Small-Shop Sliding Saws

      A short-stroke sliding table saw or a panel saw might help solve this cabinetmaker's space problem. May 10, 2005

I just laid off my employee. I'm doing the one man thing and am moving into a much smaller shop. I'm currently using a 10' slider and a Unisaw in my shop, though fitting both saws into the new space will be very tight. There are a bunch of 4' and 5' sliders around that have scoring and dado capacity, and I'm wondering if using one of these, I could get away with having only one saw.

If I take off the crosscut fence to do some ripping, is it asking too much to think it would be square when I put it back on? Is anyone else running a system like this, or does everyone have multiple saws?

Forum Responses
From contributor M:
I sold my Unisaw when I got my Altendorf. There are many times that I wish I had a smaller tablesaw. Why not put a 25 - 30" fence on it, put it on a mobile base, and wheel it out when you need it? I am not convinced that the smaller ones are as accurate as the full-sized ones. And there are many options that are available for the cabinet saw, as opposed to a slider.

From contributor J:
Have you considered a vertical panel saw? I too am in a smaller shop, and went from a 10' slider to a Striebig vertical, and could not be happier with the choice. I build residential cabinets, so my main thing is cutting plywood panels for cabinet parts. I also process hardwood lumber for my cabinet doors on it. The saw takes up very little space, is very accurate, faster than a slider or tablesaw, and one heck of a lot safer. I regularly cut 70 plus sheets a day on it for stocked parts like cabinet ends, partitions, bottoms, and shelving. Unless you plan to cut a lot of different angles on parts, the vertical wins hands down. I do all of my dadoing on a Hersaf panel router. For what I paid for it, I can't tear down a tablesaw, install and adjust a dado, then have to put a saw blade back on, and hope I didn't forget to dado a part in the next fifteen minutes. I would just evaluate the parts you need to process, and explore your other options.

From contributor G:
We frequently remove and replace the crosscut fence on our Felder. It has always gone on square for us.

From contributor D:
I have been using an old SCM Mini-Max S250 with a 59" slider that I have to put a fence on for angle cuts. I use a fence for all other cuts. I have used this saw for nearly 10 years with no problems and I am a frameless shop where accurate cuts are a must. You can find them for around $2000 on used equipment sites.

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