    Jeff
     
  6. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    and thats why i will stick with a circular saw and a guide
     
  7. Angelo_Petralba

    Angelo_Petralba Second Unit

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    are Hitachi Table saws any good...My friend "GAVE" me a new Hitachi Table saw with a free stand for some car stereo gear(box /sub /amp)..should I sell it and get a better one or will this work?

    [​IMG]

    lemme know

    Angelo
     
  8. Jon Hancock

    Jon Hancock Stunt Coordinator

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    I looked at the Hitachi, and almost bought one. It's only significant liability is the rip width- it didn't meet my needs for one of the two projects planned this year.

    Like Jeff Todd above, I ended up going with the Ryobi BT3100- it's an amazing value, I got mine on sale for 10% off, it has an excellent fence, one of the best for under $800-$1000, and I also picked up the accessory kit and a micropositioner. It also comes standard with a rather good sliding miter table.

    The manual has a very thorough setup and maintainence guide, and becuase this is a short belt drive with motor in cabinet saw, it has unusually good depth of cut capability- also important for one of my projects.


    [​IMG]

    Yes, I did those bevel cuts on the BT3100, using a simple jig and the sliding miter table.

    And yeah, those angles aren't supposed to be 90 degrees- the finished speakers will look something like these:

    [​IMG]

    Additionally, there's a nice independent dedicated forum for the BT3000 and BT3100.

    BT3 Central Forum


    Obviously, the deal from your friend is the "right price". It just depends on what you need out of a saw.

    Good luck, and happy building.

    ~Jon
     
  9. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

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    Conversely, if you take your time, AND HAVE A FRIEND TO HELP (don't try to wrestle a whole sheet around by yourself), the small table saws can do okay. Double check your measurements, and never assume that things are square without using a standard.
     
  10. Todd Shore

    Todd Shore Stunt Coordinator

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    I really like my Ryobi BT-3000. I think you can still find parts and accessories for it at Sears, especially online.
     
  11. Jon Hancock

    Jon Hancock Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, the Sears 28211 is a "clone" of the BT3000 with the Craftsman name, so you can get a lot of parts that are compatible through Sears- that's how I got my micropositioner, as many HD's don't carry the Ryobi version. Most of the other accessories are compatible, though there are slight differences in the fence between the BT3000/28211 on one hand, and the BT3100 on the other.

    I was looking at the small DeWalt cabinet saw, until I came across the BT3100; since I'm not a production shop, but a "weekend warrier", the 3100 was perfect, and with the money I saved I bought some other tools I wanted. Basically, with the BT3100 I've been able to cut as accurately as I can measure- so even with re-doing setups, I've been able to turn out panels and various pieces to 1/64" precision.

    With the sliding fence/clamps and movable accessory plate and SMT, you can change setups on it quickly between the left and right of the blad, and 24" rips on either side are no problem. Depth of cut is great; it will cut a nominal 4X4 in one pass.

    The original Freud made blade that comes with it is good, but I've also got a 60 tooth and 80 tooth carbide for fine crosscut.

    And yes, it passes the vibration test- balance a nickel or quarter on edge, and start it up. With the short wide belt drive, it's smooth as glass.

    Regards,

    Jon
     
  12. kenada

    kenada Auditioning

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    so cheap?
     

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