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New TS - Looking to spend $1500

by RedcarWW
posted 03-03-2021 02:24 AM


25 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

3938 posts in 983 days


#1 posted 03-03-2021 02:35 AM

I’d probably go Grizz or One of the Harvey saws in that range.

View azwoodworker's profile

azwoodworker

66 posts in 2859 days


#2 posted 03-03-2021 02:47 AM

Look into the Shop Fox 2 HP 10in Hybrid Cabinet Table Saw. The 2 or 3 HP will be my next table saw. I have a Delta Cabinet saw that is a good saw I picked up second-hand, but missing some parts like the riving knife and blade guard, and want to use it dedicated to Dadoes and add a second saw. The Shop Fox is a good brand. I love my Show Fox 8 inch jointer. It is just a beast. I put that through a lot of work, in terms of my Jet 15 in planner it out-produces it. The price is about 1500 for 2hp, and 3 hp is up around 2,100. Almost done paying off the kid’s cars so wanting to get one soon. Have a look at the Shop Fox they make good tools.

Contractor saws just don’t have the power like a cabinet saw. I have had some and when I upgraded to the cabinet saw for building Mantels with Hardwood boards and hardwood plywood it was a vast improvement on the clean cuts on the ply. No tear out just crisp cuts.

View xedos's profile

xedos

282 posts in 378 days


#3 posted 03-03-2021 03:13 AM

What is undersized about your saw ?

Are you just looking for more rip capacity / width ? You could accomplish that with a new fence and aux. side table for a couple of hundred bucks.

View MikeJ70's profile

MikeJ70

89 posts in 1024 days


#4 posted 03-03-2021 03:25 AM

I’m in the same boat and so far what I’ve found in that price range for a cabinet saw with 3hp is the Grizzly you listed or the Harvey (they also have a 2hp model with a larger table). There are several posts floating around on here about the Harvey’s so just do a search. If you want the safety of the Sawstop you can get their contractor saw with 1-3/4 hp motor in that price range. Powermatic has a nice contractor saw in that price range too.

You can always look for an older cabinet saw on Craigslist and Ebay and there are a few other online sites that you can get used machinery from. They will be lacking some of the safety features the new saws have, so if that is important to you then you can always look at some of the aftermarket devices that are available.

If you are like me you will research the heck out of it until you go cross-eyed and then you still won’t know which one to get. Lucky for me I don’t have the funds yet so I am still just in the dreaming stage. Good Luck.

-- MikeJ

View Madmark2's profile (online now)

Madmark2

2638 posts in 1666 days


#5 posted 03-03-2021 03:26 AM

Cabinet saw with ZCI and incra fence & miter gauge. Add a digital height gauge with a good carbide blade and you’ll have a lean, mean, cutting machine.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View RedcarWW's profile

RedcarWW

18 posts in 94 days


#6 posted 03-03-2021 03:38 AM



What is undersized about your saw ?

Are you just looking for more rip capacity / width ? You could accomplish that with a new fence and aux. side table for a couple of hundred bucks.

- xedos


My current max fence is 24”, and even that is a stretch as I am at the end of the bar. It’s an older saw. No safety at all or dust collection. I need to check the HP of the motor as well. I did look into adding the INCRA fence to it to correct the fence issue. However; I felt a new saw would make more sense.

-- Jason Redcar WoodWorks

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

951 posts in 4143 days


#7 posted 03-03-2021 10:26 AM

From personal experience I can recommend the Grizzly 1023 series. I have owned mine for 12 years and am very pleased with the performance and durability, not to mention the attractive price point. I replaced the arbor bearings and belts last winter, lubricated and recalibrated everything and it is just like new again. I do not think you will be disappointed if you decide to pull the trigger on this great saw. Grizzly has excellent customer service , that is more than willing to answer your questions with a live human on the phone. Good Luck, Work Safely and Have Fun.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

482 posts in 674 days


#8 posted 03-03-2021 02:45 PM

I moved from a Ridgid portable contractor’s saw (that i used for more than 10 years, professionally), to a Shop Fox 1837. I’ve owned it almost a year and a half now and use it constantly.

