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Author Topic: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?  (Read 1548 times)

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Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 395
TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« on: May 17, 2020, 12:39 AM »
This afternoon I was ripping some french cleats from 3/4" maple plywood using my TS55. I was using a 48t blade, and was plugged in to a power strip running off a 20amp circuit.   From the start, it was painfully slow going.  I got through about 8ft of material before I started to notice a significant slow down. I looked at the saw and noticed a little bit of smoke coming out of the motor.  Needless to say I stopped and let the saw cool down. 

Once it did, I investigated and noticed my blade looked pretty gummed up.  I also figured I wouldn't lose anything by going to the 28t blade.  So, I switched blades and plugged everything back in (I skipped the power strip as well, just in case).  The saw seemed to cut the rest of the material just fine - far better than it had w/ the 48t blade.

So, should I be concerned that the motor was smoking?  I don't think I've seen that happen before, even after ripping 10 sheets of melamine.  While I'm used to subpar performance when doing bevel cuts, I've never had it drag that much before.  The only other time I've had the saw behave strangely is when it once completely shut off while trying to rip some bamboo flooring.  In that instance, I just waited five minutes and it worked normally after that.

For context, I've owned the saw for 5 years and am a hobbyist.  Recently, my usage has been minimal - maybe an hour or two a month. In the past I've used it all day without issue.





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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2020, 12:43 AM »
I have to ask just because it has happened .....................................  was the 48 tooth blade in backwards?

OK, it sounds like maybe the 48 T blade is the culprit. Have you used it quite a bit?  Has it ever been sharpened? 

Try cleaning it and give it another go.

Seth

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 6549
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2020, 02:24 AM »
Smoke, should you be concerned - yes, definitely.

Smoke from an electric motor means the insulations between the various coils of wire inside the motor were burning. If your saw still works after you noticed it, it means you stopped quickly enough to prevent burning entirely through the insulation to create a short circuit, but the weakness is now there, and the next time you put your saw under too much load could be the final straw.

So it is best to never recreate these circumstances again where you push your saw as hard as you did now.

Offline Mr Speaker

  • Posts: 6
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2020, 06:20 AM »
Festool equipment, like most electric equipment and electronics, runs on smoke, magic smoke. You can tell because when it escapes, it won’t work anymore.
+1 on that it is a bad thing and that you should not recreate these circumstances.
Like any relationship, you have to put effort in, but if you have to work too hard, something is wrong and you have to back-up and investigate.
Your motor is definitely damaged, escaping smoke means that something turned into smoke and is gone now. Most likely winding insulation. My lawyers tell me to tell you to get it fixed by an official repair service. Having said that, if you promise to treat your tool nicely, there is a good chance that you can still have a long and loving relationship without issues. As long as you make sure there is no danger to you and you are not doing something mission critical (like being on site at a customer without a backup), there is no cost penalty to wait and see what happens.

Online CeeJay

  • Posts: 111
TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2020, 06:25 AM »
Are you sure it was the motor smoking and not the blade? A gummed up blade will smoke like a MF (the sap/glue burns off) and burn the timber, and cut real slow.

With any luck it’s blade not motor.

Try cleaning the blade and maybe get it sharpened.


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« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 06:37 AM by CeeJay »

Online mrB

  • Posts: 712
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2020, 09:12 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn’t expect the 48 tooth blade to perform well in this task unless it was brand new sharp. The blade you changed to would be where it’d start with a cut like that.
The 48t festool blades are so great when new that they’ll trick you into thinking they’re OK for cuts they shouldn’t really be doing. Then after some use they’ll begin to resist such tasks as they lose their razor edge.
I hope your saw is ok. If you stopped at the first signs of smoke I’d be quietly confident the saw will carry on fine, if you don’t repeat this.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1762
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2020, 10:10 AM »
I know one Kapex user who saw a puff of smoke from the saw. He could still run the saw, but he sent it in for repair since it was under warranty. The motor was replaced. So smoke is bad.

If you have a spare saw to use, you can wait till your TS 55 dies (it will as chances are you will make that heavy cut while forgetting about this incident).

For me, I wouldn't wait. It could be cheaper to have it fixed now than after the cost of parts and labor have gone up, not to mention the inconvenience of an unscheduled repair. This is also the approach I take for car maintenance. (Little fun to be stranded on a day that falls to -30c!) On the other hand, a friend of mine will actually wait until his car battery, for example, dies before he replaces it. For him, the cumulative cost savings are worth the hassles of jump starts or even tow service, and waste of time.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 10:35 AM by ChuckM »

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2020, 10:46 AM »
This afternoon I was ripping some french cleats from 3/4" maple plywood using my TS55. I was using a 48t blade, and was plugged in to a power strip running off a 20amp circuit.   From the start, it was painfully slow going.  I got through about 8ft of material before I started to notice a significant slow down. I looked at the saw and noticed a little bit of smoke coming out of the motor.  Needless to say I stopped and let the saw cool down.   ..................................................



Yeah, I wouldn’t expect the 48 tooth blade to perform well in this task unless it was brand new sharp. The blade you changed to would be where it’d start with a cut like that.
The 48t festool blades are so great when new that they’ll trick you into thinking they’re OK for cuts they shouldn’t really be doing. Then after some use they’ll begin to resist such tasks as they lose their razor edge.
I hope your saw is ok. If you stopped at the first signs of smoke I’d be quietly confident the saw will carry on fine, if you don’t repeat this.


I think you may have missed the word "plywood",   ripping 3/4" plywood not solid maple.

