Re: For those who build your own, which table saw?
I bought a craftsman 113. saw back in 1976 just to build beekeeping equipment and still use it today. There are a few things that it does well and a few others that could be improved. It is a 10 inch model. I've used 12 inch and 8 inch craftsman saws and generally prefer the 10 inch for overall use. I too am biased against direct drive saws, I like the belt drive for flexibility and durability.
1. It handles molding heads and dadoes with ease.
2. It has a 1 hp motor with dual shafts on each end, one to drive the saw, the other to drive a dust collector if I wanted to use one.
3. I run it with an 8 inch thin kerf carbide blade which allows very high cut accuracy. I work to 1/64 inch accuracy on all cuts.
4. Agree strongly about building jigs, slides, and sleds. These are the tools you need most
5. I use the top of the tablesaw for verifying cuts are square and accurate
What is wrong with it?
1. The insert has a gap that is about 1/2 inch wide. I would prefer if it was either 3/16 or 1/4.
2. The extensions on the side of the saw are thin sheet metal, I would prefer the cast iron extensions.
3. The fence adjusts on angle iron strips that I would prefer were twice as long so I could cut on either side of the blade.
4. The legs that I bought with it are a bit flimsy.
I've made a boat load of equipment with my saw over the years and consider it to have been one of the best tools I ever purchased. It is not up to cabinet grade work, but it is perfect for making bee equipment and minor furniture items.
As an fyi, you might find a decent saw on ebay for a reasonable price. Put the below search string in and see what you come up with.
DarJones - 46 years, 14 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell