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upgrade Rigid TS or buy new saw?

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Forum topic by MountainCat posted 04-10-2018 03:04 PM 813 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


04-10-2018 03:04 PM

New to the site folks and I have a dilemma. I’ve been living with a Ridgid TS-2400 contractor saw for 10+ years, but since I retired and have more time for wood working it’s limitations are beginning to annoy me. Max 26 inch rip, small table that I’ve never been able to get completely flat or flush…....and well, it’s a portable contractor saw. It’s actually pretty accurate for what it is, but it’s still a job site saw.

I can go in two directions from here. The least expensive would be to build it into a work bench, giving me whatever table size I want, increased stability and possibly find a decent after market fence, like a Vega to replace the stock fence and gain rip capacity….........or I can upgrade to a new saw…................looking at Grizzly 0833, but I’m reading a lot about their quality problems and machines arriving with parts missing that have to be back ordered for weeks if not months…........I’m too old to sit around looking at an expensive new piece of equipment that I can’t use for weeks. Also looking at Laguna Fusion F2 for a little more money….......Only negatives I’ve read on that saw are the dust collection, but my Rigid effectively has NONE, so I’m accustomed to cleaning up piles of saw dust at the end of the day. Good DC would be nice, but for me it’s not a deal breaker.

So, should I put mag wheels on the old truck and live with it, or go buy myself a nice new shiny one for a lot more money?...............Money BTW is limited for me, so dropping $1000 or more on a new tool is a big deal.

Your thoughts???


14 replies so far

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2415 days


#1 posted 04-10-2018 03:28 PM

Can you build and sell enough stuff with your current saw to fund the upgrade? On a fixed income if the money is a big deal then I would say build up a table (sounds like you may have more time than money) and buy a better fence.

On the other hand, you can’t take it with you when you go, so if the added enjoyment of a new saw is worth the money to you then go for it. Ramen noodles are cheap if it comes to that. :)

Someone will be along shortly to tell you to buy a unisaw off of craigslist for $50 and a cup of coffee. You could consider that route as well. I’ve never found the luck with used stuff myself.

Brian

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

View CRAIGCLICK's profile

CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 493 days


#2 posted 04-10-2018 03:47 PM

My two cents…

Upgrading doesn’t necessarily mean buying a new saw. I love going into my local Woodcraft and salivating over their new cabinet saws, but the saw that I have (an upgraded Craftsman 113) is more saw than I will need for the foreseeable future.

You can certainly build the Ridgid into a bench and use that. It will give you a large table and the addition of a high quality blade will definitely win half the battle for you.

You can also do what I did and buy and old contractor saw like the craftsman 113 or a Delta 34-444 saw which great bases for modification. Here is the first part of my ongoing saw build. I have two more blog entries on it and I just got it completed, so I have to write the last one.

http://lumberjocks.com/CRAIGCLICK/blog/120521

Whatever you get, make sure that you set aside money for a decent fence. That makes ALL the difference. I recommend a Vega or Biesemeyer.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

View MountainCat's profile

MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


#3 posted 04-10-2018 03:56 PM

Thanks Guys…...........Wife passed last year and all I have left are 5 cats and two hobbies, aquariums and wood working….....the two fit together nicely if you build your own stands, etc. I do have good blades, Freud and Forest, for the Ridgid and it does cut pretty well, but it still has the same limitations that any portable saw has.

Yeah, I’ve seen the craigslist recs on other posts and there is merit to that approach from a $$$ perspective. At this point in my life not sure I want another hand-me-down…......I already have one. Don’t know how much improvement and safety I’d gain by building the old saw into a bench with a new fence. In the end it’s still the same saw. I may take a look at CL just to see what’s out there. Maybe I’d find an offer too good to pass up. I can spring for a new saw if I choose to go that way, just not sure if it’s money well spent at 65 yrs. old.

