Cross-cutting the German Way

I use various tools for cross-cutting. A lot of time, it is with a handsaw, a ryoba or dozuki or azebiki, depending:


Other times I am inclined to use my sliding compound miter saw, or, when the opportunity is available, a sliding table saw, to execute cross-cuts, especially if there are many to be done or the material is unpleasant to handsaw.

The other day I was looking on a few German web pages and came across some interesting types of double cross-cut saws. Now, it is not uncommon for pairs of chop saws, sliding or not, to be paired up on either end of a support table, like this fancy unit, an Omga TR 30 NC:

What I had never seen before, however, is that the Germans also do the same sort of thing with pairs of table saws, and put a giant sliding table between them – a doppelablaengsaege as it is termed. I thought it would be of interest to readers out there to see some of these monsters, which are presumably used for simultaneous cross-cuts on the same timber:

The ways are both 45˚ vees, which by all accounts is one of the best shapes.

Here’s another one, the Bauerle DS with an enormous sliding table, and the table saw heads are floor-mount:


Then there’s the Bauerle DSII, which doesn’t have a sliding table but a roller-wheel equipped beam in the middle:

Some details of the same machine:




The  Rueco 32:

The Huellhorst DH50:

This one, made by Torwegge, resembles a large lathe in certain respects:

The German tool manufacturers certainly know how to go big or go home. Well made, hulking pieces of equipment.

All for today – thanks for dropping by!

8 Replies to “Cross-cutting the German Way”

  1. Joe,

    funny! Just browsing, as they say. I am a bit curious to learn what sort of work practices led to the development of these machines, and, given their expense, just how cost effecting they might have been versus using a single-ended cutting device.


  2. Hello All

    It may be moot unless you build cabinets and need to cut plywood but I was shown an Altendorf slide table saw recently by someone at thier shop. Un parraled precision and accuracy. With the feed track for ripping traveling on ball bearing guides there is no comparison to the standard table saw. BUT the saw takes up 500 sqaure feet of space.
    Tempting feature of the powerfull Alt is the ability to edge long pieces of wood…better and cleaner than a jointer.
    Flawless edge glue joints in seconds.
    Unless I was cutting alot of plywood I would put my money towards other machines and stay in my small shop.

    Ward W

  3. Ward,

    thanks for the comment. While most sliding saws that are configured for, and sold in, the North American market are intended for cutting sheet goods, and have 12″ blades, keep in mind that the sliding saw design predates manufactured sheet good by many years. There a wooden sliding saw in the Hancock Shaker Village in upstate NY, for example. For cutting sheet goods, a 12″ blade is plenty, and a scoring saw, as well as a 10' long sliding table are ideal.

    Notice that Martin's sliding saws, which leave Altendorf pretty much in the dust, have the capacity to run up to 21.5″ saw blades. Plus you can fit a 6' sliding table and skip the scoring unit. That configuration of machine is excellent for cross-cutting solid wood and with the optional parallel miter fence, they are excellent for all sorts of angled cutting.

    There are basically two different configurations of sliding saws, one ideal for sheet goods and the other for solid wood.

    As for the large footprint requirement of sliding saws, I have two observations. It is true insofar as the longer sliding table especially, however it is also true that even a regular cabinet saw, like a planer or jointer or resaw bandsaw, needs to be placed in a shop so there is adequate room on infeed and outfeed sides to accommodate long stock throughput. So, maybe in some ways the 'footprint' requirement isn't so different for a sliding saw.


  4. Chris

    Those photos call to mind the German word 'unheimlich' (outlandish, weird, strange).


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