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Anyone using Track Saws?

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Forum topic by mark24 posted 02-17-2009 05:11 PM 1766 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mark24

17 posts in 2850 days


02-17-2009 05:11 PM

Can anyone share any input on track saws? They seem like the would be a good for
cutting sheetgoods, especially if someone has limited space in their shop, possibly even for
a substitute to a table saw. I saw the Dewalt Track Saw at: http://www.dewalt.com/us/tracksaw/
and the Frestool at: http://www.tracksaw.com/ and was very curious.
They are a bit high in price but may be worth it, I dont know. I’m wondering about the accuracy,
ease of use , and quality of the tool and the cuts. Thanks

-- Formula for success: under promise and over deliver. Mark, WI


24 replies so far

View 's profile

593 posts in 3431 days


#1 posted 02-18-2009 01:54 AM

If you watch the last podcast from Marc it’s pretty well summarized there: http://thewoodwhisperer.com/81-dewalt-tracksaw-review/

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Bureaucrat

18337 posts in 3111 days


#2 posted 02-18-2009 05:16 AM

I’m too cheap to go that route. I use my craftsman 7 1/4 circular saw and an eight foot piece of masonite with an oak straight edge.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

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mark24

17 posts in 2850 days


#3 posted 02-18-2009 03:15 PM

Thanks Jojo, That video answered almost all of my questions.

Gary, you are probably right…I bet there is not much difference using a wood straight edge.
I have a pretty tight space in my basement, and thought the Track Saw might be a good solution
for cutting 4×8 sheetgoods. Although, the one issue I see with the track saw would be doing multiple cabinet parts and having them all be uniformly sized and squared.

-- Formula for success: under promise and over deliver. Mark, WI

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PG_Zac

366 posts in 2848 days


#4 posted 02-18-2009 04:02 PM

Mark,
I use the Festool and I’m seriously impressed with the machine and the cut quality and accuracy.

The Festool track comes with a rubber lip that extends out slightly past the actual cut line. Your first cut trims this rubber to the exact cut line. Thereafter, it is simply placing the track’s rubber exactly on your intended cut line, and it is perfect.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

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mark24

17 posts in 2850 days


#5 posted 02-18-2009 04:11 PM

PG-Zac, Thanks for the input….how is it when doing multiple cabinet parts and having them all be uniformly sized and squared? They must have a T-Square for doing crosscuts…right?

-- Formula for success: under promise and over deliver. Mark, WI

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Woodchuck1957

944 posts in 3223 days


#6 posted 02-18-2009 04:28 PM

PSI has a little more affordable version that I wouldn’t mind trying someday, Portable Panel Saw System 2.0

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Steve Maskery

47 posts in 2844 days


#7 posted 02-18-2009 04:35 PM

I use the Festool system and I can vouch for its excellence. The track is non-skid (although you can clamp it if you want to, and the clamps don’t get in the way). I cut all my sheet goods outside on a knock-down table supported on trestles. Some folk I know cut on a sheet of insulation foam.

The best way I know of to ensure that pieces are parallel and the same size is to use a setting gauge. This references off the machined edge of the board and takes into account the width of the track. The back edge of the track is much easier to use as a reference than the rubber strip.

I know that some folk here have my DVD series, perhaps they’d like to share if they made this up?

Cheers
Steve

-- The Complete Tablesaw - http://www.workshopessentials.com

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mark24

17 posts in 2850 days


#8 posted 02-18-2009 04:37 PM

Thanks Woodchuck, youre right, it is a bit cheaper even if I buy the best
saw on the market.

-- Formula for success: under promise and over deliver. Mark, WI

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PG_Zac

366 posts in 2848 days


#9 posted 02-18-2009 04:51 PM

Mark,

I don’t know if they have a T-Square, or what other accessories they have. I just measure and cut.

Two weekends ago, I cut some storage shelves out of 19mm shutter-ply. To make them the same, I cut one exactly to size, and then clamped it to the next piece. I then used the first board as a template to place the track for the next shelf. It worked like a charm.

I believe The Wood Whisperer has recently done a comparison between the Festool and the DeWalt tracksaws. I haven’t seen the video yet, but maybe it can help clear your thinking if you check it out.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

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mark24

17 posts in 2850 days


#10 posted 02-18-2009 04:56 PM

Thanks Steve, looks you and I are both new to LJ’s. Welcome.
Both the Festool and the Dewalt look like very quality tools that I am considering.
A setting gauge like you mentioned would solve the duplication issue. Maybe
a gauge similar to ones for routers.

-- Formula for success: under promise and over deliver. Mark, WI

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Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#11 posted 02-18-2009 07:10 PM

I own the Festool. As a former pro it’s a real money-making tool
to have for installations, angled cuts in ply sheets, and cutting off
doors.

My Festool stuff is not the newest stuff – the major issue I have
with it as a cabinetmaking tool is that it lacks a reliable way to
just index a square cut off an edge and make 90 degree cut –
which is pretty much what cabinetmaking is all about.

The newer Festool stuff has a better protractor than the one
I have but… well – you’d have to buy and try to find out.

In my opinion, from what I’ve seen, the EZsmart saw guide deals
with the basic issues of cabinetmaking better than the Festool -
square cuts every time and repeatability so you can cut up
a kitchen-full of cabinet sides in an hour. The Festool just has
too much “drift” to trust for that sort of thing so you always
have to double-check your cuts.

The Festool has awesome dust collection tho – and the splitter is
a nice feature too.

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Steve Maskery

47 posts in 2844 days


#12 posted 02-18-2009 07:18 PM

Loren
I don’t know if it’s because you ave a older model of te saw, but on mine there is absolutely no drift whatsoever, because the saw plate has adjusters on it so you can eliminate play completely. I do agree with you about the automatically-getting-things-square issue, though, which is why the setting gauge I mention above is such a boon. It may sound smug, but all my cuts are right first time every time!
Cheers
Steve

-- The Complete Tablesaw - http://www.workshopessentials.com

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Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#13 posted 02-18-2009 08:04 PM

I don’t mean drift the way you do – just that you have to
always be attentive. The saw actually holds its settings well,
that’s not the issue. The issue is that setting up the cuts
is something you have to be very attentive with. Any
track-saw will be similar too… just that the right-angle
fixtures for the Festool stuff I own is just not 100%
reliable so it’s necessary to be constantly checking things
with another square.

I’ve done a lot of work with a Festool – and used the newer
stuff too – and I’ve done a lot of work breaking up ply
sheets with a table-saw. If you are doing a whole kitchen
my experience is the tablesaw is easier and faster if you
have the space to do it properly.

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Steve Maskery

47 posts in 2844 days


#14 posted 02-18-2009 09:10 PM

Ah yes, space. It’s definitely the Final Frontier!
S

-- The Complete Tablesaw - http://www.workshopessentials.com

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3045 days


#15 posted 02-18-2009 09:33 PM

I think festool is highly overpriced sorry they won’t get my poppyLOLAlistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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