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Thread: Slider Table Saws to consider?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Alaska
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    531

    Slider Table Saws to consider?

    I had planned to keep using my Unisaw till I move into a new home/shop where my initial thoughts were to buy one of the traditional slider type saws with a modest footprint. COVID-19 has the world upside down right now, and my building plans are on hold.

    I have outgrown the capabilities of my 3hp, right tilt unisaw and thought I would add a sliding attachment to gain some precision and/or capabilities to it for the time being. Well that plan turned into a royal PITA, as I build a mobile base for saw, and the outfeed table is built into the mobile base, and is also attached to the Incra fence rails. All that will need to be heavily modified, or simply redone. It would be better to just sell this setup and start over with something new.

    So the above got me thinking about buying a new cabinet saw with a slider attachment, thinking the Euro type sliders were much more costly. For some reason or other, I assumed the sliders were in the +10k range. Now I see they are in the same price range as the cabinet saw setup I'm looking at, 5K-7K.

    I think one of the short stroke machines will fit in my garage and not take up more space than my current setup, especially considering the Incra fence, TS Sleds, Miter gauges, Taper jigs and all the other stuff I've build that goes away. The MinMax SC2C, Felder K500 or Hammer K3 Winner all take up the max footprint I could accommodate.

    I'm only just now starting to seriously look into these machines. Frankly, I've never operated one, so this is kind of a new journey. I don't know what I don't know at this point.... Anything I should be aware of? Are there other manufactures I should be looking at?

    I have a pretty random need for tools/machines. I break down sheet goods with a track saw, usually, then do a final rip on the TS. I prefer to work with hardwoods verse sheet goods, but do end up working with both.

    Freight to my location will also be a big issue, and may drive my final machine choice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Waterford, PA
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    Mike, I took the journey you're looking at now. I too, needed to move on from my big 3 hp traditional style cabinet saw. I too, looked at sliding attachments and came to the same conclusion. After lots of coaching and help from all great people here on SMC , I was able to determine a short stroke slider would fit in my shop and would fit my needs. I took the plunge, and chose to order the SC2C from Minimax, though I purchased it through a dealer.

    It was delivered in July and I couldn't be happier with it. You will have to learn to approach cuts differently, as that it just how a slider is. I probably do well over 95% of my cuts with the wagon and the remainder with the fence to the right of the blade. Once you get used to it, you'll wonder why you waited so long.

    Hammer was a close second when I had narrowed down my choices, but I felt I wanted a few of the features available on the SC2C.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    Yes, you’ll love having a slider.

    I have the Hammer B3 Winner with the 1250mm sliding table which will crosscut a sheet of plywood, mine also has an outrigger, and a tilting spindle shaper with flip up power feeder.

    That’s the nice thing about Felder/Hammer, you can have the exact machine you want built for you.

    I would never go back to a cabinet saw……Regards, Rod.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    I owned a short stroke Griggio when I was in business. My advice is that if you have a lot of jigs and fixtures for you present tablesaw, DON'T sell it. Shoving a huge slider to cut tiny pieces of stock is not fun. There were no table slots in the Griggio and not in the Minimax combo I have now. Also make sure the machine you narrow down to, has a very accurate way to relocate the crosscut fence. Many of the lower end fences need to be checked every time you put it back on.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 12-23-2021 at 6:50 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Any of the machines you mention would be a fine addition to your shop and honestly, there is both good about them and bad about them relative to converting over from a cabinet saw. On the good side, the short stroke machine are a lot easier to use like a cabinet saw for some operations. That can help one be more comfortable with the idea while learning to reap the benefits. On the bad side, there's less pressure to "change one's ways" and that could delay reaping the benefits.

    I'm eyeing an SC-3C for when I get a new shop building up. For the majority of the work I do, the shorter wagon will provide everything I need and it will be a few shekels less money than getting another 8'6" slider like I had in my old shop. (I sold it prior to moving here because I didn't want to move it twice and pay for storage for as much as a year...it would not fit in my temporary shop space) If I happen to need to rip a piece of sheet goods, like you mentioned, I can just pull out my track saw. But that's not something I even do very often and it's hard for me to lift the stuff up on a table saw of any kind at this point. I could probably be fine with the SC-2C for the majority of the work, but the packaging of the SC-3C is more favorable as it includes as standard a number of things that I do not want to give up or pay a lot of extra money for.

