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Inexpensive table saw for teeny-tiny shop

by jtrz
posted 01-09-2017 01:39 AM


27 replies so far

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 589 days


#1 posted 01-09-2017 02:06 AM

Buy a track saw, of course it is more limiting than a table saw but you can put it away in the shelf.

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JayT

5629 posts in 2209 days


#2 posted 01-09-2017 02:16 AM

Table saw on a budget is easy—keep an eye on Craigslist or other classifieds for a Craftsman 113 or similar. In most areas of the country, they pop up for $100-150 pretty regularly. The minimal space, however, isn’t so easy. Any table saw is a space hog. There are people who use jobsite saws that can fold up on the stand to store vertically, but you are giving up quite a bit in capability versus a contractor or cabinet saw. Might be something to look at for your situation, however.

For limited space, you could also think about using a band saw. They work well for ripping and can do a good job of straightening lumber, too. A little more limited on cross cutting, but combined with a circular saw or miter saw can take care of that, too. Plus, they take up less than 1/4 the floor space of a table saw.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#3 posted 01-09-2017 02:20 AM

Track saws are really expensive. And I’m planning on making a nice long straightedge to use with my circular saw for ripping plywood down. I don’t think a track saw will help with squaring up rough lumber. When I say inexpensive I mean under $300. I am scouring craigslist each day.

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#4 posted 01-09-2017 02:29 AM

Storing a saw is not as much of a problem. I can store any tools outside the confines of my tiny workspace area. I am only confined in space because my friend (landlord/roommate) uses the rest of of the basement. I will be installing some thick poly that I can roll up out of the way as a dust barrier. The space completely stinks but I will be able to make it work. I am definitely in the market for a jobsite type saw.

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canadianchips

2600 posts in 2995 days


#5 posted 01-09-2017 02:32 AM

Anolder 113….craftsman is good saw.
Straght cuts.
Enough power to rip thick material if needed.
I had cheap, portable saws and they were not that great. My older craftsman is my go to saw

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

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#6 posted 01-09-2017 02:34 AM

Found this on craftsman on craigslist for $250.

Is this the model that you are talking about?

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Gaffneylumber

102 posts in 826 days


#7 posted 01-09-2017 02:44 AM

Yea that’s a 113 craftsman but about $100 more than it is worth.

-- Grayson - South Carolina

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TheFridge

9460 posts in 1484 days


#8 posted 01-09-2017 02:53 AM

Take the wings off if you need space. The fences on those saws are almost always trash but a modest investment can get you a sweet new one.

Jobsite saws have universal motors that are very loud. Aren’t as precise either.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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bandit571

19997 posts in 2681 days


#9 posted 01-09-2017 02:59 AM

Maybe come visit The Dungeon Shop, just for ideas on a basement shop?

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

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#10 posted 01-09-2017 03:03 AM

I’ll see if I can get the guy to go down on it. I was planning on getting a nice fence.

What is the Dungeon Shop? Sounds exactly like an apt description of what my shop will be.

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DirtyMike

637 posts in 900 days


#11 posted 01-09-2017 03:15 AM



I ll see if I can get the guy to go down on it. I was planning on getting a nice fence.

What is the Dungeon Shop? Sounds exactly like an apt description of what my shop will be.

- jtrz

There is a guy on here with a Grizz 715 with an incra fence that has a small shop. what region do you live in?

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bandit571

19997 posts in 2681 days


#12 posted 01-09-2017 03:22 AM

Dungeon Shop is being remodeled right now, but….

Power tool area, I have no tablesaw down here, no room..

Looking from the “working end” of the bench towards the tills, and if I turn to the left..

Across this vast expanse of open floor..

I have a few tools I use the most of. For a power saw….either a bandsaw, or a circular saw to get things cut. well, and a few handsaws, too. I have to share the basement with a Luandry Room, a furnace, and the hot water heater. , Just a tad cramped….

