Sliding Table Attachment

      Woodworkers report varying degrees of satisfaction with sliding table attachments for their tablesaws. One big factor may be how carefully you first set the equipment up. December 14, 2005

I'm looking at the Excalibur STL 60 sliding table attachment. I also found one made by Woodtek, but the feedback I have seen on the Excalibur has been overall good. Does anyone have any feedback on these, or other attachments? How difficult is it to remove the cross-cut fence when you want to use your table saw for ripping?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A :
Look at the Jet swing arm sliding table. I used one for years in my one man cabinet shop. Without spending the money on a serious slider, I think it's the best you can do. The fence has two tee nuts on it. My biggest complaint is that each time you remove it you have to re-square it when you put it back on. With time you get to know it well and can eyeball it when reinstalling so the fine tuning takes just a minute.

From contributor B:
I have the 60" Exaktor, which is almost identical to the Excalibur and I like it. Folks tell me the only difference is that the Exaktor has stainless rails and the Excalibur's are painted, but I've never seen an Excalibur so don't know that for a fact. It takes just a few seconds to remove the fence and sometimes I have to re-square it, but most of the time I just check it and it's fine.

From contributor C:
Maybe they've improved, but 5 years ago we went with the Excalibur and it is less than desirable. It seems to be unstable and takes forever to set back to square when you remove the fence. I realize ours is not a professional quality tool. We do use it sometimes for cutting 30" and wider by putting the fence on the opposite side. The closest anything has ever been to square was 1/32 off and that was with serious effort and clamping the panel to the fence with pipe clamps. There's just too much slop in it. It stays on the back shelf, and a homemade plywood sled will put it to shame.

From contributor D:
To contributor C: It sounds like you got a defective product. Itís probably too late to return it now but I think I would have sent it right back. I also bought the Excalibur about 3-4 yrs. ago. I bought the smaller version; the shop wasn't big enough for the 60" back then. I have to say it is one of the best investments I made for my shop. The miter fence takes about 5 seconds to get on or off once you get used to using it, and it does have a stop that squares it to the same setting every time. Originally I bought it to square up panels but now I use it for most of my crosscutting. Once you spend the time to get it accurate you get better cuts than with a chop saw. I find it stays fairly accurate for me (one man shop) although if it was in a bigger shop it may need more attention. At this point I have just bought a panel saw and plan to keep both.

From contributor E:
I have the Jet and I'm happy with it. I even use it on a table saw with a mobile base, which I don't think you could do with the Excalibur. The crosscut fence has an adjustable bolt on mine for quickly squaring it up, so that shouldn't be a problem on current models (I bought mine about 2 years ago). I've gotten more used to mounting the fence, but I don't love the method. I like the fence and stops, once it's mounted. To crosscut 48", you have to move the fence to its rear position. It's solid for the money, but I'd trade it for a panel saw.

From contributor F:
I too bought the Excalibur about five years ago and it was a major disappointment. I finally removed it from the saw. It just would not hold square. I used a homemade sled until I bought an Altendorf slider a couple of years ago. I wouldn't waste the money on any sliding attachment. Make a good sled and save your bucks for a used slider in the future.

From contributor G:
To contributor F: What capacity was the sled that you built? Would you be willing to share the design? I thought about going this route also.

From contributor H:
It's discouraging and confusing to see so many differing opinions concerning the Excalibur attachment. I also purchased the 60" slider at the Anaheim show five years ago. I am totally satisfied with the results that I get with my slider. I get dead-on square cuts, job after job, year after year. As with all complicated pieces of equipment, the results you will get directly reflect the thoroughness and diligence you put into the original set-up.

I used to be a machine set-up specialist in furniture plants before I migrated into cabinetmaking. I still love to tinker with machinery. I spent the better part of an entire day doing the original set-up on my 60" slider. I made sure it was exactly flat, level and square to my very well-tuned table saw. The last step was to make sure that all fasteners were thoroughly tightened so the set-up would stay accurate.

For a long time I would check several parts per job for squareness as I was milling the parts. I was happy to see that all of my parts were coming out square cut after cut. Now after five years, I seldom check my parts. I can rely on the slider to deliver square cuts every time. I will occasionally do some test cuts to check for accuracy and am amazed at how well this accessory holds square after five years of daily manufacturing. The Excalibur is a proven product that will perform as advertised if set-up properly. I would not hesitate to make the purchase. It does take some getting used to. The biggest model has only a 60" stroke, so when milling a typical kitchen cabinet job there will be some removal and re-setting of the slider's fence, but once you are used to it and have your milling method perfected, it is not too much of a hassle considering your investment as opposed to a true sliding table saw. It takes me about 30 seconds to re-mount the fence and it always stays square.

This is an outstanding piece of equipment and I am glad I bought it. I used to use a shop-made sled also and had great results with it, but a sled has more limitations than the Excalibur. For example, how would you square a 4 x 8 sheet with a plywood sled? You can do this easily with the Excalibur.

From contributor i:
I have the Jet version. As for squaring it with the blade, as has been mentioned, there is a hand-tightened bolt and nut combo that works very well for this purpose. You need to slide the fence on without a stop, which makes the length a pain, but now I have a little block cut 12" long. I lock the fence stop at 12" and slide the fence till either end of the block is touching the saw blade and up against the stop. Then I tighten it down. Grab a scrap piece of wood and run it thru just to make sure, but this works super for me.

From contributor C:
To contributor H: Are you saying that you can cross cut 48" with the Excalibur? If so, what we've got must be a lot different from yours.

From contributor B:
To contributor C: I can crosscut 48" with my Exaktor, but I have to turn the fence around and place it on the back. I always assumed the Excalibur was the same. Is that not the case?

From contributor I :
The same holds true with the Jet, the fence must be on the leading edge to crosscut any piece wider than 32".

From contributor H:
The 60" Excalibur has a 60" crosscut capacity with the fence mounted in the rear position. I make most of my cuts with the fence in this position. The attachment will easily square a 4 x 8 panel.

From contributor J:
I like what I read about the Excalibur slider, and I am trying to buy one, but I have had no luck finding it. Where is the best place to buy it? I do need to cut 4 x 8 panels, so I need something that will do that.

From the original questioner:
To contributor J: My first attempt was, however it was on back order, therefore I canceled the order. I ended up ordering from and received my order in less than a week - at a better price than Amazon. If you purchase one, get ready to spend several hours assembling it. Itís a chore to setup, but works very well once done.

From contributor D:
I bought mine a couple of years ago from Woodworkers Supply. At the time they were far cheaper than anyone else

From contributor J:
Our Louis and Company rep informed me that Powermatic now owns Excalibur and they will carry it, so I can probably get it from them.

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