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Thread: Track Saw vs Circular Saw vs Table saw Vs Miter saw - Which one to start with?

  1. #31
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    A number of years ago I watched a guy installing custom cabinets on a jobsite. Not having a shop close by he had to improvise when he needed to rip a board. He took a 10" circular saw, made a plunge cut on a scrap piece of MDF, and then screwed the saw to it. After flipping the whole thing over and placing it on a couple sawhorses to make a makeshift table saw. Anything can be done. But since it sounds like the OP is just getting started the advice should be which tool will be able to do the most functions with limited skills.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    A number of years ago I watched a guy installing custom cabinets on a jobsite. Not having a shop close by he had to improvise when he needed to rip a board. He took a 10" circular saw, made a plunge cut on a scrap piece of MDF, and then screwed the saw to it. After flipping the whole thing over and placing it on a couple sawhorses to make a makeshift table saw. Anything can be done. But since it sounds like the OP is just getting started the advice should be which tool will be able to do the most functions with limited skills.
    Alex, this is exactly how I started out with “machines” some 35 years ago. I could not afford a tablesaw back then, and built a version of the original Triton tool centre - most here only know of Triton as a router, but the company began as one Australian man inventing a fixture to hold a curcular saw, and later a router as well.



    It could do a multitude of saw cuts, including trenching ...



    Eventually, I could afford to purchase one. It lasted a few months before I became frustrated with the need to reset the various settings each time, as it was dissembled to allow cars into the garage. I purchased a contractor tablesaw, and this remained for the next 25 years.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    How about if you needed a six inch piece and all you had was a sixteen footer? The point is, in some cases it is better to use a tool that you move to the workpiece rather than vice versa. I do almost all of my cross cuts on the table saw but if I'm breaking down long pieces I use my radial arm saw, jig saw or circular saw. In my small shop, anything longer than six feet is awkward on the table saw but no problem with either of the other three options. I'll bet if you need to put a edge profile on that table top you would use a hand held router not a table mounted router, same principle, sometimes you move the tool, sometimes you move the workpiece.
    I assume "redunds" is a typo, what word did you mean?
    The table redunds, as in makes redundant, the circular saw (I suppose the word is a little archaic). Needing 6" inches off of a 16' board is ad absurdum. Yes, it is often the case that a portable tool is the right tool for the job. Imo, that's very rarely the case with a circular vs a tablesaw in a woodshop. The edge on the table particular table was formed on a 15 resaw, but that's a different post. I think you make my point when you say that most of your crosscutting is done on the tablesaw.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Falk View Post
    I would say table saw first but as everyone has said it does depend on what you want to build
    +1 to Cary’s comment

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny means View Post
    The table redunds, as in makes redundant, the circular saw (I suppose the word is a little archaic). Needing 6" inches off of a 16' board is ad absurdum. Yes, it is often the case that a portable tool is the right tool for the job. Imo, that's very rarely the case with a circular vs a tablesaw in a woodshop. The edge on the table particular table was formed on a 15 resaw, but that's a different post. I think you make my point when you say that most of your crosscutting is done on the tablesaw.
    Very archaic, if fact Chrome spell check underlines it red as misspelled, thus my question. Six inches was an exaggeration to make a point, it could have been cutting a 4 x 8 sheet of 3/4"plywood into 2' x 4' pieces to make a box, I would not attempt that on my table saw but a with a circular saw and straight edge it would not be difficult. While most of my crosscuts are with the table saw, why would you limit your tools to do most of your cuts? Most could be 51%, a shop that is only equipped to make 51% of any type of very common cut would be very frustrating. So I didn't make your point, however you did make mine: "Yes it is often the case that a portable tool, is the right tool for the job." That was exactly my point.

  6. #36
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    To answer the plywood question, if I don't have my truck and I want some plywood for a project I just have it cut at the lumber yard to about an inch longer than I need. I wouldn't have 20 sheets cut up into various sizes but for one or two I think it's a very viable way to avoid buying a track saw right off. A circular saw shouldn't really be an issue. As long as you don't mind a corded saw there's lots of good used ones for not much money on Craig's list and Facebook. Unless the OP comes back with more information as to what they want to accomplish I would go with a good table saw as my first piece for my woodworking shop.

  7. #37
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    Actually I think everyone is right depending on what is being built and what the long-term woodworking plans are. I am to the point in my life where I imagine I'm an old-timer; 70. However, about 10 years ago I needed to replace an old table saw which was always underpowered anyway. I decided that I didn't need a table saw; only a track saw and a cutting table; actually a Festool tracksaw and a Festool TS55. I will never regret buying the tracksaw and table. It allows me to crosscut more accurately and square than anything else I've used. However, about a year after I started using the tracksaw and table, and after trying several methods of ripping with the tracksaw (especially smaller, thinner rips), I bought a jobsite table saw. I will also never regret buying the jobsite saw. The combination of the tracksaw/table and the small table saw allow me to do just about everything easily, accurate, square crosscuts, accurate rips (even on somewhat larger pieces), and other various tasks that I find are done better and more easily than with other tools like a bandsaw. Can you get along without a table saw? Sure you can. It's much easier and less frustrating sometimes to not go without a table saw.I use my bandsaw when I can and if it suits the job; a lot for resawing but regularly for other things also. I use the router when needed because that is the best tool for the job. I own a few handplanes and especially use a block plane and a smaller block plane when needed. Anyway, I don't own a production shop and don't do a lot of repetitive cuts. However, I don't think I would ever be without a table saw, even a small one, at least for ripping smaller stock. There is just nothing that beats the ease and accuracy of a table saw for, at a minimum, that work

  8. #38
    There are literally thousands of posts here on that same subject. I'll just add that you use the correct tool for the job, not one tool will do everything. Until i recently got a sliding table saw the track saw was important for me since it's harder to throw around 4x8 sheets than it was 10 years ago. Throw the sheet on a piece of 4x8 1/2 foam insulation, hack it up, and take it to the table saw.

    You can also cut accurate angles and miters with it on an MFT table.

    Right tool for the job.

  9. #39
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    If I was starting over, I would buy the best, non sliding, miter saw I could afford. Then I would buy a nice corded skil saw paying attention to which side the motor is on. I would then build a poor mans track from MDF.

  10. #40
    I think Randy and I are aligned in our thinking on this. If you need to be portable - or put your tools away so cars can also use your workspace, a jobsite table saw and a track saw would be a great setup. I like my PCS but I have a small but dedicated shop garage so I have the space. I used to use a BT3100 which is about the size of a jobsite saw and built a lot of furniture with it.

    Ron Paulk has a lot of youtubes on how he works with a tracksaw and jobsite table saw combination. Worth watching if you are thinking this combination might make sense for you. I would MUCH rather have this combination that just a big table saw with 52 inch capacity. I set my BT3100 with about 60 inch rip capacity but it just isn't fun to handle full sheets in a small shop through a table saw.

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