New House, New Shop! Table Saw?

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Forum topic by JABouts posted 08-12-2015 01:17 PM 906 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 985 days

08-12-2015 01:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

Hi Everyone,
I just got the exciting news that a bid I put on a house was accepted and I hopefully be closing in about a month. Even better, the house even comes with a small workshop with electricity and insulation. It’s a 12’ X 18’ shed converted for a workshop, which while is small, I know it’s bigger than some of the other shops people have!

Up until now I’ve been in an apartment, so woodworking has meant mostly hand tools due to noise/weight. Now that I’m moving to a house, the first thing I’m hoping to purchase is a table saw.

My questions is… with a space that size, what would people recommend for a small but good table saw? It doesn’t necessarily have to be cheaper, (though that’d be nice), I’m just looking for something with a smaller footprint that does the job. I know a lot of smaller/cheaper contractor saws have issues with power and accuracy. I’m already planning to make it mobile to keep the shop space as efficient as possible all the time.

I do have options that if there isn’t a saw out there that would be ideal for the space. I could put a table saw in the garage instead or roll the saw out to the driveway, but if I can keep everything together in one place, that would be of course nicer.

So what say you? Best saw for a small space?

10 replies so far

View bc4393's profile


61 posts in 1109 days

#1 posted 08-12-2015 01:55 PM

Don’t rule out a cabinet saw. My delta contractor was actually a bigger footprint than the Powermatic. My shop is in a tandem garage bay and it works well. It’s 11 foot wide and I froget how deep. You just have to be creative with storage. :) Here’s pics of the 2 saws in the same space.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1390 days

#2 posted 08-12-2015 02:00 PM

Some choose to use a track saw for all their work in a small area. Festool comes to mind as a great solution if I were starting over and had limited shop space. Pricey but the quality is unmatched. And if you are in a small shop, can really be a great space saver while still getting the job done with accuracy and clean cuts. Table saws are nice, but not mandatory to get quality cuts.

P.S. And congratulations! Welcome to the world of home ownership! You will never want to live in an apartment again!!!

-- Brad, Texas,

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1142 days

#3 posted 08-12-2015 02:22 PM

The first question you need to as and answer is “What type of woodworking do you plan on doing?” This will determine what tools you will need and the size of each tool. For instance:

Scrollsaw Fretwork: large bandsaw to resaw, small table saw, and a good scrollsaw.
Lathe turning: large bandsaw and a high quality lathe.
Kitchen cabinets: a much larger shop, an accurate tablesaw capable of handling plywood, and a router table.
Furniture: a very accurate table saw, router table, and a large bandsaw for resawing figured wood.

Let us know what you want to do, and if it is only a hobby, a self-supporting hobby, or do you plan on making money?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View JABouts's profile


4 posts in 985 days

#4 posted 08-12-2015 02:33 PM

P.S. And congratulations! Welcome to the world of home ownership! You will never want to live in an apartment again!!!

You have no idea how excited I am to get out of apartment living… hahaha

Woodworking is purely hobby for me – Making things for around the future house, friends, family, etc. Example, the back deck of this house screams for some adirondack chairs. Furniture is what I’d like to do, but both small and very accurate in a table saw is I’m guessing an issue. I like the idea of the track saw, with possibly a good quality band saw for resawing and other purposes?

View rwe2156's profile


2881 posts in 1447 days

#5 posted 08-12-2015 03:41 PM

I’ll say it again you’re asking one of the two worst questions to ask on LJ (the other being any question related to electrical).

All you will get is people telling you what saw they have, why they like it or not, and the ever-present posting of pics of their machines. You will not get unbiased suggestions or any realistic suggestions because nobody knows you, your skill level, or your expectations.

Generalities here, ask yourself some questions, like

What is your current skill level, budget, space requirements?
What level of ww’ing are you expecting to do in the future?
Do you have access to 240v power?
Do you think “buy the best, buy it once” is a good thing to shoot for?
I suggest you learn the machine brands and types – best/better/bad.
Do you have confidence to buy a used, quality machine?

JA, ultimately YOU have to do the research and due diligence because in the end the decision is YOURS.
Don’t expect the people here to tell you what saw to buy.

There are plenty of books, reviews, and videos out there, now get to work!
Good luck on your new house and everything else.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JABouts's profile


4 posts in 985 days

#6 posted 08-12-2015 03:43 PM

Haha, fair enough! Newbie mistake – I’ll dig into some reviews, thanks

View JABouts's profile


4 posts in 985 days

#7 posted 08-12-2015 03:45 PM

BC4393 – Thanks for the pics, that’s super helpful and a good point to consider!

View jmartel's profile


7807 posts in 2116 days

#8 posted 08-12-2015 03:48 PM

What’s your budget? I work in a 16×18 space. I can tell you that whatever you want should be on a mobile base. Much easier to make your cuts, then move the saw out of the way in a small space.

I really like my Grizzly G0771 for what it’s worth.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View retfr8flyr's profile


384 posts in 1635 days

#9 posted 08-12-2015 04:01 PM

I also wouldn’t rule out a good cabinet saw, you will be much happier with results from a good saw. I have less space to work in then you do and I wouldn’t give up my Jet saw setup for anything. I have all my machines mounted on mobile bases and move them out from the walls when needed.

-- Earl

View johnstoneb's profile


2869 posts in 2139 days

#10 posted 08-12-2015 04:04 PM

I work in a 16’ x 24” shop. I have an 8’ overhead door the tabel saw is place in front of the overhead door in such a way that I can open the overhead and cut 4’x8’ panels without moving the saw and can still get lumber and panels in without moving the saw. I just replace my 113 craftsman with a Sawstop contractors saw. The craftsman with a t2 fence was very accurate and did everything I wanted. I got the Sawstop because I work out there by myself and have had a few close calls on other tools. I decided I needed to keep my fingers.
The contractor saws can be as accurate and take up as much floor space as the cabinet saw. Job site saw are generally smaller and can be less accurate on larger pieces. even they after putting them on a base and table extensions can take up a large piece of real estate in a shop.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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