New vs. Old

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Forum topic by SchottFamily posted 06-24-2012 10:32 AM 1757 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View SchottFamily's profile


105 posts in 3702 days

06-24-2012 10:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m not sure if all newbies had the same concerns as I did, but when I was looking for my first table saw, I ended up buying a new, all be it lower quality, entry level saw with a riving knife and anti kickback paws over something older and used without either of these safety nets.
I’m sure glad I had both because I did some pretty stupid, unsafe, cuts starting out. Now though, with a little experience under my belt (six whole months), I find that half the time, I remove both safety features from my saw to do the job.
I’m wondering though what those more knowledgeable than me think. As a rookie, the most desirable saw I could have would be a SawStop. I’m willing to admit though that my choice is driven both by reviews but more so because my tools still scare me a little. I know now that a safety feature, by itself, isn’t likely to save me from getting hurt. It doesn’t hurt though, right?
I’m drawn in by the romance of restoring an old tool, but the lack of safety features scares me a little. Ok, maybe a lot. And don’t say “Look for a used newer tool on craigslist.” There’s NOTHING out there in SoCal. I looked for months. I really mean nothing. The saws I went to go check out were sitting is someone’s backyard for years or had been abused as workbenches, etc. The pitting or bows in the tops were off the wall.
Where do you land on this? I’m ready for an upgrade now, but finances won’t allow it for another 6 to 12 months. I’m eyeing the Griz G0715P at this point, but am still drawn to restoring an older saw.
Where do you land?


14 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3458 days

#1 posted 06-24-2012 11:47 AM

Check out what b2rtch dod with an old unisaw:

I also depends on your mechanical ability. You will likely need to fabricate a few things, get some parts to work/fit that were not necessarily designed to etc. I like the idea as well and if I ever find anything worth restoring, I will give it a go.

Also any saw cam hurt you. Guards, splitters, etc can help a little, but if you do something stupid you are going to get hurt. Even with a sawstop. Cutting yourself on the saw is only half of your problem. A saw stop will still toss a piece of wood back at you at a hundres miles an hour


View SchottFamily's profile


105 posts in 3702 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 11:59 PM

Thanks, Joe. I’ve seen a few of those blogs and videos and that’s what made me think maybe I should give an older saw a try. I was into restoring old cars long before I got interested in wood working, and bringing an old tool back like that has the same sort of draw to me. I’ve got a lot of good feedback so far, but I’m still not sure what direction to go in.


View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4195 days

#3 posted 06-26-2012 12:17 AM

I am personally not terribly interested in restoring old tools. I like the reassurance of buying from a company that is still around, that still produces parts if something fails… I just want to use tools, I’m not interested in restoring them. If that was more my interest, then I would be more likely.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View WoodKutter's profile


29 posts in 4677 days

#4 posted 06-26-2012 12:35 AM

Bob says “but more so because my tools still scare me a little.”

After 30 years of working around machinery, they still scare me too. A little fear and a lot of respect is always required when working with tools which can remove body parts and never slow down. When you are no longer scared, that’s when you get hurt.


View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4695 days

#5 posted 06-26-2012 12:56 AM

I never ever turn the table saw on while my body is lined up with the blade. Scared a bit of carbide tip may fling off. There are several of those little exercises I go through with every power tool. Unplug to align, take a second to clear my head and plan the cut. I’m much more likely to pound my thumb with a hammer that cut off a finger or get knocked out by kickback. Grizzly is a very good, economical, well made machine. Not the very very best, but I don’t need a top of the line PM or industrial saw. Neither do most garage woodworkers. Nice if you can afford one without much problem, but want and need are two separate matters.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Loren's profile


11250 posts in 4857 days

#6 posted 06-26-2012 01:03 AM

“There‚Äôs NOTHING out there in SoCal.”

L.A. is one of the best areas in the whole country to acquire
used machinery. I look and I see bargains on a daily basis.

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 4531 days

#7 posted 06-26-2012 03:03 AM

I am a fan of used and old iron machine and every machine I own was bought used save my table saw. I value riving knives too much, saw a few Olivers and maybe a couple of other oddballs riving knives are a “new” in widespread use in the US.

