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  • Table saw suggestions?

    I built a set of Overnight Sensations using the PE flat pack. They turned out well enough that I'd like to build a subwoofer box. I have some unique space constraints for where my box will sit, so I'd like to try building the box myself. To get good results I think I'll need a table saw.

    I checked out an oldie but goodie Crafstman on Craigslist that seemed okay, but not very precise. The fence seemed finicky to set and the bevel was also a bit wonky. In this case, I don't think my skills are sharp enough that I can work around a tool's inaccuracies. That said, I'm one to usually buy something that's very good and used instead of mediocre and new. Any suggestions on what features to look for when buying a table saw used for building speaker cabinets? How much should I expect to pay for a good saw? I'm already budgeting around $50 for a new blade (suggestions?) regardless of what I buy, but I'm not sure what other features I should be looking for. I know the sky is the limit, but realistically I can't see myself paying top dollar for a tool. I'm thinking $400 including a good blade might get me something good?

  • #2
    Dewalt with stand, get 10-20%off coupon on ebay cheap for lowes Home Depot, buy and never look back.
    Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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    • #3
      I'll second that. I have this one: http://www.dewalt.com/products/power...g-system/dw745 It's about $300, and the fence works well, much better than my previous saw. It won't work with a dado blade, if that's an issue.

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      • #4
        I bought an old Trademaster with a 10" blade and 18A motor, with a stand and wheels it was $200 from the local classifieds, but the fence had a broken bushing and would move sideways everytime you locked it in place. I upgraded with a 40" Accusquare rip fence which was well worth the expense. Once you have that sucker aligned it is accurate and does not wiggle one bit when locked. I later bought the router table attachment as well, but I haven't used it yet.

        The table and new fence was about a $500 expense total. I don't think I could get somerthing comparable new for less than $900.
        Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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        • #5
          For over a year I've had my eye on this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-13...4512/202500206

          This may be the year!

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          • #6
            A dado would be nice. How is it cutting dadoes with a table saw vs. a router? I'll need a router as well (look for that thread next, ha!)

            I know Dewalt makes decent stuff, though I've also seen this comparison which shows a pretty legitimate looking Ridgid as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQk7Z1dt94g

            Won't I want a saw that will rip at least as wide as I plan to use for my cabinets? The largest dimension of my proposed subwoofer box is 22 inches.

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            • #7
              I got a (very) old 36" bed Rockwell model 10 belt drive saw that had an aftermarket aircraft-wire aligning fence on it, from Craigslist. Guy even delivered it, all for $200, but I suspect this was just a very lucky deal. Took a little searching to get a safety shield for the blade and replace a knob, but an amazing saw. Don't underestimate the value of enough bed size if you're making speaker cabinets, and make sure whatever you get has a decent fence. If you don't have room for (or can't find) a large-bed saw, you might want to consider getting a track-saw instead, a lot of people seem to be using those when needing to cut large panels.
              Free & Free-form simulator/designer for Passive Crossovers
              SynergyCalc 5: design spreadsheet for Wooden horns and DIY Synergy Waveguides
              Super easy and cheap to make high performance sound diffusers

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              • #8
                I like my Bosch -09 table saw for my small shop. I've got a bunch of Ridgid tools but getting the warranty activated seems like a scam. I've not been disappointed with any of the Dewalt tools I've bought.
                John H

                SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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                • #9
                  Skilsaw (owned by Bosch) is a very solid saw. Masterforce (Menards, looks built by Hitachi) is also excellent. Both have very good dust collection, can accept a dado stack, and are relatively lightweight.

                  The skilsaw has the deepest cut capacity. Can rip a 4x4 in a single pass. Rip fence is solid and straight. Gobs of power.

                  The Masterforce uses a rack n pinion fence with a huge 24" left, 35" right rip capacity. It will accept a dado stack as well. It also has a run off extension.

                  Both can be found for around $350.

                  I will be picking up the Masterforce in the next week or so.
                  https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                    I like my Bosch -09 table saw for my small shop. I've got a bunch of Ridgid tools but getting the warranty activated seems like a scam. I've not been disappointed with any of the Dewalt tools I've bought.
                    I agree about the warranty, good tool though

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                    • #11
                      A true table saw, as opposed to the portable contractor saws some have mentioned, will likely have a much better fence. Or, can be modified with a superior after-market fence. For accuracy, the fence is really critical. I would look for a cast iron top and a really good fence. Saws like Delta and Jet will likely have many more available accessories and add ons than others.
                      I have not bought any used saws; I've read advice to watch the bearings and run out when buying used. And the fence can't be emphasized enough.
                      There are places that sell factory refurbished tools, but they aren't necessarily any cheaper.

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                      • #12
                        If you have the space, and can deal with a non portable saw, a Powermatic, General, Yates, Unisaw etc. style enclosed cast iron belt drive saw with at least two HP is the final solution. I have the General that I bought when I was 23 years old, and 43 years later its still good as new. The table saw is the heart of any woodshop unless you're turning candlesticks and a good one is a constant delight. They all need to be trued up and if you want a one shot fence, many aftermarkets are available. Outfeed tables, sleds, many jigs and fixtures that allow the table saw to perform the work of many tools. Lifetime tool.

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                        • #13
                          I would say check out the Kreg Rip Cut jig if all you are going to use it for is building boxes. I get better cuts with this and it's quicker with very little setup. I use a sacrificial 2 x 4 frame that I set on sawhorses then place a sheet of plywood on that. I don't have to try and handle ripping a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood by myself that way, especially when you want something like 6" strips. You could buy a nice circular saw and new blade for much cheaper then use your remaining budget for other tools.

                          FYI, I have a Bosch table saw as well with many good blades and sleds but won't use it much for boxes. However, if the cabinet is small enough I will use my Bosch sliding miter saw (GCM12SD) that can crosscut up to 14". This thing is great, but isn't cheap.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by martyh View Post
                            For over a year I've had my eye on this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-13...4512/202500206

                            This may be the year!

                            I have this exact saw --- LOVE IT! It is a little time consuming to get the rails and fence dialed in square, but once you do, it hasn't moved in 3 years and a move across the US. recommend it, if you have the room. It will do dadoes, but the dust extraction isn't perfect, but I just leave the vaccum hooked up and runnng, while I use the air compressor to blow the trapped dust down into the vacuum.
                            Paul

                            The "SB's" build page
                            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-4-(pic-heavy)

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                            • #15
                              Depends on your needs, your budget, the space you're willing to commit to a tool like this and how much you think you'll use it in the near future. Cabinet saws(like a Unisaw) are the best, next in line are contractor saws and then the portables(like the DeWalt). Contractor saws can be found used for cheaper than a new portable saw, will typically have larger beds(better) and cast iron(again, better). They can also often be found with upgraded fences and extra accessories. There's pros and cons to all of these styles with the contractor's saw being in the middle as far as size, weight, accuracy, cut capacity, cost... If your shop serves double duty as a garage like most people, a mobile base can be made or bought pretty cheap to wheel it out of the way when not being used.

                              As an example, Delta Unisaws, used, typically start at about $500 and go up to $2-3k. Delta contractor's saws can sometimes be found as low as $100, and maybe go up to $500 if they've been decked out with accessories like a better fence, router extension, out feed table, mobile base... Portable saws are in the $3-600 range new, cheaper used. Cabinet and contractor saws also are easier to modify and upgrade, while portable saws are usually not.

                              I'll always advise to buy more saw than what you think you need right now. Once you get a couple of smaller projects under your belt, you'll want tondo bigger stuff and need a bigger, better saw.

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