Author Topic: Debating tablesaw...  (Read 4968 times)

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Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Debating tablesaw...
« on: April 19, 2021, 07:41 PM »
I don't have access to a woodshop any longer. I've been collecting my own tools.

I need some precision for making boxes however. Right now I have rules and a Benchdog parallel thing for Mafell tracks. I can't seem to cut two identical panels. They're plenty good enough for something like cabinet side panels, but not when I need them to be identical. Maybe if I switched to festool tracks so I could use their parallel guides? I feel like I'm burning money here however.

If I were to get a a sub $2k tablesaw I don't really know how good the fences are. Now I know what using a Unisaw with the high grade Delta fence + rails is like... perfect everytime, but I have no idea with all these MDF fence things other saws come with.

Also do I just cap the dust extraction then vacuum it out with my Festool vac when done?  [tongue]
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Offline afish

  • Posts: 493
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 08:03 PM »
That was my method for cabinets pre CNC.  Table saw to rip consistently parallel panels. Then I would crosscut everything that was to wide for a reasonably sized crosscut sled (mostly base cabinets and pantry depth) uppers and drawers would usually be done on the table saw and sled.  I would check the used market for a unisaw you used to be able to get a good condition unisaw for 800-1000 not sure where prices are now but that was pretty common pre covid.  Its pretty hard to kill those saws so used is the way to go.  I would much rather have a used unisaw than a new contractor version.  If things go south you can probably recoup most of the money on the unisaw even years later. 

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2021, 08:15 PM »
I'm afraid the Mafell tracks don't keep perfectly straight at lengths over a couple feet.. They are narrower than Festool tracks, but have superior splinter guards. I could get a Festool track and the guides... but that's like a 1/3 of a tablesaw.

When I say contractor tablesaw I mean Sawstop or Powermatic. The Delta new contractor saw is garbage. The older generation comes up for sale sometimes and is really pretty good but doesn't usually have the extension with the unisaw fence setup. With it, you're pretty well good to go. I don't own a truck so used presents some challenges. I also don't have anyone who can help me unload if I rent a HD truck... kind of a pain. My brother should be around in less than a month though who does have a truck and might be available once in awhile.

There's a chance maybe I can get good enough with what I have but it's really hard to calc it out perfectly. Drawing a line and hitting it perfectly just isn't very realistic. Maybe if I fake having parallel guides I could get closer, by measuring the track width and adding that to whatever I measure.

My Woodpecker rule seems fine but the stop thing that goes on it doesn't usually go perfectly across so I do it by eyeball but then I'm not sure that really works either. Measuring off of one side might still be best but that leaves you with a line instead of a measured cut distance.
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Offline afish

  • Posts: 493
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 08:30 PM »
picked my unisaw up with a motorcycle trailer from U-haul for $15 for the day if you dont have something with a trailer hitch you can rent a truck if you have a U-haul close.  I used to keep a trailer but I have a u-haul a mile down the road.  I didnt have the room to store the trailer so now I just run down a grab one from them.  The motorcycle trailer is great since it has a ramp and is low so its pretty easy to unload things single handed.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5228
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 09:15 PM »
Are the boxes you want to make smaller than cabinet panels?

You don’t have a shop so you are willing to buy a serious tablesaw saw or you aren’t?

If the stuff you need to rip is smaller than cabinet parts and you don’t have room for a real tablesaw then a small universal motor tablesaw (that has a decent fence) will work and it will cost less than buying a Festool rail and parallel guide stuff.

The small Dewalt tablesaw will do and if you connect the vac to the dust port from the start there will be way less dust escaping than you seem to expect. That small saw is designed for dust collection. With the old big iron it’s an add-on that works fairly well with a big dust collector and poorly with a shop vac.

With a universal motor you would need to get the best hearing protection you can find.

Online rvieceli

  • Posts: 1451
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2021, 10:19 PM »
I’d also suggest looking to the used market. I’m partial to Powermatic. PM66s are great saws. 10 inch on the 66, 12 inch on the 70, 14 on the 72

I’ve got a PM66 that rolled out to a dealer in 1969. Works wonderfully. The things are built like tanks. Other than the motor, there are only two readily available bearings in the arbor. They are easy to work on.

Ron

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2021, 10:33 PM »
IF you decide to get (read: invest in) a table saw, get a SawStop PCS -- new or used. Its footprint is close to the contractor model

There're many threads in this forum about finding a way to replace a table saw or to do some of the tasks that a table saw excels at. Go over them.

