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The second cut with my new Makita.  The first cut was great, the second kicked back and damaged the first inch or so of track.  Worse than the damage to the track, in my opinion, is the large cut in the table top.

What went wrong?

In a nut shell, I am squaring up the tabletop.  The track is only 48" and the top is 60".   I was cutting toward my referencing corner, so I began the cut plunging.  I was going to back the track up after that cut and get the first foot of the table.  I'm not too sure why I did it this way, but I can't see how it wouldn't work.

The plunge began fine, then about six inches into the cut the kickback happened, sending the saw backward, into the track and the tabletop.  I only had one hand on the saw and was off to the side enough I don't feel I was in any real danger.

Next question, where do I go from here?  Make the already small table (35x60) narrower to cut out the damage?  Curve the corner?  Inlay a patch? (though it is through the outer edge of a breadboard...)

If this was my fault and the saw isn't to blame, I don't care too much about the damaged track.  I'll cut off two inches and not miss it too much.

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Lable it rustic or reclaimed.

I just can't visualize how plunging could cause a problem.  Regardless, I need to be more mindful and slow down.   I did make the remaining three squaring cuts on the tabletop without incident.  

The same thing happened to me once with the same makita track saw a couple months ago...you can't move it backwards. End of story, IMO.   I had the track clamped down, the saw was up to full spee

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You have to make sure the blade is up to speed before plunging.  When plunging, you need to push forward a bit while plunging down.   It is definitely better to do it two handed.

I prefer to clamp the track down.  Some people say you don't need to, but it works better for me that way.  

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It's possible it wasn't up to speed I guess.  I notice now that the cut didn't even go all the way through.  I'll order some clamps.

After three minutes of cool headed though I think I'll just make the table a bit narrower to cut out the damage.  The table base has enough room to spare.

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To add to what Mike said, you also might want to ensure the blade doesn't touch any of the work piece as you plunge.  Before I bought into festool I took a class and the same thing happened to me because the front of the blade caught the edge of the sheet of ply I was cutting.  

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That's his problem, his track is too short and he was plunging in the middle of the material. When you make a plunge cut like that, it's good to clamp the rack, use the track stop for your saw(maybe festool specific), and of course be prepared for the kickback. It's like dropping a board onto a table saw blade or router bit in a table. You need to assume there's going to be some form of catch/kickback and prepare for overcoming it. 

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To add to what Mike said, you also might want to ensure the blade doesn't touch any of the work piece as you plunge.  Before I bought into festool I took a class and the same thing happened to me because the front of the blade caught the edge of the sheet of ply I was cutting.  

Bryan, im confused by this. "Ensure the blade doesn't touch any of the work piece as you plunge " ? Is that a typo? I plunge with my saw all the time into the material

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

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Shane hopefully I will explain better.  If you set the rail on the table in the picture without any overhang and then begin the cut you can get kickback.  As I said this happened the first time I used a track saw.  So rule of thumb I was told (and personally follow) was to basically to leave 6 inches of rail overhanginng the piece to be cut at the beginning.  Hence a 55" rail, if you leave the 6" at the beginning, you can then have 49" of cut capacity.  In this case, 2 rails should have been joined to span the entire length of the table and leaving around 6" to begin the cut without possibility of having kickback.  If you are plunging in the middle of the panel you should be using the rail stop to eliminate risk of kickback (however I'm not sure if Makita has this).

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I just can't visualize how plunging could cause a problem.  Regardless, I need to be more mindful and slow down.  

I did make the remaining three squaring cuts on the tabletop without incident.  It's a bummer the table lost a couple inches and it's a bummer my 55" track is now 53", but whatever.  It could have been worse, and it was a lesson learned.

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1 hour ago, Woodenskye said:

Shane hopefully I will explain better.  If you set the rail on the table in the picture without any overhang and then begin the cut you can get kickback.  As I said this happened the first time I used a track saw.  So rule of thumb I was told (and personally follow) was to basically to leave 6 inches of rail overhanginng the piece to be cut at the beginning.  Hence a 55" rail, if you leave the 6" at the beginning, you can then have 49" of cut capacity.  In this case, 2 rails should have been joined to span the entire length of the table and leaving around 6" to begin the cut without possibility of having kickback.  If you are plunging in the middle of the panel you should be using the rail stop to eliminate risk of kickback (however I'm not sure if Makita has this).

