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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
DGK
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Default Track Saws

I'm going to build a small shop over the winter 10' X 20' (ish), so I have been doing a lot window shopping and internet surfing looking at the various tools. Tack saws have recently made their way to the top of my list of things to research, but I don't personally know anyone who has one, or has ever used one for that matter.

The 2 saw sets I have looked closest at are...

Makita SP6000K1 Plunge Circular Saw ($375.00)

Festool TS 55 EQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw ($500.00)

I'm getting a little older now and muscling sheets of ply through a table saw is something that I try to avoid. I have a simple home made saw guide that I get good results with, but there is always room for improvement, and the track saws seem to fit the bill for what I want.

I've watched the videos and read the reviews, but since they appear to be so similar, I still haven't been able develop a preference for either. Any input on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2010, 11:00 PM
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Hi Donnie

My shop made Track System works very well for me, I also use my router on the same track system but it didn't cost me 300.oo to 500.oo dollars, just about 50.oo bucks or so..

======

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I'm going to build a small shop over the winter 10' X 20' (ish), so I have been doing a lot window shopping and internet surfing looking at the various tools. Tack saws have recently made their way to the top of my list of things to research, but I don't personally know anyone who has one, or has ever used one for that matter.

The 2 saw sets I have looked closest at are...

Makita SP6000K1 Plunge Circular Saw ($375.00)

Festool TS 55 EQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw ($500.00)

I'm getting a little older now and muscling sheets of ply through a table saw is something that I try to avoid. I have a simple home made saw guide that I get good results with, but there is always room for improvement, and the track saws seem to fit the bill for what I want.

I've watched the videos and read the reviews, but since they appear to be so similar, I still haven't been able develop a preference for either. Any input on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 12:35 AM
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I have the same problem with big stuff. I bought a Festool TS 55 EQ a few months back, and have been delighted with it. I like the way the plunge depth is set, and the fact that it has a riving knife, as well. I bought it with the dust extractor (CT 33) bundle. The dust extractor (vacuum) works very well with the saw. Although expensive, I think it's worth the price differential. (I no longer chuckle at the Festoolers.)

For sheet goods, you'll probably want both the short and long guide rails, along with a set of rail clamps, along with a blade assortment, extra zero-clearance inserts, etc. Whether you buy into the other Festool goodies is up to you.

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Last edited by Ralph Barker; 10-26-2010 at 12:38 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yea BJ, I am usually more inclined to build my own stuff, but I stumbled across these saws while looking at bits and pieces to build a verticle panel saw. I have also seen the various guides such as the one you have there, but I think the thing that sold me on the idea of the Festool and Makita systems is the ease of set up... just lay the track on the marks and cut. Maybe I'm just getting lazy.

That said, with my home made guide, the edge of the guide is also the edge of the cut line, but it has no track for the saw to ride in and I do get a wave in the cut from time to time when I let the saw get a little out of square with the guide. With some heavier material and aluminum track I can remedy that though.

I will be cutting a lot of 3/4" cabinet grade ply sheets, so this option is on the table for now.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 03:51 AM
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You could just modify your current set up to be very similar to a track saw.
I once made one with a strip of ply that I routed a dado into along the length and then glued a small rectangular aluminium 'u' profile into the dado so it protruded 2-3 mm above the surface. I then made a zero clearance base for my circular saw that had a dado in it that fit snuggly over the aluminium on the guide.
You run the saw along to cut off the excess from the guide and from then on, the cut line is the edge of the guide.
The only down side is that you no longer have a blade guard because the sub base stops it from working. There probably is away around that.

I don't have any pictures of it, but it's not hard to imagine.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 09:28 AM
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HI Donnie

The one I made works just like the Festool track saw ,I just drop the track down and it's locked in the track with the Alum.angle part , can't get off track with the cut, it's almost a hands free job,I just push the saw forward and the track will do all the work..

I'm not sure what it is with Festool they only have one price tag for most of the equipment they sale ..500.oo dollars ..

Festool TS 55 EQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw

========

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Originally Posted by DGK View Post
Yea BJ, I am usually more inclined to build my own stuff, but I stumbled across these saws while looking at bits and pieces to build a verticle panel saw. I have also seen the various guides such as the one you have there, but I think the thing that sold me on the idea of the Festool and Makita systems is the ease of set up... just lay the track on the marks and cut. Maybe I'm just getting lazy.

That said, with my home made guide, the edge of the guide is also the edge of the cut line, but it has no track for the saw to ride in and I do get a wave in the cut from time to time when I let the saw get a little out of square with the guide. With some heavier material and aluminum track I can remedy that though.

I will be cutting a lot of 3/4" cabinet grade ply sheets, so this option is on the table for now.



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http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-n...RWaEpMA/videos

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gav View Post
You could just modify your current set up to be very similar to a track saw.
I once made one with a strip of ply that I routed a dado into along the length and then glued a small rectangular aluminium 'u' profile into the dado so it protruded 2-3 mm above the surface. I then made a zero clearance base for my circular saw that had a dado in it that fit snuggly over the aluminium on the guide.
You run the saw along to cut off the excess from the guide and from then on, the cut line is the edge of the guide.
The only down side is that you no longer have a blade guard because the sub base stops it from working. There probably is away around that.

I don't have any pictures of it, but it's not hard to imagine.
Gav,
Great minds.....etc.
I built mine sorta like that, too. My Channel is a T channel and the insert is bolted to the saw plate.
Pretty darned accurate, too.

BJ, That's a sweet router/saw guide set up.

Gene Howe
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 01:35 PM
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Donnie, if you are looking at track saw systems don't forget that deWalt, Hilti and Mafell sell them with plunging saws (although the Hilti doesn't have a sprung return). I've got the Hilti system myself (uses the self same rails as Festool) and I find it a real time saver for carving-up sheet stock. It's also the best and fastest way I've ever found to trim a door to fit an opening - both in length and width. They have other uses, though. When I'm installing kitchens with inset sinks my Hilti is used to do most of the cutout (the corners need to be finished with a jigsaw), in fact for any cut-out which would otherwise require either a lot of jigsawing or doing a drop-on cut on the table saw the track saw is both more accurate and safer. If you do decide to buy-in a track system it's worth remembering that the rail will also work with some routers (especially Festools) and is a great way to produce faux T&G wainscotting, etc. I've used the system to produce just such panelling on commercial jobs when the CNC shop didn't deliver
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2010, 02:11 PM
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Thanks Gene

It's not high end but it works, I like to use the router one on high end plywood that stuff is not cheap now days and the router will cut it very clean..

=====

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Gav,
Great minds.....etc.
I built mine sorta like that, too. My Channel is a T channel and the insert is bolted to the saw plate.
Pretty darned accurate, too.

BJ, That's a sweet router/saw guide set up.



"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-27-2010, 02:39 AM
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Not sure if you can get these in the U.S, but Wolfcraft make a saw guide that has a sub base that fits to your saw. There's also an extension available for it.

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