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Thread: buying a table saw anything I need to know?

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    swords's Avatar
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    buying a table saw anything I need to know?

    Well I've come to the conclusion that I won't be fully happy with my new vivariums until they're sitting in a nice room to begin with. So before I get to building my setups I'm going to remodel the room the vivariums will be in. The remodeling will basically be getting rid of the bulk of my collected crap and then repainting and putting subfloor down over cracked concrete so I can lay some tile and not have it come up in six months.

    Long story getting longer, I want to get a table saw to cut the subfloor paneling and the ulterior motive is when I'm done I can use it for all my other cutting projects too and quit playing around with my hand jig saw which just aggravates my slight case of carpel tunnel. Since this is the first time I've bought a table saw is there anything I should look for when shopping? As well as plain cuts I want to be able to raise and lower the blade so it doesn't cut all the way through wood and make slots in it. Can they all do this? The model I was looking at has it's own legs and a 18" x 24" table. The other brands were a few inches more or less in either direction. So how big of wood can I cut with a saw that size?

    Thanks for any input all you handymen (and women)!

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    jimmy uphwiz's Avatar
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    the bigger the table the better, the saw just needs to be ,avarege ,and at least 10". i just have a craftsman table and saw, kinda small but i only use it for personal use it was only 99.99 about three years ago, and am very pleased with it , also make sure it has vertical adjustment so you can set the depth of the trench your trying to put in those pvc boards of yours, and a bevel cut comes in handy some time as well,so look for that feature as well, still at 99.99 mine has those features , so dont over pay you can get a lot of use out of an economical saw. hows the project coming?
    Please be careful , its so easy to loose a finger with one of these saws, and watch for kick back, get a very good stance make sure you have room on the back to follow thru, and dont lean over the blade too much,and dont ever reach over the blade, use a pusher, and a feather board if possible,( feather board helps hold the work aginst the fence for you) ,you may want to shop for one of these while you buying your saw.
    Slow down save your fingers you'll need them all !

    ---------- Post added at 06:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:36 AM ----------

    sorry i should have read you questions first , most do raise and lower, just check .
    I've cut 4' x 8' sheets but youll need a hand with something that size, its easy to get hurt, or turn the table over by yourself, because of the weight even on thin plywood , trust me have a hand with the 4 x 8 sheets. most of the other cuts, you can handle. So maybe do all the larger cuts then let the help go . i like to work alone , dont think well with extra thoughts coming at me , i get all my advise first , then go hermit for a few days and do it all myself LOL[COLOR="green"]
    Last edited by uphwiz; 01-09-2010 at 04:45 AM. Reason: double post oops

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Jimmy. It will be different using it compared to the hand jigsaw for sure. I recall my shop teacher being minus a whole finger or two! I'm more careful after getting my hands sucked into a belt sander in 6th grade (same guy's class) and having my fingernails sanded off - luckily they grew back. I won't be cutting any 4' x 8's since it won't fit in my car to bring that size home but good to know it is possible.

    I been looking at table saws and couldn't really see a difference other than the pleasure of paying big bucks for a big name brand but I figured there must be some reason. One is $115 and the others are $300 - $600.The boxes essentially all say the same thing. I have a cheapo air compressor w/2 gallon tank which works fine and I just took the stem out of an $80 harbor freight paint sprayer pressure pot to make it into a pressure casting pot for making bubble free molds & castings. I saved $500 by just unscrewing the paint tube and adding a 3/4" nut over the hole. Not bad for $0.75 in new parts!

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    If you are looking mainly for a table saw to do some rough cutting and not super high end cabinets (such as the Delta Unisaw) then primarily look for size of the table, power of the motor. You won't find alot of difference in other features such as table material and flatness on these sorts of saws. If they have them out to play with I would look to see how easy the fence is to use and lock in place as well as adjusting the depth and perhaps tilt of the blade. You could also check out the miter gage and see how well it fits in the table slot etc.

    Lowes will precut your plywood sheets if you know how big you want them cut to.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks Tony, I basically just wanna cut lumber (wood and PVC Trimboard) and be able to do some shallow cuts in the PVC in order to to make frames. How hard is it too change a blade on one of these? Do you need a special tool? What is a miter gage?

    I went to a huge Menards hardware supercenter today and played around with different ones. the blades go up and down really nice. There were two I was looking at and the slightly more expensive model ($75 more) just seemed a lot sturdier overall and had an extendable table that goes up to like 46" wide. Maybe the store put the cheapest one together shoddily to get you to buy the higher priced one but I definitely don't want the thing teetering when I'm trying to cut wood.

    Yeah, I always have to get HD or Lowes to cut the wood down to a transportable size for my little Focus hatchback. I will need six 4 x8s cut down to 2 x 4 for my subflooring but I'll still need the saw to do all the goofy corners in the room and any future building projects I wanna do. I don't think my wrist can take another session with that hand held jig saw! LOL

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Changing the blades usually isn't too difficult. They are held on with a single nut. But do check the manual as they could be reverse threads depending on which way the motor is mounted etc. They should all come with whatever wrench you need to take the nut off.. I think.

    The miter gage is the gizmo that slides in the slots on the table saw and will hold a board at an angle to the blade you can cut something other than a 90degree cut on the end.

    Extendable tables are nice. Even if you are not cutting big wide sheets of plywood you most likely will be cutting boards several feet long or longer and it is difficult to do them as well if a long section of board is hanging off the edge of the table.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    swords's Avatar
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    The miter gage is the gizmo that slides in the slots on the table saw and will hold a board at an angle to the blade you can cut something other than a 90degree cut on the end.
    I can already envision a corner vivarium unit!

    Yeah I was thinking the extendable table would be a feature worth paying a bit extra for.

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