Author Topic: Table Saw Purchase  (Read 4011 times)

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Offline WoodworkTech

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Table Saw Purchase
« on: January 11, 2019, 10:01 AM »
I picked up woodworking because of DIY home projects.  Projects consist of built in cabinets in bedroomI currently work with Festool TS 55, Domino 500, RTS and Pro 5 Sander, LR32 system, and some DIY parallel guides I made out of 80/20 material.  My MFT bench is a Kreg Universal Bench (64x28) with a top I made myself using the LR32 system and a 80/20 fence with flag stops.  Doing some cabinets for around the house, I noticed that my cuts are slightly off.  My first culprit are my man made parallel guides.  Thinking of splurging on a set of Seneca or Woodpecker.  My second culprit is my man made MFT top and rail attachments. 

That being said, I'm thinking of either investing in 1 or 2 Festool MFT tables and Seneca or woodpecker parallel guides.  Or heading into the world of a Sawstop and getting a PCS 1.75 36" or Contractor 36".  I never had a table saw or used one for cabinet making so it will be a learning experience which is fine as I'm a DYI woodworker and hobbyist.  Question is, how much of the workflow from solely using a track saw to using a track saw and table saw will change?  Is the PCS too much saw for a combo track and table saw workflow?  I would hate to invest in another major tool and not utilize my track saw anymore.  My work space is in the basement of my home.  I have about a 20' x 14' area that I work in.  Have laundry and gym area sharing the basement workspace.

Looking for feedback from experience woodworkers that have this setup or have gone this route and switched to one or the other.

Thanks in advance
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Offline RKA

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 10:41 AM »
You'll get answers all over the map and it will come down to your preferences in how you want to organize that shop space and what tradeoffs you're willing to make.

A quality table saw has many uses beyond the sheet good cutting capability you're currently struggling with.  If you intend to make this a hobby, you'll find it valuable, and no, a PCS isn't too much saw to supplement a track saw.  But, the footprint required for a table saw including space for infeed and outfeed support and a dust collector can be substantial.  You have a good amount of space to work with, however most of that space can't be shared.  You'll also need at least a multi function bench that can be used for assembly, clamping, perhaps a little hand tool work, and of course work with handheld power tools.  And then you need storage space for tools and accessories.  I would work on your shop layout and see if a table saw fits into the picture. 

The track saw is still a good supplement to the table saw when dealing with full sized sheets of plywood.  At least for initial break down and even for final sizing on panels too large to crosscut on your table saw.  I think you'll be hard pressed to find people that gave up their track saw after acquiring a table saw, so I wouldn't worry about that.  But you'll also find people that only use a table saw and don't want the extra expense of a track saw.  Track saws are relatively new, gaining popularity in the last 10 years, while table saws have been the mainstay in hobbiest wood shops for decades. 

Accessories for the track saw will depend on which way you go with the table saw.  Parallel guides might not be needed if you're using the table saw for rips.  But an MFT or DIY MFT style bench could still be helpful for the crosscuts with appropriate accessories to keep the work piece perpendicular to the rail and saw.  If you want to use the track saw for everything, obviously the accessories are out there to support it.  And those things it can't do can be backfilled with other tools like a router which will fill in the gap between the table saw and track saw.  In my view it's less efficient in terms of workflow, but sometimes the space savings gained is worth it.  That's a common theme and trade off in woodworking.
-Raj

Offline Sanderxpander

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 01:19 PM »
I don't have a perfect solution for perfect repeatability either, I don't have a table saw or parallel guides. But I do get perfect squares and near perfect repeatability on things like shelves using careful marking and the TSO Guide Rail square. I heartily recommend this accessory.

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 01:22 PM »
I don't have a perfect solution for perfect repeatability either, I don't have a table saw or parallel guides. But I do get perfect squares and near perfect repeatability on things like shelves using careful marking and the TSO Guide Rail square. I heartily recommend this accessory.

I have the TSO guide rail.  I usually take 5mm off the edge, then add the guideraile and go around the board making my cuts to dimensions needed.  Either my technique is wrong, which it very well can be, or something is off on my track rails.  Either way I'm having a hard time deciding to invest more in the track saw only route or get a table saw and learn that tool and utilize the fence on that. 
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Offline jonnyrocket

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 03:24 PM »
As mentioned, you will get responses across the board on this question, so I'll add mine to those you have gotten already.

Perfect or near perfect squares can be obtained with what basics you have. Before adding another tool to the mix, I would focus on determining what part of your current flow is introducing the error.

If you add the table saw before you fix your current flow, you may not get any better results than you are now. If needed, document your procedure in pictures and post it here. I'm sure that the collective genius here on the FOG can help narrow down where your issues may be lurking.

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 03:38 PM »
As mentioned, you will get responses across the board on this question, so I'll add mine to those you have gotten already.

Perfect or near perfect squares can be obtained with what basics you have. Before adding another tool to the mix, I would focus on determining what part of your current flow is introducing the error.

If you add the table saw before you fix your current flow, you may not get any better results than you are now. If needed, document your procedure in pictures and post it here. I'm sure that the collective genius here on the FOG can help narrow down where your issues may be lurking.
Very true.  I just came back from buying new splinter guards.  Changing the splinter guard on all my rails.  Also looking to see what parallel guides to get.  I think my DIY ones are introducing some error as well.

Although I don't have pictures now, my procedure that I follow is:

1- Cut 5mm off the factory edge
2- Using the newly fresh edge, measure off my finish dimension and do my rip cut.
3- with the ripped parallel edges, add the GRS or use my MFT Kreg bench and cut 5 mm off the crosscut edge.  Referencing the 1st rip cut edge off the bench fence (80/20 extrusion), I set my flag stop to dimension and cross cut
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 03:41 PM by WoodworkTech »
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Offline RKA

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 04:41 PM »
How is #2 being accomplished?  (the parallel cut)

Get that part right, then you can work out any errors on the cross cuts.  The TSO is very accurate, but it's easy to skew it when you're trying to align the rail to a mark. 
-Raj

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 04:43 PM »
How is #2 being accomplished?  (the parallel cut)

Get that part right, then you can work out any errors on the cross cuts.  The TSO is very accurate, but it's easy to skew it when you're trying to align the rail to a mark.

I used my DIY parallel guides off the 1st 5mm cut.  I would measure the dimension, set parallel guides using woodpecker rule and stop, clamp rail down and cut
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Offline neilc

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 05:00 PM »
I use two single edge razor blades like you use for scraping a window.  Measure from a square edge, place a razor blade corner pressed in at that index mark on both ends of the piece.  Slide the guide rail up against those two blade marked points.  Optionally clamp down the rail.  Remove the razor blades and make the cut.

It's the most accurate and least expensive way I have found if you don't want to mess with the various options for parallel guides.


Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 05:01 PM »
I use two single edge razor blades like you use for scraping a window.  Measure from a square edge, place a razor blade corner pressed in at that index mark on both ends of the piece.  Slide the guide rail up against those two blade marked points.  Optionally clamp down the rail.  Remove the razor blades and make the cut.

It's the most accurate and least expensive way I have found if you don't want to mess with the various options for parallel guides.

Good tip.  I’ll give that a try.

Thanks
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Offline ctvader

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2019, 05:39 PM »
I was in a similar position to you not that long ago.  I had/have a dw 744 job site saw that, IMO, is scary to use for the work I do.  Knowing my fingers are extremely important to me, I upgraded the saw to a SS contractor saw with the mobile base.  I work out of a two car garage, which we use to park our cars.  With some reorg, I was able to fit the table saw into a corner of the garage and wheel it when I use it.  Works just fine. 

I own a TS55 along with the TSO guide and it's an amazing combination - it's what I use for large panels with great precision.  As mentioned above, you need to decide what you do and what you make.  If i'm building a cabinet or bookcase, you can't beat the TS55 with the TSO guide.  If you're making small, repeatable cuts (cutting boards, etc), the table saw will be faster and more efficient (Note - I didn't say better).  I hope this helps. 

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 06:08 PM »
I was in a similar position to you not that long ago.  I had/have a dw 744 job site saw that, IMO, is scary to use for the work I do.  Knowing my fingers are extremely important to me, I upgraded the saw to a SS contractor saw with the mobile base.  I work out of a two car garage, which we use to park our cars.  With some reorg, I was able to fit the table saw into a corner of the garage and wheel it when I use it.  Works just fine. 

I own a TS55 along with the TSO guide and it's an amazing combination - it's what I use for large panels with great precision.  As mentioned above, you need to decide what you do and what you make.  If i'm building a cabinet or bookcase, you can't beat the TS55 with the TSO guide.  If you're making small, repeatable cuts (cutting boards, etc), the table saw will be faster and more efficient (Note - I didn't say better).  I hope this helps.

Thanks.  I mostly do cabinets right now.  Looking to do picture frames and other things.  Smallest cuts right now are edge banding cuts to cover plywood edges
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Offline RobBob

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2019, 07:40 PM »
I also have a two car garage based shop and with great results use a Festool track saw plus TSO guide rail complemented by a jobsite saw.  I don't feel limited at all and the accuracy is on the money.

P.S.  I have the Seneca parallel guides, but my advice is to buy the jobsite saw first, then decide if you also need the parallel guides.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 07:58 PM by RobBob »

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2019, 07:58 PM »
IMO the only reason you would need a TS for cabinet work and the only reason I own a table saw is for thin rip cuts.
With that being said, If you are making face frame cabinets then you ca make a jig to cut the face frames.

Offline TealaG

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2019, 09:07 PM »
I own a table saw but for the longest time, I used my track saw because I felt safer (and frankly, I still do).   But I have great difficulty with wood narrower than the track, despite using a narrow parallel guide - the wood always pulls away from the guides  :(    Besides the narrow cuts, there are  some cuts that aren't conducive to using a track saw (think cutting a tenon or a dado).   

So I finally got my table saw set up, learned to use it and got an incra fence system.  I am making several small parts cabinets and hardboard dividers - lots of pieces of the same dimensions.   I must admit that using a table saw was much faster and more accurate than my track saw (partially because the pieces are narrower than the track).  However, I was surprised by the fact that I was still using my track saw to break down the large pieces of plywood because I don't want to manage a large piece of wood with the table saw spinning.

I know that there are folks who live without a circular or track saw and just a table saw.   But to me, you need either a circular or track saw, even if you have a table saw because I'm not brave like John Heisz - man handling (literally) a 4x8 sheet of plywood, alone!

I'm glad I learned to use my table saw because I can do some things I couldn't do with my track saw.   But I do realize that my track saw isn't going away either.   :)

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2019, 09:09 PM »
I own a table saw but for the longest time, I used my track saw because I felt safer (and frankly, I still do).   But I have great difficulty with wood narrower than the track, despite using a narrow parallel guide - the wood always pulls away from the guides  :(    Besides the narrow cuts, there are  some cuts that aren't conducive to using a track saw (think cutting a tenon or a dado).   

So I finally got my table saw set up, learned to use it and got an incra fence system.  I am making several small parts cabinets and hardboard dividers - lots of pieces of the same dimensions.   I must admit that using a table saw was much faster and more accurate than my track saw (partially because the pieces are narrower than the track).  However, I was surprised by the fact that I was still using my track saw to break down the large pieces of plywood because I don't want to manage a large piece of wood with the table saw spinning.

I know that there are folks who live without a circular or track saw and just a table saw.   But to me, you need either a circular or track saw, even if you have a table saw because I'm not brave like John Heisz - man handling (literally) a 4x8 sheet of plywood, alone!

I'm glad I learned to use my table saw because I can do some things I couldn't do with my track saw.   But I do realize that my track saw isn't going away either.   :)

Thank you.  Interesting to hear that even with parallel guides that are setup for narrow cuts, the wood will still move.  What table saw do you use?
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Offline TealaG

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2019, 10:19 PM »
Hi...I have a Bosch 4100 but I added the Incra Table saw fence and attached the router table to the left side.   Honestly, I only did this over Christmas and have only used it since then.  The parallel guides are great for cuts greater than the width of the track and I can get fairly accurate and repeatable cuts that way.  I sometimes just mark the wood on the cutline then use the TSO guide to square the track and I find that to be accurate enough (is it "precision"? No...because despite a thin pencil etc, I am inaccurate, but the cut is fairly square). 

For cuts wider than the track where the uncut piece of wood is 2.5' wide, I can get equal accuracy with both the table saw and track saw, but it's faster on the table saw.   Less than track width, faster and more accurate on the table saw.  Larger than 2.5' wide and I'm cutting that sucker down with a track saw.    Note that my car cannot accept wood greater than 36" wide x 50" so I always get the wood cut at the store, which again reduces the size of wood I manage in the base case.   Nothing I build has a single piece of wood larger than 36x50. 

Offline Alanbach

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2019, 12:30 AM »
First a disclaimer. I suppose that I am a bit biased because I used a table saw for 20 or 30 years before track saws ever hit the US market. So I have a lot of habits that are well ingrained into me. Having said that I upgraded my Unisaw to a Sawstop 3HP PCS about a year ago and also picked up a TS55 shortly after that. I use the TS55 to break down big sheets with ease and safety. However, when it comes to repeatability I use the table saw. If I am building a bunch of cabinets that need 23 1/4” sides I am going slice the sheet down the middle with the track saw and then use the track saw to break down those halves so that they are fat to final dimensions. After that I am going to let the table saw do what it is great at, repeatability. Set the fence to 23 1/4”, Check it twice with your tape and then make a test nick in the first piece. Once you have done that well away you go, and in minutes you have a bunch of pieces that are exactly the same width. Sure the table saw requires that the saw and fence are set up properly and there certainly are techniques that need to be mastered but all in all, IMO, it is a machine made for repeatability and it is good at it. I am sure that there are many here that will argue that accurate repeatability can be achieved with a track saw. I don’t doubt that, however, I read posts almost every week of people struggling to get accurate repeatability out of their track saw. Obviously it is a journey.

The way I look at if you want to make things with tolerances of 1/32nd or 1/64th you need reliable repeatability. I just think that if that is what you need you will find the table saw path a bit smoother. Having said that if that is the road you want to travel and that is the kind of accuracy you want to achieve then make sure you buy a high quality saw but most importantly a saw that is paired with a premium fence. IMO most jobsite saws do not have top notch fences systems. I love my PCS but I would not own their lesser fence, I would only own the T Glide fence. I hope this helps.

Offline Vondawg

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2019, 07:29 AM »
@Alanbach - Real world perfectly stated !....right tool for the right job
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2019, 08:01 AM »
First a disclaimer. I suppose that I am a bit biased because I used a table saw for 20 or 30 years before track saws ever hit the US market. So I have a lot of habits that are well ingrained into me. Having said that I upgraded my Unisaw to a Sawstop 3HP PCS about a year ago and also picked up a TS55 shortly after that. I use the TS55 to break down big sheets with ease and safety. However, when it comes to repeatability I use the table saw. If I am building a bunch of cabinets that need 23 1/4” sides I am going slice the sheet down the middle with the track saw and then use the track saw to break down those halves so that they are fat to final dimensions. After that I am going to let the table saw do what it is great at, repeatability. Set the fence to 23 1/4”, Check it twice with your tape and then make a test nick in the first piece. Once you have done that well away you go, and in minutes you have a bunch of pieces that are exactly the same width. Sure the table saw requires that the saw and fence are set up properly and there certainly are techniques that need to be mastered but all in all, IMO, it is a machine made for repeatability and it is good at it. I am sure that there are many here that will argue that accurate repeatability can be achieved with a track saw. I don’t doubt that, however, I read posts almost every week of people struggling to get accurate repeatability out of their track saw. Obviously it is a journey.

The way I look at if you want to make things with tolerances of 1/32nd or 1/64th you need reliable repeatability. I just think that if that is what you need you will find the table saw path a bit smoother. Having said that if that is the road you want to travel and that is the kind of accuracy you want to achieve then make sure you buy a high quality saw but most importantly a saw that is paired with a premium fence. IMO most jobsite saws do not have top notch fences systems. I love my PCS but I would not own their lesser fence, I would only own the T Glide fence. I hope this helps.

Thanks for that response.  You mentioned you use a 3HP saw.  Do you fell the 1.75HP with T-glide fence is good enough for cabinet making and picture frame projects, etc?  I’m considering the sawstop PCS or Contractor saw 1.75 with T-Glide
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Offline Steve1

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2019, 08:55 AM »
I am just a hobby woodworker (possibly similar to you).    I got my table saw (Ridgid R4512) maybe 6 years ago, and find it very useful.  I made a bunch of cabinets recently and found it very useful.  If you want two sides of a cabinet same size, there is nothing better than setting the fence and running first one board, then the other through it.   Having a fence that is repeatably parallel to the saw blade is critical.     Table saw does take of a whole lota floorspace, that's for sure.   But retract the blade and it serves as a nice bench. 

Offline Alanbach

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2019, 09:50 AM »
@WoodworkTech - So in my opinion the question around 1.75 vs. 3HP comes down to the work you do. The 1.75 will serve you well for 3/4” plywood and 3/4” hardwoods. The issues comes into play when you start to break down 1 1/2” - 2” hardwoods or thicker. So if you think that you will work 99.9% of the time with thicknesses under and inch you can go with the 1.75hp. Just know that if want to cut down some table legs (for example) out of some 10/4 maple your saw is going to struggle. You might still be able to do it (by slowing down your feed rate and installing a thin kerf rip blade) but you will definitely know that you are pushing your saw hard. The big reason that people pick the smaller motor is so they won’t have to rewire their shop for 220v. The 3hp will require a 220 circuit.

Offline JimH2

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2019, 10:06 AM »
A table saw is the foundation of any shop. Don't second guess yourself...get the 3HP PCS and you will never second guess your purchase. As @Alanbach posted I had a Unisaw for about 15 years before I bought the PCS. I was one of the very early PCS customers as I was offered to try it for free in exchange for feedback. I chose to keep the saw and paid a discounted rate to keep. Mine and others feedback lead to changes to the final production model and when the production model shipped I was shipped a kit with the parts necessary to make my saw like those being sold. They also sent a new blade with the kit. Some on FOG slander the founder of SawStop, but pay not attention to the noise. The saw is top notch and provides a level of safety that would never exist had SawStop not been formed. I never missed my Unisaw after I sold it.

You are on the right track about a track saw. They are great for some things, better for others and very convenient, but they cannot touch a table saw in terms of accuracy and repeatability unless you have extra time to futz with the rail to get it perfect. To be clear I have a track saw and use it very often, especially for breaking down sheet goods and making cabinets on-site. I also have a portable table saw I carry with me if repeatability and precision are needed. If you are eyeing up a portable table saw the Saw Stop is great, but if you are not willing to spend that much consider the DeWalt or Milwaukee with geared fences. I have the DeWalt and the fence is the differentiator between it and other portable table saws. The Milwaukee looks to be identical with the same fence.

Offline Alanbach

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2019, 10:18 AM »
@WoodworkTech - one more thing! If you decide to move forward with a SS PCS and if you can afford it, you should definitely buy the better mobile base (industrial). It is fantastic and should make managing the saw in your smaller shop much easier. It is a big heavy saw but on that base I can move mine around easily with a couple of fingers. I know that between the 36” t glide, the industrial base and possibly the 3hp motor that we are taking about quite a bit more money but at that point you will have a saw that your grandchildren might still be using long after you are gone😊.

Offline mark60

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2019, 10:23 AM »
If my track saw broke today I'd order a new one today and the same with my Sawstop. I'm just a hobbyist but bought a 3HP PCS two years ago and it's a pleasure to use. I might have been able to sneak by with the smaller motor but knew the bigger motor would never be too big and the enclosed cabinet keeps things much cleaner. Keep in mind that the mobile base makes it tuck out of the way when not needed.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2019, 11:09 AM »
Often here ther is the debate or question of can you do without a tablesaw if you have a track saw.

The real answer in my mind is that with all work there will be times when bringing a tool to the work is better and then when bringing work to the tool.

Are they grey areas? Sure.  But I would offer that if you have the space a tablesaw is a tool to have in your arsenal so to speak.

Peter

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2019, 12:16 PM »
Often here ther is the debate or question of can you do without a tablesaw if you have a track saw.

The real answer in my mind is that with all work there will be times when bringing a tool to the work is better and then when bringing work to the tool.

Are they grey areas? Sure.  But I would offer that if you have the space a tablesaw is a tool to have in your arsenal so to speak.

Peter

I think this gets into the question of if we officially got CMS TS inserts in North America how this discussion would change.  I have a table saw, a small one, it's not very good.  I intend to get a CMS for router,  thus getting TS module(s) makes sense. 

Having a track saw now, it's absolutely wonderful verses trying to move full sheets of plywood thru a saw by yourself, or even trying to use a straight edge and circular saw.   That said, clearly when things get skinny, a table saw is needed.   Like you say, if you have space, and say space for a big table saw and out feed tables, then great, but for those without permanent setups or a lot of space.  I think the likes of a CMS setup start to look very good.  For the couple skinny cuts, have the option with a bit of setup, away you go.  I think I will probably get a TS 75 and module,  give me the tool for thick stuff on rail and table saw as needed.  General track stuff use the TS 55.   This isn't exactly the cheapest path, but it does mean I don't have a table saw just taking up space most the time.

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2019, 12:53 PM »
A lot of good insight from responses.  Appreciate it.  Anyone have experience  with the Contractor vs PCS sawstop and noise level differences?  Contractor much louder since motor is exposed?  Also, the sawstop slider a good option for future upgrade or having the table saw and MFT style bench eliminate the need for slider?
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Offline Alanbach

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2019, 01:12 PM »
I can’t speak to the noise level difference but I can tell you that the dust collection on a PCS is much better than a Contractors. The slider is an intriguing option but it sure expands the footprint of the saw making it a no go for me. Since I already have a TS55 for breaking down large sheet goods I would probably invest in a Kapex or other good SCMS before I got the Sawstop slider. But yes, it is a great option!

Offline Paul G

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2019, 01:18 PM »
Since the laundry and gym are in the same space I would be far more concerned with dust control instead of noise. Ear protection is easy, cleaning up dust from everything is less so.
+1

Offline ctvader

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2019, 01:20 PM »
The noise difference is minimal.  I used the PCS @ a woodcraft store (Woodworkers club) in CT and it’s very quiet.  When I purchased the contractor saw, I don’t recall the noise level being that much louder, if any.  Either saw is a great purchase.

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Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2019, 01:22 PM »
Since the laundry and gym are in the same space I would be far more concerned with dust control instead of noise. Ear protection is easy, cleaning up dust from everything is less so.

Very true.  I have a Dewalt miter saw and even with a vac attached, dust get everywhere.  I stopped using it indoors.  I saw the Kapex this morning in a lumber store.  Looked very nice and the guy said the dust collection was the best in any miter saw he’s seen.
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Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2019, 01:29 PM »
The noise difference is minimal.  I used the PCS @ a woodcraft store (Woodworkers club) in CT and it’s very quiet.  When I purchased the contractor saw, I don’t recall the noise level being that much louder, if any.  Either saw is a great purchase.
Your happy with the dust collection of the contractor saw?  I’m looking at the 36” of either model
To get the T-glide fence
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Offline ctvader

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2019, 03:48 PM »
The dust collection is fine - I used a 4 inch adapter to connector to a shop vac.  I’m sure the over arm dust collection is great.  Any dust is swept and vacuumed up.  Do you have a woodcraft or similar near you where you can try both saws? 

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2019, 03:50 PM »
The dust collection is fine - I used a 4 inch adapter to connector to a shop vac.  I’m sure the over arm dust collection is great.  Any dust is swept and vacuumed up.  Do you have a woodcraft or similar near you where you can try both saws?

No.  Unfortunately my nearest woodcraft is in Connecticut.  About 1 hour 30 min drive from Long Island, NY
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Offline ctvader

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2019, 03:58 PM »
Is that the one in Norwalk, CT?  If ever near it, stop in.  John’s a great guy with a massive shop upstairs.  I’m about 25 miles north of there but use the shop when I need the jointer and planer. 

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2019, 04:00 PM »
Is that the one in Norwalk, CT?  If ever near it, stop in.  John’s a great guy with a massive shop upstairs.  I’m about 25 miles north of there but use the shop when I need the jointer and planer.

That’s the one.  I’ve never been there but GPS shows it as the closest one to me.  There is a store by me where I get my Festool tools and they sell SawStop’s but have none out for display.  They only take orders for them.
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Offline JimD

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2019, 07:52 PM »
I have a 14x24 foot shop, a DeWalt track saw and a SawStop PCS, 1.75hp.  I think having both the track saw and table saw are ideal for a small shop like mine.  The 1.75hp motor on the SawStop is big enough as long as you use a sharp, clean, ripping blade for deep rips.  I use my 50 tooth infinity all around blade for rips up through 5/4 oak.  If the wood pinches the blade on the offcut side the motor struggles but otherwise it works fine.  Deeper rips I will use my infinity 24 tooth ripping blade.  Both blades are full kerf (1/8 inch).  I might try thinner kerf blades if the saw continues to struggle sometime but switching to the ripping blade should resolve it.  And it usually doesn't happen in 5/4. 

I used to use a Ryobi BT3100 which has a 15amp universal motor.  Due to motor efficiencies I think it is less powerfull than the 1.75hp SawStop.  But I've ripped hardwood (oak, cherry, and maple) over 3 inches deep with it.  I had to go slow sometimes but it did an accurate job.  I expect the same with the SawStop.  I really think the only limitation of the smaller motors is the need to switch to a ripping blade for deep rips. 

I've also cut 8/4 oak with my DeWalt track saw.  It didn't always like it so I got a ripping blade for it too.  It's motor is only a 13A universal motor. 

I use a Ron Paulk inspired 3 foot by 7 foot outfeed table/tracksaw cutting station/assembly table.  The top is bored with 20mm holes and I use Festool clamps in it sometimes. 

Offline TheSergeant

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2019, 08:07 PM »
Forget the MFT3, it's not worth it at just about any price, let alone $720.  I've had 3 of them, modified to varying degrees but ultimately was never satisfied.  A Sawstop is 100% the way to go. 

I'm in a similar situation in that we have a gym in our garage along with my shop.  Dust collection is super important for me and it starts at the tool.  Pick up the PCS and get the overarm dust collection guard to go with it.  The dust collection on the Sawstop with the guard is way better than the Festool Track Saw.  I actually ended up selling my Festool and getting the Makita Cordless track saw.  I break down my sheet goods to a manageable size outside and then bring everything in and do the finish work on the table saw. 

