Author Topic: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives  (Read 3180 times)

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Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 541
Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« on: February 25, 2020, 09:11 PM »
Is it just me - I don’t get it a $1K cutting table.

Alright I used Eurekazone systems for years (RIP) and have almost completely converted to FT. One of the last products they released was a “Pyramid” which can accept a bench dog, thus, fit on an MFT style table and expendable 1x’s used on the top to support the wood. I don’t have a pic of it on my newer MFT style slab set up but here it is on a previous table:




I’m sure there are many other options too.


Mike

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Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 83
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2020, 10:09 PM »
It's reasonably expensive, but to be fair it's as much about handling big sheets as it is a cutting table.

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 265
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 10:16 PM »
Good point about handling sheets.
There are other ways to solve that problem as well.  I get creative when I have those 4'x8'x3/4" sheets of BB... those suckers are heavy.

One thing I like to do, if I plan things right, is to pull the sheet straight out of the bed of my truck onto my 2 MFT's.
Then I can break the sheet down and lean the pieces up.  Move on to the next sheet, etc.  Then switch over to crosscuts.

Also, another good cutting surface that cost $30 is the 1" foam insulation.  Lay it on the floor, sawhorses with cross support.

For about 30 seconds I seriously thought about the STM.  There are a lot of pluses.
However, for as much time as I spend breaking down full sheets I can easily make do with plenty of other solutions.

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 541
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2020, 08:53 AM »
After looking the STM 1800 usefulness over again guess I originally looked at it from my hobbyist view. For a production shop it might be a good value.

Mike

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 737
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2020, 09:04 AM »
@Mike Goetzke If just processing sheets, on a limited basis, yeah go for the Lee Valley sheet goods supporting blocks that stow in a nifty travel bag. Provides the exact same limited support functionality for dust control as the STM 1800. Where the STM 1800 starts to make sense is for people like @tjbnwi who go through hundreds of sheets a month on some jobs. Although I suspect shops that handle such a large quantity already have a system in place that works nicely for them. I see the STM 1800 as being for one man shops that do high enough volume to justify it but are space constrained and can't have a permanent sheet processing station.

This product is on the  list of "That's cool, I'd love to own one, but I'm not working on projects enough to justify it." At my house I have to break a sheet down in the garage before carrying parts down to the basement. I haven't quite figured out what system I want to adopt yet but I suspect it's going to be the Lee Valley sacrificial supports, Track Tubes, and plastic sawhorses from DeWalt. The downside is I'll need to carry my Flex vac, parallel guides, track saw upstairs and set it all up. But I'd have to do that regardless of whatever cutting table I use.

For lifting sheet goods I recall @Grev (TrackTubesGuy) came up with a nifty pivoting support he adapted to a step stool that lifted the sheets onto his cutting station.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6255
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 09:09 AM »
@DynaGlide,

This should help with the moving of the sheets.(The Crazy Horse)





Tom

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 737
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 09:12 AM »
@DynaGlide,

This should help with the moving of the sheets.(The Crazy Horse)





Tom

@tjbnwi Tom I'm too young for that contraption  ;D Maybe in another 10 years.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6255
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 09:13 AM »
@DynaGlide,

This should help with the moving of the sheets.(The Crazy Horse)





Tom

@tjbnwi Tom I'm too young for that contraption  ;D Maybe in another 10 years.

It will help keep you young, 10 years from now may be to late......

Tom

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1171
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 10:52 AM »
@DynaGlide,
This should help with the moving of the sheets.(The Crazy Horse)
Tom

@tjbnwi   Any idea what happened to this?  Last mention was about a year ago.

Thanks, Mike A.

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 130
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2020, 11:20 AM »
Yes, it costs a bit and there are certainly alternatives that one can use including inexpensive "centipede" type folding arrangements, etc. The Festool setup is nicely engineered to be strong, portable, flexible and usable which is generally to be expected from Festool. Some folks will appreciate how that fits in with the rest of the system and be willing to pay for it. For others, it's not worth the cost/investment for their own reasons. If I were someone that did a lot of work onsite, I'd seriously consider it, honestly. But it would provide little benefit to me in my particular shop-focused setup where I have space limitations and already have several height adjustable work solutions configured.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 582
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2020, 12:39 PM »
Since the implied question in the OP is along the lines of: "Why would someone pay $1k for this?", I'll add my opinion.

First, your photo includes more than just the standoffs and you need to include those costs to make an honest comparison.
If you were using the standoffs on the floor, you'd still need to include the cost of the wood. You could argue that they were just scrap anyway so didn't cost you anything but at some point you probably paid something for them so they have value.

For me, the comparison is to my current system, which is a 4x8 Bora Centipede with a 4x8 sheet of foam on top. It cost me about $200 and is far from perfect. The foam tends to slide when I'm trying to get full sheets on it and if I'm doing lengthwise cuts I have to jury rig support for my parallel guides. My shop is small so I can't afford the space of most other solutions.

