Author Topic: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?  (Read 6073 times)

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Offline Lemwise

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Here in Europe there are loads of manufacturers who make sliding table saws. Altendorf, Martin, SCM, Robland and Casadei being the most common ones. Where there ever US based manufacturers who made sliding table saws and if there were, why did they stop making them?

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 09:20 PM »
As far as I know the closet thing will be a US company called MARTIN Woodworking Machines Corp that is a sibsiduiary of a German company Otto MARTIN Maschinenbau.

So still made in Germany, but technically a US Company. Their sliders have been available in the US for near 50 years I think, at least in the 1970's the saws were here in the US.

http://www.martin-usa.com/products/?type=sawing

In 1999  Baileigh Industrial started up out of WI, USA. The sliders are sold as  Baileigh Saws. I am not sure they make the saws themselves though, it looks they might.  They consider themselves an international company, but being based in Manitowoc, WI they seem to qualify as a USA company making sliding table saws. Someone here probably knows if the saw are truly US made or not. Some of the the other tools they make appear to use parts from all different parts of the world.

Okay it appears many of the Baileigh Machines are made in China to Baileigh specifications, others made in Taiwan. Still it's an American company selling Sliders. Made in China doesn't in itself make the tools poor, it's always the main company's responsibility to make sure the Chinese  factories pump out the quality and keep to the specifications.

http://www.baileigh.com/woodworking/table-saws

« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 09:43 PM by Dovetail65 »
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Offline lwoirhaye

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 12:40 AM »
Northfield still makes sliding table saws in the USA.  They are of an older style and not designed for cutting sheet goods.

As to why American machine makers never produced format-style saws, I suppose there just wasn't money in it.  Delta   rebadged  SCMI and Invicta format saws.  I think Powermatic rebadged some saws as well.

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 04:28 AM »
As to why American machine makers never produced format-style saws, I suppose there just wasn't money in it.
But the fact that in the US your only real option is to buy one from a European company shows there's lots of money to be made on format style saws. If there wasn't Martin, Altendorf, Robland and SCM wouldn't be selling them there.

Offline Gregor

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 04:57 AM »
As to why American machine makers never produced format-style saws, I suppose there just wasn't money in it.
But the fact that in the US your only real option is to buy one from a European company shows there's lots of money to be made on format style saws. If there wasn't Martin, Altendorf, Robland and SCM wouldn't be selling them there.
Depends, it's also possible that the european manufacturers are still able make them at the current price points as they already have all the tooling in place - while the cost of setting up a new production could be prohibitive these days.

Offline Bohdan

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 05:05 AM »

....while the cost of setting up a new production could be prohibitive these days.

So why weren't they setting up at the time that the European manufacturers were, as there obviously was a market in Europe.

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 05:27 AM »
There was and still is a market in the US. A sliding table saw is the only viable option for cutting sheet goods in a production environment such as a shipyard or furniture making business. Why would it have been any different in the US at the time when European manufacturers starting making them?

Offline kevinculle

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 09:23 AM »
A sliding table saw is the only viable option for cutting sheet goods in a production environment such as a shipyard or furniture making business.

N/C router?

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2017, 09:56 AM »
A cnc router is nice if it can run 8 hours per day to pay for itself.

Offline Gregor

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2017, 11:32 AM »
A sliding table saw is the only viable option for cutting sheet goods in a production environment such as a shipyard or furniture making business.

N/C router?
Or beam saw:

Offline kevinculle

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2017, 11:59 AM »
A cnc router is nice if it can run 8 hours per day to pay for itself.

I'm not talking about the Rockler hobby stuff...the man said PRODUCTION!

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2017, 12:21 PM »
I should have said professional environment instead of production environment.

Offline antss

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2017, 02:39 PM »
The answer is about the same as why there aren't really any metric tape measure manufacturers.  The market doesn't warrant it.

Remember,  American cabinets have predominantly been face frame construction for eons. A format/slider is less of an advantage for this style of construction and coupled with the higher cost, remains in less demand.

I don't buy the CNC arguemenet. You really need to used every piece of expensive machinery 8 hours a day to pay for itself whether it's a CNC , format saw, edgebander or planer. 

European cabinet shops making veneered or laminate  doors are less dependant on wide belt sanders or planers - something most U.S. Shops wouldn't want to be without.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2017, 04:21 PM »
I forgot of course Grizzly sells True sliding table saws as well and have done since the 1980's.

