Table saw recommendations

On 2006-08-06 16:57:02 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

Is this a UK-produced show?
The master of TV woodworking, Norm Abram, (I'm not commenting on his skills) has had a catch phrase at the start of each program for the last 15 years to distance himself from the ambulance chasers and reptiles aka attornies. He claims that guards are removed to help with visibility and photography. The reality is that there are certain cuts that can't be made with guards in place. While some would say that Norm fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the trip down, there are no missing fingers.
I have no idea who Bob Grose is, but a quick Google suggests that he has been clearing gutters at Longleat. The web site of builditwithbob.com suggests that "the boy done well"
The TV shows get away with a lot.
One of the others of this ilk showed Ben somebody-or-other refurbishing a cobb barn. There was a placement of a major brand U.S. wood glue called Titebond. Somebody had carefully removed a vowel from the label.
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I love watching him - just to see if he's going to pick up a hand-tool at any time during this episode. So far I've seen him using a block plane and once a chisel!
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Skipweasel
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

I don't know anyone who uses a blade guard. Handy if they have a fitting for a vacuum cleaner maybe but, for everyday work, they are a PITA. I fail to see what type of accident they prevent assuming the operator to be adult and of normal intelligence. Freehand cutting is genuinely dangerous, and what's the point anyway when you've effectively removed any control or accuracy?
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Mine's on whenever I use the riving knife - and off when the riving knife would be in the way.
The guard that goes straight in the bin is that stupid telecsopic thing on the drill press.
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Skipweasel
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Guy King wrote:

A riving knife is something else I've never felt the need of. Mine went in a drawer 20 odd years ago and hasn't seen the light of day since. I've never had kerfs closing up on me but then I don't cut wet or rough timber on it.

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On 2006-08-07 13:54:24 +0100, Stuart Noble

That's something to be careful about. If the rip fence toes in at all (i.e. points fractionally to the left) it can cause binding of the blade in the work. The riving knife reduces that. Normally a fence is set with a very small toe out on a large workshop saw but on a portable saw this is not likely to be repeatable, so there is a risk from not having the knife.
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Andy Hall wrote:

>The riving knife reduces that. Normally a fence is set

I think I'd rather make sure the fence is set accurately. If there's no way of securing the far end of the fence with a clamp, I'd lengthen it to make that possible. Quite aside from safety issues, you have no accuracy otherwise
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On 2006-08-07 17:07:56 +0100, Stuart Noble

Understood. I was really commenting on the safety issue with riving knives. Normally on a large table saw with rigid fence, the fence is set to toe out a few thou at the back of the blade relative to the front. This avoids the blade pinching, burning of material and kick back. Some people adjust for zero, but it is important that there is no toe in - i.e. gap from fence to blade narrower at the back.
On a portable saw, with a clamping arrangement at the back, unless the measurements are carefully made, ideally with a dial gauge for each cut, there is no real way to be certain that the blade and fence are at least parallel or there is toe out. Realistically, that trouble is not going to be taken.
Given the risk that there can be toe in, regardless of how little, the riving knife will tend to prevent kick back. If you haven't had a piece of wood kicked back in the absence of a riving knife, you have been lucky for a long time. On a large piece of material, it can be spectacular.
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Andy Hall wrote:

I've been lucky for longer than I care to remember. If you push the workpiece and allow the offcut to go where it will, kickback shouldn't be an issue. If the workpiece is narrower than an inch and a half, use a push stick, but nothing matches the forefinger and thumb (in that order :-))for downward and forward pressure. Just don't wear a tie. On occasions where you're ripping really small strips off a large piece, you can use kickback to your advantage by pushing the offcut, standing slightly to one side and positioning a bin to collect them. The flight path is very predictable :-)
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On 2006-08-06 14:35:09 +0100, Stuart Noble

Unless there is a sliding carriage on the left of the blade. In this case, the sheet is clamped to the slider and is run through the blade with no restriction on the right - just a table to support the piece cut off.
e.g. http://tinyurl.com/ghwhb
(although the principle applies to any table saw with slider)

.. or don't rip cut.

Yes, it is unwise. Apart from the inaccuracy there is the potential for material to impale the operator at high speed/energy necessitating a visit to A&E. That can waste an entire Saturday.....
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It's good that you've had this experience, because it helps to appreciate the issues around the set ups, stability of fence etc.

Does this mean that you will have enough space for a portable saw, or perhaps a site/contractor saw? If the latter, might it make sense to wait until you have a better idea of the space available (with everything else then in there?

I also found the Ryobi ETS-1525SC at tooled-up.com. I've seen one similar to this in the U.S. and it seemed quite reasonable, although the models are not quite the same. I can't find any other place selling this model number and it's not on Ryobi's UK web site. There is a 1525 model which is pretty much the same as the other 120 products that you were looking at. This one appears from the photo to have a much more substantial fence and locking arrangement and a better table. It would be hard to know how good the fence is without actually touching it.
I think I would want to look before buying, and Tooled-Up are in Enfield, although probably are a warehouse only operation so no place to see.
Axminster do at least have showrooms where you can go and look at much of what they sell. There's the main one in Axminster (quite a trek unless you are in the west country), and one in Kent.
You could also look at D&M Tools in Twickenham - they have a showroom as well as on line and quite a range of table saws.

Yes it can. Obviously you then have to think about how to guide the work - some kind of fence further out. The larger workshop saws have a wider table to the right of the blade so the fence can be further away (perhaps 600mm to 1000mm); or they have a slider and panel support on the left of the blade for cutting larger sheets. However, these range from 800 and up (can be quite a bit up).
I mentioned that you can build one of these saws into a bench arrangement.
Here's one example
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/fea.asp?id 53

Some machines have a handle on the front and a lever to change what it does - i.e. angle and height, whereas others have two wheels. There should also be a locking arrangement with the levers.

There is probably not a lot of difference between motors. They all seem to be universal brush types, even on the Bosch/Makita/DW types. There might be the odd induction motor among them, but I think it's doubtful.
For blades, generally they come with a TCT blade, although parentage may be questionnable. Usually you can make a saw a lot better by fitting a decent blade like a Freud or CMT.
Regarding your example of the shed application, I think that this type of saw would generally be suitable, although there's a couple of caveats:
- For the kind of dimensions you were talking about of ripping about 10mm off of 45mm, you would have to raise the blade quite high so that the guard clears over the top. This is OK, but does expose more of the blade.
- For rebating, you would have to take the guard off. With small sizes of timber it can be fiddly to feed it and you certainly don't want your fingers anywhere near. In general with table saws and especially in this case, a selection of push sticks and push blocks is essential. If you anticipate doing much rebating or groove/dado cutting, a router is probably a better proposition.
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Andy Hall wrote:

If there is a *Machinemart* he could look in there as they stock the ryobi brand. http://www.machinemart.co.uk/ranges.asp?g 6&r!24
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Tooled - Up do have a showroom - I've been there. It isn't huge like Axminsters at Bobbing so they may not have the saw you want on display. I'd check before going.
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Dave
The Medway Handyman
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Anyone know of any decent showrooms in the midlands? I live in Warwick - so it's quite a trek either to London area or to the south west.
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Roger
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There's some woodworking shows coming up in the Midlands in Sept/Oct.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Good thinking! There's a W6 exhibition coming up at the NEC in early October. Is that the right sort of thing?
[It's supposed to be trade only - but I've just invented a company, and registered on-line, so what the hell!]
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Roger
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On 2006-08-06 17:01:02 +0100, "The Medway Handyman"

That's worth knowing. Is Bobbing somewhere in your part of the world?
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Andy Hall wrote:

Hi Andy
Yes, Bobbing is near Sittingbourne in Kent. Just off the A249 which connects to the M2 & M20. About 25 mins from me.
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Are you sure that they are universal motors ? I will admit to not having investigated but it is inadvisable for a circular saw blade to exceed a certain tip speed and universal motors aren't limited in how fast they go whereas induction motors are. In terms of noise and control of blade speed I would encourage the use of an induction motor ok the cutting noise will exceed the motor noise but it's surprising how much time the blade runs for effectively unused. And actually on that theme, get yourself a decent pair of ear-muffs.
There is the other factor to take into account and that is that universal motors use brushes which have a finite life.
Rob
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wrote:

Record do one with an induction motor, but AFAIK all the other cheapies are universals.
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