Table saw or cordless circular saw?

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Chris_Allen
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Table saw or cordless circular saw?

#1 Post by Chris_Allen » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:49 am

Before I start building I am carefully checking that I have everything I need. I've just examined my circular saw and the motor is mounted on the left as I hold it with my right hand, the space between the motor housing and the base of the saw is only 3/8" and it overhangs base meaning it can't be used against a clamped edge (unless it's less than 3/8") because of the motor. I could of course saw from the other side! but I find it more comfortable with my left hand on the clamped side, or am I being silly?

So it's looking like I'm going to have to get a new saw. What would you recommend? Another mains saw, a cordless saw or a table saw? You can pick up table saws and cordless saws for around £150, but they are basic models.

Second question, is it worth investing in a replacement blade from the one supplied with the saw, will it make any difference to a novice like myself?

Thanks.

Chris.

Sydney

#2 Post by Sydney » Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:58 am

If you can only afford a good circular saw - that is what I would get.
I don't know UK models but I got a DeWalt DW364 15A. Don't buy the cheapest saw thinking that what a novice should use.
If you can afford it and have the space get a Table saw also
The blades that come with saws are in most cases, not the right one to use for what you will cut, and usually not the best quality blades.
A lot of time those blades are for rough cut construction - not plywood ( which needs a higher tooth count ).
I like Freud blades personally

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#3 Post by Ste.Torrie » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:03 pm

I picked up a JCB cordless 18V when first started for about £60 new on fleabay - model JCBD-CCS18V, in fact there's one exactly the same on eBay now for £65.

It copes well even on double thickness 18mm ply, comes with two batteries (you'll get maybe a half hour's usable life from each one), spare brushes and carry case - it's pretty light and will cut angles up to 50deg. Not exactly top spec pro gear but everything seems solid enough and after 7 cabinets I don't feel any reason to change for a "better" model.

S.
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Tim A
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Re: Table saw or cordless circular saw?

#4 Post by Tim A » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:28 pm

calken wrote: the space between the motor housing and the base of the saw is only 3/8" and it overhangs base meaning it can't be used against a clamped edge (unless it's less than 3/8") because of the motor.
Circular saws are adjustable for depth. When you adjust the depth, the motor will be farther off the workpiece and will allow space for a saw sled. For safety, you should ALWAYS adjust the saw for the depth of the material being cut, with just enough blade sticking out to cut the workpiece cleanly. It will also help you control the cut.

If you're cutting a peice of 1/2" and the saw sled is 1/2", the saw should be set to about 1-1/8" to 1-1/4".

Try it, and I'll bet you find the saw will work with a sled just fine.

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#5 Post by Frankenspeakers » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:19 pm

I think Tim is right. you should find a wingnut on a slightly curved slide that allows the blade to go up or down- not to be confuzzled with the really curved slide that lets the blade make angled cuts. What is diameter of the blade? Most corded saws are about 7 1/4" diameter. some commercial grade saws are 6 1/2" but most cordless saws are 4" (16cm) or smaller.

If you have the funds and space to use a table saw I would reccommend getting one. If funds are limited, look on craigslist first- I have the best luck there. another place to look is freecycle- you just might lucky... at least post a request ya nevah know! Only after all the other options are exhausted (thrift shops included) would I try fleabay. Once you get your saw, go through the manual and go through each and every step about setting up the saw and aligning and truing the blade and fence. I found a old 80's sears craftsman 10" table saw that had been sitting in some blokes garage for years... I went through the manual with wrenches and tools in hand (after I vaccuumed all the old sawdust out of everywhere - brushes, q-tips and toothpicks help) and checked every adjustment every nut trued the table, the blade and the fence as good as I could... the result was that the old klunky fence that usually gets upgraded to somthing that costs a princes ransom, is now accurate to about .030 and repeatable. (It came with a dado set and sawdust bag -both unused!) I made both a large and small sled for it... a coworker was so impresssed that he went on craigslist and found an even older 12" 70's model that was missing the fence and a few other things... and had me do the same thing to his... (he found a stock replacement fence on closeout at sears.com) Voila: another dead-nutz accurate saw for dirt cheap. To get somthing comprable new would cost 500-800 $. (I paid $80 for mine, he paid $120 for the saw & $80 for the fence.) Sweat equity can go a long way. The trick is to look carefully and be ready to pounce when the right deal appears. (I'm still mildly preturbed that I missed out on a Homecraft (60's Rockwell made model) pdedstal saw in perfect (?) condition sled and asst blades included for $50 [damme]) :? It wasn't a Unisaw-but durn close :roll: For ease of use you can't beat a good table saw- a circular saw with a guide jig will be almost as good, I've used both.

Tip: Silicone mold release (or plain old silicone lube) in the slides and on the fence track works wonders- just make sure that you clean the floor after or you WILL be slip sliding away just like Paul Simon... :shock:
There is no technical problem however complex, that cannot be solved or finessed by a direct application of brute strength and ignorance.

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#6 Post by thekon » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:27 am

Never use silicone anything around wood working equipment.....
It will come back to haunt you later.............How? Silicone gets everywhere
and will ruin a finish somewhere down the line if you do a project that has to have a nice finish. Johnsons paste wax works just as good and no silicone.
Even if the silicone isn't anywhere near the table, blade, etc........It WILL migrate......lol trust me.

later,
Konrad

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#7 Post by LelandCrooks » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:31 am

thekon wrote: Johnsons paste wax works j
later,
Konrad
+1

I use Indian Sand color, for that added beauty in the shop. :roll:

Actually I use Indian Sand because it sat on the shelf of my floor display for 2 yrs.
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Chris_Allen
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#8 Post by Chris_Allen » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:26 am

If you're cutting a peice of 1/2" and the saw sled is 1/2", the saw should be set to about 1-1/8" to 1-1/4".
That's a great tip Tim. I found a quick release lever at the back of the saw which allows you to pivot the base from a front pin. With a cut depth of about an inch there is now about an inch clearance underneath the motor.

Image

Image

In the bottom image you can see the size of the flippin' motor.

Chris.

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Bill Fitzmaurice
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#9 Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:00 am

calken wrote:
That's a great tip Tim. I found a quick release lever at the back of the saw which allows you to pivot the base from a front pin. With a cut depth of about an inch there is now about an inch clearance underneath the motor.

In the bottom image you can see the size of the flippin' motor.

Chris.
You could use it on a sled minimally retracted by having the stop on the sled made of 1/4" plywood, it would just take more care in use.

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Frankenspeakers
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#10 Post by Frankenspeakers » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:07 am

a 1/4" trim strip is what I used on the smaller (shorter) saw sled. I wasn't sure how straight the 1/4" X 1" trim strip was so I made sure that it was by clamping it next to a stick of 80/20 stock. lots of clamps and PL later my assistant just clamps it to whatever he wants to cut and has at it... I make him use the circular saw sled because I won't let him near my table saw.... (between him and the plant manager borrowing the chop saw for 'personal projects' and having it come back with half the carbide teeth missing... and same for the Porter-Cable 6 1/2" circular saw coming back with teeth missing... twice.) One of the LOTO plug locks goes on my saw on the weekends! I told them both to go ruin their own stuff from now on.
There is no technical problem however complex, that cannot be solved or finessed by a direct application of brute strength and ignorance.

"Gimme the hammer... Naaaw not that one, the freakin' big one- I'll MAKE it fit!"

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