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Thread: Format Sliding Saw- Outrigger function and use.

  1. #1

    Format Sliding Saw- Outrigger function and use.

    Okay, I worked in the trades. I saved my pennies for a very long time and bought a half-swing format (5 foot slide) sliding table saw. I always liked how they 10 footers worked but of course don't have that much room in my personal shop. I tried to adapt my own cabinet saws to have the same functionality, until I bought one for myself.

    I bought my new saw with an outrigger table and swing arm. Of course there is a 3 month lead time for one of these custom saws, built to the order. Shipped via container from Europe...Well the customer before me was not ready for receiving (thinking he didn't have the money ready( and mine was paid upfront... so they shipped my saw, with a staggered shipment of the accessories.

    That's the background. To make a long story real short, they had a clearance problem with the swing arm and told me they were going to cut the swing arm shorter to clear. Since I also do welding fabrication, I told them I didn't care if mine was too long, I could make it work. I told them repeatedly, that my main concern was that The saws of that type (10 footers) I've used you could move the outrigger to any spot on the slider and use it, that my main concern with cutting the length of the swing arm was that it still needed to be long enough to use the outrigger at the front of the sliding table. They assured me that there was still plenty of length there for that.

    Shipped and received. Was missing pieces/hardware to mount the swing arm to the saw, the outrigger to the slider and to use the crosscut fence to the outrigger table. I went out and bought my own hardware to mount the swing arm to the saw frame. Problem Houstin- with the slider against the front stops, the oturigger on stands where it would be at the forward position on the slider (remember, missing hardware), the swing arm extended to full extension, it is 12-1/2" shy in length for that to work...

    Their techs are now saying I "have the outrigger on the wrong end" of the slider. Remember I have experience with other European saws with outrigger tables... (Altendorf, Martin, Felder, SCMi, Watkins...) and my experience "was" that an outrigger should be able to move to any position on the slider, work put to the front or rear of the crosscut fence depending on workpiece and what you need to do...

    AM I wrong? Seems to me, that this outrigger is crippled in function (by 50%) by the now limited length/travel of their swing arm. The outrigger has the 2 pivot points and angle scales to mount the crosscut fence to the front and back of the outrigger table....

  2. #2
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    Does this issue occur when the frame table is at the far (away from the operator) end of the slider or when the frame table is about midway in the slider, or just if you place it at the near end (closest to you if you are at the tail end of the slider)?

    Just want to make sure I understand the issue clearly.

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA

  3. #3
    Just in near end position. In the middle position with the arm at 90 from the saw, the inside end of the swing arm extension is still 14-1/2' from the DC port where "they" said they were having clearance problems. They had a frame chage, were the DC port was at the right of the right right corner of the frame... and is now at the rear of the same corner... So they said they needed to cut length off the swing arm extension to clear it. If that "was" the clearance point they were having problems with, then it looks like they cut over 15" of length from that tube.

    Since that DC port is angled away from the left rear corner of the frame where the swing arm mounts, at the rear of the left-rear corner, I suggested that they wouldn't need shim the swing arm pivot mount much (a simple adapter) for it to get clearance without sacrificing proportional length of that arm. I also told them, that if need be, I cut the DC port out and move it wherever I wanted to, if that was the only problem. Have as much fabrication tools as I have for woodworking.

    EDIT for Eric -- Clearity for you in your words. Standing at front of saw. Sliding Table slid towards me against the near stops. Outrigger in near end of slider. Swing arm stops 12-1/2" shy/short of allowing connecting to it's swing arm support pin mount in the outrigger table... The outrigger would only be able to shift 12-1/2" shy of the near end of the sliding table near end, where both would be against their respective stops. Basically meaning the swing arm is too short to use the outrigger on the near end.
    Last edited by Mike Ferreira; 07-18-2013 at 3:23 PM.

  4. #4
    I have about an hour before I go on a conference call with my rep and their tech. Just seems to me, I should be able to use the outrigger as it was designed, as I have used with other saws of that type, without limitations. This vendor's outrigger/swing arm is more expensive than other vendors for their saws, but their tech is implying to me that it should only have half the potential functionality? Something just seems wrong to me with that line of thought.

