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Table saw suggestions?

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  • #16
    I'll chime in. I bought the DEWALT DWE7490X 10-Inch Job Site Table Saw with Scissor Stand on Amazon last year for $500. I've been quite pleased with the saw, as it has a very large rip capacity for a contractor style saw. The fence is good quality, and the rack and pinion system is easy to adjust and locks in firmly. The miter gauge is a toy though (as are most miter gauges included with tools these days), so I picked up an Incra model instead. The scissor stand for this saw gets the job done and is intended to be portable, but I leave it attached to the saw because you have to use the supplied nuts and bolts to mount in up (too much hassle to take it off and put back on, in my opinion).

    As for a good quality saw blade, I use a Freud D1050X Diablo 10-Inch 50-tooth ATB Combination Saw Blade with 5/8-Inch Arbor and PermaShield Coating It cuts through MDF like a hot knife through butter. It's affordable, and has good quality for DIY woodworking.

    If I were doing it all again (and had a slightly bigger shop) I would opt for a cabinet style saw with a cast iron table top. The motors on these saws tend to be higher quality, heavier duty saws, and may even be a smidge quieter than the roaring motors of the contractor saws.

    Best of luck on your purchase! Tablesaws are the best!
    Voxel Down Firing with Dayton SA70
    Translam Subwoofers - The Jedi Mind Tricks

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    • #17
      Both skatz and emilime75 are spot on. The Dewalt and Rigid portable saws are great, expecially if trying to save space. And probably some of the better if not best portable saws. However, you can get much better if you can find a used cabinet grade or decent contractor saw. look for a cast iron top and a good fence. I bought an old Hitachi with a cast iron top and great fence, dusto collection chute and casters to move it around the shop. The best part, I got it at an auction for $75. I am not sure if you ahve a lot of auctions around you, but here in the east coast we do. You can do a quick search on the site auction zip and look up table saws. They usually even have pictures of them and model numbers. you can research them before you go to the auction.
      All about Speaker Design YouTube Channel

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      • #18
        I took the cheap / budget friendly approach when I upgraded my table saw last summer. I bought an older Craftsman saw with the cast iron deck and wings for $75. The saw came with a brand new Diablo blade. Then I found a good deal on a Vega Pro fence setup for $120. This setup works way better and cuts more precise than the Ryobi table saw I had before.

        You can find the older Craftsman fence from $50-150, then buy a new Delta T3 fence for $200. That'd be a great budget setup.

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        • #19
          Sounds like these things/features are important:

          - Good fence (what makes a "good fence?") How can I tell something is good by looking at it?
          ​- Good blade (I don't expect for the saw to have a decent one)
          - Heavy - this seems to mean a cabinet saw or one with a sturdy stand.

          I really like the "lift" built into some of the Ridgid saws. Haven't seen that on others, but it seems perfect for me. I have a basement as my workshop which is probably only as big as a 1 car garage. I also store my track motorcycle in the basement right now, so being able to move the saw around is a benefit.

          This one is for sale near me: https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...212944656.html Price seems a touch high, but I'd wager most people are negotiable.

          This one also got my eye as it has a cast iron top, upgraded fence, and several add ons. I don't mind ugly if it works or if it will clean up nice, but I may not be well versed enough to determine if I'm buying someone else's problems: https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...215137576.html

          See anything else on the DC craigslist?

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          • #20
            I was using a hand me down "job site" DEWALT table saw until I had a piece kick back on me and in my haste to stop it I cut off the last 1/4 inch of my right thumb. I said I was done with DIY. Two months later I splurged on a Saw Stop PCS cabinet saw. It's like a seat belt or airbags, it won't eliminate all injury, but it will sure lessen it! I love that saw and have never regretted the purchase. My two cents.

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            • #21
              Saw stop looks like a great saw, but I don't think you'll find them for the OP's budget.

              Found some photos of my saw, the saw was used for $200, added $300 for the great fence, anoth $200 for the router table attachment. www.mulecab.com

              https://photos.app.goo.gl/V2j020q5Hpuz06ZS2
              https://photos.app.goo.gl/uEF4qmCmfXL1vQC92
              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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              • #22
                "- Good fence (what makes a "good fence?") How can I tell something is good by looking at it?"

                Does it stay perpendicular and RIGID when clamped at location? If it wiggles even a little when you push a board against it. reject it, it will waste wood and drive you nuts. And make sure the blade can be adjusted reasonably easy to be parallel to the fence (look up its manual online if you can). If it is somehow crooked in a way that pinches the wood between the fence and the blade, that can be very dangerous.
                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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                • #23
                  Originally posted by bwaslo View Post
                  "- Good fence (what makes a "good fence?") How can I tell something is good by looking at it?"

                  Does it stay perpendicular and RIGID when clamped at location? If it wiggles even a little when you push a board against it. reject it, it will waste wood and drive you nuts. And make sure the blade can be adjusted reasonably easy to be parallel to the fence (look up its manual online if you can). If it is somehow crooked in a way that pinches the wood between the fence and the blade, that can be very dangerous.
                  Yes, it is an absolute must to have the fence parallel to the blade for straight cuts and for safety. Usually you can align the fence by loosening the nuts of the table and shifting the entire table a bit. It's also very important to be able to lock the fence in place without it shifting which is the problem I've always faced with cheaper tables. The Accusquare I mention doesn't have a micro adjustment, but I find that tapping on the fence provides all the micro adjustment I need. It also has a double line on the ruler sight to set the measurement accurately and repeatable (its acrylic with line marked top and bottom). Once I set the sight correctly, I am sure that if I set it for 4" it will be exactly 4", no guess work.
                  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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                  • #24
                    I hear you on the budget. I had the same thought process until I figured how much another ER visit would cost. Money and appendage wise.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by beatle View Post
                      Sounds like these things/features are important:

                      - Good fence (what makes a "good fence?") How can I tell something is good by looking at it?
                      ​- Good blade (I don't expect for the saw to have a decent one)
                      - Heavy - this seems to mean a cabinet saw or one with a sturdy stand.

                      I really like the "lift" built into some of the Ridgid saws. Haven't seen that on others, but it seems perfect for me. I have a basement as my workshop which is probably only as big as a 1 car garage. I also store my track motorcycle in the basement right now, so being able to move the saw around is a benefit.

                      This one is for sale near me: https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...212944656.html Price seems a touch high, but I'd wager most people are negotiable.

                      This one also got my eye as it has a cast iron top, upgraded fence, and several add ons. I don't mind ugly if it works or if it will clean up nice, but I may not be well versed enough to determine if I'm buying someone else's problems: https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...215137576.html

                      See anything else on the DC craigslist?
                      Those are both good examples of a "contractor" saw. I wouldn't put too much value into the blades included with the Craftsman, but it's a decent saw. If the rust on the table is surface rust, it can be cleaned up without much effort or expense. Some steel wool and WD-40, or simar, will do wonders to it. Not familiar with that fence, but if you go look at it, some of the guys here already mentioned what to look for in a good fence.

                      The Ridgid is also a good saw, but for a while there were issues with some of the production runs...pretty sure it was that model. Google it to see if it's something you want to get into.

                      I peaked at the DC CL and saw a couple of good options, but they're above your budget, it seems.

                      This one https://annapolis.craigslist.org/tls/6162132937.html
                      Buy this, put a little effort into cleaning it up and servicing it, and you'll have it for the rest of your speaker building life. Excellent saw that's been in production since the late 30s without much change. Parts are still available and plenty of online forum and video support on it.

                      Or, this https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...211055409.html. More money again, and maybe too large for your space, but between the good saw and all of the accessories, it's another one that can easily do you right for a long time.

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                      • #26
                        If I were you, I'd take a trip to see that Crafsman saw you linked. If the fence is still good, that looks pretty nice for speaker cab work. The belt cover condition is pretty much irrelevant (my old saw never even had one when it was ne! -- but if you wanted some epoxy would fix that one up).
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          The big decision-maker should be how much space do you have. I'm speaking from experience, as I had to return a b!tchen "hybrid" saw a few years ago, after I set the thing up in my garage, and realized that it pretty much took up half the room. I stepped down to a full-featured "benchtop"-style saw with a huge rip capacity, and am very happy. Yes, I probably lost out a bit on having a larger stable surface and sturdier fence, but being able to walk around the room is worth more to me
                          Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                          Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                          Twitter: @undefinition1

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by bwaslo View Post
                            If I were you, I'd take a trip to see that Crafsman saw you linked.
                            +1, Add a little elbow grease and that Craftsman looks like it could do cabinet work. Depending on the vintage, searspartsexpress.com may still supply parts if needed.

                            Wish that deal was in my vicinity.

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                            • #29
                              For a long time the Craftsman saws were produced by Rigid under the Craftsman name. There was a falling out, and they then began marketing tools under their own name.

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                              • #30
                                The Delta and Jet are both nice looking pieces, and yes, I would never outgrow them, but I've yet to actually build anything other than a flat pack at this point. While I don't want junk, I don't think I'm ready to invest that much in a tool that I may not actually use that much. Worst comes to worst, I think I'd upgrade from a used contractor saw, but by then I'll know exactly what I want.

                                I have maybe a garage bay's worth of space in my unfinished basement to play in. That space is currently shared with a woodworking bench, a miter saw stand, and my track motorcycle. My panel is pretty much full, so a 220v saw is not in the cards.

                                Paul, any issues with stability from using a portable saw? I've seen that with aluminum tops you're limited in using any accessories that rely on magnets (maybe this is no concern).

                                A few good ones popped up last night:

                                Portable Bosch:
                                https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...218494033.html

                                Craftsman with JessEm slide and Exact-I-Fence:
                                https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...218380412.html

                                Craftsman with Vega fence:
                                https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...218793917.html

                                I'll be visiting family in the Hampton Roads area of VA this weekend. Maybe I'll come back with a saw from there...

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