Asking for Trouble...advice


Recommended Posts

So as some of you know I am new to this whole woodworking thing.  I am also a single income guy with a wife who is attending school so money is not exactly free flowing.  I am looking for a good (not great) table saw to get me a start.  Something that will work for me until money is a little freer and I decide I like wood working enough..and honestly know enough about it to know why I hate that piece of crap table saw we are now talking about.

So...best bang for your buck, under $1000.  Is my best bet something like the Griz G0715P or what? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike of course has the right of it. There are lots of projects that can be done with hand held tools (either powered or otherwise) that many folk already own or can access a lot easier then something as big as a table saw. Additionally there are lot of projects that are better served by a bandsaw then a table saw, etc etc.

What is your background with mechanics? Do you have any aptitude there as well? There are a LOT of used tools floating around depending on where you live in the world and generally speaking they are a fraction of the price of new and thus you tend to get better bang for your buck. Supply varies though. If in the US what city and state are you in?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I considered the grizz you mentioned, and I hunted craigslist for a few months, but ended up buying the ridgid r4512 earlier this year.  It's working great so far and is very kind to the wallet. I didn't have any of the well documented trunnion issues the saw had some years ago... some claim it's been fixed on all the new ones...worst case scenario is, return it right away if it is a lemon, so it's potentially inconvenient, at worst. For $500 I find it to be a good value, but as Mike says, your requirements will depend on what you plan to build.  (YMMV). Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mike.  @minorhero Beginning projects are more carpentry than woodworking - shelves for the garage, some simple storage cabinets (also for the garage).  I would like to get good enough at woodworking to do things like the blanket chests Eric is currently journaling, a large display cabinet for my wife's "collectables",  a chest of drawers for my son so pretty substantial furniture.

As far as other equipment in my garage I am a little light. I currently have 10-inch Ridgid miter saw, a Bosch 16171 2 1/4 hp router, a Ryobi benchtop drill press, a DeWalt circular saw and a couple of PC nail guns .  I am REALLY lacking in hand tools apart from a decent rachet set.  I can make do with the DeWalt until I save enough for the table saw - or find a good deal, but I have a feeling it is going to get old.

Mechanical ability - not a lot.  Ability to learn, I would say pretty good.  Ability to work and think 3-D...yeah I got that down.  Live and work in central TN.  Lots of big cities within a couple hours drive but not much until you get to those big cities.  I am looking online as well so if I see the great deal I can of course snap it up, but if forced to buy new I want to make sure I am looking at a good machine.

@JosephThomas I looked at that machine for a good bit as well and like you said I am aware of the trunnion issue (which is one of the things scaring me away - our closest HD is a 90 minute drive and I do not want to make it multiple times for faulty equipment)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Marc did a segment where someone asked which tablesaw to get. I think he recommended the PM1000. Me, if I was to start over, I would browse Craigslist and pick up a used Delta table saw. You would be surprised what you can pick up. People move, change hobbies, etc and you can get a good unit at a significant discount.

I am using a DeWalt portable jobsite saw with the Rousseau stand. However, for the price of the two units together, I believe you are better off with a dedicated contractor/cabinet saw - even used. The jobsite + stand combo does offer some advantages. Lightweight, portable, and improved rip width. So if you wanted to load it up in the back of a truck, you can do so easily. Downsides are lower power, accuracy, noise and dust collection.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, David Brown said:

I looked at that machine for a good bit as well and like you said I am aware of the trunnion issue (which is one of the things scaring me away - our closest HD is a 90 minute drive and I do not want to make it multiple times for faulty equipment)

Indeed, 90 min is far. It is possible to tear the box open in the parking lot, attach the wheel and raise/lower a few times to eliminate any obvious failures. (Some people online have already blogged about doing just this). But I understand the hesitation. 

