2

I am interested in building some projects around the house, such as martial arts display racks and single-belt display cases. Some examples of these can be seen at this site and this one, along with single-belt display cases.

The inexpensive table saws ($100-150 US at Lowes/HD) have no guarantee that 0 degrees is 0, 45 degrees is 45, etc.

What level table saw would give me the precision to be able to have some assurance of completing the above projects?

  • 3
    Do remember that a table saw is not a requirement for woodworking, no matter how much YouTube vids might seem to imply this :-) Doing woodwork just with hand tools is still a very feasible way to work in the modern era. And if you want to adopt a hybrid approach (mix of a few key power tools along with hand tools) the table saw is still not a must-have — many many woodworkers on the other side of the Atlantic don't own one, by choice. – Graphus supports Monica Dec 13 '18 at 5:01
  • Well put. I actually thought this myself, as the work here looks like it could all be done with hand tools. – jdv Dec 13 '18 at 20:08
  • I have a bandsaw as my only large machine. I used to have a TS, but got rid of it. It never felt very safe to use, was very noisey, dust was a constant battle and I don't use sheet goods a ton. Would never go back now. Resawing by hand is hard (hence the BS) but everything else is totally doable without a table saw, I'd only really look into it if I were doing a lot of cabinet work with sheet goods – Sirex Dec 17 '18 at 16:49
4

The printed gradients on table saw controls are just guidelines. At least in most cases. We aren't talking about computer-guided cutting heads here.

You would want to set up your cuts for square and angles by hand as a matter of course, and then try a few test cuts to see how they match. Some consideration for how to feed stock, how to make multiple cuts so that pieces match each other and don't compound small errors, and what sort of blade to use have little to do with the price tag.

It should also be said that there is only so much precision you can get from wood as a material, and part of the charm of woodworking is that things aren't necessarily perfect. This isn't to say that striving for reasonable accuracy is meaningless! It just means that there is only so much accuracy you can expect, and most of that accuracy comes from the setup and use of the tools, not any deficiency in the tools themselves.

There are lots of how to guides on Youtube and elsewhere for setting up table saws and making square and angled cuts true enough for the amateur woodworker. Even with modest equipment this is within reach.

Just start making some sawdust!

3

Even on high quality equipment the markings on the miter gauge and blade tilt is often not accurate use a good drafting triangle to get accurate 45's & 90's.

If you are in a metro area look for used equipment often times you can find very good deals.

As said above "There are lots of how to guides on Youtube and elsewhere for setting up table saws and making square and angled cuts true enough for the amateur woodworker. Even with modest equipment this is within reach.

Just start making some sawdust!"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.