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table saw

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by ship, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Bought a small DeWalt Contractor table saw last night. No room in a single car garage for anything such as that, and on a budget. On the other hand, proved its worth in both saving time today and being much easier than clamping the lumber and blocking it up for cutting by the worm drive. It will store for now under my work table and I'll just have a little less leg space under it.

    Years ago I had a Delta Contractor II saw for my off time at the theater and used a Delta Beismier industrial saw by day in a number of places I worked. The industrial model, especially when with off market fence and table setup was great, the Contractor II was mine and also great given it only had a caster base but not as good a fence, or as much power.

    So today I was using this little lightweight table saw. This after opening the box and finding out it's blad elevation knob was broken. Given it was a broken box and the tool department manager at Lowes had also noted such a thing, he let me trade my broken knob for that of the show room model's knob as opposed to having to do a full return and wait for another one to get in stock. It would seem some sales people are cool no matter where they work as opposed to dogmatically following policy of one must return the saw when damaged and if out of stock in it return it in exchange for no saw to use today.

    Had the option of a few saws last night ranging from like $100.00 to in my case a bit over $300.00 for the DeWalt that most of my shop is already outfitted with and was smaller than the rest (needs to fit under the work table when not in use.) Only looking for a 6" blade 1x lumber cutting table saw for cutting molding and stuff, but in not finding one went with the little bitty but still 10" saw of a trusted brand and of a size I already had lots of spare blades to including some really good ones for doing all sorts of things just collecting dust these days. Hmm, $75.00 blade bought ten years ago, now back in use...

    Anyway, while small and concerned that it would as a small light weight saw need anchoring, I was surprised in finding it did not need mounting - as I used it, it did not walk about the room or table top in needing to be clamped to a surface. This given the direct drive in part no doubt as opposed to belt drive I am more used to.

    While cutting I didn't note any bogging down of the motor but did note its fence was while "factory aligned" not aligned accurately. This much less in having a blade elevation knob that broke in shipping, such a knob doesn't leave me with such a concept of quality materials. In initially doing the blade kick back/shield, than removing it later for other needs, and later in changing to a better blade, I cannot say I am impressed with the "throat gate" blade surround plate which requires a screw driver to remove. Didn't really get tight enough or in other than gravity plate normal mean anything different than one which does not lock.

    What I really did not like was the note in the manual about it not being designed for use with a dado blade - the heck, it's a 10" saw, and from a company that seems to have thought out most stuff and I will not do a dado blade in spec.

    Also the fence leaves something to be desired in not getting up to 24" wide rip cut. One would think other than +16" cuts would be useful. Also that the fence is way too short in length, than there is the Miter Gauge which is too short for accurate use with a 1x4 in cross cutting and thoroughly plastic in not being much as with most of the saw to be over home owner grade.

    Overall, not impressed with this table saw. Fence is poor adjustment for it not very useful or accurate, miter gauge is useless, blade height doesn't lock down to a designated height, isn't much use for plywood over 16" in width for measuring, this given the fence is not much use. While light weight and not bouncing about in use, most of its components are still plastic and fragile.

    Overall, not very impressed or would other than for a small garage would I recommend it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    In 2005, I sold the 1981 Corvette I'd had for ten years and bought [URL='http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B0001X216W/ref=dp_db_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1"]this table saw[/URL]. I've never regretted the decision, other than I lost money on the Corvette.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Just have to say I've made my first few cuts on the new Sawstop. What an amazing machine. I've got a little Craftsman portable in the garage at home that sounds a lot worse than Ship's new one. I can't believe the quality on the new Sawstop. It's awesome... course it's also $4400 before tax.
     
