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Rigid 4512 or Craftsman 113?

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Forum topic by BlackEdition posted 05-16-2020 12:11 AM 624 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BlackEdition

13 posts in 62 days


05-16-2020 12:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw tablesaw

Hi all! I am a new forum member and rookie woodworker. As I am just getting into woodworking, I am starting to amass some tools to begin my journey. I would like to build some small household projects in the short-term, and expand to luthiery in the long-term.

As the table saw is the heart of any shop, my initial tool shopping list includes a table saw. As nice as it would be to start out with a Wood Whisperer- or Crafted Workshop-level shop containing all the newest and best stuff, I have to work within a reasonably small budget. I have been able to purchase an old Craftsman 113 saw in reasonably good shape for $80 from a seller on Craigslist with the hope of refurbishing it. However, a Rigid 4512 has popped up on my local Craigslist in apparently great condition. The seller is asking for $400 for this saw. (I haven’t yet confirmed it is a the revised Rigid 4512 with the updated trunnions).

For the Craftsman, I was planning to upgrade the fence (looking at a Vega Pro 50), install PALS, a machined pulley, and segmented belt. All in, the Craftsman would be more expensive than the used Rigid. I think refurbishing the Craftsman would be a great learning experience, but I worry that it may turn into a headache. What would you all recommend between the two saws? I really look forward to participating in this community and appreciate all your input!

-- New woodworker, excited to learn!


24 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8099 posts in 2977 days


#1 posted 05-16-2020 12:35 AM

There is no way I would pay $400 for a 4512. If it were me, I’d keep the C-man and use it as is while looking for a better deal to come along. You can then sell it for $100 and make $20 on the deal.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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BlackEdition

13 posts in 62 days


#2 posted 05-16-2020 01:00 AM

Brad,

I appreciate your reply. I have read the stock fence on the 113 is useless. Do you think it is not worth upgrading the 113? It was my understanding that the 113 was a contractor saw with good bones that could be upgraded to a respectable performer. If not, what model saws do you think I should keep an eye out for and what price range should I expect?

Thanks so much!

-- New woodworker, excited to learn!

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MrUnix

8099 posts in 2977 days


#3 posted 05-16-2020 01:51 AM

Have you even used the C-man yet? I’m not saying don’t upgrade, but only do so if you think you need to – not because of what others may or may not say. For example, I have a Jet-lock fence on my saw at the moment. There are loads of folks who claim that fence is crap and you should upgrade immediately. I have zero issues with it, so why spend money if I don’t need to? Same deal with yours – do you really need a new fence, or just think you do based on what others have said. Those saws sold for years and years and people used the crap out of them just like that, and made some pretty nice stuff. Do you really need the PALS? Setting the blade parallel to the table is a one time ordeal and you will never need to touch it again – so do you really need to spend the extra money just to make that one time deal a tad easier? Hopefully you get my drift – don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

Having a working saw is the first step to finding a great deal on a much nicer saw. It puts you in the position to patiently keep an eye out for that deal to show up, and allows you to pass up on the marginal ones. The best deals always find you when you are not in the “I gotta have it now” mode. If you are patient, I bet you can find a nice cabinet saw for the same $400 you were going to spend on that Ridgid or an upgraded contractor saw. Just my cent and a half – YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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BlackEdition

13 posts in 62 days


#4 posted 05-16-2020 05:15 AM

Brad,

You make a very valid point. I haven’t used the saw yet, and will need to give it a try prior to deciding on upgrades. I will need to work on surface rust removal on the top, and then will be able to give it a go. In my monitoring of craigslist, I have not yet seen a cabinet saw in the $400 range. The best deal I have seen to this point has been a late 90s powermatic pm66 for $750. I agree that a working saw will be the best medicine for waiting out a deal, as well. Thanks for your input!

Bryan

-- New woodworker, excited to learn!

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1182 posts in 1329 days


#5 posted 05-16-2020 10:06 AM

I have the 113. Fence ain’t great but is still very much a usable saw. I don’t think I’d invest the hundreds into a new fence personally, but I’m pretty much a tightwad….
As far as the ridgid goes I’ve always heard good things but never messed with them so no personal experience. I have seen them listed for as high as $600 used tho so the price probably ain’t to far off. U could always ask the seller for his bottom dollar cash price. If he sold it to u for $350 and u could clean and sell the craftsman for a $100 (which is a very reasonable price for a clean on in my area) then you’d only have $250 in the ridgid. To me that would b tempting

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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tvrgeek

989 posts in 2427 days


#6 posted 05-16-2020 10:27 AM

Which saw has a real riving knife? Not the Craftsman I think. The newer Ridgid one should.

