Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've only used a Dewalt benchtop and 8" Delta Homecraft table saw. Shopping now for a saw with a larger blade to be able to rip-cut thicker boards precisely and safely, one that doesn't throw the sawdust in my face. Since I don't need to rip plywood sheets and don't have a lot of space in my one-car garage, I am looking for a compact saw with good dust containment, one that is not imprecise and is not underpowered. I am willing to spend up to $800. A couple of the 10" jobsite saws I'm considering (Oliver, Grizzly) have 2HP DC motors with a knob that lets you set blade speed. (These saws can also do double-duty as disc sanders.) Is the ability to control blade speed in real time a feature that would contribute in a significant way to making safe, clean, and precise rip cuts in hardwood boards, all other factors being equal (HP, proper blade choice, non-deflecting fence, etc.)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
289 Posts
I am not "Mr. Woodworker" but from my short time here and my limited experience with a 50 year old Craftsman table saw all boils down to set up. Having the blade parallel to the miter slot and the fence parallel to the blade will have the biggest influence on quality of cut. Setup will also influence safety (my opinion).

Ken
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
31,716 Posts
The physics of having a high sped rotating blade cutting wood is much the same whether the blade is spinning at 3500 RPM or 5000 RPMs.
As far as having the small cut off fibers being thrown up into your face, that's a "given". The gullets in the blade collect the cut off particles some of which get spun off below the table, the others get carried around and spin off above the table, Ripping blades have larger gullets to better carry away those particles which in this case, are long grain, a bit larger.
There's a zillion DIY versions of over the blade dust collectors of You Tube and a few commercial ones as well, but $$$. I've experimented with 2" PVC 90 degree angles and short lengths of pipe connected to my 6.5 HP Rigid shop vac and that worked pretty well. That's a cheap as you can go:
Furniture Table Interior design Wood Desk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rev. A

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,739 Posts
Is the ability to control blade speed in real time a feature that would contribute in a significant way to making safe, clean, and precise rip cuts
Short answer “No”.

Jobsite saws have limitations for a ww‘ng shop vs a construnction site. The machine you’re talking about doesn’t sound like a good choice for a ww’ng shop

Do some more due diligence and choose carefully.

Its all about power & fence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
There was a time when all I had room for, was a shopsmith. They can do a lot, BUT, have their limitations. Shop smith can be adjusted from around. 500 rpm and up. On several occasions I did run the table saw in the wrong rpm range (accidentally). When that took place, I didn't notice a y benefit to making adjust.rents to the table saw blade speed. I IS a benefit when using the machine as a disc sander.

So. If you are buying it to use as a table saw - I don't think variable speed is needed. If you think you'll also be using it as a sander - the speed option would be the way to go.. Set up is the most important part of getting a good cut.

I now have a saw stop contractors saw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There was a time when all I had room for, was a shopsmith. They can do a lot, BUT, have their limitations. Shop smith can be adjusted from around. 500 rpm and up. On several occasions I did run the table saw in the wrong rpm range (accidentally). When that took place, I didn't notice a y benefit to making adjust.rents to the table saw blade speed. I IS a benefit when using the machine as a disc sander.

So. If you are buying it to use as a table saw - I don't think variable speed is needed. If you think you'll also be using it as a sander - the speed option would be the way to go.. Set up is the most important part of getting a good cut.

I now have a saw stop contractors saw.
Thanks for that interesting comparison with Shopsmith. What fence did you get with the Sawstop contractor saw, the aluminum extrusion or t-glide?
 

·
Premium Member
A cat made me do it.
Joined
·
1,376 Posts
What fence did you get with the Sawstop contractor saw, the aluminum extrusion or t-glide?
When shopping for something I can understand the difficulty deciding what mix of pros and cons to go for. I started with a DeWalt jobsite saw and then added a SawStop contractor with a 36" T-Glide fence. My recommendations:

If you can afford the space get a contractor instead of a jobsite saw. The larger table and longer fence are much easier and pleasurable to use. At least with the DeWalt the miter slot design wasn't very good.

If you can afford the price get a SawStop. Besides general high quality the SS basically eliminates being cut buy the blade. The other big way of being injured by a table saw, kickback, is the same risk as any other brand. But a SS contractor will be 2.5 times your price cap of $800. Still less expensive than an hand injury.

If you decide on a non SS contractor saw I've heard owners say good things about:
It's common for the same tool to be sold by different brands, Ridgid relatively recently came out with their version:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Short answer “No”.

Jobsite saws have limitations for a ww‘ng shop vs a construnction site. The machine you’re talking about doesn’t sound like a good choice for a ww’ng shop

Do some more due diligence and choose carefully.

