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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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I'm beginning to suspect that my shoulders were not attached to my body properly. Either that or my eyes are slightly out of whack with my brain. In any event, everything I ever try to cut straight with a handsaw is what my partner politely refers to as 'rustic'. Now I admit, I could practice cutting straighter, but that appeals far less to the little boy inside me who likes machinery that cuts stuff. So I have to (alright, want to) get a table saw.

But I have no idea which one to buy. I'm finding myself drowning in a see of google reviews and '10 best table saw' links. So I wondered if anyone had any advice? It has to be easy to move around as I have to work outside, and I'm planning on using it a lot to cut everything from 2" blocks on down. Naturally I'd prefer not to spend a lot of money too, though I know that sometimes can't be avoided.

So not too picky then! Anyone got any advice/suggestions?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 09:08 AM
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Hi Ben. I can't say which is the best one to buy, although I lean toward Bosch here. But I'd buy the best one I can afford because you'll be using it for quite awhile, or else grumbling for awhile.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 09:45 AM
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Ben I do not know if you can get Grizzly stuff there but if you look at my shop it is full of Grizzly green. I have been buying from them since they opened in the late 70's. I continue to upgrade with their products because I don't think you can get a bigger bang for your buck......

Have a blessed Sunday and have fun making some dust, Todd
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 10:22 AM
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Ben if you compromise to much you end up with a fence that will cause nothing but grief .
My first table saw a delta 10" contractors version , but luckily mine came with a Biesemeyer fence . I love this fence as its a tank with very little deflection .
If you could find a second hand one like that at a decent price you'd be ahead of the game IMO
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 10:34 AM
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Default advice is to buy the best saw within your budget...especially if it needs to be mobile. It might be worth considering to spend the extra $100 to get a better saw considering the life you might expect of it...

As for the hand saw...lose but firm grip on the handle... If you play pool, think of it the same way...elbow bent, comfortable, swing in a nice arc and straight to and fro like a cue stick. Stand with your opposite shoulder slightly forward of the saw hand...this way your elbow won't hit your ribs. Make a good straight pencil line, cut the line first and then use the cut as sort of a guide. If you over-grip you will find it trying to cut sort of like a figure-eight. Practice with a cue stick so you can see if the tip wanders left and right. Take short strokes at first and then comfortably and with light hand grip take longer strokes. Cut using the 2/3's of the blade closes to your hand (the wider part). Practice on soft wood like pine 2X4's, then graduate to plywood, then to hardwood. Use a long saw rather than a shorty like a hand miter saw...your long strokes will feel and look better. When starting the cut, take very short but steady strokes then lengthen your stroke a little at a time...remember the cue stick...let your arm hang and let the saw do the work...don't force it and don't apply any down pressure until you've mastered a nice straight stroke...apply a little more pressure as you go deeper into the cut. Also...try not to watch the teeth part of the cut...look a little behind it towards the end of the will help with eye-hand coordination...your peripheral will take care of the uncut side...

Good luck...have fun...
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 10:55 AM
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I recommend watching the episode "Sawing Secrets" from the 2010-2011 season of the Woodwright's Shop. The episode can be found here. Grip the saw like you're holding a bird. Too tight and you crush the bird, too loose and it flies away. Also nice wide stance.

As others have echoed, buy the best table saw you can afford.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 12:30 PM
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A little trick I learned from my woodworking teacher re the handsaw:
If you can see a reflection in the face of the saw blade, keep the woods's edge reflection in a straight line with the actual edge. If there's a bend in the edge~ edge-reffection you're not plumb and perpendicular to the edge. (in other words the edge and its reflection should form a perfectly straight line)
If that doesn't seem to make sense just try it with your'll make sense then.
It's critical that you keep that optical reference as you proceed through the cut.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 12:35 PM
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For a portable I'd go Bosch. Dewalt would be a close second but the Bosch has a great folding leg system.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 04:01 PM
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Not sure what the availability of used saws are in your neck of the woods, but I'd explore that avenue first.
The Bosch on the gravity rise stand gets great reviews. My neighbour has one and loves it. My only concern with it is there is not much room from the front of the table to the blade so you're limited to a smaller panel sled if you were going to make one.

Bosch is coming out (if they haven't already) with a safety device similar to the Sawstop.
And has been mentioned already, if you're looking at a contractor's saw or a cabinet saw, the fence will make all the difference.

I'm currently using a 50+ year old Beaver 8 inch and does most of what I need, but the fence on those old saws is not great.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2015, 05:06 PM
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Since portability is high on your list of priorities right now, I'd suggest a jobsite saw. No, it won't be your forever saw if you get serious about woodworking, but it's a good starting place from where you are. It's a pretty competitive market with decent offerings from Bosch and Dewalt that I know of in the big box stores. Makita probably makes a good jobsite saw too. Stay away from Craftsman, Black & Decker and Ryobi. As others have said, buy the best (most expensive) you can afford within types. Good Luck and Welcome.
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