    Just needed some advice if my thinking was correct or that I was expecting too much.
    Last edited by Mike Ferreira; 07-18-2013 at 3:32 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Ferreira View Post
    EDIT for Eric -- Clearity for you in your words. Standing at front of saw. Sliding Table slid towards me against the near stops. Outrigger in near end of slider. Swing arm stops 12-1/2" shy/short of allowing connecting to it's swing arm support pin mount in the outrigger table... The outrigger would only be able to shift 12-1/2" shy of the near end of the sliding table near end, where both would be against their respective stops. Basically meaning the swing arm is too short to use the outrigger on the near end.
    Ok, got it.

    Mike, that is actually normal, assuming I understand you right. The reason why the telescopic arm "stops short" of the full throw of the slider in the near position is because the pivoting point is located on the far end of the machine. It is designed this way because honestly, there is no point to having the frame table all the way at the rear of the slider when smaller crosscuts can just as easily be done with it in the middle of the slider and use less stroke of the machine's slider. Yes, theoretically you could manufacture a swing arm and frame table that would allow this position but it would be impractical, since the swing arm would stick out way past the end of the chassis when it was tucked against the machine and also, the frame table would be really huge in order to accomodate this.

    I don't know, maybe Altendorf makes a saw that can do this but I can tell you that on all the SCMi stuff nd most every other slider I have used, it is like I am describing. if you don't mind me asking, why would you want to make a cut where you had the frame table in that position? I'm not giving you a hard time or questioning your experience, just trying to understand your thinking.

    Thanks,

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA

  6. #6
    front for lumber, rear for plywood- it seems to me also that the outrigger needs to be usable front and back.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    Ok, got it.

    Mike, that is actually normal, assuming I understand you right. The reason why the telescopic arm "stops short" of the full throw of the slider in the near position is because the pivoting point is located on the far end of the machine. It is designed this way because honestly, there is no point to having the frame table all the way at the rear of the slider when smaller crosscuts can just as easily be done with it in the middle of the slider and use less stroke of the machine's slider. Yes, theoretically you could manufacture a swing arm and frame table that would allow this position but it would be impractical, since the swing arm would stick out way past the end of the chassis when it was tucked against the machine and also, the frame table would be really huge in order to accomodate this.

    I don't know, maybe Altendorf makes a saw that can do this but I can tell you that on all the SCMi stuff nd most every other slider I have used, it is like I am describing. if you don't mind me asking, why would you want to make a cut where you had the frame table in that position? I'm not giving you a hard time or questioning your experience, just trying to understand your thinking.

    Thanks,

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA
    Well explained Erik! My Felder with a 9' slider does the same thing, I cannot have the outrigger at the front of the slider or the swing arm will hit the saw body. Not sure why you would need the outrigger there anyway? Good luck and let us know how it turns out for you.
    A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

  8. #8
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    I uploaded some pics to hopefully better explain wha I am talking about. This is the "standard" position of the frame table and crosscut fence for ripping panels on a long slider....




    Here is the farthest back I would ever secure the frame table and outrigger on the slider, for cross-cutting panels. Approximately the midway position of the slider (though I would ordinarily position the crosscut fence on the near side of the frame table, rather than the far side)...




    ..if you look at the bottom photo, you can see how the telescopic arm is getting very far extended even at this halfway point, which is typical for most sliders (in my experience). Again, the point being that why make a cut at the near end that you can just as easily make in the middle and use a lot less throw of the sliding table? I'm not trying to lecture anyone or tell anyone how or how not to make a cut, just explaining why the Europeans engineer things a certain way. Hope this helps clarify.

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA

  9. #9
    I guess I am professionally used to other bigger format saws where the frame of the saw is a "T" shape, where the top of the "T" shape is under the sliding table. Of course on large format saws in a large shop, there is more work room. This one (Laguna TSS) is a square shaped frame. I guess there is a TSS 9' that is a "T" shaped frame (although I don't really see that offered anywhere) where this swing arm is an adaptation of that model.

    In the middle of writing this, that call occurred, which paralleled your comments. Thank you.

    Why? Some physical limitations and adaptability to situations. Disabled Vet. Since my service, then working a lifetime as a Finish Carpenter, Master Carpenter, Millwork and Cabinet Maker, Furniture... things have caught up with me physically. I've had 4 knee surgeries, shoulder surgery, broke my back twice, neck broken once, 5 strokes. Although I try to ignore it and try to work through it, sometimes I feel more comfortable pushing the work with a fence where I can see that it is flush to it (near) than pushing the work into a fence at the far end. I don't let things limit myself from what I want to do. I try to make myself adapt to what I need to do and how I can do that. This saw was a semi-retirement present to myself.

  10. #10
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    Good luck, Mike.

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA

  11. #11
    Thanks Eric. A change in my thinking and approach. Solved.

  12. #12
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    Mke, my Knapp 78" is the same way as is the big SCMI. I like a fence in the near position for hardwood so I use a shorter self supporting fence in that position. Is that an option for you? On the SCMI I bought a used outrigger, cut it down and drilled holes to lighten it. Now I leave both tables on all the time and use whatever works. Might not be an option for you. Hope you find one. Dave

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Ferreira View Post
    Thanks Eric. A change in my thinking and approach. Solved.
    Mike, this is the slider in our shop. One device which really makes a huge difference is a short fence for parallel cutting. You might already be aware of this or even have one. Ours is a Jointech Clincher (discontinued, I believe...) though I am sure there are other options...



    My colleague Sam (who owns the machine) also outfitted the crosscut fence with aftermarket digital readouts from Siko and that really saved time when changing cuts. The other thing which comes to mind as a time/ step saver would be pneumatic hold down clamps, like Airtight's. I am not sure if posting links is allowed here so I won't do that but you can PM me if you like. I am not disabled but do have a permanently damaged rotator cuff and humping 3/4" panels is tough for me as well, so anything which can save a step or prevent me from having to cut twice is a good thing.

    Best,

    Erik Loza
    Minimax USA

  14. #14
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    Second the pneumatic clamp recommendation. Best design and most flexible out there. Sam's solution is way more elegant than mine. Dave

  15. #15
    Erik- Just talked with my pal in the UK, a fellow joiner. He said he agrees with my perspective and all the saws he owned or used was able to used anywhere on the sliding table... Quoting him:
    This allows you to use two different cutting techniques; the traditional crosscut fence at the back arrangement where the fence is set-up at the rear of the outrigger and the outrigger is set to the middle or rear of the sliding table section; and the "continental" set-up where the crosscut fence is set-up to the front of the outrigger and the outrigger is then positioned between the middle and the front of the sliding table.
    He said he also prefers to cut in the forward position except for doing miters. But these days he's mostly doing CNC for folks.

    I've been toying with fabricating a parallel fence. I like the design pictured. Wish you had a closeup of that discontinued one... (hint). Like I said, I'm pretty handy and can fabricate almost anything I put my mind to.

    David- Yes a shorter table and fence at the front is an option for me... One which I ordered in the original order- a positive stop miter table, which I'm just going to leave up front. It's still taking that scenic tour in a container on a slow ship still bound for our shores... About a month yet before the rest of my order gets here. Also in that container is my other fence and the mobility kit. I opted for some extra manual table clamps and I made fabricated some table toggle clamps... but I held off on pneumatic clamps for now. The ones I've looked at so far seem are very pricey for what they "really" are.

    I've been working with "someone" on making a professional looking digital rip fences that will mount OEM to European styled saws. His other offerings just looked too patched in to me. I think we have some good ideas to try out on that. I've already got a digital crosscut fence head that I fabricated and 2 different laser cutting guides (portable/battery powered and 110 wired in). And I adapted Peachtree's Uni-T-Fence extrusion to work on European fence heads. I do have a Felder fence adapted and several extrusions for use as accessory fences.
    Last edited by Mike Ferreira; 07-18-2013 at 11:30 PM.

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