Buying a table saw for a new workshop

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1 Jun 2020
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I'm building a workshop in my new (old) house, with a 7x3m space available. I want to be able to make my own kitchen cupboards, maybe a staircase, in hardwoods.
Starting off thinking about getting a planer/thicknesser, table saw and router table, lots of clamps.

Starting with a table saw, looking at second hand - what features can I not live without? I ideally want single phase so I don't have to talk to the DNO - is there a major advantage to a three phase system other than the increase in power available? What would I need to be cutting to need more than a couple of kW in the motor?
3 phase opens up the market to quality used machines, often cheaper and more capable than equivalent single phase machines. But getting 3 phase into the property can be extortionate, worth asking your DNO for estimate first.
Single phase limits you to 3KW, which is adequate for machining most things for DIY / small trade business. A 2.2KW saw will happily cut 4” hardwood. If your looking at commercial work you need a much bigger motor that can accommodate 8 hours continuous use.

The heavier the saw the better the cut, and usually the better it’s made. With your space I would look at something like a Startrite DS275 which had a sliding table. Hugely capable, very sought after saw. They had a 1,2KW motor in them, but this is a bit weedy for 4” oak, however you can out a 2.2KW within them and they are then happy cutting almost anything.
As an aside, an 8x4 sheet has a diagonal of around 2.73m. This is not easy to maneuver in a 3m wide space. My shed space is about 7.5 x 3 overall, but with internal stud work, 50mm insulation and 18mm ply lining there no way i can handle 8ft and rotate it in the shop.
a tracksaw will roughcut 8x4 sheets, then final cutting is a lot easier on a tablesaw, heres a guy who reviews a charnwood saw, not too expensive, he uses it for hardwood
First budget for a tracksaw so you don't even consider trying to break down 8x4 sheets on rhe tablesaw. You can use your assembly table as a cutting station for sheet.
Second, budget for a (decent) sliding mitre saw so you can crosscut long narrow pieces square and to length.
Then, you can pick a tablesaw that is optimised for ripping hardwood planks into staves for your hardwood doors, face frames and lippings. Something with a really nice rip fence. A steel bar at the front and a cast iron bracket are a lot nicer than something aluminium with a fabricated bracket for the fence. A short slider might be nice for squaring up panels, but nothing bigger than near finished sizes of your cabinetry. If you don't need to crosscut long pieces on it, you won't need a lot of space to the side of your saw.
For kitchen cabinets and staircases, there's an argument for a spindle moulder rather than a router table. In a DIY shop where you are only doing one thing at a time, this suggests to me that it's worth at least investigating combination machines : 10" x 7 or 8" planer thicknesser / spindle / table saw. They are slower to use than separates as you have to change fences etc to swap functions but what you intend to process could be done on a smaller combination.

The long sides of your staircases will need to be template routed with a handheld anyway, and the treads are no bigger than the kitchen cabinet parts so will go on the same machines.
if u can, go with a floor standing saw.....because in time u will want to upgrade anyway.....
nice to have table extensions or a slider....
3 phase is a luxury...plenty of good capable machines with single phase.....

with combination machines it's ideal if there is one motor per function.....
perhaps the spindle lowered under the table *with safety cover* while it's planer is 2 functions per motor....
def want the saw and if poss the planer withtheir own motors...
a 7x3m w/shop will soon fill up.....
Take a look on utube for workshop layout ideas in small spaces......
this guy does a lot with a shipping container....load of ideas there....

PS...start to think about outside storage now, for wood and the extractor etc....oh and the mower n the kids bikes.......
planning ahead is the answer.....