Its all about power & fence.
I do not want to cut large sheet goods on the table saw and don't have the space for a saw with long rails, but that pretty much eliminates 99% of what is available with the other features I would like to have:

Compact (26-30 inches wide max, with same size rails, 10" blade)
2HP, 220V motor (my garage has only one 110V circuit which my shop vac is plugged into, but it has two 220V circuits since I was hoping to get a 220V dust collector)
flat cast iron table and cast-iron trunnions
blade shroud that captures the dust below the table with a vacuum hose port
blade guard with vacuum hose port above the table
non-deflecting accurate and true fence
When shopping for something I can understand the difficulty deciding what mix of pros and cons to go for. I started with a DeWalt jobsite saw and then added a SawStop contractor with a 36" T-Glide fence. My recommendations:

If you can afford the space get a contractor instead of a jobsite saw. The larger table and longer fence are much easier and pleasurable to use. At least with the DeWalt the miter slot design wasn't very good.

If you can afford the price get a SawStop. Besides general high quality the SS basically eliminates being cut buy the blade. The other big way of being injured by a table saw, kickback, is the same risk as any other brand. But a SS contractor will be 2.5 times your price cap of $800. Still less expensive than an hand injury.

If you decide on a non SS contractor saw I've heard owners say good things about:
It's common for the same tool to be sold by different brands, Ridgid relatively recently came out with their version:
I would seriously consider Sawstop if they offered a saw as small as their new Compact model that's supposed to ship this fall, but with a T-slide fence on short rails, a 2HP 220V motor option, and priced around $1,500. Maybe Sawstop will offer a "Compact Pro" model :)

Not everyone works with sheet goods or wants to cut sheet goods on a table saw, and not everyone needs to do cross cuts on the table saw. I have a good miter saw with an INCRA track for cross-cuts, and if I ever need to work with sheets of plywood, I'll get a track saw. The table saw manufacturers are as bad as the car makers that force you to upgrade to the top trim level if you happen to want fog lights yet don't want the fancy stereo or the moon roof or the leather seats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Have you ever considered a track saw instead of a table saw?
My Makita track saw is dead-on accurate after I tuned it all up and I love using it.
I have a single-car garage to work in and I hardly use my Ridgid table saw, anymore.
Cutting thin pieces of material is the only real issue with using a track saw (which I find to be vastly safer than a table-saw). I cut sheet goods and 2" material without a problem though.

Andy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
Any time a tool can do more than 1 function, it usually does neither one well.
The table saw is generally the most important tool in the shop. If you cant cut a straight line, you are dead before you begin. Invest your money in a good table saw and then you can make accurate jigs with the table saw for the table saw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have you ever considered a track saw instead of a table saw?
My Makita track saw is dead-on accurate after I tuned it all up and I love using it.
I have a single-car garage to work in and I hardly use my Ridgid table saw, anymore.
Cutting thin pieces of material is the only real issue with using a track saw (which I find to be vastly safer than a table-saw). I cut sheet goods and 2" material without a problem though.

Andy.
Yes, but the track saw's depth-of-cut is pretty good but limited. I need the 3" depth of a 10" blade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Any time a tool can do more than 1 function, it usually does neither one well.
The table saw is generally the most important tool in the shop. If you cant cut a straight line, you are dead before you begin. Invest your money in a good table saw and then you can make accurate jigs with the table saw for the table saw.
I agree with you. Every table saw manufacturer should offer at least one model that celebrates the table saw's essential strength, which is ripping boards, omitting all of the other features. Those features they could offer in other "multi-purpose" models. Imagine if the only knives available to a chef had a can-opener attached to the end of the handle!
 

·
where's my table saw?
Joined
·
31,716 Posts
I agree with you. Every table saw manufacturer should offer at least one model that celebrates the table saw's essential strength, which is ripping boards, omitting all of the other features. Those features they could offer in other "multi-purpose" models. Imagine if the only knives available to a chef had a can-opener attached to the end of the handle!
NOPE, that's eliminating one obvious feature, crosscutting, and another is making dados. Let's not redesign the wheel.
The table saw is best at ripping and comes with a "rip fence" it also has "miter slots" which are for the miter gauge to slide in AND to act as references for blade and fence alignment. You need them for accurate setups.
The Shop Smith was an "all in one" designed to save floor space in small home shops and for folks on a budget.
The table on the Shop Smith tilted making bavel cuts all but impossible. The radial saw was just the opposite, everything moved or tilted.
The radial arm saw was mainly used for crosscutting, but with ripping possibilities.
It was also advertised as an "all in one " machine and there were millions sold.
The first models were huge industrial machines used for ship building invented by a guy named Dewalt.
The got a bad reputation because people used them incorrectly and unsafely and didn't maintain them very well.
I love all 4 of mine! I have ripped, planed, routed, crosscut and made dados with mine.

