I have the opportunity to have a cabinet saw custom made to my
specifications by a professional tool maker (not sure what you call
Cabinet saws are at least 4 times more expensive over here in Europe
than in the US (perhaps because they are made on order and not mass
produced in taiwan).
This guy has already made a jointer and bandsaw for me. Now I'd like
him to build me a tablesaw.
As I've never owned a TS and only used one couple of times at a friend
I'm not quite sure about my needs.
I've established a few basic feautures:
- powerful motor (4kW)
- 12" blade
- precise and easy to adjust fence
- options to attach extension tables on every side
He had a few specific questions for me, and I'd like to hear other
comments to before I hand over the final specifications:
- What table size do I want (excluding extension tables of course)
- Where should he place the blade? (1/3rd from left, middle, 2/3rds
- Where do I need grooves? (2 on the left of the blade, one on each
I'd love to hear about your favourite TS layout/design.
On 29 Oct 2004 03:59:36 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (Marton
Just buy one. You can't afford to have a good one made - it's the
cost of casting and machining a decent table as a one-off. If you have
a tame machinist and toolmaker on hand, show him some of Karl Holtey's
If you have plenty of space and money, go to a S/H industrial dealer
and pick up something that sold new for $10,000.
No...no...guys, I'm serious!
Of course it's not the Delta quality, but it WOULD be a cabinet saw.
Note: I'm NOT talking about industrial quality, I'm a hobby
woodworker. If I had a professional shop I could perhaps afford a
The cheapest factory TS is around $3600, a used one would be $2000.
I've a limited budget, so that leaves me with two options: buy a
crappy tabletop/contractor's saw OR have this one machined and built
for me for less than $1000. Now, there is a serious difference in
that. (more powerful, larger table, stability, better fence)
It's a joke that the Craftsman Professional 10 in. Table Saw costs
$900 over there and a similar saw over here in Europe (Jerabek,
Hammer, Felder, etc.) would well above $3500. Such a pity they don't
sell those in Europe...
As I said, he already made a 12" jointer (will post pictures as soon
as I get my scanner working) for $750, I have no doubts he'd make a
great TS too.
ps: anyone else in Hungary know a better solution please email me...!
It's actually not too far fetched.
Several years ago , a cabinetmaker here was retiring and selling off his
tools. One of which was a home-made table saw, made by a machinist for
his own use that he later sold to the cabinetmaker.
It had a 12" blade, 2'x4'x1-1/2" cast-iron top with sliding-dovetail
miter gauge and slot. I have no idea what the motor was. He was selling
it for $150.
I didn't buy it for 1. I have a TS, 2. I wouldn't have had space in my
shop for that behemoth, 3. I didn't have any money left after buying his
jointer and various other tools, and 4. it had a tilting table for
bevel! Yes, tilting that massive table!
In short, it was an impressive bit of machine.
On 29 Oct 2004 13:06:26 -0700, email@example.com (Marton
you can download parts breakdowns for delta products from ace tool
look them over, preferably with your machinist friend. could find some
good ideas that way.
I'll assume this isn't a troll.
1. I can't believe it would be any cheaper to have one custom built
then to buy the very best commercially available saw and have it
shipped anywhere in the first world. That being said...
2. Look at the specs for Delta Unisaw or Powermatic cabinet saws. You
can get answers to all your questions.
2. If in-fact you really will have one built, make sure they include a
nice way to do micro adjustment on the fence. I really haven't seen
anybody that provides a great one. It's funny how metal working
equipment always has such precise adjustment easily made but wood
machinery never considers it such a priority. I guess since the
material might grow by a 16th (a few mm) on a humid day they think
it's OK to just get it close.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Marton Czebe) wrote in message
I have seen a few fences with fine adjustment features. I could never see
the point. The fence can be adjusted by hand within a .003" or so very
really will have one built, make sure they include a
Since you obviously have web access, do a search for tablesaw specifications
such as for the General, Powermatic, Delta etc. Pick a model that appeals
to you and go with those specs.
What works for one may not work at all for you - such as height (it should
be adjustable). The miter slots should be a standard (3/4" for US) and the
gold standard for a fence is the Biesmier.
Making the undercarriage heavy duty, using a hefty 3 belt drive mechanism,
accurate (slop-free) blade height adjustment, blade tilt (do you want left
or right), arbor length long enough for stacked dado blades (up to 1" in
width) and the list goes on and on. Blade insert mounting and how its made
can be an important issue for making zero-clearance and dado inserts.
Any chance there is a trade school or a business that you could visit and
talk to the individuals that use the equipment and get to see first-hand
what is important. A $1,000 custom made tablesaw could turn out to be a
real turkey (even though it is made with excellent craftsmanship and
materials) if the specs are not right.
From what I've read, a cast iron top should age at least a year before it's
milled flat. I doubt you're getting cast iron castings but rather steel
plate beefed up from below to maintain flatness.
I believe I would be looking around to see what is available in the used
department even if it cost a bit more.
Sounds to me like it's time capitalism hit Hungary. Why don't you take the
mnoeny you have for the saw and go to Taiwan, and find woodworking machinery
that would be sellable in Hungary as well as any other European countries
where the prices are ridiculous, and open up a supply house like "Grizzly"
has done here? Perfect opportunity for you to get rich, and help a lot of
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