They will help you realize that, unless your plan for the future is to handle mostly sheet goods, build cabinets with them, etc., track saws, mft tables and what not (including all kinds of pricey gadgets and accessories) can't replace a good cabinet saw. I know of not one single serious or productive furniture maker where I live -- hobbyist or one doing it for a living -- who doesn't own a cabinet saw or a sliding saw.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 10:36 PM by ChuckM »

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2021, 07:35 AM »
It would be unrealistic to dive into anything that needs more than 110v~ at the moment.

I'm not sure that there is a way around it, I may have to just stick with what I got for the moment. But if I can't get much better results my Duo Doweller is DOA for projects where the cuts aren't good enough.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 03:47 PM by JeremyH. »
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Offline jaguar36

  • Posts: 235
    • Toolamanjaro.com
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2021, 07:49 AM »
I'd say its more a question of space more than anything.   If you're tight on space get the Festool tracks, parallel guides and a MFT or two.  Rip the sheets with the parallel guides to width, then crosscut them with the fence on the MFT to length.  With the guides and the stops on the MFT you should easily get consistent results.

If you've got the room a good used table saw that has a quality fence can be had pretty cheaply.  Older powermatics and deltas show up all the time but you'll likely have to do some legwork finding a good one and getting it picked up.  Or you can get a new Sawstop PCS.

Course if you've got the money, the best is  to rip the sheets with the track saw on the STM1800, cross cut em on the MFT, then use a tablesaw for the dado's.  Spendy for all that though.

Offline Wayne CW

  • Posts: 39
  • Wayne
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2021, 11:45 AM »
I don't have access to a woodshop any longer. I've been collecting my own tools.

I need some precision for making boxes however. Right now I have rules and a Benchdog parallel thing for Mafell tracks. I can't seem to cut two identical panels. They're plenty good enough for something like cabinet side panels, but not when I need them to be identical. Maybe if I switched to festool tracks so I could use their parallel guides? I feel like I'm burning money here however.

If I were to get a a sub $2k tablesaw I don't really know how good the fences are. Now I know what using a Unisaw with the high grade Delta fence + rails is like... perfect everytime, but I have no idea with all these MDF fence things other saws come with.

Also do I just cap the dust extraction then vacuum it out with my Festool vac when done?  [tongue]

Makita tracks are cheaper and your Mafell will work on them.
"There is always something new to learn and old age isn't an excuse to quit."

Offline Wayne CW

  • Posts: 39
  • Wayne
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2021, 11:54 AM »
I don't have access to a woodshop any longer. I've been collecting my own tools.

I need some precision for making boxes however. Right now I have rules and a Benchdog parallel thing for Mafell tracks. I can't seem to cut two identical panels. They're plenty good enough for something like cabinet side panels, but not when I need them to be identical. Maybe if I switched to festool tracks so I could use their parallel guides? I feel like I'm burning money here however.

If I were to get a a sub $2k tablesaw I don't really know how good the fences are. Now I know what using a Unisaw with the high grade Delta fence + rails is like... perfect everytime, but I have no idea with all these MDF fence things other saws come with.

Also do I just cap the dust extraction then vacuum it out with my Festool vac when done?  [tongue]

If you watch this video by Peter Millard he will show you how to make cheap guides.
"There is always something new to learn and old age isn't an excuse to quit."

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 415
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2021, 12:17 PM »
Before I got my TSO measuring arms, I used two Harbor Freight 24" combination squares for setting the rail.  It was accurate but slower than the TSO system. 

https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/measuring-marking-layout/rulers-squares/24-in-combination-square-63687.html

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2021, 01:33 PM »
My workhorse, SawStop PCS, is 1.75HP, 110V. For ripping stock over 2" thick, I use a 30T ripping blade.

Online mino

  • Posts: 496
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2021, 04:21 PM »
Makita tracks are cheaper and your Mafell will work on them.
Their extrusion are also less accurate. They are more stiff still, but the accuracy standard is lower for them as bigger bends are accepted in production.

Upgrading from Maffel/Bosch tracks to get accuracy and messing it with Makita makes no sense.

Also the Makita splinter guard is very soft, this makes for an excellent visibility for marking but a crappy anti-splinter effect.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
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Online mino

  • Posts: 496
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2021, 04:32 PM »
I don't have access to a woodshop any longer. I've been collecting my own tools.

I need some precision for making boxes however. Right now I have rules and a Benchdog parallel thing for Mafell tracks. I can't seem to cut two identical panels. They're plenty good enough for something like cabinet side panels, but not when I need them to be identical. Maybe if I switched to festool tracks so I could use their parallel guides? I feel like I'm burning money here however.

If I were to get a a sub $2k tablesaw I don't really know how good the fences are. Now I know what using a Unisaw with the high grade Delta fence + rails is like... perfect everytime, but I have no idea with all these MDF fence things other saws come with.

