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Table saw decisions

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  • #16
    It may be just my own warped logic (too many years of engineering school) but a cabinet saw appears to be a more stable platform for working with large pieces of wood, or finese work. Also... a contractor style saw seems like it would be perfect for the jobsite where precision is not as critical as in the cabinet shop. How many cabinet shops have a contractor saw?? Does the cabinet saw have better adjustment and consistency? I don't know these answers. I know that my POC bench top saw is only consistent at being inconsistent and I am ready for the next step, or 2, up.

    bdueker, you are the moderator for this site... that would imply that you have some inside scoop of the Ridgid tools [img]tongue.gif[/img] What do you think of the new TS 3650, you have been pretty quiet on these discussions? From the spec sheet it appears to incorporate many magazine review critiques from the past saws. Is this saw just as good as it predecessors? Does it have some shortcomings? Is it too early to know?
    \"It is better to be careful 100 times than killed once\"<br />Mark Twain


    • #17
      On the miter gauge question. I have a Dubby Crosscut miter sled (about $180 from In-Line Industries) and an Incra 1000SE. I bought the Incra first and and picked-up the Dubby afterwards to better handle larger material. Since I got the Dubby, I haven't used the Incra for anything. In fact, it would probably take me an hour or so to find it. Not that the Incra isn't a good miter gauge, but once you've used a sled it's hard to go back to anything else. The folks at In-Line Industries will custom fit their miter bar for any saw, including the Ridgid. I have a 2424 and get perfect cross-cut, including miters, with the Dubby. Note, however, that the keys to sitting up the Dubby are to get the blade at 90 degree angle to the table and the blade must be parallel to the miter slot. The set up is covered in the video and manual.


      • #18
        Although I have a 2424 and am happy with it, if my garage was wired differently and I had the room and the money, I would prefer a cabinet saw over a contractor's saw. The reasons are that their motors are larger, the tables are studier, and the cabinets provide for better dust collection. The weight and the fact the motor doesn't hang off the back along means they tend to vibrate less, which results in better cuts and fewer adjustments.
        Recently I tried to rip an 8/4 piece of white oak on my 2424 and it bogged down. I was using an almost new Forrest II thin-kerf blade that was sharp. I ended up ripping it on band saw but would have gotten a cleaner cut with less clean up had I been able to rip it on my 2424. I have ripped a piece or two of 8/4 on my 2424 before, but not white oak.


        • #19
          bdueker----for a good description behind the reasons for liking a cabinet saw----see this month's Wood Magazine or last August's American Woodworker----good comparrisons of all three saw types!

          BTW----since some people are finding some 3612's without fence and rail system----I'd really widdle down the price with a manager----if he tries to pawn off a 2424 fence---say no thank you---as the fence design on the 3612 was what got such good reviews.----BUTTTTT---- there's a method to this tact.

          Taking the saw, without the fence should be in the $250 to 375 range---give or take---That way, you can go out and buy a Biesemeyer and still be under the new price of the 3612.


          • #20
            Originally posted by bdueker:
            Why do you guys prefer a cabinet saw to a contractor saw? Is it just looks or some practical purpose? Just curious. Thanks!
            First off the cabinet saw is heavy. This means almost all of the vibration is gone. That equates to better cuts.

            Most cabinet saws come with a good fence. Until the past couple of years a good fence on a contractors saw meant an after market.

            3-5 hp motor on the cabinet saw vs 1 1/2 hp on a contractors saw.

            Dust collection. The best that you can get off of a contractors saw is poor. Dust collection on my Unisaw is awsome.

            A cabinet saw, although "larger" has a smaller footprint than a contractors saw. My cab saw has a mobile base that is far easier to move than my contractors on the Hurc-U-Lift was!
            Support Our Troops!


            • #21
              I have been using my Ridgid Contractor's Saw for about 2 yrs. now with no problems, and I build cabinets and furniture for a living, and I have just moved to a much bigger shop, but I will still use my Ridgid.


              • #22
                Bob, thanks for jumping in. I appreciate your participation.

                After 25-30 years with a Craftsman/Emerson RAS, and giving away a tabletop saw, I finally bought a 3612.

                I expect a cabinet saw will be more powerful, but I have only bogged my 3612 down once or twice - not enough reason to change.

                I expect a cabinet saw would have a better fence and greater consistency. I am amazed that the 3612 can repeat cuts within .01 on my digital caliper (1/128 or 1/4 division on the scale). I can't ask for more than that with wood.

                I expect a cabinet saw would vibrate less and handle larger/heavier pieces. But the 3612 is fine for me in both areas.

                So why would I trade my 3612? No motor hanging out the back. I forgot to allow for that in my garage, and only found one place that I could put it with two cars in the garage. And dust collection is poor.

