Table Saw Decisions

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14 Aug 2019
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Hello folks,

I'm new to this forum, I've Just taken voluntary redundancy and thought I might take up woodworking again (after a short 40 year gap since O'level!)

I had a crappy old Macallister table saw from some one off project I did 15 years ago. The tabletop was obviously shot so I put a malamine top on it and cut a zero insert with a new Freud blade. Then I used a temporary fence to build a John Heisz wooden rail and fence system ( See the Picture below). Built a couple of cross cut sleds and all of a sudden I'm able to accurately rip and cross cut. Had a go at building the Mrs a sewing desk with drawers for her "she-shed" with birch plywood. It turned out really well and now I'm completely hooked !

So, now with a few quid in my pocket to spend from my redundancy I'd like to get some propper gear. I'm half considering getting a free standing saw bench like the Axminster AT254SB or something similar, but I think what I'd really like to do is build a large heavy duty workbench (maybe 6-7' by 4') on castors and incorporate a table saw and router lift into it. That way I can roll it out of the way in the garage or even to work outside.

I've found a Router motor and lift which look pretty good on the Rutlands website but I'm struggling to decide on a cast iron table saw that I could incorporate into a corner of the bench. The Axminster AC216TS looked like an obvious candidate, but there's no available fence rail extension so pretty pointless putting it in a 7' long bench, unless I scrap their fence and build a longer rail for my John Heisz fence.

The Charnwood W629 or W650 models look as if they can be assembled without their lower base section so might fit nicely, my plan would be to install in the left corner of a long side of the bench and use the bench top rather than the supplied extension tables for support.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Crappy Saw with John Heisz Fence.JPG


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Get the axminster saw, trade rated and 3 year warranty. Make your own fence if need be. Plenty plans out there for metal fences or the wooden one like you have done. Anyhow, ~ 4' blade to fence is plenty enough capacity for most folk.
You will need to run suitable cable and a blue commando socket for the 16amp supply. But please let the people on this forum believe you are an electrician ( or at least getting one to do the work) or the safety police will come round and ruff you up a bit. Same might happen if you mention cross cut sled :shock:
Oh no #-o i mentioned it :D
No safety police here, lots of us have been convinced that our hobby machines require a 16amp supply because the manufacturer supplies the machine with a 16amp plug, there aren't many hobby machines that will pull 16amps when running, but may just get there on start up, but the main reasoning for this is that in the UK we have these things called ring mains that share power around the house and someone will plug a woodworking machine into the circuit that already has the washing machine or similar running on it, but then if you are going to run a supply to the workshop (hopefully with a dedicated radial {Spur}) why not put a 16amp supply in, just make sure the RCD is motor rated.
Many thanks for the advice gents.

Had a re-think and went back to the Axminster site and there's a saw right at the bottom of their table saw page that I hadn't noticed, the AT254LTS.

It's only 1.65kW and is advertised as running from a 13 amp plug, has a 76mm max cut and an 800 mm max rip. It's also one of only 2 axminster models which has an arbour that will take a dado set should I even want to delve into that... having aquired a suitable crown guard (I'm learning :) )

For mobility I guess I can mount it on one of their mobile bases.

a Couple of concerns:

Is it underpowered ? I'm only a hobbyist and it sounds to me that it will cater for my needs (certainly massively more powerful than my crappy old saw) but I'm open to advice.

I'm 6' 5" and a 865mm table height is not going to be great for my back. If I go for this I'll also be building a seperate mobile workbench/outfeed table and I would really have wanted that to be a good 950 - 1000 mm high, which was part of my original idea to build a half height saw into a workbench. Decisions, decisions.
What about a nice 3 phase machine?
I run a Startrite 275 3hp which can be got for a few hundred, with 100 quid VFD
Running from a 13a plug with no issues.
There is another smaller version of the saw, the 145 or is that 175, and I believe it can be got with a 3 hp motor also.
Its the starting rush from the motor what will blow a fuse, with a motor with a VFD/inverter
you can easily tune your motor for a ramped start up time suiting your supply.

I believe a dado set would need 2 or 3hp.
Hard to find saws with an arbor long enough, maybe the old Wadkins have.
A small Wadkin probably hard found though, maybe someone can give advice about that.


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