I currently have a Laguna table saw with a custom riving knife to fit the Sawstop dust collector guard.  I'm picking up a Sawstop ICS 3hp on Tuesday and am beyond excited about it. 

Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2019, 08:13 PM »
Forget the MFT3, it's not worth it at just about any price, let alone $720.  I've had 3 of them, modified to varying degrees but ultimately was never satisfied.  A Sawstop is 100% the way to go. 

I'm in a similar situation in that we have a gym in our garage along with my shop.  Dust collection is super important for me and it starts at the tool.  Pick up the PCS and get the overarm dust collection guard to go with it.  The dust collection on the Sawstop with the guard is way better than the Festool Track Saw.  I actually ended up selling my Festool and getting the Makita Cordless track saw.  I break down my sheet goods to a manageable size outside and then bring everything in and do the finish work on the table saw. 

I currently have a Laguna table saw with a custom riving knife to fit the Sawstop dust collector guard.  I'm picking up a Sawstop ICS 3hp on Tuesday and am beyond excited about it.

Which over arm dust collection do you recommend?  I see on for $199 and the floating one for $399.  From my readings, with the floating one, you can run dados with dust collection but cannot add a router table in the right wing of you want to later.
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Offline ChuckM

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2019, 08:23 PM »
Snip.

 I break down my sheet goods to a manageable size outside and then bring everything in and do the finish work on the table saw.

I've been able to handle 4 x 8 on my SawStop thanks to the JessEm™ Table Saw Guides which pull the stock tight to the fence as you push.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 08:44 PM by ChuckM »

Offline ChuckM

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2019, 08:38 PM »
Snip

Which over arm dust collection do you recommend?  I see on for $199 and the floating one for $399.  From my readings, with the floating one, you can run dados with dust collection but cannot add a router table in the right wing of you want to later.

I assume you already have or are getting the Dust Collection Blade Guard, as the Overarm Dust Collection Accessory is not used alone by itself.

The Floating Overarm Dust Collection Guard has two major disadvantages as was its similar predecessor tube design under different brand names:

1) The tube is heavy and you need to pull hard to adjust its position
2) Every time you adjust the fence setting (for narrower or wider cuts), you may also have to adjust the tube (when you cut stock of different thicknesses, you also have to adjust the shroud, but raising or lowering the shroud is easier than adjusting the tube's lateral position).

The overarm dust collection accessory (esp. if hooked up to a separate vac) is more effective than the floating arm in dust collection because there is no vertical gap between the guard/shroud and the work, and there is no need to do anything when you change the fence setting. It does have one disadvantage compared to the floating arm: to make non-through cuts, you need to remove the whole dust collection blade guard, or when you use the cross-cut sled, you'll have no above-the-table dust collection (unless you make something like this for your cross-cut sled: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/102218).
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 08:46 PM by ChuckM »

Offline pettyconstruction

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2019, 11:11 PM »
I use two single edge razor blades like you use for scraping a window.  Measure from a square edge, place a razor blade corner pressed in at that index mark on both ends of the piece.  Slide the guide rail up against those two blade marked points.  Optionally clamp down the rail.  Remove the razor blades and make the cut.

It's the most accurate and least expensive way I have found if you don't want to mess with the various options for parallel guides.
That’s the best way for sure , just don’t slam the rail against the razor blade .
Charlie


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Offline travisj

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2019, 11:12 PM »
I had a PCS1.75 w/52” fence (I used to have the space) long before I had a track saw.  Since I purchased a TS55 I have not broken down sheet goods with the table saw.  It is invaluable though for solid wood and smaller pieces.  The dust collection is superb with the Sawtop over arm dust collection.  As was previously stated, 6/4 and thicker lumber can be a challenge.  I upgraded my 1.75 to the 3hp model myself.  SawStop will sell you the parts required (I did a brief thread on my conversion).

As also was previously stated, you will need the space to operate the saw and support for the outfeed.  Now that I am in a 15’ x 15’ shop, I intentionally built all of my work surfaces at the height of my tablesaw (MFT on a rolling cabinet, Sjoberg’s bench, and a 9’ workbench/outfeed cabinet).  I recall seeing your Kreg/MFT, but I’m not sure how adjustable it would be for height.  If possible, I would recommend modifying that to the height of whatever table saw you go with.  That could be rolled up to your saw for out feed support.  If you kept the saw stationary, you could build a base to raise the saw’s height.

For the PCS, there are two different mobile base options.  The ICS version is awesome, I have the PCS version.  Even the “small” version makes the saw incredibly mobile.  In my old space, I could easily move my large fence saw anywhere.

The T-glide fence and rail system are vastly superior to the job site fence or the premium fence.  I believe the T-Glide is only available on the PCS or ICS.

As with Festool, pricing is fixed.  The only “sale” they ever have is a rebate for a free accessory (mobile base or overarm dust collection). 

Whether you care about the safety features or not, the PCS is an incredibly well built saw.



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Offline TSO Products

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2019, 01:42 PM »
@WoodworkTech  - you prompted a really useful discussion here. Makes the FOG the useful platform we all look to.

Let me add my 2-cents since you would rightly suspect me to be biased.
I started my sawing with a used 5hp UNISAW at a plant shutdown price from a high tech company - very lightly used. Discovered the table was not flat and sold it. Bought a new 3 hp UNISAW with all the extensions available and a BRETT overarm dust pickup and HTC rolling base and a DELTA (!) Digital Readout. Really great tool for decades of use. HOWEVER, struggling to build sheetgoods cabinets, I swore after we moved that I would never use a cabinet saw to break down sheet goods again.
That led to the TS-55. The absence of a decent squaring accessory led to the GRS-16 and the rest is history.

