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Forum topic by Joel333 posted 02-16-2014 07:53 PM 1332 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Joel333's profile


3 posts in 1556 days

02-16-2014 07:53 PM

Hi All!
Sorry for long post, please fell free to move it in wrong area…
I’m a noob who’s been trying to figure out best way to better set up work area in garage. Mostly going to be used for home improvement stuff. Possibly building shed, bookcases, etc. Only have very basic power and hand tools and looking to upgrade. That will include table saw, router (router table?), etc. I’ve looked through a ton of posts and here’s what I’m trying to figure out. Currently my work table is a cut down sheet of plywood with some cleats over some sawhorses (approx. 32” x 58” with a little floor space to either side). From what I’ve read it seems that where possible it’s better to try to go for a table saw (in my case looking at the Ridgid #4512) over a portable unit like the Ridgid #4510. Based on limited space (and funds) I was thinking that I might be able to cover the 4512 with a piece of plywood (maybe with some rubber pads underneath) when not needing the saw, to replace existing worktable. Then to use saw, I’d have to push down casters and swivel 90 degrees (it would normally be sitting where table is now, with rear parallel and close to wall i.e. outfeed side – so not in aisle space). Also based on posts I’ve seen, it looked like it would be good to combine with router table/extension at end to get best use of space.

So with that long winded intro…
Question 1 – Is it bad idea to cover table saw and use as bench? Otherwise, based on space, I’ll probably have to get a portable unit.

Question 2 – Based on what I’ll be using it for, does the Ridgid 4512 (or 4510) seem like a good choice? I checked a lot of sites and seemed to have positive feedback overall. I do have some other Ridgid tools and like the Lifetime Wty (even though I’ve seen some negative press on it too). I did call and verify that these units do qualify.

Question 3 – How good should shopvac work for dust collection (like many of you, I’m sharing garage with everything from pantry items to kid’s sports stuff and bunch of stored items)?

Last: Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

11 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3581 days

#1 posted 02-16-2014 07:58 PM

You will need a vac of some sort, or the cleanup will always be horrendous for you.I can’t comment of USA style saws, but working on top of your saw has always been done when space is short. It has the obvious dissadvantages of course .My advice is to clean up at the end of each day/or session.That way it will be more of a hobby and less like a chore/work. have very safe fun. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View CharlesA's profile


3319 posts in 1793 days

#2 posted 02-16-2014 08:09 PM

we all have to make our choices based on what we’ve got to work with. Your idea would not work for me because I need access to my table saw almost every time I’m in the shop. I may have made all my cuts on one project, but while I’m waiting for glue to dry, I start making parts for another jig or project. Also, I am not the world’s most organized project manager, so I almost never make every cut on the table saw at the same time and then move on to the rest of the project. If I just used it for the final assembly phase, it might work. Just something to keep in mind.

I think a router table is invaluable, so I would look into a table saw mounted router table as a way to save space.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2629 days

#3 posted 02-16-2014 08:29 PM

- The Craftsman 28133 is currently $458. Same saw as the 4512. It might be worth consideration.
- If its possible to move the saw onto the driveway, you can negate some of the need for dust control. You can also wheel the saw to the edge where the garage meets the driveway, and set up a box fan to blow a lot of the dust outside. This is what I do.
- Using the table saw as a workbench can/has been done. But its pretty inconvenient. Everytime you want to use the saw, you’d have to clean all the crap off the top. I’d try to avoid this if possible. At least buy a couple of workmates and lay a solid core door across the top.
- The Ridgid lifetime warranty is swell. But my understanding is that you need to ship/deliver the saw to the nearest authorized service center.
- Try to get a couple of those rubbermaid boxes to store your lawnmower, lawn tools, and other stuff. This will free up room for a workbench.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2041 days

#4 posted 02-16-2014 08:47 PM

The current issue of ShopNotes may be worth looking at. I vaguely recall plans for a table saw top to make it a temporary workbench.

-- paxorion

View Joel333's profile


3 posts in 1556 days

#5 posted 02-17-2014 01:02 AM

Thanks Alistair & Charles. When I’m working a project using the saw, I’ll definitely plan to have another work surface set up. The cover idea was basically to have a work bench when not working a wood working project (i.e. other around the house fix ups – honey do list).
Bottom line based on that, do you think it’s better to go for the larger unit v. the portable style.

Tedstor thanks for the heads up. I had actually looked at that one too, but it seems to have less positive reviews than the ridgid, and the service center isn’t too far away – although I’d have to find some very friendly help to transport.

Paxorion, I tried to find but it didn’t come up for me…

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2931 days

#6 posted 02-17-2014 01:51 AM

I would leave the table saw alone and build a fold-down work bench or at least on on wheels.
Depending on how serious you are a portable table saw may be short lived. A decent contractor saw will last longer and I would put it on wheels so you can move it out of the way. My shop is tight on space too so I have everything on wheels. A shop vac won’t replace a dust collection system but you can build a separator for it (check out the Thein) and turn a shop vac into a decent performer.
Good luck!

View CharlesA's profile


3319 posts in 1793 days

#7 posted 02-17-2014 02:03 AM

Yes, wheels. My workbench isn’t on wheels, but I can move it easily. TS, router table, DP, BS, Planer, mortiser, and miter saw all in wheels. Router table stays in place 90% off the time, TS 30%, DP 90%, BS 60%, planer 10%, mortiser 20%, and miter saw 90%.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View bondogaposis's profile


4723 posts in 2347 days

#8 posted 02-17-2014 02:13 AM

My table saw does double duty as an assembly table. I don’t have a cover for it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3757 days

#9 posted 02-17-2014 03:01 AM

The Shopsmith is perhaps the quintessential small space woodworking tool, occupying a footprint of only 1 1/2’ x 6’. They easily “outlive” their owners, so finding a good used machine is not difficult. Look for a model 510 or 520. Often deals come with additional accessories such as a jointer and bandsaw. Shopsmith has excellent customer service in Dayton, Ohio. You talk to real people.

I started with a model 500 in 1983 in less than 1/2 of a garage space. The machine has been seriously up-graded thru the years and is still in use.

The basic machine and accessories have 2 1/2” dust pick-up ports and a shop vac with that size hose can be used to keep the rest of the garage or basement clear of dust. This will keep the little wife happy.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#10 posted 02-17-2014 04:16 PM

The “wings” on the Ridgid 4512/Craftsman 21833 are pretty flimsy, stamped steel affairs.
I would have serious doubts about them holding up any load of a workbench.
A better idea might be a self supported work bench that has room under it for storage of a saw.
For that reason, a smaller portable saw makes more sense to me.

I have a 21833 and HATE it.
I would have exactly the same opinion of the Ridgid for exactly the same reason.
What good is a Lifetime Service Agreement (it’s not a warranty) if it costs you half a day to pack and ship a 300# machine at a cost of ?? every time it needs service.

I doubt if you could find anyone who has actually used that “service agreement” and was happy and satisfied with the costs and results. One exception would be that some Home Depots will handle the shipping for you. But you still have to get the saw to the store.

There is a very well documented flaw in the design of the 4512/21833 where the blade goes out of alignment when the cutting height is changed. I have read dozens of reviews posted by others with the same problem. My saw has the problem. Ridgid officially says “What problem?” So that is the mentality of the company towards being sure you get a good product from them.

View Joel333's profile


3 posts in 1556 days

#11 posted 02-17-2014 04:56 PM

Some great things to think about. Thanks for the input guys!

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