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View Full Version : Small but appreciable sliding table gloat



Bob Borzelleri
12-06-2009, 11:33 AM
I've been cross cutting a lot of stuff lately and that got me to thinking about sliding tables. I had already decided that my Delta contractor's saw with Uniguard, Unifence, HTC mobile base, Forrest blade, linked belt and Exacta/Freud router lift are performing at such a high level that they will be around for the much foreseeable future.

So I started looking at sliding tables. While pretty much all the various options looked appealing in similar and different ways, I kept coming back to not wanting to lose the floor space that would come with the larger versions that needed their own legs and such. In addition, while my logical mind tells me that you can add accouterments to a product that are not necessarily made by the manufacturer of that product, there is an appealing symmetry that comes with using "approved" :)parts.

So I checked out the Delta sliding table. It was about the right size, it came in the right color and, while I read a few reviews from people who had trouble installing it, I figured that I typically have less trouble putting together things with a lot of parts than many so the next step was price.

Prices ranged from $299 with $50 shipping the $399 with various shipping rates. I quickly discovered that Grizzly had what appeared to be the same slider at $299 plus shipping but I wanted to keep my colors coordinated.

Suddenly, Google presented me with one of those options that caught my eye; a "refurbished" Delta sliding table for $199 and free shipping. Now, I have few hard and fast rules anymore. But, one that I have hung on to is "don't buy anything that is used, reconditioned or refurbished unless you can feel it first". The last time I violated that rule, I ended up with a "virtually new" golf driver that had had a replacement shaft that was junk.

Still, the thought of a savings approaching 50% was too much to resist so I made the call. The fellow at CPO Delta told me that they usually get 8-10 of these tables from Delta spread out over a year but they had 10 in stock and that they were all fully functional and some looked like new.

Mine arrived in 4 days and was very well packed with double boxes over a base of 3/4" plywood and wooden stringers to protect everything. If I hadn't know that this thing was refurbished, I would have not guessed it by the appearance.

Installation was a snap with only one issue that caused me pause. I really like my Unifence. In addition to the ease of use and measuring precision, the extruded aluminum rail is a thing of beauty to me. Apparently, the guy who designed the Delta sliding table had a different aesthetic sense because he wanted me to take a hacksaw and cut 8" off the left end of the Unifence rail. To add further insult to impending injury, I had to also remove the left cast iron wing that had been an important part of my saw for nearly 10 years.

I called a local machine shop and asked if they would do the amputation thinking that they were more likely to get a straight and true cut than I was. The guy said, "Sure, I think I have a new hacksaw blade around here somewhere".

So I taped off the edge of the cut an got out my own new hacksaw blade and cut away. Wanting to make the experience a bit less traumatic, I used a bit of thread cutting oil. I don't know if that made it better for the rail, but I felt better.

It took about an hour and a half, but by the time I was finished, all the parts were accounted for and the table rolled along the rails quite nicely. I guess I was lucky because, when I did the final leveling and adjustments, everything was right on the money. It only took a few test cuts to realize that this was a good product that would serve me well. I guess "refurbished" sometimes ends up being simply a concept.

Ed Kilburn
12-06-2009, 12:45 PM
I've purchased so many items from CPO I've lost count:), mostly Bosch and Porter Cable. All but a few were refurbished, not a problem with any of them.

Gary Muto
12-06-2009, 4:32 PM
Congrats on the great addition. I added a Jessem Mast-R-Slider last year and really like it. I went against the directions and kept the left wing and rip fence rail intact. In retrospect, I wish I took it off when I installed it, but I wasn't sure I was going to keep it at the time.

Carroll Courtney
12-06-2009, 5:18 PM
No Pics,what tha heck????I will also be checking out the slider.You got my interest up---Carroll

Bob Borzelleri
12-06-2009, 5:29 PM
I've purchased so many items from CPO I've lost count:), mostly Bosch and Porter Cable. All but a few were refurbished, not a problem with any of them.