As proud as we are of our  TSO tools for tracksaws, we don't believe a tracksaw is the best tool for everything. Narrow stock is easiest on a table saw. If you can wangle the room for a table saw like the DeWalt with its accurate fence reputation or a mobile base SS PCS - go for it. BTW: there is a reason why Tooltechnic/FESTOOL bought SawStop. They obviously see a place for a table saw next to tracksaws - not in-lieu of.

I would definitely resist the temptation of getting a slider attachment - use the track saw for sheet goods.

Hans
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Offline Alanbach

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2019, 01:50 PM »
@TSO Products - Thank you Hans for that comment! Great post!

Offline TealaG

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #46 on: January 13, 2019, 05:09 PM »
Paul - have you considered the plastic sheeting walls to manage dust?   I hear that other folks have good success with that.   

Offline Master Carpenter

  • Posts: 102
Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2019, 10:38 PM »
I’m going to go back to the OP’s original problem, not getting parallel cuts with a track saw. First start with a stable surface to cut on.  Getting a parallel cut should be attainable with only a measuring device and a sharp marking tool. I keep a pencil sharpener in my apron and keep a good point on my pencils, I know others who use mechanical pencils or marking knifes. Make small, but bold marks. The measuring device can be your personal preference, but use the same one throughout. I’ll asume a standard tape measure, I prefer one with fine lines on it and good colour contrast, I often buy ones with white background as I find them easier on my eyes.

Then we get to the track, if you want precision, your going to be changing the splitter guard often, like as few as 5 cuts. I often peel mine and move them out abit to get more mileage out of them. Clamp the tracks on the line, then back check the rail by measuring from the edge of plywood to edge of rail, if it’s exact make the cut. Also, keep your arm inline with the track as you push, you want the pushing force to line up with direction of cut.

I won’t get into the merits of a table saw as it’s been covered well enough already, I agree with most of what’s above, I have 2 tablesaws in my shop, but I can get perfectly parallel cuts with both tools.
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Offline woodvkk

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2019, 09:13 AM »
As a hobbyist like the OP I struggled with only a track saw for more than a year.  It took way too much time prior to the release of the TSO products to get things square. I ended up with the Sawstop jobsite and love it. I use the tracks saw to break down sheet goods then the tablesaw is so much quicker to square things up without as much room for error as the tracksaw with the rail squares etc, especially for smaller pieces.  I seldom need large panels but can resort to the parallel guides if needed.

Offline Paul G

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2019, 10:48 AM »
As a hobbyist like the OP I struggled with only a track saw for more than a year.  It took way too much time prior to the release of the TSO products to get things square. I ended up with the Sawstop jobsite and love it. I use the tracks saw to break down sheet goods then the tablesaw is so much quicker to square things up without as much room for error as the tracksaw with the rail squares etc, especially for smaller pieces.  I seldom need large panels but can resort to the parallel guides if needed.

I too have a SS Jobsite and really like it for what it is. A decent portable table saw is better than having none at all. But as soon as I have the space I’ll be adding a SS cabinet which is far superior to the jobsite in every way except portability.
+1

Offline mikeyr

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2019, 06:12 PM »
I have a Unisaw and track saw, I find I use the track saw so much I thought of getting rid of my tablesaw, I am quite tight on space in my shop, its 24x24 but has a car I am restoring (1934 Singer), 2 welders, wood lathe, metal lathe, mill, bandsaw and oops out of space to use the table saw.  I break down sheet goods in the backyard and really thought I could live without a table saw.  My last project required me to cut of a lot of pieces 3 1/2" wide by different lengths and what a nightmare it was to do with track and parallel guides because the cut was narrower than the guides, I have both Festool and Woodpecker guides and yeah, I got it to work but I finally broke out my table saw and finished the job.  I had not used the table saw in over 2 years.   I am now thinking of selling the Unisaw for the SawStop Jobsite saw, it would have been good enough for this last job and I think most in the last 2 years that I have done.

Guess I am trying to say, I think a tablesaw is required in a wood shop, but I myself am not sure that you need a big saw if you have a track saw for sheet goods.  I have only had my Unisaw around 35 years, hard to get rid of a old friend like that.
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Offline WoodworkTech

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2019, 06:16 PM »
I have a Unisaw and track saw, I find I use the track saw so much I thought of getting rid of my tablesaw, I am quite tight on space in my shop, its 24x24 but has a car I am restoring (1934 Singer), 2 welders, wood lathe, metal lathe, mill, bandsaw and oops out of space to use the table saw.  I break down sheet goods in the backyard and really thought I could live without a table saw.  My last project required me to cut of a lot of pieces 3 1/2" wide by different lengths and what a nightmare it was to do with track and parallel guides because the cut was narrower than the guides, I have both Festool and Woodpecker guides and yeah, I got it to work but I finally broke out my table saw and finished the job.  I had not used the table saw in over 2 years.   I am now thinking of selling the Unisaw for the SawStop Jobsite saw, it would have been good enough for this last job and I think most in the last 2 years that I have done.

Guess I am trying to say, I think a tablesaw is required in a wood shop, but I myself am not sure that you need a big saw if you have a track saw for sheet goods.  I have only had my Unisaw around 35 years, hard to get rid of a old friend like that.

