Extreme novice table saw advice

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by illpete posted 02-03-2015 05:21 PM 1313 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View illpete's profile


3 posts in 1766 days

02-03-2015 05:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

I am a total woodworking novice. I mean that.
I’ve decided to purchase an inexpensive table saw for a for projects, namely making some wooden chess boards. However, I have no experience buying said equipment and would like some advice. I’d like to get something used, and I’ve looked on craigslist. Here’re a couple results within my price range (up to about $175):

Here’s the page, if you’re really motivated:

Any help is much appreciated.

10 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8346 posts in 3933 days

#1 posted 02-03-2015 05:42 PM

I think you’re on the track, as opposed to spending that much on a plastic table saw from the homecenter.

There are a couple that could work out for you:
This is a basic older Emerson made Craftsman contractor saw that’s priced right. It’s basically the predecessor to many of the later Sears and all of the traditional Ridgid contractor saws. The motor is worth the asking price if it runs. Some TLC can work wonders. The fence can be upgraded down the road if you like…lotsa potential.

Here’s another that’s similar for more $ – The Bt3K had a pretty good following in it’s day…it’s not for everyone, but is worth considering in this price range IMO. This site can answer any question you could think of for this saw.

Here’s nice older Delta. Can’t hurt to ask if they’ll take less if that’s your budget.

Some reading that might help:
The ABCs of Table Saws

Good luck

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

View scvwood27's profile


117 posts in 2508 days

#2 posted 02-03-2015 05:45 PM

Go with the Sears 113. Solid contractor saw.

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1772 days

#3 posted 02-03-2015 05:56 PM

The Boice (not a brand I am very familiar with BTW) is the better choice as far as I can see. Neither is suited to fine woodwork as is, but the Boice is close. You’ll need to switch out the blade, true the blade to the mitre track set the fence and check for square, check the table for level. You may need a new belt (some belts vibrate when they are left on their pullies without being run, this cause vibration in the cut and that cuts down on accuracy.) Worst case scenario, you may need bearings, not an ametuer level rebuild unless you are very good on machinery.

Also I am not seeing any safety equipment on thiese, no guards, kickback pawls or riving knife. That is typical of when these were made but as a true rookie you need to do a gut check and decide if you truly know enough about these machines to work without any safety net. (hint, the answer is probably no)

Ask the seller what the power supply is. That looks like a fat cable and it might be 240, if it is, are you setup to run 240?

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


129 posts in 1775 days

#4 posted 02-03-2015 06:20 PM

Go with that Boice Crane. For $100 buy it and the next time I’m in Ohio I’ll buy it from you for $150. That being said as what HornedWoodwork says I total agree. A Boice Crane saw for $100 is hands down the best saw on the page. There won’t be all the safety features but as a cutting machine it is the best on what is on the pages.

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View illpete's profile


3 posts in 1766 days

#5 posted 02-04-2015 01:24 AM

Wow. I suppose I don’t I’m no expert on the forum game, but really great advise. Based on your feedback, I think I’ll go for the Boice Crane.

Thanks a lot.

View Dan658's profile


93 posts in 1827 days

#6 posted 02-04-2015 01:35 AM

I have to go against the grain and say that I wouldn’t go for the Boice-Crane because of the 8” blade. Aside from the obvious 2” reduction in size, they are harder to come by, at least in my neck of the woods. Before you buy it, find out if you can get blades locally. I’m sure you can get them online too if you are OK with that. Personally, if I can’t source a blade locally, its a no go for me. Other than that, Boice-Crane are good. I have an old BC jointer from the late 30s.

I would check this one out as well.

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2582 days

#7 posted 02-05-2015 06:45 AM

If you do consider the Ryobi BT3000, hesitate and look instead for a BT3100. The difference is more power (15 amps vs. 13 amps). I had the BT3100 for several years and found a lot to like about that saw. They do use a cogged belt rather than a V belt, and I don’t know how hard it would be to find replacements.

It’s the only 10” saw I know of that can saw a 4X4 in one pass. Not that I did that very often. There is even a BT3000/3100 user group. You might check them out.

One point about the BC and the older C-man is they both have crappy fences. I mean really crappy. You’ll curse that fence every time you use it. With one or two exceptions, the only decent fences I am aware of are T-square types.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MinnesotaMarty's profile


129 posts in 1775 days

#8 posted 02-05-2015 11:56 AM

I agree with most of what you said. You are 100% correct on the crappy fences. But, with the Boice Crane the aftermarket fences available will really make that table saw sweet. I have a Ryobi BT3100 that I keep a dado blade in it. It is a sweet little saw and I only paid about $150 for mine. That was before they developed the cult following they enjoy today.

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View Sparks8286's profile


72 posts in 2047 days

#9 posted 02-05-2015 12:51 PM

I don’t know much of anything about the Boice Crane, but I’ll chime in and tell you the Craftsman is a solid saw to start with. It’s a fun project to rebuilt it too, plus there’s always that good ‘ol feeling of knowing that a saw that old is still good for something in todays world.

I have an older Craftsman 113 saw like the one in your first picture. I did some research and found out that mine was built in 1946! It obviously needs some work to get cleaned up, but if I were you I’d go with that one for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s a 10” saw. You’re limiting yourself a great deal with the 8” blade, especially on a table saw. 2. You can still get parts for the Craftsman saw. I’ve had to get a couple pieces that were missing from mine. The Craftsman is pretty easy to take apart so you can clean and rebuilt it. It only took me about a weeks worth of evenings in the shop to get it rebuilt. Looking at the two saws you have shown you’re looking at a rebuild either way. As far as the fence is concerned, unless you’re dealing with a high-end saw to begin with you’re probably going to want to upgrade the fence at some point anyway. The factory fence that’s on the Craftsman saw you’re looking at is…..ok. I swapped mine out for a Delta T2, but I wish the Delta fence had the micro-adjustment knob on it like that old Craftsman fence. If you decide to go with the Craftsman you’ll want to upgrade the adjustment wheels on it. Those little chrome fellas just don’t do it. I picked up a set of 6” wheels that were made for a Ryobi table saw and fitted them on mine. Also, if it still has the original motor on it you’ll want to make sure you put it on a 20A circuit because it’s just a little too much for a 15A. The motor is only 1HP on mine, but don’t worry much about that. I’ve had no trouble cutting 8/4 maple on mine.

If you’re interested I can send you more information about the Craftsman 113 along with some pictures if you like. I’ve included one picture that I have right now (lets hope it works!), but I have others and I can take more if there’s something specific you want to see.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.

View RandyinFlorida's profile


257 posts in 2625 days

#10 posted 02-05-2015 02:15 PM

No matter what saw you choose, don’t scrimp on blades. Spend the extra $ for the best blade/blades you can afford.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics