Author Topic: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?  (Read 1075 times)

thesvenster

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Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« on: July 10, 2017, 10:19:07 AM »
I"m in the market for a table saw for personal use. I'm planning on building most of our house's furniture over the next few years. What's an affordable option? I was thinking De Walt.  I'll want something that has options for things like dado blades etc.

Also, what are some other woodworking tools I should consider getting?

lthenderson

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 12:52:26 PM »
I have built most of the furniture in my current house and past houses, including cabinetry. As far as major tools go, I would recommend the following in roughly the following order

1. Good circular saw for breaking down pieces of plywood to size.
2. Table saw
3. Miter saw
4. Router
5. Planar
6. Bandsaw
7. Jointer

The first two I consider mandatory. You can build almost anything with the first four items with access to lumber with finished faces. When you start getting into rough cut stuff, then items 5 thru 7 come into play.

Recommending actual types of tablesaws is a much harder question because it depends on how much you plan on using it past the furniture in your house, how much room you have for said equipment and how much time you want to spend making jigs. I have a 30 year old Skilsaw contractor type table saw. It is very rudimentary on features but I have probably a dozen or more jigs that I have built over the years to make it more versatile. I like it because it is light and portable and I can slide it under my workbench when not in use since it shares space with two cars in my garage. I would love to have a cabinet table saw but just don't have the room. It isn't fancy but it can make fine furniture just like tablesaws twenty times more expensive.

thesvenster

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 03:33:52 PM »
I have built most of the furniture in my current house and past houses, including cabinetry. As far as major tools go, I would recommend the following in roughly the following order

1. Good circular saw for breaking down pieces of plywood to size.
2. Table saw
3. Miter saw
4. Router
5. Planar
6. Bandsaw
7. Jointer

The first two I consider mandatory. You can build almost anything with the first four items with access to lumber with finished faces. When you start getting into rough cut stuff, then items 5 thru 7 come into play.

Recommending actual types of tablesaws is a much harder question because it depends on how much you plan on using it past the furniture in your house, how much room you have for said equipment and how much time you want to spend making jigs. I have a 30 year old Skilsaw contractor type table saw. It is very rudimentary on features but I have probably a dozen or more jigs that I have built over the years to make it more versatile. I like it because it is light and portable and I can slide it under my workbench when not in use since it shares space with two cars in my garage. I would love to have a cabinet table saw but just don't have the room. It isn't fancy but it can make fine furniture just like tablesaws twenty times more expensive.

Thanks for the reply.

I have a circular saw! So good there. Maybe I'll just pick up a used table saw of any brand and call it a day for now.

Uturn

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 04:10:14 PM »
I got rid of my table saw 3 years ago and have never looked back. I just found that I wasn't using enough to justify the space it takes up.  I have a decent bandsaw for long rips, and a jack plane and jointer for cleaning up the saw marks.  I know, most woodworkers run screaming for the hills when hand tools are mentioned, but think about it.  Tables saws are freaking awesome when you need to make a lot of straight repetitive cuts.  Be honest, how much does the hobby woodworker do that?  I found that once my skills got beyond craftsman or shaker style furniture, I was having to make jigs for anything off 90*.  These jigs were often made by hand.  Why not cut out the middle man and just do it by hand? 

I also found that I was breaking down sheet goods with a circular saw in order to make using the table saw easier/safer.  Again, why not cut out the middle man and just cut the sheet goods to size with the circular and a good straight edge?  When the circular saw died, I replaced it with a Makita track saw. 

If you are ripping anything more than 4/4, the bandsaw is safer than the table saw anyhow. 

Power jointer? Sold it, don't miss it.  I don't like the look or work involved in ripping a >6" board down to 6" so that it fits on the jointer, then gluing it back together.  As long as the final piece is 13" or less, all you need to do is hit it with the jack plane until one side sits flattish on the bench without rocking, then run it through the power planer. 

Miter saw?  I don't have one, but would find good use for one if it showed up on my doorstep. 

Router?  I have one, but have not used it in years.  I HATE the sound of a router bit through wood.  Besides, I've had some catches that scared the hell out of me.  I cut my daddos with a backsaw, chisel, and clean up with a router plane, I also have a plow plane.  Rabbets are done with a wooden rabbet plane.  If I were running a production shop, I would do things differently.  But let's face it, most of our projects are one-off items. 

Table saws are A way to get something done, but not THE ONLY way.  I don't miss mine at all and I love having the floor space back. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

Rocket

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 04:10:56 PM »
Dont forget dust collection like everyone does.  I started with a DeWalt job site saw when I bought my house and needed to do some cabinet work.  That lead to making furniture, so a cabinet saw, jointer/planer, bandsaw, workbench, a lot of routers, cyclone, hand planes, and so on.  Its an expensive hobby because tools are expensive and so is hardwood.  You wont be saving any money making your own furniture but its a fun hobby.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2017, 05:22:48 PM »
I got this saw two years ago and used it to build an entire kitchen full of cabinetry.  https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-4100-09-10-Inch-Worksite-Gravity-Rise/dp/B000S5S5CW

I absolutely love it, and what I love most is the cart/stand.  I'm a small-ish woman (~5'3"), but I can pull this saw out, set it up, use it and put it back without needing any help at all, which is worth a lot for those of us that are small-ish in stature.  They sell the stand separately and other saws can fit on it, but the best value at the time I got it was buying both together. 
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Mr Griz

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2017, 06:28:01 PM »
I've had a Jet "contractor" 10 inch table saw for years. I think you basically get what you pay for with the reputable brands like Dewalt, Jet, Bosch, etc.  I actually use my Dewalt compound miter saw a lot more. Just wish it had the sliding feature for wider cuts.

Fishindude

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 07:53:28 AM »
I've had a Jet "contractor" 10 inch table saw for years. I think you basically get what you pay for with the reputable brands like Dewalt, Jet, Bosch, etc.  I actually use my Dewalt compound miter saw a lot more. Just wish it had the sliding feature for wider cuts.

Pretty good advice here.
I'd want a 10" blade table saw with a high horsepower motor and a large machined steel top surface.
You want something with some "weight" to it.   Rockler has a good selection of saws too.

The table surface on many of the cheaper saws are too small for much.

lthenderson

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 08:16:27 AM »
The table surface on many of the cheaper saws are too small for much.

But are appropriate is one doesn't have much room to store a full blown cabinet saw and can easily be remedied by making a workbench the same height as your tablesaw that can be moved next to it. I have also gotten quite adept at using my circular saw with a ripping jig and a fine toothed blade to make those cuts on large objects I would just assume not have to horse around on a tablesaw.


Uturn

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2017, 08:25:08 AM »
I started with a benchtop Craftsman that I got for free.  The table was so small that larger stock wanted to tip off and quite a chore to set up roller stands to support sheet goods.
Sold that and got a Hitachi contractor saw.  Got rid of it because the miter slot was a non-standard size, preventing me from using 3rd party accessories.  Also the motor had a ton of runout, so the cuts were not accurate enough for furniture.  I gave that one away and still felt like I ripped the guy off.
Picked up a Steel City cabinet saw before they went out of business.  It was a great saw.

Things to look for
10" blade.  8" is too small and usually have low power motors.  12" is for specific commercial operations and the blades are expensive
36" top.  The 52" just take up too much room for a hobbyist shop. 
Contractor saws are lighter and cheaper, but dust collection sucks at best. 
Arbor lengths vary.  A 5/8" arbor is not going to hold a 3/4" dado stack
A good blade on a cheap saw is better than a cheap blade on a good saw.

Dust collection!  It is more than just a luxury.  Cleaner shop, cleaner house, cleaner lungs. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

Mr Griz

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2017, 09:45:04 AM »
I second the dust collection comment. I made a custom cabinet for my saw with a dust collection cavity and port. It's hooked to a Rockler collector.

thesvenster

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 10:17:39 AM »
There's a Craftsman radial arm saw at the thrift store for 75$. I'm considering getting it, I understand they're popular with some wood workers.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2017, 05:46:23 PM »
I"m in the market for a table saw for personal use. I'm planning on building most of our house's furniture over the next few years. What's an affordable option? I was thinking De Walt.  I'll want something that has options for things like dado blades etc.

I have this table saw https://www.lowes.com/pd/DELTA-13-Amp-10-in-Carbide-Tipped-Table-Saw/50081568 and my FIL has this table saw https://www.lowes.com/pd/Bosch-10-in-Carbide-Tipped-Table-Saw/1208633. I've had the opportunity to use other table saws over the years. Both have served us very well (on occasion we are in the same shop and have opportunity to use the other's tools and have no complaints).

As you can see our two saws cost the same, but some some ways are very different. Mine can move about the shop and has a larger, but cannot easily leave; his can easily leave the shop, but needs jigs or additional tables to support larger items (mine does too after a point). To some extent your shop restrictions, locations you will use the saw, and what you will do most often with it will determine what you buy. I can say with both or our saws we have managed to make many nice things . . . it tends to come down to the user.

Well the user and setup; if you can get the blade square to the table, the splitter/riving knife aligned with the blade, and the fence parallel to the blade you will be limited only by 3 things; the blade size, the saw power, and your setup. Of course a 200 dollar saw will wear out faster than a 2,500 dollar saw.

With an unlimited budget, I would love to have a 5 horsepower 3-phase cabinet saw bolted down to a concrete slab as opposed to my saw on 5/8 plywood over the garage. Good lord was that thing silky smooth.

One last tip: high quality and sharp blades PERIOD. The most dangerous tool in the shop is a dull tool.

Quote
Also, what are some other woodworking tools I should consider getting?

I am sure you will hear the other shop tools, but I will say the unsexy "tools" for your health. I have a dust collector with 4 inch hoses (low pressure and high flow) for tools that have a 4 inch dust port or can be modified to take a 4 inch port, which is back up by a shop vac with a cyclone (low flow and high pressure) for those tools that it is not practical or possible to modify with a 4 inch port, I also run an air cleaner that is appropriately sized to my shop to filter dust as it makes it into that air, and I back all of that up with a 3m 7500 series 1/2 face respirator with N/P100 filters for when I am actively using a high dust producing tool.

On the subject of dust, I would love to have my shop in the basement of the house, where the prior owners had maintained one form of shop or another for at least 25 years before I moved in, but a shop connected to the living space is just asking for dust problems. So, I have moved my shop for the cool-year-round basement to the a fan-will-have-to-do in the summer space over the garage. Less dust in the house and healthier air is a no brainer. What I am saying is a dedicated shop space that is isolated from the house is a must (for me) if the shop will be used with any degree of regularity (I can deal with a mess house or rooms with there is a project in those rooms).

Also invest in hearing and eye protection, not just ok protection, but high quality glasses and plugs/muffs that you don't mind wearing for hours on end in your shop (whatever the conditions may be); the fewer times you are compelled to take them off the less likely you are to make "just one more cut" without them that happens to be THE cut.

There's a Craftsman radial arm saw at the thrift store for 75$. I'm considering getting it, I understand they're popular with some wood workers.

Let's say they are polarizing. I know people who love them and others that hate them; I personally prefer a table saw and a sliding miter saw. If you do get one I recommend looking into a negative rake angle blade for it; that should reduce the tendency some of them have to want to pull across the wood. If I had unlimited space in my shop (or maybe just more space) I would put one back in the shop and a dedicated crosscut dado rig. But, for ripping I prefer my table saw and for crosscuts I prefer my compound sliding miter or a sled on the table saw.

hoosier

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2017, 06:33:43 AM »
The tablesaw is the workhorse in the shop, so if you're going to spend on quality, spend it here.  I use the crap out of mine for ripping and crosscutting on a homemade sled.  I have the sled adjusted so that it is extremely accurate and I can cut 20"+ widths.

Honestly, I would stay away from something brand new and look for some old iron.  If you're patient they can be found on CL for reasonable prices and you'll get a lot more saw than anything you'll find in a box store.

I bought an old-ish Delta contractor saw.  I don't know why this thing is called a contractor saw because it weighs about 400lbs and takes two men and a boy to move it.  It had a great fence included.  After some fine tuning of the angle stops and getting the miter slot, blade, and fence perfectly parallel and putting a high quality Freud blade on it, it works better than I really need it to. 

As for other tools, these are things I absolutely can't do without:

Cordless drill
Impact driver
5" random orbit sander
Circular saw.  Make sure you upgrade to a good blade.
Jigsaw at a minimum, but a bandsaw is great too.
Full size router.

If you have these tools, there isn't a lot you can't make.

Nice have's:

Pocket hole jig.  They're so easy and make a very strong joint.  Purists may scoff, but whatever.
Planer.


thesvenster

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2017, 10:10:28 AM »
Thanks for all the replies everyone!

I ended up getting the radial arm saw for $75 so it looks like that will be my go to tool.  Don't worry, I'll be watching every video I can about safely using this thing.

BTW wow are those old tools heavy. Hard to move but I think it's going to be a rock once it gets into position.

J Boogie

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Re: Table saw recommendations (and wood working tools)?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2017, 12:39:59 PM »
I plan on getting a jobsite sawstop.  Yeah, it's like 1200, but it's a cheap lifetime insurance policy for your fingers.

Still gotta watch out for kickback though.

Bosch Reaxx does the same thing, but isn't as good. 

Since this is the MMM forum, I imagine no one here will buy it.  In that case, take your safety VERY seriously with all woodworking tools but especially the table saw.  I've gotten lucky a few times practicing unsafe techniques and I recognize I was quite close to serious injury.

If you are holding your breath and white knuckling it, take a break and re-think what you're doing.  See if you can find a safer way.

I use a track saw for many operations, they are very safe.