Thanks.  I have thought about the jobsite saw and Kapex combo.  Then saw the price of the jobsite saw and said for a little more can get contractor saw.  Then added up the upgrades of the cast iron wings and ended up looking at the PCS sawstop.  I have no real experience with table saws, and read a lot relies on the fence.  So was hesitant on the jobsite saw because of the fence not being like the T glide construction.
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Offline ChuckM

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2019, 07:58 PM »
You might want to make up your mind before the end of this month as SawStop's prices are going up (by about 15%!) next month. I'd recommend the PCS model with the desired bells and whistles (e.g. 36" or 52" fence, 1.75HP 240V or 3HP, dust overarm & blade guard, and ICS mobile base) without reservation. Best investment for furniture making in my shop ever (the DF500 was the second best).

If the dust collection for Kapex is considered very good, the dust collection for PCS is excellent (99.5%+) in comparison (other than for edge cuts). I no longer wear my mask when using the Kapex, nor do I when cutting on the PCS unless I'm making edge cuts on MDF.

By the way, don't listen to the folks who tell you that a tracksaw system is all you need, unless all you use are sheet goods. Many Festool tracksaw users also own a tablesaw. I find this opinion from TSO an honest one:

"As proud as we are of our TSO tools for tracksaws, we don't believe a tracksaw is the best tool for everything. Narrow stock is easiest on a table saw."

To that, I would easily add cutting polygonal pedestal legs, resawing, finger joints, tenons, dados, cutting circles, grooves, rabbets, etc. 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 08:55 PM by ChuckM »

Offline RKA

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Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2019, 08:49 PM »
-Raj

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2019, 06:07 AM »
Thanks.  I have thought about the jobsite saw and Kapex combo.  Then saw the price of the jobsite saw and said for a little more can get contractor saw.  Then added up the upgrades of the cast iron wings and ended up looking at the PCS sawstop.  I have no real experience with table saws, and read a lot relies on the fence.  So was hesitant on the jobsite saw because of the fence not being like the T glide construction.

Yes, far better fence, flatter top, can use magnetic attachments, more power, more stable, better dust collection, and if you ever see doing some dados the blade height adjustment on the jobsite is a PITA to fine tune.
+1

Offline PaulH99

  • Posts: 121
Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2019, 07:18 AM »
I am absolutely a hobby woodworking, but I have made built-ins for my home and am working on kitchen cabinets right now.

I started with an old Ridgid table saw from home depot. It was the second generation model from about 13 years ago that had cast iron EVERYTHING and weighed a ton. Even with the rolling base, moving it around my basement was a pain, and getting sheet good into my basement through the bulkhead was nearly impossible. I'm actually a bit shocked that I still have all my fingers.

Then a couple years ago I started drinking the Festool fruit punch and discovered the TS-55. I absolutely love that saw. I can slide sheet goods out of my vehicle onto my cutting table in the driveway, make a few cuts, and I'm good to go. So the obvious question then is, "What about the table saw?"

My table saw was being used more and more for breaking down solid wood for face frames and the like. My old Ridgid saw was too unwieldily for the space I'm now using, so I needed something smaller. I sold it to someone local who was starting up a workshop in their garage and bought a DeWalt 7491RS. Does it have all the safety features of the SawStop? No. Is it 1/3 the price, 1/2 the weight, and folds up against a wall? Yes! Also the rack-and-pinion fence is insanely easy to use and reliable.

You have to ask yourself what you're going to use the saw for. Moving full sheets of plywood or MDF around, which is upwards of 100 pounds, with no easy way to balance it is a recipe for disaster. From my experience, building infeed and outfeed tables or buying guides like the JessEm is just throwing more money at the problem. Those solutions don't fully address the accuracy and safety concerns. By the time you're done doing all that, you could have spent the same money on something like the DeWalt and bought a TS-55 (or the Makita equivalent). You'll have the best of both worlds: An accurate table saw for ripping and crosscutting solid wood and a track saw for sheet goods.
-Paul
CT 26 • DF 500 • ETS 125 • KS 120 • OF 1400 • PS 420 • RO 125 • TS 55 R

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2650
Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2019, 10:15 PM »
+1 on the Dewalt 7491RS.  I looked hard at the SawStop but it was heavy, expensive and not as easy to use.

I have the Dewalt on my farm, my son has one and my son-in-law has one.  We all really like them.
It's a great saw with accuracy, very portable and stores easily when not needed.  I love the fence adjustment.
If you have a track saw, the Dewalt is a nice compliment to it for ripping smaller pieces, face frames or other work with small solid wood work.
Add a cross-cut sled or an Incra miter gauge and it's really accurate for miters or cross cuts as well.  The miter gauge that comes with is is marginal at best.I made a suction adapter box out of baltic birch ply for it that allows you to connect a vac into the saw and split off for the overarm collection really easily.That helps a lot for improving dust collection.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 10:20 PM by neilc »

Offline ctvader

  • Posts: 59
Re: Table Saw Purchase
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2019, 09:42 AM »
My rational for buying the contractor saw was I could grow into it and buy a PCS if/when needed.  Since i’m a hobbyist, I couldn’t justify the increased of PCS, including delivery charge (I was able to fit the contractor saw in my wife’s car) - this saved me ~$1,000.  I can upgrade the contract saw to the better fence in the future plus 1 cast iron wing.  With the TS-55 and TSO GRS-16, the contractor saw should be OK for quite a while.  My only regret is I didn’t get the T-Glide fence at purchase but live & learn.  If I upgrade the fence, it will be the T-Glide or INCRA’s TS-LS.