I Think This Will Cut It

My new circular table saw arrived today. I haven’t got round to using it yet, for I had some time-sensitive work to do in the garden, but tomorrow I am definitely going to use it because I have bought a small bedside table that needs some modifications to fit into my living room properly.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

It is not the most prestigious and expensive tool imaginable, but it was fairly expensive so I really, really, really hope it works well. I was putting off this purchase for as long as I could, but I needed a proper table saw for a long time by now. This one seems to be sturdy, the table is nice and flat and it has built-in extension support and various end-stops, as well as grooves for cutting jigs.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

It can cut up to 87 mm depth, which is nearly double what I was able to cut with my previous setup. And of course, setting of cutting depth and angle is much more convenient with no fiddling under the table and cursing the whole time because I cannot get the depth and/or angle right. It is powerful but can still be connected to my shop vacuum (it has 2000 W usage, which is near the maximum), so I do not need to plug it separately and turn on two devices for each cut or have the vacuum run continuously – the vacuum will start automatically with the saw when the saw is plugged into it.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

And the thing that makes me most happy so far – the legs can be folded and it can be stowed away under my workbench in the same place where my previous saw was residing. Hooray! I need not do any big changes to the Shoppe!


  1. flex says

    Looks sweet!

    I’ve been thinking my 25-year-old table saw was getting close to needing a replacement. I have the space for a permanent setup, so portability and storage won’t be a problem. I’ve been thinking of looking for a used one, just because I’d like a table saw big enough to handle sheet-stock, say with a one meter fence. I wouldn’t run large stock through too often, but I’d get a better cut than I do today using a circular saw and clamp-on fences. Regrettably, while I have the room, I can’t afford a new saw that big.

  2. Matthew Currie says

    Nice looking rig, and I see it has a 10 inch blade, which is rather bigger than many small table saws. Is it a brushless or induction motor, or universal with brushes?

    For those looking to buy a compact table saw, some are pretty nice and versatile, but some of the really inexpensive ones are not very precise or durable. I have a couple of the 7 1/4 inch Makita portable saws, which are not bad, and very portable, but they, like many others of their ilk, use universal ac/dc motors, basically a hand circular saw upside-down, and will fry the motor if it’s overloaded too much.

    One of the reasons I have two of them is that I got one free with a fried motor. Someone had jammed or overloaded it, and burned out the brushes. I was able to turn the commutator on a lathe and replace the brushes and have a nearly-new spare if my other old one (construction site saw) conks out.

    I’m more of a radial-arm guy, and my shop table saw does more tabling than sawing, but that’s another story….

  3. says

    @Matthew Currie

    I see it has a 10 inch blade

    It most certainly does not! The blade on this thing is 254 mm :-P.

    An “upside-down hand saw” was my previous setup, this one is definitively another beast. Although it does probably have AC/DC brushed motor too. If it had an induction motor. like my belt sander, I could not plug it into my vacuum, since induction motors run on three-phase 380 V and the vacuum and this saw both run on single-phase 230 V. I haven’t looked into that too much, for eklekrisity is not my forte. Basically, I know to not stick my fingers in the wall socket and that’s it.

  4. Tethys says

    Oooo, fun new power tools! You can usually find a way to cut long lumber without a table saw, but having a table saw makes it so much easier and faster.

    I have no woodworking skills, however I have often played the part of helper/table extension who holds the sheet stock so the carpenters can make those long cuts.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 4

    Yay for new equipment.

    Induction motors that are fed from a single-phase 230 V supply do exist and are in fact fairly common. By using various tricks (typically a circuit with a capacitor or doing some shady business with additional coils), a sufficient rotating magnetic field can be achieved to get the motor turning. Also it is possible to generate the three-phase power from a single-phase supply using power electronics, but this can be more costly to manufacture than the “tricks”.

  6. Matthew Currie says

    Here in the US, single phase AC induction motors are very common, both in 120 and 240 volt form. Many use a starting winding which starts the rotation and switches off with a centrifugal switch, and others use capacitors, either for starting or running. Obsolete now is a third type, “repulsion induction” whose starting winding uses brushes. Those were actually very nice, because they never overheat even if starting takes too long, and they can be mechanically reversed by shifting the brushes. But they’re bulky and sparky and noisy, so you won’t see many around any more. With a few exceptions, most power tools will use induction motors rather than AC/DC type.

    The common current here is “split-phase 240 volt,” in which the voltage to the main service is 240 volt with a a neutral grounded line between them. The voltage between either side and the neutral will be half that, and for most outlets it is distributed thus, with about half the lights and outlets hooked to one side and half to the other. In this form the grounded neutral carries current, so a third wire is required for a proper ground, even though it joins the neutral at the service end. Certain appliances run on 240 using a two pole breaker -- stove, water heater and clothes dryer being the main ones. In the shop many tools use 240 as well, since the common maximum current for 120 volt lines is 20 amps, not enough for higher horsepower.

    Although I don’t use it now, I have a rotary converter for three-phase, made out of a big obsolete 3-phase motor I’d bought by the pound when I couldn’t afford a powerful single phase motor for a big bandsaw. A rotary converter is handy if you have more than one three phase tool, because you don’t need to tailor it to the individual machine. It will power whatever loads or combination of loads you have, up to its capacity. Three phase motors themselves tend to be less expensive because they require no starting windings, switches or capacitors.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    Matthew Currie @ 7

    Here in Europe (or at least Finland) three-phase current (380 V or 400 V line-to-line, 220 V or 230 V phase-to-neutral voltage) is normal for domestic use, though three-phase outlets aren’t very common (they may become more common if/when people will have more electric cars). Stoves and water heaters are normally connected to a fixed three-phase connection.

    To my knowledge, split-phase isn’t widely used in Europe. Here in Finland, the distribution grid (which is what brings electricity to homes) is a three-phase four-wire network (three phases and a grounded neutral). Inside homes, in newer installations, the protective earth wire (PE, yellow-green) is connected to the neutral at the point of connection to the grid. In older installations the PE might be split from the neutral in each wall outlet that has PE (Schuko). (In other words we use TN-C-S.)

    AFAIK, the European standard is 230 V/400 V with tolerances wide enough to accommodate old 220 V/380 V equipment for example here in Finland and 240 V/??? equipment in UK.

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