Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 56

Thread: Table Saw Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    East Tennessee gazing at the Great Smoky Mountains
    Posts
    13

    Table Saw Questions

    Hi All,

    I've been lurking in the weeds for some time and have found this venue to be the most knowledgeable, helpful, and courteous forum on the block. And, I know this question has been asked and answered so many times, but I hope you all have the patience for one more dip to the well to answer mine.

    It is time for a new table saw. I once had a 60's Craftsman, with a cast top and cast grid wings, but it was grossly under-powered, had a crappy fence and miter gauge, and was unstable - falling to the motor side when feeding sheet goods. Try catching 200 pounds of table saw whirring away with a sheet of ply balancing on it - that's safe, huh? Somehow, I managed to do some nice work with it.

    Anyway, it has been gone for 10 years and now it is time to build a new shop. My footprint is a 2 1/2 car garage that will serve as the shop when building, but the machinery will be moved against the wall when idle to house a pickup. For a new saw, I would like to pay $1,500, but already realize it will probably be $2K - $2,500, which is hard to swallow for someone who paid nearly nothing 40 years ago. I need precision cuts as I will be building kitchen cabinets. I already learned my lesson about heft, so I already know a heavy saw is in order. A few questions, please?

    1) Cabinet or Hybrid? If Hybrid, I don't want to have to jack-around with trunnions all the time.
    2) 52" rails and wing?
    3) If the answer to #2 is yes, some saws come with long rails, but no wing insert - what to do?
    4) Is a router wing worth having, and is there a generic that fits most saws, or are they saw-specific?
    5) I have 220V, so should I skip the 2HP models and go right to 3HP? (Probably a stupid question...)
    6) Finally, what are your favorite models? New and used are both acceptable. So much has changed and my head is whirling like the blade on the falling Craftsman... Saw Stop will not be an option; I will rely on my discipline to keep all Ten.

    I appreciate all advice, suggestions, and comments.

    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,701
    There will be sooo many answers to this and all will have value. For working with sheet goods many will steer you to a guided saw system. This would allow for a smaller table saw capacity, fence-wise, and 52" fence saws are not all that wonderful to move on a mobile base. I'm already wandering so let me just give you my opinion in order of your questions:

    1) Cabinet or Hybrid? If Hybrid, I don't want to have to jack-around with trunnions all the time.
    - I had, and dad still has, a great hybrid, the Craftsman (Orion) 22124 BUT, it had cabinet mounted trunnions and could be aligned wonderfully. If not for an unexpected windfall I would still be operating it.
    2) 52" rails and wing?
    - As mentioned, long fence saws are awkward to maneuver so your intent to roll things out of the way when not using them would factor in here. I run a 52" fence and my methods rely on it. It is not a requirement BUT, I do very little with sheet goods and still make wide use of this fence capacity.
    3) If the answer to #2 is yes, some saws come with long rails, but no wing insert - what to do?
    - A side-feed table is an easy build.
    4) Is a router wing worth having, and is there a generic that fits most saws, or are they saw-specific?
    - Most router wings fit most saws. In my experience they are primarily aimed at the 27" deep saws. I used one for years to save room. It will add to your mobility challenges.
    5) I have 220V, so should I skip the 2HP models and go right to 3HP? (Probably a stupid question...)
    - Even though my hybrid did everything I asked of it, a 3HP saw is the entry level to a serious tablesaw for me. The cuts are made with more confidence, cleaner results with less micro-tuning of blade and technique, etc.
    6) Finally, what are your favorite models? New and used are both acceptable.
    - I won't go down this road too far. Many folks are fine with paying a bit more for their favorite color of paint or favorite safety feature. In the 3HP non-flesh-sensing arena, Grizzly still wins the most bang for the buck contest; if I needed a saw today and didn't want to think about it too much I would just order a Grizzly G0691 in the fence length of your choice. For those that hate green (or white sometimes) Jet and Powermatic are still glad to take your dough. There are frequent "3hp tablesaw bake-offs" in the trade rags. I would get a few of those to sift through.

    Wood

    Fine Woodworking
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 10-08-2019 at 1:18 PM.
    Buy a man a plane ticket and he’ll fly for a day.
    Push a man out of a plane
    and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    49,923
    A cabinet saw is generally going to be beefier than a hybrid. Many folks buy the 50-52" rail setups and eventually figure out that they could have been perfectly well served by a more modest 30-36" rail setup...but it really depends upon how and what you use your saw for and whether or not you intend to leverage the extra space to the right for, say, an integrated router table setup. Personally, if I were buying a new saw today, it would be with the shorter rail to preserve shop space. 3-5 hp is the norm for a cabinet saw.

    I can't advise you on brand...that's personal preference and also a pricing exercise. But honestly, there's little difference at the heart of a cabinet saw. Most of the differentiation is going to be with features and workmanship.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,361
    I had a 52" fence for years & hardly ever used the capacity, and I usually break down sheet goods on the table saw. My current saw has a 36" fence and I have missed the bigger one exactly zero times. I do have a router table built into the extension for space saving reasons and it works well there.

