Would "The Koolaid" be a good alternative for me?

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 01-09-2011 09:47 PM 1229 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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668 posts in 2848 days

01-09-2011 09:47 PM

I got back to thinking table saw, but now I am wonderingL Would the koolaide perhaps be a good alternative for me, rather than a regular table saw…

Now by koolaide, I mean..but of course… a Festool….

Would it be able to handle things like riping boards? How about making groves(dados w/o a dado head)? How about dinner? lol..

Just a question i figured I would pose…

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 10:06 PM

The Festool saw’s strength is the breaking up of sheet goods on
a job site. Festool doesn’t accept a dado head. It rips sheet goods
pretty well but the smaller saw bogs down in thicker hardwoods
and does not consistently produce a glue-able ripped edge – which
you can get with a table saw set up properly for it. Maybe a Festool/Forrest
combo does a better glue-rip but I wouldn’t bet on it.

I have a bunch of Festool stuff. For portability and dust collection it is great,
but in terms of power and precision it doesn’t out-work stationary machinery.

I found the Festool MFT cross-cutting system too inconsistent for
professional joint cutting use. For installations and job site work it’s
way better than a little portable table saw though.

The squaring relationship of the table parts drifts in and out of
alignment enough that you can’t cut wide tenon shoulders on
it reliably. That’s something you CAN do with a table saw and
a crosscut sled.

I don’t own it but I like the design philosophy of the Eurekazone
stuff in terms of squaring and repeatability. Festool is trying to
catch up with the scrappy Greek guy’s ideas without infringeing
on his patents. The cost of the Festool is substantially higher to
make cabinet parts fast and square, even if you take the saw unit
itself out of the equation and just look at the rails and rail accessories.

View DonH's profile


495 posts in 2839 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 10:10 PM

My approach is to use a band saw for ripping where capacity permits and a table saw for crosscuts. If the ripping width is to great for my band saw I have it rough cut at the lumber supplier and fine tune it at home.

This is a safer approach for ripping in my view. A good bandsaw blade (woodslicer for example) will leave pretty much as good a surface as all but the best of table saw blades. A band saw has no kick back risk and avoids all the other issues that go with a circular saw or its equivalent.


-- DonH Orleans Ontario

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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4146 days

#3 posted 01-10-2011 05:35 AM

I was just using my TS55 to rip some .025” thick poplar stock for my wife to play with some bending and tying shapes. Used my rip jig for it.

I want to build a resaw jig so I can resaw stuff up to just shy of 4” thick (the saw will plunge to just shy of 2”, so I’m thinking my rip jig with a height adjustment and flip the piece, run it through the planer afterwards.

I still want a bandsaw, once I build my bigger shop, but I’ve no desire at all for a tablesaw.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4146 days

#4 posted 01-10-2011 06:47 PM

Okay, a little bit more in the morning when I’ve got time to type a bit more:

That .025” is measured and just a little bit thicker than I was hoping for, if I were smart I’d remake my rip jig from Star Board or HDPE and then temperature and humidity would impact my cuts as much (and my jig would weigh 80 lbs). But generally, I’m accurate on rip width to less than a hundredth of an inch, the piece will move more than that.

I find that I have to think about cuts differently, I can’t just read the woodworking magazines and duplicate their setups. My rip jig is great, but requires a bit of skill for pieces longer than about 5’ (for that I hold the saw and slide the stock, and it’s kinda clumsy), and I have other techniques for rips wider than 4-5”.

The kerf is what it is, the saw won’t take a dado stack. If you made yourself a kerfmaker (links to a bunch on LJ on my blog), or bought the Bridge City Toolworks KM-1, you’d be able to do cross-cut kerfs on the table (I have the older MFT table, I’m told the new one is way way better) with multiple passes, but generally for that stuff I use a router.

I’m not sure what Loren was having issues with with the cross-cuts, I’ve found that I do need to regularly check that my fence is square to my rail ‘cause there’s a little slop in the support on the non-hinge end when you change hight on that, and the fence is only long enough to put the stop on there for 4’ or so cuts. I’m told that this is fixed on the new system. And it’d be tough to use this to do the tenon cut on the narrow side of the stock. unless you were gang cutting a bunch.

I cut my tenons with a router, or use the Domino. If I need a through tenon look I’ll fake it.

I’m a Festool owner and fanatic and have bought into the system, but if you don’t yet have a track saw system, definitely check into the Eurekazone stuff. For one thing, the Festool rail is flexible, which means that I often end up having to find other stock the same thickness to prop up the rail and keep it from twisting.

We got into Festool stuff when my brother-in-law was working in a woodworking tool store. We dropped $3500 or so, and I had my purchase justified when the next time we visited we were hanging out at his shop while his son made an entertainment center for a client. In his home shop he’s got the full-sized Saw Stop and a bunch of other really nice stationary tools, but the tool seeing the most use was a borrowed TF-55 (I believe both he and his son purchased Festool saws shortly thereafter).

A lot of it depends on what you want to do. There are people out there who turn out fantastic amazing stuff using chisels and pull-saws. There are other folks whose primary saw is a bandsaw. There are cuts I can’t make easily that other folks can, and vice-versa. Unless you’ve got a 10,000 square foot shop and unlimited money you’ve got to make trade-offs on what you can build easily, and decide what styles you’re going to work in. You can do a lot in a small space with the Festool stuff.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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