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


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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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In my opinion, the Bosch job site table saw is one of the best worksite saws money can buy. It is precisely what it says "A Jobsite Saw". For cabinet making  and furniture making it will fall short. Reason #1 is lack of rip capacity. Reason # 2 not enough H/P to accommodate ripping or cross cutting hard woods of thickness' more than 3/4".  I suppose you could build a cabinet to house the saw that would increase your rip capacity. But by the time you are done building the whole set up you could have bought a decent used contractors saw with a 2hp motor on Craig's list for  about the same money. My advise would be patience and keep looking for a saw that will out perform your expectations. 

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I work for about 3 years with a Ridgid foldable contractors saw and while it does limit your rip width I found that it did much of what I needed.  Once set up square and true it was accurate enough for tenons, lap joints, etcs.  The miter gauge on most contractor saws are "iffy" when it comes to repeatable square cuts because they fit sloppily into the miter slot.  I solved that by building a cross cut sled, a miter sled for picture frames and a dado blade sled.  I will admit that I checked my setup more often and made test cuts more often than I do with a better saw but, in the end it served my well.  Just make sure that it is in good condition and try to test it before buying (take apiece of wood with you).  If the saw is decent you can probably sell it later for the saw price when you can afford an upgrade.  We work with what we have.  Good luck making saw dust.

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10 minutes ago, Dolmetscher007 said:

The Bosch 4000 has a 4.5 HP motor. And I would definitely build an enclosure for the saw.

there is a magnificent difference between a 15 amp 120v motor (which is what the bosch 4000 has) and a 20 amp 220v motor which comes with your standard cabinet saw. I'm not quick enough with the proper specifications on how to qualify horsepower so i wont comment on what is deemed horsepower. 

 

If you're only doing hobby woodworking and plan to do some smaller furniture projects maybe a bathroom vanity or shop cabinets i'd say do the deal with your buddy and learn everything there is to know about owning a higher quality job site saw. 

 

i had a fine little ryobi for a few years before i could come up with the money for a used cabinet saw. I melted the gears resawing 3" hard maple running a 3/32 diablo blade. i was in the middle of a big project and had to tell my client that it was going to be another month before their cabinet was done and they wanted their money back due to time constraints. i wish i had bought a belt driven contractor saw instead. 

now that i own a unisaw, i should have just got the unisaw in the first place but i wouldn't know half of the tricks i learned on that little ryobi. good luck!

 

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59 minutes ago, Spencer_J said:

there is a magnificent difference between a 15 amp 120v motor (which is what the bosch 4000 has) and a 20 amp 220v motor which comes with your standard cabinet saw. I'm not quick enough with the proper specifications on how to qualify horsepower so i wont comment on what is deemed horsepower. 

 

Power is equal to volts x amps.  So 20 amps at 240 volts is about 2.6 times the power of 15 amps at 120 volts.  

I think one horsepower is 750 watts.

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12 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Power is equal to volts x amps.  So 20 amps at 240 volts is about 2.6 times the power of 15 amps at 120 volts.  

I think one horsepower is 750 watts.

And a saw that requires a 15 amp, 120 circuit doesn't necessarily draw all 15 of those amps. Most likely it uses at most about 12 amps.

 

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Despite my comments about the power, I have a sawstop jobsite saw, it satisfied my desire for something portable, cost, my power limitations, and my wife's requirement that it have the sawstop safety feature.

it is a good saw, but does have limitations, particularly in the power department, but I've learned to deal with it. It would be a lie to suggest my table saw is a major determining factor in the quality of my projects.

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