A Better Saw to Saw With

When I first started working on my woodwork projects, I didn’t invest in too much equipment. For a start, I wasn’t sure if I would take to the hobby, and secondly, I didn’t want to go over the top in spending on accessories and items that I might not need in the long run. However, I needn’t have worried. I really enjoy using my woodworking skills, and I’m always starting on new projects that keep me busy. The problem is that now I want to branch out into some bigger and more interesting projects, but without a table saw, it’s just too difficult to get them off the ground.

I need the flexibility that a table saw can provide, with the ability to rip wood quickly and conveniently. As I have a large workshop, it won’t be a problem to get a large cabinet style device, and I’m confident that I will get a lot of use out of it. For that reason, I’ve overlooked the small and portable table saws and I’m concentrating on the bigger, more industrial style models that can really give me the performance that I’m looking for.

To help me narrow down my choices, I decided to look online for the best rated table saws. This strategy worked well for me when I was looking for a new band saw, and the top band saw reviews helped me to judge which would be the right band saw to suit my needs. After going through some expert and customer opinions, I’ve narrowed down my options to two different table saws that I think could be right for my workshop.

 

Grizzly

grizzly table saw

This affordable cabinet table saw is from a well-respected brand and offers all of the features of a more expensive model. With a double extension table and cast iron construction, it’s going to be ideal for my larger projects and it represents even better value for money since it comes with a riving knife, guard and extra shelving as standard as well as a quality blade, a push stick and a miter gauge. This space-saving table has a rip capacity of 52 inches and thanks to its hinged motor cover it’s easy to get to the inside of the tool to service it without having to completely remove the entire cover.

The flywheel is also very accessible for adjustments. With its excellent fence design, and all metal wheels, knobs and locking mechanisms, this heavy-duty workhorse will last a long time thanks to its powder coated frame and solid steel accessories. Its 3 horsepower motor can cope with a no load speed of as much as 4000 RPM while its safety features ensure that I will be well protected when using this device. On the downside, the extensions will take up quite a lot of space in my workshop and it also needs a 220V hookup which means I’d have to convert my power supply.

 

Jet

jet table saw

This mid-priced unit is from a good brand and is also a more compact choice. Built to last, it has a worktop made of cast iron, a powerful 3 horsepower motor and an inclusive miter gauge. Slightly faster than the Grizzly, it can operate up to 4300 RPM and can cut all kinds of wood. Although it has just one extension, it offers the same capacity as the larger Grizzly model and it even includes a drawer for storing accessories. It also has a low maintenance hinged motor cover and a safeguard as well as kickback pawls and a riving knife and guard panels. The large bevel scale to the cabinet’s side allows me to see the set angle easily and the blade is simple to change thanks to the quick release arbor lock while the dust collection system is effective. On the downside, the stop button is difficult to reach and small and its price is more expensive than the Grizzly model.

After considering my options, I’ve decided that the Jet model, although more expensive, is the best option for me. Even though I have a large workshop, I don’t want it to be completely full of my table saw and this space-saving machine should suit me best!

Pregnancy Cravings

Since my wife became pregnant, I’ve been looking up lots of information about what we can expect, and one of the things that I’m fascinated by is pregnancy cravings. Although I knew that they existed, I’d never really thought about them until now but as they’re becoming more likely to affect my life, I’ve been frantically reading up about why they happen.

pregnant woman holding a cupcake

My mother told me that she had some very strange cravings when she was pregnant with me – in fact, she was obsessed with the smell of washing detergent and used to put her head into the washing machine after every cycle to sniff the aroma! My sister said that she realized she was obsessed with the smell of sawdust and used to hang out in her husband’s workshop every time he was cutting a piece of wood so she could breathe in the air!

According to my research, food cravings usually reach their peak during the 2nd trimester, and they are caused by pregnancy hormones, changes to the smell and taste receptors and crossed nutrition signals that mean that the body cannot interpret reliably its internal signals. Some of it may also be to do with the need to eat comfort food.

Apparently, there isn’t really much that a woman can do about fighting pregnancy cravings, but of course, if she wants to eat something that isn’t actually food she needs to find a way around the problem! It’s also important for me to help my wife to avoid going mad with fattening and unhealthy foods like chocolate and cake, so I’ll have to make sure she only has small portions if she starts having cravings for sugary treats!

One way of distracting her is supposed to be to take her out of the house or to go somewhere exciting like the theater or the movies so that she won’t overeat as eating for two is no longer recommended. I also read that if a woman craves sweets and dairy products, we should stock up on fruit and yogurt so that she had to get the tastes she’s looking for without the extra fat and calories. I don’t think she’d ever forgive me if she gave birth and then found that she was the size of a small house because of indulging unhealthy cravings!

fruits on yogurt

Although my wife hasn’t experienced any cravings yet in her pregnancy, I’m just waiting for them to kick in. I really hope that she doesn’t develop fixations with any of the foods that I really hate. I hear that pickles are one of the more common cravings and I really can’t stand their smell, so I really hope that they aren’t her food of choice! I really don’t think I could be very supportive if she’s sitting there gobbling pickles out of the jar! It would be great if she developed cravings for food that I really enjoy, like Chinese takeout – that way we could have my favorite food every day of the week!

Baby Incoming – Now What?

Most people think that pregnancy is all about the woman, and to a certain extent, that’s true. After all, I don’t have any morning sickness or backache, but I still have to cope with the idea of everything changing and all of the psychological and emotional differences that come with the experience.

When my wife announced that she was pregnant, of course, I was delighted, but I just didn’t know what to expect. Not only did I not have a clue what she was about to go through, but I didn’t know anything about what was involved in being an expectant dad. Since the days have long gone when husbands were kept out of the delivery room and only handled infants at arm’s length, I thought it was important to find out more about the whole pregnancy so that I could be supportive and as helpful as possible.

With that in mind, I’ve been reading up on tips for dads-to-be and learning more about what I can expect when she’s expecting.

Men Get Excited Too

man ear pressed to belly

There’s a bit of a myth that men aren’t really excited or involved with the idea of pregnancy because it isn’t happening to them. I think that’s completely wrong. I admit that it wasn’t as obvious to me at first because she wasn’t showing and there was nothing really very different except the fact that she was feeling sick in the mornings! However, as soon as we went for the first scan and heard the little heartbeat I was smitten. I also think it isn’t true that women worry about pregnancy more than guys. In fact, in some ways, it’s worse for us because it isn’t our body that is going through the changes and there’s nothing that we can really do to help. Women also have friends that they can talk to about their worries and concerns, whereas for guys, it’s pretty embarrassing to discuss this kind of thing.

Feeling Closer Than Ever

Even though some people think that pregnancy can be a time when you become less intimate with your partner, I’ve found that we’re closer than ever before. We snuggle more as we talk to our baby in the womb and I love nothing more than watching and feeling our baby kick. We also share a lot more of our emotions with each other. She talks to me more about her worries, her aches and pains, and I talk to her about the way I’m feeling. I think I feel even closer because I’ve been very involved from the start, going to all of her prenatal visits and scans.

Being Prepared For Less Sleep

baby sleeping on daddy's chest

I think that nature prepares us dads for getting less sleep when baby arrives by making sure that our partners won’t let us get much rest over the last few months of pregnancy. She snores so loudly now that she has to lie on her back that I just can’t get much rest at all and then, just when I’ve dropped off, she wakes me up again by getting up to go to the toilet!

These are just a few of the things that I’ve noticed so far about becoming a dad, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!