Replacement Tablesaw


In a recent class by @Stevemopolis ( Tablesaw training ) it was suggested that we upgrade our table saw, due to many deal breakers with our current saw, including but not limited to its lack of being flat/true.

I propose (or more aptly, am forwarding his proposal) that we, VHS, purchase a new table saw.

Above all else, if @Stevemopolis is willing, we should make whatever saw is chosen is approved by him (suggested by @bruce, ++'d by me).

So, is there interest, and how do we fund this?



I’m happy to offer my opinion on any saws that people find however I don’t think my work should be the last word, especially if there are other VHS members with tablesaw experience that have a differing opinion.

I did a quick search of craiglist and found a couple of Delta contractor saws that look like they would be decent candidates for under $500. I looked at the KMS Tools and Home Depot websites but didn’t find anything impressive under about $900. At least, not for the type of usage and users at the VHS.

Things to look for:

  • 10" blade - not 8" or 9"
  • Cast iron tabletop
  • Metal body (not plastic)
  • 3/4" miter slots (not 5/8")
  • 10 Amp or better motor
  • T-square style fence
  • Factory Blade Guard

Desirable but not completely necessary:

  • Cabinet Saw (best choice, more $$)
  • Biesmeyer (or clone) T-square fence
  • 1.5+ (real) HP - 15 Amp/117 Volt or 7+ Amps 220 Volt
  • Riving knife

Brands to avoid:

  • Mastercraft
  • Craftex
  • Jobmate
  • Black & Decker
  • Craftsman
  • Ryobi
  • Powerfist
  • Most house brands


Excellent; thanks for the great tips.

I’ll be researching setting up a Tilt over the next couple days.

Also, tonight I was able to get the blade to 90 degrees, and the blade height adjustment is much easier to operate. That should give us some benefit until we can get this rolling.



What did you do to fix it?


There’s a couple set screws that are accessible from the top of the table saw. I cleaned up the stop bracket on the grinder and then retracted the set screw almost all the way until it was square. I think I got it within a fraction degree of square (as close as i’m able to measure).

There’s also a second screw that I think is for the 45 degree set, but I am having a little more trouble setting that one. (Sorry I did not take a photo of the set screw)

As far as the stiffness, there was some grime (mostly compressed sawdust) on the threaded shaft. I brushed those off nice and clean and then added some lubricant. There was actually quite a bit of material stuck in odd places; I ended up tipping it over 4-5 times and each time I found a new set of dust in weird places. There’s also a removable, clipped cover for the saw cavity, which yielded some stuck pieces of wood that couldn’t be expelled out the dust collection port.

I also noticed some adjustment bars for the fence rails were loose on the ‘off’ side, I didn’t adjust those since you had gotten the right-side square, but those might be able to be brought close to true; though I suspect those rails are indeed bent, so I left it alone for now.

I also scraped off some of the glue from the table top. Unfortunately that was probably my doing, I don’t think I realized I had a few drips a couple weeks back; I thought I cleaned it all up. I needed a flat surface, and unfortunately the table saw is the flattest surface we’ve got.

Of note, when I put the sled on the table, it had to cut through a tiny bit of material on the back because the blade apparently wasn’t square when that was built; I suspect the set screw has been wrong since we obtained the saw. If the angle indicator can be adjusted; it would be nice to true that up, at least as a rough indication of your angle.

Also, per the class, our push sticks were of the wrong material and style. I’ve gone ahead and made one with @Stevemopolis’s template, but with the lip reduced for smaller material.

Pictured below with one of the handouts from the class.

Also, do we have an angle gauge that I can use to validate the 45 degree set is correct?

I certainly think we should be purchasing a new table saw; but with at least the major couple problems out of the way; maybe we can figure out a way to fundraise to a saw that is excellent rather than just an improvement?

Personally I think we should aim to check off all of the ‘things to look for’ as well as the ‘desirable not not completely necessary’.

I believe I’ve just sold the large lathe, which I was going to donate to VHS, but I don’t think its worth us keeping it given how much better the mini lathe is (and not worth the space). That money ($50) is earmarked for my donation to an equipment purchase such as a table saw.


I have identified the ideal new tablesaw for VHS.


Yesterday @steven and I discovered that the 90 degree set screw is still slightly off, but it allows over-correction. Make sure you square your blade and don’t rely on the setscrew. There’s too much flex when setting to the angle adjust to trust the set screw anyway (though it locks down just fine).

@jon : nice!


There are apps for phones that utilize appropriate sensors to calculate angles. I was thinking we could print a standard L or U shaped template that holds most phones flush to the table with a magnet embedded in the print strong enough to hold the jig to the blade.

The steps would be, put your phone in the semi-universal jig, put the jig flat on the table saw, zero the protractor app, attach to blade and rotate as needed.

Just don’t turn on the blade or your phone will be measuring angles in the air.


One of these gizmos is indispensible for setting up various machine tools. They are really easy to calibrate and use and have magnets on the side to clamp on to your blades or bits. You can get them from a variety of manufacturers and stores usually for under $30.


Does that fit all the pieces?



If the motor runs well it might be worth considering. I think his price is a bit high, though. It will need a 230V circuit.


Excellent, I believe we have a 230V circuit in the shop if I’m not mistaken. I’ve asked for more info; we’ll see they get back to me.


Now that I’ve been able to see the photos on something bigger than my tablet, I can see that the fence is going to need upgrading at some point. I’m sure the current fence can be made servicable,though. It also looks like the blade guard has come into contact with something that has taken a big chunk out of the side. Again, not a big deal.

Otherwise, it looks like a nice old cabinet saw that, with a bit of TLC, would be a great asset for the woodshop.

If you go out to look at it, make sure that the trunnion gears are moving smoothly by tilting the blade back and forth a couple of times and raising and lowering the blade a few times. Take a good look at everything inside the cabinet checking particularly for any cracks or chunks out of the trunnion gears or any of the trunnion castings. It might also be good to take about at 2-foot long straightedge to check for any warps or twists on the cast iron tabletop and wings.


They got back to me.

Here are some pictures I asked for. The table saw was inherited, and they don’t have a high voltage outlet to try anything.



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