When I started building cabinets and larger pieces of furniture, I decided the contractor's saw had to go. When it came time to buy my own band saw in 1984, it appeared that the Delta was fairly common and well regarded so I bought one.
After all was said and done, I could have purchased a typical MDF unit for less and ended up with a better "system." I have fixed all of the above problems by building an auxiliary table and a new fence patterned after the Marc Sommerfeld fence.
I originally liked it because it allowed me to do production dovetailing for little cost and effort. I read awhile back where someone said that after using the Bosch 1617 EVS router, the PC 690 felt like a toy. Frankly, if you don't have enough space for a conventional table saw and drill press, you probably don't have enough space to do much woodworking. When I purchased this saw in 1991, the choices were basically Powermatic, Delta, and General. Unfortunately, I put in a router table and have not removed it since for hand held routing. In fact, my Leigh gets less use now as I use a Porter Cable 7116 for half-blind dovetails and the Keller for through dovetails.


On the other hand, I have seen some pretty nice furniture created on Shopsmiths and I am in awe of anyone who can do it. Of course there is still a lot of fiddling around to do to raise blades, tilt the table, etc.
Non-marring jaws, straight as an arrow bars, and easily moveable jaws all add up to the best clamp for anywhere near the price.
I do like the Bosch soft start, lever release, and fine height adjustment, but in use the Bosch feels top heavy (to me), I have difficulty removing the templates (Clic template system) without hammering on the release lever, and I don't like the base height adjustment system. If I want quick and easy dovetails, especially in my box construction, this is the jig I use. To add injury to insult, after trying unsuccessfully to sell it, I had to pay for it "again" in a divorce settlement.
In fact, we recentlypurchased a Grizzly 1023S and have found it to be extremely accurate and quite frankly a joy to use. I like the sled carrying the material, I like the the zero-edge aspect of the sled, I like the long robust fence, the repeatable angles, and Jerry Cole is an absolute delight! But I would never spend more for a clone, than the $800.00 you spend for the Grizzly 1023S.


I have wasted a considerable amount of money on miter gauges that don't see the light of day.
If you want one jig that does both half-blind dovetails and through dovetails, without having to store extra templates, again the Leigh is the best. I was surprised to learn just how many pro shops use the Keller for their drawer and carcass construction.
I love the Biesemeyer fence, the power, the smooth feel of the mechanics, the left-tilt arbor, and so on. However, for router table applications, I doubt you'll find a better, stronger router for the price. But to get a saw with decent guides, adequate power, etc., plan on spending two to three times that! Of course, the Delta is just a motor, set of guides, and a Mark Duginkse tune up away from being a good saw, but I am still disappointed!



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