Charnwood W629 Table saw? 2 buy or not 2 buy.

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Jackie H

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Location
Chesterfield
Hi all,
I am in the process of completing the build of my new workshop (my retirement project) and getting close to the point of ordering the tools and equipment to fit it out for use. Rightly or wrongly (a separate debate) the table saw will be pretty central to the layout and workflow of the shop. I intend to have everything on wheels and will be building some small modular work benches to compliment the table saw i.e. router workbench, MFT etc.
I have been spending sometime researching the various Table saws on the market and I have got to the point where the Charnwood W629 is the front runner in respect to my budget and intended use. Before I splash the cash I would welcome thoughts and opinions of members, particularly those who own a W629.
I have tracked back on threads on this site; some mixed opinions, to be expected.
I have reviewed Matthew Small's review on YouTube which I found to be very informative.
I have been down to Charnwood's showroom to view the machine (along side the W650).
The plus points as I see them.
Decent sized cast iron ground table.
A decent sliding carriage.
Very configurable in that the extension tables can be placed 1 each side (with the sliding carriage removed) or both at one side to the main table, rip fence can be used either side and the same for the sliding carriage.
Quiet 2200w braked induction motor which operates off a 13 amp Plug.
Pretty good cutting capacities.
The negatives.
15/19 T slots. These appear to be std fare among the budget end of the Asian produced machines but I cant find anything much available in the after market that utilizes this size T slot. The mitre slide provided with the W629 is pants and didn't fit well. The mitre slide supplied with the W650 is slightly better but when I tried to swap them over I struggled to get the latter to fit in the slot even though they are ostensibly the same T-slot. Matthew Small did point out issues with the finishing of the T-slots. I am not sure how much of an issue this might be given the machine comes with the sliding carriage which can be used for mitre cuts?
The motor is hung off the cast iron table which some may see as a negative. I did consider the W650 and I would have paid the extra but I felt the form and configuration of the W629 was better for my requirements. I am not convinced if this is an issue to be concerned about?
Dust extraction? I am not really able to determine if this might be an issue or not I intend to buy a decent dust extractor (probably Axminster's as opposed to Charnwood's).
As per above I would very much appreciate W629 owners thoughts and opinions on the machine. And also any advice/comments on the T-slot situation.
Jackie
 
I've had the W650 a few years now and the only reason I didn't go down the used route as above was at the time there wasn't enough room to accommodate something that wide in my old workshop. I did consider the W629 but much preferred the W650 which just seemed slightly better spec'd to what I needed and worth the extra.

The plus points of either are a relatively compact footprint, decent CI table which appears to be very flat, a decent motor and a decent rip fence (on the 650 anyway).

Negatives after a few years of using it include absolutely rubbish dust extraction (in the process of improving the blade well), the fence and sliding mitre table are very fiddly to set up, but once done they only need the odd tweak every so often. The on/off/safety stop switch is in an awkward to reach position and not well thought out. The insert plate cannot be adjusted so needs shimming. I did mine using masking tape underneath until I got it flush. There are no aftermarket zero clearance inserts available for these so you'll need to make your own,

The blade tilt mechanism quickly gets clogged with sawdust and is fiddly to poke out the dust from needing a screwdriver and vacuum hose quite regularly to keep it clean and most of the sawdust ends up on the floor inside the cabinet.

The sliding table is quite a nice thing really providing you've taken great care in setting it up but as with all budget machines the aluminium extrusions and t bolts are a dreadful system and ali gets chewed up too readily when tweaking up the crappy standard bolts on the supports and rail. These all need chucking and replacing with better quality machine screws.


In operation it's quite a nice table to use though and is a real workhorse. Mine is used weekly, sometimes daily and hadn't missed a beat and is capable of cutting up to 80mm with the right blades. If making angled cuts you need to bear in mind that the blade iodeally wants swapping out for one with a large enough gullet to clear sawdust or friction builds up quickly. The blade carrier is quite a neat design and uses a 30mm arbor allowing for a wide blade choice. I've settled on Shark blades (UK made and better than Axminster premium range at a fraction of the cost) for 80T crosscut for fine work, and freud/CMT for general purpose and rip blades.

If you want better extraction you'll need a high flow low pressure extractor. The little bin extractors are ok, but don't move enough air really and are very noisy.


If I had to go down this route again, buying new, I'd save the extra and buy a Laguna instead but for the money, the W650 has nothing to better it as a 13A machine. I looked extensively before buying mine and didn't rate the SIP or Record machines as highly. You have to effectively double the budget if buying new to get something better or look for a used Sedgewick or Startrite machine or similar.
 
