10" table saw for making turning blanks

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Forum topic by Lisa Chan posted 02-19-2010 10:31 PM 3816 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lisa Chan

147 posts in 3173 days

02-19-2010 10:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw question lathe

There are lot of posts in the past few days about table saws, accuracy, and everything. So, I feel a little lame about asking a somewhat (but not entirely) redundant question.

Mine is specific.

I have LIMITED space. My general need is to make 2×24 inch blanks into approximately 1×12 inch blanks. I have a mitre saw for chopping the blanks down from 24inches to 12inches.

I will (maybe once a month) be ripping 3-4 hardwood boards no wider than 8 inches, longer than 2 ft, or thicker than 3” down into smaller pieces. I can also cut down the length first with the mitre saw before running them over the table saw

None of these things will be used for fine cabinetry. I’m focused on woodturning and making spindle blanks.

My question is… if I buy the nicest blade I can afford and pop it into a Skil table saw

like this guy from Lowes for $179$Ntt=skil%20table%20saw$y=0$x=0

Am I making a decent choice for my specific application? I don’t have $600, but I do have $300.

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

20 replies so far

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3078 days

#1 posted 02-19-2010 10:50 PM

I don’t see why you couldn’t use a small/cheap table saw to do what you want.

Is there any reason to not consider a small band saw? Like the Jet JWBS10OS ?

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3269 days

#2 posted 02-19-2010 11:37 PM

I actually have an earlier version of that saw. I just can’t seem to part with it. It’s used as an outfeed table at the moment. You can find them really cheap on craigslist, like $40-$60 around denver. It comes with a serviceable carbide blade. So if your just cutting for turning, you don’t really need a better blade. Might consider ripping first, then crosscutting on the table saw with the miter gauge. A little safer than ripping little bitty pieces.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View MrHudon's profile


114 posts in 3233 days

#3 posted 02-19-2010 11:40 PM

Sounds like a band saw would be a better option for the types of cuts you want to make.

-- Mark,

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3167 days

#4 posted 02-19-2010 11:49 PM

I second the band saw option. The small benchtops would work fine or if you dedicate more space for a 12” or 14” model it could let you expand into box making and other projects.

Then you have the cheapest solution, a nice pull saw would allow you to tear through the wood in a couple minutes. Clamp on either side, trace a scroll line and pull away. I say pull saw because to me the idea of using a hacksaw to draw a straight line is absurd.

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3314 days

#5 posted 02-19-2010 11:57 PM

I disagree with the bandsaw option. If all you want to do is rips to make turning squares, a saw like you link to and a narrow push block will do you fine. Really, you don’t even need to upgrade the blade, since you’ll be removing the surface left by the table saw as soon as you start turning anyway. You can also use the table saw with the blade tilted 45 degrees to take the corners off your blanks to get a head start with the rounding. No fuss, no muss – just push ‘em through.

Edit: you can upgrade the blade for its longevity, but cut quality is irrelevant.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View woody57's profile


650 posts in 3450 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 02:42 AM

I think the table saw you mentioned would work fine. A small band saw would also work fine. It’s really your choice.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3074 days

#7 posted 02-20-2010 02:47 AM

For ripping, I vote for the TS. And I also agree with KayBee that you might want to consider ripping them first, then crosscutting on the miter saw… just seems safer this way in my mind.

It seems like a Shopsmith is a bit large for the space he wants to devote to this.

I believe Lowes puts that saw on sale fairly often and if I recall, it was maybe $99 on Black Friday last year? Not that you want to wait that long though.

I’m sure Craigslist would be another great opportunity to pick up a smaller TS as well.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#8 posted 02-20-2010 03:15 AM

I agree with the cheap table saw solution. I got by with the Ryobi (around $119) for several years, and I was doing a lot more varied cuts than you plan to do. You don’t need to use the stand…. you can stick it anywhere and just pull it out when you need it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4120 days

#9 posted 02-20-2010 03:21 AM

I am in the bandsaw camp. I think it would be more useful for turning.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View KMJohnson's profile


165 posts in 3044 days

#10 posted 02-20-2010 03:23 AM

Ryobi or Delta saws are good, skil brand wont last you long enough to make shop room for it. They are real bad saws. Boss baught 2 new ones and they didnt last us one job before they burnt up.

-- Let's do it in the wood pile!

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3720 days

#11 posted 02-20-2010 03:38 AM

Maybe good for you KM is in construction and sometime they are rough on tools.

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3079 days

#12 posted 02-20-2010 04:07 AM

I vote for the bandsaw. Many turners just own lathes and bandsaws. My biggest objection to the small table saw is it’s ability to rip 3” thick stock. I’m not sure of the motor’s hp, but 3” thick could really strain a smalll motor. You also might not be able to rip stock that thick in one pass on the table saw. You may have to flip it end-for-end and make a pass on the opposite side. If you don’t have either a bandsaw or table saw at this point, I think a band saw is a better first choice for a turner because you can more easily cut logs into turning blanks for bowls, etc and easily cut blocks of wood into circles for turning blanks. In either case, I recommend shopping on the used market. You could probably buy a used band AND a used table saw for $179. Good luck.

-- Glen

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3074 days

#13 posted 02-20-2010 04:19 AM

Guess I didn’t see the 3-inch stock part… read right past that! The bandsaw might be a better fit for that. Are you going to be adventuring into other things, or just focusing on turning for now? Maybe the bandsaw is a better fit then.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View araldite's profile


188 posts in 3427 days

#14 posted 02-20-2010 04:39 AM

For turning, the quality of the cuts is not important. For your purpose, Skil saw is probably OK. Otherwise, I would not recommend Skil. It’s poor quality in my opinion.

The question is, how thick of a material will you ever want to cut? Any table saw is limited by thickness. If you’re really only ever wanting to be cutting 2” thick, and occasionally 3”, and willing to flip the board, this saw is probably OK. But you’re just about maxed out. If you think you might some day ever want to go thicker, look at a cheap bandsaw. That’ll let you cut blanks up to at least 6”.

Most people recommend buying beyond what you think you need today because most of us have experienced what you’re experiencing and wound up moving up to bigger tools once we’ve moved up in our abilities. I do wood turning and the only saw I use for that is the band saw and, even though I have a big table saw, the band saw is really the best match for a wood turner.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3784 days

#15 posted 02-20-2010 05:49 AM

I would pass on the table saw at Lowes. In my opinion, a universal type electric motor is a poor choice of power for a table saw. I’ve seen these saws at Lowes, and frankly, they don’t even look safe to me.

Look for a used Shopsmith model 500 (ocupies 12 sq ft) or a used table saw powered by an AC induction motor. $300 or thereabouts would probably do the job for either choice.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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