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TS3650 purchase questions

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  • #16
    Hi Sgt Beavis - The new Sears saws are kind of an anomoly. Their trunnions really do mount to the cabinet walls, not the table top like contractor and hybrids do. And the bases are fully enclosed. Technically they could be called "cabinet saws", but they're very different than the traditional full 3-5hp versions with triple belts and industrial trunnions that were used to seeing. Miniature cabinet saws?

    The top model appears to be aimed at the same niche market as the Dewalt 746 and Jet Supersaw hybrids....same HP, price range, power requirements, and similar sized trunnions. 1-3/4 hp is plenty of power for most hobbyists and will run on a standard 110vac circuit, whereas a 3hp motor requires 220vac. This saw incorporates a serpentine belt similar to the 3650's. Compared to the other two true hybrids, I like the features the new Sears saw offers. At the $900 price point, my preference is for a Griz 1023, but I can understand the appeal.

    I totally agree with you about the quality being unproven, but IMHO the features of these saws are a step in the right direction, and hopefully the direction the market is heading....good for us in the long run!


    • #17
      I appreciate all of you who have participated in this thread. I have dabbled in Woodworking using a Shopsmith over the last several years. I bought it for the "space savings" rather than the cost savings, as I learned that the Shopsmith does not save you money over separates.

      Now, most of my opinions are based on what I read and what I know, so your comments have been very helpful. I'd like to respond to some of your posts:

      Hewood - Yes, you are right. I have looked at a wide range of saws. Pricewise, they really break down into only two categories:

      $800 - $900: Supersaw, DeWalt, Griz/Shop Fox, Sears Mini Cabinet

      $500 - $600: Ridgid (I'm not considering specials like 10% off, as many of these saws can be gotten at a discount from Sears, HD, Woodcraft.

      I agree that I need to buy the best I can afford. Some criteria that I am looking at are: mobility, as I my garage is not a dedicated shop; large table size, as I don't have the room for the nice 7' rails and extension table of many of these saws; biggest rip width without an extension table. The Ridgid has a great mobile caster system, 12" cast iron extensions and a 36" right rip, so it appeals the most to me in those three areas, with the Sears being second choice.

      As to fence quailty/stability, ease of adjustments on the saw, fit and finish, etc, I think the Ridgid is on a par in many ways with the more expensive saws. Yes, it gives up horesepower, but I don't feel that will be a big factor for me; I will be a weekend woodworker who should do fine with 1 1/2 HP.

      Northern Woods - thanks for the info on the article in December Fine Woodworking. I'm going to go buy a copy today.

      Andrew B. and RevEd - I agree the Bies and clones are very good fences, but you CAN get a very accurate and sturdy fence that offers t-slots and options like the 3650 fence. As Hewood said, with a little technique, you can lock down a fence like the 3650, with its dual lock points, very accurately.

      Sgt Bevis - Thanks for addressing my questions. Although unproven, the Sears "mini cabinet" saw could be a sleeper. Yes, it is "only" 1 3/4 HP, but it does have 12" extensions, a big nice fence, heavy base-mounted trunnions, full cabinet with DC, outfeed table, nice power switch.

      Again, thanks to all. I'll keep you all posted about which saw I buy. My wife thinks I'm nuts to spend 3 months making up my mind, but some of you can relate to that...right? [img]smile.gif[/img]

      There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Sawdust Steve:
        I appreciate all of you who have participated in this thread. I have dabbled in Woodworking using a Shopsmith over the last several years. I bought it for the "space savings" rather than the cost savings, as I learned that the Shopsmith does not save you money over separates.

        One good thing about a ShopSmith Mark V is that they hold their value pretty well. If you Ebay it, you'll probably get a good part of your money back, as long as it is in good condition.


