I am looking to buy a combination machine with a sliding table. A major
difference between the expensive ones and the cheap ones (if $7,000 can be
called cheap) is that the expensive ones have the sliding table right next
to the saw blade, while the cheap ones have an inch or two of fixed table
Obviously the closer the better, but in practice will it make a difference?
All the demonstrations have the panel up against a fence, and they push on
the wood. Why is that better than having the panel back against a fence and
pushing the fence. I am sure they know what they are doing, but it is
But you're buying FIVE functions - table saw WITH sliding table,
12" joiner/jointer (try finding a stand alone 12" joiner/jointer), 12"
planer and horizontal boring/mortising with XYZ table. As a bonus,
have all that combined weight together in one half ton or better unit.
Mass = inertia = resistance to movement = GOOOOOOD!
I've got the Robland X31 with the sliding table away from the saw
In practice, the top of the sliding table is a few thousandths above
table saw table. the edge of the sliding table is 7 inches from the
not a few inches. In theory, the gap between the bottom of the stock
and the table saw table top could produce a little chatter and tear
In practice it doesn't.
The sliding table that runs almost against the left side of the saw
blade supports the wood a little better - BUT - is typcially long and
narrow, providing no place to use additional clamps to hold the part
to the sliding table. Not a big deal when sawing. Is a big deal
doing end grain on the shaper. see pics on this page for example
The other question about the narrower sliding table up against
the left side of the saw blade is how it handles a dado blade. On
the wider big cast iron sliding table, the right side of the arbor
stays fixed and the dado blades stack to the left - towards the
sliding table. Not sure how the narrow sliding table deals with
a dado blade. Seems like the left side blade has to be close to
the sliding table so that means the right side must be adjustable
to accomodate the additional dado blades. That means something
on the right side of the blade has to be able to move then be
locked into position. How that's done can lead to a bit of
Potay-toe / potah-toe? Not really. Think of the extreme case -
an 8' piece of ply. If the far end is supported by the fence at
the rear - you support it at the front. With a push on the fence,
you typically have a larger sliding table, but still, the far end of
the ply is supported only by the 7" on the saw table top.
This really isn't a big deal since you seldom are cutting in the 8'
direction and neither the narrow close, nor the bigger farther
away sliding table will do 8' anyway.
All that answer your questions?