The saws are designed by Grizzly made in China and Taiwan. I guess if Bosch can have some of their  premium tools made in China and people call them German, Grizzly can do the same.

http://www.grizzly.com/search?q=(categoryid:530002)


« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:25 PM by Dovetail65 »
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Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 04:54 PM »
A good friend of mine has Altendorf WA8TE (with electric height and angle adjustment) in his shop and it's made in China under the supervision of Altendorf. And let me tell you it's a great saw. Everything runs and adjusts very smoothly and it's a joy to use. I really can't fault it. Made in China doesn't mean it's a bad product. I have a Dutch designed and made Harwi sliding table saw and there's no real difference between his and my saw. I do like my saw better though because I'm Dutch myself and I know the owner of the factory.

Offline TSO Products

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2017, 10:12 PM »
on the topic of Chinese quality: it really depends if the North American or European manufacturer is willing to put the sustained effort into developing a strong supplier relationship. And - is willing to forego the lowest Chinese price and instead insists on his Chinese supplier raising his performance to the level he is also willing to pay for.

I have seen both extremes in China. You get what INspect - not what you EXpect.
Sawstop's Industrial  tablesaw is built from Chinese and Taiwan made parts and apparently meets expectations in the US.
Last week I visited a production shop here in Florida and found a nice looking ALTENDORF retired in the back - not productive enough.

Having grown up in Germany and worked throughout Europe I can tell you that there has been a premium on productivity and innovation in Europe since the end of WWII and the ensuing manpower shortage. Just look at the European machine tool industry vs. the US - similar picture. The small US machine tool  manufacturers were bought out by conglomerates in the 70's and few of them nurtured as their founding families had done . Compare that to Europe where closely held ownership is widespread and ownership invests for the long-term benefit of the business.  (FESTO! etc)
In the US the 90-day financial horizon dictates management decisions.
My impression is that in the US there exists a greater willingness by small cabinet shops to stay with older methods longer.

Perhaps I see this all wrong?
Hans
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE Guide Rail Squares -  the MTR-18 Triangle and Work Holding solutions

Offline antss

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 11:17 PM »
I think you're spot on Hans.   But part of it is just local preference.

We don't see barrel grip jigsaws from many manufacturers here either. It's just not something many guys want or use.  You don't see many , practically zero, pickup trucks in EU countries.  Guys there just don't want them.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 11:21 PM by antss »

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 11:23 PM »
I think you're spot on Hans.   But part of it is just local preference.

We don't see barrel grip jigsaws from many manufacturers here either. It's just not something many guys want or use.  You don't see many , practically zero, pickup trucks in EU countries.  Guys there just don't want them.

The vast majority of times I use jigsaws inverted. Barrel grip is the only way to go.

Tom

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2017, 03:57 AM »
on the topic of Chinese quality: it really depends if the North American or European manufacturer is willing to put the sustained effort into developing a strong supplier relationship. And - is willing to forego the lowest Chinese price and instead insists on his Chinese supplier raising his performance to the level he is also willing to pay for.
You can bet your bum Altendorf is on top of QC. They can't afford to taint their reputation with a cheap made, low quality saw.

Quote
Last week I visited a production shop here in Florida and found a nice looking ALTENDORF retired in the back - not productive enough.
I find that strange. Even the smallest shipyard over here usually has a sliding table saw (this also goes for furniture makers). When the 2008 crisis hit the sector I started working for temp agencies and they sent me to shipyards all over the province of Friesland and everywhere I went they had one. A sliding table saw is such a useful and common machine here. Maybe they didn't know how to fully take advantage of it?

Quote
Having grown up in Germany and worked throughout Europe I can tell you that there has been a premium on productivity and innovation in Europe since the end of WWII and the ensuing manpower shortage. Just look at the European machine tool industry vs. the US - similar picture. The small US machine tool  manufacturers were bought out by conglomerates in the 70's and few of them nurtured as their founding families had done . Compare that to Europe where closely held ownership is widespread and ownership invests for the long-term benefit of the business.  (FESTO! etc)
In the US the 90-day financial horizon dictates management decisions.
I do know that here in Europe the founding family of companies such as Harwi, Altendorf, Martin, Casadei, Robland and SCM is still the owner or at least heavily involved. That creates a strong commitment and incentive to stay on the course of high quality machines.

Quote
My impression is that in the US there exists a greater willingness by small cabinet shops to stay with older methods longer.
Why is there a willingness not to move forward and innovate?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 05:08 AM by Lemwise »

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2017, 05:15 AM »
I think you're spot on Hans. But part of it is just local preference.

We don't see barrel grip jigsaws from many manufacturers here either. It's just not something many guys want or use. You don't see many, practically zero, pickup trucks in EU countries. Guys there just don't want them.

The way a jigsaw works, the ergonomics and how you hold and use it doesn't change from country to country. The size of the roads, space in cities and fuel price is different over here. In Europe fuel prices are higher, most people live close to their job and we have better public transport. These things combined make a pickup truck a more expensive choice.

Offline antss

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2017, 08:41 AM »
Lem - price almost always has something to do with it.   Sliders/format saws are more expensive over here.  What effect do you think that has on adoption ?

Ever been to SanFranscisco or NewYork ? They are every bit as tight and congested as London, Paris or Berlin.  Yet guys still drive pickups in both for trade work.

As far as the jigsaws go, you're just mis informed.  In the U.S. the overwhelming number of jigsaw sales are top handle models. This means you hold it on top of the handle to guide it while cutting from the top side of the work.   No one will grip it by the barrel and cut from underneath.   In the EU the favored model is a barrel grip which has no handle to grasp at all , and cuts are often made from below the work.

So yes, the country you're in does influence how or which tool gets adopted.

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2017, 09:38 AM »
Is there a particular reason why carpenters in the US traditionally favor a top handled jigsaw? I mean, a barrel grip offers much more control and precision and you can make underhanded cuts with it.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2017, 03:22 PM »
"Maybe they didn't know how to fully take advantage of it?"

That's it. True for jigsaws too. Only those that know better use the tool the way you do.

In the states even professional woodworkers have very little training. Poorly thought out practices and misconceptions about tools are passed on in the vernacular on-the-job process of imitation rather than training.

We would be interested to know what your training in woodworking consisted of.

Offline Lemwise

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2017, 04:11 PM »
My first real training as a shipwright started at a school called Intertec. It was an initiative by several shipyards to give young people a preliminary training and introduce them to the world of boatbuilding. It was an 18 month course and they taught the basics of woodworking and how to set-up and safely use power tools and woodworking machines. From there on out I went to the "Centrum Vakopleidingen" which translates to something like Centre for Trades Education. This was a school set up and run by the Dutch unemployment agency. This was a 2 year course. It consisted of 70% practice and 30% theory. They worked closely with several shipyards and if you completed the course successfully there was a spot waiting for you as an apprentice at one of the shipyards. After my education I started as an apprentice at Aquanaut, a well respected Dutch shipyard. The apprenticeship lasted 4 years and then I officially got a full-time job with them as a shipwright.

Nowadays there's an official state recognised trades school (this was started years ago). The education they receive there consists of 2 phases and each phase lasts 2 years. Phase one is all the basic woodworking stuff, getting to know all the machines they will be using, personal safety, health aspects and lots of theory. In phase 2 students go to work as an apprentice (paid) at a company 4 days per week and they go to school one day per week. After successfully completing the second phase of their education students receive a diploma that's recognised country wide by every company that has anything to do with woodworking. The company they started at as an apprentice then gives them a full-time job and they continue their apprenticeship. And the companies that participate need to meet certain requirement in order to be certified as a teaching company. To make it more attractive for companies to take on an apprentice these jobs are subsidised by the government. Each participating company receives €5000 per year for each apprentice for a duration of 3 years.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 05:13 PM by Lemwise »

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2017, 05:01 PM »
Is there a particular reason why carpenters in the US traditionally favor a top handled jigsaw? I mean, a barrel grip offers much more control and precision and you can make underhanded cuts with it.

I hate barrel grip. My hands are to small and I can personally make much better fine adjustments using a D Handle.  With the barrel I feel like I am going to drop the thing and just cant control it.Believe me I tried to like the barrel grip, but  I just don't see what everyone else sees, I just dont like them at all.

I bought 5 jig saws and played with them all for 30 days and kept the Bosch D handle.

I don't believe it's an American thing at all, many of my woodworking American friends prefer the barrel handle. Actually, I am one of the few that use the D handle. Going back as far as my 20's  the guys on site right here in IL, USA used  barrel grip Bosch on the job sites and I hated them then. Back then the better tools could only be bought at certain tool stores, but we could get almost anything used across the pond  from Berland's House of Tools and a few other  places. So the barrel grips have long been used by tradesman in the USA.

Back to sliders, there were sliders being manufactured in the USA as far back as  the 1920's, I think someone mentioned Northfield.  These were mostly for factories(some of them could use up to 14" or 16" blades I think), those just never trickled down to DIY users or small sites for many reasons, money and size are two. Heck, once ply came on the scene big in the US Northfield made a machine that did nothing but stack plywood up on pallets going to and coming off their sliding table saws. It was A huge monstrosity that just stacked plywood 8 or 10 feet high, but designed to mostly work in conjunction with sliding table saws.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 05:17 PM by Dovetail65 »
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Offline antss

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2017, 07:45 PM »
It's a localized thing then Dovetail. Almost no one around the southeast uses a barrel grip for high end trim work. I'm also in Colorado and SoCal on projects from time to time and don't see them there either.

I have at least two of each type and I prefer the top handle too.  I will say that since I got the new Bosch 12v barrel grip that I have been I have been reaching for that more often simply because of the convenience and its small size. DT - you may want to give it a look because of that. It's not a replacement for a fullsized saw though.

Michael - careful about acusing people of being un or improperly trained.  Keep in mind which improperly trained fellas kept your island from being wiped off the face of the earth by the guys from across the Channel.  Perhaps we should discuss drivers Ed ?  You guys still drive on the wrong side of the road.  Do you accept that as being improperly trained ? I wouldn't think so.

The slope can become very slippery when mud starts being slung.

Offline Dovetail65

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2017, 08:22 PM »
It's a localized thing then Dovetail. Almost no one around the southeast uses a barrel grip for high end trim work. I'm also in Colorado and SoCal on projects from time to time and don't see them there either.

I have at least two of each type and I prefer the top handle too.  I will say that since I got the new Bosch 12v barrel grip that I have been I have been reaching for that more often simply because of the convenience and its small size. DT - you may want to give it a look because of that. It's not a replacement for a fullsized saw though.

Michael - careful about acusing people of being un or improperly trained.  Keep in mind which improperly trained fellas kept your island from being wiped off the face of the earth by the guys from across the Channel.  Perhaps we should discuss drivers Ed ?  You guys still drive on the wrong side of the road.  Do you accept that as being improperly trained ? I wouldn't think so.

The slope can become very slippery when mud starts being slung.
\\

Regional, maybe.  I grew up in the Chicago area so it's a lot of people, a lot of stores and a lot of construction, but so is southern CA.

I don't like any cordless 12 V jig I have ever tried and I tried them all. I actually kept the Bosch 12 V and the Milwaukee(which isn't very good at all), but I rarely use the Bosch as it just isn't powerful nor smooth enough. I use my corded Bosch mostly, it just cuts so much smoother than the 12V jigs.  As I said I bought 5 jigs and tested them, I actually bought 4 different cordless as well. 12 V jigs from my perspective still  have a long way to go.  I will say the 4 ah batteries last a long while.

The only barrel grip small enough for my liking is the Milwaukee(but the jig itself isn't good), I can't get my hand around the Bosch. It still takes a hand as large as needed for a traditionally barrel grip to get the hand all the way around because of that square portion.

Probably should be in a jigsaw thread, maybe Ill post picture of how my hand holds these saws there.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 08:54 PM by Dovetail65 »
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Offline WarnerConstCo.

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2017, 09:48 PM »
A 10'6" stroke sliding table saw is painfully slow compared to a beam saw or a vertical panel saw.

Beam saws take up space, but you can stack and cut multiple sheets.  Panel saws don't take up much floor space.

If I had to cut sheet goods all the time, cnc beam saw.

You see long stroke sliding saws in smaller shops, when it gets past a smaller shop, you better be buying some real production machinery because you will never make up for the time spent loading and cutting one sheet at a time.

The market isn't big enough for a bunch of USA manufacturers to toss their hats in as well. 

I have two 10'6" stroke sliders and a 57" stroke scmi slider, the 57 is one of the most useful table saws I have ever owned.

Offline WarnerConstCo.

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2017, 07:39 AM »
I want to add to this that there is no need here to use a slider to straighten lumber either, that's what an SLR is for or even a gang rip.

I believe it all comes down to space. I could not imagine trying to be productive if all I had was a slider.  I can run lumber through my slrs at over 175' per minute. Can't straight line on a slider that fast. 

Plus you can't run a dado stack on any new slider. My old Martin 75s could sling a 2" wide stack. 

Even my mid 90s scmis can run an inch wide.


Offline Cheese

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Re: Why are there no US based sliding table saw manufacturers?
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2017, 10:07 AM »

It's a localized thing then Dovetail. Almost no one around the southeast uses a barrel grip for high end trim work. I'm also in Colorado and SoCal on projects from time to time and don't see them there either.


Maybe just another rendition of the old sidewinder vs worm gear song... [popcorn]