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

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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


3103 posts in 2218 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


918 posts in 2816 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


285 posts in 2280 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 - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2419 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


6 posts in 2431 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


2600 posts in 2929 days

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

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


774 posts in 2299 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…


View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 2557 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

6850 posts in 3911 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.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3040 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


1569 posts in 3693 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

4876 posts in 3892 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.


View BilltheDiver's profile


251 posts in 2817 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


18225 posts in 3607 days

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

when its handy, do it! ;-)

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

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1555 posts in 2437 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.

View bandit571's profile


19499 posts in 2615 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


1730 posts in 3000 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 reveals it.

View Ripthorn's profile


1454 posts in 2917 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


2736 posts in 2508 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


2712 posts in 2238 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


4257 posts in 3092 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


560 posts in 2133 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...

View riooso's profile


38 posts in 2578 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,

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 2196 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 Woodknack's profile (online now)


11297 posts in 2312 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.

-- Rick M,

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2911 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

181 posts in 3249 days

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

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3412 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


5687 posts in 3164 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, YouTube Channel

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 2317 days

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

sawhorses and OSB. never the table saw.

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3580 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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