Hunting for a good Table Saw... - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 148 Old 02-27-2014, 01:13 AM
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I may be the cheapest guy here, but I like a tape measure, a skillsaw, some square stock and a couple of c clamps. Perfect everytime. Also, I use my dads radial arm saw whenever I can, it's my favorite saw of all time, and in 13 years have yet to have any issues. I just can't afford one!
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post #92 of 148 Old 02-27-2014, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koturban View Post

Seems like a lot of work. Why not just get a decent contractor saw, take off the legs and build it into table?

Like this:


An extended table like that makes a table saw a joy to use, with full sheets of plywood. smile.gif

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post #93 of 148 Old 03-04-2014, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDean View Post

I glanced at this saw on display Saturay. I didn't pay much attention b/c I was in a hurry, but if someone was in the market for a $600 table saw, I'd probably give this a thorough consideration. It has some decent specs for a saw in the price range.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_510897-52010-36-725_0__?productId=50081568&Ntt=delta+table+saw&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Ddelta%2Btable%2Bsaw&facetInfo=
Without researching the fine details, I'm not sure how good this one is, but I too paused when I was on my way out from Lowe. Not tiny like a portable, but also not a giant contractor saw. Quite ample work surface and a good usable width on the right rip.
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post #94 of 148 Old 03-04-2014, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

An extended table like that makes a table saw a joy to use, with full sheets of plywood. smile.gif

No doubt that would be the ideal way to go. For those of us with garages that pose double duty; it doesn't work that well.

That's one thing I love about my Ridgid TS. The granite top resists warping, it's built like a tank, and has a really neat built in lift that allows you to move it around the shop.

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post #95 of 148 Old 03-04-2014, 12:19 PM
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The biggest thing to look for in a good table saw is the right fence, all those contractor saws come with a cheap fences that clamp on both ends are not consistent at making straight rips. If you get a contractor saw, make sure it has an upgraded t square fence, like pictured here


Personally, I will only use cabinet saw, once you have had one with a large table, it is hard to work with anything else afterwards.
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post #96 of 148 Old 03-04-2014, 12:25 PM
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Well, people don't get the small budget saws because they would rather it over the big cabinet saw with a big table, it's because they don't have space and/or can't afford it :P
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post #97 of 148 Old 03-04-2014, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armystud0911 View Post

The biggest thing to look for in a good table saw is the right fence, all those contractor saws come with a cheap fences that clamp on both ends are not consistent at making straight rips. If you get a contractor saw, make sure it has an upgraded t square fence, like pictured here


Personally, I will only use cabinet saw, once you have had one with a large table, it is hard to work with anything else afterwards.

Exactly all of this, but I do understand most people have to make compromises.
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post #98 of 148 Old 03-05-2014, 05:49 PM
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This company offers some interesting alternatives to the tablesaw or track-saw.

http://www.torontotool.com/

No affiliation or experience with these products (but I am covertly trying to stimulate the Canadian economy).
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post #99 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhryshko View Post

This company offers some interesting alternatives to the tablesaw or track-saw.

http://www.torontotool.com/

No affiliation or experience with these products (but I am covertly trying to stimulate the Canadian economy).

Wow, those are some very innovative ways of replacing the need for a table saw, (and miter saw, ect...), but, the price is, for me at least, a little too much. If I could get one of these in the $175 to $250 price range, then I might be more inclined to purchase one of those.

On another note, do any of you guys have any experience with the Kreg circular saw guide that Lowes carries for like $39? It looks to be a pretty good guide, and should be great for ripping large sheets of plywood. Any opinions on that?
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post #100 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 07:23 AM
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My replacement for my table saw, track saw, and router (mostly) - smile.gif

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post #101 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

My replacement for my table saw, track saw, and router (mostly) - smile.gif


Details??

That thing looks awesome, what ever it is!
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post #102 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 07:47 AM
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Yes, I would like to know more about the router too
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post #103 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

My replacement for my table saw, track saw, and router (mostly) - smile.gif


That's awesome Gorilla!