        • #19
          Thanks, Sgt Beavis. The Shopsmith is actually in mint condition, and has not had much use over the 10 years; mostly, it was in storage. I plan to use the Dust Collector, which is fairly good, for now. Then the Shopsmith gives me a disk sander, 11" bandsaw for small stuff, good 16 1/2" drill press (big table, infinite speed adjustment), horizontal borer, 34" lathe and 4" jointer. I'll probably get the Ridgid jointer, but having the other tools in one package is pretty handy, especially with a garage workshop that actually holds cars during the week.
          There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Andrew Benedetto:
            I can not get over the love for that Bies fence. My neighbor's unisaw can be deflected easily,I can move it with less than #20 and it can lift so hold downs are not as useful,the face is wearing and has no t-track and is not easily replaceable. I think this is a myth as to the superior design. How can you say it has to be square if it deflects? I know it is very strong and can take abuse but most woodworkers are not in the habit of abusing the fence with hammers. What is so hard about placing pressure against the fence to get a secure accurate lock down. I do not even think about it when I am setting the fence. The Unifence is a better option and is less expensive. IMHO
            IMO, if it is lifting and can be knocked out of whack with little force, it is in need of adjustment at the front of the fence. He obviously does not have the lockdown mechanism set correctly, and since you say the face is wearing, it's quite possible that the HDPE slides are wearing. Properly set up, the saw will move before the fence. Heck, on mine, I have hit the fence with some fairly big things before cutting and in every case, the fence didn't move.

            As to the question earlier about the Ridgid fence, what I meant to say was that if you don't pull the fence toward you (against the rail) after you slide the fence, it is quite easy to lock it down a few thousandths out of parallel. I had problem like this since day one, and when I added an MDF and laminate face to the fence, that made it even worse. I really got tired of having to remember to pull the fence agaionst the rail before locking down. At least with my bies fence, I set it, lock it down, and make the cut.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Sawdust Steve:
              When I factor in my new HD charge card and some current in-store perks/rebates, I am looking at under $500 for this saw and about $270 for the companion JP0610 Jointer/Planer.

              Steve, What in-store stuff did you find? Here is Milwaukee they are $579 and I didn't see any discounts to improve that price. FWIW I got the 6" Jointer and the 13" Planer during the HD/Rigid sale and got those for $349, if you can get the jointer for $270 I'd jump on that!



              • #22
                Hi Forgedblades...

                Well, since I made my post about the WONDERFUL prices I could get here in Houston, things changed a little at my local Jack in the Orange Box:

                The saw was $549; it just changed to $569.
                The $349 jointer has not changed in price; however, when I made my statement, there was a big sign on the front of the jointer from Ridgid/HD offering $50 in HD store credit upon purchase. To me, that is just like cash. But...when I asked the salesperson to confirm that, he told me "sorry", that the special had ended on 09/01/04, yet the sign was still hanging on 10/12/04. Gotta love their merchandising, or lack thereof.

                Still, I get 10% off for using my new HD store card, if I choose the Ridgid, so that comes out to something like $512 on the TS and $314 on the jointer. If HD should offer a regular sale after I decide to buy, they will offer price protection for up to 2 weeks, not 4 weeks like Sears. Still, not a bad deal.
                There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.


                • #23
                  Steve, Bummer 4 you! I'n not quite ready to make my purchase yet, kinda hoping for a christams sale or something to thake the edge off the price. I do think tool prices are headed up however so we may not see much in the way of true "sale" pricing thins holiday season. MY HD's are abotu in the same category as far as the merchandising goes, old signage all over, and rarely does anyone have a clue. Thanks for the reply!


                  • #24
                    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Sawdust Steve:
                    [QB] I'd still like to hear some comments about the dust collection on this saw, and see if anyone has had any issues with the stand flexing.


                    I've owned this saw for about 10 months now and it is a joy to use. The dust collection on my saw is used with a Ridgid 8 gallon shop vac and works pretty good, depending upon the opening size of the insert used vs. blade width. The fence also stays true and has been so accurate that I rarely use anything other than the fence scale as my reference for ordinary rips and crosscuts. The base on my somewhat uneven concrete pad shop floor is often a bit wobbly and must be shimmed when used in places where the floor isn't dead level. The overall structure, however, is plenty stiff and I've had no surprises. I highly recommend the saw.



