Tool Advice please!


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On 9/8/2017 at 2:24 PM, Eric. said:

Tracksaws can do some things that table saws do, but not everything.  I use the table saw for a ton of joinery, and that is usually difficult or impossible with a tracksaw.  Can't use a dado stack in a tracksaw.  A tracksaw is almost worthless for small parts.  A table saw with a crosscut sled is an enormously versatile machine.  A tracksaw is great for crosscuts on panels and to a lesser extent, rips.  The table saw is the logical first tool in almost any shop.

The people who say a tracksaw can replace a table saw are Festool crackheads.  I have a tracksaw but it ain't even close to a replacement.  It's a supplementary tool.  If you work exclusively with sheet goods it's a slightly better argument.

Thank you again.  I was going to invest in a new Makita cordless track saw which is about $500.00 but I think with the information I am getting from you guys it makes more sense to invest in a high quality table saw first.   

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On 9/8/2017 at 4:21 PM, Gary Karczewski said:

Thank you great points.  I don't have a good table saw so I would start there.  Question your thoughts on Track Saws.  Can they really replace a table saw as mentioned in many Festool posts?  I was thinking of just using my circular saw with a great straight edge guide and making these cuts outside of the shop for now then using a tables saw for fine tuning with finish cuts.   Thoughts?

I'd say no to replacing a table saw with a track saw.   I've managed to do what you are talking about with a shop made guide, and cutting outside, for 44 years now.  We even use it for sheathing on roofs, and subflooring, as well as trimming doors, shutters, and such.  It's so fast to use, and eliminates any skill in cutting a straight line, that it's less trouble to use one than not to.  I just throw three 2x4's on top of a couple of saw horses to serve as a cutting platform, and an electric leaf blower (handy for many sawdust tasks) to clean the cut plywood off before handling it.  

I make the straightedges out of 1/4" Luan, with a ripped on the tablesaw factory edge of MDF for the saw guide.  Leave the saw side wider than the base of your circular saw, and trim it to width with the saw.  Then all you have to do is make sure you put it on the keeping side of your marks on the piece being cut, and push the saw.  I cut the other side of the guide the same way for a router with certain size straight bit, and not only can you use it with a router, but it's about the right space left to use for clamps to stay below the motor of the circular saw.

I keep an 8' one, and a 4' one.

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Lots of good advice, I agree with the idea of core tools first--Table saw, jointer, planer, shaper, bandsaw, miter saw. 

Sounds like a lot of cabinets--breaking down sheets of ply definitely wants a TS with a 54 inch table and fence. Or a panel saw. A plate joiner and a kreg pocket screw set up will be your best friends...

One comment about wood/metal working in same space. It's a major fire risk. All that sawdust/wood and welding/sparks are not a good idea unless you put up a wall to separate the spaces.  I have a metal lathe, a MIG, a  stick welder and ox/act torch set. I move outside to do any welding.  Sanding/grinding makes sparks and that makes me very nervous. I disconnect my dust collection from the belt/disc sander when sanding metal. I had plans to set up a separate metal working shop in the garage, but having to move back and forth between two buildings 50 feet apart to complete a project because tools are in different places just seems inconvenient. A separation wall is the best solution. 

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15 hours ago, Sawdustdad said:

Lots of good advice, I agree with the idea of core tools first--Table saw, jointer, planer, shaper, bandsaw, miter saw. 

Sounds like a lot of cabinets--breaking down sheets of ply definitely wants a TS with a 54 inch table and fence. Or a panel saw. A plate joiner and a kreg pocket screw set up will be your best friends...

One comment about wood/metal working in same space. It's a major fire risk. All that sawdust/wood and welding/sparks are not a good idea unless you put up a wall to separate the spaces.  I have a metal lathe, a MIG, a  stick welder and ox/act torch set. I move outside to do any welding.  Sanding/grinding makes sparks and that makes me very nervous. I disconnect my dust collection from the belt/disc sander when sanding metal. I had plans to set up a separate metal working shop in the garage, but having to move back and forth between two buildings 50 feet apart to complete a project because tools are in different places just seems inconvenient. A separation wall is the best solution. 

Very good points.  I typically have all my windows open and both garage doors opening when doing projects except when windy.  I am dealing with the heat ok in Utah thus far the shade of the garage helps and I am adding some ceiling fans to circulate the air as well.  I will be adding heat or heat/air years down the road to the garage.  Right now no welding or torch work going on or really any wood working as of yet being I am now just building into a shop.  Once the shop is done as per closing in the studded walls which will be insulated, and the attic above the shop insulated I may add either one of those Mitsubishi Electric Heat Pump.   I have plenty of room to move my welding away from any part of wood materials in the future.  

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On 9/10/2017 at 7:44 AM, Gary Karczewski said:

Thank you again.  I was going to invest in a new Makita cordless track saw which is about $500.00 but I think with the information I am getting from you guys it makes more sense to invest in a high quality table saw first.   

Apples to Oranges.  A track saw can do a lot of things for you.  Replacing a tablesaw isn't one of them unless you just barely use a tablesaw.  That is not a negative.  There are shops that do just fine without either a track saw or a tablesaw.

My approach is tablesaw-centric.  When I am designing and planning operations the tablesaw factors into that process.  Other folks are bandsaw-centric and employ other means to accomplish what I do on the tablesaw.

We all approach things a little differently.  I do not have a compound miter saw in the shop.  I don't have the footprint to spare for the minimal things a CMS does for me.  Someone else will have two radial arm saws and wonder how anyone can get by without them. 

Take in all the opinions, recommendations and experiences of others, render it down to the points that are important to you and your situation and make your choices.  This is a fun phase of setting up shop.  Have some fun. :)

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          Thanks all of you!   I did purchase a Bosch Duel Glide Miter Saw and anti-gravity stand a few months ago being I have a framing project coming up first on the to do list in my home.     I had decades ago a Makita Chop saw and always found it handy for making quick miter cuts and there are great reviews on this saw and I got the anti-gravity stand for free so I pulled the trigger. 

         I am going to most likely get both the table saw and the track saw but not at the same time.   Being most use track saws for ripping sheet goods for onsite fabrication and or just like making one cut and saving time and getting great accuracy on the first cut quickly thus one can see huge benefits of the track saw.   The table saw can do this as well if managed correctly.   In addition there are numerous uses for the table saw for wood working other than ripping.   I am going to invest in the table saw first and most likely build a good out feed table and incorporate the JessEm Clear Cut Stock Guides to assist with stability and stock management.   If I have to do a preliminary cut for sheet goods I will use my circular saw and a good straight edge for now.     After the framing work is completed the next wood working project that will come to head will be making a better work bench and cabinets.  

          What would be the next power tool(s) I should consider for this fabrication?  I do want to produce nice clean professional looking cabinets.   I own a router though not a plunge router for edge work and will invest in all sorts of clamps for gluing.     I see all these wonderful tools and I get a bit distracted in order of importance.  I want to purchase my tools as be needed to do the job right.  I have some old Craftsman sanders, all old no dust collection but they do work.   I have a  4 hp shop vac combined with a small bucket dust deputy for dust collection.  Should I opt for new sanders and better dust collection?  I have a 60 gallon 3 hp compressor and a brad nail gun and am going to get a framers nail gun for the framing job.  I have a a combo pack Ridgid 18V drill and impact gun for drilling right now as well or should I consider a new drill press next?

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