Moving table saw down stairs

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Forum topic by doncutlip posted 08-31-2008 01:58 AM 9746 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2832 posts in 4097 days

08-31-2008 01:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I want to buy a table saw, but am now sure how I’m going to get it into my basement. It has to go down the stairs that came with the house; just 1 inch pine boards on the sides. The treads and risers are stapled into the sides. It doesn’t look like it can hold that much. Anyone know how much weight can go down them, or any tricks for doing this?

What are the consequences of taking a saw all apart and moving it one piece at a time?

-- Don, Royersford, PA

26 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4254 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 4312 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 4097 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 4265 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 4097 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 4340 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 4450 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 4244 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 4138 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 4189 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 4126 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 4097 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


25788 posts in 4392 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 4334 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 4102 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

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