Hi,
Thank you for taking the time to provide a very informative and detailed review of your experiences with the W650.
I appreciate that for many the second hand route is a good option but at this time it is a step too far for me personally. I have no problem with taking the time to set things up, tweaking, shimming and so on but the unknowns of the 2nd hand market is a stretch too far for me right now. This is my 1st table saw and at least I have the security of warranty if anything goes awry in the 1st 12 months.
Budget is of course a consideration. Whilst the 650 is slightly better spec'd and I would have paid the extra, the 629 appears to offer more flexible configuration options for my needs and I can reduce the foot print a lot if needed. On the budget side of things it is also a question of justification. As much as I would like to and could possibly find the cash to buy a Laguna, I just can't justify that level of expenditure for what is my retirement project. If I was younger and looking to build a business then I would. I class myself as a hobbyist wanting to develop my skills, learn, create and enjoy my retirement.
On the negative issues, your review reinforced what I felt I knew already; on dust extraction I am intending to buy the Axminster AW82E which has a flow rate of 1,530 m³/hr @ 100 mm and hope that will help, however given the comments I will certainly take a close look when assembling. I also have an air blow gun so that may help.
On the other issues I am prepared to take my time and upgrade bits as and when necessary. So on the whole based on your response I am still minded to proceed with the W629.
Thank you very much again for your insight.
Jackie
 
On the flip side of that argument, one can buy a little used known machine thats in running condition and give a proper test / watch the saw being used, which isn't always an option or is
near a commitment to buy when buying new.

Say if you had a problem with the tables being flat, how would you prove it's
unusable or within spec.
I wouldn't expect any cheap tool importer to be exactly on the side of the uber finicky purchaser
That's possibly what you will be made feel like, should something be not up to scratch.

If looking at second hand clean unused (in regards to build quality) machine, then table flatness would be worth checking, (sliding table might likely show this up, should it be assembled)
Look at the zero clearance throat plate if fitted/present, is there signs of blade wobble i.e excessive
kerf removed.
Not much to go wrong on a TS, well one you can see in running condition.

All the best
Tom
 
Have you considered the Axminster AW216S saw? It's less expensive than the W629 and despite not being trade rated (motor isn't on that model) for hobby use it may be all you need and doesn't take up much room, although it is the 8" version feedback on it from users has been mostly positive. There's a lot to like about that one and they do a couple of different bases for it too. I think if your budget is limited, it might be worth consideration. Bear in mind if you do decide on the W629 you'll also definitely want the mobile base too as this is essential to get the dust cleaned up from under the machine without constantly having to get access through the limited side panel opening. Rutlands offer one that would fit for £40 suitable for up to 180Kg mass.

There is another in your price range which might also be worth a look as the specs are pretty good for an entry level 10" machine:

https://www.lumberjacktools.co.uk/t...iIOw1HJO_UqbXhlo6M1TzPz8MoTCsjaIaAt8QEALw_wcB
Cast iron table, inbuilt wheelset, decent cut capacity. The only nit picky thing I don't like about it is the 5/8ths arbor.

Other than those above, your choices if buying new are pretty limited to those on contractor saws and all of the above will better most contractors saws including ones at the pricier end like the dewalts and Bosch professional models (I had the GTS10XC and couldn't recommend it for precision or serious hobby use).
 
On the flip side of that argument, one can buy a little used known machine thats in running condition and give a proper test / watch the saw being used, which isn't always an option or is
near a commitment to buy when buying new.

Say if you had a problem with the tables being flat, how would you prove it's
unusable or within spec.
I wouldn't expect any cheap tool importer to be exactly on the side of the uber finicky purchaser
That's possibly what you will be made feel like, should something be not up to scratch.

If looking at second hand clean unused (in regards to build quality) machine, then table flatness would be worth checking, (sliding table might likely show this up, should it be assembled)
Look at the zero clearance throat plate if fitted/present, is there signs of blade wobble i.e excessive
kerf removed.
Not much to go wrong on a TS, well one you can see in running condition.

All the best
Tom
Yes, they're pretty simple pieces of machinery, all things considered.
 
call me reckless, but if you paid me the cost of the Charnwood machine, I would deliver the linked machine to your door, and help you set it up.
 
With regard to Charnwood, I have had a W650 for many years. Agree 100% with everything already said about it, especially the sawdust fouling the blade tilt, bit of a pain. But overall it is a good machine for what I paid for it, I got it as a deal at a Yandles show. I was using it originally in my small workshop at my old house. This meant when not in use I had to roll it up to the wall and slide off the sliding table for storage or it took up too much room. It did lend itself to that without too much trouble. Not a problem in my new workshop at the new house.

Did have to spend some time fettling the blade guard so it would allow me to slide timber right over the blade without the blade guard fitted when occassionally required for rebates etc., very carefully of course!
 
Hi.
I have the W 629. Yes the dust extraction can be a bit of a problem. I removed the dust collection from the top of the saw and all of the cowling under the table, I then fitted an Axminster big mouth dust extractor hood inside the saw ( now no dust gets to the floor).
I have made my own zero clearance inserts.
I fitted a drop down out feed table at the back of the saw.
To be honest I think it is a great choice of saw. I would buy it again tomorrow if I needed to.
 
Hi.
I have the W 629. Yes the dust extraction can be a bit of a problem. I removed the dust collection from the top of the saw and all of the cowling under the table, I then fitted an Axminster big mouth dust extractor hood inside the saw ( now no dust gets to the floor).
I have made my own zero clearance inserts.
I fitted a drop down out feed table at the back of the saw.
To be honest I think it is a great choice of saw. I would buy it again tomorrow if I needed to.
How did you get that to fit under the blade if you don't mind me asking? I'm assuming you removed the whole underside plastic shroud and coupling to the exhaust port?
 
