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Custom Sliding Tablesaw

Listing #2969   Listed on: 11/10/2010

Company Name: vonhagen custom

Contact Name:   blaine vonhagen

WOODWEB Content Editor, Brett Hagstrom, Interviewed Blaine Vonhagen in February 2011.

Seventh grade woodshop class was Blaine Vonhagen’s introduction to woodworking, however it wasn’t until his twenties when Blaine went to work in a cabinet shop that he really became interested in the trade. At the cabinet shop Blaine started out making drawers and running a table saw. He then learned to set up shapers and grinders, operate a majority of the shop’s machinery, and complete cabinet assemblies.

After the cabinet shop shut down, Blaine started collecting woodworking equipment, including a jointer from a battleship near Nasco Shipyard in San Diego that he eventually rebuilt, a Craftsmen tablesaw he repaired, and a drill press.

After acquiring the equipment, Blaine delved into residential cabinetmaking for a short time, and then pursued furniture making. He now works with a company making high-end Euro furniture. Since he started working at the furniture company he has traveled to sites including the J&G Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona and Hawaii to complete a crown moulding project.

Blaine says that the knowledge he gained at the cabinet shop has benefited his work at the furniture company and in his home shop, where he spends his spare time. There, he uses oak, walnut, and African mahogany for his European cabinets and mission style furniture. Blaine says he enjoys problem solving, which helps him with the design process. He also uses AutoCAD. His tools include a hand plane and German chisels.

Blaine’s new addition to his shop is a self-built sliding table saw, which took about three and a half months to complete. Blaine built the saw on weekends and says that “a lot of measuring and calculating was involved.” He knew what he wanted to build – he just had to sit down, complete the design, and start building the saw.

The goal for the saw was simple - “functional and efficient.” Blaine also wanted a saw that two people could “load and unload efficiently at a job site.” Equipment used to build the saw included an early 1960’s Craftsmen drill press, taps and die, a Dewalt miter saw, and various hand tools.

Blaine used 3x4 inch U-channel molding and 48 inch x 20 mm linear bearings and mounted the saw to 1/2 inch phenolic resin top with M6 12.9 flat head machine screws. He also used 12.9 high strength screws on all of the tablesaw components as well as 1/4 inch tension pins. The tension pins were used to ensure that correct alignment during the reassembling process.

Set screws enable all of the parts to be adjustable, and the cross cut fence was constructed to tilt. Blaine really likes this, as he doesn’t have to unbolt it for various functions. Metric sizes were used for strength and he traded a router for his boss’s Altendorf fence and used aluminum to make the fence lightweight. The saw was set up so the slider pivots fully around and 20mm full round bearings were used on the shaft to enable it to pivot down and away. The saw is built to cross-cut eight feet wide. Blaine mentions that it was a long process building the saw, but he is glad he took the time and is very happy with the results.

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pivoting fence

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sliding tablesaw

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sliding tablesaw

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: matt seiler     [11/11/2010]
Pretty slick. But it's very strange to see a TS without miter slots!

How hard is it to reach under there for depth adjustments on the blade, btw?

Posted By: Brad S.     [11/12/2010]
You did a great job, but I am a bit surprised you did not follow typical slider layouts. Having the slider right beside the blade is very useful.

I have also done a little of this custom design stuff. I wanted some digital readouts on my saw so I re-built my crosscut. I used aluminum extrusions to reduce the precision milling time. I attached a a couple of links in case you are interested.

Posted By: Jason     [11/13/2010]
Nice job.How's it work? Can I ask where you sourced the flip stops on the crosscut fence?

Posted By: Jake     [11/19/2010]
Do you have any concern on dust collection? I wonder if the housing on the re-purposed saw would interfere?

Posted By: blaine vonhagen     [11/19/2010]
My Festool dust extractor works fine with this saw. It's very easy to adjust the height and angle. I don't understand why it has to follow typical slider format as this saw cuts as well as anything out there and doesn't weigh 2000 lbs. The flip stops are Altendorf.

Posted By: blaine vonhagen     [11/20/2010]
Also for the first comment, it doesn't need miter slots because that's what the sliding table is for and I do plan on adding a miter gauge that will have a simple lockdown. I don't know why a lot of woodworkers make wooden crosscut sleds instead of a sliding table. That is way more precise and has a larger crosscut capacity and by adding a pivoting fence it just flips down and out of the way for ripping. This sliding table will work on any saw.

Posted By: TonyR     [11/28/2010]
Am I wrong or is the blade oriented in the opposite direction in regards to regular cross cut sleds. It looks like the drop down fence is furthest away from the operator when pushing material through the blade.

Posted By: blaine vonhagen     [11/28/2010]
The blade spins forward to the operator and the crosscut fence is pushed all the way forward and then flips down out of the way for ripping.

Posted By: Russell Carnley     [11/29/2010]
That looks awesome. I have two wooden crosscut sleds I built myself, but that sliding table looks like it would do a lot better. Did you have to have any of the parts custom made by a machine shop, or did you make it all yourself?

Posted By: blaine vonhagen     [11/29/2010]
I did all machining myself with a drill press and a router with a Starrett 385 straight edge and solid carbide router bit. I also used a 12 inch Dewalt sliding miter saw with a 96 tooth Amana blade with a -5 degree atb and used wd40 for lube when doing all cutting. Industrial metal supply carries all the aluminum components. The linear bearings I got through Glacern machine and tool.

Posted By: Joel D'Angelo     [12/15/2010]
I would be interested in purchasing a basic set of shop drawings and a supplier list to make one for myself. You did a great job BTW. Only interested in the slider component.
Also, It's nice to have the fence close to the blade for crosscutting solid shorts...Joel
Reply to my personal E-Mail please

Posted By: Frank D     [12/26/2010]
I have a Delta Unisaw and would like to add a sliding table, do you have closer pictures of the slide set up

Posted By: kol     [04/06/2011]
It looks like a nice setup. I can't say that I would go to the extent you did just to add a slider to my saw, when Excalibur makes a great one that fits most saws. Thanks for sharing.

Posted By: YHeller     [09/23/2016]
LOL... I love that it says he traded his boss a router for the Altendorf fence.

I just called up Stiles about a fence for my own sliding table build... That fence costs $2475.00. He didn't just rob his boss blind on that one; he raped and pillaged. SCORE!

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