Sliding table saw basics

General information for first-time users of 'sliders.' 1998.

by Jon Elvrum

We have recently purchased our first sliding table saw. It's a Cassedi ks3400. We are beginning to get comfortable with it, but we were hoping you could recommend a book or a seminar that would teach us some techniques and tricks to get full utilization out of it.

I have not really used sliding table saws personally. However, the following is generally true: there are several keys to successful sliding table saw use. There must be sufficient work space around the saw to permit ease of handling and loading of panels. In addition, the most common faults lie in not doing a clean trim cut. Use of the factory edge will almost always result in a distorted cut, and will show up in irregular and uneven joints. A clear indication of squareness issues will be cabinets which seem to join perfectly when in the scale of an upper cabinet (12-13" deep panels) and fail to match up when the panels are 24" or more deep, as in base cabinets and pantries. A trim cut is essential to provide a proper reference edge.

I am aware that Altendorf (through the Stiles group) offers training and literature. I am not sure what Casadei provides. A number of vocational and trade schools now have sliding tables on site, and are prepared to offer training. Many of these instructors are also available to come and train your people in your plant. These are options which can be explored.

Jon Elvrum, Director of Distribution and Sales at Ritter Manufacturing in Antioch California, is also a well known author and consultant to the cabinetmaking industry. He has written numerous articles on the 32mm cabinetmaking system and production woodworking in general.