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Forum topic by WoodNSawdust posted 03-23-2015 02:56 PM 1974 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 642 days


03-23-2015 02:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: track saws

I have been using a homemade saw glide of a piece of wood for the saw to ride on and a second piece that the side of the saw’s base is pushed against. Although this does a pretty good job in cutting small pieces of sheet goods, way too often while trying to rip a sheet of plywood in half I can’t reach well enough to hold the saw tightly against the guide and the saw wanders off the cut line.

I am considering upgrading to a track saw of some type. I can’t afford the Festool one! At times I see the Grizzly track saw on sale. Which economy version do you recommend? I need to rip and crosscut sheet goods. I would like to get one that has a reasonable priced replacement blade.

Thanks in Advance

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith


21 replies so far

View Peteyb's profile

Peteyb

131 posts in 2021 days


#1 posted 03-23-2015 07:40 PM

I took the plunge saved up money and broke the piggy bank and bought Festool. I had always that it was way to expensive to every own any of this equipment. I can’t believe how wrong I was. I bought the TS 55 with the 36 dust collector and have had it for only a couple of weeks and love it. I can’t believe how easy it is to use and set up. You get perfect cuts all the time. I can now see why they say people don’t even need a table saw if they buy Festool. It is just that good and easy to use.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3947 posts in 1959 days


#2 posted 03-23-2015 08:03 PM

I have the Festool, but I bought it before the Dewalt came out. The Dewalt has some features I really like (lower price, and a bi directional track. The Grizzly is made by Sheppach (I think) so I’d imagine it’s a servicable saw as well. But alos look at the one that’s out now by Triton. May still be too expensive for you, but it’s less than Festool.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Dj1225's profile

Dj1225

57 posts in 1686 days


#3 posted 03-23-2015 08:03 PM

Well I have the Festool and I really like it. Recently I saw a Triton version that looked OK. Dewalt also makes one, as does Makita.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Makita-12-Amp-6-1-2-in-Plunge-Circular-Saw-with-55-in-Guide-Rail-and-Case-SP6000J1/204338179?cm_mmc=Shopping%7cG%7cBase%7cPLA%7cD25T%7cPowerTools&gclid=CjwKEAjw876oBRCYr86w6KGfpkgSJAACIidwlXyaa4knfmo4oLF_I43YKMX94P5rgxiMylewX7KrphoCTdvw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

http://www.infinitytools.com/Triton-Track-Saw-With-Track-Pack-Clamps/productinfo/116-279/?gclid=CjwKEAjw876oBRCYr86w6KGfpkgSJAACIidwxx823AtACEg0a7NBAgMF8SBdtnbIkuN3cmzmFzaDQBoC6JHw_wcB

I think the Triton would be the way I would go, if I could not spring for a Festool, as I expect their router would also work nicely with the track of their saw.

You need to keep in mind that Festool is a system, and you can grow with it. Some of these products from other companies may or may not be around down the road if you need or want to add something.

There is no doubt Festool is a premium, but it is a one and done purchase with good product support.

Good luck on your purchase.

-- Dave

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7178 posts in 2043 days


#4 posted 03-23-2015 09:50 PM

Ripping an 8’ length will be problematic with any track saw

unless you clamp it properly. I had the same problem as WoodnSawdust

the solution seem to be to clamp a center support to keep the track saw

from wandering.

HTH

View HarveyM's profile

HarveyM

92 posts in 1488 days


#5 posted 03-23-2015 10:22 PM

I have the Festool, but (from reading) I’d check out the Dewalt or Makita. Again from reading, the Sheppach needs some tweaking to work well. You can read a recent comparison here:
http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/track-saw-review/

-- Just a Duffer

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 2783 days


#6 posted 03-23-2015 11:47 PM

I have the Eurekazone system, using my own Makita 5008MGA. Makes fantastic cuts with no length limitations.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#7 posted 03-23-2015 11:55 PM

I went the cheep route and bought a track saw made my Scheppach. WOOT! had it one day for $129 delivered. I just couldn’t pass it up. Since then, I have added a couple of pieces of Grizzly track so now I have the two 25 inch pieces that came with the saw and two 55 inch pieces that I got from Grizzly.

Note: The grizzly saw is the same as the Scheppach, just different color scheme.

I used it today to rip a straight edge on some 4/4 Walnut.

The Festool is really nice but it is out of my price range three fold. :-)

4/4 hard maple. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View SteveT's profile

SteveT

22 posts in 709 days


#8 posted 03-23-2015 11:56 PM


I took the plunge saved up money and broke the piggy bank and bought Festool. I had always that it was way to expensive to every own any of this equipment. I can t believe how wrong I was. I bought the TS 55 with the 36 dust collector and have had it for only a couple of weeks and love it. I can t believe how easy it is to use and set up. You get perfect cuts all the time. I can now see why they say people don t even need a table saw if they buy Festool. It is just that good and easy to use.

- Peteyb

I have been seeing more track saws and am curious about them. How does a track saw replace a table saw for repeatable widths? Don’t you have to set the width of cut everytime?

