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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

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.
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