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.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest