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Select and buy a table saw now and start writing down your tips and tricks!  You can do so many projects, it is incredible!

Selecting your table saw

Here is my table saw.  I bought it at Sears a few years ago.  I moved it once, ugh, to our new home.  It came in a fairly compact box and required quite a bit of assembly.  It is a middle of the road machine.  I do like the cast iron table wings, they are solid.  I had to bolt them on, but during the process you flex them slightly to make them perfectly flush with the primary machine's table surface.  The core table saw is mostly preassembled.  You have to mount the motor, table wings, assemble the base, bolt on the tracks for the sliding rip fence, all this work for a machine I purchased at the retail Sears store.  There would be no more work if I had mail ordered it and saved state sales taxes (6% in my state), ah, but you cannot do this with Sears since they have retail stores all over the nation.  Sometimes the sales tax savings covers the shipping costs of these heavy machines.  Below, Northern Tool sometimes offers free shipping!

My saw is a nice Sears Craftsman with cast iron wings

This saw makes so many jobs go quickly!  In my latest shop it is in a tight spot though, so handling 4 x 8 sheets is still mostly done outside with the circular saw and two saw horses.  I mentioned, on the introductory page, I used to have a compound miter saw, but the table saw will make all compound cuts and do it on larger stock sizes as well.  Granted it takes up more area, but just being able to cut one piece of wood easily and squarely makes it all worth while.

One thing funny about my saw is that at times there is more PVC pipe dust underneath it than saw dust.  I use PVC pipe for a lot of simple projects and the saw cuts PVC very well.

I hope to make a simple gutter for the front of my shed and I think I will just use 3 inch PVC pipe and "rip" out a little less the one half of the pipe leaving me with a somewhat closed "U" shaped trough that I can screw directly below the eve of the shed.  Cutting a section out of the side of a 10 inch pipe is pretty easy on a table saw.  I do not think it would be so easy with a circular saw!  A hint is, once you start the cut put a wedge in the cut so the pipe will not pinch your blade.

Pillow Cut Out forms, what?!

My wife likes to make pillows, so what do I do as facilitator, make pillow cutting forms.  In about two minutes I take a sheet of Masonite and make a 14 inch square, perfect for her to run her rolling knife around to cut her cloth.  Without a table saw it would take a long time and probably not come out nearly as well.  Granted you could do this with a circular saw, but making a good square cut can be difficult.

Landscaping with your table saw?!

I am putting a lot of mulched borders around our raised bed garden planters.  I want to be able to mow around these planters without trimming.  So what has that got to do with a table saw?  Unusual things to cut, garden clothI need 7 inch wide strips of landscape cloth and a lot of it, 304 feet, I figure.  The cloth comes in 3 foot wide roles by 50 or 100 feet.  So what do I do?  I cut the role at a 7 inch width on my table saw!  Now I have got a 7 inch x 100 foot roll.  I can just roll it out along the edge of the bed and trim to size.  Be careful making this cut your blade can bind.  One type of landscape cloth slightly melted making it somewhat hard to unroll.  Another kind, more cloth like, cut beautifully.  You can always use a hacksaw which works OK too.

What to buy?

Buy a saw with a base, or legs, these units are heavy, mine has a lot of cast iron, you are not going to want to move these on and off a bench.  Certainly you could make your own legs.  As you use your saw you end up with a big mess underneath.  I just stick a box under mine, but saw dust still gets spread around.  Another thought is legs with lockable wheels, I wish I had wheels for mine now.

Northern Tool has a nice unit from Makita at a reasonable price.

 
 

Hope this helped,
Bob

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BHT Created: 14 Mar 2014

BHT Revised: 22 Oct 2016

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Copyright 2003-2016 Robert Matheson.  All rights reserved.  Email Bob at BobsHowTo.com - . 

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