13 minutes ago, Al Capwn said:

think Marc did a segment where someone asked which tablesaw to get. I think he recommended the PM1000

Here is Marc's video:  http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/what-table-saw-should-i-buy/

I liked what he said a lot, and I considered the PM1000 as well for all the reasons he states, but in the end I went with his final advice, which was to get what I was comfortable paying for now so that I could still get the other things I needed to continue building stuff...no sense in blowing the budget on one tool if it will keep you from buying lumber or other necessary items for a long amount of time.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I figured the PM1000 would be a recommendation...but no way I can swing that price tag on a saw and still have lumber to cut with it.  Like @JosephThomas I just can't feel comfortable spending that much on one tool when I look and see I still need a DC and will probably have to drive down to drive RichardA crazy borrowing his jointer and plane until I can afford one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, David Brown said:

Yeah I figured the PM1000 would be a recommendation...but no way I can swing that price tag on a saw and still have lumber to cut with it.  Like @JosephThomas I just can't feel comfortable spending that much on one tool when I look and see I still need a DC and will probably have to drive down to drive RichardA crazy borrowing his jointer and plane until I can afford one.

Come on down!  Not a problem. Always like having wood butchers  in the shop!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would check the used or clearanced items first. One of my first tablesaws was craftsman zipcode saw that I was clearanced from Sears for $200.  My current saw is a pm2000 from Craigslist.  There are a lot of bargains out there if you have the time to wait for them.  If not or are just not in your area and you need to buy new I would go with a ridgid or grizzly model. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For shelves, bookcases and DIY projects, you can do a lot with a circular saw, a router, and a drill.  Start by making a straight-edge guides for the circular saw, buy some clamps and buy or make some saw horses. That's all stuff you are going to need, anyway.  Once you've done a few projects, see what your priorities are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to Beechwood's suggestion: Buy a nice circular saw, and maybe some pipe clamps. Use those and the other tools you already have to build a sturdy workbench. I made a lot of "paint grade" stuff before I had a tablesaw, and the most difficult part was always work holding. Even using power tools, a solid workbench is an unbelievable improvement over plywood and saw horses.

I'm all for the tablesaw, my ability to make accurate and repeatable sawdust improved tremendously when I got one, but the bench is what really changed my woodworking world.

FYI, mine is a CL find, Ridgid 24241. If I ever have a space dedicated to woodwork only I may trade up to a large cabinet saw, but the mobility of my 'contractor' style saw is a key point for now.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JosephThomas said:

I considered the grizz you mentioned, and I hunted craigslist for a few months, but ended up buying the ridgid r4512 earlier this year.  It's working great so far and is very kind to the wallet. I didn't have any of the well documented trunnion issues the saw had some years ago... some claim it's been fixed on all the new ones...worst case scenario is, return it right away if it is a lemon, so it's potentially inconvenient, at worst. For $500 I find it to be a good value, but as Mike says, your requirements will depend on what you plan to build.  (YMMV). Good luck!

 

14 hours ago, David Brown said:

I looked at that machine for a good bit as well and like you said I am aware of the trunnion issue (which is one of the things scaring me away - our closest HD is a 90 minute drive and I do not want to make it multiple times for faulty equipment)

 

12 hours ago, Chris H said:

I also went with the Rigid 4512.  I love Grizzly, but just couldn't front the cash, and I got Home Depot to take a Harbor Freight coupon too.  Good Day!

I have the Rigid 4510 and frankly I think it's a great starter saw.  I would love for it to have a longer fence (which can be done) and more outfeed (which can be done) and a cast iron table (silly, can't be done, it's a PORTABLE saw!) but for now it gets me most of what I need.

I do believe in the "buy once" thing, but there are times when it makes sense to pay more overall so you are SURE of what you need and want.  A good example is brewing beer; I always recommend someone buy one of those equipment kits.  They may replace every piece in there but when they do they will know what they want based on what they didn't like previously.  If a guy starts with a PM, he may never know that a SawStop or a Grizz would have been a better choice.