Hi everyone,
Thank you very much for all your comments and feedback.

On the Axminster models, I did consider those. I had already decided on a 10" as I guessed I might regret getting an 8" down the line. At the moment the AW254TS is on back order with no known date for when they might be available. It was a good call though as I did a recheck on the comparisons. The W629 is still just edging it for me.

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Sorry SLM, I do appreciate the offer but that machine is still not grabbing me. Besides it would take away the enjoyment of unboxing a shiny new TS.

The main down sides for the W629 (for me anyway) appear to be the poor dust extraction and the non std. T-slots.

I am happy to take on the challenge of fixing the dust extraction (and would welcome any details on the fixes that you guys have been doing) and I really don't know why I think the non std. T-slots are an issue.

Once again thanks to everyone. In most cases there is no right or wrong answer and it comes down to your personal choice and you live with it. It is very helpful to hear from owners and I have not heard anything that would change my mind.

Jackie
 
Hi Jackie,

I have a Charnwood W629 which I have had for quite a few years now. I bought it second hand and it was a huge step forward from the Erbauer site saw that I had before it. The motor seems to be powerful enough for everything I have thrown at it and it is fairly quiet.
The miter slots being non standard are a complete pain which means they are not useful, unless you make something custom.
I have a large high volume low pressure extractor and despite all my tinkering with the saw the dust extraction still doesn’t work well and I have to take it appart and vacuum it out every so often. The problem it causes is with the blade tilt mechanism which means that getting to 45degrees is very hard. The sliding table is good and I use it lots, but it is not long enough front to back if you want to set the fence on the sliding table to 45 degrees. I have replaced the fence with a much more accurate and robust one I constructed.
The final flaw is that the cast iron top on mine is not perfectly flat. It curves by about 1mm front to back.
So while I have used it lots to produce all sorts of things it is far from perfect.
Best wishes,

Mark
 
How did you get that to fit under the blade if you don't mind me asking? I'm assuming you removed the whole underside plastic shroud and coupling to the exhaust port?
Correct I took the whole cast iron table off. It is only a few bolts and then fitted the hood inside it really is a good mod.
 
I would shy away from this for three reasons. All of which a descent table saw should do.
1. poor dust collection and jamming.
2. the t slot is not a standard size. Something you will regret.
3, and I don't believe you can put a stacked dado set on this saw.
 
Not having the stacked dado isn't really a drawback as other means are possible such as a compact router table or even router jig. I manage fine without one, then there's the current safety thinking on the use of dado stacks, agree or not.

T slots not being standard for hobby use is no big deal as alternatives are available.

Dust collection can be addressed as above (y)
 
Not having the stacked dado isn't really a drawback as other means are possible such as a compact router table or even router jig. I manage fine without one, then there's the current safety thinking on the use of dado stacks, agree or not.

T slots not being standard for hobby use is no big deal as alternatives are available.

Dust collection can be addressed as above (y)
You are very right. I'm a carpenter so any one of them would kill deal for me. But different table saws are directed at different skill sets. A back yard hobbyist is not going to have a bunch of Mafell tools. And full blown carpenter is not going to have a 2 $ chisel to do dovetails.each is marketed towards people with different things in mind. Budget, skill set, etc. every tool out there has its place.I have a Unisaw, my boss, a good carpenter went out and bought a laguna telling me look it has the same size motor and everything. And much cheaper. I had to use it One day. I was running 2x4 through it and stalled the motor ever time I pushed to hard. Obviously the stated horsepower was not right, as my Unisaw would have cut it like butter.
so as a hobbyist, price is always a consideration, a. Big one. You never will need a unisaw, and a cheap table saw with a skilsaw mounted under it will work, even for me.

the w649, does look well built and you will always have the time to deal with the nuances of the machine, does not take long to vacuum out build up sawdust every time you use it heavily.
 
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I think that you guys in the States have a much wider choice of quality machines, being a significantly larger market. When I started my business 12 years back, I only had budget for a contractor saw so is what I used. Various moves later and I find myself setting up a compact workshop at home from which my business is now based and honestly, the W650 whilst not perfect and no 3 phase huge HP machine does everything I need of it and whilst higher maintenance in some respects, does everything a £5K machine of the same size might for my needs. Horses for courses I guess but for a hobbyist they're perfectly adequate machines. It just grates that things like dust extraction is not sorted out properly on the machines sold.
 
I think that you guys in the States have a much wider choice of quality machines, being a significantly larger market. When I started my business 12 years back, I only had budget for a contractor saw so is what I used. Various moves later and I find myself setting up a compact workshop at home from which my business is now based and honestly, the W650 whilst not perfect and no 3 phase huge HP machine does everything I need of it and whilst higher maintenance in some respects, does everything a £5K machine of the same size might for my needs. Horses for courses I guess but for a hobbyist they're perfectly adequate machines. It just grates that things like dust extraction is not sorted out properly on the machines sold.
small thing to correct, i'm from Canada! we are much different then those guys from the unites states. Lol! :oops::rolleyes::oops::cool:
 

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