We're beginning to finish the basement, including an 11' x 22' shop.
The shop has an existing door; the door being a standard 3' door, it
has 33" of clear width when open. With this being a mild climate
(northern California), I'll do quite a bit of woodworking outdoors for
over half the year; the area right outside the basement is a flat
patio with concrete floor, in the shade of trees. 220V power is
available both indoors and outdoors. All the larger machinery (like a
tablesaw) has to be on a mobile base, to be moved around within the
shop (to make room for larger projects), and to be moved outside.
Because of the space constraint, I'm restricting myself to saws with
30" fences and without outfeed tables. Cutting of large plywood
pieces isn't done on the tablesaw; instead, it has to be done outdoors
with a circular saw along a straightedge guide. That's life for
people that have a small shop.
I would love to buy a really great tablesaw for the new shop (for
example a General 350/650), but there are a few problems. First, a
saw that's physically that big uses way too much room when not in use.
Second, it would not fit through the door, and I want a saw that can
be moved in and out of the shop. Third, a saw that heavy is probably
nearly impossible to move over the 3/4" high door threshold, even on a
So here's the question: What's the "best" tablesaw that can be moved
through a 33" wide door, without having to disassemble it to much?
Clearly, any benchtop saw (a good example is the Bosch 4000, or the
Ryobi BT3xxx) would fit fine; but they are just too small, often have
non-standard size miter slots, and don't have decent fences (not to
speak of undersized motors and so many other restrictions). I want a
saw that is accurate enough for furniture woodworking, can take a
reasonable size dado set, and is handles standard accessories.
Right now, I'm leaning towards either der DeWalt 746, or the Jet
Supersaw. I just measured the size of a Supersaw in the store: To fit
through the door, I'd have to remove the big bolt in the back that
holds the splitter / blade guard; but that hopefully takes only a few
minutes to reassemble and align. I've not had the opportunity to
measure whether the DW746 would fit through the door.
I've heard a few bad things about the fence on the Jet Supersaw, but
the fence on the DW746 doesn't seem to be too sturdy either. Rumor
has it that the sliding table attachment on the Jet is nearly
worthless, while the one for the DW746 is quite nice. On the other
hand, the Jet it is considerably cheaper than the DW746 (in particular
once you equip the DeWalt with cast-iron wings). I guess that I could
retrofit a high-quality fence onto either saw (as long as it is
removable for going through the door).
Could an owner of the DW746 maybe measure whether it will fit through
a 33" wide door? How much needs to be disassembled? I'll try to get
to a store which has a display model, but that will take me a few
weeks until a get around to it, and requires a multi-hour detour.
Does anyone know of other types of saws that could fit the bill? I
think all the full-size cabinet and contractors saws are too big. Any
And if you want to suggest enlarging the door: Sorry, I thought of
that. A 3'6" door (clear opening 39") could theoretically be
installed, but it would require cutting through a concrete wall that
is 12" thick at the bottom; this is unfortunately not practical. Any
larger door would be impossible (due to reasons of building
stability), nor really useful: With a shop that's only 11' wide, a 6
foot double door is silly.
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