I have a older Ridgid and it works well, but no knife. I believe the newer one does, but $400 is a bit steep.

View BlackEdition's profile

BlackEdition

13 posts in 62 days


#7 posted 05-16-2020 02:32 PM

@JCamp, I was thinking along those lines, as well. I will see how the saw performs stock before I make any decisions. if the fence needs upgraded, there are a few options (detal t3, mule cabinet fence, or Vega… Vega is the only one that is bolt-on ready). Unfortunately all the fence options are a couple hundred dollars or more (delta ~$200, mule ~$300, Vega ~$350).

@tvrgeek, the 113 has no riving knife. There is a blade guard that has an anti kickback pawl though. The rigid has a riving knife.

I am torn. I think the craftsman would be a great learning experience, but a bit more expensive. I just don’t want to get super frustrated. I do appreciate your thoughts Brad, JCamp, and tvrgeek!

-- New woodworker, excited to learn!

View rockusaf's profile

rockusaf

169 posts in 880 days


#8 posted 05-17-2020 02:50 AM

I upgraded my 133 with a VSC Tools fence and DIY rails and it runs like a champ. It had the stock fence on it when I got it but it would not stay locked no matter what I tried. Not sure what previous owners did to it but it was not taken care of and very much abused. I planned to use it as it was but had no choice but replace it.

Sure there’s no riving knife but I’ve been woodworking for 40 years, including years as a cabinet maker before I went in the Air Force and have never used a table saw with one so its not a big deal for me.

I say give the 113 a chance since you already have it. If you spend some time cleaning it up you’ll probably be able to sell it for more that you got it for anyway.

Rock

-- Measure Once Cuss Twice

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BlackEdition

13 posts in 62 days


#9 posted 05-17-2020 12:19 PM

@rockusaf, Thank you for relaying your experience with the aftermarket fence, and more importantly, thank you for your service. If I choose to go with the aftermarket fence, I will likely go with the Vega as I have read it is the closest to a bolt-on replacement. The next question would be 26” or 50” cut capacity. I think the 50” might be overkill.

-- New woodworker, excited to learn!

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1182 posts in 1329 days


#10 posted 05-17-2020 02:53 PM

I’d go 50inch if u have the room. I do more house work than anything and something wide like that to break down sheets would b handy. Also it would allow u to put in a nice size router insert. Possible even have a extra fence just for the router.
Plus I like the idea of a big table saw. It’s a habit for me to use it verses a bench if I’m working on something

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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BlackEdition

13 posts in 62 days


#11 posted 05-17-2020 09:19 PM

@jcamp, that is a good point. as I am just starting, I have absolutely nothing except the table saw. looking forward to a router table insert makes sense…

I will have to build an extension table for the extended arms in addition to some support legs. should be a pretty straightforward operation. I am thinking MDF or plywood top, maybe 3/4 inch plywood sides, a couple reinforcement “beams” made out of plywood or small dimensional lumber, and a couple 2×4 legs.

...I should probably look up a few diy extension table builds haha

-- New woodworker, excited to learn!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

8099 posts in 2977 days


#12 posted 05-18-2020 12:02 AM

I will have to build an extension table [...]
...I should probably look up a few diy extension table builds haha
- BlackEdition

From the Commercial Biesemeyer fence manual, before they started selling pre-fabricated extension tables, they had plans on how to build one:

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Joel_B's profile

Joel_B

403 posts in 2159 days


#13 posted 05-18-2020 12:06 AM

I have a Craftsman 113, have had it for decades.
I upgraded the fence to a Delta for under $200. It was worth every penny.
One thing I have been planning to do and would urge you to do is to install a splitter to reduce kickback.
That Rigid could be a better saw but I would offer $300 or less for it.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

View rockusaf's profile

rockusaf

169 posts in 880 days


#14 posted 05-18-2020 12:51 AM

Here’s a pic of mine with a DIY router table in it for your inspiration. I can use the fence for both the saw and router table. Since I did the DIY fence rails and I got the steel for free from a friend, so using what I had I ended up able to make around a 36” wide cut.

Rock

-- Measure Once Cuss Twice

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Woodmaster1

1483 posts in 3365 days


#15 posted 05-18-2020 01:14 AM

I use to have the craftsman until I gave it away. I used it to build my first set of cabinets 30yrs ago. The fence is not great but it is usable. $400 dollars for the ridgid is way too high for that saw. $200 max would be a better price. I now have a 5hp Delta Unisaw and love it. It took me around 20yrs before the I change tablesaws.

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