Do I dare let my table saw go?

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Forum topic by Thorbjorn88 posted 10-15-2019 06:47 PM 890 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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81 posts in 677 days

10-15-2019 06:47 PM

I have a small shop in my shed about 7×9 feet that I’ve set up over the past 3 years as I’ve been getting more into wood working and have moved too far from my Grandpa to use his shop. I started out building electric guitars but have been doing mostly furniture lately.

Currently about 1/3 of the space is taken up by my Delta contractors table saw. Because of the space I can’t rip anything longer than about 18” without moving the saw to point out the shed door, which requires me to crawl under the extension wing to get in or out and puts me in a very cramped space which probably isn’t a safe way to use a table saw.

In the past year or so I’ve gotten really into hand tools and I’m currently building a dresser without the use of power tools, except a thickness planer. All this adds up to me not using my table saw very much, except with a crosscut sled if I’m in a hurry on something.

I have a 10” wen bandsaw that I picked up on craigslist for $100 about two years ago that actually works surprisingly well, but obviously is very limited. So I’m currently saving up for a good bandsaw that can handle 7” resawing easily (for guitar tops). A bandsaw that can resaw well could also do a great job of ripping 8/4 lumber I’m too lazy to do by hand right? Ripping on the bandsaw would also be safer and easier in my space.

So between wanting to do more hand tool work, having a good bandsaw, and also having a router and circular saw to fill the gaps when I need to do something with plywood etc. do you think I would regret selling my table saw and replacing it and my crappy bandsaw with a good one?

32 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6549 posts in 1248 days

#1 posted 10-15-2019 07:19 PM

i would try and store it someplace else for a couple of jobs and just see how they work for you without it in shop then make your decision which should be easier then :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Ocelot's profile


2365 posts in 3173 days

#2 posted 10-15-2019 07:24 PM

Do you have a nearby friend you could “lend” it to who has space for it? Then, you could go to his place and use it when you need it.

View therealSteveN's profile


4079 posts in 1109 days

#3 posted 10-15-2019 07:35 PM

A lot of small sized, and or well organized shops are turning to Track saws, and or bandsaws for most of their sawing needs. Many will point out dados, can’t be done. Evidently they have never met a router. Plus if you are transitioning to hand tools, you will be less dependent.

I couldn’t do it, but then the thought of a tiny shop scares me too.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Thorbjorn88's profile (online now)


81 posts in 677 days

#4 posted 10-15-2019 07:39 PM

I’ve been using it as an assembly table for the dresser I’m working on for the past few months. Which is kinda like having it out of the shop.

Incidentally I did a whole bunch of long dados on the dresser with chisels and a router plane. But also have a router up on the shelf for when I need to do something quickly.

I also look forward to having a bigger shop in a few years when my wife and I buy a different house, so the plan would be to get a table saw then.

View JayT's profile


6307 posts in 2746 days

#5 posted 10-15-2019 07:44 PM

Your journey is falling very much along the lines of my own woodworking path several years ago and I had the same question about getting rid of the table saw, so tracked my work for a year to see if it was feasible. I did a Lumberjocks blog post about transitioning from a table saw centric shop to a band saw centered one that might be worth a read for you.

In the over three years since, I really haven’t missed having a table saw. So much so that if/when I get a bigger shop, I most likely will purchase another band saw and keep one set up for ripping and resawing and the other for curves.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View clin's profile


1070 posts in 1531 days

#6 posted 10-15-2019 07:45 PM

I like the suggestions to temporarily part with it and see how it goes.

One thing to consider is modifying your shed if possible. I friend of mine had a shop that wasn’t real small or big, but he had the out feed side of the table saw near a wall. Enough room to rip short boards. But on this wall was a really large window that swung up. Sort of like a glass garage door. With that open he could rip anything he could fit in front of the saw. In your case, maybe windows on both sides.

Just a thought.

Another idea is a good mobile base for the saw. Being a contractor saw it probably already on some base with wheels. But a base that is very easy to use could allow for easily moving the saw out of the shed when needed. I’ve also seen people create work surfaces that the saw can be rolled under. This way the saw isn’t just wasting space when not used.