Ed...

This was my first time with CPO. I'm sure it will not be my last.

...Bob


Congrats on the great addition. I added a Jessem Mast-R-Slider last year and really like it. I went against the directions and kept the left wing and rip fence rail intact. In retrospect, I wish I took it off when I installed it, but I wasn't sure I was going to keep it at the time.

Gary...

I really thought long and hard about ways to keep the wing. I finally decided that I would have to tap the screw holes that are in the main table but not on the end of the wing. Now that I have it all set up, I think the overall length (width?) of the table is about all that is workable. I don't want to have to detour every time I walk about the shop.

Does the Mast-R-Slider have a manner of attaching to a cast wing that doesn't use the three threaded holes that are on the main table on the Delta?

...Bob

Bob Borzelleri
12-06-2009, 6:19 PM
No Pics,what tha heck????I will also be checking out the slider.You got my interest up---Carroll

Carroll...

I knew I forgot something. Pictures coming up as soon as I get the firewood split and stacked. Got the first serious storm on the horizon. Snow down to sea level and we're at 2200 ft.

...Bob

Dan Forman
12-06-2009, 6:27 PM
Does the Mast-R-Slider have a manner of attaching to a cast wing that doesn't use the three threaded holes that are on the main table on the Delta?

...Bob

The Mater Slide is designed to mount to the saw table, and eliminate the left extension and part of the fence rail just like yours. I think the farther you are away from the blade, the more leverage there is on the slider's fence when crosscutting, and that's not a good thing. However, there are some folks who mount on the wing anyway.

Dan

Faust M. Ruggiero
12-06-2009, 6:31 PM
It is my understanding that any product that is returned to one of the tool companies for any reason, even if it is just that the customer unpacked it and decided not to keep it, gets examined, repackaged and sold with new guarantee as "refurbished". They also repair and package tools that came back broken. The good news is we have the choice of not keeping any tool we find is not satisfactory.
I always look there first when I need a hand power tool. I've yet to be disappointed.
fmr

Bob Borzelleri
12-06-2009, 6:31 PM
The Mater Slide is designed to mount to the saw table, and eliminate the left extension and part of the fence rail just like yours. I think the farther you are away from the blade, the more leverage there is on the slider's fence when crosscutting, and that's not a good thing. However, there are some folks who mount on the wing anyway.

Dan

Makes sense, Dan. I knew there was a justifiable reason for putting that hunk of cast iron in the corner.;)

Bob Borzelleri
12-06-2009, 6:43 PM
Well, despite the impending storm, I felt the need to followup with photos in order to complete the picture (so to speak).

The shop is a disaster area what with me currently finishing off a DC/compressor closet, rerouting the DC ducting and installing a black iron air distribution system (cutting threads is messy). And then there is the entryway coat rack that I've been trying to finish for a few months that has become lost in the mess.

Anyhow, here is the sliding table in all its glory. I didn't move the fence to the rear of the table for the 4th photo where I tried to show the cutoff capacity. Moving the fence increases it from 24" to 36".

...Bob

Gary Muto
12-06-2009, 9:44 PM
Bob,
Nice photos, thanks for posting. I already had 3 holes on the outboard side of my extension table so no drilling was required but I have to agree with Dan. The fence has to be slid to the right 10 inches furthter to get close to the blade which is not optimal. I have to say however that I get excellent results. With large pieces it isn't really much of an issue but with smaller pieces the fence is cantilevered and the part is dragging along the extension table instead of the sliding table. I would recommend to anyone to take the plunge and cut the rip fence tube so the slider can be installed in place of the extension table.

frank shic
12-07-2009, 12:27 AM
bob, you brought back many fond memories i previously had with the delta sliding table. installation was the biggest pain and the fence is super easy to knock out of alignment if you just brush up against it accidentally but the cutting action was very nice and smooth once tuned up. i eventually upgraded to an exaktor to handle full sheet crosscutting. btw i'm installing a unifence after this next house move to be able to use it to make repeated SAFE cross cuts. congrats and enjoy!

