Table Saw as Workspace

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Forum topic by Jgoldy posted 04-15-2021 09:02 AM 451 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 226 days

04-15-2021 09:02 AM

I am about to buy a Saw Stop cabinet saw and was wondering if it’s ok to use the top as a workspace when not in use. I assume so, but just want to see what others think I guess at $3000 plus I just want to make sure. I have a small shop but can squeeze a 30 inch unit in. Thanks

13 replies so far

View tvrgeek's profile


1869 posts in 2733 days

#1 posted 04-15-2021 09:30 AM

Many do. Some like to drop a bit of hardboard over it. I would not hammer on it.

View ned3000's profile


1 post in 30 days

#2 posted 04-15-2021 09:54 AM

I’ve been doing that for years w/ a Bosch 4100 contractor saw. Not as nice/expensive as the Saw Stop, so I’m not too worried about it getting banged up, but it does the job and has held up to the sustained misuse/abuse. Only problem I’ve had is a bit of damage to the finish from scrubbing w/ acetone; there’s some kind of coating on the aluminum that’s degraded somewhat. The Saw Stop looks like it’s bare cast iron though, so no problems there.

Obviously keep the blade down when doing other stuff. One thing I always try to do is put some tape over the blade opening in the insert when using it as a bench. Don’t want any random bits falling in there and flying at your face at 150mph when you go to use it as a saw.

Find the most solid points where the table attaches to the frame. If you’re bashing/hammering anything try to do it there. If you’re clamping things to the table check the underside carefully to make sure you’re clamping to a flat/unobstructed surface; I’ve been surprised a few times when clamps slipped loose from being on a support rib or some other feature. Use a drop cloth for any gluing/painting/staining. Use compressed air to clear out any junk that gets in the miter slots; it’s easy to get metal shavings or whatever lodged in the hidden recess and then scratch up the slot when you go to use it.

View ibewjon's profile


2419 posts in 3877 days

#3 posted 04-15-2021 02:00 PM

I would go with a hardboard or plywood cover/work surface. NO, NO ,NO hammering or pounding on the saw!!! EVER!!! It is a saw, not an anvil. Enjoy the new machine.

View controlfreak's profile (online now)


2131 posts in 685 days

#4 posted 04-15-2021 02:19 PM

When You say workspace I am thinking flat top for glue up etc. If your workspace is for chopping out a mortise then I say no.

View mtnwalton's profile


100 posts in 2110 days

#5 posted 04-15-2021 02:32 PM

only you can tell if it will become annoying having it in use at times when the saw is needed . I would caution when doing glueups on it. Cast iron rusts easily.

View SMP's profile


3991 posts in 990 days

#6 posted 04-15-2021 03:01 PM

I use my saw all the time as a clamping area/glue up table etc. For larger pieces I throw a 4×8 sheet of plywood/mdf on top.

View Jgoldy's profile


7 posts in 226 days

#7 posted 04-15-2021 03:03 PM

Was thinking of laying some plywood on top and using it to sand items when needed. The feedback is greatly appreciated.

View Madmark2's profile


2662 posts in 1672 days

#8 posted 04-15-2021 03:10 PM

My sawtop is my primary work surface. It gets sweat, glue, poly, oil, wax, etc., spilled on it and I razor or clean as needed.

None of this makes one iota difference in how the saw cuts.

I clean as I need.

Its cast iron. Nothing much bothers it. Use a Scotchbrite on stubborn stains and a good coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax now and then and it’ll take most anything you throw at it (except for hammering as tvrgeek mentioned, above).

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View paulLumberJock's profile


67 posts in 283 days

#9 posted 04-15-2021 06:14 PM

You can buy a large piece of heavy upholstry at a fabric store and then lay that on top of your table saw when you want to use the tablesaw as a “finishing table” or for glue ups.. That’s why I do.. then the upholstry can be folded up when not in use. Obviously, the upholstry is not as durable as a piece of plywood on top though.. It depends on what kind of work you plan to do..

Do you have room for an outfeed table (even on wheels)? My outfeed table doubles as a general purpose worksurface, and I Don’t have to worry about damaging it, dripping glue, etc.

View therealSteveN's profile


7694 posts in 1658 days

#10 posted 04-15-2021 06:26 PM

Show me the woodworker who doesn’t use that horizontal surface for more than just sawing on, and I’ll show you a guy with an abundance of work tables. A LARGE abundance of worktables.

Horizontal space in most shops is at a premium, so when it’s not busy sawing, hardly anyone is going to let it just lay there unused, Blasphemy!!!!!

Do cover it up though. Your inner you will be happier with that.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6987 posts in 3577 days

#11 posted 04-15-2021 07:25 PM

Well, even if it’s a $3000 saw, it’s still just a tool. Use it as you see fit. That said, there is some good advice above….especially about the hammering part.

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

View ibewjon's profile


2419 posts in 3877 days

#12 posted 04-15-2021 09:56 PM

$3000 is a pretty pricey anvil.

View SMP's profile


3991 posts in 990 days

#13 posted 04-15-2021 10:39 PM

$3000 is a pretty pricey anvil.

- ibewjon

I see you haven’t purchased a decent anvil lately…

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