50" vs 30" fence for a table saw

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I am in the process of purchasing a table saw. It was highly recommended to me to get the 50" fence option. However, this puts the overall width of the saw at about 80". I have limited space, but could make this fit if needed. Is what is gained by going with the 50" fence really worth dealing with the cramped quarters?
Any advice appreciated.
TIA, Howard
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You get to cut a 4 x 8 sheet in half. That's about it.
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Howard Swope wrote:
> Is what is gained by going with the 50" fence really worth dealing with the > cramped quarters?
A 50" fence allows you to cut 48"W x 96L ply sheets directly to any width.
A 30" fence requires you to cut 48"W x 96L ply sheets indirectly to any width. (ie: need a 32"W piece, you cut a 15-7/8" piece and the remainder is the 32" piece)
You make the call.
BTW, IMHO, run out tables are more useful than a 50" fence.
Lew
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How often have you needed to cut 50"? Or more than 30'? If I had the space I'd go for the larger one, but I don't and get by. Maybe once or twice a year I wish I had the larger one but IMO, it is not worth the extra space it takes up.
If, however, you are using a lot of sheet goods, it may be worth it for you. I've never brought home a full sheet of plywood that was not already cut down.
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Its like getting your first nail gun, once you have it you wonder how you did with out it. I just got my 6th first nail gun. ;~) Besides the obvious I very often cut cabinet doors that are way longer than 30 inches long.
Think of the 50"er this way,
The saw ends up being only 20" longer than a little ole 30"er.
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On Tue, 22 May 2007 04:03:04 GMT, "Leon"

Damn! Now I have to order that pin nailer to complement my suite of five Sencos.
(SN65 framer FRH nailer SFN40 15ga finish nailer SLP20 brad nailer SLS20 narrow crown stapler SFW08 upholstery stapler, if anyone cared)
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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wrote:

A pinner is really cool and leaves almost undetectable results.
I looked at Senco and have two Senco nailers but went with the Grex. The place I bought from included 1000 of each of the 9 sizes of pins that the nailer will shoot. Pins are typically cheap but 10,000 of each size would cost over $100. Having a sample of each to determine the size you like the best is a nice +. The supplier also will break pin sets and sell them in lots of 1,000.
If you are interested, http://thefastenercompany.com/grex_p635_grex_p635.htm
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If the result is undetectable, how do you know you accomplished anything?
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+ Did you miss the word, "almost"? I was careful to use that word. ;~)
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On Tue, 22 May 2007 03:22:14 GMT, Howard Swope wrote:

I have a TS with 50" fence. It makes cutting full size sheet goods (plywood, MDF) relatively easy. But if you have a means of supporting the sheet on the left side of the saw, you can do that with a 30" fence. You might just have to do a little arithmetic to determine where to set the fence.
If you are going to cut full size sheet goods, you will need to leave space around the saw for the purpose, and you will need infeed and outfeed supports. So your saw ends up using a lot more floor space, unless you can arrange for a workbench or assembly table to provide some of that support. Having stationary tools on mobile bases (guess they aren't stationary then!) might be necessary if your shop space is small.
I do use my saw to cut sheet goods from time to time. But for me, the biggest advantage of the 50" fence is in having a router table in the right-hand extension, and being able to use the TS fence for the router.
--
Art Greenberg
artg at eclipse dot net
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I have to agree whole heartedly with Art. The biggest advantage is haviong my router there and using the same fence, I just change which add on im using to use the router table. And let me tell you, having a router table the full size of the extension table is a HUGE advantage. I buiold a lot of outdoor pergolas and arbos with benches in them and I do all my routing on the table, even with 8 foot long pieces.
Besides that, if you don't do full sheet goods, the 30" is fine.
I actually found a deal yesterday on a Factory Reconditioned Unisaw with the 30" fence, 3 hp, and left tilt for $935.00 US. I am still thinking about it, seems like a good deal to replace my Delta contractor saw and I can move my 50" to it..
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I have the 30" and have at times wanted more but it is nothing that can't be handled with crosscut sled http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/howto_crosscut.htm and a circular saw jig http://www.womeninwoodworking.com/tips/startingpoints7.cfm
As already said if you are cutting lots of plywood you may need 50" but then you would also need lots of space around the saw to manuever the plywood. I would not want a saw that big in a space the size of a one car garage, a 30" makes a one car garage much smaller.
Also consider a used saw, you could pick up a decent saw (contractor)with 30" fence on craigslist for $200 or less. Then if you need bigger you could sell it for what you paid for it. http://newjersey.craigslist.org/tls/329567011.html
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I have a Vega '50 inch fence on mine. I've used that extra twenty inches a couple of times. Not enough to make it worthwhile in my opinion, but... I'm planning to build a saw station for that Grizz contractor saw and have decided that when I do, I'm going to move the mounting holes further down the fence, so it's about 40 inches to the right and 30 to the left. I have found that I've wanted more fence on the left side more times than I've wanted the full 50 on the right. So I'm going to move it to the left. Not sure how far left yet. 10 inches or so, maybe. I think I'll use that configuration more, and the saw will have a smaller footprint.
My shop is a two-car garage. The long fence has been awkward at times but with a mobile base it hasn't been terrible. I don't regret buying the long fence at all. I think I *would* have regretted not buying it.
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wrote:

That's funny... I think if I had the smaller fence I would move it to the *right* to get an extra foot of capacity. A 30" fence becomes a little less than 42", etc.
Bob the Tomato
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"Howard Swope" wrote in message

to
the
the
I have a 52" in a small shop. Cramped though it is, I would not want to downsize. The overriding factor/plus for _me_ is the extra table top space for assembly.
YMMV ...
My rationale to get the 52" fence at the time was that if I found being cramped to be a problem, I could always cut it down. You can do so also.
--
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Get the 52" fence with extension legs and table (this will allow you to add a router on to the extension). I guarantee you that you won't be sorry. If you settle for the smaller one you'll be sorry later on. If you are cramped for space get put the saw on movable rollers.
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Howard,

I have a small old Craftsman tablesaw I inherited from my dad. I installed a Mule Accufence on it a few years ago, and am limited to about a 26" max ripping width. That's more than adequate for most ripping needs, including cutting 4x8 plywood sheets in half.
When I need to crosscut a panel or sheet of plywood, I prefer to use a straight edge "saw board" with my circular saw and a fine plywood blade. It's MUCH easier to move the saw than it would be to wrestle a full sheet of plywood across the saw, and the results are just as accurate. It takes a lot less space in the garage too!
Anthony
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I'll have to respectfully disagree with your above comments. Where do you put the plywood when you cut it with a circle saw? When cutting plywood with a circle saw I have to maneuver the panel and clamp a straight edge on to it. Typically it has to be maneuvered to the top of a table or saw horses. If the TS is large enough, its not that big of a deal to cut large panels and if you have a helper it is a breeze.
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Anthony does it the same way I do...altho I shouldn't say if he does it exactly the way I do.
I use a circular saw and straight edge for sheet goods in the garage, on the floor...no table or saw horses. I use 1" thick insulation board to support he plywood and cut into it. I use 2X4 foot sheets and they last for a very long time, they are easily moved and stored and I don't have to sweat the saw blade hitting concrete. When I'm done, I can pack them into the attic in the garage and they are out of the way until the next time.
I feel I have no real choice, as I do not want to give up parking our cars in the garage and I do NOT have the space needed in the basement, where the shop is, to handle sheet goods. Trust me on this one, I've tried and I have the scars to prove it.
Mike
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You basically have no choice. Perhaps HerHusband has no choice either. The OP does have a choice and is asking for the benefits of the larger saw. The larger saw, simply put, makes cutting plywood easier than other methods.
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