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  • TS3650 purchase questions

    I've been seriously looking at the TS3650 for awhile now, and at it's price point, it seems very attractive. Although HD can't assemble one well, the fit and finish seem very good. 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.

    I have also been looking at the Grizzly G1023SL, the similar Shop Fox cabinet saw, which I have seen in person, the Jet Supersaw (like it more than the DeWalt) and the new Craftsman 10" baby cabinet saw with the Beis fence for $849 less another 10%. I have seen all of these in the stores except the Griz.

    At its price, I really want to like the Ridgid, with its big table, rather tight fence and mobility, but I do have a few questions for a few of you owners:

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

  • #2
    I have the TS2424 the older brother to the 3650 and loved it. I also compared it to the Griz 1023. By the time I priced a functioning mobile Griz it was almost double the price of the 2424. Soooooo I got the Ridgid. The fence, an earlier design then the 3650 holds well. I have not had to reset it since I set it. Everything is solid, no flex anywhere.

    As far as Griz quaility, I just set up my G0555 today and it is sweet! I have visited the Griz showroom and touched the 1023, I can vouch for it's fit and finish.

    As much as I like my 2424, I always wonder ......
    <a href=\"http://photos.yahoo.com/rixworx\" target=\"_blank\">http://photos.yahoo.com/rixworx</a>

    Comment


    • #3
      If the fence is similar to teh 3612, you can expect some variation from parallel when locking down. the reason is that it locks at both the front and back and if you nudge it at the back prior to locking, it can lock a few thousandths off. the Bies style fences on the other hand do not have that problem since the only locking point is at the front and you never have variation. Aside from thaty small fence issue, I love my 3612. I put a Bies fence on it in the spring and have completely happy ever since.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have the 3650 in my shop from day one untill now is has been great! It is used at least 8 to 10 hours aday, cutting oak, pine, poplar- plywood etc, the fence has not been any problem, everthing seems to be true and square, run cks at lest every two wks or so an still hold it own, has a grizz once but now it someone elses.

        Comment


        • #5
          ".....If you nudge it at the back prior to locking....."
          Mike, why would you want to do this in the first place? With the back of the fence almost 36" from the front, it would take some serious effort to do this.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies. 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. The design does not seem to be very "rigid" (no pun intended), as the sheet metal is not that thick, and the design seems to lend itself to the stand flexing rather easily. Like I said though, I can't be sure of this, as the guys at two different HD stores don't seem to have the bolts tightened that well.

            My own experience in playing with the fence is that it locks down quite tightly, as you would expect from a two-point clamp system. However, it also seems to lock down true and parallel, with little or no deflection that I could detect. I just nudged it into position with my thumbs at the front (don't like the mico-adjust wheel), then pushed down the clamp.

            I did measure for squareness to the table with a fixed square in the store, and the vertical perpendicular angle was off by a few degrees; is this adjustable?

            Thanks for all the input. This seems to be a very well-read and useful forum.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Steve,

              I've had the TS3650 for about 7 months, and am a weekend woodworker. I am very pleased with the saw. I have found the stand to be very solid and sturdy, and as heavy as it is, the built-in herculift mobile base makes it so easy to move around, which in my case, with a small shop, is really nice. I took a lot of time and care when assembling the saw, and you have the ability to micro-adjust every part of it to ensure everything is flat, solid and square, including the fence. I have not detected any deflection in the fence, and once I had it adjusted, has stayed square. I have a portable dust collecter, and when hooked up to the port underneath the saw, I have found that it works pretty well, though there are probably better DC setups that would collect dust even better. I did quite a bit of research before deciding on the Ridgid, and with the steel surface, mobile base, quality of the fence, and price, I feel that I made the right choice.

              Hope this helps,

              Dennis

              Comment


              • #8
                Steve, how can you get the Sears cabinent saw for $849.00 less 10% ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi JavaJim. As to the Sears cabinet saw, I am seeing it for $949 in the stores, but the catalog shows it for $849. (But you don't want to order it through the catalog and pay the $200 shipping that Sears wants!) Any Sears full retail store should match the catalog price for you.

