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View doncutlip's profile

Moving table saw down stairs

by doncutlip
posted 08-31-2008 01:58 AM

26 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4275 days

#1 posted 08-31-2008 02:04 AM

stairs are pretty tough short of dropping something really heavy on them you should have no problem bringing it down.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4333 days

#2 posted 08-31-2008 02:15 AM

The saw will be easy… wait till you need to get a sheet of plywood down there!!!

Disassemble the saw, cary it downstairs and put it back together.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#3 posted 08-31-2008 02:21 AM

Yeah, how the top attaches is hard to see. All I see in the top riser is a couple of nails. (Can’t see attachments on the side at all.) Someone told be it’s “bullnosed” into the upper floor – I”m not sure what that means. It doesn’t attach at the bottom, I also hear I should nail a cleat to the floor, which is concrete. The saw I really want is 435 pounds (Steel City 35900); would I have to also bolt some supports to the underside, and where would they go, on the sides or under the treads?

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 4286 days

#4 posted 08-31-2008 02:32 AM

I agree with Roper and Beechpilot-the stairs will hold and make a ramp. You’ll be fine. Also to BeechPilot if you are still out there, do you fly a Bonanza? My father did for years for fun and to take us to dinner in Chicago & etc. back in the 70’s. As always, bbqKing

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#5 posted 08-31-2008 02:58 PM

The house is 15 years old. Can’t say if it’s prefab stairs; the treads and risers are fitted with triangular shims. Sides go straight through without support. And I only see the two nails you mention (perhaps one more one one side). Good idea on the bottom, it’s about 30 inches to the wall. But that’s another problem, even if the saw fits at the bottom, there’s no room for people to work it; I think I’ll have to build a platform a couple of steps up. Sounds like I can’t trust these stairs at all, might have to take the saw apart. Didn’t want to have to do that, but oh well.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4361 days

#6 posted 08-31-2008 03:42 PM

With boars in place as runners, you should have no trouble. Just make sure that you have enough help to keep it from falling.. Keep it all in control and it will go down easy…

-- making sawdust....

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4471 days

#7 posted 08-31-2008 08:37 PM

How about this alternative, in lieu of taking it through the house and down the stairs, build an access area to your basement from outside the house. Excavate a 16’ long by 8 foot wide sloped ramp, pour a footer, lay block up the side, pour a concrete ramp with rail track. Then, install a 7’ tall by 6’ wide set of french doors into the basement. Imbed a hoist assembly that you can use to lower your assembled saw.

Never mind, using 2/8’s as runners on your stairs would be easier.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4266 days

#8 posted 08-31-2008 09:20 PM

My suggestion is many hands makes lighter work!

Good luck


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


528 posts in 4160 days

#9 posted 08-31-2008 10:49 PM

Another thought, when we moved into this house the movers had to get all the heavy stuff into the basement, the biggest piece that would not disassemble was 500 lbs.

We have a bilco door and stairs, just to be safe I bought some 2×4s and ran them as vertical supports under each step. So each step then had its own vertical support going to the floor. I centered the support width wise and as close to the front edge of the step as possible, there are no risers, just steps.

That will give you piece of mind, but the 2×8s ramps should be enough.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4210 days

#10 posted 09-01-2008 12:01 AM

it seems crazy when you consider all these lucid, well-thought replies.

I’ve moved a lot of machines by the seat of my pants. Getting them
up stairs is a helluva lot harder than down in general.

I would probably take the wings off and strap it to a hand-truck
(preferably with big tires), get a helper on the bottom to slow
it down and bump, bump, bump – down you go. Unless your
saw is an antique behemoth you should be able to move
it quickly and easily this way with two fit men (you being one
of the two).

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4148 days

#11 posted 09-01-2008 12:02 AM

listen I know guys who have taken heavy metal lathes and bridgeport milling machines down to their basement so lighten up it’s a piece of cake whaT YOUR DOING.I have taken a big felder saw with a cast iron base and a spindle moulder all in one into my workshop up stairs and then up the garden before installing it in my woodshop so good luck Alistair ps excuse my poor typoing

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#12 posted 09-01-2008 01:33 AM

Thanks for all the replies. The only thing I’ve seen go down these stairs was my jointer, about 225 pounds and we just slid the box down the treads. I have a friend who is a material handler at work, I’m hoping to get him over here and have a look at things. I have the money, I know what I want (Steel City 35900) and I have a birthday coming up. The heaviest piece is 435 pounds; and I suppose I could take the motor out. I like the idea of bracing the underside, I’ll just have to remove some custom built shelving I have under there. It just has small screws through angled half-lap joints in the sides, so I doubt that would hold up much. Getting close to pulling the trigger on this thing. Does anyone know if drivers are willing to drop the crate in a garage, or are they hamstrung by insurance to leave it at the curb?

