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Barwalt Saw Shack
The Esstential Tool You Never Knew You Needed
The good guys at Barwalt have come up with a genius idea and as soon as I saw it, I was sold!
Introducing the Saw Shack.
It enables us to cut our delicious big wet saws, inside a clients house, with no mess.
“Have you been hitting the moonshine again Carl? That’s impossible” I hear you say.
Well my friends, it’s very true and very much a product we need right now.
Only trouble is, how do we convince our wives and other lovely companions that we need it?
Well I will share with you my tale how I managed it and even after getting a clipped ear and a cold dinner for a few days, I tell ya it was worth it. It might steel your resolve to try the same on your partner.
Hi, my name is Carl and welcome to my review of the Barwalt Saw Shack. I have been tiling professionally for over 20 years and have seen many great innovations in that time.
This saw shack is one I can add to that list of great innovations as it solves a common problem in an easy yet clever way. If you have never seen this product before, I encourage you to read my review and learn more.
How I got my Barwalt Saw Shack.
When I told my wife I just purchased a new tent, I bet she didn’t have this in mind.
Like any good husband I entertained her questions with some noncommittal answers and hoped to all the bearded spirits up there that she didn’t see the account shopping history.
Finally, my tent arrived and before she got home from work I surprised her by pitching it in our bedroom.
I wrestled out my old Rubi table saw as it’s massive compared to my new one and for extra effect, I cut a few old marble tiles I had stacked away in the garage.
Let’s say she noticed it immediately when she went into our bedroom.
After saying a few choice words that rhyme with what the duck is that and that better not be our trucking tent I made her some coffee and pitched the idea of the saw tent to her.
Pun fully intended.
I went on to tell her what an amazing innovation the Barwalt Saw Shack is and how it will revolutionize the tiling trade.
About how my knees that she worries will need replacing soon (a story for another time) will love me for not walking miles every day to my saw and back.
I’ll set the saw tent up in my clients lounge area or den and have the convenience or being able to cut all I need without making a mess of their carpet, walls, furniture…well on everything really. We all know about tile dust and especially when wet cutting, the mess goes everywhere.
Now with this tent it is all localized in a sterile environment that we can disassemble later and rinse out outside.
It took some convincing but eventually she calmed down. Especially after I mentioned it cost a fraction of a knee replacement.
I still got a cold dinner that night for lying to her and not just asking about it in the first place.
She got me back by ordering the biggest Coleman tent she could find and an assortment of camping gear, all on my credit card.
That’ll teach me, at least I have the saw tent to help me pay it off.
Hopefully you come up with a better way of getting your own saw tent, but whatever you do, cold dinner or not, it’ll be worth it.
So what is the Barwalt Saw Shack?
To start, I’ve actually called an Extra Large Tile Saw Shack. Since I couldn’t sell the idea of getting a shack to my wife I called it a tent instead.
There actually is an actual product that is called a Saw Tent made by MK Diamond and it looks near identical to the Barwalt, just the logo on the side is different.
The Barwalt Extra Large Tile Saw Shack, is a collapsible tent-like structure that allows you to setup your wet cutting saw indoors. It’s thick heavy duty plastic is designed to be waterproof and contain any splashing or debris that occurs during cutting.
Since the aim is for it be used indoors, it is designed to be provide a fully sterile cutting environment to ensure you don’t make a mess on the clients expensive new carpet or flooring.
You set your wet saw and stand inside the tent while you operate it from outside. This ensures your boots don’t catch any of the muck so you don’t inadvertently track it back towards your work area.
Why I never heard of this product is beyond me but I wish I knew about it years ago.
Or came up with the idea myself! (Who are we kidding! Years of working with all sorts of funky chemicals from the 90’s probably killed what few brain cells I had left.)
How Do I use The Barwalt Saw Shack?
Very simple my friend, very simple.
Much easier than washing down the pavement outside, that I can assure you.
When I setup my Barwalt Saw Shack I select the area indoors closest to the area of work without being obstructive of the daily activities of the household.
Usually by shifting a couch in a den I can setup with plenty of room to spare. If I can get in the way of a teenage son playing video games on the T.V I happily do so.
However try stay clear of any electronics just for piece of mind.
After the area is ready I lay down a tarpaulin large enough to cover the area of the tent. This is more as insurance in case I tread on anything or the base of the shack is dirty from the bottom.
Then I lay out the black base of the saw shack over the top.
If the floor of the home is wooden or the carpet is new I like to drop down some old cement board or sheeting on the bottom of the inside in case a tile drops.
This is will protect the floor from getting creased or marked.
Once all that is in place I install my saw table and saw, being careful to place them so I can access them properly once the sides are up.
With that sorted I get the collapsible aluminum frame in position. It basically looks and works like a mini gazebo frame. Just stretch it out and pull it up.
Then I attach the clear plastic sheeting around the tubing and snap the Velcro fasteners to the bottom base layer.
