Author Topic: Built your own track saw (instructions)  (Read 936 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Built your own track saw (instructions)
« on: March 19, 2021, 08:38 AM »
This video shows how one man built his own reasonably functional tracksaw from plywood and miter bars and a circular saw.   It is fun to watch the video.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/how-to/a21719/build-your-own-track-saw-for-straight-accurate-cuts/

I am not suggesting that anyone replicate that track saw.  But it did make me wonder why no one has made an accessory base plate that could be screwed to the bottom of a circular saw and allow the use of Festool tracks.  Converting a circular saw would not allow the plunge and would not have the splitter, but would allow repeatable cuts.  I would think that the plate could be made for $75.00 or so.  Just  flat plate with a slot and holes for mounting to the saw and tapped holes for mounting the bars to mate to the track.

Or maybe someone already makes this?

Anyway, it was an entertaining 6 minute video.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9573
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2021, 09:38 AM »
A long time ago I had a set of aluminum tracks and a poly / plastic / HDPE plate that screwed to a circular saw. I don't remember the brand. It worked pretty well. The tracks has built in clamps, no zero clearance anti-splinter, had to +/- the base width.

Seth

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2021, 10:07 AM »
The plywood becomes its own zero clearance consumable edge. 

I used to make simple cutting guides and the 1/4" plywood became the zero cleance consumable edge.  It worked remarkably well getting very clean cuts.  But accuracy was dependent on how well I kept the saw pressed against the guide edge and how straight that guide edge was.  But for most cabinet work it made acceptable cuts.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 7349
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2021, 10:11 AM »
I have done that in the past, with my DW65 saw. Before I got my first Festool track saw, the AT65, I made an adapter plate for my DeWalt, and it worked just fine. Plunge also works, it is just not spring loaded. I generally didn't need the plunge.

Later on I got a chance to get the AT65 and it was quite an improvement.

In Europe there is the German company Wolfcraft that makes all kinds of DIY solutions to use your tools in many different ways. They do sell a track with a common adapter plate to fit any saw you want. 


Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2021, 10:22 AM »
The Wolfcraft unit is available on Amazon.com for $137.00.  It looks like a serviceable device for breaking down sheets of plywood for later cutting on the table saw.  That is how I originally used my Festool saw.  I am now going directly to finished sizes ever since getting the parallel guides which make repeatable cuts more "repeatable".

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 727
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2021, 10:27 AM »
I used Eurekazone components for many years. Didn't know what I was missing until I purchased Festool/Makita system. A saw made for the rail and that has plunge function is a thing of beauty.



Offline Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 51
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2021, 10:31 AM »
But it did make me wonder why no one has made an accessory base plate that could be screwed to the bottom of a circular saw and allow the use of Festool tracks.

Kreg makes a plastic base plate like this, but it's for use with their own track and parallel guide. I have used it and didn't care for it, but I don't expect it's supposed to compete with a TS 55 on quality.  I think it could be a nice product for someone that wants a little bit of track saw functionality without buying a "real" track saw.  I could see how their parallel edge guide could be particularly nice for the right consumer.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2021, 10:35 AM »
At some point you are back to just clamping your 8 ft level to the plywood offset from the cut and using it to guide the baseplate as folks have done for millennia when cutting plywood.

Once you loose plunge, splinter guards, riving knifes.......  what is the point of the track?  You basically at that point are just reducing the chance you mess up your offset measurements.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 11:15 AM by DeformedTree »

Offline Dr. P. Venkman

  • Posts: 51
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2021, 10:54 AM »
At some point you are back to just clamping your 8 ft level to the plywood offset from the cut and using it to guide the baseplate as folks have done for millennia when cutting plywood.

Once you loose plunge, splinter guards, riving knifes.......  what is the point of the track?  You basically at that point are just reducing the change you mess up your offset measurements.

That's exactly how I felt the time I used the Kreg system. 

Though I will give them credit. Even if it's not a product that interests me, they did a pretty good job with the plate in that you calibrate it once to get your saw in the same place each time you take the plate on and off (it's not the precision of the cams on a track saw, but still pretty good).  And I do think their parallel edge guide could be useful for the person that mostly clamps their level to the plywood, but needs to rip a bunch of equal width pieces.

Offline memilanuk

  • Posts: 15
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2021, 11:04 AM »
I used Eurekazone components for many years. Didn't know what I was missing until I purchased Festool/Makita system. A saw made for the rail and that has plunge function is a thing of beauty.
You and me both!

Sent from my SM-P610 using Tapatalk


Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 727
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2021, 11:05 AM »
For repeatable rips you can't beat the Eurekazone Universal Edge Guide. You know that 6-1/2" cordless circular saw that comes in the big tool kits that gathers dust? I re-purposed it to my UEG. Since mine is now cordless I can take it to the big box store and break down sheet goods to more easily transport in my vehicle.
 

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2021, 11:05 AM »
The same people who post DIY cabinets using Kreg jigs also make the plywood cuts using a Kreg track or with a saw with a Kreg edge guide. 

I'm sure someone with careful work habits could make serviceable cabinets using that equipment.  Make the doors with that equipment is another story.


Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2021, 11:14 AM »
The EZSMart Universal Edge Guide (Eurekazone) appears to be out of production.  I visited several sites (including Amazon.com) and they all said "Currently unavailable".

Correction:  Lee Valley still lists it at $50.00. (saw base) or $100.00 (saw base + edge guide).  I never saw this before.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 11:18 AM by Packard »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2021, 11:23 AM »
The same people who post DIY cabinets using Kreg jigs also make the plywood cuts using a Kreg track or with a saw with a Kreg edge guide. 

I'm sure someone with careful work habits could make serviceable cabinets using that equipment.  Make the doors with that equipment is another story.

People built cabinets for their homes for decades with no track saws and still do.  Lets not kid ourselves about how much we "need" these tools. Folks built a lot of stuff, of very good quality with little more than  a skill saw for a very long time.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 264
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2021, 11:33 AM »
The vanity cabinet I ripped out of my  1953 built ranch house was site-built using hand saws and nails.  It was a difficult piece to demo.  I was surprised how sturdy the butt joints and nails (no glue, thank goodness).

So, no we don't need a lot of fancy equipment to make cabinets. 

I watch the home renovation shows and the boxes are often built on-site with simple tools.  I assume that the doors are measured and built off-site, because they never show the doors being made.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1408
Re: Built your own track saw (instructions)
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2021, 12:55 PM »
Like a lot of things, when you only have tool X, you make it work. Also when it's what you are use to using, you know how to do it well.  This is why change is hard for some folks too, they don't see a benefit. The new tools let you do stuff faster, easier, less goofs, safer, less dust, etc. It's not a knock on the new tools, just a comment that you can do a lot with very little.

On tv shows, it's hit and miss I think.  "magic of television", I suspect often the item you see them building is often swapped out with something completely different later in the build.  I think TOH does a good job of showing them doing stuff on site with some stuff, but also going back to a shop to build other parts of it.

Unless a tv show is trying to sell a product, they are going to show things happening with basic tools from the big box store, otherwise there are not showing stuff folks can do, and thus help move products.