looking for suggestions on a table saw

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hi,
i'm looking at purchasing a small/portable table saw and need something that can handle a 4x8 sheet of plywood/osb/mdf
would the ryobi on wheels that home depot sells work for this or would i need something more expensive? i really want to build a lot of furniture for our home and i think i can do it if i don't have to use my 7" skill saw. it leaves uneven cuts/lines
thanks!
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If you're thinking furniture, you'll probably want something better than the Ryobi. Ridgid tools have a good reputation here, and HD carries a model on wheels like the Ryobi. It runs around $400, though.
I've used a 7 1/4" Skil circular saw, and it's not a bad saw. Uneven cuts and lines could be due to a bad blade, or a blade that's too tight. If you tighten a circular saw blade too much, it will deform. (It's easy to do, too.)
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On Thu, 22 May 2008 21:29:54 -0700 (PDT), unclescrooge

"Small" tablesaw and a 4x8 sheet of ply don't typically go together. However, it is possible to get precision cuts with the proper jig/technique without a cabinet tablesaw--it just takes longer. I still use my circular saw for large ply sheets when I don't have a helper nearby.
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I'd avoid the Ryobi and get a decent contractor saw from Delta, Jet etc. One thing not mentioned though, is to build an outfeed table for it to support those sheets. I prefer to rough cut them to size first, then put them on the tablesaw to finish cut with a good blade.
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so i guess the concensus is: i don't necessarily need it to cut plywood as it may or may not do a good job. but i would be better served thinking smarter. my problem is that i frequently don't have help, i am just trying to get a little saw for my home shop yet also something i can wheel into the backyard, take to my parents' home for their fixes, and various other things. i just don't think i can get my wife to say "Sure, go ahead" to the $450 rigid model.
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wrote:

so i guess the concensus is: i don't necessarily need it to cut plywood as it may or may not do a good job. but i would be better served thinking smarter. my problem is that i frequently don't have help, i am just trying to get a little saw for my home shop yet also something i can wheel into the backyard, take to my parents' home for their fixes, and various other things. i just don't think i can get my wife to say "Sure, go ahead" to the $450 rigid model.
In my early years of attempting to become a woodworker I was faced with the same decision. I bought a Skil saw and mounted it underneath a 4 x 4 sheet of 3/4" plywood to which I had attached folding legs. I used a piece of angle iron and clamps for a fence. It served me reasonably well for a couple years. When cutting plywood sheets, I removed the saw from the "table" and used a piece of angle iron as a guide. You would still need: 1. A good quality blade 2. be sure the edge of the saw baseplate is parallel to the blade.
Max
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That is where the tables come in handy. If you look at some shops with the 50" fence, they have large table built around the saw to support the plywood. Easy to do in a big shop, difficult to do and maintain portability. I had a benchtop saw for my first. It was OK for many things, but I often got frustrated trying to do a decent crosscut of a wide board on a small table. The fence was also a PITA to get set perfectly too.

Is your wife going to use the saw? If so, let her pick out what works wellf or her. If not, she should have no say in what you pick out. Your family finances are none of my business, but when either of us want to spend a bit, we just wait untill we have the money. I don't question what she wants to spend not does she on my expenditures.

Still good advice
Good luck.
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wrote:

I have the $550 Ridgid saw and I don't cut 4x8 sheets on it, even WITH a helper.. By the time I added or made out feed tables or whatever I needed to make the cut safe and accurate, I could have made the cut several times with my circular saw and a board/fence..
If you cut a lot of big stuff, you can buy a very good steel or aluminum saw guide for less than $100 that will also get used as a straight edge, etc..
For me, the trick is to know the distance between the edge of the saw's shoe and the blade, say for example, 2".. then, if I clamp the guide 2" from the cut, I can just keep the saw against the fence and get a straight cut..
A good quality plywood blade for the circular saw will also help a lot.. YMWV
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unclescrooge wrote:

I bought a brand new table saw once when all I needed was to clamp a straight-edge and use my circular saw. But now that I think about it, I didn't even need to buy a circular saw, I coulda used my handsaw up against a straight-edge. Oh, well... I'm sure doing a great job of tool collecting. Just ask my wife!
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Your wife been talking to my wife? She says the same thing..
user wrote:

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On Thu, 22 May 2008 21:29:54 -0700 (PDT), unclescrooge

Clean up your cut lines with a router, straight bit, and straight edge. This will leave a straight line that's 90 degrees to the face.
If you don't yet have a router, you're better off spending the money on a good router than a tiny table saw.
This jig: <http://www.darkroomsource.net/sawguide.shtml can be built for your saw and a router.
Many of us who have really nice table saws still use jigs like this for field work and when getting the sheet on the saw is a pain.
--------------------------------------------- ** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html ** ---------------------------------------------
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I'm looking at purchasing a 2 seater car, probably a Miata, Honda S2000, or a Saturn Sky and need to pick one that will handle carpooling of 8 people. See where I am going here. You need at least a Contractors sized saw otherwise you will be very frustrated in a very short time.

You do not necessarily need more expensive but certainly bigger. Or consider the Festool Circle saw and guide system. It will probably make better cuts than the saw you are considering.
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"Leon" wrote

No problem ... trailer hitch, el cheapo riding lawnmower trailer, phone booth attached ... authorized for HOV lane.
(caught three nice bass this morning!) :)
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There you go.

Yeah you sucketh.

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I have the Ryobi on wheels which we use as a jobsite saw. It is great for rough work. I would never consider using it for furniture and would never try to send a full sheet of plywood through it. The cross cutting capabilities of the Ryobi are horrible when it comes to accuracy and straight cuts.
cm

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You need a big saw to handle full sheets. I cut the sheet into slightly oversized pieces with a straight edge and my circular saw and do a final trim on my table saw.
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those small ones is way way way too small. I use my circular saw, straight edge, and lots of 2x4s to cut these beasts. Jim
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Festool Plunge Saw is the best saw ever, pricy, but very accurate, more versitile then a table saw. Easy to store and very high quality, I use it to build cabinets I even joint long boards together for table and bar tops. If you have never used one, it is a real treat. I have a big shop and also own a Unisaw, and find myself using the Plunge saw to rip and cross cut large sheet of plywood for cabinets.
KK

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Agree wholly. Usually, using the Festool circ saw means only having to lift the full sheet one time, with no balance or feed problems. I have used a Porter-Cable drop foot for years for the job, but the plunge feature and the factory straight edges make the Festool the winner, even at its price.
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this tip has probably been repeated on this board numerous times, but it's very useful so it's worth repeating again: assuming you have enough floor space (my shop is in my garage), buy a 4x8 sheet of foam insulation. Lay it on the floor, lay your plywood/osb/mdf sheet right on top of it. Clamp or tack-nail on a straight edge guide, set your circ saw blade (even if you have a cheap circ, replace the blade - Freud Diablo is a good one and not too pricey) to a cut depth just a little beyond the thickness of your sheetgoods (it shouldn't be much more anyway), and cut away. You can make many many cuts before that foam gets too kerfed up and you have to get a new one - they're only 6-7 bucks. I made a set of built-in bookshelves out of oak ply for my study using that method, and never needed an extra set of hands to hold anything.
I have a Ryobi BT3100 table saw, and it does a pretty nice job for my needs, but I have never attempted to cut a 4x8 sheet on it.
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