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Thread: Track saw or table saw?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Boulware View Post
    One more thing to think about - Dust collection. He's a sign painter. The last thing he needs is a room full of dust fouling his finishes. If he goes with a table saw, he needs to either close off the cutting section from the painting section or install a top shelf dust collection system on it. Barring a real panel saw, a track saw with a proper dust collector (I can only speak to my Festool vac, and it's GOOD), would solve a lot of these problems and really keep the space issue to a minimum. For the small pieces, a decent jobsite saw that could be wheeled outside to keep the dust down would be good too.
    Will,
    Your comments regarding the dust collection are a big part of my argument to go with the track saw and it's good ability to collect dust. For myself, I'm leaning toward suggesting a RAS for those smaller pieces. Personally, I much prefer a table saw to a RAS but I think the RAS would be a safer bet for him. At least, until he has some experience. And I've already suggested he just may need to do his cutting outside due to the issues with dust. I'll let you guys know what he decides if and when he does.

    Thanks!

  2. #17
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    I vote for "both" for all the reasons stated. A quality track saw system to break down large sheets and cut the larger panels from the get-go. A quality table saw with minimum configuration and equipped for mobility to cut the smaller panels from material already broken down by the track saw. Best of both worlds with minimum space requirements.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #18
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    I agree with Jim above. I use my track saw to break down large sheets. It was relatively inexpensive, very accurate, and easily stows away taking up little space. Track saw is not good for cutting smaller pieces however. But if all he needs to do is cut down larger panels, I vote for the track saw for all the reasons mentioned.

  4. I would say if you are worried about safety, then you need to frame the decision as SawStop versus track saw. For the track saw, he's going to want the TSO Guide Rail Square and something like the Seneca Woodworking parallel guide system. He would need some dust collection with either.

    For track saws, I would suggest looking at the cordless Makita w/ the 55" track, buy the 118" track, and the two products outlined above.

  5. #20
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    I don't have this system, but it might give you some ideas


  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bessette View Post
    No. As good as the track saws are (Festool, anyway) making repeatable cuts that size is the bread & butter of table and radial arm saws. Track and vertical [anel saws are great for breaking down 4' x 8' sheets.

    With an MFT or similar DIY setup (with a bridge or Parfdogs) 4" x 12" is still well within the range of cuts for a tracksaw, I do similar sized pieces all the time though usually hardwood. There is a lower limit to size for this type of setup but it is significantly smaller than 4 x 12.

    Both is usually a good answer to the OPs question but if it is sheet goods only I would likely use just the tracksaw/MFT type table even though I have both options.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    With an MFT or similar DIY setup (with a bridge or Parfdogs) 4" x 12" is still well within the range of cuts for a tracksaw, I do similar sized pieces all the time though usually hardwood. There is a lower limit to size for this type of setup but it is significantly smaller than 4 x 12.

    Both is usually a good answer to the OPs question but if it is sheet goods only I would likely use just the tracksaw/MFT type table even though I have both options.
    Oooh...that's a good suggestion. I've used my MFT for some crosscutting things from time to time in the past. With stops, it can even be repeatable sized materials.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    With an MFT or similar DIY setup (with a bridge or Parfdogs) 4" x 12" is still well within the range of cuts for a tracksaw, I do similar sized pieces all the time though usually hardwood. There is a lower limit to size for this type of setup but it is significantly smaller than 4 x 12.

    Both is usually a good answer to the OPs question but if it is sheet goods only I would likely use just the tracksaw/MFT type table even though I have both options.
    Second vote on this suggestion. He can always upgrade from a track saw to a table saw. The thing is, a table saw is very space intensive, especially if the intention is to cut sheet goods. Just think about the infeed and outfeed space required in addition to the footprint of the saw itself. The MFT type table idea is very good. Have a look at this video where the author demonstrates how to make a crosscutting table for use with a track saw: https://www.finewoodworking.com/2016...crosscut-table

    This exact jig may not be the right answer, but maybe a version of this type of jig can be fashioned for your son's most repetitive cuts? Also, you can certainly cut the smaller widths to the waste side, keeping in mind the saw blade kerf width. Again, if it's a repetitive cut, he could make a precise spacer for waste side cutting to quickly mark the line or set the track.

    No doubt this will be more tedious than using a table saw but the track saw is a portable tool by design, and if he's organized, he could do all his cutting at one time, say for the week, and then put the track saw out of the way of the sign making. The track saw dust collection is a plus too.

    You're a good father!
    Best,
    Edwin

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    ...a table saw is very space intensive...
    And a vertical panel saw is the least (floor) space intensive while in use.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  10. #25
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    IME panel saws vary a lot in their accuracy and repeatability, based loosely on price, a DIY version could fall anywhere on that range depending on how much effort and money were spent on them. That said I think it is the worst choice for a single option to break down sheet goods AND make the smaller cuts, though it could be augmented with a CSMS, RAS or etc.

    High-quality panel saws can often be found cheap, especially at auction since they have fallen out of favor since most commercial shops and industry now use CNC machines to handle those cuts.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  11. #26
    I think a valid question is how does a track saw, table saw, panel saw, mitre saw or radial arm saw integrate with the other tools your son uses to make his signs? After he cuts the MDO panels to size, how does he process them to the final sign? What other tools does he use?

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    I think a valid question is how does a track saw, table saw, panel saw, mitre saw or radial arm saw integrate with the other tools your son uses to make his signs? After he cuts the MDO panels to size, how does he process them to the final sign? What other tools does he use?
    Good question Doug. When needed he uses a jigsaw beyond that I don't know. I've never even heard him talk about using a sander. In his shop on Wed I don't recall seeing any other typical woodworking tools. His work is, I believe, mostly about the painting and designing.

  13. #28
    Sounds like the only use he will make of whatever saw he buys, is to cut down the MDO to size. Makes me wonder if he would be better off sourcing the MDO from a supplier that can cut it for him or subletting the cutting. That would eliminate a lot of potential risks including: injury from handling full size sheets, injury from cutting sheets, contaminating shop with dust (hazard to lungs and end product), eliminate capital costs including the saw, dust collection equipment and associated maintenance costs, reduction in space requirements (eliminating cutting station and dust collection), maybe reduced insurance cost?

  14. #29
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    I would suggest he start with a Track saw, and if he finds that it is not giving him the tolerances he needs, add in a table saw. As many have said, track saws do a great job of breaking down sheet goods, and with my Grizzley, I get finished edges that do not need tuning at a table saw, certainly the Festoolers will tout how good their saws are as well, but a cheap Grizzley has worked well for me.

    Doc
    As Cort would say: Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.

  15. #30
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    A vertical CNC router would be the best option but at the highest cost. It will allow almost any shaped cuts. At 30ish he should be able to learn the programming quickly and his hands wonít be anywhere near the cutters when it is running.

    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-greenLean-v1

    https://tech-labs.com/products/denford-vertical-router

    Note. I donít have any CNC equipment.

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