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Forum topic by WOODIE1 posted 04-15-2013 05:31 PM 5295 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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117 posts in 2305 days

04-15-2013 05:31 PM

Ok, I just bought a new house and can finally get a table saw vs the track saw route I have been forced to deal with. Track saw are great for what they do but I am tired of all the shortcomings and need to compensate to make simple cuts.

Anyway in my mind the safest saw is one you keep your body and hands away from the blade. I live in CA and see the Laguna, Felder, Hammer, Grizzly etc version of the basic slider saw.

The problem is I have never used a sliding table and have some questions. The table on the lower level saws appear to be very short and wouldn’t come near to supporting 1/2 a 4×8. The larger models obviously do. My question is unless you get the bigger model that support larger sheets is it even worth it?

Am I better off picking up a good deal on a cabinet saw and adding say a General or Exactor sliding table to it??

I want this to be a no excuse saw. No I can’t buy a 3phase saw that takes up 2 bays and that is the reason for the questions. I like building bookcases and built ins. I also want to renovate the kitchen in the new house and there will be sheet goods to cut and would rather do all on the saw at least 1/2 sheets to final size.

Thanks and as always i trust the wealth of experience one here.

19 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 04-15-2013 05:40 PM

You need an outrigger to crosscut full sheets. I never do
because I have a panel saw for that. The outrigger takes
up a lot of room and will make a saw with a 52” rip fence
about 9’ wide. You don’t need all that rip capacity with
a slider though.

As an alternative to an outrigger, you can make a table
or use a triton multi—stand with a 2×4 clamped in that
you put to the left of the slider and walk in between the
support and the saw when making the cut.

A format slider is more likely to hold settings accurately
than an aftermarket add on and a format slider has
a smaller footprint as well. Those Exactor things take
up a lot of space and are not friendly to mobile bases.
I can pick up and move my saw on a pallet jack in
20 seconds because it’s a small format slider with no
extraneous legs.

Smaller ones are harder to find on the used market,
but they are out there. If you can make the space,
the Robland ES300 is a good saw that isn’t too
huge and they are available second hand. They
are sold badged Powermatic too.

View WOODIE1's profile


117 posts in 2305 days

#2 posted 04-15-2013 05:44 PM

Am I wrong in the thinking that the slider adds to the safety of the saw?

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 04-15-2013 05:47 PM

No. I think it’s very safe and predictable but as with any machine, you have
to think safe too. I use the guard 95% of the time.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2312 days

#4 posted 04-15-2013 05:52 PM

For the money… wouldn’t a Sawstop take care of his fear of the blade and also keep him in a smaller footprint? Just asking ‘cause I don’t know. Haven’t ever really looked at sliders and don’t own a Sawstop either.


View WOODIE1's profile


117 posts in 2305 days

#5 posted 04-15-2013 05:59 PM

The idea of going with the slider is for approx $4k you get the added slider, safety and larger capacity. The Saw stop only addresses the safety issue but leaves you with a basic table saw still needing the accys.

I have never used a slider and just am unsure on the shorter tables being worth saving say an additional $1000. I understand the basic idea of their use.

I want to cut down a 4×4 sheet into cabinet sides and use the sliding function. With the smaller ones am I simply cutting using the fence like a traditional table saw or am I missing something here?

I hate buying a tool that needs upgrading out of the box. I also don’t want a saw that is just too much saw. I am looking in the under $4k range so either a cabinet saw with an Incra set up and some other accys thrown in or the sliding table saws.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#6 posted 04-15-2013 06:11 PM

You’ll need a slider with an actual capacity of 48” then. Of course
a sheet of 4×8 ply can be crosscut with a 48” fence too, but
the slider is more reliably accurate, more fun, and requires less
build-out of infeed and outfeed tables.

