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I know there's been a lot of debate here about the merits of granite table tops and one of my concerns has always been that the granite could chip especially at the end of a T slotted mitre gauge.

Well (and I'm not proud of this nor was I trying to do it), I was at a Home Depot today with a friend looking for clearance Porter-Cable router bits which they didn't have when we spotted the Rigid table saw with the granite top. We walked over to take a look at it and I was explaining my concerns to my friend about the chipping possibility. I slid out the mitre gauge because I wanted to see if it was a T-slot design and had the washer on the end to hold it in the slot. I must have had it low where I was holding it because sure enough a piece broke off one edge just as the bar came out.

I didn't even think I had the thing low, I was just sliding it out the same way I slide out mine with the washer on it on my Unisaw while I was talking. So maybe I wasn't paying enough attention to what I was doing but I guess I'm not used to having to baby a machine.

Only one corner popped off, the left side and not any larger then a 1/4" so I don't know, maybe it was weak or previously fractured or something. I would have expected both corners to have popped off if there was any real downward pressure but only the one did. Maybe it broke off before and the Super Glue didn't hold. ;)

Anyway, please, no flames, I feel bad enough about this and it was not intentional, and I am hesitatingly even posting this for fear of that. But I guess I was right, it can happen, I just wish I wasn't the one to have proved it.
 

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Display items tend to get abused a lot. It could be that others had done the same numerous times and which weakened the granite at that point.

I have the R4511 and the top is not as flimsy as others think it is. Then again, I never had a cast iron top saw, so i can't compare.
 

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Curt-Don't feel bad … you were not abusing the tool.

They might cover it under warranty, but I think you have a hard time deciding of damage was the result of ordinary wear and tear or the result of mis-use of the tool. Could get pretty complicated.

I know some folks really like the idea of stone table tops and jointer beds, but I just can't convince myself to give up my cast iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, I never thought about that, the abuse display models take.

Yeah and it just dawned on me, warranties usually cover defects in materials and workmanship, so you'd have to prove there was a hairline crack and that defect allowed it to happen. Not likely…

Dane, I like your signature, have a lot of respect for that man..
 

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Curt, this is indeed the acheles heel of the granite top table saws - the miter slot. I think this is why SC decided to avoid that culprit and on their 35920 saws the miter slots are NOT t-tracked. I personally like to have the option should I want to use it, but as you noticed, it does require more attention than usual.

A general rule of thumb for miter gauges, is to PULL them IN from the back of the saw, as opposed to the more intuitive way of pushing them from the front - even for non granite top saws.

P.S. - I did take the washer off of my Incra1000 gauge - just to be safe.

other than that though- this top is SUPER. practically 0 maintenance, and stays like new through the seasons… humidity and all.
 

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Well, the saw is being discontinued… I was told it was due to the weight wihich caused the shipping cost to be excessive… the granite amounts to 188 pounds, so I can understand that. Good or Bad, I bought the last one that HD had on stock locally… $450 included a 10% discount… couldn't resist, I was ready to pull the trigger on the Ridgid 3660 but they were discontinued too and I couldn't find one. Sigh.
 

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Dane,
There are more like him. We just don't see them as easily as we saw Mr. Lombardi.
He was a great coach. More importantly, he was a great and good man.
 

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Curt- stuff like that happens to demos all the time, and I don't think they should have made the saw with the T track in the first place, just for what you experienced.

I wasn't so sure about granite when I bought this saw, but at $450 it was not a major dollar gamble to try it out, and I really viewed it as an interim saw that would get me through a few projects and also let me try out a saw with cab mounted trunnions and better dust collection.

So far I have found the saw and the granite to be quite durable and maintenance free, but then I never put much of anything but wood on my cast top either.
 

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I use magnet hold downs which I use all the time for ripping, the granite top just wouldn't work for me. I'm glad if HD is going back to cast iron. The granite top really did appeal to me until I read this blog. I have not the gift of forethought, even if the warrenty covered a chip in the table, it would have to be extrmly large for me to want to go thru the hassel of returning it.
 

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Robert, I do agree, said that myself many a time. I totally suspect they didn't do it for us, they did it for themselves in the form of lower materials cost to produce and then tried to convince us it was better. Maybe the granite industry even had the idea and convinced the machine manufacturers because for multiple machine manufacturers to come out with machines that close to the same time I doubt they shared their product plans.

Bob, are they going back to cast iron and dropping granite? That be interesting, it sure didn't last long then. Any other manufacturers doing that too?
 

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PurpLev, you made a good point, there's many a time I'm getting some rust off my cast iron table tops. My DJ-20 had a big 6" spot this past July, I think I might have put a wet rag on it when I was doing the plumbing to install my tankless hot water heater. Dumb dumb dumb. I also then tried to use Evapo Rust to get it off easily, I swear by Evapo Rust but I will never use it that way again. It got the rust off but it left a black ring around the edge of the spot that was even harder to get off.

But still, I take that in stride and usually use Top Saver to get any rust off, so that may not be enough of a selling point for me. And I also do like the fact you can use magnetic devices on the cast iron top.
 
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