I love the saw. It has performed almost flawlessly. Has enough power for everything I’ve thrown at it so far, adjustments are clean, smooth, and accurate.

However, the one shortfall for me is the fence. It’s solid, and once positioned, it is firm and accurate. But, there’s a lot of movement when tightening the handle down. It’s very similar to my old Ridgid, in function. So, I’ve decided to upgrade to an Incra TS-LS Joinery set up (I have a router table attached to the right side of my TS). I ordered it back in January and won’t see it until June. Most folks would be perfectly happy with the fence on the Shop Fox. Like I said, it’s solid. It does it’s job. But, I am looking forward to not having to tap that last little bit almost every time.

My set up is slightly over your budget, but I think the regular TS-LS might still fit?

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1859 posts in 2727 days


#9 posted 03-03-2021 02:58 PM

See my comments on the Harvey. Very happy with my C-300-30 ( I use an MDF fence face, so closer to 33 inch rip)

Go ahead and buy a “real” saw or you will want to upgrade again later. Sure, there was nothing my Ridgid could not do, but I sure like my full size 3 HP cabinet.

Fences seem to be a religious topic. My Ridgid was dead on and secure. Others had issues. My new C-300 steel T seems fine after a few tweaks. Features of the Incra are great, but too many comments about it not locking square. Too many fit and finish complaints about Vega. SuperCoolTools seems to be widely liked. Old Biesmyer was well respected, but seems Delta cheapened it.

Older saws do not have riving knives. Your choice. I don’t know where all the old Unisaws and PM66’s that are supposed to be out there are hiding. Great saws of the older generation. Don’t even see many older Delta Contractor saws. It was the top of that class. But when you get a “real” saw for $1500, why settle for less?

View Madmark2's profile (online now)

Madmark2

2638 posts in 1666 days


#10 posted 03-03-2021 03:27 PM

Incra not locking square? Never heard of that. Can you link to your source? If its not locking square something is broken or mis-installed.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Jim2020's profile

Jim2020

71 posts in 316 days


#11 posted 03-03-2021 10:32 PM

The old Unisaws are out there, you just have to look for them. Just checked e-bay, there are 13 used ones currently listed. None seem like an outstanding buy right now, but “best offer” price is sometimes way different from listed price. The problem with these old saws is that you have to be ready to suffer some inconvenience buying them, and putting them back into service.

I bought one a year ago, 1951 version, cost me $250. Problem was getting it to me. Well, I watched for listings somewhere within reasonable distance, and found one 150 mi. away, made an offer, and it was mine. Spent a day picking it up. Was in and old guy’s barn. He had a bale fork on his tractor, and lifted it with that and put it in the back of my truck.

Let me tell you it was not a pretty thing. Jerry-rigged switch, old jet fence, missing the cabinet door, and one of the hand wheel locks. But it ran just fine. It’s a 1725 rpm bullet motor machine. Long story – short: I spent about a month and maybe $300 putting it back in shape (Since I had it appart, I replaced the bearing and the arbor-probably wouldn’t have had to replace either). Then I built my own Beismeyer type fence. I now have a really nice cabinet saw. Learned all about it in the re-hab.

Now I enjoy working on, and building tools, so the project was fun for me. Someone else, maybe not. New these saws cost somewhere between $2500 to $3000. The new ones don’t match the build quality and robustness of these. You can’t expect to buy a pristine Unisaw for $600, but if you’re willing to shop, wait, and do some repair and rebuild work yourself, you can end up with a quality saw at a pretty reasonable price. Jim

View StarBright's profile

StarBright

38 posts in 364 days


#12 posted 03-03-2021 10:47 PM

Go ahead and buy a “real” saw or you will want to upgrade again later. Sure, there was nothing my Ridgid could not do, but I sure like my full size 3 HP cabinet.

This is so true. Think of this this way: there isn’t anything you cannot do with hand tools. Think of history’s most amazing carpentry pieces. I’m talking about violins that Stradivari, Amati, and Guarneri built. Or the great basilicas and cathedrals of Europe. Everything was done by hand it just took ridiculously long periods of time compared to what good power tools are capable of. Power tools don’t take craftsmanship out of the work, they just let you do more of it.

Lower end saws will get the job done but they can get frustrating quickly. When Craftsman tools took a dive in the late 90s/early 2000s there was a lot of play in the blade. You would get a new table saw set up and spend all the time to square the fence (and re-square it for every cut) but it didn’t matter because there was too much play in the blade and nothing came out square within tolerance.

You’ll also want something big enough for safe ripping. Maybe that’s not too big of an issue if you’re going to build a cabinet for the saw with a large enough outfeed table. There are a lot of options here.

Older saws do not have riving knives. Your choice. I don’t know where all the old Unisaws and PM66’s that are supposed to be out there are hiding. Great saws of the older generation. Don’t even see many older Delta Contractor saws. It was the top of that class. But when you get a “real” saw for $1500, why settle for less?

All good points. I am noticing that a lot of people are either keeping them or passing them down to their kids or someone in the family. If you live in the rust belt they do pop up at reasonable prices from time to time. But the prices are climbing.

View Sark's profile

Sark

407 posts in 1438 days


#13 posted 03-04-2021 06:38 AM

I bought a used Unisaw for $700. 3HP cabinet saw. Works great. Main drawback is does not have a riving knife. How big a handicap is that for you? But for that price I got a machine that tunes up nicely, has plenty of power, lots of accessory items from 3rd party manufacturers, one that runs smoothly with not excessive vibration. Will replace with a SawStop one of these days. So if you can get a “real saw” for $700, why spend more?

View RedcarWW's profile

RedcarWW

18 posts in 94 days


#14 posted 03-05-2021 02:20 AM

A close friend also swears by Unisaws. I’ve looked at some on Ebay. Below is a Unisaw in forsale in my state. My dad put in 3 phase for his milling machine and older lathe. That is not an issue.

“ROCKWELL 10 UNISAW W/FENCE AND MITER GAGE

As for whether an older is the route to go, I don’t know. I’m inclined to look at the Sawstop contractor saw or go with the Grizzly. Otherwise I’m looking at buying the Unisaw and purchasing the Incra for a better fence. It still does not have the riving knife. I’m also not sure about the dust collection of the Unisaw.

-- Jason Redcar WoodWorks

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bobfromsanluis

47 posts in 1749 days


#15 posted 03-05-2021 04:12 AM

I had a Craftsman contractor saw for many years, never had the electrical capacity for a 220 volt saw. When the tilting screw wouldn’t allow me to get to 45º for ripping, I knew it was time to move on. Found a used Delta 36-5000 for $200, didn’t have the factory base, no blade guard and the fence had issues. Spent some time and money (not much) and got it running fairly well. Upgraded the wiring finally to have 220 available, a few months later a PM66 came available in my area for $800. The saw had been in a school setting, the previous owner had swapped out the 3 phase motor and switch, added a Biesemeyer fence with 30” rails. Sold the Delta for $500, bought a motor cover from Bell Plastics, bought the SharkGuard blade guard with splitter and D/C hook up, I’m good to go. If I hadn’t found the Powermatic, I would have seriously considered the Grizzly, the riving knife on the Delta was a game changer, am happy with the ShardGuard.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8556 posts in 3276 days


#16 posted 03-05-2021 04:28 AM

A close friend also swears by Unisaws. I’ve looked at some on Ebay. Below is a Unisaw in forsale in my state.

They are asking about twice what that saw is worth IMO. You can find 3 phase Unisaws in the $500 or less range fairly often. Most people don’t want to deal with three phase, or want to spend the extra $200 or so to get a VFD. And E-bay may not be the best place to be looking… try your local craigslist, facebook marketplace, etc…

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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hineps

11 posts in 1444 days


#17 posted 03-05-2021 12:17 PM

Purchased a Laguna Fusion 3 saw last fall. Really liking it so far. Just put an Amana 50 tooth blade on it and you can hardly hear it running. I bought it mainly for the overhead dust collection blade guard. It works but not as well as I had hoped. The European style fence is very nice. 3 Hp by the way.

