Author Topic: Portability of the Kapex  (Read 1109 times)

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Offline Easymoney.PS22

  • Posts: 2
Portability of the Kapex
« on: February 14, 2020, 01:49 PM »
I am in the planning process for the outfitting of several new Sprinter vans for my construction company (commercial and residential) and have several questions on the "portability" of the Kapex machine.

Questions:
1) Does anyone in the user community have a mobile operation and have the Kapex as a their primary miter saw?
2) If so, how do you secure and transport?
3) What problems have you encountered with the durability and accuracy (being stored in a moving vehicle, being loaded and unloaded, etc...

Concerns maybe obvious: very precise and expensive machine being used daily on job sites... struggling with making the investment or staying with more economical brands that have proven durability (currently have Hitachi's for rough cutting & Bosch glide's for precision work - which is a beast to move).
   
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 139
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 05:32 PM »
I have none personal experiences, but I note that many here uses the UG cart with especially the KS 120. It’s sensible as the saw is fixed to a collapsible base with wheels. The base itself provides many options to strap it in a van. The risk of dropping the saw decreases drastically as it sits on the cart wheeled into place. Wether or not you’ll like the UG wings they also collapses quite nice.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 317
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 06:41 PM »
I'm not a tradesman but I have taken my Kapex+UG setup on the road over long distances (600+ mile roundtrips) without any apparent loss of accuracy.  The Kapex UG system is unbeatable for quick breakdowns and setups and easy moving.  I have a basement shop and it has been up and down the stairs many times.

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 931
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 07:07 PM »
I bought my Kapex, wings and UG cart for two main reasons. 1 I got a commercial trim job with enough gravy to pay for it; 2. I was sick and tired of killing myself lugging my big fat Bosch onto job sites.
In terms of price, yes the whole Kapex / UG sucks. In terms of value for me it paid for itself on the first job. Fast easy reliable set up; not killing myself, far better DC with my CT hooked to it, great accuracy for ongoing work. I check it with my woodpecker square from time to time. I don't remember having to adjust it but I may have once or twice. Who knows anymore.
In terms of transport I just bungee corded it secure and put a 2x against the wheels.
In terms of damage, I never had any. But then again I don't let other guys use my tools. You want to use my tools you can pay for them. I don't ask other people to use their tools. If you can't afford tools then get the heck off the job site.
For job sites the Kapex / UG set up is the way to go. Its light, easy to set up and use, impresses the junk out of clients and makes life a lot easier. For job work I wouldn't go back to anything else. While its a junk load of money its worth it for me.
As I have told others for shop work I don't know that I would spend the money on a Kapex / UG set up. While its a great saw, if you know and use your tools regularly you can make good cuts with a POS saw. (i.e. my old dangerous Hitachi chop saw I just can't get rid of). The strength of the Kapex in my opinion is for job sites.
If you are getting this equipment for your grunts, make it clear there will be consequences for abuse. Provide written notice if you can.
Hope that helps

"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline Woodboss

  • Posts: 16
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 09:35 PM »
I'm a mobile professional cabinet maker and trim carpenter Kapex is the best saw money can buy and I have owned them all

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6172
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 10:02 PM »
I use multiple Kapex’s.

As a feeble old man I appreciate it’s ease of getting into and out of vehicles. Each saw is on its own UG stand with UG wings.

I’ve adjusted the oldest saw (purchased when first released in NA) once.

Issues I’ve had;

Oldest saw needed an armature, it was out of warranty. After reading about all the issues with armature, I decided to keep one in inventory. Took me an hour to change and have the saw back in service.

Control board went out on another one. That I did not have on the shelf. It took about 3 weeks for the board to arrive.

Get extra blades.

Tom

Online Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 895
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2020, 05:15 AM »
Anything, and everything in our vans has it’s place. Power tools, accessories and stock etc.
The side doors of our vans are power tool cabinets, boxed in with shelves etc, and all the power tools sit in their own place. We use rubber matting and stops etc, so the tools stay put, and undamaged in transit, literally bespoke for each tool. Larger tools, like table saws and mitre saws are also housed in bespoke areas of the vans.
Again padded, and stays or stops in place to stop movement, and then secured with ratchet straps.

Our Kapex is permanently on the UG cart, as it gets used in the workshop and on site. So it gets wheeled to the van, folded, then put in it’s place, and strapped. Easy as that.
So far, the saw hasn’t suffered any accuracy issues or damage.
I love the UG base and wings, it’s a quick but strong, easy system to set up and take down. I have other saws and stands but, cannot cut such long lengths as the UG allows.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 139
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2020, 06:23 AM »
All good advises here.
I forgot to mention that I got the Kapex with UG stand and wings myself. Determined to buy a large capacity chop saw, as Bosch glide or Makita. But seeing those, they where just too large. I’m not a professional, but are doing restoration of my 3rd house now along with 2 maintaining cabins, so I have some experience lugging large saws and tools around in house and trailer. Pricing of the Kapex set did hurt badly, but it pays off in a smile with every use, even for me.

Also as Holzhacker says; you’ll need to sign each van to 1-one person’s ownership. That person must be in control of that vans exterior, interior and tools every day, at every site, every job.
I have experience with service fleets owning several vans, and each person got their own van with tools. This is the only way. You will earn long term, as also employees grow proud if they have premium tools - and customers will notice! Otherwise you’ll have to get the cheapest tools and throw it in the vans. But you’ll miss tools from every site or job. And you’ll end up buying tools replacing wrecked ones also. Again, employees will probably not be so happy, and your customers will notice.

