Saw tables or...

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Count Steer
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Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

I'm contemplating buying a saw table. Nothing flash or large numbers of ££s. I'd like it to be reasonably light so I can lug it outside to use it rather than use it in the garage/shed.

OTOH for the money I can get a decent battery circular saw (probably Makita as I have the batteries already) and guide rails. Not sure what the guide rails are all about and the saw people seem a bit shy of telling whether a saw is rail compatible. (I've got a cheap mains powered circular saw but it's a heavy lumpen thing bought for what was imagined to be a 1-off job).

Any circular cutty things experts out there? What's the rail thing all about? Can I use them with a B&D workmate or is the table saw the thing to go for?
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by MrLongbeard »

Count Steer wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 10:24 am What's the rail thing all about?
Are you thinking track saw??
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

MrLongbeard wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 10:41 am
Count Steer wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 10:24 am What's the rail thing all about?
Are you thinking track saw??
These were the things that caught my eye.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/evolution-st ... ails/516hg

I've seen other devices that appear to be on circular section parallel rails.

Just wondered what the alternatives to a table saw are and why they're better/worse. (I guess portability comes into it?).
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by cheb »

What are you likely to be cutting? If it's largish sheets of ply I'd suggest a hand held circular saw would be easier than a small table saw. The small table saws tend to be tad too light to tolerate a full sheet being pushed through them.

That said I've not used a track saw, I just use a clamped guide. I can't justify the cost of the guide rails.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

cheb wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 11:35 am What are you likely to be cutting? If it's largish sheets of ply I'd suggest a hand held circular saw would be easier than a small table saw. The small table saws tend to be tad too light to tolerate a full sheet being pushed through them.

That said I've not used a track saw, I just use a clamped guide. I can't justify the cost of the guide rails.
First up are loft flooring boards and a bath panel. After that it's making shelving/storage. Maybe some decking. So no full sheets of ply....yet. :)

(Just picked up some stuff from Screwfix...chap says, according to my buying record I've qualified for some sort of trade account. :lol: 10% off voucher, offers, bundled discount prices for project stuff. 'What's the catch/cost?' thinks I. No cost so assume I'll get bombarded with emails. But...I can easily bundle up a few purchases in one spree to make that voucher look attractive and/or take the 10% and upgrade on the saw table by that much).
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Yambo »

I don't have a regular circular saw as I have a variety of other saws, table saw, band saw, hand saws etc. However, I do have a small Bosch PKS 16 - it has a 16mm cutting depth - which I use for cutting thin sheets of plywood.

It has served me well and I made my own track for it which also works well but reduces the cutting depth by 4mm. The track is very simple to make and use. It's a strip of 4mm thick plywood 750mm x 15mm. To one long edge I glued a bit of 15mm plywood 750mm x 50mm. This needs to have a good straight edge on the edge that will be on the middle of the 4mm base.

When it was all glued up I simply ran the circuler saw along the length of the plate using the 15mm bit of ply as a fence. To make straight cuts, I put the edge of the 4mm ply on the cut line and clamp it there. Then I saw the saw blade depth and run it along the length of the plate. As the saw cut the plate to width in the first place, it cuts along the line you drew on the workpiece. If I'm going to cut a full sized sheet of ply then I use the edge of another shet of ply as a fence.

Cheap, simple and consistent. Now I know it's not the same as buying a nice posh saw track but unless you're going to use it every day that posh saw track is a waste of money really. Nice to have maybe but not necessary.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Silly Car »

I’ve got track saw, table saw and 18v trim saw

Track saw- great for breaking down big sheets into manageable sizes but you need to spend a chunk of change to be able to do repeatable 90° cuts without spending a lot of time setting thing up and clamping the rail down. Peter Millard on YouTube has done loads of reviews, tune ups, guides etc. Mine is a Scheppach version which I’ve modified with a lighter plunge spring, original was prone to pushing back against me over longer cuts, new Trend blade (iirc) and replacement splinter guard. I must admit the cuts are good with it.

