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Old Apr 11, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Miami, FL, USA
Joined Sep 2001
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Has Anyone Converted A Wet Saw To A Hobby Saw?

Hi, Everyone,

I've been looking for a reasonable price mini/hobby tablesaw. I don't care to the mini tablesaw sold at Harborfrieght. Browsing the isles of my local Homedepot, I came upon the tile cutting wet saw. What I like about them in the size of the table and the price. I don't have $300 plus to send on the real nice mini tablesaw which some are about the same size (more or less) wet saw. So I'm wondering if a wet saw could turning a comparable size wood cutting blade fast enough(and safe enough) to cut lite plywood and basswood.

So, has anyone tried this?

All the best!

Angelo
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 11:59 AM
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dedStik's Avatar
United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Feb 2012
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What about building a table and using a Dremel Sawmax as the blade?

or using a hardwood floor saw? I saw one the other day at Home Depot I think it was $150.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 12:21 PM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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For effective cutting of wood with a smaller blade the RPM of the blade has to rise. An 8 inch table saw for flooring works well with a 3600 RPM direct drive motor. But by the time you get down to a 4 or 5 inch blade you want the RPM to be up closer to 7000 to get a nice clean cut.

I've looked at the same idea myself but so far I've only found saws which turn at 3600 RPM. Also they would require a new top glued or screwed to the existing top so the wood doesn't fall down in the water draining grooves. So all in all I've let the idea simply pass for now.

If you do try it I'd suggest you look at the finer tooth metal slitting saw blades. My plan was to use an adapter to let me run with a thin .025 or .032 slitting saw blade of 4 inch diameter so I lost as little as possible to the kerf when cutting strip stock.

I see that Home Despot has a cheapie for only $65. I may just need to look at this again even if it ends up just being a stop gap solution for now. Actually I've got some tile work ahead of me so it would be a good investment anyway.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 07:37 PM
slow but inefficient
Ron Williams's Avatar
Riverhead NY USA
Joined Dec 2000
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http://www.rockwelltools.com/US/Rockwell_VersaCut.aspx

Build a table and mount it on the underside.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 08:03 PM
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United States, MD, Elkton
Joined Oct 2011
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Yes about building a table.you lose a little depth of cut,but if you just use the saw to cut a kerf for mounting the rest of it,there's minimal clearance alongside the blade.
I made a 'sacrificial block to insert in my table saw....now I can cut 3/32 strips without their getting caught and disappearing.
Now if I could only find a 10" blade about 1/16 thick to control waste.

When we cut aircraft spruce longerons,years ago,we had a blade with diamond dust sprayed on each side....we cut AND sanded at the same time ! I've never seen another one.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 11:58 AM
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In Teh Garage (Rossville, GA. USA)
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I saw this at Harbor Freight the other day I was going to get it but the wifey was with me and said NO
But Ya I am getting it ASAP looks really nice especially for the price
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 12:20 PM
B for Bruce
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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Rogue Titan, consider the size of the table. The one on that HF saw is far, far too small to give you the support to get proper cuts. Even for model work I'd want the table to be a minimum of one foot front to back and about two feet in total width to be able to run aircraft plywood through it. And two feet square with the blade just a little behind mid point would be ideal without being too big and bulky.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 01:05 PM
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In Teh Garage (Rossville, GA. USA)
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It is not too small for what I am going to use it for.

and you can always build a pedestal so it will sit flush with your work bench top in order to cut larger pieces.
just the right size for my small shop IMO
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 09:31 PM
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United States, MD, Elkton
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I'd like to jump in,here,and say this about small saws.I have the Dremel 4" saw,and it barely does 1/2 " contest Balsa,with babying.
My RYOBI,sofstart is too large at 10" .We need a good 6 or 7 " small saw.But I can't justify 300 clams to cut balsa.
So,if we can buy a 100 dollar saw,and enlarge the table,we'll have a winner!
I paid -100 bucks for the Harbor Freight 3 wheeler band saw.And just today,after three years,the drive belt broke..1/4" Blades are $9, drive belt should be about the same..No quality anywhere on the unit,but it'll cut spruce and A/C ply for me.
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 12:24 AM
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Irvine, CA
Joined Jan 2005
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I built this table for the Harbor Freight saw. It worked reasonably well but I didn't like the lack of precise height adjustment plus it doesn't tilt. I finally snagged a Dremel 4" table saw on ebay at a good price and I'm not looking back.
Charlie
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 12:35 AM
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In Teh Garage (Rossville, GA. USA)
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Hmmm I didn't know the blade don't tilt now that changes things
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 07:31 AM
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United States, NJ, Browns Mills
Joined May 2005
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I have one of the HF saws and I had the old Dremel table saw (circa 1987).

The HF saw is, to put it mildly, cheap. No fine adjustments, etc. I've used it for larger jobs, such as my new field kit (1/4" oak ply), but it's really limited.

As I said, I had the old Dremel. It kept jamming on balsa over 1/2" thick, and was terrible for ripping spruce stock--I couldn't keep the width constant due to the guide bending. I finally tossed out an open window when it caught fire as I was cutting balsa (Yes, I had a vac attached to it, but the wood dust still built up in the motor and ignited!). After going outside and putting out the burning grass, I tossed the saw into the trash.

CD
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 04:07 PM
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Corpus Christi, Texas, United States
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I went through the same thoughts about converting saws. Finally decided the best mini table saw was a band saw.

I have the Craftsman 10", which is really a Rikon saw. I am running Timberwold blades, I have resawn all sorts of different woods, even made some 3" wide WRC planks 1/16" thick. Using a blade with minimal offset will give a pretty good finish. YMMV.
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 09:51 PM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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I tried the bandsaw method. It works nicely other than for one aspect. It leaves a hairy fibrous edge when cutting the softer balsa. I'm hoping that a nice round blade in some manner of table style saw will leave me with "glue ready" strip stock.
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 04:55 AM
I don't like your altitude
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Joined Sep 2011
3,251 Posts
My ideal would be a mini chop saw as the pic.The wing I'm building has 2 full spars with the ribs in 3 sections.This means,because of sweep and taper I have 3 different angle bevels to cut.I made jigs as in the pic which work well,but being able to cut directly with a saw would be much better.
Stuart
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