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View Alan S's profile

How many people use their table saw as their primary work surface?

by Alan S
posted 05-20-2012 01:47 AM


31 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 938 days


#1 posted 05-20-2012 01:58 AM

I only use it when I’m sharpening my plane iron. I have a 3×8 bench with a couple shelves on the back which is a catchall for stuff, but my primary bench is a piece of MDF 4×4 on a couple of home made horses I joined with 2×4’s. It’s the center of the workshop now and I do everything on it. I do need to make a frame that fully supports the MDF though because it’s starting to sag on the ends.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View jerrells's profile

jerrells

851 posts in 1536 days


#2 posted 05-20-2012 02:33 AM

Alan – I am with Russell. YES I have a work bench but I use a 2×4 sheet of ply on some saw horses or IF I need bigger I have a old door I will put on them. A lot of times I will have to leave MY car out of the garage for a period of time but it works.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View cracknpop's profile

cracknpop

93 posts in 1000 days


#3 posted 05-20-2012 02:35 AM

I admit, I still use mine as a part time assembly bench, though not as much as I did before building a rolling bench, 16” X 60” that expands out to 48X60. I would most always put a sheet of MDF on top my table saw when using as assembly/finishing bench. Also, like Russell, I have several sets of folding saw horses that I top with MDF/plywood to work off of as well.

-- Rick

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2904 posts in 1139 days


#4 posted 05-20-2012 02:40 AM

Alan, I was in the same spot for awhile.

Make sure you keep a good coat of Johnson’s Paste wax on the work surfaces… Glue won’t stick, mitre gauge works better and it’s a lot nicer than a dose of salts!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View richinva's profile

richinva

6 posts in 1151 days


#5 posted 05-20-2012 10:27 AM

Tablesaw? Is that the thing with all those bowl blanks on it?

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1649 days


#6 posted 05-20-2012 10:39 AM

No, NO ,NEVER !
I work out of a single car shed, I do NOT use the Table Saw for anything other than cutting. It is NOT a storage area, It is NOT a assembly table. At our cabinet school it was drilled into us NEVER use the saw for anything other than cutting, It sticks with me today——35+ years later.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View kizerpea's profile

kizerpea

746 posts in 1019 days


#7 posted 05-20-2012 11:53 AM

Why yes i do…...............even tho i do have a 4 by 8 table…...the table saw is the comand center for the shop…thats where i,m sitn now…posting my 2cents…..sitn on a stool cruzn LJ…drinking coffee…

-- IF YOUR NOT MAKING DUST...YOU ARE COLLECTING IT! SOUTH CAROLINA.

View TrBlu's profile

TrBlu

360 posts in 1277 days


#8 posted 05-20-2012 11:58 AM

For me it is the router table. I have a workbench, but the router table is usually empty, where the bench is almost always cluttered.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2631 days


#9 posted 05-20-2012 12:01 PM

No, it’s only used as a table saw.

And no drinks on it or the attached table surface either.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1760 days


#10 posted 05-20-2012 12:09 PM

I have a small workshop in the basement. I never used the tablesaw as a work area. One of the concerns I have, asides from damaging the surface area of the saw, is leaving behind any small tools or items that I may have forgotten to pick up before starting up the saw. Forget to pick up one small router bit and you have an opportunity to chip a blade, have it catch and get thrown at you, or find your reflexes kicking in and putting your hand in the blade to try and grab the bit before it is picked up. All bad things.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View 8iowa's profile

8iowa

1489 posts in 2413 days


#11 posted 05-20-2012 12:16 PM

In Gainesville, I work in a one car garage space slightly under 200 sq ft. There I have a Scandinavian type work bench and a 6’ 2” long 24” deep storage cabinet with a 3/4” plywood top which is designed to mount numerous tools.

These are my work spaces. I don’t like to even put my coffee mug on the saw table surface.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3447 posts in 2612 days


#12 posted 05-20-2012 02:01 PM

There is a sign (paper and moveable) on my TS top that threatens death and destruction to ANYBODY that puts ANYTHING on it. My workbench and outfeed table are used for assembly (or as-em-bully) as the NORM says.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View BilltheDiver's profile

BilltheDiver

230 posts in 1537 days


#13 posted 05-20-2012 02:33 PM

My tiny shop is overcrowded with my tools so , Yes I do use my unisaw as a work surface. As a suggestion, buy a roll of butcher’s paper and use that when you are going to do glue work to protect the surface. Cheap and disposable.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2327 days


#14 posted 05-20-2012 07:16 PM

when its handy, do it! ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View RibsBrisket4me's profile

RibsBrisket4me

1376 posts in 1157 days


#15 posted 05-20-2012 07:59 PM

Get a workmate. Or get two plastic foldable sawhorses and a piece of MDF…I also don’t have a stand alone work bench and do have to use my table saw to work on.

-- http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid6255915

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

6951 posts in 1335 days


#16 posted 05-20-2012 08:11 PM

Now, what ever gave you THAT idea???

