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Thread: Pondering acquiring a tracksaw

  1. #31
    No, it is set up for a DeWalt or a PC 690/890 series router.

  2. #32
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    In light of the great information provided on track saws. I have started to reconsider my plan to purchase a miter saw (actually the Bosch Glide Miter Saw). Top on my list is the Dewalt or the EZSmart system. Festool costs too much, Grizzly rated as OK, and the others didn't have much information. I still need to find one I can touch and would be great to demo.

    The EZSmart bridge and table looks like it could be set up to do almost all of what the miter saw can do. Or am I way off base?

    Can the EZSmart bridge be used on the Dewalt or does Dewalt make something similar?

  3. #33
    Maximum usefulness of a track saw requires a workbench of some sort. Festool sells their MFT. If you go to the FOG (Festool Owners Group) you can see and get plans for a rolling MFT. It could be used with other tracksaws as could a MFT. I like Ron Paulk's ideas. He sells plans for a modest fee. He has plans for a crosscut adapter for his workbench. I won't make exactly a Paulk workbench but I plan a rolling worktable with a top based upon his ideas. This is a video of Ron cutting up plywood for some cabinets on his workbench using a Festool saw, parallel guide, and his crosscut jig:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtzoPUMOhZU

    Instead of a cross cut jig, some people use bench dogs.

  4. #34
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    I'm thinking a wall mounted bench could fold down flatter than one with a miter saw. ie., more floor space in the shop.

    Anything I wouldn't be able to use a tracksaw for that I would need a miter saw for or anything I will miss by not having a mitersaw? Given that I also have a tablessaw and bandsaw.
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 09-23-2015 at 3:53 PM.

  5. #35
    Anthony,

    While I think everybody would appreciate a track saw if they tried one I also think most people need at least one CMS. I have two. But I have no slider. I have a RAS. And a table saw.

    The big thing the CMS is best for is molding. Trimming a house. In the shop, for crosscuts within the capacity of my 12 inch CMS, I use it first. If it is a foot or less by greater than 8 inches, it is RAS. If it is more than a foot, I use the track saw. Ripping is pretty much the same. Wide rips particularly of long heavy stock are done on the track saw. Little narrow rips on the table saw. It isn't that the track saw will not work on small pieces, usually you could use it. But it gets inconvenient when the wood pieces are small. Imagine cutting 45s on quarter round on a track saw. It's not that it can't do it. But it wouldn't be my first choice tool for quarter round. Simpler to dial up the angle and use the CMS.

    Jim

  6. #36
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    I would never use my track saw as a miter saw. The setup for a cut would be way to slow. I don't use my miter saw that much because it is cheap and not that accurate. I use it to build decks, fences, and house trim. I would hate to try to cut a 45 on a piece of quarter round. Crown moulding would be another pita. All my critical miters are done on the table saw. A track saw is not a substitute for a table saw either
    Last edited by Cary Falk; 09-23-2015 at 5:22 PM.

  7. #37
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    I have shop renovations on the to do list for this winter which might provide some space for a SCMS, but not much. What I really need is a quicker way to square the end of a long piece of lumber. Right now I have to get out two sawhorses, carry them outside, setup them, dig out the circular, find an extension cord, get the saw guides, measure twice, cut one. 1 cut=15 minutes. Definitely need to speed that up.

    I am thinking of the EZSmart bridge mounted to a fold-down table on the wall. The edge of the track should be (if I understand correctly) the cut line, analogous to the laser on a miter saw. I would agree that without the bridge it would be way slow to keep picking up the track, putting down the track, picking up the next piece of lumber, picking up the track, putting down the track, align the track, fetch the saw, and make the cut (heck it even took a long time to type).

    I could be missing the ability to cut a miter on a long piece of stock. Cutting the trim for a door on a tablesaw could be quite cumbersome. But I don't cut miters on 6-8' stock often. Rarely enough I'm not worried about it. I don't do crown molding often enough to worry about that either. I do have access to borrow a SCMS if I need one. Cutting miters in shorter stock could easily be done on the tablesaw.

    Other than speed, I not thinking there is much difference in how I would use a RAS vs the track saw and bridge. Both cut straight lines. (sorry to simplify the function) I don't looking to replace the saws I have. Both the tracksaw and the Bosch SCMS cost about the same. If I can get 80-90% of the functionality of a SCMS from the tracksaw, or more importantly 100% of the ways I would use a SCMS out of the tracksaw. Then I get to buy one tool (tracksaw) instead of two. So I am looking for what a SCMS can do that a combination of tablesaw, bandsaw, and tracksaw cannot. So far I will be missing the ability to easily cut miters on long stock. Any other brainstorms?

  8. #38
    Anthony,

    I think there's a bit of confusion from your questions re a miter saw. My EZ track system does what a CHOP saw does, only much better & safer. It will also cut standard miters, of course, and I use it a lot for larger stuff. However, for something needing real precision, like a picture frame, and for compound miters, even the EZ-ONE table is not the optimal tool for that. The Festool saw would likely be a little better as it has a very nice bevel adjustment, but it's still the wrong tool.

    For any precision miter, and compound cuts, I used my beloved Nobex Pro (AKA "Champion") hand miter saw. It's much easier to get a precision cut than with anything else, including powered toys. No noise, no sawdust, and you can really see what you're doing.

    It's also a good idea to have a shooting board & plane, if you're after REAL precision.
    Last edited by Allan Speers; 09-23-2015 at 11:08 PM.

  9. #39
    As much as I've enjoyed my Eurekazone track system I'll second what Allan said. Its not a substitute for a nice compound miter saw. I have a Craftsman sliding compound miter saw (gift from wife) and I'm glad I have it.

  10. #40
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    I don't know about confusion. I agree with everything you said, Allen (including the comment about the "cordless" miter saw). I stop by Rockler on the way home for a touchy-feely session. They have the Dewalt, Triton, and EZSmart systems all on display and out to play with. I didn't see much difference between the Triton and Dewalt saws. I even tried the Dewalt on the EZSmart track. Surprisingly it fits, bit only has about 1/4" cutting depth. They had an EZSmart system setup and while looking at it I realized something critical. I did not take into account the length of the track (54") when thinking about using it as a chop saw. That makes for a REALLY deep workbench or distance from the wall. Not really a space savings while unfolded. One option would be to by a piece of track and cut it in half . I think I need to think about this plan some more and review the accessories available for the Dewalt vs. EZSmart.

  11. #41
    My non-slider double bevel 12 inch CMS will cross cut 8 inches or a little more. I would use it to square a 2x8 anytime versus a track saw, even with a crosscut jig. You have to adjust the height of the track over the wood which is a step you do not have with the CMS. I bought my Hitachi for about $150. It was reconditioned. If your construction cuts are on 2x8s or less, you don't need a slider, a CMS which is less expensive and more accurate, would do fine and not be nearly as expensive. You would need some sort of base for it unless you want to cut on the floor so that would take up space. It sounds like that could be an issue.

    From what I read, the Eurekazone will also not really be adequate to crosscut 2X lumber unless you get something more than the normal 7 1/4 inch saw. You need on the order of 1 3/4 inch depth of cut because the construction material will not be consistently flat and if you don't go through significantly you will have to use a knife or another saw to finish it. 8 inch or bigger circular saws are more rare and expensive. The only other thing I would say about that option is I see a really big difference between my track saw and my circular saw (a Milwaukee). The track saw has circuitry to maintain a constant blade speed and has variable speed. I care about the constant speed a lot more but the variable may be nice some day. Blade changes are much easier on the tracksaw. It seems to run quieter and with less vibration. None of this is the fault of Eurekazone. I think the people who like the Eurekazone like circular saws. I like them OK but I think my plunge cut tracksaw is just a much nicer saw more consistent with making cabinets and furniture. My circular saw is better for cutting up framing materials freehand. But you could argue a Eurekazone system is more versatile since you could use the circular saw both on and off that system. I use a speed square to square construction lumber unless I use one of the CMSs. Cut can be made by putting the wood on top of your foot to get a little clearance and bend over. A cut table is much nicer, however.

  12. #42
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    This is a link to a Youtube video concerning the Festool track saw that might be of interest. The language is a bit salty so beware.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oezp-_DcUgg

  13. #43
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    I find the build of the Festool tracksaw a little disappointing (the bushing and the soft plastic end cap) but otherwise not much of a surprise. I would love to see one of the Dewalt for comparison. Festool is so far outside my price range, I don't worry about them much.
    Last edited by Anthony Whitesell; 09-24-2015 at 8:53 AM.

  14. #44
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    - Plunge action is sometimes very very useful. I have used it when you have to cut a a section in the middle of a sheet (think cutting something like a U).

    - Festool has the larger T75 that has bigger blade and more powerful.

    - Makita long track works perfectly fine with Festool (I have both).

    - Having a riving knife is quite useful when cutting lumber (something that is missing on Makita).

    - You can use track saw to miter cut things that you cannot easily hold/secure on a miter saw (I've cut a whole bunch of 2.5" thick curved railing using my track saw on the table).

    - You don't need a fancy table to use track saw. Just get a piece of 1.5" or so foam and put it on your bench and there you go. That's how I've been using it. If you want you can secure the foam with double sided tape at a few corners/edges.

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Whitesell View Post
    They had an EZSmart system setup and while looking at it I realized something critical. I did not take into account the length of the track (54") when thinking about using it as a chop saw. That makes for a REALLY deep workbench or distance from the wall. Not really a space savings while unfolded. One option would be to by a piece of track and cut it in half . I think I need to think about this plan some more and review the accessories available for the Dewalt vs. EZSmart.
    What you'll want is the EZ miter square dingus, as I may have mentioned earlier. (Or in another thread.) I use it more than the actual bench, and would REALLY hate to be without it.

    Basically, it's a miter fence with a handle, and a short piece of track attached, tightened to whatever angle you need, vs the handle. I have two, because I like to keep one always at 90 degrees, and that one is JB Welded solid. (dead nuts accurate. My track is just long enough to cut across a 4' sheet, with room on the end for saw support.

    On the other one, I have a much shorter track, as that is easy to wield for typical hardwood cuts & 2X4's. I have this even though I own an EZ-ONE table, because I like to work outside in the sunshine whenever possible. Thus, I use my "Smart" table (built primarily for cutting down sheet goods, typically right in the driveway) outdoors, with various attachments, for all sorts of "serious" woodworking. (I also use hand tools, but sometimes I'm just lazy, or can't afford to make a flase cut.)

    Anyway, until you use one of these miter squares, you won't realize how easy and accurate they are.
    Last edited by Allan Speers; 09-23-2015 at 11:21 PM.

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