Evolution table saw - great for ripping dimensional timber into smaller dimensions, repeatable rips, crosscutting with accuracy. I didn’t h the multi-material blade in favour of a selection of Saxton blades, rip, cross cut, flat top, for rebates and dados, and fine, latter is rarely used in the table saw but is brilliant in the evolution mitre saw for mitre joints. I’ve added a soft start module and bought the zero clearance insert. It is a beast of a machine and takes up a lot of space in the garage, even when folded. Last job was reducing 4x2 to 2x2 for battening out an uneven wall for plasterboarding. Evolution have bought out a job site version recently which appears much more compact. Casual DIY on YouTube has done loads of videos on the original table saw.

Both of the above need a dust collection solution - I use my Titan wet & dry vac without a bag, making sure I air dust everything off once finished. I’m half minded to build a cyclone dust collector to hopefully prolong the life of the mighty titan.

18v trim / circular saw, originally bought as an all purpose circular saw but it isn’t beefy enough for everything I needed, but it is great, with an edge clamp guide for ripping 8 x 4 sheets into smaller sections to fit into the car when I CBA waiting for the B&Q guy to operate the panel saw. In fairness with a new blade in it’ll happily cope with anything up to 1/2” thick but you have to take your time and have plenty of charge in the battery.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by mangocrazy »

Track saws are great - I've got the Sheppach one, but I'd definitely invest in additional pieces of track. The supplied short piece is only suitable for short cuts. If you want to tackle an 8' x 4' board you'll need two shorts and one long piece of track. But for that you get precise cuts on a full size board.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Silly Car »

mangocrazy wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 7:47 pm Track saws are great - I've got the Sheppach one, but I'd definitely invest in additional pieces of track. The supplied short piece is only suitable for short cuts. If you want to tackle an 8' x 4' board you'll need two shorts and one long piece of track. But for that you get precise cuts on a full size board.
Forgot to mention the tracks, mine came with two short and two long, in fairness, the short ones are superfluous as the long ones will span 1400mm, and combined, in excess of a full board. I usually set them up using a 6’ level to ensure they lie perfectly straight. I really should trim the ends with the chop saw so they but up perfectly, but keep forgetting.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

Regarding the 'trade account' at Screwfix I mentioned earlier. It's a sequence of time limited £££'s off vouchers (worth about £65 in total) and 10% off specific stuff (mainly plumbing - it's called a Plumbfix account but seems to include electricals :eh: ). Various other things like use of a separate counter, free coffee, donuts on Weds, 60 day free credit account if requested and a few other things that would suit a trades bod.

As for what they get out of it, it pushes you onto their app (I buy through the browser) so they get the cookies stuff (I've scrapped a few apps and gone back to web because of that sort of thing). Coincidentally....we have a decent independent plumbers merchants not far away :hmmm: (Crap parking though).

Might do the vouchers thing (apply on any purchases on-line or in-store) but if the rest of it stays plumbing focused it's of limited use to me.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Silly Car »

I qualified years ago for a Electrifix account on the basis of my HND Electrical & Electronic Eng dating from 1991. I used to offer a decent discount, not so sure these days.

On the back of this account and a bit of nice talking, I also managed get a B&Q trade point account which gave me 10% off everything plus unlimited cuts at the panel saw. Swines then changed it to minimum spend per month of £1,000 to get a discount, still get the free cuts though :thumbup:
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

Silly Car wrote: Thu May 09, 2024 4:18 pm I qualified years ago for a Electrifix account on the basis of my HND Electrical & Electronic Eng dating from 1991. I used to offer a decent discount, not so sure these days.

On the back of this account and a bit of nice talking, I also managed get a B&Q trade point account which gave me 10% off everything plus unlimited cuts at the panel saw. Swines then changed it to minimum spend per month of £1,000 to get a discount, still get the free cuts though :thumbup:
The plumbing thing is probably the least useful to me. It's probably because I bought a stack of guttering stuff. I need a DiYFix account. :lol:
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Silly Car »

Top tip with table saws, or in fact any saw.

Make sure you use the appropriate blade for the task.

For example, when ripping 4x2s into 2x2s, it is a fool’s errand to use a 3mm wide kerf flat topped rebating blade as it would be hard going and you’ll generate a lot of sawdust, you’d be much better a 40T or less thinner kerf blade.

DAMHIK :oops:

I thought the timber hard work as it was was damp from being treated rather than making an extra wide cuts… :D
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

Silly Car wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:27 pm Top tip with table saws, or in fact any saw.

Make sure you use the appropriate blade for the task.

