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Thread: More advice on a table saw needed.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    More advice on a table saw needed.

    Hi guys and gals.

    It seems that the adquisition of my TS is getting closer, however now it is when real doubts arise.

    Finally I have decided to get a Hammer K3 Winner model, but this model can be ordered with several options. One is a scoring blade that allows to cut chip board and melamine board without chipping the bottom side of the panel. Another option is to have it equipped with an arbor for a dado blade. As I hardly cut chip board, or make dadoes in my pieces I really wonder if I should get one of those options, after all I can make dadoes with my router, and as the scoring blade is concerned I do not know what to think about it.

    Another more expensive option is to have a cobined machine that incorporates a tilting spindle moulder with an independent motor. But again, the kind of furniture that I make do not require it badly.
    I konw that I may be answering the questions myself but I'd appreciate heraing some opinions about it.

    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
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    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    I cannot offer one word of advice on the table saw options, but i do remember the words of Carol when she was doing a demo at BW. Its words we all know but hearing them from someone else really gets one thinking.

    All these options and adjustments are added to a tool for marketing purposes to make it appeal to more people looking at the category. The more multi-purposes the tool has the more there is to go wrong and the less capable it becomes in its primary role. (not Carols exact words but you get the idea i am sure )

    It kind of reminds me of a hammer i have but cannot throw away because it was given as a gift. Its the perfect example of junk. Its got a head that does just about anything including act as a wrench. Was given to be me by a person who could not resist the "but wait" pitch on direct marketing commercials for junk.

    Here is a picture of it and if you want it you can have it for free if you pay shipping. Time for me to clear out the junk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Here is a picture of it and if you want it you can have it for free if you pay shipping. Time for me to clear out the junk.
    No, no! Build a shadow-box frame for it and give it back to him for Christmas.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Finally I have decided to get a Hammer K3 Winner model, but this model can be ordered with several options./#
    No direct experience with that machine but, I played with one to the point of annoying folks at a show last year. Very nicely made and finished machine. Literally everything on it moved smoothly, felt solid and was ergonomically great . . . remember, I was just fondeling the thing, not working on it so if owners have found gotchas, please speak up.

    If you have not found the need for a spindle shaper yet, I wouldn't expect you to suddenly benefit from one. For the things I make, a router table has been more than adequate for any task I throw at it. If I were looking for extras I would focus on the rip capacity, extra fence stops or possibly hold downs if they offer these. I do not use a lot of sheet goods (therefore the scoring blade is not important to me) but, still find the long rails on my saw to be a very welcome feature. I'm very frugal with my floor space and I was willing to give some up for the extended rip capacity but, that's me .
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-11-2014 at 03:48 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    The moulder might be a good option if you don't have a router table. It's pretty much a tilting-head shaper that would be useful for making trim moulding, frame & panel doors, and other jobs like that. On the down side, shaper cutters are generally pretty expensive, though - much more so than router bits. Unless you'd be using it a lot, I wouldn't recommend it, since it's a pretty expensive option.

    As for the dado shaft, It might be handy for cutting tenons, but as you said, you've got a good router, and also, with a tenoning jig, either commercial or shop made, you can cut nice tenons without needing a dado setup.

    How much melamine, or how much cross-cutting of veneer grade plywood will you be doing? The scoring blade - when properly set up and adjusted - is good for that, but not needed for any other work. Adjustment of the scoring blade is pretty 'finicky' (touchy, sensitive, etc.) and unless it's perfectly adjusted, it's more trouble than it's worth.

    So, okay, some additional information, but probably of little/no help for your decision making, but there you go...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Austin, Texas

    I am not familiar with the Hammer K3, but I do use a MiniMax combo with tilting shaper, scoring blade, etc.

    The scoring blade does a good job of preventing tear out on the bottom of sheet goods, but it is fussy to get aligned perfectly enough for it to accomplish the function, and you certainly do not want to use it all the time - never on hard woods. I do use mine, since my "cheap" furniture (but my customers are not likely to call it cheap) is often furniture grade plywood with hardwood edges, and I also use plywood as a substrate for veneered pieces.

    At least on my saw, the dado blade option moves the saw blade an inch farther away from the slider (or as it is often called in Europe, the wagon). Since I normally cut my dadoes with a router, I would rather have the saw blade closer to the slider. I have used the dado blade on the saw only once in 10 years, and only to see how it worked. On my saw, changing blades is more time consuming than on my previous conventional table saw, so I use a premium quality combination blade for everything.

    The shaper (called a spindle moulder in Europe) on my combination machine made me love the shaper. At first it was a little scary, since you are spinning much larger cutters than in a router table, but I got used to that pretty quickly. Those larger cutters give you a much better cut than the small router bits. However, the shaper fence and hood is not quick to install and remove on the saw - it is the only "slow" changeover in my 5 function combo. Therefore I later bought a separate shaper. My combo has the tilting spindle, which gives you more profiles from each cutter. My separate shaper spindle does not tilt, but has a superior fence. I use the shaper as my only router table, so for work that does not use the fence, such as a roundover bit following an irregular piece, I use the combo. For work that requires a fence, I use the separate shaper. Thus 80% of my shaper use is on the separate shaper.

    I looked up the K3 and it appears to only have a short slider/wagon. The slider is far more precise at cutting straight than using the rip fence, and doesn't require one side of the board to be perfectly straight before using the saw, so the normal operation of a sliding saw is focused on the slider, and rarely the rip fence, while a traditional saw is primarily centered around the rip fence. Therefore I really like the long slider (8.5 feet or 2600 mm on my saw) so I can rip 8 foot boards on the slider. Many people say the 8 foot length is to handle plywood, but I use it far more often for hardwood. If you have the option of a longer slider, I strongly recommend it. A common worry is the space required. It does not take more room in your shop - if you are going to rip (or cut a straight edge) on an 8 foot board you have to have 8 feet clear before the blade, and 8 feet after the blade, but with the slider/wagon you do not need auxiliary supports. When you are not using the slider, it moves easily to the other end of the shop.

    Good luck with your purchase. Ask again if you have more questions.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    I did say what Rob says I said. If your use of those optional features is only very occasional and/or accomplished with another machine, go with the basic model and be happy. Which is what I 'heard' in your post. When additional features compromise the basic function, the tool is a bad design in the effort to be more appealing to the customer.

    In America, we have a saying about alligators and ponds. Don't forget why you are emptying the pond, lest the alligator rips you a new fanny. Or something like that.

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Ah the agony of decision

    I've never used the scoring option on mine (and probably wouldn't have bought it except it was part of the package deal) - again if you are like Charlie and do a lot of plywood or (especially) melamine pieces I suspect it would be invaluable. For solid wood it doesn't seem worth the bother and is currently another part to break eventually. I may someday change my tune if I end up doing more cabinet work

    For the dado - again will you use it? You can't add it later so.. it might well be worth considering just so you don't regret not having it later.. maybe..

    Even if you don't get it DO get one of the wooden (plywood) "dado inserts" to use as a template for making a zero clearance insert. To say the design of the insert is complicated is vastly understating it so having a template to work from is quite convenient. The stock plastic insert has a pretty wide gap in order to allow for adequate airflow but is a pain if you're cutting small stuff because it tends to get sucked in. I made a handful of inserts out of poplar (any reasonably stable and easy to work wood would work) and they weren't that hard to do, but working from the platic piece would have been a bit harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    On the down side, shaper cutters are generally pretty expensive, though - much more so than router bits.
    I actually didn't find that quite as true as I was afraid it would be. It was both true and not For individualy insert cutters they are pretty much competitive to router cutters; I've bought felder insert cutters in the $20-30 range and many other manufacturers seem close. If you want a variety of molding profiles its a reasonably cost effective way to go. On the flip side the cutter head that the inserts go into was a bit more up front, and the heavier profile cutters for door frames, etc.. are also quite a bit more. Also you can really only do profile cuts with it so you'd still probably want something for router type cuts. Double check the size of the shaft, I think? it defaults to 3/4" and ships with a 30mm sleeve (I also bought a 1 1/4" sleeve so I could use NA cutter heads easier) - if you get something compatible with the 30mm you should be ok for most euro cutter heads (side note one of the collars for the initial 30mm sleeve I got was a bit to tight to actually get on perhaps as a result of a ding in shipping, felder shipped me a replacement no questions). Largely depends on the type of flat work you want to do; for cutting molding profiles - the tilting head is pretty useful to have (especially combined with the sliding table for cutting end profiles). If you have room a (used) standalone shaper is probably cheaper and perhaps more flexible in use, but the hammer product is quite compact since its part of the saw and has most all of the features you'd want in a nice shaper. I admit to also not having used mine as much as I'd have wanted :| Also note you have to store the dust collection hood/fence somewhere when its not in use.

    An extra flip stop on the outrigger fence was one of my first post-machine-purchase purchases. Having two flip stops was really nice for cutting frames or rail+stile to length. Obviously an easy after purchase as well but something that imho most folks will end up liking if they get it.

    I believe you're looking at the 79" slider - the longer slider is definitely useful for solid wood for straight line ripping if you work with rough lumber of size very much.

    The ripping shoe is just some bent sheet metal (heavy sheet metal) and imho not worth the money I paid, it works "ok" but it sits a bit to far from the edge of the slider for much of my use and it would be pretty easy to fabricate a functionally similar but nicer piece.

    The manual hold down clamp is substantial and probably worth the money with a couple of caveats. Be careful with the "nut" that goes into the slider slot, I cross threaded and stripped on hole on mine turning by hand - fortunately its just a straight piece of iron with two holes in it so was easy to make a new one out of a piece of mild steel with a hacksaw, file, drill press and hand tap. The plastic foot slips a bit and tends to mark workpieces, also easily solved by putting a piece of medium weight leather between it and the wood.

  9. #9

    I have the K3 with the scoring blade and it's been great for what I do. But you are correct, you've answered your own question. If you don't need itdon't buy it. I did not buy the dado option and have not missed it. It's a great saw and you will have have a lot of fun with it.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Here is a picture of it and if you want it you can have it for free if you pay shipping.
    Here's a picture of my favorite Hammer!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jesus was a Woodworker

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