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

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#13 posted 01-09-2017 03:51 AM

That is definitely more cramped than my soon-to-be shop. The basement here is unfinished and open (no partition walls) and my area is close to the furnace and hot water heater. And the electrical box is right in what would have been a really useful corner of my area. Definitely be doing some sealing on that box to keep the dust out. And next to the box is where the main water line comes into the house. Oh and the idiots that remodeled this house years ago didn’t properly fill the hole they created where the water line is so if it rains real hard water drips through. Water really isn’t a problem because we have a good rigged up system for catching the water however our rigged up system takes up more workshop space.

I’ll be interested to see the dungeon shop post remodel.

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bandit571

19997 posts in 2681 days


#14 posted 01-09-2017 04:06 AM

Working on it….might be a little bit longer…

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

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unbob

810 posts in 1901 days


#15 posted 01-09-2017 04:49 AM

Another basement situation

‘I’d like to be able to straighten rough lumber without the need of a jointer and a table saw would make that a lot easier.”

That is actually a dangerous thing to try to do. The jointer will take rough lumber and establish 2 true sides, then the board will sit flat on the saw and have a true edge for the fence. Sawing a board that rocks on the table, and or an edge that will jam the blade from the fence is asking for trouble. The resulting lumber will be not so good.
I would look for one of the older combo saw-jointer machines, those take up little room and were made for small projects.

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shampeon

1775 posts in 2181 days


#16 posted 01-09-2017 04:49 AM

If you’re that cramped for space, I’d probably listen to what Bandit says and forgo the table saw completely to get a bandsaw. Smaller footprint, more versatile. Joint an edge, use a panel gauge to mark the width, make the cut, plane smooth & square.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View jtrz's profile

jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#17 posted 01-09-2017 05:53 AM

I’ve found a couple of ways to to straighten lumber without a jointer, they involve using a router in combination with a table saw. And I am not planing on doing a ton of of it, certainly not with large pieces or with really hard woods. Straightening rough lumber would be only a fraction of the work I do. I am not planing on producing high quality stuff down in this shop. It’s more for prototyping furniture designs using plywood and poplar or heck even plain old big box 2x’s.

The main reason I want a table saw is they are can do a million things. If I can get one for cheap, add a nice fence to it without breaking the bank than I’ll go for it. If not I’ll spend the money on something else.

I don’t have a lot of experience with a bandsaw. When I’ve used them I found that the blade would bend a bit making it impossible to make straight cuts. Maybe it was the bandsaw I had access to or my ignorance on how to make the best use of it. If anyone had any links on getting me up to speed on how to use one properly that would be helpful.

I’ll see if I can find any saw-jointer combos, I’ll look into them.

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RogR

110 posts in 863 days


#18 posted 01-09-2017 05:57 AM

It always depends on what you plan to produce but, for general tinkering, my vote would be a jobsite saw (preferably with a folding stand). I have had a small Dewalt TS for quite some years and it has been extremely durable – considering the way it gets biffed and abused. I wouldn’t expect glue-rips from it, but it is quite competent at breaking large items down with respectable accuracy. Light enough to sit on a shelf and powerful enough to rip stock to full blade depth.

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#19 posted 01-09-2017 06:07 AM

Yeah I found a Dewalt DW744 with a stand on craigslist. I guess these were recalled but not all of them. Don’t know if it is one of the “safe” ones. Haven’t inquired.

Forgive my lingo ignorance but what do you mean by glue-rip?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6710 posts in 2197 days


#20 posted 01-09-2017 06:18 AM

Any ideas for a table saw for a guy on budget and minimal workspace would be greatly appreciated.

As long as you don’t push it too hard, you can find those plastic universal screamer motor benchtop things all day long for around $50 or less. It will be a bit of a challenge to get it dialed in and work with, and you won’t be able to push it too hard, but it can and would get you by until you have the space for a larger saw. They are satisfactory for small projects and infrequent use. For anything more, you want to find something with a real induction motor and belt driven arbor, but size may be a limiting factor in your present situation.

