New Table Saw

I had been looking for a table saw for quite a while.  I knew about what I wanted to spend and the type of table saw I wanted to get.  I didn't want one of those small 2' x 2' contractors table saw that can sit on top of a bench.  Those are okay for small projects but when you want to cut a 4'x8' piece of plywood they just don't work.  I also didn't want a massive heavy-duty table saw that would take up my entire basement workshop.  Also i was looking to spend under $200.   I've gotten by without needing a table saw for many years and I expected that I would only need to use it a few times a month.

So that left me with a table saw of an intermediate size.  One option was buying a brand-new craftsman table saw from somewhere like Sears.  They ranged between $250 and $400.   
new 10" craftsman table saw

They are okay but still felt kind of plasticy.   So for a few months I looked on Craigslist at buying an older saw.  The good thing about table saw's is that the older ones were built to last.  On Craigslist people were selling saws that were 10, 20, 30 years old.  The great thing about an older saw is that they are all made of steel rather than plastic parts

So after lots of searching I found one that I liked and gave the guy a call.  I ended up buying an old craftsman table saw for about $150.  
old craftsman table saw, best, deal, solid

The guy also threw in a set of dado blades that he had. 
freud table saw bladed, dado blades, price, buy

Although the saw might look light weight it really isn't.  The table surface itself is solid steel as well as the truss-like table wings. Just one of those wing truss surfaces weighs at least 30 pounds so carrying that to my basement was quite a task. 
solid steel table saw fence

There is no way it would fit down the stairs even if I could carry it so I had to take everything apart.
craftsman table saw parts, how to, what to buy, deal

Taking apart was also a good idea because I could clean everything.   I think the saw is about 25 or 30 years old.  The guy who owned it said he bought it new and only used it a handful of times.  Other than that he said it just sat in his garage taking up space and his wife wanted him to get rid of it.

Two really important things with a table saw are the drive mechanism and the fence.   With those smaller table saw's the fence is not always parallel to the blade.  Even though this fence isn't that high-tech, it seems to cut really straight.   
old table saw for sale, best buy, deal, what to buy

Also the smaller saws are usually direct drive, meaning the motor is hooked directly to the saw blade.  This saw at a belt drive which gives more torque, smoother and is how the more expensive saws are driven.
craftsman belt drive table saw motor

So far I've used it on several projects and really like it.  It's small enough that I can wheel it to the corner of the basement when I don't need it, but large enough to cut a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood in half.  When I'm not using it I put a piece of melamine on top.  That way it protects the table saw and I can use it as a work table, since I don't have lots of space down there.

Again this is one of those tools that I can't imagine not owning.  Along with my miter saw, nail guns, and air compressor, the table saw has become invaluable.  Just recently I made a wooden folding case.  Originally I cut the pieces using a circular handsaw.  It did okay but the cuts weren't straight or parallel to each other.  It only took a few seconds on the table saw and all the boards were perfectly square.  The solid steel surface is much better than the cheap stamped metal plate. 
craftsman table saw, steel, old, for sale, price

Like i said earlier, i've gotten by without needing a table saw for years.  I always assumed that i didn't really need one, or that i could just cut the boards with a hand circular saw.  But ever since buying one, i've found that it's the perfect tool for the job.  And the fact that it's on wheels and i can move it, sort of, out of the way, means that the 4'x3' space it takes up isn't a huge deal.

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