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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No matter how much one uses a router over other tools there is some sizing cutting required.
What is your saw of choice and why?
Table saw, band saw, circular saw, jig saw, radial arm saw, scroll saw, Blade Runner, dual blade saw...???
Jim 2
:)
 

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No matter how much one uses a router over other tools there is some sizing cutting required.
What is your saw of choice and why?
Table saw, band saw, circular saw, jig saw, radial arm saw, scroll saw, Blade Runner, dual blade saw...???
Jim 2
:)
Hi Jim - Welcome to the forum:)
Not sure where to go with this question. For me the task dictates the tool, whichever one I can use to do it quickly and safely. Usually it's the table saw:)
 

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Which 'saw' - It Depends

I am of the opinion that pre-cuts before routing do require some sizing or preliminary operation with a saw to make the routing go smoothly. The preferred saw is the one that gets the job done. If you only have or can afford one saw to do the work. I recommend at least a 10" table saw. How I use my lifetime accumulation of saws before routing:

I typically do my cut to size on a table saw for most projects because I usually use the router table with a fence to do long molded edges (pictures frames for my watercolor art) or use cabinet bits to make stiles and rails. The table saw gives me long straight cuts to size the frame members or stiles and rails. If I am cutting a flat panel to be routed in some way, I use the table saw to get "perfectly" (LOL) squared corner pieces.
The Table saw also helps to chamfer/angle the edges of boards to remove waste that isn't in the router bit profile just to relieve the router from doing too much work hogging out the edge shape.
Then there is the wisdom of routing both edges of a wider piece that you eventually saw with the table saw into thin width pieces with a routed edge. If your finished piece is less than say 1" in width. I rout the edges of a 2-plus saw kerf" board so I can control the feed and true of the routed edge against the router table fence. Then I use the table saw to split the piece into two members of the finished product. Typical such items are small moldings or fancy shelf edges.

However some things just require my other tools. Jig saws tend to wander, but they do do curves on pieces my 14" band-saw cannot handle. Then I can tune the rough edge with a net to size pattern and a straight pattern bit on the router. Then the shaped router bit can be used to create the finished edge.

The band-saw does curvy stuff for me and with my band-saw circle guide in place I get reasonably accurate circular pieces preparatory to doing edge routing with my router. e.g. Table tops.

For rough cutting pieces from large panel material like plywood I typically use my skilsaw on a sawhorse table with straightedge guides clamped in place to accurately guide the saw.

Finally there are just times when I don't want to use electricity or I need only one cut. Then I use my handsaws (of various sizes, types, and makes) appropriate to the material.

I have made patio/pergola trellis fancy ends on large and small joists and timbers with a sawzall riding a pattern before contouring the edges with router bits.

I hope that this is helpful to you.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Jim.

It depends....

I use a circular saw and cutting guide to break down sheet goods and a small table saw with sleds for the smaller items
 

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The table saw is the most important tool in the shop in my opinion. It pays to get one with enough power and a good fence. Most of the cheap portable saws on the market fall short in one or both of those categories. If you can't afford a new contractor or cabinet saw good old ones come up for sale from time to time. I picked up an old Rockwell 10" for a second saw a few years ago for $100 and it probably cuts as well today as it did 30-40 years ago when it was new. I got it from a friend who was upgrading. He didn't have room for 2 saws and I did.
 

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Ji Jim
Welcome to the Router Forums.

I think it depends on the job you are doing.

I knew one old man that only worked on small items and he always said he didn't need a table saw because it would take up too much room. He had a good band saw, drill press, two router tables, and a disk sander for his larger tools. He had a circular saw to break up larger panels, hand drill, a little square hand finish sander, and all the rest of his tools were hand tools, some of those he made himself.

If you work on larger projects you probably need a table saw. If you work on items with curves you probably need a band saw, or scroll saw, or you might get by with a jig saw or fretsaw. A radial arm saw is nice to have for some projects but you can use a table saw for most of the cut you would do on the radial arm saw. You probably need a hand saw or several for different applications.

You can probably find ways to cut your wood with what ever you have. Most of us start out small and build a collection of tools we prefer to use. Each person is different and would build a different collection.

I have always said a person should use the tool he is most comfortable using, this is different for everyone.

This thread should get quite a few replies.

Mike
 

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Seems that Circular saw to break down sheets, then table saw to get accurate squared pieces of approriate size.
Band saw tensoner broken so tending to use jigsaw for curves etc.
Brings me to my present predicament.
I need a new table saw but cannot find a small jobbie that is up to the quality I want. I am looking to find a 2nd hand cabinet saw on e bay etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hoping for more...

This is great food for thought!!
I appreciate you all taking time to chime in.
Any further thoughts will be much appreciated.
I am down sizing and am wondering what to do.
I have not done many projects but now being semi-retired am hoping to do more but am downsizing my shop to build a rec room for the grandkids...so I am in process of selling off my large tools and hope to be able to purchase smaller but effective tools for small projects. Still am playing with what to do with replacing my table saw. I am selling my 13 year old Craftsman table saw (rather a large beast for the room I will have available...it is 3.5' x 5' plus surrounding floor space to get around it. I have stopped using it for breaking down 4x8 stuff a few years back. I'm just not up to handling that size stuff any more and feel it has become dangerous for me. I either have the lumber supplier break it down close or get help toting it home from a son and using a circular saw on it. Won't really have room to get it to the table saw if I kept it anyway. So ...what do I use for making those square corners. Still pondering.
I so appreciate all of the thoughts shared here.
This is a great place to listen and watch.
 
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