Man, I wish I had a CNC machine.....you lucky SOB biggrin.gif
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post #104 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 07:56 AM
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How much does a decent CNC setup cost? I would absolutely love to have access to one of those! Maybe once the wife graduates Law School in May and starts working full time. In the mean time, I will set here and drool over yours!
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post #105 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 08:19 AM
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Depends on which one you want and what size. 4'x8' decent machine around $13k give or take depending on features/brand/etc.

So yeah let's hear the details on the one above. I've priced CNC plasma tables in the past, which can also accept a router head, though I could never pull the trigger.
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post #106 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 08:44 AM
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I'm running a 4x8 (full size) Shopbot Alpha machine with Colombo 5HP 3 phase spindle, vacuum hold down setup (DIY), dust collection with cyclone, and variable speed control. It's probably way more (understatement) than I need as a hobbyist, but just like anything audio related it's nice to have some "headroom" with cutting speeds, forces, etc. I picked this up (my second machine) about 5-6 weeks back and still getting it set up. As John said the prices are all over the place from 1k for an entry level desktop machine to 250K+ for a multi-axis 'heavy iron' production setup cutting at very high speeds. My machine is considered 'higher end light productionl' and retails for about 22k new. As an example I can cut 3/4 ply in full passes at about 5-6 inches per second with decent edge quality. For 'higher end' cabinet work I might slow it down a bit to 3-4 IPS using a 3/8" compression bit. Very fun/cool stuff indeed!

At the moment I'm actually using the machine to build an enclosure for my DIY vacuum motor setup and DIY dust collection/cyclone:



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post #107 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 10:04 AM
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Man don't stop there.

What was your first machine?
Why did you swap to this one?
What software are you using?

Sorry tools and machinery are my real hobby, er...addiction
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post #108 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnDean View Post

Man don't stop there.

What was your first machine?
Why did you swap to this one?
What software are you using?

Sorry tools and machinery are my real hobby, er...addiction

I'm happy to talk more details - hopefully not derailing too much from the thread. smile.gif

My first machine, a Probotix V90 12"x18" desktop, I picked up last summer mostly to learn the software and to get familiar with toolpathing and the overall process. It used a basic leadscrew design on all 3 axis, and a small Dewalt 1HP router with precision collets. It was really fun to get started, but as you can see from the size I was very limited to the size and speed of projects I could work on.

Honestly up until a few months ago I was 100% planning to build my own machine. I had done months of research and was very set on what I wanted to accomplish. I had spoken with a few local guys who had turned me onto the 'shopbot community' - a place much like AVS here where lots of learning can occur. From there I had come across a local custom kitchen shop that was selling my (future) machine. They had used it mainly for prototypes and such and was in very good condition with all the bells and whistles I wanted to ad. I wouldn't be able to build the machine for what I paid for it, and resale on a namebrand is always much better than a DIY version - much like the audio world. This hobby has become very rewarding, yet addicting, and I'm sure somewhere down the line I'll be upgrading again. tongue.gif I'll have fun in the process though and have already lined up a few paying jobs to help some friends and local shops out.

More on my shopbot - It's a 4 axis machine with 2 NEMA34 motors on the X, and single motors on Y and Z. It uses rack and pinion motion control along with v-rails to glide everything along. The alpha systems use a closed loop feedback motor control system which keeps tabs on positioning and provides feedback constantly in the event of any missed steps. The table also has proximity switches on all corners that keep movement in check. My colombo spindle is switched on/off through the shopbot control box which is cool since it will shut it down automatically when the job is finished. The next step is integrate speed control from my Variable frequency drive into the shopbot control software. Speaking of - I use a Yaskawa V1000 VFD to power and control my spindle. It's a single phase input unit with 3 phase output with a continuous 5HP rating. It was a bear to comprehend all the wiring and programming, but well worth it.

