My table saw is too big!!

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Forum topic by AGolden posted 09-19-2020 04:38 AM 1293 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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78 posts in 218 days

09-19-2020 04:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

For about the past 8 months I have been attempting to see if I can shift from doing most of my work on the table saw to most of my work on the band saw (and some hand tools). I would say i have been 90% successful, I can do all of my ripping, resawing, and most of my crosscutting without the table saw but I really like having the table saw for bevels, some case miters, and joinery.

Currently I have an old craftsman 10” table saw which works relatively well but:
1) doesn’t have the kind of safety features I would like (riving knife primarily)
2) is a hip destroying monster that takes up way too much space in my shop for the amount of use I get out of it

I would like to get rid of it but it does really come in handy for the above mentioned.

I am wondering if there is a small table saw or other type of saw that I could use for joinery and such that would have a smaller footprint. Or even if there is a suggestion for some other workflow that might do the job. Thank you very much, I am curious to see what you think!

Edit 1: Further context,

my shop is below, the big problem with the table saw is that the length of my shop makes it difficult to have the table saw, workbench, and my desk all in line the saw is on casters but really there is no place to put it even if I did want to move it. I don’t do any ripping/jointing on the table saw so whatever replacement I would go with wouldn’t need to be very powerful I imagine. being able to bevel the blade and make miter cuts accurately is something I am interested in.

Edit 2:

YoUr tABleSaw iSnT tOO biG, YOUR SHOP IS TOO SMOLL!!!!!!!!!!!

Gee thanks, i don’t know why i didn’t think of that, Can you recommend a good wall expander?

I appreciate that people are trying to be helpful but let’s be real, the shop size is a restraint, the table saw size is a variable.

Edit 2:

totally re-arranged the shop and synthesized a couple opinions here. Removed one wing, turned the other one into a router table and shoved the whole combination against the wall. putting it against the wall solved my biggest problem with it in that it was chewing up the length of my shop. Thanks for the suggestions!

22 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


6462 posts in 1458 days

#1 posted 09-19-2020 08:17 AM

Yeah, at the end of the day, we love them. Features and accessories are improving daily on some of the worksite jobsaws though. A lot of them can be stored in a cabinet when not in use, at least it would save your hips when out of the way…..

If you had a big cabinet saw I wouldn’t so quickly go to a jobsite saw, but starting from a Craftsman saw you may see huge improvement depending on model.

Also if you don’t have one, get a router table. A LOT of joinery can be done on them as efficiently, sometimes more so than a TS. Usually smaller footprint too, between the bandsaw to rip, and cross, and yes those tables tilt for bevels too, and the router table you may save your hips.

-- Think safe, be safe

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


5803 posts in 1704 days

#2 posted 09-19-2020 09:27 AM

Get rid of anything useless and you’ll curse yourself one week later, if not sooner, and regret it for the rest of your life.

Not knowing what the TS looks like I can only make futile suggestions in the dark.

Rather than disposal,
  • Consider wheels.
  • Use as an assembly/outfeed table.
  • If possibly mount a router and have that 1st. or 2nd. router table.
  • MJ SPlitter will quickly address the lack of a riving knife/splitter… will also bonus you with a ZCI.

Handtools may do 90% of your work, however, when you fully convert, you’ll probably find that the 90% may be closer to 30%... It’s not how much time you spend on the TS as much as how much time it saves without.
Bandsaw is good, but you need to consider clean up time for the rough cut. If time is not an issue, congratulations… for me in my retirement, time is my most precious commodity.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View controlfreak's profile


1296 posts in 485 days

#3 posted 09-19-2020 10:26 AM

I like the idea of a mobile base to move out of the way. If that doesn’t solve the issue you can get a jobsite style saw and move it in a smaller footprint. I keep mine under a shelf. This will also get you a riving knife too. Until I get more space I still need to roll it outside for longer rips.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6507 posts in 3377 days

#4 posted 09-19-2020 10:49 AM

When you say “joinery” I quickly think of a dado set. If you need that function, be sure any replacement saw will handle one. It’s my understanding some of the jobsite saws will not. Of course you could always do those kinds of cuts in some other fashion…but be sure to think this though carefully. I do want to congratulate you on saying something I’ve never, ever, seen on a WW’ing forum: “my table saw is too big” :)

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Madmark2's profile


1717 posts in 1472 days

#5 posted 09-19-2020 02:37 PM

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Loren's profile


10718 posts in 4532 days

#6 posted 09-19-2020 03:31 PM

Look at the old Delta tilt top saws. They’re very accurate. The INCA saws even more so, though prices may be higher due to collectability.


info about INCA saws:

View CWWoodworking's profile


1092 posts in 1063 days

#7 posted 09-19-2020 03:32 PM

I like my DeWalt 7485 a lot. Very accurate and a small footprint/light weight.

I liked it so much, I got rid of my contractor saw.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1161 posts in 795 days

#8 posted 09-19-2020 04:31 PM

Looking at your shop pics, If you turn your table saw sideways when not in use, the rails won’t stick out for you to catch your hips when walking past it. My rails stick out a little, so I wrapped red and white electrical tape on the end of the rail. Easier to see the rails when walking past it. One of the inconveniences of a smaller shop. If you you sell your table saw and get a benchtop table saw, you may regret it in the future. Difference in accuracy. Plus the full use potential is lost. If your not needing the extra length of the rails, cut the rails off to to be even with the edge of the table saw. Maybe remove the wing and rails on one side.

View KenKorch's profile


16 posts in 1052 days

#9 posted 09-19-2020 08:04 PM

I like my DeWalt 7485 a lot. Very accurate and a small footprint/light weight.

I liked it so much, I got rid of my contractor saw.

- CWWoodworking

The Dewalt DWE7485 does not accept a dado blade set.

View Robert's profile


4052 posts in 2364 days

#10 posted 09-19-2020 09:27 PM

Get rid of that saw. The fences are horrible.

I’m surprised you’ve gotten by with it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View CWWoodworking's profile


1092 posts in 1063 days

#11 posted 09-19-2020 09:41 PM

I like my DeWalt 7485 a lot. Very accurate and a small footprint/light weight.

I liked it so much, I got rid of my contractor saw.

- CWWoodworking

The Dewalt DWE7485 does not accept a dado blade set.

- KenKorch

Sort of. I stack 3-7 1/4” + shims to groove drawer side stock. Works great. I think I could possibly fit 1 more blade on for slightly over 1/4”. But a traditional stack will not fit.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3725 posts in 2378 days

#12 posted 09-20-2020 03:25 AM

I AGREE – Contractor saws are PIA when it comes to size.
Many have miserable excuse for fence too. :-(

IMHO – Need to get creative.
Your issue is the RIP fence. If all you do it cross cut, then get rid of it.
If you keep the fence, do you really need the cut length to right side of blade you have now?
Use hack saw to cut off the excess!
You have zero fence on left side? If you want more space, remove the left table extension.
There are many ways to solve TS space issues.

BTW – that fence is one of the reasons many folks call those Crapsman saws.
Changing out the fence to used Unifence, Biesemeyer or newer T2/T3 would help accuracy. Although still might have to adjust the length with hack saw? Add some MicroJig splitters for safety, and you have decent setup, that won’t cost as much as new saw. :-)

+1 changing to smaller job site saw is step backwards

IME – Vintage Unisaw takes up less floor space, as it does not have motor hanging out back ,yet has same table top dimensions at 27d x ~38-40w. With a limited cut capacity fence, the rails won’t extend far past the end of table.
Fair warning – then you hit your hip on TS and not fence. #IAMAKLUTZ

FWIW – Here are some example pics for you to consider:
Standard Unisaw front view with short fence, top is ~38” wide (based on yard stick on table).
This is a 1954 model with tube fence and 120v 1HP RI motor that cuts like 2.5HP induction motor.

Side view shows 34” from front of front fence to back of back fence. Without the motor hanging out back it is smaller than contractor saw.

TBH – Length of TS fence can be small or large. Here is the same Unisaw, sitting in front of my 1980 something Unisaw work station with 84” Unifence, that has 54” cut capacity right of fence. Sort of David and Goliath moment captured. (ignore the stuff on TS, car parts for repair after pics where taken. :-(

For long time I had a Emerson made Ridgid table saw, the same size as your Craftsman. Upgrading to a cabinet saw gave me more room with similar fence length. The best part is t-square fences are easy to modify. Can shift them for more capacity on the right or left (or make them short/long) as your shop allows.

Just trying to give you some ideas and a possible size fix without losing TS capability.

PS – your shop will look cooler with vintage ARN in it too. :-)

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View tomsteve's profile


1078 posts in 2103 days

#13 posted 09-20-2020 12:16 PM

looks like the problem isnt in saw size but in shop size

View bondogaposis's profile


5872 posts in 3235 days

#14 posted 09-20-2020 05:52 PM

The table saw isn’t too big. You have a different problem, your shop is too small. Put a tennis ball over the end of that front rail and save your hip.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AndyJ1s's profile


463 posts in 639 days

#15 posted 09-20-2020 07:05 PM

Remove the table saw rip fence and rails if you are not using them (you said you rip on the bandsaw). Or at least cut the rail ends off flush with table.

You might consider whether you really want both extensions on the table saw. If you built a crosscut sled, you wouldn’t even need any extensions, and you could stow the sled vertically when not being used. The sled could be wider than the remaining table.

I would not replace it with a jobsite saw.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

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