Also do I just cap the dust extraction then vacuum it out with my Festool vac when done?  [tongue]
If you are not happy with the accuracy you get from your rails, it makes no sense to stick with them. Either fix the current system or replace it.

If you want accuracy, Maffel on Festool rails is not a good combination. You do not get the reason for the Festool rails - the teflon-coated sliders on the TS55 - which is what gives it the accuracy and smoothness. And you lose the advantages of the Maffel saw and tracks like the connector etc.

But you are better off selling the whole system - tracksaw with rails - and getting a new system - again Tracksaw with rails + the TSO GRS + PG system which are simply brilliant. Just make sure to skip the Festool rail connectors and either get the Makita ones which are non-marring or the self-aligning TSO ones.

The new TS 55 F series uses the same 1,8 mm blade kerf as Maffel which helps reduce the power difference and will allow you to keep blades.

For home/hobby use, IMO nothing beats the flexibility and accuracy of a TS 55 + 2x 1400 LR32 + TSO GRS + TSO PGS + TSO rail connectors.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2021, 04:50 PM »
Mino thank you for recommendation.

I’m OCD for wanting the best... I am going to re-examine what I have and do now to see if I can work it out better. The thing I dislike the most is not being able to push to position. Setting to position for a pencil line is a liability.

An MFT with the ability to use dogs would help with being able to probably get good 90*’s, I suspect, as MFT users say it’s bang on.

An Incra positioner attached to mafell rail is tempting but will take some interesting work.

Some day in the future Benchdogs is going to make parallel guides for Mafell.

I’m going to play with my Mafell tracks and see how much deflection they give. That may help me know what to do.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2021, 05:01 PM »
Also when I use to use Festool TS55, wrap all cuts in blue tape, or get splinters.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 759
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2021, 05:15 PM »
The TSO parallel guides are the best I've come across, and there are procedures for aligning the two pins, but in my experience the most reliable way to get perfectly parallel rips is to use a table saw. The problem with parallel guides is that you're relying on two points in space, which may or may not be identical. Again, there are ways to to do this, but if you're looking for identical pieces, exactly parallel, in any sort of production capacity, you'll be better served by complementing your track saw with a table saw or a band saw.....
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Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2021, 05:35 PM »
To be clear I'm not producing anything right now except personal stuff. I have plans for a commercial item or two possibly but don't actually need a tablesaw for that first one.

I'm just another crazed hobbyist at the moment... willing to spend thousands of dollars to build things like inexpensive speakers or whatever I want  [wink]
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2704
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2021, 06:13 PM »
Snip. hobbyist at the moment... willing to spend thousands of dollars to build things like inexpensive speakers or whatever I want  [wink]

I know several people like that including myself. If one day, you venture into hand tools, be prepared to spend more. Even one boutique plane or a set of Japanese chisels could set the budget back by a few thousand dollars, depending on who makes it. [big grin] [big grin]

Online mino

  • Posts: 496
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2021, 06:20 PM »
...
An MFT with the ability to use dogs would help with being able to probably get good 90*’s, I suspect, as MFT users say it’s bang on.
...
Bench dogs specifically are an inherently inaccurate system. They may be good-enough and better than usig a square all the time. But they are no accuracy champs.

Once you get under the 0.005"/feet level of accuracy space, the dogs interface with the table as well as the micro-dents the softer material will get from dogs start to matter and they limit how accurate you can get no matter what. It may be good enough, but it has its inherent limits which are not present with the full-edge-interface approaches like a table saw or a PGS.

For best (portable) squareness on the market, you want something like the TSO GRS 16 with metal-on-metal connection of the square arms and even then you may want the extension "L" piece to increase the reference edge with the material. I can get <0.01" consistency per a 4' cut span with a 1400 rail and that is good enough with me. That is close to the Festool rail extrusion accuracy and better than the accuracy of common table saw fences.

A proper cabinet saw, an Erika or the Festool CS series class stuff is where you get above what a TS55 + TSO PGS can give regards accuracy.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2021, 08:38 PM »
I have this. But with out the parallel guides I'm not so sure with it. One of my panels came out well, one was not good. Still need to play with the mafell to see how much deflection it has. My experience with Festool rails was basically none.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8589
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2021, 09:10 PM »
I guess I'm just having a difficult time understanding this situation. I've used Mafell rails and have cut sheet goods to within a width of  .5 mm over 48".

I also use TSO guides on the Festool rails and I can duplicate those results.

I guess, the question is, is there a tolerance you need to maintain and over what length must that be maintained? That's a question that is easier to answer for the forum members.  [smile]

That answer will also determine what method would be the best for you to pursue.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2021, 09:40 PM »
I just checked and that is about the amount of deflection I can get out of the Mafell rail. It's kinda of a lot when you're doing a speaker box. I know it seems like little bit on a table saw I was use to imperceptible over 48".
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Offline Banana

  • Posts: 75
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2021, 10:06 PM »
I’m afraid the Mafell tracks don't keep perfectly straight at lengths over a couple feet…

For any accurate cut I always clamp at both ends.  If you don’t wish to clamp I’ve read you can add a strip of Festool grip tape to the bottom of any Bosch / Mafell rail (meaning in addition to Mafell’s / Bosch’s own grip ribs).  There’s a single slot underneath where it fits.
I can’t see how the tracks would not be straight past “a couple feet” unless they are slipping.  Maybe clean the rubber, check your saw feed rate, if cutting atop a sacrificial surface make sure it is held securely with material as well,  etc. (?)

Every method requires some technique but like others have said a benchdog system can introduce a lot of variables if you’re relying on them to be drop in automatic precision.

Offline JeremyH.

  • Posts: 316
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2021, 10:51 PM »
When you square from one end the deflection at the other at 48 inches could be .5mm or such. That's what I'm talking about. You can pull/push to pencil marks but the small amounts of flex in the whole thing means the splinter guard has tiny amounts of variance (this is verified by the fact you can get a little bit of red bits for awhile into the use of the track).

The track however does not move when sawing. That is the one thing I've never had happen with any track as far as I can tell.
CXS;RO150;ETS EC 125/3 EQ;CT26e  KSS400;MT55cc;DDF 40

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8589
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2021, 11:00 PM »
Well I’m an older audio guy so I can understand the need for precision.

If a speaker cabinet is leaking air, it’s also leaking sound fidelity. That’s the reason ALL JBL cabinets were constructed with a mitre lock joint for the corners.

Offline Cypren

  • Posts: 139
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2021, 04:34 AM »
For what it’s worth, I’ll also endorse the TSO squares and parallel guide sets. I did half a dozen identical 2 meter long rips with them yesterday and got a skew of 0.2mm over the length of the cut, with repeatability variance below 0.1mm across all six boards.

Getting results like this does require that you spend some effort on properly calibrating them up front: I used gauge blocks for both setting the stops and the position of the track. But once dialed in, they’re phenomenally accurate.

Online mino

  • Posts: 496
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2021, 05:58 AM »
I guess I'm just having a difficult time understanding this situation. I've used Mafell rails and have cut sheet goods to within a width of  .5 mm over 48".
..
The FS/2 rails are about twice as stiff as the Maffel rails due to being wider. That also makes them bulkier and heavier, so it is not for free ...
After our big purchase we were comparing 2-3 rails from each make with a friend, and the Maffel and FS/2 were straight to similar accuracy while Makita ones were deviating form a straight edge about twice as much. All were new or almost-new. A small selection, but given Makita rails are 1/2 the cost it makes sense.

The sum we got was that on short cuts, FS/2 and Maffel turn out about the same with Makita trailing due to the manufacturing allowances gap.  On longer (above 5' or so) cuts the FS/2 is best, with Makita and Maffel being comparable - Makita catches up with stiffness to otherwise more accurately made Maffel rails.

I guess this is also why Maffel does not make a 3000 mm rail. The profile is too narrow for such a rail to be stable. And when one is using connectors, he will be careful to not over-stress the joint so the stiffness is adequate. But I would not connect 3x 1600 and expect good results without some secondary straightening.

Even with my FS/2 at 3000 mm, I take great care to not create lateral stresses when placing the rail. The Festool strips are very grippy on wood. With the rail freely placed on material, they can create enough lateral stress for the 3000 rail to bend by about 0.2-0.3mm on its length if you just pull on one end to move it to a mark without lifting the rail a bit. That adds to the rail inherent inaccuracy of a similar order.

It is impossible to get better without making the rails even wider which will kill portability. So do not see any maker going that way.
The Machine does not have a brain. Use Yours!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 376, 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, GECKO, GRS 16 PE, GRS 16 PE

Offline Wayne CW

  • Posts: 39
  • Wayne
Re: Debating tablesaw...
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2021, 06:55 AM »
Do you find that you are able to get complete accuracy when running long stock, be it sheet goods or boards, using a table saw? How many posts have i read on different forums of users having difficulty with blade and fence alignments on table saws. For me i have used a table saw for over 50 years and a track saw for only about 3 years and if i am working with sheet goods today it will be my track saw that i will reach for. If i had to get rid of either my table saw or track saw, it would be my table saw that would be going.

I am really enjoying the nearly dust free cuts i can get with my tracks that i can't hope to get with my table saw.
"There is always something new to learn and old age isn't an excuse to quit."