Vacuum hold down - My machine came with a beast of a vac hold down pump - a 15HP, 3 phase, 400lb monster that generates close to 14-15" HG and 350+ cfm. Unfortunately even with a phase converter this thing would need a 90-100amp (single phase) line of it's own to power it which was well beyond my current means and my shop's capability. With a bit of research and help from the guys over at SB forum, I've decided to make my own enclosure housing a combination of 4 X 240V single phase pumps which are very popular and commonly used for this purpose. All said and done I should be left with 10+hg and 400+cfm hold down capability which should be far more than 'adequate' for holding down all but the tiniest pieces. As far as the actual vacuum plenum - it's separated into four individual, valved zones that can be opened/closed as hold down in needed in each 2x4 foot area. A vacuum gauge is used to provide indication of how much hold down power is being utilized.

Software

CAD/CAM - I use Vectric Aspire 4.0 for the majority of my drawing and toolpathing. This software is AWESOME and is very easy to learn and use. Most of the tutorials are available on their site for free and the trial version can be downloaded which has full functionality minus the export capability to start cutting.

Control - My old machine used Mach3 control software. I found this package had a fairly steep learning curve, but it's cheap, has lots of tweaking ability with inputs/outputs, and is very effective overall. Another downside is you had to use a parallel port to control it which means you are stuck with an older XP based PC or something with an adapted control card. Ugh. My shopbot uses it's own proprietary software which is FAR easier to use and works very well, but obviously you are limited to running it with a shopbot control box. It also allows me to use a Windows 8 based PC with USB support - WIN! If I were to build my own machine now (which I may in the future), I would be using shopbot electronics for sure.

I'd be happy to share more with you guys for any interest you may have. I've got hundreds of hours of research in the last year or so. smile.gif Maybe we should start a new thread for CNC users or interest?? smile.gif
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post #109 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 01:52 PM
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Added some more info above, hopefully not too verbose for you guys. smile.gif Would be happy to start another thread - probably a good idea anyway. tongue.gif


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post #110 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 01:53 PM
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Only problem with those CNC machines is that you have to have time to program them and get them tweaked for a job, if you are doing several of something it could come in handy right away, for a lot of DIY'ers, we do our projects once and then move onto something else. I'd love to get my hands on one someday if those folks with your machines sell them for cheaper, then the folks that buy them used sell them and the folks that buy them after that want to sell them to me as long as they are still working at that point.
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post #111 of 148 Old 03-06-2014, 07:28 PM
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Just to add my $.02... I have a Craftsman Contractor, that with the right blade cuts wood like butter. However, it is too big to store away. I recently bought the Rigid portable, it gets great reviews and a lifetime warranty from Rigid. There are breakdown tables for tables that you could build like the one below. For anyone worried about losing a finger, there's always the Stop Saw. Very expensive, but the most safe saw you can get....

I would also like to point out that the blade can make or break any saw. I have found the Freud Diablo thin kerf to be an awesome blade. I cut through one of my aluminum ladders without even realizing it using one. They make any saw perform better.
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post #112 of 148 Old 03-07-2014, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armystud0911 View Post

Only problem with those CNC machines is that you have to have time to program them and get them tweaked for a job, if you are doing several of something it could come in handy right away, for a lot of DIY'ers, we do our projects once and then move onto something else. I'd love to get my hands on one someday if those folks with your machines sell them for cheaper, then the folks that buy them used sell them and the folks that buy them after that want to sell them to me as long as they are still working at that point.

I've found that once I have a template to work with, most of the stuff can be scaled and toolpath templates can be applied. Also, if one if proficient in something like google sketchup, the components can be easily be exported as DXF's into a CAM program and cutting can begin. smile.gif

Another option for you guys looking for tablesaw alternatives is something like a universal work center/work station. For those not familiar check out this:

http://www.eurekazone.com/product_p/ezt1000.htm

Effectively replaces a table saw, router table (with attachments), miter saw, radial arm saw, etc:

I have one of these as well in addition to a few of their track saw and rip setups - they often have auctions on ebay for very heavy discounts. smile.gif


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post #113 of 148 Old 03-07-2014, 12:40 PM
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Hi Gorilla:

Too bad you don't live closer, I would want to be your best friend. I've got a couple of designs in the works in Sketchup, every piece a separate component.

