Even though I've owned a table saw for years, I consider myself very new to woodworking. I generally average only one or two projects a year. Part of the reason for this dearth is that my table saw scares the bejesus out of me. Going so long between projects, I don't get to spend enough time with it to build up confidence in what I'm doing.
In my day job, I build web sites. Two lessons I've learned from that gig are: 1) The "Anything that can go wrong, will" idea of Murphy's Law happens faster than you think, and 2) There's a ton of things that can go wrong that you don't even know about until they do. When I apply that same logic to thinking about the table saw, I become very hesitant to spin it up.
I'd like to get into more projects. I'm sure I would if I could move from being so concerned about my tools doing me harm to just having a healthy respect for them. I saw this link on Cool Tools
about the EZ-One Powerbench
a while ago. It's been on my mind ever since. (Note: the Cool Tools site appears to be down at the moment. Hopefully that's just short term.) Once I saw that, I started looking around and also found the Festool Multifunction Table
. I love the basic idea behind the approach these things use. Having your hands on the tool instead of the work piece seems like it would reduce the potential number injury producing things that can go wrong. Especially for people who are new/infrequent woodworkers.
I'm pretty well convinced that I'm going to invest in one of these. Before I do, I'd love to get some thoughts on the direction I'm headed.
- Is there any reason why one of these wouldn't be a good option for someone who doesn't yet have a lot of hours behind him making sawdust?
- Are there other options I should be looking at?
- Are there things I won't be able to do if I move to one of these and (eventually) sell the table saw?
- Anyone have experience (good or bad) with one or the other of these systems they'd like to share?