    3 HP is very nice to have. I would prefer to not have to go lower.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    164
    3hp, 36" fence, router table built in (if you don't have space for dedicated) and a track saw for braking down sheet goods - there is nothing worse than braking down sheet goods on a cabinet saw without a huge outfeed table. I would look on the used market, I am a hater of green, white and new yellow...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by John McGovern View Post
    Hi All,
    1) Cabinet or Hybrid? If Hybrid, I don't want to have to jack-around with trunnions all the time.
    2) 52" rails and wing?
    3) If the answer to #2 is yes, some saws come with long rails, but no wing insert - what to do?
    4) Is a router wing worth having, and is there a generic that fits most saws, or are they saw-specific?
    5) I have 220V, so should I skip the 2HP models and go right to 3HP? (Probably a stupid question...)
    6) Finally, what are your favorite models? New and used are both acceptable. So much has changed and my head is whirling like the blade on the falling Craftsman... Saw Stop will not be an option; I will rely on my discipline to keep all Ten.

    I appreciate all advice, suggestions, and comments.

    Thanks,
    John
    I know I could get an argument here, but IMO you just can't go wrong with a 3HP cabinet saw. Personally, I have two table saws, both Jets. One 3HP cabinet and one 1 3/4 HP. They are both excellent machines and while either could get the job done, the difference in power between the two is very noticeable. I prefer left tilt. I think there is probably little difference between the major brands. I think warranty and support are what separates. For example, Jet support - excellent, Grizzly not as good. I do own several Grizzly machines (planer, jointer, drum sander) and have been very satisfied with all except the sander. I think their table saws are probably worth a look and review.

    52" rails will cost a premium on space you have to think about why you want it. I do have the 52" rails, but it spans both saws. Truthfully, I seldom use anything past 36" strictly because I don't want to heft sheets of ply anymore. For that, I use a track saw. So you might consider a track saw if you plan on using a lot of sheet goods. It sure has made my work process much more efficient and easier on my back.

    IMO yes a router is a must. I couldn't imagine building cabinet doors without one. Personally I prefer a dedicated router table, again, if space is a premium, a saw mounted router is an option. After going through a couple iterations of router lifts (Router Razer & Triton) I finally bit the bullet and went with a router lift (MastRLiftII + Jessem PowerTek router) - all I can say is its the bomb.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,106
    Location? I am looking to sell my Unisaw in a week or so once I get my 12/14 saw done and installed.
    Bil lD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    69
    When I replaced my contractors saw 5 years ago I decided on a Grizzly 1023 not certain which model. However after 30 years I was handed unexpectedly some money my grandparents left me. This let me me move up to a Sawstop ICS with all options available at that time, 5hp, mobile base, 36" fence, etc. I never regretted buying this one, however I am certain I would have been happy with the Grizzly 1023 if I had gone that way. Can't have too much power. I never have set my fence over 10" wide yet. I do have a Safety Speed Cut H5 to cut panels with. Powermatic shaper so no router table.
    Cabinet saw, as much power as you can afford, mobile base for sure

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    212
    John, I agree with a 3hp cabinet saw, 36” fence. I bought a Grizzly 1023 about 15 years ago and have had no problems with it. I also build cabinets and it does all I need it to do. There are many fine brands out there but Grizzly is what I am familiar with. Saw Stop is a fine choice if you want the safety technology but it will cost more.

    Whatever you choose I would make sure it has a riving knife- I think it’s an essential safety feature.
    I have a separate router table but if you don’t have the room get one for the table saw.
    Last edited by Mark Daily; 10-08-2019 at 1:26 PM.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,361
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Daily View Post
    Whatever you choose I would make sure it has a riving knife- I think it’s an essential safety feature.
    I'll add to this; make sure it has a riving knife and guard that are easy to change out, preferably tooless. If it's super easy to use them, then they will get used.

  11. #11
    Unless you are breaking down sheet goods for cabinets you won't really need the 52. You'll miss it from time to time but you'll survive...

    Now a 52" fence can benefit you on a router in the extension
    Last edited by jack duren; 10-08-2019 at 3:51 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    1,361
    When I had a 52" fence, I used it breaking down sheet goods a couple of times, but when you're cutting a 52" piece off a 4' x 8' sheet it can get dicey. Much safer & easier to do that with a circular saw & straight edge.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    East Tennessee gazing at the Great Smoky Mountains
    Posts
    13
    Wow, I believe you Folks are really a good bunch! Every answer was directed to my challenge and to the point.

    I think the consensus is a cabinet saw with 36" rails and a router extension. Secretly, I hoped that would be the saw, for those that pointed it out, 52" is a lot to store.

    Thanks to all that replied. And Bill, I'm in East Tennessee. We should have hooked 8 years ago when I was in SoCal.

    J

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    35
    For what it's worth, I have a 3hp SawStop PCS 36". Works great for me. At the moment I mostly store stuff on the end of the table :-)

    For cutting full sheets of plywood, I use a track saw. I will bring it to the table saw when the pieces are more manageable, and of course for ripping lumber. I don't have room for permanent tables to handle plywood on the table saw.

    Bob

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,119
    I would completely agree with the consensus except for one minor point. I have a cast iron router wing on the left side of my jobsite saw,and much prefer this location. This may or may not work with the direction of tilt and handles for saw in the way. If it does it works very well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •