I have 1000 questions, but I'll ask just 1 of them


Recommended Posts

New to the forum, kinda new to the hobby too. I tell people who ask, I have more money than time, and more time than talent. So, now that you are warned, I find of course that for every project I work on, I learn a ton, but also a ton of questions spring up. And since I have no one to ask...

First assume that I only have a Festool TS 55 track saw and MFT/3. I do NOT have a table saw.

One specific question about an issue that I keep running into: how do I rip small or narrow stock? Specifically cuts that are longer than would work on my mitre saw, and narrower wood than the Festool guide rail.

Take a 24" long piece of exotic wood that is only 3" wide (and say 1/4" thick)...the issues are, the rubber no slip grip on the underside of the guide rail doesn't touch the stock, and there is no way to clamp the stock down without blocking the saw from cutting. Lastly, the guide rail then becomes wobbly. I have solved this by using similar thickness wood, but it still doesn't solve my issue.

Btw, have a laugh at my expense, i once tried to solve the issue using the "low profile" side clamps, which pins the stock tightly using HORIZONTAL force on each side. Apparently saws don't like this binding effect.

So, with only these tools, how can i safely stabilize this piece and rip it down the middle?

Obviously the example stock piece i gave isn't the only time i've had this issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any experience with the TS55, with a regular circular saw here's what I would do. Assuming my work piece is jointed and planed on 4 sides I would joint and plane a piece of scrap the same thickness and wide enough to support the track/straight edge, and double face tape both pieces to a sacrificial piece of MDF or plywood. The scrap carries the track/straight edge without wobble. Then you can rip to your hearts content.

Link to post
Share on other sites

tdale51 is on the right track (no pun intended), I do something similar to that. When my table saw is set up for a cut that I don't want to lose and I need to rip something else differently, I fall back to the TS55 and use a similarly thick board to support the track, measure from the edge of the board to the cutline of the track (and make sure it's parallel), then butt my piece to cut up against it. What's nice is that setup can make repeatable cuts, too.

Festool also has a parallel guide for the track with an optional attachment that can make smaller repeatable cuts, but the price on those accessories is ridiculous (even for Festool).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd put a +1 on the band saw idea. It's the 'right' tool for this (assuming you don't want a table saw, which if I understand is the case), saves a bit of wood due to the narrower kerf, and opens up the world of curves..

My 2cents. Your mileage (kilometer-age) may vary :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly if you are a true novice ripping thin strips is going to be challenging and potentially very dangerous with the ts55. That said if you are not under a time crunch and the piece you are ripping has a reasonably straight edge you could glue a piece of stock that is the same thickness (plywood might be best)to the piece you want to rip so that you have a wider surface to work with. Then you can rip all the way to the glued up seam.

But if you are serious about woodworking I would recommend buying a table saw even if it is a $200 portable one or used even.

Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 for what Darrel said. There are lots of small ts's out there which would work great for that sort of stuff without all the fuss of making a track saw work. You could have the piece cut before you figured out which piece of scrap to use to keep the track stable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the advice. I have personal reasons for not getting a table saw: in short, i have a special son who absolutely loves being in the shop for me, but doesn't speak / communicate / understand almost anything. He also has no regard for safety / danger, and therefore, the thought of an open-bladed table saw frightens me greatly. That TS55 is not only extremely well guarded, but also stops almost instantly when you release the trigger. And so, for now, I have generally made due with the track saw.

That said, I do believe the double sided tape may be the best method presented here. Is there a brand you guys generally recommend?

If anyone else comes up with something additional, feel free!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was taught by my mentor that if he had to get rid of every power tool in the shop but one, he would keep the bandsaw. He told me there is very little that a bandsaw can't do for you.

Considering your situation, you still might consider one. If you get a full sized model, the work surface is very high, and a little fella would have a very hard time getting to the blade just to touch it. The switches are generally even higher than that. Even if you were go with a bench top model, I think you would find the same is true.

As far as a table saw goes, you could always add a safety switch and build a cover for it. Alternatively, you can be diligent and lower the blade after use. A small contractor saw might be a good choice for you there because it can be bench mounted for use and then stored in a cabinet quite easily.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You might also search festoolownersgroup.com. I am pretty sure there are a number of home built jig ideas. I also see, to remember in one of the Jerry work supplemental manuals some ideas too. Perhaps it was for the mfs router jigs but I can't remember for sure.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   3 Members, 0 Anonymous, 179 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    29068
    Total Topics
    393309
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    21925
    Total Members
    1529
    Most Online
    Art V
    Newest Member
    Art V
    Joined