Question for the carpenters

Evening all,

I have a semi shapeoko related question for the carpenters out there.

Something I struggle with is getting stock thats big enough length/width. I wanted to find a way to join multiple piece of wood - like a block chopping board. Originally I was going to buy a planer/thicknesses, but I’m not sure this would be the best route. I was wondering would I be better off investing in a table saw to slice the sides of my wood, glue together then mill as I usually would using my S3?

Whilst I’d like both I can’t afford both.

For power tools, a table saw is the usual suggestion of first tool. (Except for the folks who push for bandsaw)

With a suitable blade, and careful adjustment, a good quality tablesaw should be able to make such cuts, no huhu.

I have almost every tool but a table saw. I did have one but it was too large for the garage.

Anyone out there have the Dewalt compact table saw?

What other power tools do you have? None of them workable for this?

I’ve been considering a track saw for this sort of thing myself.

I have the compact DeWalt table saw. I like it a lot. It’s powerful and the fence is pretty precise.


Sliding mitre saw, jigsaw, circular saw, router, oscillating mutitol, orbital sanders, belt sander, the usual drill, impact wrench, screwdrivers, angle grinders etc.

The closest thing I can have to a useful tool would be either the router or circular saw, but trying to make staves of 20-30mm on those might be difficult. I did also look at a track saw, but find those are more aimed at more sheet work, which could also be done using a jigsaw/circular saw and spirit level. I did also make a router table using my s3. Great but can’t cut a 4cm piece of wood down the middle.

What I want is a way to repeatedly cut wood quickly to a fixed size repeatedly. I’m less worried about the height of the work as I can use my S3 to mill/plane the tops

A table saw gets my vote. I bought a Jet contractors saw back in the 90’s. Small footprint and on wheels ( as are all my tools). It’s grown into this:

I can still push it back in the corner and get the wife’s car in the garage :stuck_out_tongue:

If you are doing glue ups you’ll most likely need a planer too, just sayin.

BTW, that’s 1/3 of the top of the workbench I’m building on top of the table saw.


Thats saw is almost the same size as my garage :blush:

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Pick up any of the cheap contractors saws and put a decent blade in it. Tune it up, square the fence and you should be able to make “reasonable” glue-line cuts with it. I’ve been building furniture for years and don’t own a jointer. I use my unisaw and some jigs for edge-jointing, then a lunch-box planer and a sled for face jointing. Works well.

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Over here we don’t really get cheap contractor saws. I picked up a cheap table saw, around £130 - it wasn’t portable/fold down.

My biggest issue is space or lack of it. I am checking out this one

its a cheap brand, probably costs the same as what a Dewalt would over there…

I’ve been really happy with my Dewalt:

Folds up easy and cuts great!

I’d go table saw before getting a planer. I’m in the same situation, too many tools, not enough room.


I’d love this, it’s £550 - £600 over here

That looks similar to a Ridgid brand saw over here, could be the same Chinese mfg. If so it’s a solid saw.

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I don’t always have to buy the best available, but I’m a firm believer in it being better to spend more rather than buying twice. Something like a table saw is something I hope to use for a long time, so I bought the best I could afford,…that also fit in my small shop. Having said that I have plenty of cheap tools too, but I try to pick based on how much I’ll actually use something.



Dewalt tablet saw; love it…great fence. Rip strips to size. Run strips on edge thru planer…no room for a jointer (I have the rigid 13” planer…like it). Glue and clamp pieces together for a seamless joint. Once all laminated together I use planer or my shapeoko to plane top smooth…and done. Great tools for a small shop workspace.


Your question inspired me to poke around a bit. Wow, I’m impressed by the capabilities of these small saws, haven’t looked at table saws for years. Should be great for small shop, I might pick one up for the son-in-law.

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I have the dewalt “contractor” saw with the folding stand. It’s fantastic. It -did- require a little realignment from the box to get the blade straight and square to the fence, but it is adjustable for exactly that. Here’s mine:
I think you can get the exact same saw without the stand for a little less.
The fence works quite well, and I like that it’s big enough to rip a sheet of plywood lengthwise. The stand is actually quite solid, and makes the whole thing a lot easier to store in my tight garage.

I have a rage evolution sliding miter, and it’s a great tool, it’s way overbuilt for cutting trim, but I use it mostly for cutting mild steel tubing and it’s held up like a champ.


table saw , check craigslist usually some great deals their.Much faster than most other tools.

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The dewalt table saw would be my first choice, it’s just allot to swallow. In the UK they are £550-£600 which is around $800

I too have the evolution/rage sliding mitre saw, after a minor medication to it’s guide it’s straight and true, a good saw. This is why I’m wondering if the new evolution table saw would be suitable too. It’s not dewalt, but it’s half the price and includes a stand stand… Similar rip capacity, power and it looks like it has some useful functions.

We also don’t have craigslist over here, I’ve been hunting on ebay for months, but not much available.

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That’s a lot of cash!!! I don’t have any experience with the evolution/rage tools, I can’t say I had even heard of them before this post. If you have good experiences with them then go for it. I have a few smaller tools that are WEN brand (small belt sander, small drill press, bench grinder), which is pretty cheap stuff, but I’ve been perfectly happy with them. All tools need proper setup though, even the Dewalt didn’t come flying out of the box making straight cuts. Read some independent reviews, if you can find some, and make sure if you get a box of trash you can return it without some insane restocking fee? My point is buy what you can afford, but if you’re going to outgrow, or be unhappy with your purchase in the long run, save a little cash and buy a little more in the first place to avoid buying twice. Heck, you may buy a cheap table saw, use it 2 times in 5 years and wonder why you thought you needed one in the first place, haha!!!