If I had the space and that budget, I'd consider two contractor saws.
Ideally one left tilt and the other right tilt. No doubt one of them would
have the dado set installed more or less permanently. I'd use my dado a LOT
more if it wasn't for the time to change blades, and the fact "normal" TS
rips and crosscuts can't be done when my TS has the dado in.
There's a BIG difference between a cabinet saw and a contractor saw.
A contractor saw is lighter (more flimsy) for portability, and lacks
good dust collection. A heavier machine has less vibration for a more
accurate cut. Keep in mind, though, that there are better quality
contractor saws than cabinet saws.
What contractor saws are better quality than which cabinet saws? Are you
refering to grizzly or craftsman? I've been told they are pretty high
quality overall except for the fence, and they decent comparisons with other
cabinet saws in "wood" magazine (I think it was wood).
I'd rather have a Powermatic contractor tablesaw than a Craftsman
cabinet saw. Another point to make it more confusing, there are
"hybrid saws" that have properties of both contractor and cabinet.
I'd recommend the Grizzly G1023S which is an icredible buy at $800 and
close to the cost of a Powermatic 64A which is a very good contractor
On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 21:05:05 GMT, "Marc"
Buy the best you can afford and have fun. Life is too short not to have
Good tools are a delight to use and, in the right hands, make projects
more enjoyable. I have a Dela Unisaw. My only regret is not having a
garage big enough.
I would never suggest that anyone buy below their WANTS because we all
have something we go "over the top" on. I certainly do-- read the
electrical set-up below my signature. ;> Having said that, my opinion
is: get a top-of-the-line contractor's saw. Why?
1.) While it's true that one should avoid the "pretend" table saws
that are available for under $200 at Sears, Home Depot and, (for all I
know), Toys-BackwardsR-Us, it's equally true that there are a lot more
cabinet saws in hobbyist's shops than there are cabinet-saw quality
hobbyists using them.
2.) If, as you state, precision and a perfect fit are your goals as a
beginner, then you will achieve them faster and continue reaching them
longer by buying the best contractor saw you can afford and putting
the other 800 to 1000 dollars into a week's worth of education at a
good woodworking school. It isn't the brush that paints the picture,
it's the artist. Studying with people who really know their craft is
3.) We-- (Americans)-- put too much emphasis on tablesaws, anyway.
An awful lot of this world does just fine with a really good bandsaw
as their weapon of choice. Consider that with the exception of
dadoing, everything you do on a table saw is going to be only the
first step in the overall process of dimensioning lumber. Other
machinery or hand tools are going to be required to dress out what you
cut. It's in those stages that you achieve the precision you're
looking for. (Cutting plywood doesn't qualify here, either.
Precision plywood cutting for panels, backs and bottoms is dependent
on a quality fence and proper feeding technique, not a "quality"
4.) Should you decide, in the future that you just can't get through a
project without cutting lotso 3" thick Maple and you just gotta have
more horseys, you'll be glad to have a second saw to use as a
dedicated Dado machine. Think of how cool you'll be in your
neighborhood as the only guy with not one, but two tablesaws.
5, and finally.) It will, (or should, anyway) cost you at least
another several hundred dollars for the quality support tools you will
need to reach the precision you say you demand. Squares, guages,
markers, chisels, planes, etc., aren't cheap. Matter o' fact they're
darned pricey. Are they in your budget? Can't do quality precision
work without them. What about Jointers, Planers, etc.?
Got Money? <tm>
Who just moved and because of space and easement constraints is
building a leetle 12X16 shop and has a 4-outlet 110V box on every
other stud, and a 220V box about a foot off the floor below those.
Fifty-six(!) 110's and 14(!) 220s for 192 square feet. That outtabout
12X16 Building materials: $2500
All the above electrical capacity: $300 and counting.
The ability to plug something in right HERE, and not have to settle
for "over there": Priceless. :)
Heh... whatever my electrician friend tells me I need, Jack. That'll
be the next trip to sLowe's. I haven't done any of this shop building
without some serious adult supervision. ;>
(Btw, I recall several months ago you responding to a request of mine
for general pricing guidelines on shop building materials. Iirc, you
quoted a friend's shop, recently built. That post really gave me a
lot of "go-for-it" that I didn't have previously. So, if I didn't
thank you, thanks. Youdaman.)
Your welcome and I'm glad the information I provided helped.
The friend I mentioned has been using that building for about a year. He's
already talking about bumping it out. There's a lot to be said for "post and
Buffalo, NY - USA
(Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
It's a good point and one I have considered a lot. Probably the reason I am
asking a group so I can separate and distinguish my wants from my needs. If
all I have is a shop with a great table saw, I'm not going to be able to do
much. There will be more funds in the near future but what will I do until
then? I have some nice hand tools, Japanese chisels, LN 4 1/2 plane, and a
few other items. but I am using a router table for a jointer which is not
very suitable. I need some better squares and clamps etc. not to mention
WOOD, it's not cheap.
On the other hand maybe it is better to get this one big item out-of-the-way
so I never have to consider it again, and slowly build a shop of only
quality items over time.
I've heard of people subsituting a quality band-saw and using it for a
table-saw duty, that is what laguana seems to suggest on their band saw
video. But I don't see how that could work, small table, no dado, table
tilts instead of blade, lateral limitation by yoke of band saw, I just don't
see that working out.
It's a tough question, and it makes me realize how expensive this hobby is.
Thanks for your input.
"Michael Baglio @nc.rr.com>" <mbaglio<NOSPAM> wrote in message
Can someone explain to me the fascination with dado blades on table saws?
I use a router for all dados (it SEEMS easier). All woodworkers have at
least one router, so why do people use table saws for dados ?
On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 04:33:01 +0000, David Binkowski wrote:
1) stacked dado can be set to exact width required (up to 13/16") and done
in one pass.
2) full depth can be done in one pass.
3) faster setup against fence or on sled.
4) chips/dust can be somewhat more easily controlled.
5) tablesaws don't suffer from ARHA. (DAMHIKT)
BTW, I use my stacked dado on my RAS as my TS is a weenie tabletop model
with a short arbor.
I thought exactly the same thing. But when building a bookcase for my
teenage daughter I needed to make a bunch of 3/4" dados. The ones on the
ends of the up and down parts would be no problem on my router table, but
the ones in the middle would have required demounting my DW 621 from the
router table. So I took the time to set up my dado in the table saw.
Wow! It cut much faster than the router! I didn't have to make two or
three passes to get the cuts as deep as desired, one pass through the dado
on my dado-enabled Grizzly contractor saw worked peachy keen. It was no
more a problem to cut the dados in the middle of the 4' board than the ends!
The fantasy shop of my dreams has (at least <g>) three table saws. My
current Grizzly contractor saw is the permanent "just a shade under 3/4"
dado" saw for cutting dados for plywood shelves. A fantasy right-tilt
cabinet saw has a sliding table attachment. A fantasy left-tilt cabinet saw
with a long fence lets me rip a 4x8' sheet anywhere I durn well please.
Back in the real world of my single car garage shop and my single Griz saw,
for certain cuts I take the time to mount the dado.
Mine too. Or at least two. I don't even *have* a dado set yet, but I sure
could use one. I'm all the time doing multi-pass, clean-up-with-a-chisel
type stuff. One thing keeping me from buying a dado set (other than money)
is the thought that while my current method is tedious, at least I don't
have to screw with changing the blade. So... I'd like to have a dedicated
You can do so much with a table saw in that fashion. Even cut tenons
without bothering to build a tenoning jig. I think a dado set would be
very damn handy. Surely a lot easier than doing any of these jobs with a
router. Especially with *my* anemic, inaccurate, screaming piece of crap.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I was building some vertical storage bins for framing fillet
recently and had to cut 1/4" dados in FULL sheets of MDF for
the backing... 3" apart. I cut 4 sheets in an hour and a
half. Could you do that with a router as quickly??? ;-)
Oh, yah, no dust!
David Binkowski wrote:
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