Stephen Edwards
12-07-2009, 12:41 AM
Your sliding table looks very nice. I'm sure that you'll enjoy it, too.

I have a question about these sliding tables, please: other than the fact that you lose a bit of blade height capacity with a cross cut sled, are there any advantages of the sliding tables over a well built and accurate cross cut sled, or a miter sled?

My shop, 12 X 48, has plenty of length for one of these sliding tables but I'd sure be crowded in the width dept.

Just curious......Thanks for your input.

Bob Borzelleri
12-07-2009, 1:34 AM
Your sliding table looks very nice. I'm sure that you'll enjoy it, too.

I have a question about these sliding tables, please: other than the fact that you lose a bit of blade height capacity with a cross cut sled, are there any advantages of the sliding tables over a well built and accurate cross cut sled, or a miter sled?

My shop, 12 X 48, has plenty of length for one of these sliding tables but I'd sure be crowded in the width dept.

Just curious......Thanks for your input.

Stephen...

The last sled I made worked well for stock that was no wider than the confines of the sled and not particularly long. For me, the greatest advantage in a sliding table is to be able to control the stock and the table allows me to control wider and longer pieces.

...Bob

Rick Potter
12-07-2009, 8:51 PM
I had an Excalibur slider on my right tilt Unisaw for several years without removing the wing. I did it this way so I would not lose all my capacity for making bevel cuts to the left of the blade. It worked out ok, but I finally removed the wing and cut the fence rail. I only regretted it the few times I needed to make narrow bevels, and had to be extra carefull with feather boards.

If your saw is a left tilt, I think you will be very happy taking the wing off.

BONUS TIP: If you have an Excalibur or Exactor slider, and do not move your saw around, my rich buddy found it helpfull to screw an L bracket to the leg and the floor. This made his slider rock solid. But wait...there's more: Also consider drilling a hole right through the leg and the extension leg and bolting it solid. This way when you drop a sheet of MDF on the table the allen bolts will not slip. Don't ask how I know they do.

Your results may vary.

Bob, one suggestion for your setup. Try to get another miter rail for your slider and cut it down to 18" or so. You may find this will suffice for most of your needs, without having to walk around the long rail every day. Only use the long one as needed. I made one out of wood.

Rick Potter

Bob Borzelleri
12-08-2009, 12:31 AM
I had an Excalibur slider on my right tilt Unisaw for several years without removing the wing. I did it this way so I would not lose all my capacity for making bevel cuts to the left of the blade. It worked out ok, but I finally removed the wing and cut the fence rail. I only regretted it the few times I needed to make narrow bevels, and had to be extra carefull with feather boards.

If your saw is a left tilt, I think you will be very happy taking the wing off.

BONUS TIP: If you have an Excalibur or Exactor slider, and do not move your saw around, my rich buddy found it helpfull to screw an L bracket to the leg and the floor. This made his slider rock solid. But wait...there's more: Also consider drilling a hole right through the leg and the extension leg and bolting it solid. This way when you drop a sheet of MDF on the table the allen bolts will not slip. Don't ask how I know they do.

Your results may vary.

Bob, one suggestion for your setup. Try to get another miter rail for your slider and cut it down to 18" or so. You may find this will suffice for most of your needs, without having to walk around the long rail every day. Only use the long one as needed. I made one out of wood.

Rick Potter

Rick...

Thanks for the suggestion to use a shorter miter rail for most stuff. I had been contemplating that option as I found myself taking the long way around the saw. Without your specific suggestion, I would probably have filed it away as one more thing to get to some day. Now that I have witnesses, :DI'll get it done this week. Thanks again

...Bob

James Boster
12-09-2009, 12:49 AM
I put a Jessem on my unisaw and instead of cutting the front rail I just unbolted it and slid it to the right and put on a new self stick tape. Now my 30" unifence is almost 40".