Looking for advice

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  • Looking for advice

    Not sure where to go with this, hoping to get some direction. Have 3100, has some stuff I don't like, but all in all, seems like a solid tool. For what I want it for, works great. But the paint job? Ugh! Has anyone out there ever done some custom paint, graphics...something? Or is that blasphemous 'round these parts. I wanna do lots of other DIY upgrades too. But not sure where to look.

  • #2
    Look at the Articles section here. Start at the end on page 18 and work your way forward. I have a BT3100 & a BT3000 and I not sure what is so strange about the paint on the machines. The paint has nothing to do with any functionality of these saws. Now ugly was the Sears Craftsman version with its red cabinet. Oh, and welcome to the forums.
    Jim Frye
    The Nut in the Cellar.
    ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”


    • #3
      Welcome to the Sawdustzone.

      I don't think the BT3100 is necessarily ugly, but it is garish. I disagree with Jim and think the Craftsman version is the best look for the entire BT3x line. When the BT3100 was introduced I commented that it looked like Mimi Bobeck from the Drew Carey Show. Set the way back machine to the late 90's.

      Click image for larger version

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      To answer your actual question, I've only ever seen one that was painted and the stand was painted black and done poorly. ShopSmiths on the other hand are stripped and repainted regularly since some of them may be 70+ years old. Most people stick with the original gray, green, or gold color schemes of the era of their machines, but a few have gone wild with a mix of stunning and not so stunning results.

      In the end, it is your machine, so do with it what you will. Post the results here and be prepared for congratulations and/or cajoling.
      An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
      A moral man does it.


      • #4
        Welcome to the Sawdustzone!

        Years ago ,We used to have a short mantra concerning painting: "Don't forget to paint the red line!" . . . That was a note to new guys to the 3000 or 3100 to paint a red line in the small channel in front of the blade. It made lining up to the cut line quicker. With the ribs in the top, it was easy to get the eyes on the wrong rib, so the red line made it quicker to line up at a glance.

        Hank Lee

        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


        • twistsol
          twistsol commented
          Editing a comment
          It also helped you make sure the miter fence wasn't set beyond the blade so you didn't cut off the end. I never painted the line, and cut off multiple fences.

        • leehljp
          leehljp commented
          Editing a comment
          You are right. That was the MAIN reason. It has been so long ago, that I forgot that. Aging does that. Thanks for the reminder!

        • capncarl
          capncarl commented
          Editing a comment
          I personally like a short fence! all of mine are short.

          As far as painting goes, anything that I want a good tough paint on, like the cabinet on this saw, I use epoxy appliance spray paint. I think it is Rustoleum from the L word store. Unfortunately it doesn’t come in many colors but most of my tools are black so that works. It isn’t prone to run or sag and levels great…. As long as you don’t get carried away. It’s coverage is very good and I believe you could paint a regular refrigerator with one can.

      • #5
        Most people don't like the elevation handle on the 3100. The big yellow center makes it look like a toy. Maybe just change that out and you'll feel better. There's some discussions about replacements. You could just replace it with either a fist generation or a second generation bt3000 crank, all black. The bt3x has an odd shaft end it has to fit. You can replace it with a handwheel crank from a BT3000, BT3100, Sears 22811, but regular handwheels from other saws won't fit without an custom adapter (which you can get for a few bucks on eBay sometimes), There are a few articles here on the subject of Handwheels.

        Maybe remove the yellow crank and paint the center a non-objectionable color (flat black?).

        But anyway the BT3100 handwheel is the most objectionable cosmetic to the BT3100 in my opinion (I have a BT3000) with the yellow center it makes the saw look like a toy which its not.
        Last edited by LCHIEN; 08-14-2022, 01:44 AM.
        Loring in Katy, TX USA
        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions


        • #6
          OK, I'll be honest and say that I haven't looked at my BT3100 in some time since it's stored under the BT3000 and not used. I went down to the shop and compared the two. I guess the BT3100 is a tad tarted up on the front panel. Top pic is the BT3000. Bottom pic is BT3100. You can't see it, but the elevation wheel on my BT3100 has been filled with my lead shot and epoxy process to make it more substantial as are all of the hollow plastic parts on the BT3000. Don't forget that the original BT3000 listed for $500 and the BT3100 was $300 new.The BT3000 was made in the U.S. and the BT3100 was made in China
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          Last edited by Jim Frye; 08-13-2022, 06:41 PM.
          Jim Frye
          The Nut in the Cellar.
          ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”


          • #7
            Some thoughts on the image of these saws. When the BT3000 came out in 1992, it was pretty much reviled by reviewers and woodworkers because it looked so different than any table saw on the market and because it used aluminum and plastic in its design. I was looking for my first table saw, had a very limited budget, and a very small work shop. The design and engineering struck me as innovative and well thought out. Yeah, it didn't look like any other 10" table saw, but had all the capabilities of what was on the market in a small package. Turned out looks were very deceiving, I bought it in Feb. 1993, and the saw is still in use in my shop. Quite frankly, the sticker on the front of the BT3100 is the least of its qualities.
            Last edited by Jim Frye; 08-13-2022, 08:35 PM.
            Jim Frye
            The Nut in the Cellar.
            ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”


            • #8

              I had similar impressions. Because of the table saw accident my Dad had when 14, I stayed the heck away from any table saw. About as close as I would get was maybe being in someone's shop or reading magazine or catalog descriptions about them. (My saw was an RAS.) In 2003 when I became interested I looked at only what the local stores had and frankly table saws looked just as crude and dangerous as that 1958 table saw that cut off two of my Dad's fingers. The Ryobi BT3100 appeared much more refined to me. I like the design features like the SMT, the moveable rails, the accessory table and the extension support on the outfeed. Even then it took me several months before I made the decision. Since then I bought the Ryobi mobile version too. The BT is centered nicely in my little shop and though I don't use it as often as my RAS, it is a tool I wouldn't want to be without; and, I honestly don't see any other saw that I'd want to replace it with. Understand of course I have no need or room for a big cabinet saw.

              One of the first things I did with my BT was to put a Herc-u-lift on it, which makes it easily moveable around the shop.

              Think it Through Before You Do!