    Like anything, supply chain is going to affect any kind of decision on machines like this right now...for equivalent functionality (assuming similar specifications and configurations), the one that can ship sooner gives it an edge for a buy. You do bring up a good point relative to freight, however, given your location "beyond the great white north".

    There have been many threads, BTW, about the "why" around true sliders. Hopefully, you've found some of them and have benefitted from the dialog.
    --

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    8,388
    Hi Michael

    The first question I would ask is what you plan to cut - 4x8 sheets or solid wood? If the latter, you can get a short stroke slider and keep it simple. If the former, then you are into long wagons plus scoring blades.

    I am a hobbiest working solid wood only - and very happy with a Hammer K3 and 1250 wagon (it cuts about 1350) and without a scoring blade.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
    Good info above. I noticed you mentioned max footprint...if space is in short supply, you'll want to consider the throw of any slider you buy. Also, some brands require the wagon to be at the extreme edge of it's stroke in order to make a blade change, so if you were thinking, "Well, I don't have enough space to move the wagon all the way back, but I don't need to cut stuff that big, so it's OK", well, now you know you might well need to. Check with the mfrs you're considering.

  8. #8
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Ed makes a good point about blade changing...the space to move the wagon to the extreme is requires.

    That said, someone else recently made a very astute comment in a thread (which I don't recall the specifics of) and that was relative to ripping with and without a slider wagon. And that comment pointed out (correctly) that it takes the same amount of "length space" to rip an 8' board with a true slider or with a cabinet saw. That's regardless of whether one is using a rip fence or a slider wagon. The infeed and outfeed space is the same, in general. So that means regardless of saw type, one has to accommodate work space for material handling that matches the kind of work the person does.
    --

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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Starr View Post
    ... but I felt I wanted a few of the features available on the SC2C.
    What features of the SCM tipped the scales for you?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
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    Malcolm, The scoring unit being part of the base package rather than an add on was the biggest one. I also liked the idea of working with a dealer. They could check the availability of various configurations I was considering and advise me on the various available upgrades. In the end, the unit I chose was going to be available in just a couple of weeks, though that wasn't a deciding factor, just a bonus.

  11. #11
    Scoring is common on most configurations of the K3 that we bring into the US, BTW. Also, any Felder USA sales rep can can tell anyone, with total certainty, exactly what is available and approximately when it will be here, on any machine in our production pipeline. We all receive email updates with this information several times per week or even daily.

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  12. #12
    Michael,

    I owned a short stroke sliding table saw for 15 years that could crosscut a sheet good. Before that I had many cabinet saws in my home shop and when I was making custom doors in a local shop as a kid. I will never go back to a cabinet saw.

    I feel that the safety conversation around a Saw Stop saw is flawed in many ways, and I find a sliding table saw safer overall because of where you stand 90% of the time while you operate it.

    I agree with Richard. If the saw you select does not have a "t-slot" in the slider, I would select a saw that did. Using a Fritz and Franz jig on the slider adds significantly to the safety I was talking about earlier.

    I just upgraded to a dream saw. It has a 10' slider.

    Before you bash the size issue. I have a 20'x20' shop. I live in a warmer climate, so I can back the saw's sliding table right against the garage door. If I need to use the stroke on the saw, I can open up the garage door and I have no issues at all. I have a ton of machines in the shop and I make it work.

    I am a Felder/Hammer fan. But I also like the SCM group stuff too.

    For a home, first sliding table saw, I would buy:

    -A single phase machine - much better resale
    -The longest sliding table you can afford - a 9' slider makes sheet goods and straight line ripping a breeze!
    -An outrigger table - budget willing
    -Scoring if you do a ton of sheetgoods.
    -You may be able to pick a smaller "rip" width on the saw because the functionality is different - that may make the saw footprint smaller than a 52" rip cabinet saw
    -Now this is a luxury, but an over arm dust 'hood' makes for more joy in the shop

    I found an amazing deal on a gently used newer model saw.

    DO IT!

    PK
    PKwoodworking

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Gatineau, Québec
    Posts
    225
    Michael,

    Having received a new Hammer B3 slider (saw and spindle) about three months ago, here are a few general comments that complement the feedback you already received.

