Table saw, jointer and planer advice needed

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Forum topic by Osterhage posted 09-08-2016 03:47 AM 2126 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Osterhage's profile


5 posts in 1639 days

09-08-2016 03:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw delta grizzly jointer planer dewalt newbie advice

I have never even used a table saw before, but I’m ready to buy one and start tackling more advanced woodworking projects – and I need your help. I have a laundry list of projects I’d like to tackle including: farmhouse table and benches, desk, built-in shelves, mudroom locker, and a laundry island (you know, I have to please the “boss” for signing off on this buying spree…).

I’ve been reading here and generally for months and scouring CL – but I can’t figure out what level machine is right for me – except that I want new for the safety features/riving knife – I’ve passed on a couple of old PM-66’s that hit CL recently. So, I think its down to: Delta 36-725, Grizzly 715p or Grizzly 1023RL (maybe 1023RLW – but the router table doesn’t seem better than something I could build or buy separately). I probably would have already bought the Delta out of impatience to start woodworking, but it’s remarkably unavailable for purchase in-store or online at any Lowe’s near Cincinnati.

By way of background, I’m a pretty advanced DIY kind of guy, having tackled numerous large and small projects over the years (2-story deck, framing walls, storage shelving, a trundle toy table, etc) with a wide range of power tools, but I’ve just actually never used a table saw. I have access to a huge supply of rough sawn cherry, walnut and maple in a barn on our family farm, and can cut more whenever. I’m going to use one of my garage bays – the others could be used occasionally if needed, so mobility is a plus. I already have 2 20A 110/120v circuits in the garage for power tools, but I could get 220/240v there if I got a bigger saw.

I think I would prefer to buy quality once, but I just don’t know what I don’t here, and a lack of experience with table saws is a clear hangup. Probably reaching run-on-thread territory, but I’ve been eye-balling the Grizzly 8” jointer (G656W) and 15” Planer (G815) as a package deal to clean up my cache of rough sawn lumber – (I noted the prices of S3S lumber at a local lumber store and it was exorbitant). If I went the “cheaper” route, I’d probably buy the Dewalt planer and make a table saw edge jointing jig and a planer sled for the first face, or wait for a 6 or 8” jointer on CL.

All advice is greatly appreciated.

29 replies so far

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2463 days

#1 posted 09-08-2016 04:33 AM

Take safety lessons first …


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View isotope's profile


177 posts in 2634 days

#2 posted 09-08-2016 12:46 PM

I have access to a huge supply of rough sawn cherry, walnut and maple in a barn on our family farm, and can cut more whenever.

This fact strongly suggests to me that your long term thinking should be to definitely get the three machines you need to convert this raw stock into ready to use material; jointer, planer and table saw. You kind of need all three. If budget is an issue, that CL is your friend. Particularly for the jointer. They are simple machines and new ones don’t really have any added safety features. A basic lunch box planer, even though it’ll have it’s drawbacks, will get the job done. As for the table saw, my personal opinion is that the most important element is the fence. If you get something used, try to find something with an upgraded fence. Everything else is secondary.

You definitely sound like a competent individual; however, MadMark’s point is valid. Try to find someone with lots of experience to “train” you. I did a lot of the learning by myself and had an accident when using improper technique. I got very lucky it wasn’t worse. I just didn’t know any better.

View jdmaher's profile


472 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 09-08-2016 01:37 PM

I believe tables aw is a wise first priority. Since you’re rightly concerned about safety, you should at look at a SawStop. I don’t have one (I have Delta), but if I were in the market, that’s what I’d look at first. As others have advised, get some training. Before buying my first tables saw, I struck a deal to get 4 hours of instruction from the guy who sold it to me. He was missing two fingers, but he beat safety into my head for all 4 hours. It was enough to get going. 30 years later, I still have all my fingers and I still avoid any move on the tables saw that I have the slightest hesitation about.

