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Startrite Table saw buying advice

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littlejohn

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Hi all

I’m a strictly amateur and looking to get a table saw - I want something suitable for furniture making, so I guess I’m prioritising repeatable fine accuracy over bulk work, but I don't really know where to start in finding something suitable. Being on a budget (aren’t we all :) ! ) it seems that looking for older equipment that’s well engineered is the way to go. My workshop is a barn so I’m lucky in that don’t have to worry about space.

There’s a start rite saw I’m interested in, it looks clean and tidy and the seller says that he "can't see model No however Serial No starts with 175, Rating is 1.5Kw and bottom of the plate states that no blade under 170mm is to be fitted"

It looks like a lot of people here have start rite saws and they’re generally well respected, are there things to look out for? Does it sound like it would be a good fit for what Im trying to do? I will have to do a 3 phase to single phase conversion so have to factor that into the cost, but then it looks like I'd have to do that for many decent saw anyway.

Thanks
John
 

Ttrees

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Is it the 145 machine, or the 275?
I have a 3 phase 275, which has a 3hp motor on it usually, its got a Chinese VFD hooked up to it, and runs well from a 13a plug.
You say you have the space and see the cost savings of three phase, so I would suggest you get the 275 with 3hp motor.
Why not look for the DS 275 model, which has a sliding table aswell for the same money, since your not opposed to the VFD route.
Tom
 

sploo

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The Startrite 175 and 275 are fine saws; indeed they're actually the same thing (the 175 came with a 10" blade and a smaller motor, but it's no problem to swap or replace the motor and/or use different sized blades).

As Ttrees has mentioned, the DS versions have a sliding table. However, they do tend to command significantly higher prices, and in my experience unless you're doing a lot of cross cuts of long stock it may not be that useful. Also, the standard throw is only about 30cm (though can be extended up to 60cm) so it's not going to do big panels either.

If the machine you're looking at has a 1.5kW 3-phase motor then a VFD will run it fine - especially as you can program a gentle ramp up/down so nothing jerks into life.

Things to watch for: the universal joints can get damaged if the Trunnion Nut has corroded/stuck (such that it doesn't pivot when the blade is tilted).

They're not too bad to strip down and service (I've done a couple over the years). It'll take a few days, but breaking it down and installing new bearings is a pretty cheap job (as well as a fresh pair of belts).

Dust extraction isn't great on them, and the chassis body is sheet metal (so likes to be bolted onto the floor or a stand for rigidity).

With decent blades and a bit of fettling you can definitely get cross cuts that require no finishing, and they'll chomp through deep rip jobs with ease.

The spindle is 5/8" BTW, but you can readily get adaptors to use 30mm bore blades.

For spares see http://www.altsawsandspares.co.uk/ and the manual is here: http://www.sharkbandsawblades.co.uk/dow ... E%20MW.pdf
 

littlejohn

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Great, thank you both; I've just come across a 275 so I'm going to take a look at that one too. I've put this off for years, it's going to feel like a real upgrade :D
 

woodbloke66

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littlejohn":3ofayc24 said:
Hi all

I’m a strictly amateur and looking to get a table saw - I want something suitable for furniture making, so I guess I’m prioritising repeatable fine accuracy over bulk work....
Thanks
John
Just to throw a Spanniard in the works; have you considered whether a table saw is the right type of saw, or would a bandsaw be better? It does depend on what sort of work you do; long straight cuts in boards of one sort or another are easiest on a table saw (though the same can be accomplished these days with a 'Parf' table and tracksaw). This piece from Matt Estlea (who recently joined UKW) is well worth spending ten minutes to read and if you have a look at his workshop you'll see it's superbly kitted out...but no tablesaw. All of the pieces below in my Sigblock were made without using a tablesaw - Rob
 

sploo

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littlejohn":17ttpl8d said:
Great, thank you both; I've just come across a 275 so I'm going to take a look at that one too. I've put this off for years, it's going to feel like a real upgrade :D
No worries. Note that if it's a 275 with a 1.5kW motor it's basically no different from the 175 (other than the serial number!).

As far as I know, the very early models have round hand wheels, and all the rest have a straight section with two black knobs.

Sometime (after 1974) they gained a small metal shield inside, that protects one of the threaded rods from debris from the blade.

The tension on the locking level for the fence can be adjusted, so just choose the saw that looks in best condition and has a good price - don't worry about it being a 175 or 275.

Oh, and the cast iron top can be sanded and polished nicely, so they do scrub up nice.
 
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