I’m not trying to talk you into keeping it, just throwing out some ideas that you might not have thought of yet.

-- Clin

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


11296 posts in 1674 days

#7 posted 10-15-2019 07:50 PM

I like my table saw a lot. But, I could swap it for a bigger band saw I think. I ain’t gonna, but I think I could ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Thorbjorn88's profile (online now)


81 posts in 677 days

#8 posted 10-15-2019 07:54 PM

Just read your blog entry JayT and ” It used to be that when working at my bench, I was constantly bumping into the table saw behind me and having to adjust how I was standing because of the lack of space.” really describes a big part of my motivation. Sounds like we are on the same page with a lot of it.

Clin, it does have a good base that isn’t too hard to move and it used to work ok before I build my new workbench. My new bench about the same height as the table saw extension arms. My old bench was short enough that I could swing the arms over the bench and use the door to rip things but that doesn’t work anymore. Good points though, I had once actually thought about cutting a hole in the wall behind my saw and making a door to rip through but didn’t go down that path very far.

View WoodenDreams's profile


791 posts in 446 days

#9 posted 10-15-2019 09:30 PM

One way for a limited space, is to switch to a ‘track saw’. You can make your own track saw to save costs. You could plan your lumber purchases according to the weather, and cut the pieces outside with a circular saw and track saw on saw horses. If your Delta table saw is a benchtop model, store it under a shelf till needed, then pull it outside. In my shop the table saw and edge sander gets the most use. But when you cut the lumber down to size, with small projects a good bandsaw may be your preferred route. Didn’t see any picks of the shop. You’d be surprised how many have small workshops, and how efficient the use the space.

View bondogaposis's profile


5555 posts in 2887 days

#10 posted 10-15-2019 09:56 PM

Only you can answer that question for yourself? I couldn’t live without mine.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Andybb's profile


2149 posts in 1139 days

#11 posted 10-16-2019 12:41 AM

Only you can answer that question for yourself? I couldn t live without mine.

- bondogaposis

+1 Same here. Especially building furniture. Not that it’s not possible but I’d chose not to.

That is a question only you can answer.

Seems like that’s a mighty big contractors saw. Do you have castors on the base so you can just turn in momentarily?

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Aj2's profile


2529 posts in 2333 days

#12 posted 10-16-2019 01:09 AM

Yes you should get rid of it as soon as possible. The word on the internet is that a tablesaw can and eventually will accidentally cut your fingers off.
The only way to stay safe is SawStop. :)

Good Luck

-- Aj

View SMP's profile


1419 posts in 441 days

#13 posted 10-16-2019 03:27 AM

I am starting to enjoy more hand tool work as an almost meditation. And when i have to cut a couple pieces of wood i am using hand saws almost like exercise. But when i have a stack of stuff, for example this week my wife wants a herringbone plank wall out of reclaimed wood. So having to cut close to 100 pieces 4.5” wide and 24” long, i turned to my table saw and scms for these cuts from a time and repeatability. I could have done it with a band saw and small chop saw, or track saw. Part of it is what you are used to and you run to your “comfort tool”

View robscastle's profile


6458 posts in 2739 days

#14 posted 10-16-2019 07:56 AM

Table saws from memory produce the most injuries in the workshop.
There is a reason for that and I am not advocating injuring yourself.
Ignore Aj2 he has been trying to scam a free table saw for ages!

-- Regards Rob

View Lazyman's profile


4080 posts in 1923 days

#15 posted 10-16-2019 12:07 PM

One reason to keep the saw is that you can use it with a sled for edge jointing. I am guessing that you don’t have room for a jointer in your shop. You can obviously do that by hand but if you are milling a bunch of stock like i just did, this can be a big time saver.

If you are not cutting wide panels, one option may be to remove one of the wings from your contractor’s saw to save some space, You may have to cut the fence rails to remove both wings and actually get some space back. That would be a little drastic but an option nevertheless. Another option would be to sell the contractor’s saw and if you find you miss the table saw, get a jobsite saw with a folding portable base that can be stored up against the wall and when you need to use it, you can set it up outside.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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