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novice4sure

06:20AM | 09/16/04
Member Since: 09/14/04
3 lifetime posts
Bvtools
Help. I understand the minimal basics of Table Saws. I don't have room for a cabinet saw. A benchtop probably won't fulfill my needs. Space and portability are concerns. I have looked at a Craftsman 21830 "Professional" Table Saw at a local dealer of Craftsman Tools. Anyone familiar with this tool, please advise. I observed, at the store, the fence appears to lack accuracy, but make the the assumption (and have read a little about them, too) that most Table Saws require "tuning" during setup, and that with a square and the proper measurement tools, this machine should perform the basics just fine.

Here are the problems: (1) No one in the store was able to advise me definitively as to which Craftsman accessories will work with this machine. Their 2004-2005 Tool Catalog isn't specific. I called several

Craftsman numbers, got routed to a lot of people, yet no one at all I talked to (and it was a LOT of different people) was able to give me a clear answer as to what will work and what doesn't. I realize the table top is small, at 24" x 21", but I have outfeed support stands. Table has a standard 3/4" x 3/8" slot, rips to 24.5"

Table top is aluminum. This machine folds and stores folded, moves on attached wheels.

That is a BIG plus to me: the storage and portability aspect of this machine.

(2) Can the Rip Fence be improved or replaced with a more accurate version?

(3) Is there an improved Craftsman Miter Gauge versus the one that comes with it? (4) Or can you use an aftermarket and more accurate Miter Gauge? If so, suggestions

please. (5) Any advice on Hold Down Clamps or Hold Down Attachments available? Either Craftsman or aftermarket?

(6) What jigs can be used with this machine?

Again, O.E.M. or aftermarket. (7) The Craftsman Universal Jig #00903236000 (Mfr.# 3236) states: "Not for use with aluminum top table saws". Can someone please explain why? (I couldn't even find anyone at Craftsman to answer that question, either. Makes me wonder what's going on with these folks!) Does an aluminim table top prevent the use of various jigs?

(8) Anyone owning one of these saws willing to give me advice as to upgrades, limitations, positves and negatives about what they have encountered with their saw will find a one very appreciative novice. And, lastly, anyone with personal knowledge of workable aftermarket improvements in the way of accessories for this saw that can give advice will also greatly be very appreciated. Thanks to any and all willing to respond to this / these lengthy question(s). What I learn will help me determine whether this is the best choice for me. Regards, Gordon

k2

07:50AM | 09/16/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Gordon,

Ahhhh, table saws!, one of my favorite topics!

Just a couple of comments.

What will you be using the saw for, and how often? I wouldn't recommend a benchtop model--but there are a few decent 'job site' models out there. I hired a contractor to do some work for me--he had a Makita portable saw which did basic stuff admirably. One of those type of saws might be fine if you're not doing high-accuracy work. Plus he could just pick it up and move it around himself!

I have an older model Jet "contractor" saw (120 or 240v) which I really like and highly recommend. I have mine on a mobile base--which works like a charm. I've had mine for quite a few years. As for Jet, I believe ****** sells them now (Tool Crib), as well as many reputable dealers. There are other good saws too---Delta, of course, comes to mind.

Probably my favorite accessory is a MAGNETIC featherboard. Worth its weight in gold! but it won't work with an aluminum top, obviously.

Any of the saws require adjustment now and then.

Anyway, back to what YOU will be doing with the saw. If you're making furniture or require precision, definitely a "contractor" model or better with a nice rip fence. There are some REAL nice after-market fences (Biesmeyer (sp?) comes to mind) but Jet's is pretty much a copy of that one (at least it was when I bought mine). I like having one that'll work on 120 or 240v. I had 240v put out there several years ago and you definitely notice--the saw is much "happier."

It also pays to buy a nice blade. I usually buy Freud combination blades--but really, I don't do much cross-cutting on the table saw. I prefer to use a chop saw for cross-cutting.

Does this help, or confuse you further? Obviously I didn't answer all your questions....I'm hoping others will put in their 2 cents as well.

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous

novice4sure

08:18AM | 09/17/04
Member Since: 09/14/04
3 lifetime posts
Good morning, and thanks for responding. I guess my main use for a table saw (at this time) would be for ripping materials. I live in a hurricane-prone area of the state,(less than 100 miles from the coast - a category 4 straight in at us would do major damage) so being able to rip enough ply panels to fit all of my home's windows would be a first use. I know you can do the same with a circular saw and straight material (aluminum extrusion, etc), clamps, etc. But here's the thing with that. I want to make ALL the panels exactly the same, then predrill them in exactly the same location and mount threaded studs in the window facings. Then I'll be able to use any panel at any window. I know I could just cut a bunch to fit whichever window, number them, etc., but that's my thought on first use. So, for that, some better control and some better precision than using a circular saw would be useful, less time consuming: set the table saw for the width cut, do the panels; set it for the height cut, the same. Also, ripping material to bring out some windows in our utility room would be a near term use.

Someone with less skills than myself (bad) did some work out there that needs fixin'.

I could probably give you a laundry list of other "to-do's", but another big concern is this: I have limited space. We have an outbuilding, and it's my 'shop' (basically a whole bunch of tools and equipment thrown in there). It's stuffed. I need to organize it badly, but even so, space is at a premium there, so the fold-up and store feature of that particular saw is VERY enticing. I've looked at various portable stands on the web, so I know they are available, but if I hear some positives from some folks that own or know about this saw, it LOOKS like it may be my best choice. I'm pretty sure that most contractor's saws and probably most table top saws are more precise, at least in reference to the rip fence. But I also feel pretty sure I can read enough to figure out how to make sure the fence on the Craftsman I'm looking at is square and stable, the blade square, the measurements CLOSE to precise. (On a side note: I've paid money down on a 30' x 60' x 15'H metal building. Now that will be a nice shop / garage / storage building / whatever else I need it for building. Unfortunately, I've been ill for several years - I'll be fine - so the building won't be up for several years. Otherwise, a different and better table saw would be a priority.) Speaking of hurricanes, we just had a power hit (thank you battery back-up on computer) from winds from Ivan. I mean literally right before this sentence was typed. It's looking like we my lose power and maybe my internet connection, so I'm going ahead and posting this, before I loose what I've typed (want to hear a scream of profanity in CO. all the way from N.C.?) Again, thanks for responding, and hope this will entice some others to chime in. Take care, k2 in CO. From Gordon in N.C.

k2

04:31PM | 09/18/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi again Gordon,

Sorry it's taken me a bit of time to respond; my weekend job can be rather draining!

Heck, sounds like the table saw you describe may do everything you need, and I am a big proponent of not spending any more on something than you have to! (Sorry I have no first- or second-hand knowledge of that model!)

I will add that plywood--being an awkward 4x8' material, can be somewhat of a bear to handle oneself. I recommend a table-board (to increase the table saw's surface area) and a good outfeed table (even if contrived) so that you don't get saw blade binding. In this case, the table saw can increase in size, weight and become a considerable encumbrance (you might consider a mobile base). Or at least elicit a friend's help while you're cutting it.

And thanks for sparing that profanity that would've been audible for 2000 miles! (Thank you, uninterrupted power suppliers!)

Hopefully someone else will have familiarity with that Craftsman model.

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous
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