                  You should also go ahead and join the Craftsman Club; it's free, and you will be notified of specials every month or so. They reacently had 10% off several items, including the cabinet saw. The phone number to sign up is 800-377-7414. In a couple to a few weeks, you'll receive a Craftsman Club card, but if they are advertising a special in the mean time for CC members, they will still honor it.

                  And on top of all that, you can expect to see a sale ot two between now and Christmas, and I am told that these are typically 10% as well.

                  Hope this helps. Good luck,
                  Steve
                  There are three kinds of people in this world - those who can count, and those who can't.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would never buy a cabinet saw that only had a 1 3/4 HP motor like the sears...go for the Grizz,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Steve - That's quite a wide range of saws and price points you're comparing! At the upper end of your price range, I prefer the Shop Fox and Griz cabinet saws over the others....they're incredibly robust and powerful in comparison. I prefer the new Sears over the two hybrids at that price point...better fence, cast iron wings, outfeed & extension table, reasonable miter gauge, enclosed cabinet and decent blade.

                      Mike3206 brings up a design fact of almost any front/rear locking fence. They lock down tightly with near zero deflection, but can unintentionally be locked down out of parallel if you don't push the fence forward prior to locking it. Move the fence near the miter slot, push forward and lock it down...it should be parallel. Next try skewing the fence just a bit and lock it down without using the technique of pushing forward...the miter slot should reveal a slight out of parallel situation. It's not a difficult technique to master, and the out of parallel probably doesn't happen often, but it CAN and therefore likely DOES on occasion. The Biese type fences can't lock down out of parallel. The design trade off with a Biese is deflection, but it's a good trade off IMO b/c the amount of deflection is miniscule....~ 1/64" at the end of the fence with 20# lateral force applied. Many people set the fences up to "fade" from the blade a whisker anyway to prevent burning and binding.

                      The 3650 had quite a few complaints about the wobbly legs early on, but they seem to have rememied that problem....something to do with proper washers I think....could be wrong, but anyway there were several posts and fixes discussed here....pretty much a non-factor now. From what I understand, the DC shroud works pretty well...the complaints are that it's not 4". The shroud is an improvement over most stock contractor saws, but won't perform as well as the enclosed cabinets.

                      Which of these saws is best for you depends on what you'll be doing and your budget. The standard advice for most wwers is to buy the best saw you can afford. Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello All. The December issue of Fine Woodworking arrived today, and on pages 32-33 there is a very complimentary review of the 3650. They start out stating that the "TS 3650 is a true furniture maker's tool on a par, in all but horsepower, with full-size cabinet saws." The compliments include the trunnion assembly, the support arm for the arbor, the "fairly effective" sawdust collection, the ease of aligning the blade, the blade angle lock, the flat style V belt which runs on machined steel pulleys instead of aluminum, the fence "was sturdy, accurate, and slid smoothly." Table flatness, runout, and initial alignment were all better than average. They love the retractable casters on the mobile base, and compliment the steel in the stand as being heavier than that in other contractor saws, saying it gives the saw a nice heavy feel. So perhaps the early production complaints of a wobbly stand are all history now. About the only comment for improvement is that the motor could be more powerful, although they say if should be sufficient for most users. A very complimentary review from a magazine that usually doesn't think too much of contractor type saws!! Maybe its time for me to upgrade from my old Craftsman.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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
                            I agree completely, I think the Beismeyer was at one time was a very good fence. I think there are many out there today that are just as accurate and have other features that cause them to surpass it. The fence on 3650, the new Sear cabinet saws (not the one with the Beismeyer fence), Dewalt 746 fence are just a few examples of fences that are just as accurate, yet have replaceable faces, t slots, a way to keep the back of the fence from lifting, etc.

                            To me a Beismeyer is not all that desirable.
                            Rev Ed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...=CRAFT#tablink

                              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.

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