Table saw or router table?



my shop, it sees the most use and is the most versatile (sp?). Just don't skimp on the price - get the best saw you can afford - you won't regret it.
I'll toss in my opinion by agreeing with the "don't skimp"... As far as which to purchase, that depends - if you can't afford a good-quality table saw right now, there is a lot you can do with a handheld circular saw (or small bandsaw) and a router table. That's where I am right now. If you only have a couple hundred dollars, for instance, it seems like it would make sense to save money until you can get a nice, solid, accurate TS rather than one that you'll want to replace soon. That couple hundred dollars could go towards a very nice router and stuff to build your own router table, or a cheap TS. Of course, if money is no object, get both. Andy
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Many things that can be done on the TS CAN indeed be done on a router table. Walking instead of driving to you favorite vacation destination CAN indeed be done also.
You need the saw then build around it.
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Since no one mentioned it, let me suggest a bandsaw as an alternative to the table saw or the router table. Probably safer than a table saw, and it can make tenons and dovetails and cut curves easier than a table saw. There is actually a lot of overlap in bandsaw/table saw functions.
Truth is an awful lot of woodworking joints can be cut on a tablesaw by itself. I think the bandsaw may run a close second.
You might collect some plans for the kind of things you'd like to build and try to imagine how the various parts would be shaped and cut. You may even decide that hand tools will produce the desired effects.
Good luck.
Chuck
Leon wrote:

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I don't think I'd agree that a router can do what a table saw does. Oh I guess in an odd sort of way, given enough time it might be similar. For instance, I don't think I'd want to rip a 2X6 into 2X2's using a router, too much loss of wood, it might take a lot of time to do and probably won't be as accurately cut. And while making something that needs to have a quantity of pieces crosscut to the same length, I don't think the router is the tool for this task either.
I think I'd go for the best table saw you can afford first then a router later. There may be two schools of thought on buy the best you can afford. (1) If you save up for a Powermatic 66 for example it might be a long time before you cut any wood. or (2) Buy the best and only cry once. A high accuracy table saw will make your projects turn out better.
It hurts for me to say this... But if a Craftsman is in your reach, at least it will get you started. (That should get a fire going on this news group! It's vogue to kick Craftsman you know, but they earned it!)
Don Dando
Don Dando

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The Borg gets kicked around a lot too, but I've yet to see a Ridgid tool get a truly bad review, and most are quite good for the money.

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Nothing to talk about:
Saw... the best you can afford.
Then mount a router in one of the saw's wings, as already mentioned elsewhere in this thread by marc rosen.
That's how I got started... in 1976.
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wrote:

Table saw first. Always better than you can afford :)
And for some reason I'm alone in the thinking that a router table is a silly item. Why not get a shaper (with router bit collets) that is actually designed for doing that exact job? People here spend a fortune getting the table, fence, height adjuster, router, etc....when equal or even less money will get you a decent little shaper that takes router bits, has easy height adjustment, and you can get real shaper cutters for the most used profiles.
Ever try to adjust the height of a router that's hanging upside down? Ever looked at where the chips are going in an upside down router? Ever had to chuck a router bit dangerously close to the end to get enough height?
If you need a router for freehand work fine, get one, but ever tried changing base plates and installing a router into a router table upside down while trying to screw it from the top?
Obviously all routers and situations are different, but I never see anybody here advocate shapers for some reason?
My 2 cents.
-------------------- Steve Jensen Abbotsford B.C. snipped-for-privacy@canada.mortise.com chopping out the mortise. BBS'ing since 1982 at 300 bps. Surfing along at 19200 bps since 95. WW'ing since 1985 LV Cust #4114
Nothing catchy to say, well maybe..... WAKE UP - There are no GODs you fools!
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[snip]

[snip]
You are absolutely right, Steve. Well put. By the time you add a good lift, a good router, a good fence, a good insert...you can buy a decent small shaper. Plus you get an induction motor which is much quieter and durable Now, if you buy a small shaper with a tilting spindle...now you're off to the races. Maximum speed is something to consider though... so is a stock feeder.
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I have a shaper and agree that it is a great tool for spinning shaper cutters but don't think that it is even a good tool for spinning router bits. The maximum speed of most shapers is way too slow for most router bits. I have a no frills router table for router bits and use the shaper for the bigger jobs.
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Locutus wrote:

Table saw. I bought mine before I knew really much at all. Now when I buy other tools, I try to justify using them instead of the tablesaw...Table saw is a real workhorse.
--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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wrote:

These are very different tools. If you have the money, buy a (quality) table saw.
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