My shop space is very small only 12x16. My concern is not breaking down large sheet stock. Most places like HomeDepot and Lowes will do that for you these days for free. My concern is making good looking face frames and such. I love Shaker style furniture and while my skills are at novice level now someday I may want to tackle more. Any suggestions or ideas.???
Thanks all. I went ahead and purchased the DW745 saw and stand. Compact was t he only way I felt I could go.
Festool track saw info
The TS 55 REQ Track Saw will change your perspective on what, and where, you can cut with a handheld saw. In fact, it packs the capabilities of a circular saw, table saw, miter saw, panel saw and radial arm saw into one compact design. Paired with the guide rail’s zero-clearance splinterguards, you get glue-ready, laser-straight cuts every time. It’s powerful, portable and always precise.
Depends on who you are. For me? Nope, it would be like living without oxygen. But do you absolutely need one to do excellent woodworking? Nope. With regard to track saws, and any tools for that matter, buy the best you can afford. If you spend $150 on a good circular saw and another $100 on a track, then pick up a good blade for $50, you're already in $300. If they're reasonably accurate, great. If they last forever, great. If not, then you're going to wind up buying the Festool eventually anyway. It's ALWAYS worth the extra money to buy the absolute best tools you can afford. But while track saws can do a whole lot that a table saw can't do, the converse is also true. I have both a track saw system and a TS in my shop and wouldn't give up either. But I don't ask for the kind of accuracy out of my track saw that I expect on the TS.
If you decide to go with a track saw system, make sure you check out http://www.EurekaZone.com. They make an excellent extruded aluminum track system that comes with a base plate that can be retrofitted onto your existing circular saw. It provides zero clearance cuts for chip-free cutting and the extruded fence is EXTREMELY accurate. But keep Rick's comment in mind -- a track saw system like this is only as accurate as the relation between your blade and circ saw base. The nice thing about the Festool track saw is that the whole thing is Festool. I have Festools in the shop and I can honestly say they are worth every penny. But I have a $3,500 table saw, so I don't need the top-of-the-line Festool track saw. If I didn't have a table saw? I'd own the Festool track saw, absolutely no doubt in my mind.
My D745 showed up today so decision made. LOL
I've got both the Eureka Zone and the Makita track saw systems (long story) and I don't see either replacing a table saw. Like most tools, they do a great job at what they are designed for but the design is also somewhat limited. For taking sheet goods down to spec sizes with minimal waste is what they do best. However, taking comparatively smaller stock down it isn't so good. ie, cutting a length of 2x4 into a pile of 3/4x1½ isn't going to happen, at least not with any degree of comfort.
Congrats and good luck. It looks like it needs a stand, and maybe some table extensions. This looks like a compact cheap solution for you. I lusted after a good quality table saw since I was a boy learning on my dad's "Invincible" and eventually in 1998 I bought a Felder 631. It is the love of my life. I very rarely use a portable circular saw. My machine is like this one but with more digital dials on the handwheels. It weighs 600 Kgs (1320 lbs) so is extremely stable. It has a 4 cutterhead planer thicknesser, mortising table, and a spindle moulder which has an interchangable head for router bits. I rarely use any other cutting tool in my shed.
show off :)
I spent 40 years wanting this machine and owning several compromise machines between. I will never need to replace it. My dad still has his Italian Invincible but, as he's turning 100 in May, we discourage him from using it any more. Isn't it just delectable? :)
It surely is a work of art. Talk about space saving...that is an entire shop worth of machinery, all in one very compact - yet sturdy - package. 100 years old and you have to *discourage* him from using his? May all of us woodworkers be so lucky as to practice the craft for so many years.
Here's something he made in his late 70's. Check out the hand-carved feet. No Kreg jig was used in this work. All joints except drawers are Mortise and tenon. No composite timber products used. The drawer joints were hand dovetailed. He can't see well enough to recognise his children from 10 feet. This is why we discourage him from using cutting machinery.
Hi Rick, Could I live without a table saw. It may be a good question for many, but for me it is a definite no. I have been doing wood working now for better that 25 years and these years have all be been doing custom cabinets and other custom woodwork for customers of whom are rot the most part are pretty particular in what they get. When it comes to custom work it is not like the things you find at Home depot and Lowes, as custom means just that. It must be built to the specifications of each person and each piece is not the same as the next. Trying to cut accurate pieces is something that would be very time consuming and actually very hard to beat the speed and or the accuracy of a good table saw. Making face frames as you mention would be one of your concerns can be done by other means other than a table saw however the time you will need to produce the same quality of joints would be very pains taking and time consuming. You must also be mindful of the quality of the cabinet boxes of which you are planning on attaching the face frames to. A cabinet box that is not square and accurately cut and assembled is a real bear to attach a frame to and then most will have the in-accuracy marking showing up once the fight and get the frames attached. Even though you can get precut stock in sizes that are popular for that of face frames, they are not available at most places and they are expensive to buy and have a lot of waste from cut off ends. With a good table saw you can mass produce the stock that you need rapidly and accurate and at a much lower cost that buying it pre cut to size.
So if you are planning on doing excellent work in the future I would advise you to buy a good table saw and save the money your are spending on other methods of cutting your stock and parts. The table saw will make you money and you will be much happier doing woodworking. I know that I could have not lasted the 25 years that I have and I would not have made a living doing woodwork.
Spectacular, Theo - your father is truly an artist.