1st: Left vs. Right Tilt
I searched the archives and didn't find a solid answer to this. Some sight indicate it's purely a matter of preference. I'm right handed if that helps. Just curious what thoughts are on this.
Based on the prior reviews, I've narrowed my table choice down to Delta Platinum, Jet, or the Powermatic. I have been reeding so many reviews including the ones here and at amazon.com and it is absolutely amazing how each brand has faithful followers that love it yet trash the others. At least with the Jet & Delta.
I have yet to find a negative review of the Powermatic which tempts we even at the higher price.
Anyway, I'm a complete newbie and would appreciate any advice on the left tilt and if you want to add additional. I've made some small stuff with Delta's mini-band saw, my circular saw, etc, but I WANT a good table saw to start getting serious :)
There is no cut that can be made with one tilt that can't be duplicated with the other. However, most people are right handed and thus keep the rip fence to the right of the blade. A left tilt saw will naturally tilt away from the fence and automatically avoid a trapped cut.
You can avoid a trapped cut on a right tilt simply by moving the fence to the left of the blade, but this usually throws off your settings so is less likely to be done.
Neither is inherently better, but most folx seem to prefer a left tilt. Certain aftermarket fences are designed to be used with left tilt saws - the Incra TS-III for example. You can reverse it to the opposite side, but is a minor PITA.
Mark is 100% correct as usual. If your blade is aligned and your fence is aligned, the trapped cut issue is not as big of a problem as some people say. The problem only happens when you are using the rip fence AND making a bevel cut on a right tilting saw. The problem is that the saw blade binds on the wood which is trapped between table, blade and rip fence. When this happens, you now have a new wodden navel orniment.
At this point, everyone starts shouting and demonstrating demanding government action on right tilting saws. BUT WAIT, there is some logic to all this madness. (I have to thank Dane for explaining this to me.)
First, a rip bevel cut is not that frequent of a cut.
Second, the end of the arbor where the blade is mounted must be open and accessible to install the blade. Beacuse of this the motor and/or pulleys/trunnions must move downward to tilt the blade because they can't come up through the table top to accomplish the tilt. Now you're all thinking so what. When the blade is installed on the arbor, the arbor nut pinches the blade to hold it firm. On a right tilting saw, the right side of the blade is always in the same position on the arbor. On a left tilting saw the left side of the blade is always in the same position on the arbor. The point of this discussion is that when the width of the blade changes the accuracy of the fence calibration changes on a left tilting saw.
On a left tilting saw, when you change from a 3/32" kerf blade to a 1/8" kerf blade the rip fence is off by 1/32". (This finally explained to me why I hate my radial arm saw.) On a right tilting saw the accuracy remains the same. Obviously, the inaccuracy is even more pronounced when dados are used on left tilting saws.
In summary, the right tilting saw has a possible safety issue when the blade, table and fence are not properly aligned; however the fence calbration remains constant for all blades and dados. You have to make the decision based on your wood working needs. (Remember that if the bevel rip is 10" or less, you can always flip the fence to the other side of the table. Yes, Mark it is a PITA, but it is safer.)
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Dec-30-00 AT 09:15AM (CDT)[/font][p]Of course if you have an Incra TS-III fence like me, rezeroing only takes seconds... (gloat, gloat)
Basically tho it's all a matter of personal preference. No matter which tilt saw you have you should *ALWAYS* avoid trapped cuts. No "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it. This is a fundamental safety issue and should never be compormised.
I very seldom make bevel rips. I can think of only once in the past year where I did so and that was to make an octagonal pedistal for a table. So for 99.9% of your cutting it's a non-issue.
While some ww'ers change their blades several times for each project, I find that my Freud 50T combo gives perfectly acceptable results on both rip and cross cuts. I don't use the TS to dado, I prefer the router as this makes it easier to create stopped dado's and I find the cuts to be cleaner and more precise. (My ½" Freud is mounted in the TS wing so it shares the Incra) So I essentially *never* change the blade or tilt it. This, to me, would seem to increase the stability of the saw's settings as I am not constantly fiddling with it. I take my time, get it *perfectly* zeroed and then quit messing with it!
BTW, do you know how to self check your blade for plumb? Get a scrap of 2x4 and crosscut it. Then flip one of the pieces over and press the two cut ends back together. Any gap, top or bottom indicates you're out of plumb and by how much. This is how the old timers did it without micrometers and feeler gauges. It always works and is absolutely correct as it is based on principles of geometery instead of relying on some transfer standard (like a machinists square).
I swear by JET. I like the Xacta fence. I have the 3hp cabinet saw. I would have opted for the left tilt had it been avail. when I purchased, seems natural ( for R-hander)to have the blade tilt away from the fence. I did alot of research before I purchased and Jet was the best for the money ($200 < Delta). Jets table surface seemed better polished, dust control port is std., extension table is free, Exacta fence is great,motor cover is std. AND there was a big controversy between Dlta and Jet because Jet uses the same trunion, a major factor in a cabinet saw. Keep in mind Jet is out to take a chunk of delta's market. Oh yea, in all fairness Delta gives you a free blade, Jet didn't. The delta name tag wasn't worth $200 plus to me. Don't get suckered into the Delta/USA thing either because their over seas also.
I thought powermatic was simply over priced. Any one of these machines will most likely out live you, Jet, Powermatic or Delta.
You won't go wrong with any of these, I simply thought Jet was the better buy.
I just gave away an old small craftsman that was left tilt.
Now in looking for a new bigger saw, I find many saws are right tilt - seems since that is where most of the rip width is on most tables, that with a right tilt blade you are always either:
1. forced into the trapped wood problem if using the right side of the table (which you would have to do on any rip wider than the left - smaller side- capacity)
2. forced to only rip on the left and be limited by that smaller capacity
3. Any other choice?????? whats the workaround please
"Blade tilts left away from fence to prevent binding and reduce risk of kickback"
Is this just marketing hype or has it become a safety issue in the last few years?? Or has there been some regulatory action , or industry concensus that is producing more left tilts in contractor saw sizes. I was in a Jet store last night and asked the salesman, and he said, oh yes this can throw the wood out (right tilt Jet) The (relatively new) Ridgids are left tilt, as is the (new) powermatic 64.