Stallion 1.5 HP Cabinet Saw - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A well built, solid machine that provides great performance and value.

Stallion 1.5 HP Cabinet Saw

Stallion 1.5 HP Cabinet Saw



A table saw is arguable one of the most important workshop machines. Used in conjunction with a jointer and thickness planer you can quickly and efficiently process both solid wood and sheet goods. It's one of the most frequently used machines, so you want to choose one that you'll enjoy using, and that will meet your needs 'down the road', as your woodworking skills, and perhaps the amount of time you spend in the shop, increases. And, considering that it's one of the more expensive machines in your shop, you'll want to choose a saw that will provide a lifetime of reliable service.

The type of saw that works best for you will depend on a variety of factors, including how often you will be using the saw, the type of stock you work with, size of your shop, your skill level, and your budget. You'll have four categories of saws to choose between: job-site (portable) saw, contractor-style saw, hybrid saw, and cabinet saw.

Hybrid saws are quite popular in small workshops and with hobbyist woodworkers. Because they're powered by 110-volt motors they can be plugged straight into a standard 15-amp receptacle. They typically come with a 1-1/2 HP motor, which is all you need to mill sheet goods and stock up to around 2" thick. You'll still be able to cut stock up to the maximum capacity of the blade, though you'll likely have to slow your feed rate. One of the issues around hybrid saws is that they have the trunion mounted to the underside of the table top, unlike cabinet saws, where the trunion is mounted to the cabinet.

The CWI T1002 is like a hybrid saw in that it has a 1-1/2 HP motor and runs on a 15-amp circuit. However, it does have the trunion mounted on the cabinet, in essence making it a 'medium-duty' cabinet saw.

I recently had an opportunity of using a T1002 in my shop for a couple of weeks. Read on to find out my take on its salient features.

The T1002 was pretty easy to assemble. All of the parts were present and accounted for, and the user manual was easy enough to follow. I did have a bit of trouble mounting the rails to the table top and wings. You'll want to be careful to ensure that all the mounting holes line up before attaching the rails. Once the saw was full assembled, I was surprised to find that both rails stayed firmly in place.

The power cord is only 7' long, which means I had to use an extension cord. A longer cord would be appreciated (though to be fair, short power cord are 'de rigueur' when it comes to shop machinery.)

The T1002 doesn't have any wheels, nor is a mobility kit available at this time. If you typically leave the saw stationary in one location it probably doesn't matter. If, like me, you move your equipment about, then you'll want to install a mobility base with at least a 350 pound capacity.

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Heavy duty cabinet mounted trunion

The trunion houses the arbor, to which the saw blade is attached. The hand wheels that enable you to raise and lower the blade, and tilt it for bevel cuts are connected to the trunion. On most, if not all hybrid saws, the trunion is attached to the underside of the table top, making it time consuming and awkward to adjust or shim the trunion. Any vibration in the trunion is transmitted directly to the table top.

The T1002, like all heavy duty cabinet saws, has the trunion mounted to the cabinet. To access the trunion you simply unbolt the table top (at the four corners) and remove it. This makes it much easier to correct any mis-alignment between the blade and miter slots, to service the drive belt, and to clean and lubricate the trunion. This system also adds greater overall stability to the saw, and transmits any vibration from the saw’s motor and blade primarily to the saw cabinet.

On the T1002 the trunion is cast iron and steel, and everything looked well machined. The multi-rib drive belt looks to be of good quality.

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Flat as a pancake

I used a straight edge to check flatness front-to-back, side-to-side, and diagonally – the T1002 is about as flat and smooth as you can get. The wings were likewise flat, and easy to install (though quite heavy).
It's important that there be no discernible arbor runout – otherwise the blade will vibrate, cutting a kerf of variable width, preventing you from making precise cuts. You can check runout on both the blade and the arbor with a dial indicator. For the blade, runout shouldn't be more than about .005", while for the arbor it should be less than .001". On the T1002 runout was well within the acceptable limits.

The table insert is unusually long (3-11/16" x 18-7/8"). There are seven set screws that enable you to adjust the insert level with the table top. I didn't notice any appreciable downward deflection when applying moderate pressure to the insert. CWI doesn't offer a zero clearance or a dado insert - which means you'll have to make your own.

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Large, easy-to-reach power on-off switch

You'll find this type of paddle switch on a lot of saws, and for good reason. You can easily reach it with your left hand, and to turn the saw off, by giving it a quick push with your knee. Very convenient.

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Large handles with integrated locks

The blade gets raised and lowered umpteen times a day, which makes a large, easy to turn handIe, like on the T1002, important. I also really like that the lock is integrated right into the handle. Ditto for the bevel handle.

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Smooth bevel tilt

Blade-tilt is smooth and the bevel scale easy to read. Where accuracy isn't important I use the scale. Otherwise I rely on an engineers square and digital protractor.

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Stellar fence

The T1002 has a steel and anodized aluminum Biesemeyer-style (or T-square style) fence that is exceptionally sturdy. It glides across the table, and the cam lever handle locks it firmly in place. I like this style of fence as it's easily adaptable to a variety of jigs, plus it's flat top makes for a convenient hold-all for measuring tape, pencil, and the like.