That might change now, though….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1720 days


#17 posted 05-20-2012 10:25 PM

I have a 4’ x 8’ workbench that does double duty as the outfeed table for my TS. I rarely use the TS for actual assembly, but it often (like right now) collects all the random “stuff” I’m using during assembly.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

757 posts in 1637 days


#18 posted 05-20-2012 10:53 PM

I have an extension table on my saw (MDF and hardboard top) that sees a lot of assembly, but the TS fence is always between it and the actual saw surface. I will place items on the TS top to get them out of the way sometimes, but I don’t glue anything on it or any assembly other than quick dry fits.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1228 days


#19 posted 05-21-2012 01:04 AM

I did for a long while until I built my quick workbench. I still use it for glueups (covered by wax paper or a sheet of laminate) because it’s the flattest surface in the shop.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 957 days


#20 posted 05-21-2012 01:15 AM

Guilty as charged, provided I have not already loaded crap on top of it. I have a out deed table thats 5×7 but when I load that up the TS is next. fortunatley its after all the heavy cutting and I dont usually need the TS at that point.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View rance's profile

rance

4132 posts in 1812 days


#21 posted 05-21-2012 02:09 AM

Too many. :(

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View woodworker59's profile

woodworker59

560 posts in 853 days


#22 posted 05-21-2012 04:27 AM

I am on the side of NO, Never. My shop is small, 220 sqft, if it wont fit in the shop I move it outside on a table of saw horses and plywood or MDF what evers handy… Usually the table saw is the biggest investment in the shop, the tool that’s used on almost every job and the thing that will hurt, kill or Mame you in a heartbeat.. I respect it and treat it as such.. that’s just me.. I also do the Johnson’s paste wax.. it does wonders for the top..

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com

View riooso's profile

riooso

38 posts in 1298 days


#23 posted 05-21-2012 04:50 AM

I was in your spot for a while and I absolutely hated it! It raised havoc with the accuracy of my cuts because I was constantly putting heavy stuff on it and throwing off the calibration of the table not to mention the rust spots that would magically appear. Listen to the idea of a workmate it will help a lot. I do not know how big your garage is but I went up and got everything off the floor, it has worked wonders for me. I was also fortunate enough to come across some hard rock maple and made a work bench that is 6 feet long and 24” wide and 3.5” thick and weighs in at about 350 pounds…. I love her! It was a bitch without a bench to make it but I am certainly glad that I did. Make a smaller version but, if you can at all, make a bench. I just got plain sick and tired working on the concrete floor. My knees and legs killed me at the end of the day and projects took forever to complete.

Take Care,
Richard

View jacob34's profile

jacob34

454 posts in 915 days


#24 posted 05-21-2012 05:17 AM

I got my table saw after I had started my shop and got in the habit of using my table so my table saw sits with my sled on it and does not get used as a table unless my kids run something into the shop for me and then everything ends up on it.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View Rick M.'s profile (online now)

Rick M.

3945 posts in 1032 days


#25 posted 05-21-2012 05:45 AM

Oh yeah. My tablesaw is also an assembly table and finish table. I have a crib mattress pad thing that is the perfect size and I toss it over the saw for gluing or finishing. I have a roll around workbench that I use for sawing, planing, drilling, etc. I also have two workbenches along the wall that hold my junk.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1031 posts in 1631 days


#26 posted 05-21-2012 08:54 AM

For what it’s worth I never use mine as a workbench and never would

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

172 posts in 1969 days


#27 posted 05-21-2012 01:22 PM

Thanks, everyone! It sounds like I need to work on changing my ways.
Alan

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2132 days


#28 posted 05-21-2012 01:30 PM

I dont know if the TS table is my primary assembly table, since I use the bench quite a bit, but I do use the TS a lot. I have extension tables on the saw that have formica tops on them so the glue wont stick. If it dries on the table, it just easily scapes off with your finger nails. I try not to use the cast iron table saw top if I can help it. If I do need to use the space, I put a tarp over the saw so glue doesnt get on it and it doesnt get scratched by nails etc.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5383 posts in 1883 days


#29 posted 05-21-2012 01:32 PM

I have a workbench, that acts as an outfeed for the table saw. I have periodically overlapped onto the table saw. Sadly on more than one occasion I have spilled glue from a glue up onto the table, and being a ribbed aluminum table it isn’t super easy to clean off…

I have since gone to laying down a plastic drop cloth over my table saw if I have to use it for overlap…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View oldretiredjim's profile

oldretiredjim

181 posts in 1037 days


#30 posted 05-21-2012 01:48 PM

sawhorses and OSB. never the table saw.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2300 days


#31 posted 05-21-2012 02:00 PM

I sometimes use it for assembly – after all cutting/finessing is done. I cover it with a sheet of masonite and do the assembly/glueing on it. I do not work on it though for anything else.

If you’ll go to my workshop page you can see the foldable workbench (full size) that I used to use when I had a 1 car garage (in a 2 garage space only had 1 side). tht’s another option.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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