Seth

Offline morts10n

  • Posts: 253
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2020, 01:48 PM »
If the saw cant cut through 3/4" plywood without effort, it is useless. It is made for this task

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1959
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2020, 02:15 PM »
If you cooked the electrical bits, you should still be able to smell burnt electricals.  That smell doesn’t go away.  Take a whiff and see if that’s it.  If it is, send it in if under warranty. It will fail eventually.

Part of me thinks it may not be the electricals.  I would expect a temp sensor to shut down the motor before you saw smoky bits.  Furthermore, a dirty fine tooth blade will definitely burn wood on a bevel, especially if the rail wasn’t firmly clamped.  But that smell is unmistakably different and you will usually see burning on your work.  You mentioned none of that, so maybe this is not likely?
-Raj

Offline waho6o9

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    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2020, 04:29 PM »
You're wise to cool the motor off, using a rip blade is best for that specific task.

Personally I like the Festool Panther blade on my TS75 and the crosscut blade on my TS55, this works well. 

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 395
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2020, 11:01 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.

It sounds like I was certainly asking for too much at that moment - cutting a 45 degree bevel through 3/4 material with a blade that was a bit gummed up when I inspected it. Whether that happened before or after, I don't know.

There was definitely some burning of wood happening - in fact the basement still has a toasted wood smell this evening.

I will need to sniff my saw to see whether it has any kind of smell of burntness.  I assume this would smell kind of like a shorted out wire?

I've been sitting on sending my blades out for a while now, mostly because I'm not sure whether they are dull or dirty.  The past year has not had a lot of big projects, so I haven't been using the TS55 as much.  On a bandsaw, one way I check for sharp is to run my thumbnail against the teeth and see if it catches.  Does the same hold true for carbide saw blades, or is there some other way to inspect them (besides just noting slower performance)?


Offline SRSemenza

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Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2020, 12:20 AM »

The OP was ripping plywood  NOT  solid wood.

 The 48T blade on the TS55 is exactly the tool for the job.

  Something is / was definitely wrong with the blade or the saw.

Seth

Online CeeJay

  • Posts: 111
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2020, 12:52 AM »
All blades eventually wear out. Plywood and chipboard can be fairly abrasive. I bought a used TS55 from a cabinetmaker last year. The blade was worn and had a fair bit of resin on it - did not cut quickly or well. Tended to scorch the wood.

I cleaned it and got it sharpened at Brisbane Saw Services and it is transformed. Like a new saw.


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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 7384
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2020, 11:06 AM »
There was definitely some burning of wood happening - in fact the basement still has a toasted wood smell this evening.

I will need to sniff my saw to see whether it has any kind of smell of burntness.  I assume this would smell kind of like a shorted out wire?

Remove the blade and take the saw outside and give it the sniff test. The acrid smell of burned electrical components will linger for months.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1959
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2020, 11:46 AM »
So if you suspect it's the blade, I would first try cleaning it with a blade and bit cleaner.  Let is soak in a solution for 30 minutes before you go back and brush out the residue.  Get it squeaky clean before you retest.  If you don't see an improvement, then get the blade sharpened or use a new blade.
-Raj

Offline Laminator

  • Posts: 359
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2020, 11:03 PM »
Sharp carbide teeth will definitely "catch" on the back of a fingernail.  A dull tooth slides across without catching at all.   I have found when cutting most man made material such as plywood, particleboard, and mdf,  that carbide loses that initial razor sharpness fairly quickly.

Offline jcrowe1950

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Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2020, 08:54 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.

It sounds like I was certainly asking for too much at that moment - cutting a 45 degree bevel through 3/4 material with a blade that was a bit gummed up when I inspected it. Whether that happened before or after, I don't know.

There was definitely some burning of wood happening - in fact the basement still has a toasted wood smell this evening.

I will need to sniff my saw to see whether it has any kind of smell of burntness.  I assume this would smell kind of like a shorted out wire?

I've been sitting on sending my blades out for a while now, mostly because I'm not sure whether they are dull or dirty.  The past year has not had a lot of big projects, so I haven't been using the TS55 as much.  On a bandsaw, one way I check for sharp is to run my thumbnail against the teeth and see if it catches.  Does the same hold true for carbide saw blades, or is there some other way to inspect them (besides just noting slower performance)?

Hi Everybody,

    I'd ask a couple of extra questions. Our sharpening service asserts that fully 90% of the blades sent in for sharpening are simply gummed up. This is no idle assertion as I've had blades in table saws, miter saws, radial arm saws and my Festool track saws suffer from poor performance that was simply a product of a gummed up carbide blade. Past that, I would ask a couple of further questions. Did you have your rail clamped or held down to your stock in any way? This is especially an issue with bevels like the 45˚ one you describe. The other issue is holding the saw down to the track during the cut as the weight of the saw makes the tool want to lift up off the track. This could definitely cause burning. Finally, for any track saw cut, with any brand tool, it helps to push the tool from directly behind if possible so that the tool has no lateral pressure. For me, this issue from Festool training was a real a ha moment. I can't remember who I heard it from first, but the idea was think of hand cutting a dovetail.....if you put any lateral pressure on the tool, the results are suboptimal.
Festool Specialist at Woodcraft, Chattanooga, TN

Offline jimmyboygr

  • Posts: 17
Re: TS55 smoke - should I be concerned?
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2020, 04:02 AM »
Some times some smoke is normal coming from the sparks from braking(when you release the switch)But if the saw is also cutting slow,besides needing service or new blade,I would check the extension cord,its thickness,length and if its unraveled or not.50 meters of raveled extension cord,can reduce a lot a motors power and may damage it.