Steel City Tool Works’ latest line of two 10" cabinet-style table saws, 14" band saw, and 6" and 8" jointers feature the company’s latest plunge into using alternative materials. This time, it’s granite. As the company’s sales flyer states, “Welcome to the New Stone Age.”
“The application of granite to a machine tool is new,” says Jim Box, Steel City spokesman. “The heavy slab of granite used for the top is 2" thick and precision machined on state-of-the-art machining centers. The flatness is the biggest selling point on the granite.”
When Steel City rolled out its initial line of 32 woodworking machines at IWF 2006 in Atlanta, a titanium-top table saw was the product that created the “wow” factor. Now the company is showcasing granite, which it claims is harder than stainless steel; absorbs vibration better; will never rust, spring or warp; and resists scratches and stains.
Granite isn’t the only key feature of the two new 10" table saws, which are available in 1-3/4 and 3-hp single-phase models. The left-tilt saws include a built-in riving knife, 32" x 27" table, 30" industrial fence system and cabinet-mounted trunnion system.
“The table saws contain a new massive trunnion design, which is unique because the arbor rides up and down in vertical dovetail ways with adjustable gibs,” Box says. “The trunnion is much heavier than traditional systems, and this also helps dampen vibration. It is more accurate because the blade is always in the same plane. Wear can now be compensated for by adjustment, offering increased longevity of the machine. This design also assures that the riving knife will stay directly behind the blade at an even distance to its radius.”
Steel City has added a granite top to its 1-1/2 hp 14" ‘deluxe’ band saw and granite fences to its 6" and 8" deluxe jointers. The two-speed band saw has a 16" x 16" table that tilts 48 degrees to the right and 10 degrees to the left. The maximum rip left of the blade with rip fence is 11-3/4" and to the right of the blade is 7-1/2".
“We wanted a band saw table that did not rely on a pin to keep both halves of the table perfectly flat and rigid,” explains Box. “The granite offers more stability and you do not have to remove the pin when changing blades.”
The 1-1/2-hp 6" jointer has a 4" x 38" granite fence, a 68" table and a cutterhead with three HSS knives. The 2-hp 8" model has a 5-1/2" x 48" granite fence, 75-1/2" table and three double-sided HSS knives. The fence on both models tilts in and out at 45 degrees, with positive stops at 45 and 90 degrees.
“The idea behind the granite jointer fence was to have a fence that was perfectly flat at all times. Flatness of the fence on a jointer has been the biggest complaint we have heard throughout the industry; it was time for some innovation there. The problem with the cast in this area is that where the fence is joined to the casting at the pivot points, it is very easily overtightened, which can bow the fence, or undertightened, which can affect repeatability when changing from 90 degrees to other angles. The granite will not twist and remains flat.”
The new Steel City granite machines are available at reduced prices through IWF 2008, which runs Aug. 20-23. The 1-3/4-hp 10" granite cabinet-style table saw sells for $1,299.99 and the 3-hp model is priced at $1,399.99. The 14" granite band saw retails for $800. The 6" jointer is priced at $820 and the 8" model sells for $1,150.
Contact: Steel City Tool Works, P.O. Box 10529, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Tel: 877-724-8665. www.steelcitytoolworks.com