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Thread: 1 Car Garage - circular saw or ...table saw?

  1. #1

    1 Car Garage - circular saw or ...table saw?

    Hey all,

    I have an oversized 1 car garage. Currently no car (we got hit) in it, but we might have one at some point moving forward.
    I'm a new woodworker so just setting up a small shop in there. Mostly hand tools given the size I have. But it would be nice to rip longer boards. Is my best option a circular saw due to size limitations? If so, what is the best way to safely mount/clamp longer pieces for ripping? Conversely, is there a small table saw that would fit in this type of space? Looking online I was surprised to not find much about this topic.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    746
    table saw is safer and better for what you stated
    contractors table saw
    Ron

    should have said portable table saw like this style
    Bosch 10-in Carbide-Tipped Blade 15-Amp Portable Table Saw in the Table Saws department at Lowes.com
    on wheels to move easy and stores standing on edge in smaller space
    Last edited by Ron Selzer; 05-15-2021 at 1:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    1,812
    IMO, even a cheap bench top table saw (portable) would be better than a circular saw. Even the steadiest hand with a a guide can't keep a straight cut going on a long rip. A contractor saw still has a footprint that would take up a big chunk of floor space. Maybe you should check into track saws - the best of both worlds.
    Hobbyist

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cashiers NC
    Posts
    521
    Table saw is the best option. That said, I donít have need for a track saw that often so I bought the Kreg Accu Cut. It makes a circular saw into a track saw. It used it the first time yesterday on a real project. I was a little worried after seeing negative comments on You Tube but it works well. I put a new 60 tooth blade on and there was no chip out. You can have it for around 80.00.
    Charlie Jones

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies so far. Will look into these.

    How did people rip long, straight boards before power tools? I'm not opposed to putting in labor using a hand tool that would work for this if it gets the job done and helps with my space issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
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    746
    Quote Originally Posted by John Serna View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far. Will look into these.

    How did people rip long, straight boards before power tools? I'm not opposed to putting in labor using a hand tool that would work for this if it gets the job done and helps with my space issues.
    With a hand saw with rip teeth. Builds your body up and doesn't throw sawdust up in the air as it all drops down.
    Ron

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Spartanburg South Carolina
    Posts
    9
    Hand saw is the cheapest but I have never looked at a long board and thought "oh yeah". Track saw is next but setup for lots of cuts can be slow too. On the plus side you will want a track saw one day. I had a cheap jobsite saw and always hated it (Kobalt). I had to stay in that format because of a small shop, anything over 4' must have the door open or go all the way outside. Moved to a SawStop jobsite for the safety aspect but ended up liking the quality. Very easy to move around and has great dust control with my shop vac. Depending on your projects and going hand tool you may do fine with a hand saw but I would invest in a way to keep it sharp. For cross cuts, thats easy hand saw with or without a miter box.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    129
    I have a space around the size of a one car garage and have both a 7' workbench and a 36" sawstop table saw. They both sit against one wall (taking up that entire wall) and the table saw is on a mobile base so it can swing out when ripping is needed. You'd be surprised what you can fit in a small space with a bit of planning.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Selzer View Post
    With a hand saw with rip teeth. Builds your body up and doesn't throw sawdust up in the air as it all drops down.
    Ron
    Thanks. Just a regular rip hand saw? How did they keep a long board straight with just that? Just going very slowly and checking over and over to see if you've gone askew? Or did they use some kind of fence?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Liebling View Post
    I have a space around the size of a one car garage and have both a 7' workbench and a 36" sawstop table saw. They both sit against one wall (taking up that entire wall) and the table saw is on a mobile base so it can swing out when ripping is needed. You'd be surprised what you can fit in a small space with a bit of planning.
    Yeah I have removed all clutter and have it really setup nicely. I can fit one, I think, but it might be an eyesore coming off the wall a bit.
    What do you think is the smallest size table saw that could get the job done?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by John Serna View Post
    Yeah I have removed all clutter and have it really setup nicely. I can fit one, I think, but it might be an eyesore coming off the wall a bit.
    What do you think is the smallest size table saw that could get the job done?
    If your shop is a one car garage and you may have to store a car in there, you need to find a different hobby, or somewhere else to do it. I know, itís hard.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    426
    Scribe, pencil or chalk line as a guide, saw proud of the mark, and hand plane it straight and to the mark. Marking gauges are good at working off a factory edge to mark a parallel line for ripping, but sawing proud and planing to finished dimension are the rules of the day in hand tools. The better you get at sawing a straight line, the less proud of the line you need to saw, and the less planing to finished dimension you need to do. I've seen a lot of good antique furniture, where if you look inside, the hidden edges were left rough, especially around drawers, etc. And I've never once questioned the pride, effort or skill of the maker for it.

