Tuesday, July 21, 2009

two quick questions...

The first question to come in this morning concerns cutting box joints in angled stock. Can they be done on the table saw or are they best done by hand? Cutting box joints by hand, if you have the skills to do so is one of those things you just wouldn't bother to do. Dovetails would be the more interesting choice. The good news is that yes, angled box joints can be cut quite easily on a table saw. The only challenge is in knowing where to cut the first finger, and I would control the first cuts on each piece by using a stop block.

The second question comes from one of my students from last week's class. He is interested in buying a small, inexpensive table saw for making boxes in a small space in his basement and he is looking at the Ryobi BTS21.

My view of table saws comes from being actively involved in box making and as a box maker, I find that model lacking in essentials. It has no miter gauge slots, is difficult to install zero clearance inserts, and can only use a 6 inch dado (uncommon). While this saw can cut wood and is easy to fold and put away (It has its own wheels), it doesn't lend itself to the common, easy and safe box making techniques. It is far better buy old and used, tried and true, rather than a cheap saw with newfangled gimmicks that add little to its successful use.


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