To me, the frustration with this system is probably worth spending an extra $800. If it saves me even one minor back injury from trying to man handle a full sheet by myself, it's way more than paid for itself.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1755
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2020, 12:50 PM »
Like any other tools, it is a matter of usage. If your hobby or job requires you to handle large sheets a lot, $1000 is nothing if it can help you whether in terms of quality or in terms of time saved. My DF500 and Kapex are used day in and day out, so their costs were little me.

If cutting large sheets is once-in-a-blue-moon task (less than once or twice a year for me, e.g.), the $1,000 is money better spent elsewhere (e.g. on timber).

Frankly, the price tag is cheap because I couldn't make one like that if I counted materials, time to source them, labor to weld/put them together, etc.  Yes, I put a dollar amount to every labor hour spent (and it is not set at the min. wage rate).

I could claim a tax deduction (depreciation) if I bought one, but I couldn't justify it based on usage.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 12:57 PM by ChuckM »

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 83
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2020, 03:27 PM »
Also, don't forget that in Europe they use more than just 2400 x 1200 (8 x 4) sheets - 2700, 3100, 3600 are all common lengths, as well as 1800 - 2100 wide.

Offline TXFIVEO

  • Posts: 426
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2020, 03:46 PM »
I build large doors and often times working solo, so....ORDERED!

Offline jarbroen

  • Posts: 265
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2020, 05:53 PM »
I'd be more tempted to drop the $1k if it was a 6 month wait to get it.  Just don't have that kind of patience. :D
Same reason why the only WP OneTime tools I have are ones my wife surprised me with... lol

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6189
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2020, 07:04 PM »
Why would I pay $1000 for a cutting table?  For convience and old age.  Getting tired of waint for help to unload ply and haul it to my shop. This way I can roll it up to the truck unload a sheet cut it and repeat.

plus it folds up and outta da way easy and slick
So its ordered.

Should arrive about the time I get my shop built and set up

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6255
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 09:04 PM »
@DynaGlide,
This should help with the moving of the sheets.(The Crazy Horse)
Tom

@tjbnwi   Any idea what happened to this?  Last mention was about a year ago.

Thanks, Mike A.

No clue, I had considered one, never purchased one.

tom

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 787
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 09:42 PM »
At the "new" price it starts making a lot of sense.  Heck lots of us own MFT/3, those aren't cheap.

I think a lot of us fall in the spot of being a single person, and moving 5x5 BB and 4x8 material is hard.  If you have a shop space that is hard to get in and out of and would like to be able to break down stuff someplace else with some ease, yet not have space taken up there, and will need to do more cutting in the shop space, then having something that stores compact and is easy to move is a major positive.

We all have loaded 3/4"  4x8 up on saw horses by our self and it's not easy/fun and you run the risk of material damage/human damage.  The nice ability to take sheets from edge to flat by one person is big.  Being able to roll that work piece around is very nice.  Having something that is a flat surface is big deal. Most of us probably break material down on saw horses with various 2x4s on top of them with varying degree of straightness, thus never the flat cutting surface we want.

Being that it folds up nicely, yet looks very strong, and has a nice method to flip sheets up sums up to something that can seriously be considered.  Start thinking about the cost of material you are working on and what you are trying to do, this looks pretty good.  Start just thinking about your back.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 737
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2020, 09:07 AM »
I don't think the draw for this product is the cutting table. Plenty of creative DIY and commercial, cheap solutions to handling a sheet for cutting at a comfortable height. It's the whole package of being able to lift a sheet, move the sheet, and cut the sheet on demand as needed.

When I got into working on motorcycles as a hobby there are lot of people that get and modify cheap Craftsman lifts for $100. I spent 4x that on a real beast of a unit that I can climb up on the bike when it's up in the air and it won't budge. I've done it. And I've gotten my moneys worth out of it several times over with all of the work I've done that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to.

Back to the STM 1800. The question it boils down to is does it enable you to do something you otherwise wouldn't be able to? If the answer is yes then I guess you know what to do. Personally the only thing this potentially offers is the sheet lifting. Here in the US we max out at 4x8 unless it's something special we're working on. If you have the dedicated space there are lots of creative pivoting sheet supports DIY that will lift the sheet up to your cutting table. If you don't have a dedicated space there are additionally ideas such as mentioned above. I like the functionality of this product but at $995 I can't imagine investing in it at this point in time. Maybe I'll snag one off Craigslist in 10 years at half price  ;)

Edit: I'm strongly considering this product from Rockler and adding an MFT style top to it to keep in the garage: https://www.rockler.com/rockler-material-mate-panel-cart-and-shop-stand

Load the sheet, pivot it onto my knock down cutting area, wheel it around for processing and have a place to set the saw, clamps, parallel guides, guide rail squares, etc. The top area maxes at 36"x30" according to their literature so you could do the rips on the cutting table, move pieces over and crosscut on the MFT top. Wheel it around so the crosscut pieces are supported by the ripping station using Lee Valley etc.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 09:37 AM by DynaGlide »
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 350
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2020, 09:34 AM »
I look at this and think, how ahead of his time @Richard/RMW was on this type cutting table....
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6189
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2020, 11:10 AM »
I don't think the draw for this product is the cutting table. Plenty of creative DIY and commercial, cheap solutions to handling a sheet for cutting at a comfortable height. It's the whole package of being able to lift a sheet, move the sheet, and cut the sheet on demand as needed.

