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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Default Table Saw Sliding Table

I love my Rigid table saw but cutting sheet goods on it scares the crap out of me. I am not so bad with long rip cuts but cross cuts with the stock miter guage, especially on anything wider then about 30 inches is death defying. I was thinking about buying this sliding table attachment from Busy Bee. Just wondered if anyone had one or something similar and wanted to chime in. It's on sale till Saturday, so I should make a decision. I will need to make a couple of modifications to the rails on my saw but that is simple enough.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 12:50 AM
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!...that's a $600 accessory, Deb!! Have you tried the setup that Bobj3 was recommending, the circular saw mounted to the clamped rail?
(You realize that you can pick up a used RAS for 1/2 of what they're asking.)
Seems like a major investment to solve a problem that has several viable alternatives, but yes, I don't disagree with the awkwardness of crosscutting big panels; I don't like that first cut either.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 01:40 AM
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First you need to think about something like this to cut your panels down to a manageable size. Accuracy isn't that important as you will want to cut to oversize in any case.

Then consider a crosscut sled to handle the smaller panels. INCRA make this splendid sled.

Well that's the route I've gone :-)
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 02:18 AM
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Hi Deb,

A sliding table with miter fence is a lot better for doing angled cuts because it's mass is so much larger than that of a basic miter. The one I have really doesn't make cutting full sized sheets any safer or easier because it doesn't extend that far out of the front of the saw.

I have ripped down a few sheets of 1/2" ply into 5.5" x 96" strips using two in-feed stands and one out-feed stand. The only other two full sheet break downs I have done at home on the TS were cutting a sheet of half inch into thirds (16" wide each x 96" long) and I had help with that cut.

The better of my two table saws has a sliding table built into it. In the case of the Ryobi BTS-3100 (and BTS-3000) the sliding table is 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the add on sliding table BusyBee is selling. It doesn't have the telescoping edge support either that can be extended out from the left hand side of the miter fence, like the Busy Bee product does.

I watched the video for the one you were looking at and can't help but notice they didn't actually do any cuts at all during the presentation, let alone one with a full sheet of plywood.

When mounted on the saw it was designed for, the miter fence may well extend forward 50 inches from the front of the blade and allow the cross cutting of a full sheet. I still have to wonder about its stability when it is that far forward, especially considering a sheet of 3/4" ply weighs roughly 75lbs/30 Kg....

It would help to see the thing actually being used to take down a full sheet of 3/4, including the placement of the material on the saw before the cut.

I'm not saying a advertiser would forget to turn the camera on when two big guys were struggling to the sheet in place without tipping the saw over or marring the wood, but you know...seeing is believing...

I'm so puny I would have a hard time getting it up and over the fence without some scrapes..

It will be intersting to see if other members have comments about sliding tables. I know there is at least two more BT3k users here!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 10:14 AM
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I remember seeing an ingenious rolling table that another woman woodworker designed for her shop. It was built to help her unload the 4x8's from her van, and directly onto this 'dolly' that tilted from vertical to horizontal when she was at the saw. She was then able to easily slide the panel onto the saw table without getting herself (or the panel) damaged. I think it may have been a 'This Old House' episode but I really can't remember.
Full marks for ingenuity!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 10:23 AM
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Geez Deb, you could get a Festool Tracksaw for that kind of dough. Not that I'm a huge fan of Festool (because I'm not, at least not the pricing), but I'd be much more tempted to spend that kind of money on that.

I'd invest the money to build a nice panel saw as mentioned, or a nice guide and circular saw before I bought that, but that's just me. A simple MDF guide and a sheet of foam on the floor will certainly do.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 11:04 AM
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For cuts like what you are talking about, I made a jig that is basically just a piece of 6" wide by 4' long 1/2" poplar with a 1x2 glued on the end at 90 degrees. I clamp that to the piece I am cutting and run my circular saw along the edge. It is 1/2" thick to keep it under the motor of the CS, and 6" wide to keep the clamps out of the way too.

Since the edge of the perpendicular part of the jig was cut by the CS the first time I used the jig, now all I have to do is line that up with the line I want to cut and clamp it down.

I hold it up off the ground with some 2x4s and set the blade depth to just a little more than the thickness of the panel.

I think bobj made his own tracksaw-like jig with some angle iron and a mod to his CS. Maybe someday, I'll do something like that, but that is for another day down the road.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 11:18 AM
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+1 on the Festool or any other track saw (Dewalt and Makita both have one). While I personally haven't tried one, I have heard enough from those who have that these are great saws, and do a great job breaking down sheet good. These have a riving knife built-in on them which helps make an even better cut.

For a very low cost alternative, I have the place I buy my plywood from do the first 2 or 3 cuts for me on their panel saw. That way it is easier to get home, and easier to manage on my machines when I do the clean-up cuts.

Last edited by MikeMa; 05-24-2012 at 11:20 AM.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 12:13 PM
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Hilton; Neat idea! Combined with Bobj3's guide rail it's a great solution to this panel crosscut issue. Thanks for that link!!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 04:04 PM
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Hi Deb, Grizzly has a remarkably similar model here: T10223 Sliding Table Attachment as well as this model: G8010 Swing Type Sliding Table for G7209 & G7210 14" Cabinet Saw

I think that's a great idea! Please keep us posted as to what you decide.


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