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Tools question (power saws)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by cbzdel, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    I am in need of a power saw to help speed up my projects. I can only afford one at the moment though.

    I cant decide between a table saw and a chop saw.

    I am going to be building a fence, re-siding a portion of the house, and framing in (2) closets.

    Any input?
     
  2. parsons_12b

    parsons_12b LaPine Oregon Well-Known Member

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    hit craigslist and buy both
     
  3. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Imho a table saw comes first. It will have a miter gauge that you can miter with. Set it to 45 degrees and make cuts in scrap wood. Put them together and they should form a 90. Check that with a square. Adjust until it's square, and your 45's are perfect.

    A chop saw is nice, but it will do only cut offs, and then within a limited size. A table saw will rip, miter, cut off, and dado with a dado set.
     
  4. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    For the projects you have I think the chop saw would be faster. Like Gunner said, you can do a lot more with a table saw but the chop saw is usually smaller, lighter for moving around and faster at changing your angles.
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    So, what do you do when you have to rip some fence boards a little narrower, adjust some siding... ??

    I'd want both. It's just that the table saw will do things the chop won't but not the other way around.
     
  6. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    I agreed that you could do more with the table saw. Just saying with the type of work he is planning on doing most of his cuts would be quickest with a chop saw.

    I personaly would use a worm drive circular saw for almost all of it. It is light enough to take anywhere you need it and with a little practice you can make all the cuts you need for all your projects. It just takes a little more proficiency with the tool.
     
  7. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Good luck doing the finish work on those closets with a skill saw. Actually, I'd feel really hamstrung without all three saws, but a table saw is the first thing to go into a wood shop.
     
  8. d1esel

    d1esel Ridgefield WA. Member

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    +1 for the worm drive.

    But if you went to Harbor Freight you can probably buy 3 or 4 saws for the price of a worm drive.

    Their stuff is far from great. But it is functional for the casual user.
     
  9. usfatboy01

    usfatboy01 Hillsboro, Oregon Member

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  10. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    For building a fence, residing a house and framing you would be better off with a chop saw. A compound miter saw is what I would get but it will cost you. Probably $400+ for a good one.

    Table saws are great and can be used to do alot of things a chop saw cant. Same goes for the chop saw doing what a table saw can't.

    But like what was previously posted. I am very skilled with my worm driven skill saw. I can go along ways with just it alone.

    With your 2 choices....get a chop saw.
     
  11. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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  12. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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  13. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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  14. usfatboy01

    usfatboy01 Hillsboro, Oregon Member

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    So get a good chop saw, the worm drive skill saw and the accu-rip, you'll be able to do all your job nicely!!!!
     
  15. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    "I personaly would use a worm drive circular saw for almost all of it."

    Buy a hand mitre box for those three cuts.:thumbup:
     
  16. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Would a bunch of you experts please get over here with your skillsaws? I need some help finishing this. Especially, I need to cut fluting in some more trim boards. :laugh: :laugh:

    More than one of our members has seen this, so don't go thinking I pulled these pics off the web. This is all hand done. No buying fancy trim boards. They were made on-site from blank lumber.


    SDC10132.jpg


    SDC10127.jpg


    SDC10124.jpg


    SDC10123.jpg
     
  17. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    fancy!

    nothing I have is that nice haha! I have the 1/2"x3" trim, so I need 4 miter cuts :D

    with a circular saw I am just worried about getting straight cuts on the siding and fence work. I figured a chop saw would be best but got to thinking I have used a table saw many time in the past and got to thinking it would be a more versatile tool in the long run.

    with a circular saw I have trouble cutting straight lines in a 2x4 :bluelaugh:
     
  18. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    You can get telescoping aluminum saw guides at places like Home Depot and they work pretty well. You clamp them to your board or plywood. Remember to allow for the distance from your skill saw table to the actual blade. A 2x4 is usually too narrow but they work on wide boards and plywood.

    A table saw is the centerpiece of any shop because it will do anything including accepting molding sets to shape wood. It will rip, cross cut, miter, shape, dado... you name it. NOW down the road you surely want other tools like a sliding miter saw and a skill saw and even a shaper, jointer. planer and molding machine, but the table saw is the only one that will do everything pretty well.
     
  19. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    table saw it is then.. I will not be going crazy with wood working, so I will buy the table saw for now then maybe get more saws later as required.

    now the question is how good of a saw should I get? I mean will a harbor freight do the job just as well as a dewalt? again I am not a crazy woodworker, just a diy kinda guy, and a table saw fits the bill for my current projects.
     
  20. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I learned a long time ago to not buy cheap tools, but that's just me. You do want straight cuts don't you, lol.

    I'd go to Lowes or Home Depot and see what they have in a "budget" saw. It might not be that much more and it might be a brand name. I don't know what to say. I sold my big 12" saw after we finished this house (just kidding about needed help to finish it with skill saws, lol) and bought a smaller Hitachi at Home Depot. It wasn't real cheap though.

    I wish you lived closer. I'd help you.
     
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