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Do I need a table saw?

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Forum topic by packetsmacker posted 08-06-2016 04:49 PM 619 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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packetsmacker

28 posts in 1880 days


08-06-2016 04:49 PM

I am thinking of getting rid of my table saw. It takes up a lot of room and I have a small shop. Its about 8’x`12’. I was thinking of switching to mostly had tools but I am not sure. I have been thinking of what I use my saw for and the only thing I can think of that I really need my saw for are a few small cuts. For example, taking a 1/16 off a a board. The other thing that might be harder to do without a table saw might be ripping a narrow board. I don’t know how I could rip a 1/2” board with a track saw. Well at lest I cant think of away to do it safe or accurate. I can do everything else with a track saw, sliding miter saw, and a router.

What am I missing? What do you guys use the table saw for that you cant do with a track saw or had tools?

As far as the type of wood working I do its mostly stuff for the wife book cases, small desk, etc.


18 replies so far

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#1 posted 08-06-2016 05:02 PM

Do you have room for a bench top saw? It can be stored away under a bench and can be easily taken outdoors for cutting larger pieces. A table saw is certainly not indispensable, but it can make work easier if you have one.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 387 days


#2 posted 08-06-2016 05:14 PM

packetsmacker,

The table saw excels at producing long straight cuts with relative smooth cut lines without much setup time. But I do not think the table saw is a must have tool, especially in your limited space. But the ability to make long straight cuts is a capability you may want to retain. Perhaps a bandsaw could replace the table saw if the bandsaw is on castors and would take up less floor space than your table saw. If properly tuned with a sharp blade, it will produce those long straight cuts and even cross cuts but with mostly ragged cut surfaces. Dados and rabbets could be cut with hand planes or a router. A track saw can breakdown sheet goods. Giving up the table saw and foregoing the bandsaw option would probably mean some lumber that could have otherwise been used for a project would go to the scrap pile.

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1194 posts in 1361 days


#3 posted 08-06-2016 05:21 PM

Got rid of mine. It was used more as a table than a saw. I work primarily with hand tools and many things that people use table saws for I did by hand. But I replaced it with a bandsaw, which I love. I refuse to resaw anything by hand. Also rip with it, cut curves, which you can’t do with a table saw. Also safer than a table saw.

Bandsaw for president!

View joey502's profile

joey502

487 posts in 985 days


#4 posted 08-06-2016 05:22 PM

I would not go without my table saw but i am not in a tight workspace either. Many folks overseas do beautiful work without a tablesaw due to space limitations.

It really depends on the type of work you do and how you choose to do it. Hand tolls are fantastic but i choose not to mill stock by hand. In the case of nipping off the end of a board you could use a hand plane and shooting board.

You could add a bandsaw in the place of the tablesaw as well. It will rip 1/2” boards, the cut side could be cleaned up with a hand plane or lunchbox planer. The planer could easily be stored out of the way under something else.

If it were me i would store the tablesaw out of the shop for a while to see how badly you want it. If you decide you don’t need it after a trial it can be sold. I would hate to get sellers remorse a few days after.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#5 posted 08-06-2016 05:24 PM

Rule of thumb for tools is if you have to ask then you don’t need it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 463 days


#6 posted 08-06-2016 05:29 PM

You might consider keeping the table saw, but get a bit more clever in how you store it. I’ve seen workbench designs that allow a table saw to fit under them.

Another idea to consider, and it adds to what MrRon said about a benchtop saw. You should look into the Paulk workbench. It’s a portable workbench that fits on saw horses. A benchtop saw can be hung on the side of it. Point is instead of just putting the saw on the bench top, it hangs on the side and the bench functions as the outfeed table.

I would find it very hard to get along without a table saw. But of course it depends on what you are actually doing and preferred work methods. And, obviously, woodworkers made things before table saws existed, so no one absolutely has to have one.

-- Clin

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#7 posted 08-06-2016 06:01 PM

Wood has three dimensions length, width, & thickness. The tablesaw rips (width) and crosscuts (length) and you need a planer for thickness. These two tools turn rough lumber to dimensional boards. If all your projects are small and you limit your designs to S4S stock you can buy, then no.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7224 posts in 2842 days


#8 posted 08-06-2016 06:09 PM

I personally love having a good TS and consider it the heart and soul of my shop…with that said, I could find a way around it if I had to.

An argument could be made that you really don’t need any of these tools individually. Most are a convenience. You need something, but not necessarily a table saw, or a bandsaw, or a planer, or a router, or a miter saw, or drill press, etc. What you choose to work is pretty subjective.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#9 posted 08-06-2016 06:20 PM

If you really want to downsize but still want to cut some “hobby” sized wood, “how about one of these?”: http://www.micromark.com/microlux-mini-tilt-arbor-table-saw-for-benchtop-hobby-use,7500.html

My uncle in Germany had one similar to this because his shop was 4’×4’ and he put it under the bench when not used.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

464 posts in 369 days


#10 posted 08-06-2016 08:02 PM

Yes

View packetsmacker's profile

packetsmacker

28 posts in 1880 days


#11 posted 08-07-2016 12:04 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I will build my next project without my saw and see how it goes. It would be a pain to move it out since it is on a custom stand with dust collection.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#12 posted 08-07-2016 01:39 AM


Got rid of mine. It was used more as a table than a saw. I work primarily with hand tools and many things that people use table saws for I did by hand. But I replaced it with a bandsaw, which I love. I refuse to resaw anything by hand. Also rip with it, cut curves, which you can t do with a table saw. Also safer than a table saw.

Bandsaw for president!

- ColonelTravis

I went this path last year, as well, for many of the same reasons you are thinking about. Small shop (110 sq ft in my case) and lots of hand tool work. After thinking about the possibility of making the switch, I spent a year working on projects and every time the table saw was used, I stopped to think if the same task could be done with other tools. In every case, the answer was yes, so I sold the table saw, purchased a good 14in bandsaw and haven’t regretted that decision.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1141 days


#13 posted 08-07-2016 01:52 AM

For me having a table saw is like having a highly skilled worker that can do quickly and accurately most of the jobs pushed his way … and I don’t have to feed him.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View ajshobby's profile

ajshobby

73 posts in 1775 days


#14 posted 08-07-2016 04:44 AM

Ive thought about getting rid of the table saw because of space issues. However i keep it because of the ease of doing repeated rips. Especially narrow rips that my track saw is just too fiddely to do. It came down to a time issue. I would rather have the tablesaw take up space to save me the time when dementioning stock.

View JIMMIEM's profile

JIMMIEM

39 posts in 308 days


#15 posted 08-07-2016 12:33 PM

Is there room to keep it and use it as a work bench….then if you need to use it you’ve got it. Mine gets used more as a workbench than the actual workbenches do.

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