Shops with 9 or 10 foot sliders seldom use the fence since
rip cuts and straight-lining can be done on the slider. Of
course the footprint is big and with a saw that size they
usually have a large capacity rip fence too. The rip fence
on a slider can be slid back to function as a cut-off stop
to the right of the blade, which is very useful when cutting
small parts or multiple parts shorter than, say, 12” long.
When the part to the right of the blade gets much longer,
it’s more accurate to set it up to cross-cut to the left
of the blade.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2997 days

#7 posted 04-15-2013 07:20 PM

For $4k I’d have a panel saw and a Saw Stop table saw. Best of both worlds.
I hate wrestling sheet goods on a table saw, no matter the configuration.
And I can’t afford a slider and a panel saw so I would trade the slider for the SawStop for the safe cutting of everything else the panel saw can’t do.

View Planeman40's profile


1179 posts in 2787 days

#8 posted 04-16-2013 02:27 AM

Having used a Delta 10” contractor’s saw with a Unisaw table and fence (yes, they made this in the 1970s when I bought it) for nearly 40 years and now having a Hammer K3 48” x 48” ( I won it in a drawing by Hammer last year), I will say this.

The Hammer is nice. I like the slider and it has its uses. The T-slots on the slide allow for work to be clamped down with hold-downs that fit into the T-slots and this lends itself to doing interesting things from time to time and allows for jigs and fixtures to be attached to the slide easily. The saw is deadly accurate and it came out of the crate that way, but so was the Delta when it was tuned up. In certain situations, mostly cross-cutting, a slider can keep your fingers away from the blade, but not with most ripping which is still done the old way with a fence. A regular table saw can, in effect, be made into a “slider” by the use of a good table sled with a few holes for bolts here and there or even some aluminum T-slots added.

The slider really shines when working with plywood and wood-composite panels which are a touch awkward. The panels can be clamped to the slide and won’t shift.

Because of this, I am presently making a number of jigs and fixtures to move wood through the Hammer saw in the ripping mode. In my opinion, properly made jigs, hold-downs, and “push sticks” (mine are more than that) should make a regular table saw as safe as a slider, but maybe not quite as useful (but close).


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2995 days

#9 posted 04-16-2013 08:04 AM

Don’t forget with a slider there’s probably a scoring attachment, to take care of break out on panels. This is a huge bonus if you make a lot of kitchens/wardrobes from melamine particle board.
Even with a short carriage (54”), you can rip the length of a sheet. Load up the sheet and support the end with a roller stand, start the cut pushing the carriage and material forward, get a ways into to the cut and pull the carriage back while holding the sheet where it is with the free hand, and then carry on pushing carriage and sheet through the cut. Add another roller stand forward of the saw for the sheet to roll on to.

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2222 days

#10 posted 04-16-2013 03:44 PM

Something I’d suggest you consider is the number of times you anticipate needing to cut full sheets of plywood?

My saw doesn’t have a sliding table but I make do quite nicely with a couple of multi-purpose roller stands I keep for just the occassion.

I high-end saw with all the flexibility is great…but are you spending an extra grand for a once a year cut?

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2312 days

#11 posted 04-16-2013 04:26 PM

I bought a new table saw to do my kitchen cabinets. My old, cheap, crappy, “home owner’s saw” just wasn’t going to cut it (pun intended). A sliding table saw would have probably made it easier…. but it wasn’t difficult with my shiny new 35990G. A panel saw would have made breaking down the full sheets easier…. but I don’t have one and wasn’t going to buy one for an operation I may not do a lot of in the future. So I made a quick-and-dirty cutting table using sawhorse brackets with 8ft 2×4s as the horizontal pieces and then laid 4’ pieces across the 2 horses. Was it a great cutting table? In terms of permanence, no…probably not. Did it work and could I clamp my home-made circular saw edge guide to it? Absolutely. It worked great as a matter of fact. When I needed a longer outfeed area, I used a home-made “T”-bar clamped into a Workmate and laid a piece of 3/4” ply on top of that and my workbench (which is on the back side of my saw and about 3/4” lower) and that worked great too!

Part of being a woodworker…. whether hobbyist or pro… is being able to make the things you NEED (jigs, fixtures, etc) to make the things you WANT (like cabinets or boxes or toys or birdhouses or…. you get the idea).

