Stationary table saws with rack and pinion features?


Locane

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Building out my project shop for the first time ever, and after several projects including a semi-failed wood floor restoration and successful belt sander cart build, I very clearly need a table saw. I've been getting by with a chop mitre saw and a handheld battery powered 3" dealy from DeWalt.

This is what I resorted to: 20230528-153138.jpg

I am looking for a stationary table saw with a rack and pinion fence, and I vaguely recall seeing a Rigid with a rack and pinion bevel adjustment, which I was excited about only to discover that it's not on the most recent Rigid available at big box stores.

 

The reason I'm looking for stationary and not portable is noise and vibration. Induction motors are quieter, and I would really like it if the work didn't try to rattle itself off the plate while I'm preparing to cut it.

I'm looking for rack and pinion because I want to be able to adjust the fence without having to square it every time I move it.

I'd also like to spend less than $2,000 if possible - this is a hobby kind of deal for now... not my living.

 

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I've had a DW745 with rack and pinion fence and didn't really care for it, it would bind and not stay square. My current saw has a besimyer style fence. So the Rack and pinion fences are more problematic than the more commonly available t-squre or beisimyer fences on most table saws. I'd advise to abandon that route and go to a T style fence. T style are self squaring and only have 1 attachment point so there isn't any binding while moving. Also they are really really easy to calibrate.

I looked long and hard at a saw like this one from Lowes, for a long time before I got the saw I have now. I decided when buying that I'd just buy the saw i really wanted once cry about the cost and then get over it. There was a rigid from the rival Home Depot but I can't find that one any more. There are also options from Grizzly for not a whole lot more. The cabinet style saws are rather nice they look big but are honestly often smaller than the stationary contractor saws out there.

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Wow, thanks for the fast response guys - if I'm barking up the wrong tree, what's a good option for me then if I want a square fence and less vibration / noise in a table saw? Is the Rigid R4560 going to have an ok fence? I watched a YouTube review of a slightly earlier model that was middling; his main complaints were that it was hard to square the rails the fence rides on.

 

If anyone has recommendations I'd appreciate it.

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I miss the fine adjuster rack and pinion on the old Powermatic table saws with the round rails.  It had a spring loaded knob that you pushed in and turned to move the fence a hair if you needed to.  The fence had two knobs that locked it once you got it where you wanted it.  One knob on a lever locked the near end of the fence, and the other the back end of the fence.  The lever for the front lock made it square, and the lever for the back end lock made it Very secure.

The only trouble with those fences was that the back rail meant you had to have a big gap between the saw top and an outfeed table.  I would still be using one but for that.

I've been using a Biesmeyer fence for probably over twenty years, and I still catch myself reaching for that knob sometimes.

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Read the manual on that R4560 saw, if you can find it. Check to see if the fence locks on the rear rail. It LOOKS like a regular T-square fence, but if it locks in the back too, you will find it can lock out of square, sometimes. My (much) older Rigid does that, but the solution is to just push the fence head forward to square it aganst the rail before locking. 

That wide aluminum box section should be quite stiff, so it may not need to lock in the back.

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On 6/2/2023 at 3:17 PM, Tom King said:

I miss the fine adjuster rack and pinion on the old Powermatic table saws with the round rails.  It had a spring loaded knob that you pushed in and turned to move the fence a hair if you needed to. 

Wasn't that great.  I had a Delta with the round front rail and the push-in gear adjuster back in the 70s.

@Locane - As others have said, a t-style fence does what you are looking for.  When I bought my Saw Stop I kept my Biesemeyer Commercial fence on stand by while the jury was out on the Saw Stop better-than-Bies.  The Saw Stop t-square proved out and I sold the Biesemeyer along with the saw it came on long ago.  To be clear these fences do not move like a 'cable ring' or roller bearing CNC system.  The fence leans a bit in or out board depending on which way you are moving.  What they do, do, is lock down square and true to the head (where the cursor and the lock handle are) location every time.

Now we are talking about a fence system that can go for $300 used so that takes a bit of a bite out of your budget.  I say this just so you can factor it in to your decision.  If you can find a Craftsman 22124 hybrid in your area I would buy one of those in a heartbeat.  I sold mine for what I paid for it after 16 years of regular use.

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On 6/2/2023 at 3:41 PM, Locane said:

Wow, thanks for the fast response guys - if I'm barking up the wrong tree, what's a good option for me then if I want a square fence and less vibration / noise in a table saw? Is the Rigid R4560 going to have an ok fence? I watched a YouTube review of a slightly earlier model that was middling; his main complaints were that it was hard to square the rails the fence rides on.

If anyone has recommendations I'd appreciate it.

I'd have to read the manual of the saw to figure that out,  unfortunately i don't have time to do that. Taking information from youtube is not always advised as any one can post a video and they may not be aware of some trick that is required to get the fence square. Often these tricks are found in the owners manual.

Most t-square style fences have a set screw that pushes a pad in our out to adjust the fence square. It's highly adjustable and very easy and convenient.

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