Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
A bargain necessity
on November 19, 2006
I have the Skil 3400A bench saw (you can often pick these up used for next to nothing on Craigslist); I use it for outside work, onsite work, and when I don't want to make sawdust with the Delta/Incra table that is my main workshop cutter ...especially when I'm cutting crap wood that is NOT going to touch my Delta/Incra tablesaw. The 3400A's got to weigh less than 20 lbs; even my dainty wife can tote it. Sure bench saws in general are noisy and *obviously* less precise than even a contractor saw, but you can save on mulch, and the labor spreading it, by sawing in the garden!
I saw the 80092 on Amazon (I was actually searching for an inexpensive miter saw stand, and stumbled across this), and as the price was right (from Skil Reconditioned), and LESS than a fourth the price of the competition, I ordered it.
The quality of the unit is high ...very, very high. The parts fit, and fit well. It was packed well (with minor shipping abuse, more later). Assembly was easy, and tuning (to the table, and the blade and fence) was both easy and minimal and intuitive. You can be setup and making dust within an hour out-of-box (give it two hours, if you're the klutzy type who drops stuff, or you're an anal retentive type who's wouldn't dream of setup with using a dial indicator ...I mean, on a bench saw?! - that's just nuts, dude).
The table isn't limited to the Skils (and it will fit all models of those); the 80092 will also fit Bosch, Delta, Dewalt, Hitachi and Makita benchtop models (several of these are direct bolt-ons, some you have to do some drilling for, but Skil includes an additional manual with full-size drilling templates to make it pretty much a no-brainer); I'd guess you could make almost anything fit (except the Ridgid - and why you'd want to try mounting that excellent onsite saw, I've no idea - and the new Dewalt 645, because of it's "exterior frame" design).
The folding design is different than the Rousseau uses, and nothing like the Trojan (both of which I've only studied photos of, so YMMV). The leg bracing design is better than the Rossy, and would be almost impossible to accidentally have collapse: 3/4" sheet [weight] isn't going to be a problem, and there's both an audible and a visible lock-in procedure for the leg braces.
The stand and table (with fence) is probably around 45 pounds: with the bench saw removed (and it comes off in less than a minute), it's easily tote-able ...you don't need wheels (supposedly, there's a wheel kit for this, but I've not been able to locate it).
The adapter that fits the bench saw stays bolted to the bench saw (its a drop-in design with two-studs per side that drop into slots in the stand: easy put-in and lift-out), but it's an unobtrusive design, isn't in the way, and won't hinder you in any fashion from using your bench saw without the table (though for most usage scenarios, there's no way you'd even consider this: this table makes the little bench saws MUCH MUCH more usable, and accurate).
The extension table itself is fully wrapped in some kind of coating/covering; I'm guessing the board material is MDF. (It seems durable enough, but you might want to contact glue a sheet of galvanized flashing over it if you're the prissy type.) It's wood-screwed in to the cross-members - 4 screws per side - and this is the only criticism of the unit that I have: I'd have preferred to bolt the thing on for the long run. The wood screws hold it on, and there's enough of 'em, but I can't see them lasting. You *can* easily improve them by taking the board back off, and squirting a few drops of cyanoacrylite super-glue in the holes prior to reassembly (this is an old trick from my radio-control modeling days).
You get increased rip capacity (of course: there's the right-side table extension). The extension table alone makes the Skil (and the Rousseau and Trojan) better than the majority of the "stand-only" designs of most manufacturers (like the Dewalt, Makita and Craftsman stands), even the folding ones.
Now, what wasn't apparent when I placed the order (I was really looking for an easier way to tote my very light 3400A around), was the fence. Omigawd. It's a T-square clamp design, and looks like a little Biesy. Rock. Solid. The thing is worth more than the saw, and makes the "folding" aspect of the table less of the focus than the table as a platform for the improved fence. You don't use the stock bench saw fence (well, while the bench saw is dropped into the table); you won't miss it one bit. The fence makes the bench saw a joy to use, and a minor revelation as to what a bench saw is capable of: it becomes a tool in its own right. (Yeah: a cabinet saw isn't a circular saw after all, and in the same way a bench saw really comes into its own with this fence system.)
Like all Biesemeyer's, deflection is minimal. The square profile is a stout piece of sheet metal tubing and welds, and there are two holes pre-drilled to make attachment of jigs, etc. easy. Lock-down is firm (indeed, immovable). Outfeed rip (without sides), is an astonishing 25 inches (the 24 inches listed by Skil is overly conservative). The T slides smoothly on nylon pads, as does the end on a larger nylon/plastic pad; grabbing the fence end and bracing against the table, you can only very slightly (less than 1/32nd) move the fence. The fence is just a joy (and again - like the Rossy and the Trojan systems - is the real reason to lust after this piece of equipment).
(There are also a couple of holes pre-drilled through the rear of the stand that make attaching an outfeed table easier. Skil doesn't appear to offer such a beast ...you might be able to make the Rossy fit pretty easily: but I bought a four foot plastic folder at Home Depot for under forty dollars and easily modified it to fit the Skil. You can too ...and you should, just for the safety increase alone.)
Okay. Enough of the glowing stuff. So ...what's the bad (other than the wood screws previously mentioned)? Mine came with a bent brace (from shipping). That's it.
I highly recommend the Skil table; its actually a superior design to almost everything out there (certainly everything in the under-$200 range), and especially when cost is factored in. Buy it. You won't regret it.