                    • #25
                      Al (a.k.a TN Hiker), thanks so much for your comments. I justed put a post on here. Bought the saw today! All the articles on this forum have been invaluable. Check out the post. More later after I build the dern thing!
                      There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Sgt Beavis:
                        </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sawdust Steve:

                        1. As stated, they never assemble them well at HD, but I don't know how much of the flexing that I am seeing in the store is from bolts that aren't tight, or if this is just a characteristic of the not-so-heavy-duty steel stand.

                        2. I have a Shopsmith dust collector that I want to hook up. How effective is the dust collection on the TS3650?

                        3. How well does the fence system set up, and does it hold its paralleism, is it 90 degrees to the table, deflection, etc.

                        Thanks for the assistance.
                        Let me knock out the specific questions first.

                        1. Of course you never let a HD associate go anywhere near your TS Not to put down ALL HD people (some are actually good) but most most are incompitent in my book. As for the wobble, my saw was pretty darn stable after final assembly, however if you search the forums, one of the guys nailed down an assembly path that makes the Ridgid rock solid with only a few extra parts.

                        2.Dust collection on the 3650 is better than average for a contractor saw because the blade is enclosed at the bottom. However, like any contractor saw, you can greatly improve your dust collection by adding a zero clearance plate and closing the back and bottom of the saw.

                        3. I will respectfully disagree with Mike about the fence system. While he is correct that a Bies type fence IS superior, the fence on the 3650 is no slouch. There are four screws on the fence that allow you to adjust it. With a dial indicator, I was able to get my fence adjusted to near perfect parallel. I push my fence up against the rail, before locking it down. This gets me a true cut everytime.

                        Now about the discussion on the Craftsman Table Saw. The first thing to remember is that this is not a Cabinet saw, it is a hybrid. The motor is still attached to the trunion and you will get more vibration than you would from a true cabinet saw. Also, the motor is VERY weak when compaired with most cabinet saws. IMO, that motor alone is the best reason to not buy that saw. You can get the same power or more with most contractor saws.

                        Now the good thing about that Craftsman saw is the fence. It is a pretty solid fence IMO. Also, the entire table top is cast iron, which can only help. From an appearance standpoint, it is the most handsome saw on the market. Oh, and let's not forget the miter fence. It is far superior to vast majority of miter gauges that come with table saws today. Craftsman is on the ball with that one.

                        Craftsman also offers another hybrid that has legs on the bottom. IMO this one is the better deal. I looked both saws over closely and they are pretty much the same, other than those legs. If you were to get one of the Craftsman saws, I would go for that one.

                        You can see that saw here:

                        The last thing I'll say about the new Craftsman line of saws is that the quality is still an unknown. Craftsman now has a reputation for selling crap these days. There are reviews coming out on these saws and I would closely look at them before buying. Also, I would go over the return policy with your Sears before buying. Make sure you cover your butt if you go this route.

                        [ 10-23-2004, 09:32 PM: Message edited by: shopboy ]


                        • #27
                          From the Craftsman web site:

                          Craftsman Professional 10 in. Table Saw

                          Sears item #00922124000 Mfr. model #OR35504

                          Fully-enclosed, cabinet-style stand with a 1-3/4 hp, 120/240V internal mount motor. Heavy-duty, cast-iron, base-mounted trunnion system for maximum stability and easy adjustments

                          It is not a true Cabinet saw. It is a (maybe real good for Craftsman) a Hybred. They did mount the trunnion like a Cabinet saw, but it is not as heavy as a CS. The did put a TEFC motor in it. But at the not on sale price of $950, one might as well go with the Grizz and get a 3 hp saw. Although you might not need the extra HP, when you do it'll be there.
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