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Forum topic by BeardedDog posted 11-22-2019 05:39 AM 1631 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 938 days

11-22-2019 05:39 AM

With in reason she said.

So, after about two decades I am finally graduating college! Wife asked what I wanted for my graduation gift. After being denied a Unimog, she said yes to an American Beauty (I quoted her $7500) or table saw. Now, I grossly overestimated the cost of a new table saw, but I’ll be honest, the one I have I’m inclined to never use. It works, but not exactly a safe saw, by table saw standards. I have been looking at sawstop cabinet saws, but not exclusively. I could use some collective advice to maximize this, likely once in a life time opportunity. A little background, I have a fully functional shop (table saw, 8” jointer, bench top planer, band saw, drill press, compound miter saw, and lathe). However, all my major shop tools are Craigslist/auction purchases. None are new, all require more work to be perfectly functional. I want a life-long shop tool/tools. I am also not limited to 110. Did I mention I love my wife even though she won’t let me get a Unimog?

-- Carson City, NV Instagram: bearded_dogworkshop

27 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6564 posts in 3408 days

#1 posted 11-22-2019 11:23 AM

If you’re a turner I don’t think I would pass on a chance to get an American Beauty. I’m not a turner (just a wannabe) and I’d like to have one. It indeed fits your criteria of life-long shop tools.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View EarlS's profile


4085 posts in 3262 days

#2 posted 11-22-2019 12:25 PM

Congratulations on graduation. It’s good to see you you back on LJ.

I had to look up the Unimog. I wonder if SWMBO is reluctant to say “yes” is due to a lack of understanding how it would fit with your shop? The way I see it, the Unimog is an ideal “lumber retreival tool”. It would also check off the “lifetime tool” requirement.

If she poo-poos that idea, I’d start looking at a Sawstop (3HP minumum), Dewalt 735 planer, JessEm Ultimate Excel II router table, Powermatic 6” long bed joiner, Oneida V-300 dust collector, a 14” bandsaw, and a drill press/mill. In case you wonder, this looks a lot like my “wish” list.

Have you looked at sliding table saws?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View toolie's profile


2193 posts in 3543 days

#3 posted 11-22-2019 12:54 PM

I just looked up what a Unimog is. Your wife did you a favor!

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

576 posts in 1993 days

#4 posted 11-22-2019 03:00 PM

I too looked up Unimog and can’t tell what a serious woodworker would do with all that fresh air!

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View pottz's profile


12256 posts in 1899 days

#5 posted 11-22-2019 03:38 PM

yeah forget the unimog a good quality table saw will serve you a lot better.congrats on the graduation too,

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


15319 posts in 2053 days

#6 posted 11-22-2019 04:40 PM

Sounds to me like you can have a top-shelf table saw plus a really nice large lathe (not American Beauty though!) and still come in well under the $7500 mark :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Phil32's profile


1180 posts in 818 days

#7 posted 11-22-2019 04:54 PM

The idea that buying new machines will eliminate the need for “more work to be perfectly functional” may be flawed. The stories of machine defects on this site should convince you that it is necessary to check alignment and proper functioning whether new or used.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View pintodeluxe's profile


6231 posts in 3728 days

#8 posted 11-22-2019 05:10 PM

3hp Sawstop PCS with ICS base. It’s the perfect setup for any shop.
I have the 52” fence, but if you don’t have room the smaller fence would be fine too.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View RobHannon's profile


347 posts in 1445 days

#9 posted 11-22-2019 05:11 PM

Personally I would jump at the American Beauty over a Unimog. But at that price point I would get a PM2000 and a PM3520C, or similar Grizzly offerings.

View BeardedDog's profile


73 posts in 938 days

#10 posted 11-22-2019 06:10 PM

Thank you for the welcome back Earl, I’m still loving my mallets you sent me. A unimog is just a dream trail rig of mine. Maintenance costs would be rediculous, being a mercedes. Only purpose a woodworker would have for it is to retrieve lumber from deep in the mountains. But that is irrelevant, its not going to happen. I am a shadetree woodworker that has a shop as a backup plan in case things dont work out in my career. I only briefly looked at sliding tablesaws. Space isn’t the concern, I have a 1400 sqft shop. I’m leaning away from them because I want to maximize my investment, not necessarily improve my production time. I understand that even new tools require a certain level of finess to adjust the tool for function. However, my table saw is a no-name chinese brand cabinet saw that is 1) extremely difficult to tune and 2) not supported with parts and customer service. I bought it at auction for $50 just to get operational. It cuts straight, but I want to get a more capable setup that I can easily find service and support for. I’ve been looking at the sawstops, would likely lean the route of the 52” fence with a built in router table. Bonus would be that leaves room for a potential lathe upgrade as well. Passing on an American Beauty would be a tough pill to swallow. However, I have to be honest, I am not a professional turner. I’m honestly leaning towards Ken’s advice.

-- Carson City, NV Instagram: bearded_dogworkshop

View bigblockyeti's profile


6837 posts in 2635 days

#11 posted 11-22-2019 06:20 PM

How bout a deuce and a half? I’ve seen them for as low just under $3K (pretty rough but running) and you could still get a really nice Unisaw or PM66 or if you can sacrifice on quality a little, a Stapsaw works for some.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View CoryN's profile


9 posts in 1431 days

#12 posted 11-22-2019 08:24 PM

Interesting, I was just looking in the current ads and there was a Unimog for sale. I thought about it for a few minutes…

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


15319 posts in 2053 days

#13 posted 11-22-2019 08:35 PM

Personally I would jump at the American Beauty over a Unimog. But at that price point I would get a PM2000 and a PM3520C, or similar Grizzly offerings.

- RobHannon

Yep. If I was buying a new lathe, that Powermatic would probably be my choice too. Tablesaw would probably be either a PM or SawStop.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View BeardedDog's profile


73 posts in 938 days

#14 posted 11-22-2019 09:19 PM

As far as a lathe goes I’m strongly considering the laguna revo 18/36. I have a laguna dealer about 30 minutes from my house and have heard good things about their customer service.

-- Carson City, NV Instagram: bearded_dogworkshop

View therealSteveN's profile


6645 posts in 1489 days

#15 posted 11-22-2019 10:14 PM

Man, if by Unimog you mean that Russian tank,truck,bulldozer kinda butt kicking ride, and you actually have some ground where you could rip loose, that’s a kids dream all shot down. BUMMER!!!! If I had one, and enough ground to conquer I may never go back into the shop. Those look pretty much fun.

But a guy with a lathe, and a Table saw could build a soap box racer. Got any hills around?

-- Think safe, be safe

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