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Thread: Cost effectiveness of a slider vs. tracksaw & tablesaw

  1. #31
    When I worked in a shop that had both a track saw and a full size sliding table saw I would have received the side eye at best and more likely a good razzing if I had suggested using the track saw for dicing up sheet goods. Keep it for situations where it makes sense to bring the tool to the material - sitework and pieces too big to move easily.

  2. #32
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    I'm a carpenter, I essentially CNC build houses. We design homes and use some seriously cool tech to layout in the field and on the jigs, then build the houses in the shop to be set up on site. I'm comfortable with CNC and tech. That being said, I intentionally keep my shop non CNC because for the life of me I cannot figure out how to get a super expensive router to pay for itself with the work we do. Wish I could justify one.

    That all being said, I'd buy a slider over anything else if only for the extremely fast ability to straight line rip long boards. Squaring off an edge of something 8' plus is a very common function. Unless you are outsourcing doors, you probably have to deal with this too. It's also pretty surprising how many sheets of square ply aren't square. Hard to catch and deal with that on a track saw tablesaw approach. I used your approach before I could get a slider, I don't even own a track saw now.

  3. #33
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    I have no dog in this fight and no cabinet shop experience either. However I know enough about the mechanics of both a track saw and a slider to know that there isn't really a comparison. I think others have said the same thing but in the time it takes to get the track saw setup for the first cut you could have that same sheet ripped into ribbons if you so desired. The time to put it on the slider or on the table you currently use is the same. There it ends. You state that you want to grow your business and unless the slider that's close by you has issues it's a no brainer. I have a Excalibur sliding attachment and while I haven't done any sheet goods it's abundantly clear just crosscutting long boards that it would make it much easier to handle sheet goods. This is just a poor mans slider but it's functional. Let us know what you decide.

  4. #34
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    At 3-4 kitchens a year it really doesn't matter what you use to cut em up. That simply isn't the kind of volume that will pay for a significant capital expenditure on any tool.

    You've got to increase marketing, advertising and sales to a level that will allow you to comfortably assume the debt incurred . And factor in that the market could easily turn down like it did in 08/09. The bank will still want their payment whether you are selling / making kitchens or not.

    I'd look into outsourcing boxes / drawers and maybe even doors to free up time to increase sales before I took on debt to accomplish the same thing.

  5. #35
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    I wish I could show how I use the tracksaw/tablesaw together. Usually the tracksaw is used for only two cuts per sheet. The rest is on the tablesaw. I use the tracksaw for the initial straight edge and the first crosscut, so there is only 1 measurement to pull per sheet.

    From what I am hearing, the advantages to the slider are:

    * faster breaking down sheetgoods
    * potentially less user fatigue breaking down sheetgods
    * significantly faster straightlining of long lumber
    * faster repetitive crosscuting of panels/doors/drawer fronts
    * safer for operations that would otherwise require standing behind the material using the fence
    * accurate repetitive crosscuts in wide timber

    Dave Sabo and Steve Rozmiarek, you hit the nail on the head. The question is, at my volume, will such a space and financial commitment pay for itself. At about 220 sqft required for a 10' slider, the space is the largest factor at this point. My shop is 2100 sqft and I'd have to rearrange some larger equipment.

    I should mention I do have a 16" jointer with a 101" table length, so straightlining long boards isn't too bad.

    My father is playing around with the idea of getting involved with the business by getting a CNC and learning how to run it.

    What about outsourcing all my carcass parts to a local shop with a CNC? I know of a couple shops on the E coast that do this. Problem is, I can't find any in my area that are willing to offer this service to me.
    Timberlight Designs

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I see used panel saws on C-list all the time for 500-1200. That seems like a decent price to consider compared to a dedicate track saw. How accurate are they?
    Bill D
    My $400 short stroke Ema sliding too a good bit of work to get up and running and I had to make my own moving table fence but now that I am nearing to start using it I am very pleased with the results!
    MPS00809.jpg

    I don't make my living with woodworking so the time investment was not an issue for me. I would assume in a production shop that a "project" saw would not make much sense.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Jung View Post
    At about 220 sqft required for a 10' slider, the space is the largest factor at this point. My shop is 2100 sqft and I'd have to rearrange some larger equipment.

    What about outsourcing all my carcass parts to a local shop with a CNC? I know of a couple shops on the E coast that do this. Problem is, I can't find any in my area that are willing to offer this service to me.
    With a cutting table next to your tablesaw, aren't you already using that much space for cutting parts?

    Maybe no cnc job shops on Whidbey Island, but I guarantee there are in Seattle. I have done one large job with the box parts outsourced and shipped in a crate via LTL truck. You have to partner with the right shop and it may not save a great deal of money but it will allow greater throughput with no capital investment.

  8. #38
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    The only CNC cabinet shop I have ever had the pleasure of visiting used CNC bridge saws for all of their sheet goods. They could tear down a 4x8 panel to carcass pieces in under 2 minutes with only a couple match sticks of wasted material.

  9. #39
    No dog in this fight but if a track saw isnít getting it done for you, just buy a new slider. You could get a totally capable panel-sized 1-ph. Italian or Austrian machine with scoring delivered for less than $15K. Full warranty, guaranteed availability of spare parts, etc. Unless you are doing weird shapes or want to machine face profiles into MDF (which you might?), a basic slider will always be cheaper and faster than a router in a scenario like yours. I 100% guarantee that if a new 9í slider magically appeared in front of your shop to tomorrow, youíd find a way to fit it in. Just my 2-cents and good luck with your quest.

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    a basic slider will always be cheaper and faster than a router in a scenario like yours.

    Erik
    For simply cutting out parts that is true. For efficiency in processing cabinet parts including system holes and assembly machining a cnc will win out and allow you to be doing other things in the meantime.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 05-27-2022 at 1:32 PM. Reason: fixed quote tagging

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Schuch View Post
    My $400 short stroke Ema sliding too a good bit of work to get up and running and I had to make my own moving table fence but now that I am nearing to start using it I am very pleased with the results!


    I don't make my living with woodworking so the time investment was not an issue for me. I would assume in a production shop that a "project" saw would not make much sense.
    Michael, I have that same riser kit under my Felder, lol! Tool designers must all be 5' tall.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Michael, I have that same riser kit under my Felder, lol! Tool designers must all be 5' tall.
    LOL!

    I actually ended up making a mobile base for it. It is about 4" higher than stock currently and I think I might add some blocks to raise it a couple more inches. Stock height is for sure too low for my back!


    20220306_011837.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 05-28-2022 at 3:46 AM.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    For simply cutting out parts that is true. For efficiency in processing cabinet parts including system holes and assembly machining a cnc will win out and allow you to be doing other things in the meantime.
    Kevin, I donít disagree but itís worth mentioning that, especially in the context of this forum, the CNCís most users are running here are nowhere near as fast as a true industrial router. Actual cutting speed might be the same but thatís pretty much it. Everything else ďaside from the cuttingĒ will take A LOT longer.

    FWIW, I dealt with too many shops to count that got it all done on a slider (or regular cabinet saw) and Blum presses.

    Erik
    Ex-SCM and Felder rep

  14. #44
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    What about outsourcing all my carcass parts to a local shop with a CNC? I know of a couple shops on the E coast that do this. Problem is, I can't find any in my area that are willing to offer this service to me.
    Let me toss this out.
    How about you become the guy that does the outsource work?

    You can buy the CNC, use it for what you need it for, then in your slack time, you can take on CNC work.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  15. #45
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    Erik, I totally know what you mean about making room if a slider showed up one day. If I got convinced that a slider will be in my shop for decades to come, I may just finance a new one.

    Rich, That's a good point. However, I never have slack time. But the real reason is that I want to be in the business of furniture and cabinets, not signs / carvings / plaques / gadgets / toys / and everything else every soccer mom finds on Etsy. I once posted a picture of some laser engraving a friend did for my business. Next thing I know I was getting all sorts of messages from people wanting me to engrave small one-off things they found on Pinterest. And I know they wouldn't want to pay for it.

    Now, if I could become the guy that other shops use for CNC templates, cabinet panels, slab flattening, such larger pieces, then I could set my dad up to run it. That would be a good idea.
    Timberlight Designs

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