View SchottFamily's profile


105 posts in 3702 days

#8 posted 06-26-2012 03:47 AM

Loren – have you ever bought anything off there? Every once in a while, I’d see something, but after a few months, I had an entirely different experience. I was looking several times a day, had several searches saved, searched multiple areas, and went to go see everything that I could. LA is a little bit of a drive, but I was willing to make the trek for a deal. The stuff either sold super fast, was over priced, or was in horrible condition. If you had a different experience, I should probably ask you for a few pointers. I even did the garage and estate sale runs and everyone that listed “tools” would say “oh, we sold those yesterday” – but the ad said the sale was today?!? Or when the “Table Saw” was there, it was actually a chop or RAS. It was very frustrating.


View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8744 posts in 3408 days

#9 posted 06-26-2012 04:06 AM

That’s what is great about CL.. if it’s a good deal, you gotta jump on it quick or it’s gone in a flash. Persistence and patience are key. I’ve found some absolutely fantastic deals via CL, and I’ve missed out on just as many or more because I didn’t react quick enough. Some of those were the result of months and months of waiting and watching. They are out there.. you just gotta find them (or in many cases, let them find you)!!


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

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4213 days

#10 posted 06-26-2012 04:20 AM

If you can afford new, go with what you need, not something that is more than what will get er done. Sawstop would be my choice, if money was a none issue

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Loren's profile


11250 posts in 4857 days

#11 posted 06-26-2012 04:28 AM

I have bought dozens of machines off Craigslist. I seldom
drive more than an hour, 1 way. I am not that into buying
and selling machinery these days though I used to do it
and financed some good upgrades to my own stuff by
doing it.

I make my deals clearly on the phone, using precise
language and establish a specific time for my arrival.
I am punctual and decisive. If I miss out, no big deal –
there’s another deal to be made tomorrow. When
emailing or calling for a machine that is listed with an
especially low price, offer more and move to the front
of the line. Just call and leave a message and offer
$20-$50 more and they’ll call you first if it hasn’t been
sold already. Same with email.

I never go to estate sales looking for tools anymore. I’ll
waltz in on a Sunday afternoon and make an offer on
something now and then though. Rarely will you find
much better than handyman-grade machinery sold at
estate sales – a lot of mid-century stuff that’s not worth
fixing up due to the small motors and smaller capacities.

View SchottFamily's profile


105 posts in 3702 days

#12 posted 06-26-2012 04:33 AM

Ugh… I’m doing something wrong then. Funny, but I’ve noticed I say that a lot since starting this hobby :D


View Kelby's profile


134 posts in 3620 days

#13 posted 06-26-2012 04:33 AM

SawStop technology is irrelevant if you never do anything stupid. But I doubt any woodworker can claim that they never inadvertently do something stupid.

Even if you can make such a claim, wood will from time to time warp as it comes off the blade, and sometimes it will pinch the back of the blade. And if it pinches enough, the blade will throw the wood at you and do damage. No amount of experience or skill can prevent that. Only a riving knife.

I don’t have a SawStop, because they don’t make a saw that has other features I need. But I do believe in (and use) riving knives. There are very few cuts that require removal of the riving knife, and I replace the riving knife immediately after I finish those cuts.

You can retrofit an old tablesaw with a splitter, but splitters are not equivalent to a good riving knife. I wouldn’t have a saw without a riving knife.

-- Kelby

View Loren's profile


11250 posts in 4857 days

#14 posted 06-26-2012 04:45 AM

Check ebay too, because a lot of stuff is sold on there for pickup
by liquidators and private sellers who prefer to use ebay. I bought
a very nice German edge press (high dollar gear) on there for
pennies on the dollar. The liquidator had a warehouse full of
copiers and office furniture and had no machinery inventory or
experience. They weren’t financially able to hold out for a
higher price due to contractual obligations with creditors for
the business being liquidated – they wanted to sell the thing,
get it off the lot, and close the account.

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