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bradleyheathhays

Good and reasonably priced track saw

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I'm tooling up to do my first resin table and I'd rather not spend the $600 for the Festool track saw I'm seeing in all the videos.  Is there a comparable model that performs as well?  I definitely won't be a high volume producer.  Don't need it to do any specialized functions.  Just need it to have settings for cut depths and use a vacuum system.

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Man I've spent so much on new tools already I'm probably gonna have to go budget here until I can afford the better track systems.  And by that I mean just a regular circular saw with a straight edge guide to run it up against.

 

Any recommendation for a good deep cutting circular saw that would work ok with a straight edge guide, like just a straight maple board like Dragon suggests?

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I didn't see the videos, but I get a bit cynical when I see them pushing expensive tools.

 

I just had excellent results with my Makita 5007MG, a new fine cut Diablo blade and plywood with a factory edge.  The bottom plate is thicker than just a thin steel plate and seems to run along a straight edge better.   However, I often manage to get the cord caught at a critical point if I'm not careful. 

At the risk of stating the obvious to this talented forum - good side down.   

 

Jim

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I have found when using wood strips they will warp when there is moisture or when its extra dry and the metal just lays there.  I also use stick it sand paper every few inches so sometimes I don't have to use clamps when just drawing lines but with a saw pushing against the metal I do use clamps.

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On 1/3/2020 at 3:46 PM, Gerald said:

I have always used a homemade. Good hardwood strip , poplar I think, attached to Masonite or other hardboard 1/4 Run the saw against the hardwood and you are left with a edge to match the kerf for alignment purposes. Hangs on the wall

Been using one of those for about 15 years.  I put big boards on the ground, put down my jig and clamp into place.  Don't care about the dust collection as all the sawdust goes into the grass.  Oh, I use 2 X 4's on the ground, my stock on top, clamp on my guide and saw.  

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14 hours ago, FlGatorwood said:

 I put big boards on the ground, put down my jig and clamp into place.  Don't care about the dust collection as all the sawdust goes into the grass.  

I put rigid foam insulation board (the blue stuff) on my table (hate to bend down or kneel).  Hardboard and glued-on guide (per Gerald) works with any circ saw, and keep in mind that the hardboard doesn't shrink/expand, so it will hold the guide straight (and/or, use plywood as a guide?).  My circ saw has a dust connection, but if yours doesn't, a box fan will keep the dust off your face.  I think something like a 40 tooth blade (which is what Festool uses) would give a good edge.  And you can further improve the edges (especially for infrequent application) by taping top and bottom of cut line, which greatly reduces edge splinters.  A little bit of an upgrade to that is a clamping straight edge, which comes in 2', 4' and 8' lengths.  If someone hadn't given me an F-tool, I'd still be using the clamp edges.  They worked quite well (8" wide conformed aluminum doesn't bend horizontal).

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Thanks for all the great information guys.  Guess I'll be spending some dough either way I go.

 

Since I'm just starting to design these tables and my business success is far from assured, someone suggested I could just cut down the table edges with a router.  And since I just got a good 1.75 hp Dewalt plunge router I'm thinking maybe this would be the more economical route for me.  Is say a 3" edge cut possible on a router, possibly with multiple depth cuts?

 

Any ideas on using a router instead of some kind of guided circular saw?

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A lot of good suggestions for you in the posts above.  And I have looked into some nice track saws over the years, budget being one concern, SPACE being another.  So I have worked with what I have used and can afford.  Below are two items you can buy that will perform the task to a fair amount of accuracy.  Both tools can be used for other things so you get a lot of bang for your buck.  I have cut down sheet goods and doors for many years with nothing more than these two tools.

 

 

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Empire-98-in-Cutting-Guide-E902/203175575

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-13-Amp-Corded-7-1-4-in-Circular-Saw-CSB125/205216317

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