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Thread: DIY table saw and 12' jointer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Gebze, Turkey
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    Default DIY table saw and 12' jointer

    After seeing the prices of "real" wood working equipment, I am deciding to build a table saw and a jointer myself. There will be many things to figure out and I have gotten excellent help and guidance from the nice people in this forum in the past. So I have more courage to tackle this project.

    The first thing I am trying to understand is how to build the table saw "table". I want it to be a "cabinet saw" style, so the top will probably be something like 100cm x 120cm. At one edge of the table will be an opening to install a hand held router. How would I go about making this table top? I will have the same problem with the jointer as well.

    Would it be economically possible to make it as cast iron? If I find a shop that will make it for me, when should I start machining the surface? Can I do that immediately or do I need to "age" the table?

    I have a 16"x40" lathe and a milling machine with a 10"x50" table and both a vertical and horizontal spindle and I hope this equipment allow me to machine the tables. Worst case, I can divide the table into two pieces, machine them separately and then align the to each other. Am I way over my head, or is this possible?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    532

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    I don't know the situation in Turkey, but here it would be far easier and better to buy an old and even broken table saw and planer and use your mechanical skills to restore them to good condition.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Eureka, Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by taydin
    ...Would it be economically possible to make it as cast iron? If I find a shop that will make it for me, when should I start machining the surface? Can I do that immediately or do I need to "age" the table?

    I have a 16"x40" lathe and a milling machine with a 10"x50" table and both a vertical and horizontal spindle and I hope this equipment allow me to machine the tables. Worst case, I can divide the table into two pieces, machine them separately and then align the to each other. Am I way over my head, or is this possible?
    My inclination is the same as Pete's but then old woodworking machinery is common (and inexpensive) here. Perhaps a welded table design could accomodate your needs ?

    You are absolutely correct about the aging process, whether cast or welded. There are ways of speeding up the aging - temperature cycling is the usual way but very difficult for us hobbyists when large workpieces need to be stress relieved. I'll pass along an interesting observation from many years ago when I worked in a factory that made propulsion machinery for large ships.

    If there was inadequate time to "age" large castings, sometimes they would be hung from a chainfall. Several apprentices with lengths of 4 x 4 timbers would stand around the casting and beat it. The theory (which apparently worked) is that locked-in stresses would be relieved quickly. After rough machining, the process would be repeated before finishing.

    I REALLY admire your motivation ! You might also hang around some of the professional woodworking forums and ask similar questions; I like this one: http://www.woodweb.com/

    Cheers,
    Randy C

  4. #4
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    Feb 2010
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    Hi, there is actually quite a bit of old cabinet saws and jointers, but most of the units that I saw completely lack any dust collection. It wasn't a design criterion to begin with.

    As for jointers, there are nice and heavy old jointers available, but again, no dust collection and they are really large. All jointers that I saw also don't have the thicknesser built in. I have very little space, so I need a machine that does many things. I don't care about the time that it takes to reconfigure the machine.

    Building the saw is going to take a very long time, so I guess I can inquire about casting the table.

    What if I use a 10mm thick aluminum plate? If I have it cut into three pieces, 40cm x 100cm each and flatten them with very light cuts and then align them to each other, can I eliminate the aging requirement? The three pieces would also eliminate the need to cut the miter grooves. I can just leave a gap between two adjacent plates and that would be the groove...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Edison Washington
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    1,085

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    Inca, a Swiss company, used to make small table saws with aluminum tables.

    http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/i...on-t35555.html

  6. #6
    PeteF Guest

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    A big slab of cast iron is the traditional way of building a table saw in the US but that technology went out years ago elsewhere in the world, when it was seen as a rather lousy way of achieving the purpose. A sliding table saw is a MUCH better way of handling wood, and pretty much any decent quality European machine will be built this way.

    For the OP, yes when I was apprenticed I used a shop made sliding table saw and it worked exceptionally well for handling the sheet goods we were using. I don't recall the precise construction details as it was sadly too long ago now, and not something I paid much attention to at the time to be honest. However I recall it was simply a carriage fabricated perfectly square and horizontal that used bearings as rollers. It shouldn't be too difficult to build a sliding carriage to spec, and the offcut side is not that critical. Last year I took a commercial sliding table attachment and modified it to suit my saw and it works just fine.

    Sorry the jointer I can't help at all with.

    Good luck and let us know how you go.

    Pete

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    On the Oil Coast,USA
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    You might be suprised how much wood working machinery has been made from - Wood.

    http://openlibrary.org/books/OL83418...Woodworking_On)

    A whole bunch of articles on building your own machines including a wooden jointer.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Toronto
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    space constraints limit me to wood working handtools.....but I have a reasonable amount of time on traditional table saws. After looking at sliders, I wouldn't pursuing a traditional cabinet saw again. The nice sliding table saws are expensive and don't seem to come up often used, at least in north america where they are newish and just making inroads (outside of industry)

    I think the nicest combo machine (or separate for that matter) is the Felder....but make sure you're sitting down when you price it. The also have the only dust collector that actually does a good enough job insofar as your lungs are concerned, most others act as vacuums but don't keep the dangerous small particles out of the air

    If you're going to build, it'll be a big project...might as well emulate the best
    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Kendal, On
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    Was recently in Home depot and noticed they're making table saws with granite tops now. It was a discontinued model, so that tells me it was either too expensive to make for the price point, or nobody was buying them (too "different"). Seemed like a pretty stout saw for a home woodshop, and could double as a bonus surface plate for those with space constraints (provided the granite was reasonably flat). I know this doesn't help the OP, but maybe think about using cast aluminum tooling plate for a top. Flat enough for woodworking, and can be cut to size with a circular saw.

  10. #10
    PeteF Guest

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    Dan I haven't seen those saws, but would caution that just because something is granite doesn't mean it's automatically especially flat. It could be, for example, that the cost of cheap "flatish" Chinese granite is simply cheaper than the cost to cast and machine a dirty great hunk of cast iron. I only suggest that as I was recently looking at granite floor tiles, and was thinking that even the very large ones were relatively cheap for a "flatish" surface. Certainly dead flat in the scheme of woodworking.

    I agree, the combination machines definitely have a lot of merit, especially where space is more of an issue over change over times (ie home v. production). Unfortunately they don't seem to be as popular in NA. In the grand scheme of things dust collection would be the least of one's problems if building a combination machine from scratch. A simple sliding saw is one thing (as it's basically just a sliding carriage and an arbor for the blade), but once you start wanting things like height adjustment, tilting, and multiple machines you're in a whole new level of difficulty.

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