For example, when ripping 4x2s into 2x2s, it is a fool’s errand to use a 3mm wide kerf flat topped rebating blade as it would be hard going and you’ll generate a lot of sawdust, you’d be much better a 40T or less thinner kerf blade.

DAMHIK :oops:

I thought the timber hard work as it was was damp from being treated rather than making an extra wide cuts… :D
Blade types are something I'll have to learn about but I'm assuming a 24T TFT tipped blade - which comes with the table I'm looking at (Hyundai) will do everything I need for stuff I have in mind currently. (I assume the more teeth, the cleaner the cut? If so I might add a 40T to the shopping basket).
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by demographic »

Err yeah, tracksaws are excellent tools.
Might come as no surprise that as it's my job I have kind of the posher end versions.
Any tracksaway is pretty much better than none.
I've done the DIY rail thing and yeah it works but it's a faff.

Decent rails usually don't even need clamped down, they have a grippy strip on the underside and just kind of stay put.

I have got well into the Festool ones so have a TS75, TS55 (both 110 volt) and a cordless HKC55 and would have to say that the cordless one is used almost everyday and the TS55 hardly comes out of the van and the TS75 hardly goes into the van to come out, it's a beast but not really needed for work.

Work off a couple of sawstools with two bits of 2x2 about 8" across them and then 4 bits of 2x2 about 4" over them.
That means even if you're as thick as fuck and forget tto set yer saw depth you don't knacker yer sawstools.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by demographic »

Oh and more teeth often means a slower cut.
A good saw with too many teeth on the blade can often bog down.
You don't have to do the cut at running speed a d sometimes taking it slower gives a much better cut.

If I was looking for a tablesaw ((been a stubby carpenter for over 20 years and not bought one yet mind) I"d want one with rack and pinion geared fence adjustment cos most normal fences are shite.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Silly Car »

Count Steer wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 6:35 pm
Silly Car wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 5:27 pm Top tip with table saws, or in fact any saw.

Make sure you use the appropriate blade for the task.

For example, when ripping 4x2s into 2x2s, it is a fool’s errand to use a 3mm wide kerf flat topped rebating blade as it would be hard going and you’ll generate a lot of sawdust, you’d be much better a 40T or less thinner kerf blade.

DAMHIK :oops:

I thought the timber hard work as it was was damp from being treated rather than making an extra wide cuts… :D
Blade types are something I'll have to learn about but I'm assuming a 24T TFT tipped blade - which comes with the table I'm looking at (Hyundai) will do everything I need for stuff I have in mind currently. (I assume the more teeth, the cleaner the cut? If so I might add a 40T to the shopping basket).
Yep as demographic has said, more teeth, smoother cut but slower cut.

I’ve got an 80T blade set up in my mitre saw and it leaves an end grain cut looking like it has been planed. It only gets used on fresh timber which has never heard of, let alone seen a nail ;)

I’ve not seen the Hyundai saw but check out availability of blades from elsewhere as the are often better and cheaper than OEM.
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Count Steer »

demographic wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 7:00 pm Oh and more teeth often means a slower cut.
A good saw with too many teeth on the blade can often bog down.
You don't have to do the cut at running speed a d sometimes taking it slower gives a much better cut.

If I was looking for a tablesaw ((been a stubby carpenter for over 20 years and not bought one yet mind) I"d want one with rack and pinion geared fence adjustment cos most normal fences are shite.
Yeah. It's probably OTT for me really. For what I need to do I could probably manage with my Workmate, my existing clamps and circular saw and a length of 2×2 as a guide.

Hmm....*ponder*
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Re: Saw tables or...

Post by Silly Car »

There’s a lot to be said for K.I.S.S. ;)

FWIW, I bought my table saw to make a window frame for the garage build as it was cheaper to buy the tool and materials than to buy a suitable frame.

I used it to dimension each component, add the chamfer on the cill, rebate for the glass and then used the mitre saw to trench cut the housings for the stiles into the cill and head, both of which were clamped together to ensure the joints lined up perfectly.

Shame the feckless brickies didn’t think to use it as a profile for the opening in the block work, I had to cut a few mm off the blocks as they hadn’t quite run the blocks in to gauge… Door opening was the same and the frame was there for them to use as well FFS!

The more I think about the garage, the more I wish I’d done the brick laying evening class at college and done it myself.