A few adjustments here and there and we are ready!
What Kind of Saw will fit in my Barwalt Saw Shack?
The interior of the shack measures 47 inches by 60 inches by 62 inches (119cmx152x157cm) so a large tile saw would be able to fit inside.
A small table saw like a Skil 7 Inch saw will fit with plenty of room to spare.
What you need to take into account is the size of tile and adjust your saws position to suit.
In my experience I have cut tiles up to 3 feet long (91cm) with proper adjustment of the saw. Sometimes it maybe a little awkward but imagine the alternative.
Do you really want to be cutting outside, especially when the material is something like a natural stone?
Your trusty Rubi TX-900-N won’t help you there as it can’t cut natural stone so the only alternative is wet cutting.
Instead of running around the house, up and down flights of stairs all day, you can walk a few feet to your cutting station and do it all there.
If I managed to persuade my wife with this, I’m sure a fellow tiler like you will see the logic in it too.
How Do I clean it?
Since the material is plastic, very similar to any outdoor cover you may have seen, you can take it outside and rinse it off with the hose.
When I disassemble I try to fold the corners inwards so any run off goes inside the tent and not drip onto the floor.
Then if the client has a lawn or area with suitable run off I get the hose and clean it off. All the debris and dust comes off easily and drains away.
The clean up is very similar to how you would clean your saw at the end of the day. If there is any stubborn residue an old brush can be used to give it a helping hand coming off.
I do this with the base as well and never had any dramas.
If you are done with the shack for the week or do not have any wet cutting jobs coming up I would recommend you lay out the two plastic sheets somewhere where they can dry.
Stowing them away when their wet may cause them to stink like mildew and other nasty odours.
I still remember stowing away my wet plastic raincoat when I saw a kid. Dumped it in a bag for months and when I pulled it out it smelt like expired yogurt.
Next time I wore it all the kids called me the yogurt kid, it wasn’t fun!
So don’t be the next yogurt kid and let it dry. You don’t want that smell stinking up a client’s house, that’s for sure.
After it’s dry you can fold away the sheets and aluminium frame into the carry case provided with the kit and your ready for the next job.
It’s a really simple concept but a hell of a clever idea.
Will this Saw Shack work for cutting tiles dry?
If using the saw straight from a factory configuration then I wouldn’t recommend it.
Since the tent isn’t designed for raising dust that is associated with dry cutting you will find yourself filling the house with dust fairly quickly.
As you can see one side is fully open allowing the dust to go out that way.
One way that could work is if you’re using a grinder with a dust shroud to cut and had it connected to a running shop vacuum. In theory this should gather all the dust you create as its made.
If you are using a masonry tile saw then the only option you would have is if you get an assistant to hold the vacuum nozzle close to cutting area. That should work as well but not as effectively. Best way is to experiment and see what works for you.
Since this is a modification off the original idea results will vary.
How long will the Saw Shack Last?
Since everything is made from higher grade materials and it is designed for professional use, I don’t see the shack using up it’s life anytime soon.
I would easily give it a few years minimum, especially if you take care of it like you do all your over gear. Give everything a good wash after use and store it away safely and it should live to fight many battles with you.
The sliding aluminum structure would enjoy a spray of lubricant like WD-40 every once in a while to ensure it slides properly. Due to it’s simplicity there isn’t anything extra you need to do that you wouldn’t with anything else of similar material.
Take care of it and it’ll take care of you.
If you happen to break the bottom base by accident and it is no longer watertight there are replacement parts available. If you’re nifty you could try a simple air mattress repair patch to cover the puncture.
Who should use this Saw shack?
Anyone that is cutting materials with a wet saw.
It is not necessarily just for tilers.
Kitchen makers that are working with a granite countertop for instance, you can set one up and use it near the kitchen for easy cuts and simplified work flow.
Even a bricklayer can set one up in a garage if the weather is less than ideal.
What I love the best about it is if your working in a condo or apartment building that doesn’t have an outdoor area like a balcony.
Imagine you are on the eleventh floor and tiling a modern bathroom from travertine or similar. Instead of taking every tile down the elevator to your cutting area somewhere in the bowels of the building, you have your machine right there in the apartment to use.
I definitely know what I prefer!
Wrapping Up On The Barwalt Saw Shack.
So despite the cold dinner and maxed out credit card from my wife, I am very pleased I found the my Barwalt Saw Shack.
It has come in handy a number of times already and I have quickly adapted to using it. I eagerly await a larger version for those jobs I need to cut some real gigantic tiles but fortunately those are very few and far between so the lack isn’t substantial.
If you work with a wet saw in a residential setting or a constructive industrial setting I would definitely put this one on the list of must haves.
Your work flow will increase and so will your piece of mind. The Barwalt Saw Shack is available here and ready for your next job.
Just don’t lie to your wife when buying it, that road never ends up well gentlemen.
Check out this brilliant video by Sal DiBlasi if you want more information about the Barwalt Saw Shack