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Thread: Sell Porter 300C 16" jointer and Milwaukee Panel Saw? Replace w/a Festool track saw?

  1. #1

    Sell Porter 300C 16" jointer and Milwaukee Panel Saw? Replace w/a Festool track saw?

    Hello fellow Creekers...

    I recently acquired a used Minimax CU300 combo machine (3 4.8 HP motors) which has a 12" jointer and planer combo as part of the 5 machine/ 3 motor unit. I am delaying my plans to build a much larger shop indefinitely for various personal reasons... I already have a Milwaukee Panel Saw (latest model) and a Porter 300C 3-toed vintage 7.5 hp 3-phase, belt-drive jointer with a 4-knife round 16" cutterhead and an 8' bed in mint condition....it is the "focal point" of my 400 sq. ft. shop......however I am considering selling the 16" jointer and panel saw and replacing these 2 items with a Festool track saw to "free up" much needed floor space.....ANY suggestions would be most appreciated! Space is my biggest problem right now...and the combo machine has the 12" Tersa cuttereads....HELP! THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY AND ALL INPUT!!!!! Btw I also have a Woodmaster 718 with a spiral cutterhead.....too much duplicate function? :-)

  2. #2
    If you had the room, separate machines are very convenient. I like and can get wide boards, so I have the big jointer and planer to process that lumber. I don't use a lot of sheet goods, so a panel saw wouldn't get used enough. I could justify a track saw, but get by with a circular saw with an attached mdf foot riding on a homemade "track".

    I guess a lot of it will depend on what material you use, and space/workflow requirements. A 12" jointer/planer would satisfy many shops buying retail hardwood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Are you sure you will be set for the long haul with the change,maybe find a place to store the Porter till you sure.Might not ever find another if you want to go back.
    I have heard that Porter are right at the top of the heap as far as jointers go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Gary

    I wish I was in your shoes, but I'm glad I'm not.

    I can see the redundancy of having the two jointers, but man those Porter's are beautiful machines. It would kill me to get rid of something like that, but I can see your position. It is a big machine for a small area.

    Trading a Panel Saw for a Track saw is not something I would do. I have the Festool TS-75 with guides. It's nice, believe me, but I'd personally keep that Panel Saw. When in use the Track saw needs at least the footprint area of the sheet your cutting, so I'm not seeing a space savings other than when not in use.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  5. #5
    I too have a CU 300 in a similar size shop. If you are not sure yet try the Minimax before selling but I would do exactly what you are planning. In fact, with the slider you may find you don't need the Festool much but it is nice to have. I have TS55 from before I had a slider. Gets a lot less use now that I have the slider, but still would like to have it as it has its uses. Having nice machines is great, but overcrowded shop is not fun to work in. Couple years ago I got rid of a nearly new drum sander to open up space and no regrets yet.
    Last edited by Frank Martin; 07-21-2015 at 1:19 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2007
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    Keep the porter it's to nice of a machine to part with (I wish I had your problem)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Grant View Post
    Hello fellow Creekers...

    I recently acquired a used Minimax CU300 combo machine (3 4.8 HP motors) which has a 12" jointer and planer combo as part of the 5 machine/ 3 motor unit. I am delaying my plans to build a much larger shop indefinitely for various personal reasons... I already have a Milwaukee Panel Saw (latest model) and a Porter 300C 3-toed vintage 7.5 hp 3-phase, belt-drive jointer with a 4-knife round 16" cutterhead and an 8' bed in mint condition....it is the "focal point" of my 400 sq. ft. shop......however I am considering selling the 16" jointer and panel saw and replacing these 2 items with a Festool track saw to "free up" much needed floor space.....ANY suggestions would be most appreciated! Space is my biggest problem right now...and the combo machine has the 12" Tersa cuttereads....HELP! THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY AND ALL INPUT!!!!! Btw I also have a Woodmaster 718 with a spiral cutterhead.....too much duplicate function? :-)
    Ditch both and make the CU300 the focus of the shop. I'm also at 400 sq ft and it's too small to justify any redundant stationary machinery.

    Would highly recomend either Mafell or Festool tracksaws for sizing down sheet goods.

  8. #8
    It seems like you are downgrading to a 12 inch jointer from a very nice 16 inch and going from a panel saw to a track saw. You'll have to decide if a 12 inch jointer is "enough". I have one that is only 8 5/8 wide and about 3 feet long. I don't use it a lot. It is difficult to use to straighten an edge because it is so short. I know what a panel saw is but I've never used one. I use a DeWalt track saw a lot. It is a different way of working that you'd have to decide if you like. You need a workbench to get the most out of it. Festool sells a MFT but I like the Ron Paulk style better, I think. These take space and are your cutting surface. If you like the idea of using this style workbench and it replaces one you'd otherwise have (my case) then the track saw doesn't take up much space. If you add a workbench, then you are probably not saving space versus the panel saw. There is an interesting piece on the FOG (Festool Owners Group) entitled something like "getting the most out of your mft" by a professional woodworker who works mostly in solid wood. He has converted from conventional workbenches to MFT style workbenches (but bigger) because he thinks it helps him do things faster and better. I'm still trying to find time to finish my new shop (other projects keep getting priority) but will build a workbench with a Ron Paulk style top before too much longer. It will be about 3x7 feet and thus plenty big for cutting up sheet goods. I use a lattice of 1x4s over saw horses at the moment which works but is a long ways from a proper bench.

    I wandered a bit but I think the track saw question comes down to whether you are interested in working a different way. I think the track saw is more versatile but requires you to work differently than stationary tools. I have parallel guides for my DeWalt, for instance, and will have a workbench for it soon. Stationary tools are not so dependent on "add-ons". I also have a router adapter so it can slide on the track (Festool offers this too). I also bought a INCA T-square for marking due to the track saw. When you are cutting to a mark, the accuracy of the saw makes it important that the mark be exactly where you want to cut. So even marking wood had to improve for me to get the most out of the track saw. I don't have space for my old table saw with 60 inch rip capacity so I had no choice but to adapt. I'm enjoying the change for the most part but unless you are willing to work differently, I think you could miss your panel saw. I'm sure you are used to using it and I sometimes miss the tools I didn't move to the new shop for equivalent reasons.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dwight View Post
    It seems like you are downgrading to a 12 inch jointer from a very nice 16 inch and going from a panel saw to a track saw.
    The OP purchased a CU300 which includes either a 5.5' or 8.5' sliding table saw. Really no reason to keep the Milwaukee.

    Unless you plan on making moldings, I'd also sell the Woodmaster.

  10. #10
    I agree with Frank to keep the Porter for now and get familiar with the Minimax. One thing to consider is changing out between jointer and planer. Will it be a hassle going back and forth? Of course with the Porter or Woodmaster, you don't necessarily have to swap functions much.

  11. #11
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    it seems everybody is missing the "400sqf shop" part. How often do you "need" wider than 12" jointer? (this from somebody who has a wider one but also realistically weighs the space vs need question). I'd keep the CU300. Track saw is nice but buy it if you really need it (again, I have a track saw, but don't have a slider).

  12. #12
    Peter,

    I forgot to add I also have a Williams & Hussey variable speed moulder....thanks for your input!

    I am a tool junkie I think!

    Gary

  13. #13
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    If you use enough plywood to have a panel saw in the first place I would keep it unless it's the 8.5 foot cu300. A track saw implies laying sheets down to cut them which takes up space which you probably don't have in a small workshop. My panel saw really makes handling sheet goods easy! Well worth the wall space.

    If you make molding the W-H would cover most needs and is considerably smaller than the Woodmaster. I'd be torn on the jointer, sometimes it's nice to have some equipment just to make you smile.

  14. #14
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    When ever I get plywood pre-cut at the lumber yard or the borg on their panel saws I always have them cut it 1/4" over so I can clean up the cut when I get home on my table saw. Do all panel saws leave as bad a finished cut as the Borg panel saws or does the Borg just run their blades until they are a smooth circle with no teeth?

    If you get good clean cuts on your panel saw I would stay with the panel saw... it should be much quicker than a track saw. If you can't get finish grade cuts on your panel saw a track saw should be an improvement.

    I am fine with and perfectly happy with my 8" jointer. Have you ever face planed a board wider than 12"? If not why do you need the extra 4" of a 16" jointer?... assuming the 12" combo has a reasonably long bed and does a reasonably nice job?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schuch View Post
    When ever I get plywood pre-cut at the lumber yard or the borg on their panel saws I always have them cut it 1/4" over so I can clean up the cut when I get home on my table saw. Do all panel saws leave as bad a finished cut as the Borg panel saws or does the Borg just run their blades until they are a smooth circle with no teeth? If you get good clean cuts on your panel saw I would stay with the panel saw... it should be much quicker than a track saw. If you can't get finish grade cuts on your panel saw a track saw should be an improvement. I am fine with and perfectly happy with my 8" jointer. Have you ever face planed a board wider than 12"? If not why do you need the extra 4" of a 16" jointer?... assuming the 12" combo has a reasonably long bed and does a reasonably nice job?
    Most panel saws do leave finish quality cuts, even my 40 year old Dewalt. Just like any other saw a good blade makes a big difference.

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