Record Power TS315
Monday 03 November 2008
Anthony Bailey gives his opinion on this table saw
The TS315 table saw is the latest offering from tool and machinery manufacturing heavyweights Record Power, and contains all the quality that we've come to expect from their products. The version that I tested was a prototype model, and as such required quite a lot of fine-tuning and adjustment before use, due mainly to its travels around the country to and from various woodworking shows. Despite this, the solid build quality of the TS315 shone through. Indeed, so attractive is this saw to potential users that the first batch has been sold before it has even arrived at the warehouse!
Heavy castingsThe critical parts of this machine are all heavy castings. Looking at Record Power's stable of machines in general, the hidden workings are invariably very substantial and well-engineered, even though this might not be obvious to the casual observer. The cast main table gives the user confidence with its good, flat, well-ground surface. My test model was fitted with the optional Right Hand Extension Kit ( £139.99 inc. VAT), giving a sizable 1250mm (49 3/16in) maximum width of cut. The motor and blade arbor sit on two cast trunnions, giving a solid feel when operating the rise and fall and tilt handles, whereas the casing and sliding table are manufactured from a familiar combination of pressed steel and aluminium extrusions. For a cheaper machine, the sliding carriage moves remarkably smoothly and was very easy to use on test, but only time will tell how the mechanism wears.
BladesBlade changing is easy, and is best performed by removing the sliding carriage from the machine, although you can change the blade with the carriage pushed to one end of the track. Record have a wide variety of blades available to fit this saw, from rip through crosscut to triple chip tooth.
In useCrosscutting was very easy and gave a nice, smooth cut with the general purpose blade. The TS315 also comes with a scoring unit and with the scoring blade in place, it can be used to give a spelch-free finish on manmade boards, however there is the usual trial and error of getting the scoring blade exactly in line with the main saw blade.
The dimension table makes panel work achievable, although full size 8 x 4 sheets are probably best having their initial cuts done on saw horses with a portable saw before trying to lay them on the table, unless you have assistance. The dimension fence can be set at the rear of the dimension table for cutting solid timber, or at the front in continental fashion for cutting large sheets. The fence can also be set at different angles to create mitre joints etc, and has a metric scale.
Once again, my test model came with the optional extras of a squaring table and crosscut fence with flip-over length stop (£199.99 inc. VAT).
The often-overlooked rear angled work clamp proved useful in combination with the front hold-down on the sliding carriage, which I used to true up an irregular yew (Taxus baccata) board very successfully. The hold-down is actually mounted on the mitre fence, which is well made but features a clamp too light for heavy use.