Before I even ask the question, I've read enough here to guess that many
will suggest upgrading to a good contractor model. But the wife won't go
for that until she's sure that this is something I'm actually going to stick
with (I tend to gravitate interests - golf for a while, tennis, making DVDs,
I have an 5 or 6 year old benchtop Craftsman TS (no comments needed here - I
understand what's good and what isn't). My question surrounds the depth of
the table. There is only about 6" of table space between the front edge and
the beginning of the blade on my benchtop. Looking at better contractor
saws and cabinet saws, the distance between the front edge and the saw
appears to be at least 12".
I'm a little uneasy getting a piece feeling "solid" on the table before I'm
hitting the blade to cut. Is this something that I will feel better with in
time - or is this small depth one of the big downsides of a benchtop?
I also have a Craftsman with about the same distance to the blade. I
have managed OK and built many things but had trouble with the fence
moving on me.
I think that was my biggest gripe, although having more space to the
blade would steady things up a bit.
One inexpensive solution could be to build an in-feed table (like an
but on the inlet side of the table). You would have to rout out some slots
with the miter slots so that your miter guage could slide forward without
but it would provide more stability. Sort of loses the portability aspect,
unless it could
be easily removed.
Key things that make the saws better as they get more expensive:
Good fence - remains parallel to the blade and locks firmly in position
front and back
Smooth operation - low vibration
Accurate alignment - the blade remains accurately aligned to the miter
slots and fence
throughout it's range of adjustment.
Sufficient power -
Adequate and flat top - room to use fixtures to hold wood for difficult
Good blade clearance plate - ability to make a good zero-clearance plate
I'm sure there are a lot more, and others can suggest.
Big downside. You may get slightly used to it, but with many materials, it's
always going to be a PITA.
"The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you'll grow out
of it." Doris Day
I had one for years... it spent most of it's time surrounded by a home
made table that went around all 4 sides of the table... looked like
the saw was in a packing crate.. lol
it worked very well, since I wasn't doing many depth adjustments with
you might try building "wings" for it, like folks build for their
miter saws... having more room on the sides might make the blade
position more manageable..
last option, as I look around my shop, would be to build or buy an
adjustable height feed roller stand and put it near the front edge of
the table?? (I love the one next to my cut off saw... (opps, CMS)
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