  4. Marius

    Marius Active Member

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    For $4400 you should be able to tell it what you want and have it make the cut for you, and make coffee at the same time. :lol:
     
  5. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Or, not cut your fingers off, which is what it was designed for.
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Ah, Quality versus Price. I got lucky with my monster saw at work, I bought it from a cabinet shop in Las Vegas that went under, when I had my own company, and then convinced the powers that be to buy it from one of my olde business partners. It's a Beast and worth three times what I paid for it. When I first got to ART we had a little Ryobi contractors saw. I guess it was ok < notice I didn't say OK but ok> it had all sorts of cute attachments and the only reason I've kept it is that it has a built in router table on the right hand side of the table. I think the previous TD bought it because it had those extra features, but as a main table saw in a scene shop it was crap, you could bog it down by ripping 1x4. There's nothing wrong with smaller light-weight contractors saws as long as you don't want to make them the central part of a large scale production facility. I do have to say it is disappointing the amount of plastic and zinc parts you find on most tools now days. When you set the fence on a saw you want it to stay there and not flex 1/4" as you push a piece of plywood through it, but at the same time thos contractors saw are used pretty much for rough sheeting and framing rather than high end finish work.
     
  7. superdoo

    superdoo Member

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    Anybody got ideas or recommendations on a smaller cheap table saw?
     
  8. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/tool_detail.asp?productID=15325

    Used it all summer. It probably cut two to three hundred sheets of sheet goods (luan, maso, and 3/4" ply) plus a bunch of ripping of dimensional lumber. And this wasn't it's first summer on duty - it was the 2nd or 3rd. The stand is built very well, and is basically indestructible. Plus, you can stow it when you're not using it regularly.
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Almost, if not more important for a table saw, is a high quality blade, appropriate for the task. Freud makes excellent ones. Most of the blades that come with any table saw are junk, and should be kept only for cuts that don't matter.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Wish I bought the #744x that it would seem does 24" cuts or it was available at Lowes. Instead I bought the DW745 that only has a rip fence sufficient for 16" cuts and cross cuts with its bevel gauge bairly sufficient to hold a 1x4 or 2x4.

    Used it over the weekend but not for cutting plywood sheets in larger than 16" cuts. Instead it was the Delta Worm drive used with plywood and guide clamped to the table for those cuts.

    Suppose in a way, I wanted a really small table saw for my garage so as to when not in use store under the work table and it will be minimumly sufficient for my needs for cutting stuff the bench mounted DeWalt chop saw won't. On the other hand, for a 16" cut - though I don't as much like sliding miter boxes, I could have just bought one of them to do what this one does. Just don't like the concept of a power miter box or any saw including a radial arm saw that should one not pay attention or run into a problem walk up on you in a direction one is not sufficiently used to. You are either ready for a chopping action or a blade walking to you, not both thus my avoidance of a saw that does both even with years of training.

    Hmm, remember good times with a properly set and wire rope clamped so it stays there radial arm saw that even has a dado blade set on it, this much less a proper for the radial arm saw, if not even a blad specifically designed for such a tool. Eawy stop block, easy furnature type stuff built, much less production line cutting on a large scale. Good old time Delta type or even Craftsman type saws for such tools either industrial or clamped so they are locked to 90 degrees.

    Still, I have good blades which do help left over from my Delta Contractor II. The blade was not the issue. $75.00 saw blades even in them being really good blades for use with it. More in reading the manual that my dado blades were not specified for use with the tool - though I am fairly sure it is more a blade guard thing than actual tool problem.

    Still for a home owner grade tool I see this as, why the $300.00+ price for it over that of a tool shop or what ever brand $100.00 price? Just don't get it for what I got.

    For what theaters should be using or those that have more than a one car garage, I would say Delta, Jet, even Powermatic, if not Freud and other brands no doubt are better. Loved my Delta Contractor II, (a little under-powered for production use but really good saw overall.) Had it on a portable base that could wheel it out of the way - though always a bad idea. It as with even industrial fences was sufficient though much improved by an after market fence and table assembly. Most table saws with their side supports worth their weight in gold also will mount a router so it is also a router table.

    I'm thinking that a belt driven saw with stand that comes with it for a scene shop is minimum. After that an industrial base mount and not portable optimum. After that you get into after market safety guards, fences and even saw stop mechanisms. This plus always a good saw blade and the proper saw blade for what is being cut.
     

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