To get a better understanding of using shop-tools at my place you have to understand how the house is laid out. The first floor has the dining room, bathroom, kitchen, followed by back yard/patio (it's fully cemented). the remainder of the house is two additional rooms, the living room and the studio/sleeping area stacked neatly over the dining and bath room. It's a lot of room for New York, it's a tiny house with far too many stairs between things by comparable standards.
The house is especially tiny when you consider it contains a full wood and costume shop packed into it. We also have a basement. Interestingly, it is the largest room in the house, it is the full footprint of the house. It is stuffed to the gills with tools and maker bits.
The trick is, all of the tools get used outside on the slab behind the house. That means anytime you want to use the tools, you assemble everything you need, haul it up through the house, out to the back yard, work all day, and then pack it all up at the end of the day, and do the reverse.
Because of all of this back and forth we never invested in a table saw. I had always thought that any saw that could be moved that easily was probably no more accurate than a rotary saw. I had grown up around huge cast iron shop monsters that you could pus 4x8 panels through with room to spare.We cut a lot of the cabinetry in this house using a circular saw and carfully placed guides.
Over the summer our friend Jeff wanted to make some custom-sized dressers for his apartment in Manhattan, a job made much easier with a table saw and fence. This coincided with us deciding finally make a tool locker in the back yard and empty the basement while removing the dreaded tool schlep every time you need to use them.
One thing led to another and we ended up with this DeWalt Job Site Table saw. Although we were still getting a portable table saw, somehow not having to move it so much seemed appealing? I was still a little skeptical. Jeff and Micahel used it out of the box and seemed to like it. I didn't try it until I was helping Michael rip a 45 across huge piece of IKEA butcher block counter last week.
We installed the extender arms before starting, something I expected to be rickety at best, but they were fine. Since we were cutting it on the diagonal there was no way to set up a fence to steady against, nor were the angle adjustable push sticks long enough to reach under the width of the plank. After much deliberation we decided to free cut it to a line we had scribed. It work amazingly. Skeptic no more.
The cut was so much easier than anything I could have done with a rotary saw. While it may not be the cast iron monster of my fantasies, I do think there is a place for it in our collection.