Dolmetscher007

Using a portable jobsite table saw for cabinet/shop/furniture work...

27 posts in this topic

I have an opportunity to buy a very well maintained Bosch 4000 jobsite table saw. It was around $1,000 brand new, but I can buy it from a friend for $325. Now, I cannot stress enough two very important things. I am in desperate need of a table saw, but I am also on a very tight budget. I know that everyone says that; so much so it gets annoying. Everyone is on a tight budget, but everyone expects perfection from their tools. 

My question is... are jobsite table saws like this one simply garbage for furniture and precision cabinet making? If so, can someone give me a little information on what it is about them that sucks for shop work? 

If the problem is an inaccurate fence, what do you guys think about some of the videos you see about building an after-market high precision table saw fence?

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The problem is that it just isn't the proper tool for the task of making fine furniture..Jobsite saws are designed for portability to a construction site, where they are used for quick and dirty cuts that aren't convenient to do with a handheld circular saw. This isn't to say you can't tune one up and use it, but it will be a frustrating experience. Especially once you get to use a real cabinet saw! I'm still just using an older "contractor-style" saw. It is waaaaayyy better than my previous jobsite saw, but you can safely bet I will step up to a full cabinet saw when circumstamces allow!


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For that money you can find a nice used contractor saw on Craigslist. Most jobsite saws can't accept a dado stack as well. My first saw was a ryobi jobsite saw and it only took a few months to out grow it. Most companies that make jobsite saws don't use the standard 3/4 / 3/8 miter slots. This makes building or buying jigs difficult. If you have the option to get a contractor saw I would go that route. Many people on here are still using one after years of woodworking. 

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Good price for the saw but, not a good saw for the task.  Your desperate need will only partially be quenched I'm afraid.  A used Contractor format saw can be found for that price or less and will be better suited to your needs, more adaptable to after-market or shop made accessories.

As to making your own fence.  Shop built is fine but, your accuracy is only as good as your tube stock.  If you can't true or mill the faces of your fence tube you will have to settle for however it came out.  The VSCT method can solve this but, by the time you make the head, buy the milled 80/20 and put it all together, you can just about buy an after market fence  You'll have to do the math on that one and weigh it against the potential outcome.

Enjoy the journey.

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A couple of years ago I sold my Jet contractor saw with a 52" Biesmeyer fence for $400 CDN (about $8 USD). It was a good, accurate saw with a 1.5 HP motor.

My point is, while that is a good price for that saw, it isn't what you need & you can do much, much better.

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I cant believe anyone would actually pay $1000 for that POS.  But that is just me.  You can get a heck of a lot of saw for $1000.  For cabinet/furniture, that is prob the last saw that I would want to use, but if its all that I could get my hands on, I guess I would have to decide what is more important... getting stuff done, or not having a saw.  For $325, if it is in good condition, maybe you should jump on it to start working.  Save more pennines, and maybe sell the other one then.  To many variables.  Have to decide what is important to you.

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I've decided not to buy it. I'm going to save my money, and wait until I get a good shop table saw. If anything, I could put the $325 towards getting at least a couple of 220V outlets put in the garage/shop. I also want to have a MIG welder that runs on 220, so that is going to have to happen anyway. 

What do you guys think about single phase versus 3-phase 220?

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The other thing is, it may have been around $1000 brand new but that's not what they cost today. The new model of that saw, the 4100, is $599 at home depot. I'd have to agree with the other guys that it's not the way to go for furniture (after they convinced me not to buy a nicer job site saw last year). I ended up going with the Ridgid R4512, which is a hybrid saw, and isn't that much more at $529 (and goes on sale for about 20% less a couple times a year). Those saws and similar contractor saws seem to come up used all the time, and would be a better bet.

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6 hours ago, drzaius said:

r $400 CDN (about $8 USD).

 

:huh:      :P

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2 hours ago, Dolmetscher007 said:

I've decided not to buy it. I'm going to save my money, and wait until I get a good shop table saw. If anything, I could put the $325 towards getting at least a couple of 220V outlets put in the garage/shop. I also want to have a MIG welder that runs on 220, so that is going to have to happen anyway. 

What do you guys think about single phase versus 3-phase 220?

Im not shore why you would need 3-phase.   What are your plans?

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3 hours ago, Dolmetscher007 said:

I've decided not to buy it. I'm going to save my money, and wait until I get a good shop table saw. If anything, I could put the $325 towards getting at least a couple of 220V outlets put in the garage/shop. I also want to have a MIG welder that runs on 220, so that is going to have to happen anyway. 

What do you guys think about single phase versus 3-phase 220?

3 phase 220 is only applicable if you find some "industrial" tools and need to put them in your home shop. You can buy a setup for a few hundred dollars to convert single phase to 3 phase, but it's only worth it if you can't find the tool you want with a single phase motor

On your original tablesaw question I would suggest searching for a used Ridgid or Craftsman contractor saw - you should be able to find a clean one in the $300-400 range. Be sure it has a cast iron table (at least the 24" around the blade) and that it is belt driven (stay away from direct drive motors on a tablesaw)

 

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The other thing is, it may have been around $1000 brand new but that's not what they cost today. The new model of that saw, the 4100, is $599 at home depot. I'd have to agree with the other guys that it's not the way to go for furniture (after they convinced me not to buy a nicer job site saw last year). I ended up going with the Ridgid R4512, which is a hybrid saw, and isn't that much more at $529 (and goes on sale for about 20% less a couple times a year). Those saws and similar contractor saws seem to come up used all the time, and would be a better bet.

I had a 3650. I think these are great starter saws and a good value, especially if one can get it used.

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Re: 3-phase, if you can get it in your shop, it opens the door to an entirely different range of machines. Commercial shops going out of business frequently sell very nice equipment at very low prices, because it needs three phase power. I wouldn't bother unless your utility can supply the power, though. Yes, a phase converter can make your 3-phase motor turn from single phase input, but at a significant cost in efficiency.

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Okay... So 3 phase is for huge industrial machines, and single phase is more residential. I'm fine with that. Woodworking is an absolute hobby for me, and I will never earn a living at it; wouldn't even want to. So, single phase it is. 

Just out of curiosity... does anyone have any ideas on how much I can expect to pay an electrician to come out and give me a couple of 220 outlets in my garage? I watched some YouTube videos on it, and all that is happening is they would go to my breaker box, pull out two of the 110V breaker switches, and plugin one 220V breaker switch. Then connect the ground wire from a 220V chord to the ground bar, and connect the white and black to the new 220V switch, which is essentially just two 110V receptacles combined into one breaker switch... and viola. I am definitely the type to leave these types of tasks to a professional. However, I don't want to pay somebody $1,500 to do 15 min. worth of work. Or is that just a bad attitude on my part?

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It might take 15 minutes if you only put one outlet at the breaker box. It could take an hour or two, depending on where and how far from the breaker box you put two or more outlets.

If you don't trust your skill at diy electrical, you could do it yourself and let a pro inspect it. It really is pretty simple. You could gain a little skill and save some money.

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15 hours ago, Andy Wright said:

3 phase 220 is only applicable if you find some "industrial" tools and need to put them in your home shop. You can buy a setup for a few hundred dollars to convert single phase to 3 phase, but it's only worth it if you can't find the tool you want with a single phase motor

On your original tablesaw question I would suggest searching for a used Ridgid or Craftsman contractor saw - you should be able to find a clean one in the $300-400 range. Be sure it has a cast iron table (at least the 24" around the blade) and that it is belt driven (stay away from direct drive motors on a tablesaw)

 

I literally just picked up the Craftsman version of the Craftsman/Ridgid clone last night on Craigslist for $400 and it came with $5-600 of accessories.

Dolmetscher - Check out Direct Factory Tools if you're close to one. They carry the Ridgid R4512 for just over $400 but you might be able to get it cheaper with a coupon.

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9 hours ago, Dolmetscher007 said:

Okay... So 3 phase is for huge industrial machines, and single phase is more residential. I'm fine with that. Woodworking is an absolute hobby for me, and I will never earn a living at it; wouldn't even want to. So, single phase it is. 

Just out of curiosity... does anyone have any ideas on how much I can expect to pay an electrician to come out and give me a couple of 220 outlets in my garage? I watched some YouTube videos on it, and all that is happening is they would go to my breaker box, pull out two of the 110V breaker switches, and plugin one 220V breaker switch. Then connect the ground wire from a 220V chord to the ground bar, and connect the white and black to the new 220V switch, which is essentially just two 110V receptacles combined into one breaker switch... and viola. I am definitely the type to leave these types of tasks to a professional. However, I don't want to pay somebody $1,500 to do 15 min. worth of work. Or is that just a bad attitude on my part?

My guess is that an electrician will charge you for the service call plus $100-150 an hour plus supplies, so it should be $300-500 assuming they can do the job in under 2 hours.

Most hobby tools in the US run off of 110V, so I would wait until you have a tool that needs 220V to get any electrical work done

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On 1/11/2017 at 0:08 PM, Dolmetscher007 said:

I've decided not to buy it. I'm going to save my money, and wait until I get a good shop table saw. If anything, I could put the $325 towards getting at least a couple of 220V outlets put in the garage/shop. I also want to have a MIG welder that runs on 220, so that is going to have to happen anyway. 

What do you guys think about single phase versus 3-phase 220?

I have a small MIG that runs on 110, so you don't necessarily need 220 for a welder (depends on how thick the material is that you are welding).

Also, my stick welder that is 220 came with a different plug configuration than my woodworking tools so it has its own outlet 

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I'm sure there are posts on this already,  but it was my understanding that if you want to saw through hard woods like white oak in thicknesses thicker than 2 inches on a table saw, you need to have 220V. That being said... I am an absolute hobbyist. The odds of be re-sawing white oak with a table saw blade fully extended is... it's just not gonna happen. And if I did come to something like that, I'd figure out a way around it. 

