Should You Add a Slider to Your Tablesaw?
To get the benefits of a slider at a more modest cost in space and cash, you might consider adding an aftermarket sliding table to your current tablesaw
To get the benefits of a slider at a more modest cost in space and cash, you might consider adding an aftermarket sliding table to your current tablesaw. Add-on sliding-table attachments for cabinet saws are available from a number of manufacturers, including Exaktor, Grizzly, King Industrial, SawStop, and Shop Fox. Expect to spend about $700 to $1,500 for one.
These aftermarket units share a number of benefits found on traditional sliding saws. For one, there are two levels of safety. First, they keep you well to the left of the blade. Second, they help support long, heavy, and wide pieces, meaning you can focus more on the cut than on keeping a large board stable. Additionally, these accessories are capable of handling miters and crosscuts even on sizable stock—almost all can handle 4×8 sheets—aided by included stops. The add-on tables won’t be able to handle ripping the 96-in. length of a sheet, however. And don’t expect some of the bells and whistles that are available on true sliding tablesaws, like digital readouts. Still, if you get one of these aftermarket sliding tables your miter gauge and crosscut sled may end up collecting dust.
Aftermarket attachments all require meticulous installation and setup. For some you’ll need to remove your saw’s left extension wing before installing the sliding table. All involve bolting the slider to the saw. You’ll almost certainly have to shorten the saw’s rail, and possibly adjust the rip fence. Then there’s alignment. To make these addon sliding units perform as they should, you’ll need to make sure they are level, coplanar, parallel, and square to your saw’s table, blade, and fence.
Lastly, if you’re in the market for one of these, consider your shop and the work you do. They all require more space than a traditional cabinet saw setup, so you need to account for that when buying one.
From Fine Woodworking #272