Thanks for clarifying , Bryan. I guess it just sounds odd to me to not plunge into the wood with a plunge saw. Ive done thousands of freehand plunge cuts with a regular circ saw and never got any kick back that was too concerning. If the track saw is up to full speed I just have a hard time understanding how it would kick back. I purposely start all my cuts plunging into the wood cause its fun. 

4 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

it's a bummer my 55" track is now 53",

Why would you scrap 2" of your track? Just change your splinter guard.

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7 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

Thanks for clarifying , Bryan. I guess it just sounds odd to me to not plunge into the wood with a plunge saw. Ive done thousands of freehand plunge cuts with a regular circ saw and never got any kick back that was too concerning. If the track saw is up to full speed I just have a hard time understanding how it would kick back. I purposely start all my cuts plunging into the wood cause its fun. 

Why would you scrap 2" of your track? Just change your splinter guard.

Shane. I guess where some of the confusion may be is each of our definitions of what a plunge cut is.  Obviously with the track saw you always have to plunge to expose the blade to make the cut.  My definition of a plunge cut is when you are beginning the cut in from the edge of a board, not when cutting from the edge.  Listen you know a hell of a lot more than I do, so my definition might be wrong.

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The same thing happened to me once with the same makita track saw a couple months ago...you can't move it backwards. End of story, IMO.  

I had the track clamped down, the saw was up to full speed, and I wasn't plunging anymore when it kicked back...It happened because I misjudged my starting position by a slight hair so i tried to back the saw up just slightly to clean up the front edge before moving forward again and it jumped off the track, tore it up a little, and left my pants a little less dry. If you think about it, moving backwards is a terrible terrible terrible idea, and something the saw's not made to do...it's a slick metal track with almost no friction and moving backwards is basically a climb cut, so you lose control quickly.

Now that you've posted this I feel kinda bad for not sharing my experience when it happened...thanks for sharing.

Edit: Also wanted to add, the dewalt has a nice feature where you can lock something that keeps the saw from sliding backwards at all...very nice thing to have IMO, and it was one of the things that made me want to get that brand of track saw when I was shopping.

4 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

The splinter guard is just the rubber strip, right?  The aluminum track it's self is chewed up and bent.

Yes. But the metal strip right at the corner won't affect the registration of the saw on the guide, and a new rubber strip will re-establish where the cut line is. It's good advice...however, you might be ok just leaving it as is, unless you're constantly trying to use the first couple inches of track. I find the first and last 6" or so aren't very useful because the saw is starting to come out of the guides.

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3 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

Exactly, plunging INTO the wood. Our definitions are the same

I just looked at the picture again and now see he was making a true plunge cut.  I am more confused at why it was done in the first place now, especially since it appears Bleedinblue has the layout line for the part he wanted to trim off, why wasn't the cut started at the edge.  

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Just now, Woodenskye said:

I just looked at the picture again and now see he was making a true plunge cut.  I am more confused at why it was done in the first place now, especially since it appears Bleedinblue has the layout line for the part he wanted to trim off, why wasn't the cut started at the edge.  

Cause its fun to plunge?

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Just to add, here is what my track looks like now... still works fine, but those shorts will never be the same :unsure:

fYEBhXP.png

3 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

I didn't consciously move the saw backward but it is possible I did it unintentionally.

I did some more tests after my 'incident' and realized how easy it is to go backwards unintentionally, either on a plunge cut, or right after one but before you start moving forward....if the blade grabs just a little it can transfer a lot of power into pulling the saw backwards, you really gotta pay attention and keep it steady especially when the blade is 'captured'.

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1 minute ago, shaneymack said:

So i guess the moral of the story is that the couple hundo extra for the Festool is worth it. It doesnt kick back, damn you Makita! 

Does it have a feature that keeps it from kicking back? I thought only the dewalt did.

I don't know for sure for bleedinblue, but my case was 100% user error. So no, the moral of the story is not to spend more money. The moral of the story is to be less stupid. In my case, anyway.

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Lol, I was going to make the initial cut with a plunge and trim off 2/3 of the length of the table.  Then I was going move the track back to make a second cut to trim off the remaining 1/3.  Why not start from the edge?  I don't know.  I didn't get think it would cause a problem, and I suppose the track and square were already oriented that direction.

I'm really thinking Joe might be right and I may have unintentionally moved the saw backward in the middle of the cut.   

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2 minutes ago, JosephThomas said:

Does it have a feature that keeps it from kicking back? I thought only the dewalt did.

I don't know for sure for bleedinblue, but my case was 100% user error. So no, the moral of the story is not to spend more money. The moral of the story is to be less stupid. In my case, anyway.

Yes it does.  You add it to the track. 

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