Sorry for being long winded, runs in the family :)
I'm just getting into woodworking and want to get my first table saw.
My "shop" is my two car garage, which is used for two cars. With the
cars in it, there is barely enough room for anything on the sides
other than a few hanging lawn tools.
My first few purchases for power tools were (In order):
Dewalt DW959K-2 18V cordless drill
Craftsman 13 amp circular saw
1/4 sheet craftsman palm sander
Dewalt DW706 Dual Bevel 12" Compound Mitre Saw
Cheap Skil jigsaw
Dewalt DW618PK 2 1/4 HP Plunge/Fixed router combo
(The wife likes the Dewalt yellow. I really have no brand loyalty, but
if she's happy...)
With these tools, I constucted my 15 ft wide workshop area on the back
wall of my garage. Out of BC 3/4 plywood and yellow pine, time, glue,
and finishing nails, I've built 5 wall cabinets with doors and two
fixed base cabinets. The first base cabinet lines up with the left
wall cabinet and the other lines up with the center wall cabinet. I've
built a removable countertop between the two and the area under the
right two wall cabinets houses my lawn mower and such. Considering
what I had to work with, they came out quite spectacular for a first
project with no guidance. Nothing fancy in the construction, of
course; just lots or rabbets and dadoes.
I am in the process of building a rolling center base cabinet that
will have interchangable tops. I'm going to start by making a router
table top for it, and then a Mitre saw drop-in top.
The rolling cabinet will be about 33" X 19" and the interchangable top
that I drop the table saw I intend to buy can be no larger than 35 X
I'm looking for suggestions for the table saw to buy. I know a table
saw is the heart of the shop, but I'd like to keep it cheap to start
until I use one for a while to know what I like and/or I have the
space to use it. I've looked at the $119 Delta saw at Lowes, the $150
Craftsman bench top saw, and the $499 Dewalt "Jobsite saw." because of
the wife. However, I don't know if it is worth it to me to spend $500
on the Dewalt until I get deeper into the whole woodworking thing
(especially because I think that if I get into it enough to buy a $500
saw, I will probably be willing to spend $1000 and move into a new
house to accomadate it)
Money is not as much of a factor as the form factor. It needs to be
small enough to fit in the space and light enough that I can change it
out with my other interchangable tops. Keep in mind that by light, I
mean not too much heavier than the Mitre saw. I can heft that around
without too much difficulty.
In any case, I'll post before and after pictures of my "Rolling Shop"
when I'm through.