Shop space is another consideration.  A jobsite saw can be folded up and pushed to the side.  Try that with a cabinet saw.

Finally, if the "wrong" saw is purchased, it's a hell of a lot easier and you lose less money re-selling a contractor/jobsite saw on Craigslist vs a $2000 saw. 

Don't get me wrong, I WANT a cabinet saw now.  I will shop for it knowing that I do intend to keep going, and what I want out of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Lee Bussy said:

A good example is brewing beer; I always recommend someone buy one of those equipment kits.

Don't get me started on beer brewing...a great little endeavor I would love to share with all of you, unfortunately I drank all of my best stuff

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Lee Bussy said:

Finally, if the "wrong" saw is purchased, it's a hell of a lot easier and you lose less money re-selling a contractor/jobsite saw on Craigslist vs a $2000 saw. 

Of course if you buy a $2,000 saw, there's a pretty good chance it won't be the "wrong" one.

I think the wisest move would probably be to keep saving while you wait for a 15% off PM sale, then get the PM1000 for $1700.  But one of those little Grizzly's will get you a long way down the road before you want to upgrade, if you ever do.  Chances are though...if you stick with the hobby long enough, you probably will and you'll lose money in the long run.  It's not always possible to avoid that though...ask me how I know. <_<

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya, the by-the-best-saw-first is a good theory, but it falls flat in the face of real life. I'm on my 3rd tables saw. The 1st was a truly horrible Rockwell/Beaver 9" contractor saw that was a free hand me down from my FIL, but all I could afford. I fought with that pig for years before getting a Jet contractor saw with a Bies fence. That was a really good saw. Got it dialed in & it never varied for the 15+ years I had it. Was it the saw I wanted to have forever? Not by a long way, but it was all I could afford & worked fine.

Now I have a SawStop PCS 3HP. That's the saw I want & will probably be the last I buy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My 3 saws over the course of 1-2 years:

dewalt portable saw--don't get this unless you absolutely have to.

Delta 34-444 contractor saw--$200-250 off craigslist and is exactly what I think you should start with.

Delta Unisaw--rebuilt from a 3 phase machine and updated with a VSCT fence. it's good, but a big euro slider would be better : )

 

See where this goes? Ill still be upgrading table saws 60 years from now when im old and gray, but that middle saw is the one I would like to see you start with. Atleast something LIKE it, it doesn't have to be that exact delta model--although, that particular model with the unifence is a very good saw. Give yourself something to start off with that's going to perform for you. Yeah, you can build all kinds of jigs to make your circular saw into a swiss army knife panel saw/track saw, but do you really want to? Also, are you capable of doing that with your current kit? How do you use a straight edge guide with your circular saw if you have no way of creating an actual straight edge? Buy a bora or kreg? No jointer, no hand planes, no table saw. The best I can think of is to use a factory edge off a piece of MDF, or buy a quality straight edge to then use a flush trim router bit to make a wood/mdf/ply straight edge guide. Other than the last option, all the others sound like a crappy inefficient way to work. I guess that's my problem with building jigs in the beginning. If your kit is limiting, it's difficult to make something useful. Im not saying you have nothing, but I think you would find it a very frustrating endeavor to make your current circ. saw into a table saw accurate machine. Personally, that would be a nightmare for me.

 

Please post your location, I will personally search craigslist in your area and send my recommendations. Your budget is more than satisfactory to get started.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pwk5017 said:

I guess that's my problem with building jigs in the beginning. If your kit is limiting, it's difficult to make something useful.

Dude, that is the most succinct statement about starting out that I have seen in print.  You always need three other tools to make a jig to make the first tool better.  It's tough being a new guy.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Lee Bussy said:

Dude, that is the most succinct statement about starting out that I have seen in print.  You always need three other tools to make a jig to make the first tool better.  It's tough being a new guy.

 

The only way through it is through it.  - Jackson Browne

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.