Steve

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2537 days


#9 posted 03-24-2015 12:00 AM

way too often while trying to rip a sheet of plywood in half I can t reach well enough to hold the saw tightly against the guide and the saw wanders off the cut line.

I think if this is your problem, a track saw won’t necessarily improve the situation. Right now you have to exert additional force against the zero-clearance circular saw guide, but if you had a commercially-manufactured track saw you would have to exert at least that amount of force to keep the saw plunged. In both cases, if you are just barely keeping control of the saw, you’re not operating the saw safely.

If your problem is blade drift, double-check whether you’re using the appropriate type of blade for the type of cut you’re making. Don’t use a fine-tooth crosscut blade for a deep rip cut.

If you just aren’t good at keeping the saw pressed against the guide/fence, you can cut a groove lengthwise into your guide and attach a matching runner to the baseplate of your saw, or vise-versa.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#10 posted 03-24-2015 12:03 AM

I took the plunge saved up money and broke the piggy bank and bought Festool. I had always that it was way to expensive to every own any of this equipment. I can t believe how wrong I was. I bought the TS 55 with the 36 dust collector and have had it for only a couple of weeks and love it. I can t believe how easy it is to use and set up. You get perfect cuts all the time. I can now see why they say people don t even need a table saw if they buy Festool. It is just that good and easy to use.

- Peteyb

I have been seeing more track saws and am curious about them. How does a track saw replace a table saw for repeatable widths? Don t you have to set the width of cut everytime?

Steve

- SteveT

I use mine to break down sheet goods.
And, as pictured, I use it to rip a straight edge on rough material that has bowed edges.
I have also used it to cut two pieces to the same exact length.

I never intended for it to replace my table saw, just make the materials easier to work with.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 2783 days


#11 posted 03-24-2015 12:04 AM

http://www.eurekazone.com/product_p/ezuegsb1.htm

There’s a video on that page that might help.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2537 days


#12 posted 03-24-2015 12:07 AM


I have been seeing more track saws and am curious about them. How does a track saw replace a table saw for repeatable widths? Don t you have to set the width of cut everytime?

Steve

You can buy parallel guides that attach to the rail. The parallel guides register against the edge of the material to allow you to make repeatable cuts.

There certainly are many tasks that can be done on a table saw which cannot be easily replicated solely with a track saw. At the very least, the track saw sometimes requires additional accessories or guides. But then again, you need a jigs or fixtures for a lot of operations on the table saw.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2533 days


#13 posted 03-24-2015 12:40 AM

I did as you for a long time. I had a clamping straitedge and used a PC CS with Forrest WWII 7 1/4” blade. Worked ok and made great finish cuts, but was a pain to set up and all the double checking prior to the cuts etc.

Then I made the decision to get the FEstool TS55 combo with CT33 vac.

WOW what a diff. Breaking down sheet goods is not bad at all now! It’s expensive, but you will have it forever and will wonder how you did without.

I recommend getting a 2” sheet (4×8) of insulation from lowes and use that as a resting spot for your panel. I lay mine on the floor, and put the ply on top and lay the rail down and just cut. Works great and then just lean it against the wall when you don’t need it.

Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View SawdustTX's profile

SawdustTX

240 posts in 1790 days


#14 posted 03-24-2015 05:14 AM

I was looking at the DeWalt, but couldn’t stomach the cost (and the Festool – that’s crazy money by my standards, but to each his own).

After seeing a demo and getting my hands on it at the Woodworker’s show, I bought the TrueTrac system. http://www.insighttoolworks.com/

I found a very clean used Porter Cable 347 on eBay, bolted them together per the directions, and now I have a system I’m very happy with for less than $300 total cost (cuts up to 8’ boards). Stays where you put it, has zero clearance “inserts” for clean cuts, and it’s really smooth. For me, I can live without the dust pickup capabilities of the more expensive saws, and use that extra $500 for an entire dust collector!

If you search on LJ for TrueTrac, you’ll find additional references to it.

View barada83's profile

barada83

76 posts in 652 days


#15 posted 03-24-2015 03:39 PM

Was in the same boat. Undertaking a kitchen cabinet project so breaking down LOTS of plywood in the garage versus lugging huge and heavy sheets down stairs and tight corners to the basement workshop. I went with Grizzly for the track saw.
My extremely brief review is as follows:
Arrived nicely, bought the larger one with the kit and enough track to cut a full length of standard plywood. I didn’t like the quality of the blade so I immediately upgraded with a Freud track saw blade although Infinity tools has track saw blades I likely would have gone with.
Power: Acceptable but nowhere near the power of my dewalt circular saw. Doesn’t blow the 15A circuit with the shopvac, which is a bonus. I think the dewalt circular saw would have. The track clamps down nicely, the rubber and blade combo resulted in very minimal chipping. The dust collection is not perfect but very little fine dust and minimal dust on the surface. After 2 plywood sheet cutting and 2 hours of sawing, I had less than a dustpan, probably a cup total of sawdust remnants. The cuts were straight, speed was acceptable. Overall, perhaps not the best tool in the world but I would recommend for someone like myself- a semi-pro hobbyist with a table saw in the basement who wants to rip sheet goods accurately, with minimal difficulty, in less than ideal conditions, and who has more time than money.

-- Mike

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