If you’ve ever wondered what a sliding table saw actually is, or how you might differentiate it from any other genre of table saw, you’re probably not alone…although, on second thought, if you actually have done any amount of wondering about the subject, you’ve likely worked out most of the sliding table saw’s salient features. If you’ve imagined that it probably involves a table, a slide, and a saw, well, you’re pretty much right on the money.
But, as long as you’re already here, we might as well get into some of the finer points about how a sliding table saw works. We talked to Jon Bucklew, master craftsman and proud owner of the Felder K 940 S. We figured that, since he uses it daily in constructing custom furniture at Seventeen20, he’d be a great candidate for explaining some of the finer points of this heavy-duty piece of equipment.
What Is A Sliding Table Saw?
“A sliding table saw is basically the same as a cabinet saw, a stationary, large table saw. The only difference being, where you traditionally have the [stationary] table on the left side of the blade, we now have a sliding table on the left side of the blade. That allows you to brace your workpiece and move the table, as a whole, instead of just your workpiece across a stationary table.”
– Jon Bucklew, owner of Seventeen20
For the casual woodworker, this sliding feature might be overkill; sure, it’s helpful, and we’d all like to have a table saw with this sort of feature. But, considering the prices for this type of heavy-duty equipment, a saw like this might be overkill. However, for the guys who routinely build big, heavy pieces, like tabletops and benches, having the stability and smooth range of motion will help with clean, accurate cuts.
Another benefit to the sliding table saw revolves around safety. Because of where the sliding table is positioned in relation to the saw, the user will, by and large, need to stand off to the side of the blade. It can take a little getting used to, but positioning yourself in such a way reduces the danger from the workpiece kicking back at you in the event of a bind-up.
To watch Jon run through the specifics of the Felder K 940 S, and to see the sliding table saw in action, click here.