Machine and tool designers like to add more operations as features because they are more versatile. That helps sales.
Drill presses to more that drill holes. They have sanding drums and even thickness planing heads.
Creative minds find all kinds of ways to use machines that they original designers hadn't thought of.
I designed a bandsaw for the small shop which had a tilting blade rather than a tilting table as shown here:
Gas Machine Art Scientific instrument Tool


Creative arts Gas Composite material Machine Scientific instrument
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
When I bought my first table saw, which was also my first encounter with using one, I dont remember if Delta Saw manual or the tool salesman that said it could be used as a disk sander also. So, I went and bought the 10" disk for sanding also.
If you are a thrill seeker, you would love it. Those of us that are normal would be scared of it - around 3000+ RPM/s. I'm sure if 80 grit had touched you at that speed, you would have removed a substantial amount of flesh.
 

·
The Nut in the Cellar
Joined
·
1,550 Posts
I have thought about the original question and after 25 years with my table saw, my answer is no, I don't find any need for variable speed necessary. My saw spins the arbor at 4,500 rpm no load. With a good glue rip carbide blade and a properly aligned fence, it produces glue ready cuts. I almost never use my jointer anymore. Early on, I bought a 10" sanding disk because I had no other machine sander. It works, but it's very easy to burn the contact point. It's almost never used now that I have an OSS. One table saw accessory to avoid like the plague is a shaper cutter set. Scarest thing I've ever heard in the shop. I use a stacked dado set quite often, so make sure the saw you choose has an arbor and bearings that can handle a stacked set should you ever want to go that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
NOPE, that's eliminating one obvious feature, crosscutting, and another is making dados. Let's not redesign the wheel.
The table saw is best at ripping and comes with a "rip fence" it also has "miter slots" which are for the miter gauge to slide in AND to act as references for blade and fence alignment. You need them for accurate setups.
The Shop Smith was an "all in one" designed to save floor space in small home shops and for folks on a budget.
The table on the Shop Smith tilted making bavel cuts all but impossible. The radial saw was just the opposite, everything moved or tilted.
The radial arm saw was mainly used for crosscutting, but with ripping possibilities.
It was also advertised as an "all in one " machine and there were millions sold.
The first models were huge industrial machines used for ship building invented by a guy named Dewalt.
The got a bad reputation because people used them incorrectly and unsafely and didn't maintain them very well.
I love all 4 of mine! I have ripped, planed, routed, crosscut and made dados with mine.

Machine and tool designers like to add more operations as features because they are more versatile. That helps sales.
Drill presses to more that drill holes. They have sanding drums and even thickness planing heads.
Creative minds find all kinds of ways to use machines that they original designers hadn't thought of.
I designed a bandsaw for the small shop which had a tilting blade rather than a tilting table as shown here:
View attachment 441008

View attachment 441009
You use the word "obvious" to describe cross-cutting. But is it essential that a table-saw be able to cross-cut? I don't think so since there are other tools specifically designed for that purpose. It is a not a bad thing that there are table saws that can do cross-cuts. But it is a bad thing that makers don't offer compact table saws (without wide tables and long rails and long fences) unless the buyer is willing to sacrifice other desirables such as cast iron tops, premium fences, and motor choices. Compact and portable do not have to be treated as synonyms.
 

·
Premium Member
A cat made me do it.
Joined
·
1,376 Posts
I would seriously consider Sawstop if they offered a saw as small as their new Compact model that's supposed to ship this fall, but with a T-slide fence on short rails, a 2HP 220V motor option, and priced around $1,500. Maybe Sawstop will offer a "Compact Pro" model :)
It's kind of like asking for a Smart Car that can pull a semi trailer. If you want a saw specialized for long rips you want a long fence, the way you want a long bed jointer for long boards. Compact and jobsite saws are designed to be frequently hauled around in pickups, the fences lock in place at both ends, are compact and light weight. A T-Glide is none of that, just the fence without the rail weighs about what a compact saw does. The rail feels like something you could use in a bridge structure.

You are going to need to compromise on something, whether on what the saw can do, or the space it takes up in storage, etc.

A classic contractor TS has the motor sticking out the rear, limits how close to a wall you can store the saw. Hybrid saws have the motor underneath and in the bulge on the left side for a smaller stored footprint.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,362 Posts
If you intend to do a lot of work in your shop, a Dado Blade Set-up is almost essential. Almost everything I make requires dados.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top