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If you’re interested in a smooth-running tablesaw that comes with a good fence and a reasonable price tag, check out the Craftsman Professional saw. It’s a cabinet-style machine for the price of a contractor-style saw. (The saw is also available in two other, less expensive versions.)
The cabinet-style model that I tested (model OR35504) comes with a pair of 12-in. cast-iron table extensions, a Biesemeyer-brand fence, and a laminate-covered table insert that gives the fence a 30-in. ripping capacity to the right of the blade (18 in. to the left of the blade). The cast-iron tabletop, though nicely machined, was not perfectly flat (0.003 in. out). The position of the paddle switch is adjustable, and it was easy to turn it off with my hip.
The saw was not ready to run when I got it uncrated. Fitting a blade on the arbor revealed that the tabletop wasn’t aligned correctly on the cabinet, preventing me from raising the blade through the throat-plate opening. Removing four hex-head screws freed the top from the cabinet, and enabled me to enlarge the mounting holes so that the top could be adjusted to the correct position. The saw comes with a flip-up outfeed table, useful for cutting long stock.
Although it was a hassle, removing the top gave me a close look at the trunnion assembly, easily the most impressive part of this saw. Beefy and precisely machined, the cast-iron mechanism functioned flawlessly and without any detectable slop. Equally impressive was the flat poly drive belt, which helps the saw run quietly and makes the motor seem a lot more powerful than its 13/4-hp rating.
The runout on the arbor, measured at the rim of a 10-in. disk, was insignificant. The arbor will accept a full 8-in. dado set for a 13/16-in.-wide cut.
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