My point is, that with a little forethought and some ingenuity, you can make smaller tools do big work on occasion. And if you’re a cabinet shop or production shop of any kind then the expensive, more specialized equipment is the way to go. But if you are going to build a little of this and a little of that, then I’d get good equipment that can handle a lot of different jobs. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the room or the budget for a slider. I’m certain I got my table saw, new Grizzly 6” jointer, Dewalt 734 planer, and older (but super nice condition) Delta 14” band saw, as well as blades and probably all the material I used to build my kitchen…. for LESS than the cost of a decent quality slider.

And the whole safety thing is…. well not that I don’t want folks to be safe… but this is NOT an activity without risk. Slider, Sawstop, I don’t care… there are a thousand ways to hurt yourself when working with machinery or even with hand tools (a friend of mine shoved a VERY freshly sharpened chisel through his arm…. momentary lapse of judgement).

So in the end (yes I actually have an end) look at what you expect to DO and how often you expect to do it.


Don’t buy a backhoe if all you need is a shovel and a bit more time.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2211 days

#12 posted 04-16-2013 05:09 PM

If you have the room and budget, a sliding table saw is defiantly safer and the sliding table add on for a normal table saw are usually very finicky. I was interning in a production shop where they had a 16” sliding martin table saw. We basically used the wing arm for anything although the fence worked great too. It sounds like you will be using lots of plywood (for book casses) so a slider makes sense. This grizz ( ) has the outrigger and a relatively small footprint. If you have the room and budget, I would say go for it!

View WOODIE1's profile


117 posts in 2305 days

#13 posted 04-16-2013 06:06 PM

I am concerned with the larger footprint as i am sure it will be an issue. I like the Laguna ir cheaper Hammer 48” as for under $4k on sale it seams to do everything in a reasonable foortprint. Even Grizzly has a similar version.

My reasoning is a cabinet saw is going to run $2-3k. Then add all the jigs and accys to be able to do the cuts a slider can and the price equals out fairly quickly. Then if you add safety of a Sawstop the price is equal if not more.

I think the Hammer 48” might be the way to go. Like most I like bargains and would love to buy a good used table saw and build onto it. Problem is sometimes that becomes the project rather then flipping an on switch and getting to work. That is the downfall of the Festool track saw. There is just too much rigging to make a simple cut at times.

I am thinking of the smaller slider as I can rip the sheets in half but again added set up and more tools out to do one quick cut. Woodworking is a slippery slope.

I appreciat ethe help as sometimes putting into words what I need is hard as I still consider myself a novice. I ma aware you can do any cut with just about any table saw with some work Problem is I want to work on my projects not the saw.

View Planeman40's profile


1179 posts in 2787 days

#14 posted 04-16-2013 09:08 PM

You can put the saw up on casters which will allow you to shift it around for really long boards and things. I did this by installing four cast iron casters with urethane treads rated at 275 lbs each for a total of 1100 lbs to hold up the saw which is around 800 lbs. I got the casters – $5 each – at Harbor Freight ( You shouldn’t need locking casters as the saw requires a pretty heavy shove or bump with the hip to get it moving and some good tugging to move it around.

One other thing. The Hammer saw requires a vacuum to be attached to it. It doesn’t dump sawdust into the lower body as lower cost saws do. It is set up with a shroud around the bottom of the blade that is connected to a hose that leads out the back of the saw. Connections are easy to find. Mine were standard PVC sewer pipe connections from Lowe’s. And a hint. I found I didn’t turn on my big Delta vacuum as often as I should as it was across the room. I solved this by getting an inexpensive $12 (but VERY well built) remote OFF/ON switch from Amazon ( I super-glued the ON/OFF controller to a strong magnet from Harbor Freight ( and placed the vacuum switch next to the saw’s ON/OFF button.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View OliverArts's profile


21 posts in 1892 days

#15 posted 04-17-2013 02:13 AM

I have a good sized shop but I never cut 4×8 sheet goods on my cabinet saw. I rough cut outside using a shopbuilt tracksaw.

when I bring 4 by 8s into the shop they always seem to find a light fixture…knock something over etc.

Get yourself a decent cabinet(table) saw and build an outfeed table if room permits and put on castors.

One of the joys in this business is figuring out how to make things work given the space you have….

-- Travis Oliver - Luthier and Furniture builder...Thanks dad and grandpa for teaching me how to build it and fix it

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