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Old Mar 03, 2003, 09:03 AM
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dottney's Avatar
United States, NY, Fairport
Joined Jun 2000
2,599 Posts
mini table saw

Is anybody using one of these in ther building shop-Harbor Freight company Mighty Mite
Item number 46379-ovga
Its a 4"blade table saw.
At $50 it looks like a good deal. If you are using it can you get other blades (finer tooth) for it.
If you have an alternative what might it be?
I've got a birthday coming up!!!
Thanks,
Dave
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Last edited by dottney; Mar 03, 2003 at 09:06 AM.
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Old Mar 03, 2003, 11:28 AM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
Novi, Michigan, United States
Joined Jan 2001
2,490 Posts
I use a 25 year old Dremel 4" table saw all the time. I've even cut 2x4's with it using a cut from each side. Unfortunately Dremel has discontinued it.

From the picture, the Harbor Freight one looks servicable - the important thing is the rigidity of the blade mounting. As long as it's stable, you can work around any other short comings.

MicroMart still sells 4" carbide tipped blades that last for ever. You can also get 4" blades of varying teath and profile at Home Depot/Lowes (they're for the small, battery powered, hand saws but they work fine on the Dremel - I assume they would work on the HF.
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Old Mar 03, 2003, 04:06 PM
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astroboy's Avatar
Carson City, NV
Joined Nov 2000
888 Posts
Last year I ordered a saw very similar to the one pictured, at about the same price, from HF. It came with one or two blades, neither of which were usable for hobby purposes. I searched their site, as well as Home Depot and several other places, for blades that would be acceptable, and found nothing. I sent it back.

Jeff
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Old Mar 03, 2003, 04:10 PM
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Jacksonville, IL
Joined Dec 2002
266 Posts
Do check the motor power. This one looks only slightly different from the one I bought from them a couple of years ago. If you love tools, you would hate it. Mine is fine for zapping nice clean cuts in up to 1/4" square stock, but balks at ripping long cuts in which any natural warping tendency of the wood comes into play as it is cut.
Ripping a piece of 1/16" X 36" stock to get a 1/2" wide strip, for example, may be difficult. Dzl
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Old Mar 04, 2003, 03:03 AM
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RMihara's Avatar
San Mateo, California, United States
Joined Nov 2001
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I wish Dremel would bring those mini table saws back...I ended up using the Drill press stand and rotating the upper clamp 90° and using a cutting blade on my dremel. Alas it's not quite the same as a table saw...

Roger
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Old Mar 04, 2003, 07:08 AM
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United States, NY, Spencerport
Joined Oct 2001
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Dave,

I got one for Christmas a couple of years ago. It's basically just a Chinese sewing machine motor with a blade attached to the shaft.

It works okay, but the blade tends to wander on long rip cuts. I can't tell if it's because of the motor, or simply because the blade is very flexible. At least on mine, the motor seems fairly solid; it doesn't have much, if any, end play.

There was a tool vendor at last years WRAM show that sold the same unit, for $90. He also had a much nicer-looking tilt-arbor table saw with adjustable rip fence that appeared to be from the same Chinese manufacturer for $110 or so, but that guy was MEAN.
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Old Mar 04, 2003, 11:27 AM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
Novi, Michigan, United States
Joined Jan 2001
2,490 Posts
I should have mentioned that in addition to "hobby appropriate" 4" saw blades, MicroMark also carries a nice 4" table saw, albeit for quite a bit more thatthe HF saw.
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Old Mar 04, 2003, 03:10 PM
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United States, FL, Sebastian
Joined Apr 2001
800 Posts
I am following this thread carefully and I hope I will get the answer as what to buy. I also want a fair quaility small table saw similar to the old Dremel saw. I know there are $300 versions but ther has to be something in between $50 and $300 that is decent.
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Old Mar 05, 2003, 09:50 AM
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Atlanta, GA USA
Joined Sep 2001
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I have this exact Harbor Freight mini-table saw and I’m very pleased with it.

It comes with two 4” blades – one a very thin carbide-tipped blade that is good for most any wood, the other a diamond impregnated-rim blade for cutting brass, etc. These blades are available separately if needed.

I also bought a very fine tooth 4” blade from MicroMart that is good for balsa (see the note below about slitting saw blades).

The table is pretty small. The table is adjustable for aligning the miter gauge slot to the blade by loosening the screws that hold the table onto the frame, tapping it one way or the other, and then re-tightening them again. The miter gauge works well, however there is no rip fence so you will have to make one. There is no angle adjustment for the blades so all cuts have to be at 90 degrees to the table. The height adjustment is adequate but not precise. It takes some fiddling to raise or lower the table.

This saw is not the ultimate in precision sawing, however for most of us it is quite serviceable. If you must have precision sawing you will have to pay for it – from about $100 to $300 – and these are not much better than this saw with an auxiliary table and rip fence added.

With a homemade birch plywood auxiliary table fitted over the regular table and a homemade fine adjustable rip fence made of a hard wood like maple or beech – easy to make – you should be able to rip up very nice 1/16” square strips quite well.

Also, virtually all fine cutting, non-carbide, high-tooth-count blades for wood are really slitting saw blades made for slitting metal in milling machines. These make beautiful cuts in wood, however they have no set to the teeth to relieve the saw kerf and thus are prone to overheat when ripping anything except balsa - and even that if the blade is too thin. What happens is the outer rim of the blade heats up from the friction of being on contact with the wood and expands while the inner portion of the blade is relatively cool and does not expand. This makes the overheated blade to develop a wave that binds in the saw kerf. This only increases the friction that increases the wave, etc., and all of this makes the blade wander off of a straight cut. Remember, these blades are made for use in a milling machine with a coolant pouring over them. For this reason you need to keep an eye on the blade condition and allow it time to cool down between cuts. The carbide-tipped saw that comes with the little table saw is made for this and shouldn’t have this problem. It does make a little wider kerf, though. Remember, this is only a problem when ripping and not crosscutting, as crosscutting is almost always a short cut.

Planeman
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