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Thread: Advice on European Style Sliding Table Saws

  1. #1

    Question Advice on European Style Sliding Table Saws

    I'm looking toupgrade to a European style sliding table saw and have narrowed my search downto the Minimax SC2C and the Laguna P12|5. Both from a specification and featurestandpoint look great however the Laguna looks like it’s a bit nicer in termsof it's features, motor, and dust collection. Does anyone have experience witheither of these saws or would recommend another?

    I should add, thespace I intend to put the saw in is one stall in a two car garage. I know it will betight if there is a car parked but I have no problem moving it for crosscutting wider panels or boards.

    Minimax SC2C

    Laguna P12|5
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-22-2020 at 4:58 PM. Reason: Defaulted text for easier readability

  2. #2
    I know nothing about either of those saws, but the question for you is how much sheet good work will you do? And how often might you be ripping a board longer than 5 feet? Using a slider as a traditional cabinet saw is giving up its advantages. Personally, I’d be disappointed in a saw with only 5 feet of travel.

    my own advice would be to look for a used slider with at least 8 feet of travel.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Western Nebraska
    I bought a Felder combo machine, slider, shaper, jointer, planer, 10 years ago or so, to fit in a double car garage shop. I still have and use it, it's a great machine. I wanted 8' stroke, and the only layout that made it happen was diagonally in the space. With that, it takes up the whole space pretty much. You will want 10' to the back, 10' to the front, and at least 8' to the sides for the carriage to process 4x8 sheets and give you a place to stand. I tried the mobile idea for a while and that doesn't work well on my machine as it weighs a LOT, and if I don't level it, the table moves on its own. Concrete is rarely flat.

    I definitely don't regret the 8' saw, however lots of folks get by fine with smaller stroke, and there are ways to process 4x8 sheets on a 5' stroke saw. I would recommend against a full combo if you intend to do production work, but it is ok for a hobby shop.

    I was using the Felder yesterday to build some cabinets in a shop that makes it seem puny, wishing I had a bigger machine, while using a Unisaw as an outfeed support. Times change.

    Of the saws you listed, I'd probably the scm because of their better reputation, but I have no first hand knowledge of either.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Princeton, NJ
    Blog Entries
    I have a short stroke machine because I view a tablesaw as a crosscut machine and I work with solid wood. Not to say a larger saw wouldn't be nice to have, but my shop is fairly small and space comes at a premium.

    Your own work envelope should be what determines this. Outside of that I would chose minimax over Laguna. I have two MM machines and dealing with the service department has been good. One issue with my J/P was resolved rapidly.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    I owned an old Minimax Sc2 at one point. It was a great saw. This was the first European machine that I owned,it was a revelation to me.The overall quality,and the adjustability of everything was very good. This was the first true sliding saw I owned,I very quickly discovered that it was far better than the excalibur sliding table and Unisaw combination that it replaced. A true slider with the carriage right up to the blade is just an excellent way to work. I would buy the Minimax over the Laguna and the Sc2 is a great short stroke saw. I only sold mine to upgrade to a Felder K700s with a 10' slide. The short stroke sliders will still break down sheet goods,you just crosscut your sheets first.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Houston, Texas area
    Minimax owner here. I don't know about the Laguna so won't recommend anything.

    FWIW, I got an 8.5' slider and it is very fast and convenient to make glue-ready rips in long pieces of solid wood. Making glue-ready cuts on long boards was not something I thought about much before I bought the saw, yet a feature I use on almost every project. The long throw is not just for sheet goods.

    I am lucky to have the space for an 8.5' slider.

    I've also made 8' tall cabinets out of plywood and the long throw was helpful, but I could have made the same cuts with a track saw.

    A thought: One could place a long throw slider in a shorter garage such that you always have full throw on the infeed side, and then just open the garage door when you need full throw on the outfeed side.
    Mark McFarlane

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I think my Felder kf500 pro is 84” stroke which is an odd amount. Regardless I rarely rip full-size plywood as I usually have the store cut it some just to get it home. For solid wood I could see the benefit too but the rest of my shop is geared around material size of 5 or 6 feet max anyway so I usually break material down first. But I usually make smaller items I guess.

  8. #8
    Thanks everyone for the great advice and guidance. I agree a larger unit would provide flexibility with the size of materials I'd work with and be the most future proof option. I'm afraid though my space will constrain the size I can have while also maintaining room for other functions and processes (processing stock, finishing, assembly, etc.). Mark, your idea to position the saw so that the outfeed could extend out of the garage door when needed is one I'll explore more. I had a similar idea but was thinking about it from the infeed of the saw. I've attached a couple renderings of the space and some of the floor standing tools I'll need to account for. The rough model of the sliding saw is based on the dimensions of the Minimax SC2C

    Besides the size of the saw I was hoping to understand why people choose the Minimax over Laguna (or other manufacturers of similar size saws). I've seen conflicting experiences with Laguna and their customer service, some were bad and others great. Felder is out of my budget but would be something I consider in the future if/when I get a larger shop. The Minimax is on sale right now and from what I've read and researched is top quality. For a little more money though the Laguna comes with a few more features and larger motor.

    Garage - Top.jpg
    Garage - Angle.jpg
    Last edited by Brian Bouril; 01-22-2020 at 4:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2017
    I wanted the Hammer K3 Winner for my basement shop, but didn't want to wait a long time for it to be made and then make my own arrangements for delivery and commissioning. I bought the MM SC2C because it was available immediately and was the largest MM saw that would fit down the stairs and through the doors.

    I am happy with the SC2C, but if I did this again, I would wait for the Hammer. Space in my shop is limited, and the mobility kit on the Hammer would allow me to move it to the side when not needed. The SC2C does not have a mobility kit, at least that I know about, so wherever you park it, that is where it's staying.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Minimax owner, albeit a larger saw. (S315WS) I'm extremely pleased with the tools and the company. I also appreciate that it uses "standard" tooling on the arbor.

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

  11. #11
    Brian, I have a Felder CF741 with a 8' travel. One advantage is that I can and do store the slider table on a movable cart, and the combination machine itself is on a mobility kit that allows me to roll it so that it occupies well less than one bay of my three bay shop (my spouse insists on calling it the garage, but that's another matter). it takes 5 minutes to park her car in her assigned parking spot (the driveway), roll the 3,000 pound machine into position, attach the slider table, and be ready to start processing material.

    Would it be nice to have a permanently set up shop? Sure, but I don't find the current arrangement to be unworkable. Given your layout, a 8 or 10 foot slider, with a mobility kit and slider table cart, will definitely fit in your 1 stall "car configuration" shop. All you would need to be willing to do is to roll things around a bit to make it happen.

    A slider is a big investment -- buy once, not twice with a tinge of regret.


  12. #12
    Get the MM and buy as much saw as you can afford and fit.

    I’m sure I have a reputation around here that is it isn’t the “best” it’s crap.

    But I’m gonna say this. It’s not just a name thing. It’s a build quality thing. It’s not a bigger is better thing it’s a the small and large details that relate to the machine being able to function as intended reliably and repeatable.

    I just took a new job in a shop with a Laguna short stoke slider. It reinforces everything I have come to feel about anything not SCMI Altendorf Martin or old iron. Imop even the entry level stuff of the above is kinda crap. Bit nothing like this Laguna, it truly is a toy and imop a complete waste of money.

    For instance the lock down for the rip fence to keep is square and or to set it to bevel is just a joke. Most sliders you will find people setup to cut square then don’t dare touch them.

    This Laguna can’t hold a setting for more than like a half a cut. I honeslty can’t believe they even are able to sell some of the crap they sell. I think when people are buying at this level they just don’t know what they don’t know “yet” and if they did they would just swallow hard and spend more or accept they are out of their league and need to make due with a lesser tool like a table saw with a sled.

    Honestly over most entry level sliders I’d much rather just have a nice cabinet saw a good sled and figure out other ways to deal with long cross cuts.

  13. #13
    Honestly over most entry level sliders I’d much rather just have a nice cabinet saw a good sled and figure out other ways to deal with long cross cuts.
    Like a fine old iron RAS that can be bought for little money.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    Like a fine old iron RAS that can be bought for little money.
    Funny you should say that.

    At my new job we have a filly nice old 5hp Rockwell. Well it sounds sweet and cuts real nice on one side of the blade. The fence is flat on the left and right side of the blade but I can only get square cuts off the left side. Makes zero sense and Iím sure Iíll figure it out sooner or later.

    Anyway I have been told not to bevel or angle it as it was a pita to get to cut square on the one side it cuts square.

    I feel like I have read over and over again that there are only truly a couple good RAS ever built for the exact reasons I stated above. If Iím wrong correct me as I kinda really like the machine to be perfectly honest. It is a huge space hog and i personally would much rather dedicate the footprint of a full size slider to a machine that can serve multiple tasks as apposed to one task.

    Peoples minds regarding machines and tools I find is kinda a predetermined kinda thing. Generally I think woodworkers know what they like and donít and often it just comes down to what they learnt on. Add to it generally I find woodworkers to be kinda persnickety set in there ways and fairly opinionated lol..

    But man the hum of that Raz and the cut on the one good side of the blade is sweet vrs a dam miter saw.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    I have a Laguna Pro 6 foot slider, the predecessor to the 12/5. It has a 5 foot/60" sliding stroke. My shop dictated this choice, as an 8-footer would not leave much room for anything else. I have found no limitations to this size machine; if I do have to process plywood sheets, I have a track saw to break down large sheets. I rarely rip boards on the slider, but it can be easily done by locking the sliding wagon and moving the rip fence to the required width, mimicking the traditional cabinet saw. As expected, cross cuts are a breeze, especially when using the fence stop to get consistent lengths.
    I must also add that I still have a traditional cabinet saw which is used mostly for rip cuts and joinery uses.

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