HOWEVER... (isn't there always a "but"?) my woodworking buddy owns a Delta 5000 series contractor table saw. His is the first, and only table saw I've ever used myself other than a very cheap and crapy plastic table saw from many years ago. But I needed to saw an inch off of a four 3.5 inch Home Depot untreated pine 4x4 posts. And since none of the boards were anywhere close to square and were all twisted, I could not run it through at half depth, flip, and run it through from the other way. I had to raise the blade all the way to full mast, and slowly push the wood through. It bogged the saw down and flipped a circuit breaker in his garage three times.

Before you slam me... in retrospect, I realize that I could have raised the blade an inch; made a pass, then raised the blade another in, made a pass, then continued to raise the blade. So... my bad for poor technique.  Also, the blade may have been the as dull as a hoe. I didn't check that. 

My point is... the softest wood that I know of bogged down a 110V saw that badly. Would it not be in my best interest to buy a 220V saw?

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Certainly, I would recommend a 220v saw motor, if one is available, and you have 220 to supply it. Some contractor style saws have 110/220 motors, and most cabinet saw are available with them. Can't say I've ever seen a 220v jobsite saw in the USA, though.

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7 hours ago, Dolmetscher007 said:

I'm sure there are posts on this already,  but it was my understanding that if you want to saw through hard woods like white oak in thicknesses thicker than 2 inches on a table saw, you need to have 220V. That being said... I am an absolute hobbyist. The odds of be re-sawing white oak with a table saw blade fully extended is... it's just not gonna happen. And if I did come to something like that, I'd figure out a way around it. 

HOWEVER... (isn't there always a "but"?) my woodworking buddy owns a Delta 5000 series contractor table saw. His is the first, and only table saw I've ever used myself other than a very cheap and crapy plastic table saw from many years ago. But I needed to saw an inch off of a four 3.5 inch Home Depot untreated pine 4x4 posts. And since none of the boards were anywhere close to square and were all twisted, I could not run it through at half depth, flip, and run it through from the other way. I had to raise the blade all the way to full mast, and slowly push the wood through. It bogged the saw down and flipped a circuit breaker in his garage three times.

Before you slam me... in retrospect, I realize that I could have raised the blade an inch; made a pass, then raised the blade another in, made a pass, then continued to raise the blade. So... my bad for poor technique.  Also, the blade may have been the as dull as a hoe. I didn't check that. 

My point is... the softest wood that I know of bogged down a 110V saw that badly. Would it not be in my best interest to buy a 220V saw?

With a sharp blade a well tuned 110 contractor saw can cut full depth (around 3") through just about any wood. I used a craftsman for years and I could always make it work, but for some wood I had to slow down the feedrate and make sure I was using a sharp blade

I now have a Delta cabinet saw with 220V, and it is hands down better. Biggest advantage is that you can feed wood faster.

As far as the example of your buddy's saw there are so many variables on why you had problems. For example if you have it plugged into an outlet that is on the same 15A breaker as the lights it's pretty easy to trip (the saw is 15A so combined with something else on the circuit it's not hard to go over the rating of the breaker)

In your first post you mentioned a tight budget - for the most part 220V saws will be professional grade (larger and more expensive) than 110V saws which are mostly hobby grade (smaller and less expensive) If you find a 220V saw you can afford then get it, but I wouldnt automatically rule out 110V

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Guys... this has hands-down been the most helpful thread I've ever started on any forum. I really appreciate everyone's help!

It will be 6 months before I can save up enough to buy a saw, but I really like to make a decision and then have that goal to work towards, so I will be looking at table saws online like crazy today. 

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On 1/10/2017 at 8:50 PM, Dolmetscher007 said:

I have an opportunity to buy a very well maintained Bosch 4000 jobsite table saw. It was around $1,000 brand new, but I can buy it from a friend for $325. Now, I cannot stress enough two very important things. I am in desperate need of a table saw, but I am also on a very tight budget. I know that everyone says that; so much so it gets annoying. Everyone is on a tight budget, but everyone expects perfection from their tools. 

My question is... are jobsite table saws like this one simply garbage for furniture and precision cabinet making? If so, can someone give me a little information on what it is about them that sucks for shop work? 

If the problem is an inaccurate fence, what do you guys think about some of the videos you see about building an after-market high precision table saw fence?

Save your money.  i would go for the Ridgid table saw if your on a tight budget.   its $529 at home depot and if you keep an i out you can catch a sale or coupon.    i have a porter cable jobsite and the fences on those small portable saws are flimsy.  even if you do manage to get the fence square to the blade (good luck with that)  the slightest bit if pressure against it tilts it back out of square and/or the flex in the middle.  

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I have a Makita jobsite saw I use away from shop and never feel all that safe using the darn thing.   Even a contractor saw is way nicer.

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As far as your electrical concerns go, I'd opt for an electrician to just add a 220v subpanel into your space. This way you get a dedicated panel for your shop and the ability to add a 220 outlet or two whenever and wherever you need it. You can also run several 110 circuits wherever you need them. I wouldn't think the panel install would be much more than having him run two outlets for you. The cost of the panel might be more, but you're already paying him to make that run anyways. 

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