I don’t have a lot of experience with a bandsaw. When I’ve used them I found that the blade would bend a bit making it impossible to make straight cuts. Maybe it was the bandsaw I had access to or my ignorance on how to make the best use of it. If anyone had any links on getting me up to speed on how to use one properly that would be helpful.

The blade should not bend, and you can get dead straight cuts if it is setup properly. The only limitation would be the size of the stock you could work with. Here is the obligatory band saw video that will show you all you need to know:

Band Saw Clinic with Alex Snodgrass

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View JayT's profile (online now)

JayT

5629 posts in 2209 days


#21 posted 01-09-2017 03:43 PM

Forgive my lingo ignorance but what do you mean by glue-rip?

- jtrz

Means a smooth enough rip cut that it’s ready to glue up right off the saw. Can be done with a good sharp blade and well set up saw. Most of the plastic jobsite saws aren’t capable of that kind of precision—they lack the rigidity.

I’m assuming that the “bend” in the band saw blade you refer to is it not tracking straight. Two possible causes of that. The first is setup. The Alex Snodgrass video that Brad linked is very helpful there. The second reason it can happen is a dull blade. With good set up and a sharp blade, a bandsaw can produce very straight cuts. The cuts tend to be a bit rougher than off a table saw, but should be straight.

I sold my table saw last year, replaced it with a band saw and documented some of my thoughts in this blog post. The best thing I did before making that decision was mapping all the work I did for a year to see if it was feasible. Since there are usually multiple ways to accomplish the same task when woodworking, sometimes all it takes is a bit of thinking to find a way that works better for you.

For me, the single biggest factor was available space, so I was willing to do some work differently to gain the space. That may not be the situation for you. Determine your priorities, realistically assess your skill set and then decide what the best solution is for you. It may not be the best solution for someone else.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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lurkey

10 posts in 1368 days


#22 posted 01-09-2017 07:44 PM

I’m going to echo unbob: look for old saw & jointer combo, delta Milwaukee brand, 1160 tilt top table saw (10 inch not homecraft) with attached jointer. If you live on the west coast they are plentiful for under 300$.

1160 is a better saw than craftsman 113, and more importantly has a far superior fence. Drawback of the 1160 is the tilt top, not so much for beveling, but for supporting large pieces since the top goes up and down and tilts.

Jointer is a great little unit too, super solid, only drawback is short beds, it’s limited in length of boards it can effectively joint.

I used one of these combos for awhile and the quality of cut on smaller stock was on par with my unisaw, and jointer was nicer than the one I replaced it with. If I was looking to make small things in a small space it would be first thing I looked for.

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#23 posted 01-09-2017 09:18 PM

I can’t remember seeing even one for sale on Craigslist since I’ve been on the tool hunt. I’m in Louisville, KY, far from the West Coast, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I have a feeling I will be looking for a long time for a saw jointer combo. Since it sounds like they are all older units and I have no experience with them I am bit worried about looking at one but having no idea how to assess if it has any problems. To be honest, something with a tilt top doesn’t sound very appealing.

My intention is to get most of the tools I have on some sort of moveable base or at least have a way to move them up against the wall and out of the way. The vision I have of my mini shop is that most tools will be mobile and when I need them they will move to the center and then they go under the work bench against the wall.

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3448 posts in 3182 days


#24 posted 01-09-2017 09:31 PM

I have a dw745 jobsite saw and it is actually pretty great for the size.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#25 posted 01-09-2017 09:34 PM

Yeah I found a dw 744 with a stand. Anyone had experience with that model? They are asking $250 but it’s craigslist so I imagine I can get them down.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6710 posts in 2197 days


#26 posted 01-09-2017 09:45 PM

Might want to consider a shopsmith… there are a few in your area for sale.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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jtrz

134 posts in 1171 days


#27 posted 01-09-2017 09:53 PM

which shopsmith are you referring to? I’m assuming you are looking at craigslist?

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