I don’t use a jointer, but there have been LOTS of times when I wish I had one. I choose lumber carefully to make sure I can use a sled on my Dewalt planer to flatten one face. And I do straight line rip on the table saw (sometimes hand planing after). If I had the funds, I’d buy a jointer. I’ve never needed more than 13” width on my planer.

I do have 220V circuits, and that supports my 3HP tablesaw easily. I’ve never felt the need, but if I were buying new, I’d consider a 5HP (8/4 maple burns a little for me).

Usually, I advise people to go slow and see how they like woodworking before they buy a lot of equipment. With your DIY experience and interest, I bet you’re gonna love it!

First, and always, stay safe. Lumberjocks is an incredible resource so don’t hesitate to ASK.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Robert's profile


4447 posts in 2490 days

#4 posted 09-08-2016 02:41 PM

IMO you are on the right track focusing on a quality. However – funds permitting – I would suggest skip the contractor or homeowner type saws and go right to a 3HP cabinet saw. My philosophy is any tool I buy is an investment, not an expense.

I believe all the major brands will do the job for you (Jet, Delta, Grizzly, PM, General and SS).

Personally, I have a Jet Xacta and it was a huge step up from the C’man POJ I was using. After nearly 15 years it has remained rock solid accurate with power to handle any task I throw at it. I believe underpowered TS’s actually increase the risk of injury.

The planer and jointer you mentioned are excellent choices and will do the rough milling task very well.

If you have never used a TS, I STRONGLY urge you to research the safety issues, watch some videos, and attend a live demo. Perhaps a SawStop would be a good consideration for you.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8307 posts in 1722 days

#5 posted 09-08-2016 02:54 PM

I do have 220V circuits, and that supports my 3HP tablesaw easily. I ve never felt the need, but if I were buying new, I d consider a 5HP (8/4 maple burns a little for me).

- jdmaher

maybe you need to use a sharp blade ??

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5341 posts in 4970 days

#6 posted 09-08-2016 02:56 PM

Some may not agree, but I’m in the Grizz camp with no regrets at all. Price/value is my mantra, and after the purchase service and parts is important.
I wouldn’t touch the once-great Delta brands of today.
Make SURE you understand the tools very well before blasting off. Ya don’t wanna get hurt.
Good luck with your choices.

-- [email protected]

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4413 posts in 1749 days

#7 posted 09-08-2016 03:02 PM

I would like to argue a band saw into the equation. If you have a circular saw then I would get a band saw, jointer, and planer. If you have the budget then add a table saw of course.

I buy rough lumber all the time (usually 3×8 or 3×12) and can’t even think about breaking it down to size without my band saw to resaw for thickness. If you have a circular saw you can probably get by for the time being. Just my thoughts. You haven’t stated your budget but Grizzly isn’t anywhere near the top of the line but it is a great value. I own Grizzly stuff and will likely buy more in the future, I’m happy with it.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Osterhage's profile


5 posts in 1639 days

#8 posted 09-08-2016 04:42 PM

Everyone’s advice is much appreciated so far. Definitely on board with the SAFETY concerns.

A few points of clarification:
- I have several friends with contractor T/S (and they still have all 10 fingers). I have watched many videos on safe usage too. I certainly will keep the training wheels on and get some supervised “live fire” training – that’s great advice.

- Budget is sort of whatever it takes for the right balance of price and value. I was working under the assumption the T/S would be the most expensive tool I buy and the rest would be based on that “tier” so to speak. Right now I think the top end for me is the 1023RL (~$1500 with a roller base, and hopefully find a coupon code on the back of this catalog I’m still waiting on them to send me). I started my research at the StopSaw website (and I’ve seen this said here before: “ask me about that 2x premium after I cut off my finger”) – but that’s sort of my reaction: very amazing technology, massive premium – with lots of people using other table saws safely…

- I’ll look into bandsaws… The stock I have access to ranges between 4/4 and 10/4 and I dont think anything wider than 12”, but there are some live edges in the stacks.