When I got into working on motorcycles as a hobby there are lot of people that get and modify cheap Craftsman lifts for $100. I spent 4x that on a real beast of a unit that I can climb up on the bike when it's up in the air and it won't budge. I've done it. And I've gotten my moneys worth out of it several times over with all of the work I've done that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to.

Back to the STM 1800. The question it boils down to is does it enable you to do something you otherwise wouldn't be able to? If the answer is yes then I guess you know what to do. Personally the only thing this potentially offers is the sheet lifting. Here in the US we max out at 4x8 unless it's something special we're working on. If you have the dedicated space there are lots of creative pivoting sheet supports DIY that will lift the sheet up to your cutting table. If you don't have a dedicated space there are additionally ideas such as mentioned above. I like the functionality of this product but at $995 I can't imagine investing in it at this point in time. Maybe I'll snag one off Craigslist in 10 years at half price  ;)

Edit: I'm strongly considering this product from Rockler and adding an MFT style top to it to keep in the garage: https://www.rockler.com/rockler-material-mate-panel-cart-and-shop-stand

Load the sheet, pivot it onto my knock down cutting area, wheel it around for processing and have a place to set the saw, clamps, parallel guides, guide rail squares, etc. The top area maxes at 36"x30" according to their literature so you could do the rips on the cutting table, move pieces over and crosscut on the MFT top. Wheel it around so the crosscut pieces are supported by the ripping station using Lee Valley etc.

One other point I left out is that the height of it is adjustable. To me it means in can roll it out to my truck, slide a sheet of ply /timber on to it and roll it into the shop and adj the height to cutting level cut the ply and slid the peices onto the MFT for cross cutting.

When I was young in my early 50s no problem picking up sheets of 4 x 8 ply, now Im mid 60s im needing some help to take the ply from the truck to the shop and set on a MFT for ripping.

Im thinking this will make my life alot easier and not ave to wait for a neighbor, one of my kids to get home from work or the wife to help muscle the ply from truck to shop one sheet at a time.

Oh I did ax Don Ware to do a video review on it. He said he doesnt have one but will ax te Fesool Rep to see if he could get one and do a functional review of it.

For those that dont know Don, He is one of the most knowledgeable people I know on Festools. go to his you tube channel and check out his videos, very thorough reviews especially on the cyclone.

Him being a both a custom high end carpenter and now working at Anderson selling festools, He knows what our needs are and puts the tools through the paces.

Im looking fwd to his video. Im sure he'll post it here i the FOG when hes done. Plus Don will answer and demo any questions that that he doesnt cover in his original demo. Again look at his cyclone reviews.

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2014
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2020, 09:01 AM »
I look at this and think, how ahead of his time @Richard/RMW was on this type cutting table....

@Vondawg you prompted me to look back, the original video is 6 years old. Time flies when you are fiddling around a lot.



The updated version of that table still hangs on the wall & gets pulled out several times a year, mostly for breaking down large sheets, edgebanding, etc.



In addition I have both a 4' by 4' centipede and one of the jaw-clamp stand dinguses. The problem in a small shop is storing all that stuff, these latter 2 items are still part of the move-them-around-constantly-leaning-in-the-corner cadre of tools that make me nuts. Gotta find a permanent home for them.

Not sure I'd every justify $1K for this version but for a pro I can definitely see the value, especially solo and on-site folks.

RMW
« Last Edit: February 28, 2020, 09:08 AM by Richard/RMW »
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline denovo

  • Posts: 67
Re: Festool STM 1800 Mobile Sawing Table Alternatives
« Reply #22 on: February 29, 2020, 08:47 AM »

One other point I left out is that the height of it is adjustable. To me it means in can roll it out to my truck, slide a sheet of ply /timber on to it and roll it into the shop and adj the height to cutting level cut the ply and slid the peices onto the MFT for cross cutting.


This is the part I can't wrap my head around.  It doesn't look like it would be easy to adjust the height with a sheet on top.  Getting down on the ground to lift each foot one at a time for every sheet seems like more work then lifting the sheet onto the table.  You might as well just work with the table in the lower position.   

The other problem (for me) is my van is too low to easily slide a sheet onto the table even at it's lowest setting.  The process would be: unlock wheels, move table, lock wheels, lift sheet onto edge of table, climb into back of van, lift sheet to table height and slide onto table, unlock wheels, move table, lock wheels again, start cutting.  Repeat 20 times

I've been thinking of getting something like the Felder FAT 300 which can be easily raised and lowered.  If it's lower then my truck I wouldn't even have to lock the wheels, I can just pull the sheet onto the table.  Move the table to my cutting table, raise it up, slide the sheet onto the higher cutting table. 

The STM would be great if all your sheets are leaning against a wall.  It's getting the sheets from out of the truck and into the shop that seems like a problem to me without a helper.