Sliding Table Saws
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By Leroy K. Calstard
Every woodworking shop worth its salt will have a table saw. There are different types available, and it is a big investment in your workshop, so be sure you take your time and research before you buy to make sure you get the right one for you. You can read independent reviews of the best kinds of saws, or you can get the opinions of friends or family who may have them. If it is a friend or a family member, you can probably try it out before you buy it. This kind of research will pay off since you will have a table saw that will give you years of use and pleasure.
The types of saws are usually divided into saws used by contractors, which are heavy duty and those which are for less use, such as for a homeowner or a hobbyist. A contractor’s saw will have a motor of 1 1/2 to 2 HP and have a large table and a good fence for the most accurate cutting. This type can cut just about every kind of wood with accuracy. A disadvantage is that they are dusty.
A bench top saw is light weight and are the choice is you do not have a lot of space. A bench saw can be moved to a storage area and then set up when you need it. One person can lift it. Be sure to get a saw with a good fence. The lightweight saws sometimes do not come with as good a fence as the heavy ones, and you cannot upgrade, so choose carefully in the beginning.
A cabinet saw is a heavy piece of equipment, usually used by professional cabinet makers; they have a larger table but with a smaller footprint. Normally they will have a motor with at least 3 HP. They require 220 voltage, so if you do not have that, you will have to have an electrician run it for you. The cuts made by these types of saws are the most accurate; naturally these saws are also the most expensive. They usually have good dust collection systems, since you are working with fine quality cabinetry.
Decide whether a portable or stationary saw is for you. A portable saw will take up less room and can be easily moved. Most of the portable saws sold today can do just about the same jobs as a stationary saw.
A stationary saw is intended to be permanently set up in one place. They are large and heavy and so they cannot be easily moved. These kinds of saws are more powerful and usually have a lot more accessories than a portable saw. Of course, they take up a lot more room than a portable saw. They are more expensive and are usually used by professionals.
Make sure you always wear proper protection when you work with a table saw. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying parts and dust; wear ear protection to protect your ears from the noise of the saw. Make sure you wear do not wear clothing that is too loose or has long sleeves that can get caught in a blade. Keep the work area around the saw clear of debris such as wood scraps and sawdust. Also keep the floor area clear; you can slip on sawdust and fall into the blade area of the saw. Wear strong sturdy shoes with non slip soles, such as work boots or heavy sneakers. Be careful that the blade has completely stopped before you reach over it or adjust it. One of the biggest warnings is to unplug the saw before you change a blade or perform any kind of maintenance. Saws have started up accidentally, and this can cause very serious injury.
About the Author: Leroy Calstard publishes predominantly for http://www.insidewoodworking.com , a web publication on the topic of power tools . You might find out more about his contributions on
and woodworking machinery on his site.