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Table Saw In Small Shop: just the facts

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Forum topic by strayerdc posted 12-18-2014 01:31 AM 1587 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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strayerdc

3 posts in 869 days


12-18-2014 01:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw location small shop shop arrangement

I’m hoping folks can fill me in on the exact pros and cons of some table saw arrangements.

The details:
I’m rearranging a small shop, it’s about 10×14, and I’m planning on using the door to the room as a way to allow me to rip long boards on the table saw. This will mean that one side of the table saw will be against a wall, but it could be either one. I can use the door for either coming or going (the boards, that is), it will work either way. It looks like people who have their table saw against a wall tend to place it so that the right side is against the wall. Before I do it that way, I want to know why.

The chase:
If a table saw is against the wall, would you put the right side or the left side against the wall? Why?

The why is important. When I learned why people put their front vise on the left side of the bench, I decided it didn’t apply and so my bench is goofy-footed. That might apply here too.


12 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2436 days


#1 posted 12-18-2014 03:02 AM


The why is important. When I learned why people put their front vise on the left side of the bench, I decided it didn t apply and so my bench is goofy-footed. That might apply here too.

- strayerdc

Well, if you are going to make up the rules as you go, why ask?

But, anyway, here is why I would put the right side against the wall. My saw is a left tilt saw and that means the fence is usually on the right side of the blade. Having the fence nearest the wall leaves the most room for handling the material being cut on the left side of the saw.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 801 days


#2 posted 12-18-2014 03:07 AM

I crosscut with miter on left slot so I would put it on the right side wall to have more crosscutting capacity to the left. Have you thought of a mobile base so you can move it if you need more capacity?

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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JayT

4783 posts in 1676 days


#3 posted 12-18-2014 03:24 AM

I have the right side against the wall for both the reasons above. The extra space is needed away from the fence, not behind it.

My shop is just under 10×12, so I can relate. I open the door into the attached garage when ripping long pieces and it works fine.

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3944 posts in 1958 days


#4 posted 12-18-2014 11:55 AM



I have the right side against the wall for both the reasons above. The extra space is needed away from the fence, not behind it.

- JayT


^^^^^^^^^^^^absolutely!

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View sawdust703's profile

sawdust703

270 posts in 885 days


#5 posted 12-20-2014 05:33 AM

Personally, I wouldn’t put a table saw against the wall, for ANY reason! Fix a mobile base for it so you can move it where ya need it, & can get the MOST use out of it. I had my shop in our basement for 10 years, and the room I was in was about your size mentioned. Every power tool I owned was mobile, & could be moved. Now that I rent a shop that’s somewhat larger, my table saw sits in the middle of the room, just off my project table. One thing to keep in mind with a SMALL shop, if you don’t have another place to get the bigger tools out of your way, consider buying portable. Don’t buy yourself into a corner, & no place to work.;)

-- Sawdust703

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13734 posts in 2083 days


#6 posted 12-20-2014 06:57 AM


The why is important. When I learned why people put their front vise on the left side of the bench, I decided it didn t apply and so my bench is goofy-footed. That might apply here too.

- strayerdc

Well, if you are going to make up the rules as you go, why ask?

- crank49

Exactly my thought.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#7 posted 12-20-2014 12:56 PM

I had a shop that was about 10×17 a while back. I had a cabinet saw with a hefty extension table to one side which also doubled as a router table. I didn’t want to put the router table against the wall, so I ended up with the left side against the wall. This is terrible, but I can’t remember if my saw is left tilt or right tilt, but the truth is that i very rarely use it in the tilted position anyway.

I ended up sort of conforming to the setup rather than it conforming to me, but it worked fine. I rip with my fence on the right of my blade, which makes this setup make sense for me. When I use a crosscut sled, I can trim from either side. In reality the important thing when crosscutting is not being able to cut a board to 1 57/64”, it is being able to cut 4 boards to exactly the same length, no matter what the length is.

All that said, you can do it either way, and I have done just fine with my saw against a wall on the left. Your call dude.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View retfr8flyr's profile

retfr8flyr

327 posts in 1134 days


#8 posted 12-20-2014 11:18 PM

I have a small shop area also and I have my saw in the middle of the area.

All my machines are on mobile basses so that I can move them wherever I need. I can’t imagine working with a saw that has either end against a wall.

-- Earl

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1040 days


#9 posted 12-20-2014 11:32 PM

fence agaist the wall,because the fence can only go to the end of the rails,so that is always going to be your max cut size.you also have to remember your door width,you can’t shove a 36” wide board though a 32” opening.

View dbmguy's profile

dbmguy

33 posts in 1041 days


#10 posted 12-21-2014 03:33 AM


Personally, I wouldn t put a table saw against the wall, for ANY reason! Fix a mobile base for it so you can move it where ya need it, & can get the MOST use out of it. I had my shop in our basement for 10 years, and the room I was in was about your size mentioned. Every power tool I owned was mobile, & could be moved. Now that I rent a shop that s somewhat larger, my table saw sits in the middle of the room, just off my project table. One thing to keep in mind with a SMALL shop, if you don t have another place to get the bigger tools out of your way, consider buying portable. Don t buy yourself into a corner, & no place to work.;)

- sawdust703

I like this answer.

strayerdc, I’m assuming your shop is in a basement, or room in a building, or something like that. If not and it is a stand alone shop/building, you need to add a second door on the opposite wall. Make it wide enough to accomodate plywood sheets.

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scottstef

13 posts in 746 days


#11 posted 12-21-2014 01:13 PM

in a small shop mobile bases are the key. i had a 12×28 shop at omen point and constant needed to rotate my table saw depending if i was cutting sheet goods or boars. i i would definitely spend the money on a mobile base. Now that i have the garage for my workshop, i will even roll my table saw into the driveway to cut mdc or other nasty stuff.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2436 days


#12 posted 12-21-2014 10:53 PM

Here’s a link to a good source for small shop design. Fine Wood Working small shop layout tool.
http://www.finewoodworking.com/workshop/article/all-about-workshop-design.aspx

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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