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Tail of fence doesn't lock

Because the T1002 is only a single-point locking fence (at the front guide rail) I expected there wold be a fair amount of tail deflection. However, I found that pushing against the end of the fence with moderate (about 10 pounds) hand pressure barely deflects the fence (less than .012"). This certainly is not enough deflection to have any effect on cutting accuracy or the performance of any jigs riding along the fence.

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The fence required some adjustment

The fence wasn't perfectly square to the table top. Fortunately, making the necessary adjustments was relatively easy, taking me less than 5 minutes.

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Aligning the fence is easy

There are a series of nylon set screws on the front, and at both ends, of the fence that enable you to adjust the fence parallel to the saw blade and square to the table top. As show in the bottom photo, one of the screws is hidden under a warning decal. When making adjustments you only need to turn the screws lightly. Better to make repeated small adjustments than attempt to do it in one fell swoop. The instruction manual that comes with the saw provides a reasonably good, if sparse, outline of the process.

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Miter gauge works well, but...

The heavy cast iron miter gauge performed well, sliding smoothly in its slot with no noticeable wobble in the bar. The large handle makes it easy to use, and, as on all miter gauges, you can easily adjust the 0-, 30-, and 45-degree stops. However, the base left a noticeable scuff across the table top the first time I used it. Fortunately, I don't use a miter gauge all that often, and, attaching a couple of strips of low-friction tape to the base of the gauge resolved the issue.

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Quick to remove riving knife

Riving knives are now standard on table saws because they're essential for reducing kickback. Kickback usually occurs when the work piece makes contact with the teeth at the back of the blade. The teeth can grab the work piece and fling it back towards you. For some operations, such as when using a dado set, you need to remove the knife. On some saws it can take several minutes to do this. On the T1002 it takes all of 30 seconds. You simply remove the insert plate, and lift a lever to remove the knife (in the right photo above the table top has been removed to more clearly show the lever).

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Blade guard is super quick to install

Blade guards can be notoriously awkward to install, which means they often don't get used. To use the blade guard on the T1002 you need to install a different riving knife. This riving knife has a flat head, to which the guard can be attached. Installation of both items is very quick – in fact, removing the table insert takes up most of the time. The clear plastic guards make it easy to see your stock, and the anti-kickback pawls – located at the back of the guard) can be raised and locked out of the way when not required.

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Blade removal requires only a single wrench

The T1002 has the best blade removal system I've used on a table saw. You simple hold in a locking pin with your finger, and then remove the retaining nut with the supplied wrench. Super convenient.

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Excellent dust extraction

Dust extraction is excellent on the T1002. A shroud surrounds the blade and is connected to a flex hose that diverts dust to the 4" port at the base of the cabinet. Some dust does accumulate inside the enclosed cabinet, but the access door can be quickly removed to facilitate vacuuming.
 
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A well-rounded medium-duty cabinet saw

The CWI T1002 has a lot going for it. In particular, it has a cabinet saw style trunion, an arbor lock for super quick, easy blade changing, a convenient quick release riving knife and blade quard, and an enclosed blade cavity with 2-1/2” dust hose connection that makes for excellent dust collection. In operation the saw was vibration-free, surprisingly quiet, and the 1-1/2 HP motor had no problem with stock under about 2" in thickness (anything larger did require a slower feed rate and sharp blade). The fence is stellar – slides easily back and forth, doesn't flex overmuch, and is easy to adjust (should it ever get out of alignment). There is also a convenient hook for storing the push stick, a holder for the miter gauge when not needed, and even a really nice spot to store the fence if you happen to use the table top for some assembly work.

The saw doesn't come with a blade, though I wasn't terribly put off – I've never had a stock blade that was much good for anything but rough cutting stock. If you want to do decent work you'll invariably need to purchase a top quality crosscut and finish blade, and likely a dado set as well.

If you work primarily with sheet goods, 3/4" dressed lumber, and rough 8/4 rough stock, then you won't go wrong with the CWI T1002. However, if you do need more cutting power, check out their 3 HP model.


NEED TO KNOW
MODEL #CWI-T1002: 30" fence
CWI-T1002L: 52" fence
PRICECWI-T1002: $1,499.95
CWI-T1002L: $1,649.95
POWER15 AMP 1.5 HP 115/220 volt motor (pre-wired 115-volt)
TILT DIRECTIONLeft
CUT HEIGHT
3-1/8” @ 90°; 2-1/4” @ 45°
TRUNIONCabinet mounted vertical slide
FENCESteel, with anodized aluminum sides
MITER GAUGECast iron
DUST INLET4"
TABLE TOPCast iron, 27” x 44” , with 36” working height
INCUDESMiter gauge, riving knife, blade guard w/riving knife, blade wrench
 
VERDICT
A sturdy machine with practical features that delivers very good performance at a competitive price.
PROS
  • Cabinet saw style trunion
  • Arbor lock for easy blade changing
  • Quick release riving knife and blade quard
  • Enclosed blade cavity with 2-1/2” dust hose connection
CONS
  • No built-in mobile base
  • No blade supplied

FURTHER INFORMATION
MANUFACTURERCWI Woodworking Technologies
DEALERCanadian Woodworker

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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