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  • Choosing my first table saw and need some advise...

    I've seen quite a few threads on various forums about which table saw to buy for someone new to woodworking. Just being new I haven't really made anything yet, but I've started with a couple of routers (haven't even used them yet), and a Bench Dog Router Table with the Pro Top, cabinet, and fence. I bought 2 Porter Cable routers, the 693PK for hand use, and the 3-1/4 HP Speedmatic Router - 7518 for the router table.

    Now I'm looking at all the table saws. I know there are leagues of experienced woodworkers that recommend to buy a cabinet saw to start with, but I'm afraid of the cost and definitely the space. I only have a 2 car garage and the two cars will not be giving up their spaces (at least nothing more than temporary).

    I looked at the Ridgid TS2424 at Home Depot, and it seems like it's made well, and I really like the caster platform it's on.

    Am I right to assume this is a "contractor grade" saw?

    What I would like to get into is making a few furniture pieces. A cabinet for the laundry room sink, a chest for the foot of the bed, and some wood shutters for a patio door. Can you even make louvered wood shutters with just a table saw and a router? What might come after that will depend on my level of success with the first three projects.

    I'm also in the middle of building a couple of decks and a storage shed (although I'm not sure if a table saw is really necessary for that).

    I also bought a 12" Ridgid miter saw and have been impressed with the quality.

    The TS2424 is $569.00 at Home Depot. Would this be money well spent? And is this TS accurate enough to make something like wood shutters and cabinets?

    I've heard a lot of positive comments about the Jet contractor saw. Unfortunately I haven't seen one in person. Would the Jet give me a lot more accuracy than the Ridgid? Is it made better? Do they sell some type of casters made for their stand that also can be locked? Mobility is very important to me. Especially after experiencing having to move my compound miter saw around on its stand without wheels.

    Then if I want to spend a few hundred more there's the DeWalt DW746X 10" Woodworker's Table Saw with 30" Fence. This one looks and sounds very nice.

    Any advise?

  • #2
    I have had a TS2424 for about 4 months and love it it do's everything you need to do the fence is accurate. Get you like it

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    • #3
      Moses
      The TS2424 is not the contractors grade saw. This is a full fledge table saw that is excellent. The caster systems works very well for me, portability is a must for me as well, There is a contractors version that is least but it is made to move from job site to job site. The ts2424 is belt driven which is quiter and more durable where the contractors is direct drive and noisy but still a very good saw. I have been very impressed with the service and willingness to serve from Ridgid, not to mention that they have the best warranty. Good Luck in you decision and keep us informed

      Comment


      • #4
        Billiam,

        Actually open-leg cast iron table saws are called contractor table saws. Though that was started before my time, I assume this is because this used to be the only saw light enough to take to the jobsite. The saw you describe is our portable TS2400 jobsite saw

        Contractor saws are generally thought of as saws with an open legset and the carriage and trunions hang off of the table itself, not the cabinet housing as a cabinet saw is built. Recently there have also been a couple saw come out that come describe as hybrids, when in reality they're just contractor saws with a straight cabinet such as the DeWalt saw, or the new model from Jet.

        Jake

        Comment


        • #5
          Moses,

          Asking for advice on a TS is about as volatile a subject as you can find. This is akin to asking which pick-em up truck is the best.

          You will get answers from many, based on fierce brand loyalty (just like trucks). You probably can't go wrong if you go with Jet, Delta, Powermatic, or Ridgid contractor type saws. When you start throwing in DeWalt's hybrid and Jet's new mini cab saw, you are comparing apples to oranges.

          How much rip capacity do you want/need? This separates some of the pack. How good are the factory supplied fences? There are those who will swear that the *ONLY* saw that is worth having is a Unisaw, or cabinet type saw. Most will answer you based on what they have because in their opinion "it is the best".

          Well, I don't know if Ridgid is the "best" but in my case it has done everything I want or need it to do. If I had the space for a cabinet saw would I get one? Probably would, but not because I needed it but just because I wanted one.

          This is kind of an evasive answer, but there is no one answer that is correct. You have a very good start with the tools you have already aquired. To add Ridgid to the mix would not dilute your quality. [img]smile.gif[/img]

          [ 08-21-2001: Message edited by: Hergy ]
          Dick

          Comment


          • #6
            There are two ways to respond.

            The long answer I don't have time for, and as the last fellow said, on this subject you can elicit a bunch of long answers that might be interesting but might just as well be confusing.

            My short answer is buy the TS2424 UNLESS you intend to carry the saw up the bulkhead stairs and put it in the back of a Blazer on a regular basis (in which case get the tabletop saw, but only if that is the case). You won't be sorry.

            One additional unsolicited comment. If you are as new to this as you sound, don't underestimate the capacity of a good table saw to hurt you if you don't use it properly. I'd find someone who has spent some time with these tools and buy him enough beers or dinners to get him to spend a few hours walking you through the right and wrong ways to use the tools. You may have 10 fingers, but I suspect you've grown fond of each one of them. (If I've misread your question, please pardon the unsolicited advise.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Moses,

              Just to add my .02 worth. I was fortunate enough that I was able to compare the Ridgid TS 2424, Jet and delta side by side (almost) at a local woodworking show. Here is a brief summary of what "I" found (YMMV). Bear in mind that I was comparing the 3 in the same price range +/- $550.00. I found that fit and finsih were pretty much equal, as well as features. The main differences that I noticed were in the fences. Neither the Jet or Delta in this price range have the top of the line, ie Unifence, Beismeyer etc (these get you in the $7 - 800.00 range) they have there basic fences. Now it is true that these fences have 30" capacity vs the 24" for the Ridgid, but this is easily fixed. In my opinion the Ridgid fence is far superior to the Jet and delta basic fence. Another big plus to the Ridgid is the Herc-U-Lift castors, these are worth there weight in gold. Additionally there is the easily removable and replaceable guard and splitter. If you were to take a poll of the Delta and Jet owners, you will find that most of them do not use them becuase the hassle in removing and replacing (see RGAD posting above). With the Ridgid there is a indexed pin that will allow the gourd splitter to be perfectly aligned every time you install it. One last advantage that I found the Ridgid to have is the side wings. The Jet and Delat has stamped steel wings while the Ridgid has cast iron. Some will point out that they are open web cast iron and that "they" would rather have stell because of the risk of pinched fingers, but I have not had any problems and I really appreciate the added weight and rigidity for stability.
              Ultimatley I purchased the Ridgid TS-2424 and have not regretted it a single second. I have modified mine with an outfeed table, new side table, and I have shifted the fence rails to allow 36" rip capacity. I can e-mail pic of the mods if anyone would like

              -Rob
              -Rob<br /> <a href=\"http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/\" target=\"_blank\">http://home.comcast.net/~robritch/</a> <br />Damn, I hit the wrong nail again. Ouch that hurts

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, I am as new as one can get at this. Well, I did make a burl top table about 25 years ago, but those don't require near the accuracy of the work I'd like to start doing.

                I'm afraid I have this affliction of researching major purchases to the point that I almost always wind up with something that costs at least twice what I originally planned on spending. I really believe in buying quality. Now I am seriously considering buying the Dewalt 746 or the Grizzley 1023S. Popular Woodworking rated the Dewalt with better performance but less value. As I said before, mobility is a major concern, and I've heard the casters made for the Dewalt 746 are very good. The Dewalt would be about a total of $1,100 with the casters, and the Grizzley about $900.

                I'm not sure about any of this because I'm so new. I guess I haven't been into this long enough to have any passion over one brand or the other.

                No one has attempted to answer one of my questions about making the louvered shutters. Maybe that's too complicated of a project for someone at my skill level? Would something like that be even possible with any of these saws discussed?

                I suppose if it came right down to the bottom line and I wound up purchasing the Ridgid TS2424, I'd probably be happy with it. I've been drooling over it every time I go into Home Depot. I know the fence really moves smoothly and it has a feel of quality the way it's made (for what little I know about this).

                As far as anyone showing me the ropes, I don't know anyone into woodworking, so I really have no one to ask personally. So I really appreciate everyone's input.

                Thanks...

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                • #9
                  Moses,sorry I skidded right by your question on the shutters. Any of the TS mentioned woud be more than adequate for performing portions of the operations required to make shutters.

                  If I were making them, my main tool would probably be my router(s) guided with a home made jig or fixture. I don't think shutters would be my pick for a first project ,however.

                  Norm, of New Yankee Workshop, made some shutters for a bar project. As Norm says, "measured drawings are available" along with videos. If you are as new as you say, maybe these aids could be educational.
                  http://www.newyankee.com/index.html

                  Check it out.
                  Dick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Moses
                    First let me applogize for the incorrect information. I to was miss informed. Jake has inlightened me with the correct information so please read his reply to me.

                    Jake
                    I appreciate the information on contractors saws. I was also miss informed by a local builder. I do strive to be as correct as I can but I will always make mistakes, but as long as I learn from them I have no regrets.

                    Thanks again

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                    • #11
                      No biggie, just glad to have people respond

                      Jake

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                      • #12
                        Re: Choosing my first table saw and need some advise...

                        Well buddies, I am using a large round table as a computer table. But the problem is that the table is very heavy and can not be easily moved from one place to another. This has landed me in discomforts. Can I use TS 242 to keep my computer, being a novice I have poor ideas in all these. Any suggestions will be great for me.
                        I can check wooden window shutters

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Choosing my first table saw and need some advise...

                          Originally posted by moonshadow4280 View Post
                          Well buddies, I am using a large round table as a computer table. But the problem is that the table is very heavy and can not be easily moved from one place to another. This has landed me in discomforts. Can I use TS 242 to keep my computer, being a novice I have poor ideas in all these. Any suggestions will be great for me.
                          Hi Moonshadow! Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure what you're asking there. I don't understand what you mean by using the TS2424 to keep your computer. Can you elaborate some more on what information you need?
                          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Choosing my first table saw and need some advise...

                            I have ts3650 and am very happy with it - i would recommend it in a heartbeat. That being said, the ts3650 was my first TS purchase as a newbie woodworker a few years ago.

                            If today i was to buy a TS, I would invest in a cabinet style SawStop without hesititation. I have used one first hand - the quality and the safety features are out of this world. They are pricey, but its a lifetime tool.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Choosing my first table saw and need some advise...

                              I have the Contractor TS2400LS-1 Mobile saw. I use it to nearly ANYTHING most other guys require a Cab-saw for. I did spend some time making adjustments, just because I don't trust shipping, but it was accurate as hell, right out of the box. It is just more accurate now. I have made my own extension tables to increase the left side and right side rips to 24" each, as well as a router plate that fits between the main table and the factory sliding extension table. The fence is HANDS DOWN, DON"T BOTHER trying to change my mind the BEST DAMN FENCE ON THE MARKET! Am I a bot Passionate? I guess, I got rid of al my DeWalt, Crapsman and other tools in favor of Ridgid. Great customer service, quality of tools design. They do EXACTLY what they advertise and their ACCURATE as hell.

                              That being said, I am buying th TS3650 with the extension tables and long rails. I am a contractor and this saw will be moved around from site to site, so the extra mobility of the Herc-U-Lift will be greatly appreciated. For the home work shop, I am purchasing the SawStop. But I think I will probably enjoy the Ridgid more.

                              I have heard lots of good info about the 3650 and have even rusted the top of the one at the store because of all the drool I have left behind!

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