Phil

-- Phil

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RedcarWW

18 posts in 94 days


#18 posted 03-05-2021 01:38 PM

I want everyone to understand that I get the point that you can make do with lessers table saws. That is what I’ve been doing. Maybe I should have explained the situation a little better. I’ve decided to sell my dad’s Bridgeport milling machine and a bunch of tools to support it. While I still want to learn to be a machinist, the realization is that I will not get to that until I retire. Another 10-15 years. Meanwhile the Bridgeport takes up a significant footprint in my one car garage shop. This is a sentimental piece for me, and it was a hard decision. I am keeping his Grizzly lathe as it’s a much smaller footprint, and I am able to move that into a corner without losing much space.

By moving the Bridgeport, my plan is as follows:
  1. Replace the Rockwell/Delta table saw for a large one that is safer and more capable of breaking down sheet goods.
    1. Right now I use an Accu-cut from Kreg to break down the sheet goods to a smaller size in order to work with it on the table saw.
  2. Replace the RAS with a compound miter saw. While I do like the RAS, it’s one dimensional. The CMS will give me more flexibility.
  3. Sell 12” Rockwell/Delta disc sander
    1. This takes up a great deal of space with it’s table. Stay with me on this.
  4. Sell Delta 1” belt/4” disc sander
    1. I just don’t use this. It takes up space.
  5. From the proceeds of selling the table saw, RAS, 12” disc sander, and 1” belt/4” disc sander and if anything is left over from the sale of the milling machine I want to buy a 6” belt sander and 9” disc combo. If the proceeds are not enough, then I’ll have to save up for it.

I might even sell the lathe when I purchase a CNC router table. Space is a premium. All depends on how the business goes. If things go well, then this could happen. If not, then I could move towards machinist work earlier.

Plus if the woodworking does well, I don’t see me staying in this shop. I’d either have to build a larger building on our property or move to a larger place elsewhere. Those questions are getting ahead of myself. For now I am trying to get a good flow within the shop that makes it workable.

-- Jason Redcar WoodWorks

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MrUnix

8556 posts in 3276 days


#19 posted 03-05-2021 04:57 PM

... takes up a significant footprint in my one car garage shop.
[...] # Replace the Rockwell/Delta table saw for a large one that is safer and more capable of breaking down sheet goods. ## Right now I use an Accu-cut from Kreg to break down the sheet goods to a smaller size in order to work with it on the table saw.
[...]Space is a premium.
- RedcarWW

If you only have a small garage shop, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to squeeze in enough table saw to be cutting down sheet goods! I’d re-think that plan. Heck, I have a Unisaw and, unless I built some substantial support tables around it, I will keep knocking down sheet goods with a circular saw and guide similar to what you are doing. I’m stuck to a single car garage myself, so much bigger ain’t gonna happen. Remember, the table tops are basically the same size between a cabinet saw and a contractor saw. Here is a Unisaw and a portable benchtop saw for comparison. The difference in table size is marginal, and this Unisaw actually has a longer than standard right extension wing (about 5” wider than stock), making it a little bigger than normal:

Note: I do have a commercial Biesemeyer 50” fence for that saw, but again, space limits prevent me from installing it at the moment. A lot of people don’t realize – those fences take up a LOT of space… and in reality, unless you are a commercial cabinet shop or something, you will rarely need that extra capacity.

Here is a suitable setup for sheet goods from a fellow LJ member (bondogaposis) showing the space needed for the fence and outfeed tables:


(apologies to Bondo – it was the first image that popped up ;)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View RedcarWW's profile

RedcarWW

18 posts in 94 days


#20 posted 03-06-2021 03:42 AM



... takes up a significant footprint in my one car garage shop.
[...] # Replace the Rockwell/Delta table saw for a large one that is safer and more capable of breaking down sheet goods. ## Right now I use an Accu-cut from Kreg to break down the sheet goods to a smaller size in order to work with it on the table saw.
[...]Space is a premium.
- RedcarWW

