Author Topic: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?  (Read 1550 times)

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Offline bryanjtx

  • Posts: 6
Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« on: January 23, 2019, 10:43 AM »
Hi all,
I'm a hobbyist and Festool convert.  I have limited garage space for my shop (approximately half of one garage) and this led me down Festool lane.  I have a TS55, MFT3, Kapex, DF500, RO90, ETS150, OF1400, parallel guides and CT36 with boom arm and work center.  I also have a Laguna 14bx bandsaw, Craftsman drill press, Dewalt 735x planer, rockler dust collection, cutech bench top jointer and Incra router setup.  Yes, a lot of equipment in a small area along with an exercise bike in the mix too!

I have gravitated towards making smaller items such as jewelry boxes and often need to cut short pieces of narrow stock such as 2"x 7" and 5"x 1/4" and am finding this hard to make repetitive accurate cuts.

I'm looking at a Sawstop PCS and my questions are as follows:
1.  Should I be looking for a table saw or continue honing my skills with the MFT3, rails and qwas dogs and Kapex
2. Has anyone purchased the 36" or 52" sawstop (to get the Beisemeyer fence system) and then cut the rails and fence leaving only say 18" of rip space?  This would reduce the space taken in the shop
3. Pictures show the "open area" where I could add the sawstop, but this would make a tight area to work in and move around

Any other thoughts or recommendations?
Thanks,
Bryan

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 234
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2019, 11:32 AM »
I love my PCS but the thought of cutting down the rails gives me the creeps😊! I have the 52” variety but the 36” would definitely work. Have you considered using one of Sawstop’s new router table inserts to consolidate your router table setup into the right hand side of the table saw. Either that or design a storage solution for your planer under the right side table saw extension. Maybe even a way to do both? I have more space than you do but I also have a lot more big tools so I too, am out of space. Now when I want to consider anything new I have to rework my efficient use of footprint. It has pretty much devolved to if something new comes in something else either has to go out or get smaller / combine with something else.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 05:13 PM by Alanbach »

Offline bryanjtx

  • Posts: 6
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2019, 11:54 AM »
Thanks for the input Alan.  I have considered adding the router insert, but would then loose the Incra LS Positioner which is fantastic.  I know I could get the LS rails and fence for the sawstop but from what I've read, jumping between two tools and using the same fence creates setup issues.  I wish Sawstop offered the upgraded fence in the 30" model as that would be perfect for me. 

I did some research a few months ago and looked at making a double sided stand for the planer and my rigid sander, but never did.  I'll take a look again.
Appreciated,
Bryan

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 812
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2019, 12:07 PM »
Bryan,

I am a big fan of the SawStop PCS, but I can't say that the PCS is the best choice for you if your focus is on small builds. My old Ridgid contractor did well on small jobs, and it was in long rips and large cross cuts, or angled cuts that it failed. Most small saws could handle small cuts well in terms of precision. I don't see why a SawStop contractor saw (with the same fence and dust collection configurations) could not meet your needs.

In any case, PCS or not, you should make up your mind before the end of this month as prices are going up by about 15% next month.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 12:21 PM by ChuckM »

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 308
Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 01:06 PM »
I have a 52” PCS.  When we moved a couple of years ago, my available shop space is about 1/4 of what I used to have.  I considered ordering the 30” rails to save space.  I chose not to because of the way my saw has to be oriented to rip 8’ boards it wouldn’t matter.  I know from that research that replacement rails are available from SawStop.  Knowing that, I would have no problem cutting down the 30” rail to whatever length works for you.


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Offline bryanjtx

  • Posts: 6
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 01:30 PM »
Thanks for the input and yes, I am trying to decide before the end of January when the price increases.  I have considered other brands, but for safety and quality keep coming back to the Sawstop.  I briefly looked at the Laguna which has a smaller form factor, but no "safety" option.

Anyone know if I get the 36" extension and then buy the 30" rails--can I use the upgraded "Biesemeyer: fence on the 30" rails?  What about the "rectangular bar" with the measuring scales?  I looked on the Sawstop parts site, it shows 36" replacement rails, but not 30"

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 308
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 02:19 PM »
I would give SawStop customer service a call.  They were extremely helpful when I converted my PCS 1.75 to a PCS 3.0.  I would bet they have fielded questions concerning situations similar to yours.




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Offline Billedis

  • Posts: 617
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 04:07 PM »
I had the same space constraints and went with the job site sawstop and it has worked out well for me.

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1854
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2019, 04:23 PM »
I am also in the same situation as you and I have the job site.  To date it has been a good saw for me.  I got rid of a 3hp cabinet saw because I just did not need that much saw.
RO150, C12, DF 500 Q, CT33, TS75, MFT3, Kapex 120, MFT3/Kapex, MFK 700, RO 90, ETS150/3, CT22, Centrotec Installers Kit, Parallel Guides & Ext, Carvex, OF1400, LR32 Set, MFS400 w/700 rails, KA UG Set, First Aid Kit, RTS 400 EQ, Vecturo OS400 Set, CT Wings, CT Drill Guide, Pro 5, CXS, C18, HL850, Vac Sys set

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1847
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2019, 05:18 PM »
When the SawStop Jobsite Saw came out a few years ago, I bought it immediately. I also own a TS55, guide rails, and MFT. For me (and this is just based on my experience and use), these tools serve almost a 100% of my needs -

* The MFT and TS55 has upgraded my accuracy and precision for almost all crosscutting needs plus it is great for use with my OF1400 also.
* The SawStop Jobsite Saw is great for most ripping that I do, which is mostly smaller pieces. However, I have used it for larger pieces and for long narrow rips. As far as I'm concerned it is very accurate and precise. I even purchase an Incra sled kit and do use it for some smaller crosscutting work. I plan to make a sled for cutting segments for segmented turning and I have no doubt the SawStop will also work well for that.
*The nice thing about the Jobsite saw is that it can be folded up and moved out of the way when I need a larger floor area for one of my other tools (everything is on wheels).
* The other thing is that, for me, you can't beat the extra piece of mind from knowing that, if you do slip up some day you won't cut your fingers off (hasn't happened but doesn't mean it won't).

Of course, I'd say if you can afford and have the space for the larger saw, go for it. Any of the SawStop saws will be an upgrade from the Jobsite saw.

I would also say that I doubt you really have any need for a 52" set of rails given you already own a TS55. Any larger jobs beyond 30" are probably more safely done with the TS55 and a rail anyway. The Jobsite saw only rips to about 26" and I can't think of a task since I got it for which I missed a larger rip capacity. I do those jobs with the TS55.

To some degree, your needs will dictate what you need, but as a hobbyist (which I am), I don't find the need for a large table saw nor a large rip capacity on a table saw.
Randy

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 234
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2019, 05:33 PM »
Travisj is correct that SS does sell replacement rails and that is certainly some peace of mind going forward if you choose to cut it down. I also agree with him that the SS customer service people are extremely helpful. I would note that if you choose to buy the PCS with the 36” fence and cut down the rails that you will also have to cut down the right side table surface that comes with the outfit or make a new one.

One more note. Given your space constraints, if you buy the PCS I would highly recommend buying the better mobile base (ICS). It is terrific and will enable you to move your saw with ease in tight quarters.

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 94
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2019, 05:34 PM »
Same experience as @grbmds .  I own both the Sawstop Jobsite and TSC55 which have worked well for me in my small shop space.       

Offline dicktill

  • Posts: 304
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 05:50 PM »
Here's another possible option: A SawStop contractor saw with a 36" fence AND a mobile cart (SawStop MC-CNS). Yup, it's big, but you should be able to set it on end when you're not using it. I'm going this way, but don't have the cart yet, so I can't tell you how good it works.

Offline ctvader

  • Posts: 45
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2019, 06:13 PM »
Bryan - i was in your exact position about 6 weeks ago and went with the CNS.  My only regret is not getting the T-Glide fence.  I have the mobile base and can position the same against the wall so I can park in the garage.  I measured very carefully before buying anything.  Would the PCS fit better?  Maybe... but it would have also cost ~$900 more than the CNS once you factor in shipping (could fit the CNS in the car but not the PCS).  Considering my skill level, the CNS is the right fit for me.  When I develop my skills, I may sell the CNS and buy the PCS.  Let me know if you want more details on my rational. 

Offline ktb153

  • Posts: 29
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2019, 07:11 PM »
I have the pcs with 36" and I'm sure you could cut the rails down and since you don't want much rip capacity probably just stick with the cast iron part don't bother attaching the black wood table or legs. my local woodcraft has one set up with the 30" fence and it has different rails but while not as beefy it looked pretty nice, its a t style and looks much better than the one on the contractor saws so if you're cutting it down anyways you might want to consider saving some money there. the pcs is an awesome saw but due to your limited space and size of your projects the job site saw could be a better fit, I'd skip over the contractor saw though because if you can make space for that you can make space for a pcs.