It would be SO NICE just to be able to export DXF files and have them cut accurately and painlessly; even if only those with bevel cuts that I know are going to be challenging....I almost wouldn't care what it would cost, within reason.

Jack
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post #114 of 148 Old 05-27-2014, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Just FYI... I ended up buying the Dewalt DWE7490X table saw. I would use the saw rarely and i figured the folding scissors stand would be enough...

That was a mistake on my part... The saw is a real pain to assemble and disassemble. I should have bought the DWE7491RS (with the rolling stand). I ended up buying the Dewalt rolling stand separately. The nice thing is the saw assembly can be removed from the older rolling stand by a couple of clips (the new stand in the 7491RS is permanently mounted to the saw). Because the saw can be removed from the older stand, i can transport the saw in my car. The newer one is too big, so it's not a total loss.

PS... if anyone buys the stand, they have to buy four longer bolts to attach the saw as the supplied bolts are 1/4" too short.

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post #115 of 148 Old 05-28-2014, 08:51 PM
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Congrats on finally buying a saw!

No one had mentioned the Ron Paulk 'Ultimate Workbench' yet so I thought I would chime in. He designed a portable bench system that you build yourself (he sells the plans) and can accept a portable table-saw. You can check out the article here: http://www.thisiscarpentry.com/2011/09/09/the-ultimate-work-bench/ It's pretty amazing, and seems like a great fit for your small workshop.

(Image borrowed from the Lumberjocks website...)

I went the Festool route for similar small-workshop reasons and have been really happy. I just built my first subs and had to buy the Festool 'parallel guides' to be able to make repeatable square cuts, and they worked great. I also used my router with same guides to make dadoes for the internal supports, and I found it much easier than when I have done it on a tablesaw.

Have fun!

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post #116 of 148 Old 05-29-2014, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Question on use of table saws... I keep reading about not using the fence as a guide when crosscutting wood because of the danger of kickback... What about when you cut plywood or MDF? Is that an issue? Inquiring minds want to know...

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post #117 of 148 Old 05-29-2014, 04:14 PM
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The issue is the piece wide enough to keep it stably against the fence w/o tipping.

Not sure it's considered kosher but sometimes I crosscut narrow pieces using the fence to set the distance but also using the miter gauge (hopefully between the fence and the blade) to keep it square.

Noah
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post #118 of 148 Old 05-29-2014, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

The issue is the piece wide enough to keep it stably against the fence w/o tipping.

Not sure it's considered kosher but sometimes I crosscut narrow pieces using the fence to set the distance but also using the miter gauge (hopefully between the fence and the blade) to keep it square.

You should never crosscut a piece that is wider than it is long/deep using the rip fence as there is a big risk of kickback even when using a miter gauge. If you need to use the fence to set the width. Clamp an additional piece of stock to the back of the fence 3-4 inches long and set your width to that; then by the time the wood meets the blade the stock is no longer touching the rip fence.

One of the first things I made when I got my tablesaw was a crosscut sled. It is much safer and more accurate than trying to use a miter gauge for crosscuts.
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post #119 of 148 Old 05-29-2014, 08:02 PM
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You should never crosscut a piece that is wider than it is long/deep using the rip fence as there is a big risk of kickback even when using a miter gauge. If you need to use the fence to set the width. Clamp an additional piece of stock to the back of the fence 3-4 inches long and set your width to that; then by the time the wood meets the blade the stock is no longer touching the rip fence.

One of the first things I made when I got my tablesaw was a crosscut sled. It is much safer and more accurate than trying to use a miter gauge for crosscuts.

This, my crosscut sled is definitely the most used table saw accessory I have. It gets used on basically every project.
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post #120 of 148 Old 05-30-2014, 06:55 AM
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Can anyone here recommend a good track for a typical circular saw? I would really like to have a way to rip down big sheets of MDF and plywood that would otherwise be too big for my table saw. I can't afford the Tracksaws, so can anyone recommend a good track or saw guide for under $150?
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