After all this time without one, a current job has driven me to crave a
table saw as it's the only way I can think of doing it. I'm sure it
would be useful for plenty of other things as well.
Although I fully accept the value of decent kit, I can't really justify
(to senior management) splurging too much on this but I'd like to get
something that does the job. I also don't have the space for anything
too exotic (at least not without a major re-structure of the garage)
and, realistically, it's not something I'll use every day.
A lot of the cheaper ones get pretty poor reviews, mostly due to poor
alignment but I wonder if that's because people (including me) don't
know how to adjust them. So:
1 Can anyone recommend something in the 'not too outrageous' price
range? I was looking at this one:
Which seems reasonable, but someone may be able to confirm that or know
2 Given the point about adjustment/set-up, is there any way of telling
whether a given saw is readily 'setupable' before buying? (in other
words, what should there be to adjust to get things square).
IME it's all about the fence and the way it locks to the saw bed.
Constant source of frustration if the far end moves under pressure. It
should be long enough that you can secure it front and back, albeit with
a clamp. An induction motor is much quieter if your budget will run to it
That was a thought I had looking at a number of saws as a little flex
could muck things up: Maybe it's a case for judicious bodgery, ie
improvising a better fence or at least clamping something alongside the
fence to support it?
Very nice - but costs nearly as much as I paid for my entire table saw
from Machine Mart a few years ago.
I solved the fence rigidity problem by extending the fence with a piece
of aluminium angle, and clamping that to the back of the table with a
quick action clamp. A bit more fiddly than the Axminster solution, but
it works - and didn't cost me anything.
Speaking of whom, their June brochure hit my doormat the other day. I've
been humming & harring about Trend varijig straight guides for a while
but put off by the price compared to how much use I'd make of them,
anyone have any comment on this type of clamp guides?
I haven't re-made a sawboard since buying a new saw. If I was cutting
think sheets I'd agree, but for ripping 2" off of a thick plank, the
problem is clamping the sawboard to the work without obstructing the
Then again for my planks I'd need the 8' long version of the Varijig
anyway; if they sold it with the tall version of their clamps as
standard, rather than as extra, I'd probably plump for it. As it is,
I've been putting on three quick-grips, then removing/replacing them in
turn to allow the saw to pass by, which works, but is a faff.
Be aware that they take up a lot of space in a small workshop, and you
usually need space all round it as well. My smaller Clarke comes out on
the patio when I need it. That one looks like quite a lump to move.
When we moved & I lost my workshop, I bought one of these
and fitted an old circular saw to it. It's surprisingly accurate & sturdy.
Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
I have to say my first thought was whether I could build something like
that, although the first issue that came to mind was depth of cut, which
would have to be a bit less than the saw itself and since my first
'target' is 50mm, I thought it might not do the job too well. Maybe a
steel one would have less of an issue, as I was thinking of using 18mm
ply for the table.
Youtube has homemade table saws, many incorporating a handheld circ - a dec
ent one of which can be had for tenners used. The saw clips into a recess i
n the tabletop so you dont lose 18mm etc cut depth. Cheap to make and there
are foldaway designs handy for smaller scale diyers - but of course it tak
ISTR someone recommending these are not too bad:
The adjustment process for a full size cabinet saw is to first make sure
the slots in the table are parallel to the blade, and then to make sure
the fence is parallel to the slots. On some saws you can adjust the
position of the table top to achieve the first step, in the portable
contractors saws however you may be stuck with how it comes. The fences
are usually adjustable to some extent. Upgrade fences can also help in
Check to see if the table bolts to the base, and if there are grub
screws etc on the fence to allow adjustment of that.
It tends to be the fence that lets down the cheaper saws.
If working in restricted space, then the type without the fitted base
are probably better - they can then be deployed on a workmate when
required and cleared away when not. (the alternative is to go for a big
one and make it a permanent feature in the middle of the workspace).
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