Offline bryanjtx

  • Posts: 6
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2019, 10:58 AM »
It's pretty much the end of January, so decision time is here! 

To summarize where I am right now:
(a) I spoke with Sawstop and they said it's not unheard of for people to cut the rails.  The metal is pretty thick and sturdy so an experienced shop is recommended to get straight & clean cuts. 
(b) The 30" rails will not work for the T-glide fence as the rails are different.
(c) I was at Rockler and saw that they cut their own rails to fit in the sliding crosscut table.  Looked fine from far, but examining the metal cuts closely you can see that it didn't come that way as the paint was peeling and the cuts were not "factory".
(d) Rockler offered to sell me a "base" sawstop with no rails or fence and then I could add my own.  Before they offered this, I had never seen a stripped down offering as all sites show the 30" fence as the base model
(e) I already use and like the incra LS/TS fence on my router table so I looked at the "base" model sawstop with adding the incra fence.
(f) I called incra and they said, yes, I could cut their fence rails down.  They come in 72" lengths, but recommended not to go less than 48".  The bigger issue with incra is that the LS positioner is 48" itself and therefore needs room beyond your table.  Additionally there is a 10 week order backlog!
 
My decision -- I ordered a 3hp 220v PCS with the industrial mobile base, 36" table and t-glide fence.  I am going to build this setup, try use it and then decide exactly how much room I have (or do not have).  I will be cutting 2-3" thick walnut, cherry and oak so I decided to get 3hp.

Thanks to all for the great input.  I'll keep you posted with my progress.
Bryan

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 720
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2019, 11:05 AM »
Hi all,
I'm a hobbyist and Festool convert.  I have limited garage space for my shop (approximately half of one garage) and this led me down Festool lane.  I have a TS55, MFT3, Kapex, DF500, RO90, ETS150, OF1400, parallel guides and CT36 with boom arm and work center.  I also have a Laguna 14bx bandsaw, Craftsman drill press, Dewalt 735x planer, rockler dust collection, cutech bench top jointer and Incra router setup.  Yes, a lot of equipment in a small area along with an exercise bike in the mix too!

I have gravitated towards making smaller items such as jewelry boxes and often need to cut short pieces of narrow stock such as 2"x 7" and 5"x 1/4" and am finding this hard to make repetitive accurate cuts.

I'm looking at a Sawstop PCS and my questions are as follows:
1.  Should I be looking for a table saw or continue honing my skills with the MFT3, rails and qwas dogs and Kapex
2. Has anyone purchased the 36" or 52" sawstop (to get the Beisemeyer fence system) and then cut the rails and fence leaving only say 18" of rip space?  This would reduce the space taken in the shop
3. Pictures show the "open area" where I could add the sawstop, but this would make a tight area to work in and move around

Any other thoughts or recommendations?
Thanks,
Bryan

It is not even worth having a full-size table saw if you are reducing the cutting width to 18". Most portable table saws can get to 24".

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 812
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2019, 12:51 PM »
"My decision -- I ordered a 3hp 220v PCS with the industrial mobile base, 36" table and t-glide fence."

One that I believe you won't regret. You can always modify something, if the set-up isn't right for you.

I assume you also picked the dust collection blade guard/overarm dust collection (not the floating arm one).

If you still want to add more to your saw one day, consider this:

Offline travisj

  • Posts: 308
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2019, 02:13 PM »
Congrats on the saw.  I am sure you will love it.  As ChuckM mentioned, the Jessem clear stock guides are an awesome improvement.


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Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 234
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2019, 08:44 PM »
Congratulations! That is a great saw and you are going to love it! My bet is that you will plan a project or two that will move one or more of your other tools into or under the footprint of the saw rather than cut the saw down but I guess that we will just have to wait and hear from you.

Offline Ptk16

  • Posts: 41
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2019, 08:34 AM »
I ordered the same saw at about 11pm on the 31st...and I have the Jessem guides on my current saw. Just spend the money and buy them, seriously. They are the single best upgrade i have ever made.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 812
Re: Sawstop with a short table length - anyone have this?
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2019, 09:52 AM »
Snip.
 the Jessem guides on my current saw. Just spend the money and buy them, seriously. They are the single best upgrade i have ever made.

Best advice on getting a table saw accessory that improves both precision and safety.