Review: Hafco ST254 tablesaw with sliding table
Above: A sliding table attachment adds convenience and versatility to the Hafco ST254 tablesaw.
Reviewed by Damion Fauser
This is an affordable cabinet saw with some good features. With a 2.2k watt (3hp) single phase 10amp induction motor, the saw runs a 254mm (10") blade on a 25.4mm (1") arbor. This yields perfectly respectable cut capacities of 75mm at 90° and 60mm at 45°. For review purposes, the test machine was supplied with a quality Leitz 80 tooth crosscut blade and was able to make super clean and effortless cuts in some 45mm thick kwila.
The 950mm long rip fence is a solid arrangement and comes with a detachable high/low fence accessory.
The rip fence is a solid arrangement and comes with a detachable accessory high/low fence attachment which would come in handy for different types of cutting operations. The rail is solid and has a ruler attached. The capacity of the rip fence is a respectable 950mm. The machine comes with a simple but useful mitre gauge.
The overhead guard has a built-in dust port which plumbs directly into the 100mm dust port at the rear of the cabinet. A cam lockdown clamp and adjustable flip-down stop come with the sliding table attachment and are a very useful addition.
The overhead guard is large and clear for good visibility and has a built-in dust port which can be plumbed directly into the 100mm dust port at the rear of the cabinet, meaning the user will only need the one dust connection to run both ports from this machine. The test machine was connected to a basic unit and collection was effective. The overhead guard did not have any anti- kickback cauls.
Blade changes were simple with the supplied tool, accessing the arbor by removing the screw-down throat plate. The dust proof magnetic controls are easily accessible and feature an emergency stop function. The machine has a nice soft start and is extremely quiet in operation, but of course this will depend on the blade that is being run at the time. Blade height adjustment was smooth and is lockable. The right-tilting arbor perfectly suits the optional sliding table attachment.
The 800 x 560mm cast iron table is sufficiently sized to match the rip capacity and has a mitre track either side of the blade, offering flexibility with the mitre gauge as well as the option for solid registration of shopmade accessories like crosscut sleds.
The machine comes with a simple but useful mitre gauge.
A sliding table attachment is available as an accessory to the basic cabinet saw. This has a 500 x 400mm aluminium table surface and a crosscut fence with ruler, mitre guide for angled cuts, cam lockdown clamp and an adjustable flip-down stop. The 1500mm run of travel on the slider is perhaps a little overkill given the comparatively small size of the sliding table surface and will require additional shop floor space, but this is a small sacrifice to have the added convenience and cut versatility of the sliding table. The working mechanism of the sliding table consists of roller bearings running on a steel rail guide and it certainly travelled nice and smoothly.
As a standalone cabinet saw this unit currently retails for $1595, or packaged with the sliding table for $2222. I consider this to be a fair price for what is a reasonably well thought out machine.
From Hare & Forbes Machinery House, www.machineryhouse.com.au/KO53
Damion Fauser is a furniture designer maker in Brisbane and a regular contributor to Australian Wood Review magazine, see damionfauser.com