Offline gruz

  • Posts: 60
    • Grusby Woodworks
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2020, 08:07 AM »
I've been using my kapex for site work (cabinet installs) , keeping it in my van now for about 8 years now.  had it in a nissan nv200- once of those tiny vans where every inch of space is precious, and not a ford transit, more space but you're always looking to be efficient.  I racked out the wall so Systainers and other items have their home above and around the kapex.
 on my second kapex as the first was stolen with the entire van's contents-- this is my only concern.  have an alarm or good security, parking situation.  Otherwise, no issues whatsoever.  I keep it on the UG cart and it works well.  There are the obvious reasons to use it on the job site, dust control (happy lungs, happy customers), precision (faster work when it's right the first time), light weight for setting up (save your back), enjoyment of using a nice machine (hard to put a $ on this, but it's real)... Just be mindful of security.  and be ready for other tradespeople to feel a need to comment as soon as they see anything festool. 

Offline Easymoney.PS22

  • Posts: 2
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2020, 02:07 PM »
Greatly appreciate all to first hand user advice. I certainly understand the accountability aspect; as a professional tradesman, I don't barrow others tools and don't lend out mine. A professional come prepared, is efficient and effect to complete the job.

One of the concerns I noticed with the whole Kapex machine, UG base and wings is the "play" or seemingly, instability of the set up. This observation comes only from limited exposure and some user comments I came across.

I cannot stand bases that are not solid when using precise equipment. Can anyone provide any comment/ user feedback on that observation?

I appreciate the input...

Online Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 895
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 03:23 PM »
If the cart and wings are set up on solid ground, even uneven solid ground, it’s fine.
I’ve had to pack mine on uneven ground before now to level it, then it’s as usual.
I have seen people set them up on soft earth, bits of pallet etc, this isn’t good.

Some think because the wings have a single leg, they wobble and are weak. I have cut plenty of 6 x 2, 8 x 2, 10 x 2 and 12 x 2 in long lengths and it’s fine.
Obviously if somebody takes short cuts, or sets it up on soft ground, or if somebody walks into it, it will need to be re set.

Otherwise, all good.

If I were you, I would go and look at a demo set up, and draw your own conclusions but, I’m happy with mine.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1546
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 05:25 AM »
The 'soft ground' issue is easily fixed by putting (large enough) pieces of scrap below the feet/wheels of the UG cart, same as one would do with everything else in that situation, like with a (MFT or generic) table. As long as the ground points the UG and wings is standing on don't move it can be leveled quickly and relieably.

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 944
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2020, 06:29 AM »
Some think because the wings have a single leg, they wobble and are weak. I have cut plenty of 6 x 2, 8 x 2, 10 x 2 and 12 x 2 in long lengths and it’s fine.

I think that the single leg is definitly a backward step from the earlier double leg.

While cutting heavy timbers to length against the stops any time that you have to move the timber to line up with the fence the leg wobbles.

The clamping to the kapex is not strong enough so the extension works loose and moves away.

You can't clamp it tight enough to prevent it loosening so in the end unless you are very careful and lift the timber when adjusting to the fence the lengths all vary.

I would call that another kapex design fault!   [mad]

Online Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 895
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2020, 07:47 AM »
Some think because the wings have a single leg, they wobble and are weak. I have cut plenty of 6 x 2, 8 x 2, 10 x 2 and 12 x 2 in long lengths and it’s fine.

I think that the single leg is definitly a backward step from the earlier double leg.

While cutting heavy timbers to length against the stops any time that you have to move the timber to line up with the fence the leg wobbles.

The clamping to the kapex is not strong enough so the extension works loose and moves away.

You can't clamp it tight enough to prevent it loosening so in the end unless you are very careful and lift the timber when adjusting to the fence the lengths all vary.

I would call that another kapex design fault!   [mad]

I’ve not experienced any of what you’ve mentioned. It’s also documented in various reviews etc, that a lot of users do not clamp the wings to the saw properly, causing them to work loose, usually because they haven’t read the manual. The single legs are lightweight and compact solution for storing, and transportation.

If set up properly, this system works just fine, my colleagues say the same. I think any issues are user error.
Mine’s a keeper.

Online Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 895
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2020, 07:56 AM »
The 'soft ground' issue is easily fixed by putting (large enough) pieces of scrap below the feet/wheels of the UG cart, same as one would do with everything else in that situation, like with a (MFT or generic) table. As long as the ground points the UG and wings is standing on don't move it can be leveled quickly and relieably.

Yes, to some extent the soft ground issue can be remedied but, because it is a single leg system, any springy packing, and it will be springy with soft ground, and will allow movement, and then accuracy suffers.
If my only option was to set up on soft uneven ground, I’d use one of my other mitre saws and bases, not the Kapex and UG and wings.

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 139
Re: Portability of the Kapex
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2020, 09:34 AM »
For outside use I would consider a tripod type of stand for the side wings.
There are some options available meant for woodworking. Any light solution that can be height adjusted would be fine. The legs are secured with one bolt so adaption or additional fastening for other leg/stands shouldn’t be difficult.

That said, either the two leg of the KS LA or the one leg on UG wings are optimal.
I would like to se at least two lightweight legs with a decent height adjustment.
I’m working on custom solutions for the legs on my both systems. (Maybe the short Bessey support stand)