View HerbC's profile


1819 posts in 3869 days

#9 posted 09-08-2016 04:54 PM

Just a brief reminder from someone who’s been there, it only takes a moment to destroy the safe record you’ve spent a lifetime building up. I had fifty years of accident free use of standard table saws when I had my “accident” which has certainly impacted my life and use of my left hand.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4413 posts in 1749 days

#10 posted 09-08-2016 04:55 PM

The 4/4 stuff is fine but the 10/4 stuff you will likely need a bandsaw to get where you want it. Personally I think you should look at the Grizzly stuff. Most of my tools are yard sale finds 40 years old. I do have a new Grizzly bandsaw and am very happy with it. Takes everything I’ve shoved through it thus far.

IF I ever get a new table saw I will likely get a Grizzly or a PM66 or something. Using a cheap Rockwell 10 from a yard sale now. I have a good fence on it and it works just fine. Wish it had better dust collection but I honestly don’t use it much except to rip long rough sawn to width, then to the band saw for thickness, then joint/plane, then crosscut with hand saw or miter saw.

Those are the tools you need to do the job. I honestly think the band saw and jointer/planer are the most important IF you have other rip cut methods (like a circular saw). Again, just my thoughts. I personally have all of them and need them all but if I had to give one up it would be my table saw.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View knotscott's profile


8410 posts in 4385 days

#11 posted 09-08-2016 07:07 PM

The PM66 and G1023RL are industrial cabinet saws, and are significant steps above the 36-725 and G0715P hybrid saws in terms of power, mass, stability, ruggedness, quality, accuracy, long term reliability, etc. If you have 220v and ample budget, that’s the way I’d suggest you go. If a used PM66 were in nice shape, I wouldn’t let lack of a riving knife be the reason not to buy it….a decent splitter accomplishes a very similar feat, and the rest of the saw is superior to the others in most regards. A lesser saw is certainly capable of doing the job, but will fight you more. Blade and setup is critical regardless of which saw you pursue.

The G1023R series is a heck of the bang for the buck, and would give you modern safety features like the riving knife…same goes for the G0690.

If you really want the ultimate in safety and performance, something like the Saw Stop PCS or ICS.

For a jointer I’d recommend a stationary floor unit vs a portable….6” mininum, 8”+ if you can swing it. Grizzly is a good bang for the buck here too.

A good portable planer with a cutterhead lock and dust chute work well….DW735, DW734, Ridgid R4331.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View jmartel's profile


9159 posts in 3160 days

#12 posted 09-08-2016 07:21 PM

If you can’t swing the G1023, don’t get the 715P. Accuracy issues and table mounted trunions. If you get a hybrid, get a 771. Doesn’t have the alignment issues and you get cabinet mounted trunions.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View bbasiaga's profile


1259 posts in 3005 days

#13 posted 09-08-2016 07:27 PM

I think if you buy the 1023 in 3hp it will be the last table saw you ever buy. Good workhorse, enough power.

If you think someday when you have more money or are in to woodworking more you want a sawstop, then you could consider going with the cheaper delta or Grizzly now.

Grizzly jointer are good if you can’t find a deal on CL. And the DW735 jointer I have is a great machine.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bkseitz's profile


295 posts in 2320 days

#14 posted 09-09-2016 12:52 PM

I started with a Craftsman contractor saw and have upgraded it over the years. It may not be the most powerful think out there but it gets the job done. I work with large sheet goods, 3/4 ply, for most of my projects. So a large table has been a must.

Had I to do it over again knowing what I know now, I would likely go with a Cabinet saw either a PM66 with large side table or a StopSaw. The fact that the blade is toast when the Stopsaw goes off has me leaning towards the PM66.

-- bkseitz, Washington "if everything is going well, you've obviously overlooked something"

View UpstateNYdude's profile


965 posts in 2993 days

#15 posted 09-09-2016 01:05 PM

The fact that the blade is toast when the Stopsaw goes off has me leaning towards the PM66.

- bkseitz

Better than your fingers/hand/random body part, I’ll take losing a $50-120 blade to losing my finger or doing some irreparable damage to my hands/arms any day of the week. Good luck pushing the wood through the tablesaw with your claw.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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