View Andre's profile

Andre

2672 posts in 2226 days


#4 posted 04-10-2018 04:01 PM

IMHO, go with a Cabinet saw, a hybrid would be a huge upgrade. Good used is always best but sometimes a decent sale price can get you cutting a lot sooner! A decent fence and blade will make you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1610 posts in 3978 days


#5 posted 04-10-2018 04:20 PM

I can honestly say that buying my Delta cabinet-style table saw really helped me up my woodworking game tremendously. I was hacking out Stickley tabourets that looked like some kid in shop class made them. With the new saw, I was able to make heirloom quality furniture for my family. I also have a job site saw, but only use it under special circumstances (e.g. cutting boards that are too long to fit in my shop. You can even see my evolution in my older projects.

You may be able to take some incremental steps though. Have you seen the Paulk workbench that optionally incorporates a contractor saw? You could maybe build one, use it for a while and then splurge on the big saw after a few successful craft fairs/farmer’s markets weekends.

One thing I would be careful of though is to make sure that your incremental step isn’t almost as expensive as just getting the big saw. Not much sense in spending well over 50% of the cost and not have the saw to show for it.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View MountainCat's profile

MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


#6 posted 04-10-2018 04:46 PM

Yeah, can’t justify going to a full-on cabinet saw. The hybrids are more in my price range and would likely be a huge improvement over what I’m used to…...better accuracy, larger, more stable table, better, longer fence and rip capacity…........and you’re right, by the time I spend the money for a new fence system and build a bench to put it in I’m getting fairly close half the price of a new saw….........Really like what I’ve read about the Grizzly 0833P and at $1000 or less it looks like a heck of a saw…..........but there seems to be a problem getting a complete and working saw right out of the box…........I worked in manufacturing for 40 years…......things like that should NOT happen. I even sent them an email with my concerns about a purchase…........they sent me a polite reply.

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

8297 posts in 3795 days


#7 posted 04-10-2018 08:53 PM

Your Ridgid 2400 is a pretty decent portable jobsite saw (not a contractor saw). Even with a saw station built around it, it still won’t have the torque of a belt drive induction motor. And unless you build more space in front of the blade, it’ll still have a fairly small landing zone to get boards settled on. A true full size contractor saw should make for a good upgrade without breaking the bank. A used Delta, Jet, Grizzly, PM, GI, Shop Fox, Craftsman, Ridgid, or Rockwell saw should offer some benefits and potential that your current 2400 does not.

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

View MountainCat's profile

MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


#8 posted 04-10-2018 11:14 PM

Thanks knotscot….....yeah, one of the problems with that saw and similar is lack of real estate and rip capacity. With a bench and an after market fence, assuming I could find one that would work with that saw, I could make it easier and safer to work with larger material. As for power, I seldom work with heavy hard woods, mostly 3/4 sheet goods, 1x and 2x oak and lumber. I do have to feed slow, which causes burning sometimes, even with a thin kerf Freud blade. Trying hard to talk myself into a new saw, LOL….......Seems even most of the better contractor saws are up around $1000, or higher. At that price point I might as well spend a little more and get one of the hybrids or a used cabinet saw….....I dunno, I LOVE tools and I’ve been drooling for a better TS for years. Guess I’d best make up my mind soon while I can still see well enough to cut wood and not fingers…............getting too damn old to put it off for another day….........I will say that the TS 2400 has been accurate, maybe not to a couple thousands of an inch, but everything has stayed square. If my cut is off, it’s me, not the saw. For what it is and what it was designed to be, I can’t really complain, but…......................

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1496 posts in 1914 days


#9 posted 04-11-2018 01:15 AM

Upgrading .vs. new is always difficult debate when money is tight.
Dropping $1000+ for any tool is ALWAYS a big deal.

Suggest you consider a couple of things not mentioned so far – resale value:

What is value of upgraded job site saw in your area? If you spend $300 buying lumber and shop fox/vega fence for torsion box table upgrade, can you sell it and recoup your investment if it doesn’t work out way you expect?

What is re-sale value of new Grizzly/ShopFox hybrid saw if you do not like it? Buy for $1000, and resell for $650?

A middle cost alternate is to buy a used contractor saw,
You can buy a used contractor saw that has better fence, larger table, and dust collection for <$250? Well tuned contractor saw in good shape re-sells for same $200-$300.

In AZ, can find Emerson produced contractor saws (such as Ridgid TS2424 and Craftsman 113.XXXXX series) for <$300 everyday, and often less than $100. I have owned 2 different Ridged TS2424 saws and craftsman version over last 25 years due to various job relocations. Granted these contractor saws are not perfect saws, but they solve most of your problems and are less expensive.

FWIW – The fence requires proper locking technique and setup, to make it accurate. Cost ~$20 to add a dust collector chute in bottom, and fab a removable plate on back and all of bottom dust is collected. The fence can be moved from 24” left 24” right configuration as shipped, to a 14” left 34” right configuration by adding a table extension or even a router table extension, which offers larger table cuts. Can add Microjg professional splitter for <$40, and you have a decent + safe saw. Biggest drawback to contractor saws is 1.5HP motor, as cutting 8/4 lumber is definitely slower than if you have 3hp cabinet saw.

IMHO – For same $300 you would spend upgrading your current saw, you could get a decent contractor saw plus fix it up AND be able to resell easily if you want to upgrade further when money is more available?
:)

Another aspect to consider is what do you want to make with wood?

If you intend to saw lots of thick 8/4+ or 6/4+ hard exotic woods; then you will regret not having a beefy 3HP motor on your next saw. If most of work is 4/4 lumber, than most any option above will work for you.

Best Luck with decision…..

PS – if you are located in AZ, look me up a month or so; as will likely be selling my current one owner Ridgid TS2424 with all above upgrades. See I managed to find my white whale (cheap used 3HP cabinet saw) few weeks ago, and once I finish making router table extension/cabinet and mobile base for it, my current saw will be redundant and be looking for a new home.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View MountainCat's profile

MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


#10 posted 04-11-2018 12:14 PM

Thanks C.K…......very good points about trying to hot rod my 2400, .........might get me closer to what I want or might be a waste of time and money…..........I’d love a full sized saw, who wouldn’t, but honestly for the kind of projects I do and anticipate doing it would be like driving a sports car to Walmart…..........I will see what’s on craigslist as far as used saws. .................I appreciate your input!

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

495 posts in 2990 days


#11 posted 04-11-2018 01:52 PM

I wouldn’t look at buying used as “another hand me down”. I bought almost every one of my woodworking tools used. There are tons of people out there that buy stuff new, don’t use it as much as they thought, and end up selling. Think of it as “getting more for your money”.

Not sure where you’re located, but you should be able to find a good hybrid or cabinet saw, used, for well under a grand. If you factor in selling your Ridgid as well, you can probably offset that even more.

View MountainCat's profile

MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


#12 posted 04-11-2018 10:08 PM

Thanks “lips”............started looking on craigslist today…......didn’t see anything that said yeah, THAT’s what I want, but there were a few TS for sale, which was encouraging, so I’ll keep looking…............If I could find something way better than what I have for maybe $500 or less I’d jump on it…...........New would cost me 2-3 times that, minimum, for so it would be a cheap upgrade…...........Funny, that Rigid really is a decent saw, but it has the limitations inherent to the breed. Now that I have all the time in the world to play in my shop, it would be nice to have a sweet saw as the centerpiece. ................thanks for your input.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

377 posts in 1070 days


#13 posted 04-11-2018 10:33 PM

I understand tight budgets.
Only you can know if buying a new saw is really feasible or not.
If it is and you are spending significant time woodworking then I encourage you to go ahead and buy a nice saw.
Using a saw that you don’t have to fight makes your projects so much more fun and relaxing.
Being able to set it square and repeatable is a real game changer.
I look at the Dallas Craigslist fairly often and there aren’t many good tools that get posted, but many here find great buys regularly so I wouldn’t rule it out.
Good luck to you.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View MountainCat's profile

MountainCat

7 posts in 466 days


#14 posted 04-11-2018 10:54 PM

Thanks Chashint…..........New or nice used, I can go either way…...........Old Ridgid is fine for smaller things, but because it’s a small saw I do have to fight with it on larger material…........which can be a little scary at times since I value my body parts….......no anti-kickback pawls, no riving knife or splitter, crappy blade guard, table extension that is “almost” level to the main table…........Lot of times, especially on long rips, I grit my teeth until it’s done…...........thanks Charlie

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