I don’t hate power tools. I rather like my “table saw” setup. There is a table and a saw involved. I will not pretend that I came up with this concept. I saw it in Fine Woodworking magazine a few years ago. Sorry, I do not remember the issue # or the author. For long rips this is a very safe and easy to use system. My table is a frame made from 2×4 construction grade lumber that is just screwed together. The legs are recycled from an old folding table that was being thrown away.
The basic idea is that I have a straightedge made of 1/8in hardboard screwed to a length of 3/4in plywood. The hardboard was ripped to the right width by my circular saw after being attached to the plywood. Now I can lay the straightedge right on my line and get a perfectly placed cut without measuring to account for the saw base. I set the saw depth to cut into the table just a little. Another nice thing is that the board is fully supported by the table so nothing falls or breaks when the cut is nearly complete.
I use my table saw for some crosscuts, but generally I use a cheap stanley saw an a couple of 5 gallon buckets (thanks to CS for that tip). I really need to build some nice sawbenches…
Back to the tablesaw. The primary benefit to this system is that it is perfect for small spaces. I move the tool to cut the wood – the wood does not move. Moving wood takes literally twice as much space as moving yourself. Plus, when I am done making my cuts I lean my table against the wall and it keeps my thin plywood stash nice and straight.
When I started using this system I basically stopped using my regular tablesaw. I sold it a few years ago and I have not missed it. This system is easy, requires less space, and feels safer. I have nothing against table saws, I just like this system better for working with solid wood.