                So as I suggested to Jake, redesign the 3612 (or 3650) with the motor in a different position, and (not in my earlier suggestion) fix the dust collection. I don't care whether you call it a small cabinet saw or a new style contractor saw, but those features are what would make me upgrade.


                • #23
                  Yup, temperment was talking when I posted I was leaving, tis true. And I was truely gone. An email from a person at Ridgid set my mind in the right place.

                  But reasoning, at least for me, in the direction of a cabinet saw over a contractors is for several reasons. It's heavier, which gives quite a few advantages I won't bother to duplicate. Usually, it's a inch deeper, little if no concern to some. Motor HP, which has got to be the major factor, and runner up to that, is dust collection.

                  A veriety of other reasons, including quality and performance issues arise as well. When I do part with my Ridgid contractors saw, it will be for a cabinet saw that I build my shop around. And WILL be the last table saw I purchse. It's the heart of the shop, hands down.
                  John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                  • #24
                    Nice Web site Woody... and welcome back. What are your thoughts on miter gauges?? The Incra seems like a nice unit but I was impressed with the Osborne also. Need to find more info on the Dubby

                    Stopped by HD today. They have the 3650s in stock but do not have any set up yet. Sticker price... $597 Will go back tomorrow to see if they have one set up or not.
                    \"It is better to be careful 100 times than killed once\"<br />Mark Twain


                    • #25
                      Thank you, but my site is highly outdated. My shop had changed alot, and the "shop tour" is, frankly, disapointing.

                      Personally, I have wanted a Incra 1000SE for quite a long time. I'm going through a major cash flow problem, so any additions to the shop is not a possability. But rest assured, the 1000SE is my choice for several reasons. It's light, accurate and easy to store, among several other reasons you can read about on woodpeckers site.

                      My brother purchase as a gift for me, and I tried, and returned, the Rocklers miter gauge. I vowed silence to negitivity, so I can not comment on the reasons why. All I can say is that it did not meet my expectations, or needs in quality.

                      If I was ever to consider a sliding table for a miter cut on the table saw, it would be for one of the Euopean combination machines, which I can't see affordable at anytime in my future. As Molly Hatchet wrote a song for..."Dreams", I'll never see!
                      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                      • #26
                        You can read about the Dubby at There are two versions: a single Dubby and a double Dubby. I have the single version. I bought mine at a Woodworking show (got it at about a $30-$40 discount) where it was demonstrated. As I mentioned, I like the Incra miter guage but prefer the Dubby. The Dubby will definitely handle larger pieces because it is a sled, but if your normal work doesn't require the Incra to back off the table then I don't know if the cost difference can be justified.


                        • #27
                          Thanks for everyone's input on my question about cabinet saws. Someone(I think RSHugger) asked about my opinion of the new TS3650. I haven't participated in the new Ridgid product discussions because I assume everyone will think I am biased(and to be honest to a certain extent I guess I am). However, in my opinion the TS3650 delivers a lot of features you guys have been asking for; solid cast iron extensions, TEFC motor, miter gauge T-slots, etc. From what I have seen the quality has been excellent. I think it's going to be a great saw. Thanks again!


                          • #28
                            I just have to ask. What market demographics convinced Ridgid that the few improvements from the 3612 to the 3650 were warranted? Your question on a cabinet saw has me befuddled. It appears most posters are either a hobbiest or small business user and there probably isn't one that would turn away a cabinet saw if you took cost out of the equation. It would be interesting to know for what market the 3650 is designed. How many builders are buying this type saw for job site use (it's historical design) and how many are buying it for a hobby/small business? My guess is that the vast majority are home/hobby/SB use not job site. I would have much preferred to see Ridgid keep the 3612 as is and the new design compete with the Jet and Dewalt hybrids. I have to share hobbies in my garage which is why I won't be buying a contractor saw. Footprint and dust collection is too important a priority.


                            • #29
                              Curly----I would guess differences are what make the world go round----I also find the "differences" interesting. For instance, they changed to more solid surface wings instead of the previous webbed wings----Now, there has been the occassional complaint about these---generally from people who have never used the webbed wings----a mainstay of the 3612 and it's ancestors. As to the T slots----again, some want them, but they don't seem, in competetors models, to be a feature universally offered.

                              Got to disagree about thinking they should move to a hybrid design----IMHO, they are nothing more than over-priced contractors' saws. If I were going to spend that much----I'd dig a little deaper and get a real cabinet saw.


                              • #30
                                Curly: Your right. According to our market research most of the people that purchase a contractor type table saw are hobbyist and/or DIY'ers. Don't read anything into my question regarding cabinet saws. I was just curious. Thanks!