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Grumpy's profile


25847 posts in 4413 days

#13 posted 09-01-2008 02:05 AM

As BeechPilotBarry says try to break it down. If if has a cast iron top it might be in two or three sections, they are heavy items as well as the motor.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View CharlieK's profile


595 posts in 4355 days

#14 posted 09-01-2008 02:16 AM

I have a cabinet saw and a heavy bandsaw in my basement. I hired piano movers to get them down the stairs. They had it done SAFELY in 10 minutes! Well worth the money in my book.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View ajosephg's profile


1881 posts in 4123 days

#15 posted 09-01-2008 03:54 AM

I’d vote for hiring piano movers. Considering how much you paid for the saw a few bucks more for some experts would be a good investment considering all the bad things that can happen like the guys beneath the saw if it gets away.

-- Joe

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 4525 days

#16 posted 09-01-2008 04:15 AM

My husband is a gun collector. We had a gun safe upstairs. When we moved we hired movers, found them in the yellow pages. I think the name was something like 3 guys. We hired them for an hour and they moved the safe and everything else down those narrow cape cod stairs. Hire movers.

-- Berta in NC

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#17 posted 09-01-2008 05:40 PM

Your comment really hits home; should I subject my friends to this kind of risk? I’ll get some quotes from movers. Plus I’ll have that friend of mine come over and have a look, he does have experience with these sort of things.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View ajosephg's profile


1881 posts in 4123 days

#18 posted 09-02-2008 12:41 AM

In the event you do decide to move it with your friends, I’d also make the following suggestion – Tie a big rope or chain, or cable to it and anchor it to a suitable anchor (auto?) Many years ago I helped my neighbor move a full size upright piano out of his basement. We planked the stairs (after doing a structural analysis) and tied a big rope around the piano and hooked the rope onto a car so that we did not have to depend on muscle power alone. The geometry was such that we could get a fairly straight shot at the stairs and we used my Intl Scout 4×4 in low low gear so it was easy to move forward really slow. I think a better way would be a come along or block and tackle.

Seeing how I was young then, and now that I am old I still think the pro’s are the way.

-- Joe

View poopiekat's profile


4543 posts in 4297 days

#19 posted 09-02-2008 02:25 AM

A side note to those contemplating the labor of a truck-driver as mentioned above.
If you make your purchase with the expectation of freight delivery, you are going to have to deal with this: Most trucking companies will charge more for ‘Residential Delivery’ because the truck will be far afield of its normal routes. Freight rates are based implicitly on so-called ‘curb delivery’ and that means either the driver will move your freight to the tail of the trailer, or, in some cases the obligation ceases once the freight hits the ground, which requires the use of a trailer with a lift-gate, for more money. You can call the local dispatcher and request “Inside Delivery” but that will be another big surcharge. Explain to the dispatcher that you wish inside delivery and down a flight of stairs….they might refuse, or sub-contract the actual delivery to an outside source from the local freight depot to your basement. I knew of one guy who ended up removing his basement stairs and using a gantry and chainfall to lift and swing an old milling machine down the empty stairwell. At least the labor of tearing the machine down was avoided.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#20 posted 09-04-2008 12:56 AM

I have a friend who cut through his upstairs ceiling to expose joists and installed a couple of block and tackle systems. Using come-alongs, he took a 935 lb geothermal heating unit down some oak steps. No way I’m going that far. Sadly, all this has to go on hold as I have gall bladder surgery this Friday.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4584 days

#21 posted 09-04-2008 01:13 AM

Don I hope your meds are doing it with a scope and a lasso.
That one hardly gives you time for flowers.

Good luck


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#22 posted 09-04-2008 01:29 AM

Well, I hope it goes that way; and doc says it’s a good chance it will. You know if there’s restrictions, like I can’t drive for a while or something?

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View ajosephg's profile


1881 posts in 4123 days

#23 posted 09-04-2008 04:05 AM

Couple of my friends had gb surgery recently and were back working in 2 days. Only restriction was not to lift anything heavier than 20 lb. for two weeks. (using laparoscopy or however it’s spelled.)

-- Joe

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4118 days

#24 posted 09-09-2008 03:01 AM

Well, I’m on the mend now. No way I could make it back after 2 days out. Recovery at home gives me time to plan the electrical side of things.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 4304 days

#25 posted 09-09-2008 05:14 PM

might ask Spalm, he just went through this taking his new 400lb Steel City saw to his basement.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4444 days

#26 posted 09-10-2008 02:40 PM

Here is a copy of the message I sent to Don about my recent experience.

I stressed over this for years, and it delayed my purchasing. Not if the steps could handle it, but if I could actually muscle it. All in all, it went much smoother than anticipated. The saw probably weighs more in the 300 range without the wings and the fence. The wings and fence rails are really heavy. I strapped the saw to a two wheeler that had pneumatic wheels and got it down pretty much by myself with another guy below it just incase. I am only 5’8” and 55 years old. The soft wheels really helped the bumpy ride.

I would really think that the stairs could handle 300+ pounds. Some large people weigh this much. You could grab a couple of friends and all stand on the stairs together to try it. Although this sounds like a stupid way of testing, it just shows you how I believe your concerns are over cautious. Or put another way, if it can’t hold people, you should brace and fix it for safety sake.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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