If you only have a small garage shop, then it s going to be extremely difficult to squeeze in enough table saw to be cutting down sheet goods! I d re-think that plan. Heck, I have a Unisaw and, unless I built some substantial support tables around it, I will keep knocking down sheet goods with a circular saw and guide similar to what you are doing. I m stuck to a single car garage myself, so much bigger ain t gonna happen. Remember, the table tops are basically the same size between a cabinet saw and a contractor saw. Here is a Unisaw and a portable benchtop saw for comparison. The difference in table size is marginal, and this Unisaw actually has a longer than standard right extension wing (about 5” wider than stock), making it a little bigger than normal:

Note: I do have a commercial Biesemeyer 50” fence for that saw, but again, space limits prevent me from installing it at the moment. A lot of people don t realize – those fences take up a LOT of space… and in reality, unless you are a commercial cabinet shop or something, you will rarely need that extra capacity.

Here is a suitable setup for sheet goods from a fellow LJ member (bondogaposis) showing the space needed for the fence and outfeed tables:


(apologies to Bondo – it was the first image that popped up ;)

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix


I am glad I put up the plan. Only way to have someone give an outside objective opinion. I could go ahead and get an expensive TS, but the idea of ripping down plywood sheets in the shop with that TS is far fetched. Great point. I’d be better investing as suggested in a UNISAW at around $500. Then invest in a better track saw for breaking down the sheet goods.

Here is a saw on FB Market Place

-- Jason Redcar WoodWorks

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3269 posts in 1681 days


#21 posted 03-06-2021 05:26 PM

Watch this Laguna vs Sawstop video. Brand new Laguna cabinet saw for $1200.

I am glad I put up the plan. Only way to have someone give an outside objective opinion. I could go ahead and get an expensive TS, but the idea of ripping down plywood sheets in the shop with that TS is far fetched. Great point. I d be better investing as suggested in a UNISAW at around $500. Then invest in a better track saw for breaking down the sheet goods.

- RedcarWW

That is a good plan IMO. If you were planning on paying $1500 for a saw then for $1500 you could get a new Laguna cabinet saw and a track saw. I just bought a WEN 7 1/2” 12 amp track saw. Saw and tracks for under $250. Love it.

Nothing like a brand new 21st-century tool.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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RedcarWW

18 posts in 94 days


#22 posted 03-06-2021 05:38 PM

Another friend suggested an older Powermatic. Craigslist has a 3 phase 2HP

What do you think about that one?

-- Jason Redcar WoodWorks

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RedcarWW

18 posts in 94 days


#23 posted 03-06-2021 06:06 PM

Here’s another thought, keep the existing table saw and put the Incra fence on it. I’d still be missing the safety features, but I’d have saved my money on the TS and purchased a fence system I could use on just about any TS. Just trying to thing outside of the box. Then if a Unisaw comes up at a reasonable price down the road, I could jump on that and have the Incra fence to use with it.

The money saved would go into purchasing the Makita Track-saw for breakdown sheet goods.

Again just a thought that saves me some money, gets me a more accurate fence system on the current TS and allows me to get the track-saw as soon as I sell the milling machine. Which we my friend has a buyer for it.

-- Jason Redcar WoodWorks

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8556 posts in 3276 days


#24 posted 03-06-2021 06:13 PM

Another friend suggested an older Powermatic. Craigslist has a 3 phase 2HP
- RedcarWW

The Unisaw and PM66 were the industry standards for years – either one would be a lifetime machine. However, the Unisaw you linked to is way overpriced for a 1hp machine IMO, and the PM66 is missing a lot of pieces that will really bite you in the wallet to replace. I’d keep looking… plenty more machines will show up and a few of them will be really good deals (eg: I paid $150 for my Unisaw and it came with two fences and an overarm guard).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Madmark2's profile (online now)

Madmark2

2638 posts in 1666 days


#25 posted 03-06-2021 06:36 PM

Once you put an Incra on the old saw it may not be such a bad saw. As long as the blade aligns and doesn’t wobble most any saw can be a precision cutter with an Incra.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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