American Woodworker A December

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Anatomy tells the story. On a contractor's saw, the weight of a 1 ty- or 2-HP motor Otnaintains tension on a single V-belt which transfers power to the blade arbor The trunnion mechanism © that holds the arbor is bolted to the underside of the tabletop; it's designed to allow for height and bevel adjustments.

needed a rugged, reliable tablesaw that could travel in the back of a pickup truck. They soon came to rely on this jobsitc workhorse to rip and crosscut all kinds of material, from rough sheathing and dimension lumber to plywood siding and trim stock for doors and windows. Many builders even made bookshelves, cabinets and molding with their saws, using molding heads and different cutting profiles in addition to saw blades. (See AW #60.)

Souped-Up Saws

Lighter, less powerful and less expensive than most cabinet saws, the contractor's saw has become the tablcsaw of choice for many woodworkers. For this Buyer's Guide, we selected nine popular contractor's saws. Ail our test saws are fully equipped models; they come with some important added features. Lower-priced, Mstripped-down" versions are also available. (See chart, page 48.)

Is it worth paying the extra money for a souped-up saw? You bet. The added features will bring you real gains in accuracy, capacity and convenience. Here's a basic description of the add-ons that make a big difference.

•A first-rate fence. Top-quality fences come as standard equipment on the saws in this test. This means easier, safer, more precise woodworking. We rated each fence for straight and square alignment, an casy-to-rcad scale, and overall ease of use. We found the best fences on the Bridgewood, Delta Contractor's Saw and Delta Contractor's Saw II, Jet and Powcrmatic models. (Sec chart.) For more on aftcrmarkct tablcsaw fences, sec

•More rip capacity and larger tables.

The fences on our test saws have long rails to provide greater rip capacity than you'd have with most base-model saws. Three of the saws in our test also came with extension tables mounted between the rails on the right side of the saw. These plastic laminate-topped extensions (on the Jet, Delta Contractor's and Contractor's II saws) nearly double the effective work surface of your tabletop, making it easier to support large work-pieces. On the other six saws, you have to make and install your own extension table between fence rails. •Dust collection. Because a typical contractor's saw has an open stand, sawdust can end up on the floor. But most of our test saws were different. All but the Sunhill, Star and Delta Contractor's II came with a dust-collection panel that closes off the bottom of the saw and allows you to connect a hose from your dust collector. The Star's enclosed base has a dust chute that can easily be fitted with a dust port. To test collection efficiency on the six saws with dust panels, we connected them to a 1 V^-HP

Smooth power transmission. On the

Grizzly saw, machined pulleys and a link-belt drive get the spin from motor to blade with minimal vibration.

Contractor's Saws

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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