    That said, my two car garage housed two large vehicles most every night for well over twenty years, and still had room for a 1990's Unisaw with 52" Unifence and router table extension, on a mobile base along the back wall, parked in front of a minivan or SUV.

    The other vehicle was my F250 Super Duty crew cab pickup, which I pulled up to touch a board I nailed on the back wall, and had to set the parking brake against it to ensure it did not roll back and block the overhead door closing, even if in 'Park'. And you could not get in or out of the passenger side doors of the truck while it was in the garage. There was room for shelving and lawn equipment along the sidewall beside the truck.

    Get creative. You'd be surprised how much space you have if you plan accordingly and are willing to move stuff around to use it.

    Now I'm retired, and my truck is parked in a new parking space I had poured outside. I have more machines and benches in it's place. Casters or mobile bases are the rule, not the exception. I still have to back the wife's SUV out and move machines/benches around to get much of anything done.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy D Jones View Post
    Scribe, pencil or chalk line as a guide, saw proud of the mark, and hand plane it straight and to the mark. Marking gauges are good at working off a factory edge to mark a parallel line for ripping, but sawing proud and planing to finished dimension are the rules of the day in hand tools. The better you get at sawing a straight line, the less proud of the line you need to saw, and the less planing to finished dimension you need to do. I've seen a lot of good antique furniture, where if you look inside, the hidden edges were left rough, especially around drawers, etc. And I've never once questioned the pride, effort or skill of the maker for it.

    Awesome, thank you. I might just go with that for now since I have those tools and don't mind the work at all. I actually find it very relaxing and meditative using hand tools.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    If your shop is a one car garage and you may have to store a car in there, you need to find a different hobby, or somewhere else to do it. I know, itís hard.
    Growing up, our shop was in one bay of a garage shared with a Plymouth Valiant. We had a contractor style table saw, bandsaw, 48" belt/disc sander, 6" jointer, drill press, small shaper (all 60s and 70s vintage Craftsman), two workbenches, and a wood stove. Glue and finishes were stored inside in the winter.

    It can be done, but it can be frustrating. Everything just fit in its place to allow the car to come inside. The most frustrating part was always having to put all the equipment back so the car could go back in. In the summer it wasn't so bad, as the car could sleep outside, but in the winter my mother was pretty insistent that the car go back in at night. Still it was better than not being able to do woodworking.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    Growing up, our shop was in one bay of a garage shared with a Plymouth Valiant. We had a contractor style table saw, bandsaw, 48" belt/disc sander, 6" jointer, drill press, small shaper (all 60s and 70s vintage Craftsman), two workbenches, and a wood stove. Glue and finishes were stored inside in the winter.

    It can be done, but it can be frustrating. Everything just fit in its place to allow the car to come inside. The most frustrating part was always having to put all the equipment back so the car could go back in. In the summer it wasn't so bad, as the car could sleep outside, but in the winter my mother was pretty insistent that the car go back in at night. Still it was better than not being able to do woodworking.
    Exactly. Good attitude. Giving up isn't even an option. I can't believe someone suggested that.
    My garage is oversized, so it's a bit larger than a standard 1 car, too.

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