    - my new slider has the same rip capacity (48+ inches to the right of the blade) than my old cabinet saw (3 hp - left tilt), yet it takes about 12 inches less space to the left of the blade;

    - I had installed a "wood extension" (a piece of oak bolted to the side of the left wing) on my cabinet saw that was meant to support the crosscut sled. This "extension" stuck out about 20 inches in front of the saw. My slider has a 2 meter (80 inches) carriage and the beam extends about 16 inches, so not much difference in terms of space;

    - the other end of the beam sticks out about 12 inches and does not pose a problem for me since it provides more support in terms of outfeed (it also works well for other functions, as I have a saw-spindle machine)

    - the carriage is a great feature for me; it not only does most of the work in terms of moving the wood into the blade but also provides an extremely easy way to produce a straight line cut on any piece of wood;

    - I love the fact that my hands are away from the spinning blade and that I am never in the trajectory of a possible kickback;

    - When going the european slider way, one has to "unlearn" a few things, but as Jim said earlier it is a good opportunity rather than a hinderance (in my view);

    - The ability to easily produce square cuts continues to impress me. Yes I do have to handle the outrigger table but I find it easier to do than moving around the large crosscut plywood table I had before. The new steel table is easier to handle and takes less space to store.

    Although it is still a recent change I am convinced that I would never go back to a traditional cabinet saw.

    With regards to freight, I would suspect (and hope) that the price differential between a crate containing a cabinet saw and one containing a slider would not be huge. Both scenarios involve bulky, heavy items. But, I have been wrong before .

    You are asking yourself the right questions and members in this forum have a lot of knowledge to contribute - continue to take advantage of this.


    Regards,

    Jacques

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    531
    Thanks for all the input. And I'm working on a list of questions for you Lisa.

    Regarding space needs, my garage is a two car space that's roughly 26' square, and I need to move all the machines to one side in the summer months when one of my cars comes out of winter storage. I also need to move stuff around in the winter months so I can use one bay periodically to maintain our two other rigs. I've resisted the urge to get larger, industrial grade type machines due to this space limitation, but my TS has grown in size quite a bit anyway. Whatever I buy next, I will need to build a mobile base for it, and figure out how to incorporate an outfeed table and accessory storage.

    The next home I build will have a dedicated woodworking shop. Well, assuming the world moves on from the current lunacy and building costs come back down. My original building cost estimates were $250 per square foot, now I'm being told to budget for $400.

    The one major difference that I can see, and am muddling over, is the placement of the outfeed table and work bench(s). With my cabinet saw, the outfeed table/assembly table is directly behind the saw. The sliders will require these to be placed to the right side of the blade to accommodate the sliding table and/or wagon. And, I still need to have roughly 60" of clearance to the left side of the blade. I'm using some masking tape on the floor now to sort through this.

    I have searched many through many threads on this site and they have been helpful. I've also been surfing YouTube.

    Other than Felder/Hammer and MinMax, are there other manufactures? Grizzly? (I've not ever owned a Grizzly tool before).

    I read somewhere that these machines need to be special ordered for Dado use? Something about the standard arbor size being too short? Is that really a thing with sliders?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Gatineau, Québec
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Drew View Post
    Thanks for all the input. And I'm working on a list of questions for you Lisa.

    Regarding space needs, my garage is a two car space that's roughly 26' square, and I need to move all the machines to one side in the summer months when one of my cars comes out of winter storage. I also need to move stuff around in the winter months so I can use one bay periodically to maintain our two other rigs. I've resisted the urge to get larger, industrial grade type machines due to this space limitation, but my TS has grown in size quite a bit anyway. Whatever I buy next, I will need to build a mobile base for it, and figure out how to incorporate an outfeed table and accessory storage.

    The next home I build will have a dedicated woodworking shop. Well, assuming the world moves on from the current lunacy and building costs come back down. My original building cost estimates were $250 per square foot, now I'm being told to budget for $400.

    The one major difference that I can see, and am muddling over, is the placement of the outfeed table and work bench(s). With my cabinet saw, the outfeed table/assembly table is directly behind the saw. The sliders will require these to be placed to the right side of the blade to accommodate the sliding table and/or wagon. And, I still need to have roughly 60" of clearance to the left side of the blade. I'm using some masking tape on the floor now to sort through this.

    I have searched many through many threads on this site and they have been helpful. I've also been surfing YouTube.

    Other than Felder/Hammer and MinMax, are there other manufactures? Grizzly? (I've not ever owned a Grizzly tool before).

    I read somewhere that these machines need to be special ordered for Dado use? Something about the standard arbor size being too short? Is that really a thing with sliders?
    Michael:

    I do not know about other manufacturers, but the dado option needs to be specified at the time of order for Hammer/Felder machines.

    J.

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