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Hi, just looking for opinions here. When I bought my Shopsmith for my tiny basement, I also bought a True-trac track saw system. With their system you attach the plate to the circular saw. I’m thinking of getting a circular saw (corded), and dedicating it to this purpose. In my current status, it would not get used very often, but I would want it work well, when needed. Just looking to see if anyone else has used this, or similar, and has some recommendations/do’s/don’ts.  Thank you, Artie

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I looked that up, WOW, that sure is a nifty looking sled. Boy I sure could have used that 60 years ago. Seems like everyone is coming out with those trac saws now. Best idea that has come along in a long time. The one you got Artie looks like about any saw would work and you could up grade later to different one if you wanted to.

Herb

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1 hour ago, Artie said:

Hi, just looking for opinions here. When I bought my Shopsmith for my tiny basement, I also bought a True-trac track saw system. With their system you attach the plate to the circular saw. I’m thinking of getting a circular saw (corded), and dedicating it to this purpose. In my current status, it would not get used very often, but I would want it work well, when needed. Just looking to see if anyone else has used this, or similar, and has some recommendations/do’s/don’ts.  Thank you, Artie

Thanks Artie for the post. Like Herb, I had never seen/heard of this system...quite impressive. I do like the fact one can use their current circular saw versus adding another saw to the stable.

In case others are following this thread, I've included a link to Tru-trac's Site

 

As for a circular saw, all of mine are either Skil, B&D or one Craftsman...none newer than the early 1990's  (not counting a 1940's Craftsman & a 1950's Montgomery Wards:P). You might check some of your local Pawn shops or even CL for a quality used saw...A couple of our area Pawn Shops often have near new, Bosch, Ryobi, Craftsman, Makita, etc.

 

My guide systems are just that...edge guide for the saw plate then calculating the distance left or right from the blade edge to the guide edge so I'm no help for tips on a system like yours.

Good post BTW. Thanks

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That system does look interesting. I'm a big fan of track saws but am wondering: the only circ saw I have is a PC with the blade on the left side, would it work with such a system? A lot of folks often mention the Eureka zone system, this is the first I had heard of Tru Track.

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1 hour ago, Fred W. Hargis Jr said:

That system does look interesting. I'm a big fan of track saws but am wondering: the only circ saw I have is a PC with the blade on the left side, would it work with such a system? A lot of folks often mention the Eureka zone system, this is the first I had heard of Tru Track.

rotate the saw 180° and make your cut from the far end...

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Great topic Artie, selfishly I will be reading this with great interest, I need to reduce the foot print of my shop, and the weight! I need to get the shop mobile now that I share it with a car, the recent days I have been moving my big aircraft carrier workbench and my 12" cab saw in and out for my work, and it's killing me.

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I have something very similar to yours that I bought about 8-10 years ago at a woodworking show. They had a killer deal on the set that included a short track suitable for cross cutting a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and a large track suitable for cutting the length of a 4'x8' sheet of plywood. It has a base that I attached to the base of  of my circular saw. This changed my life dramatically. Spot on cuts every time. Years ago I made a large rolling workbench that I use for most of my work. I then got a large 4'x8' piece of styrofoam insulation from Home Depot and cut it in half making two 4'x4' pieces which makes it easier to store. I lay the styrofoam on top of the workbench and then lay the plywood on top of that. Then I can make the cuts with everything perfectly flat and not damage my workbench.   

Edited by Allen Worsham

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1 hour ago, tomp said:

I believe that Eurekazone came first and Tru-Trac is an offshoot - a little history there as I understand.

Great review(s) and insight Tom. Can't speak for anyone else, but very helpful to me.

Thanks for taking the time to post pictures and share some of your experiences.

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Thanks Artie, I have an older Craftsman version of this. Worked OK but there is nothing to prevent slipping of the track without clamping it in place from above. A real negative. It does require a dedicated saw because of the plate that must be attached to the base of the saw. The Tru Trak looks like it is a great improvement over what I have. 

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Track saws are useful for handling large sheet goods.  If you have a small basement and a Shopsmith(with a smaller table surface and not much of an outfeed table), I can see it coming in handy.    I have a shop-made one (but has a degree of freedom away from the fence).   I use it a few times a year.  A lot of people buy a sheet of foam insulation board and cut on that rather than trying to balance on sawhorses or a table.

 

The main problem I have with them (and people who say "You don't need a table saw if you have a track saw") is that you cannot do repeatable cuts.   For example, if I have to cut 30 pieces 4" long or rip 10 boards 4" wide, I set a stop/fence once and I'm done.  Same with miters, like on picture frame molding where there is only one flat surface (the bottom)   And it cannot do joinery (rabbets, dadoes, tenons, lap joints, splines, narrow rips), or work well on really small pieces.

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4 minutes ago, kmealy said:

sheet of foam insulation board and cut on

what happens to the saw when the granules get sucked into the saw or the blade gets loaded up w/ melted foam...

not to mention all those granules/beads of foam on the loose in the shop that'll get into and on everything...

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15 minutes ago, It Was Al B said:

but there is nothing to prevent slipping of the track without clamping it in place from above. A real negative. 

 

so go w/ this style...

Peachtree also has all you need to make a better track saw or router guide...

 

R4 JOINER SUBSTITUTE.pdf

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55 minutes ago, Stick486 said:

what happens to the saw when the granules get sucked into the saw or the blade gets loaded up w/ melted foam...

not to mention all those granules/beads of foam on the loose in the shop that'll get into and on everything...

It really doesn't happen Stick, the shop I used to work at years ago used this method and it was really nice. Foam will not melt from the saw blade, and the foam does not get sucked up into the saw as the foam is restricted under the piece you are cutting, and the foam does not fly around the shop at all, the best foam to use is old Styrofoam cooler type with the small bead granules. 

IMHO it's far better than saw horses, and you get complete support of the piece you are cutting.

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2 hours ago, John Morris said:

It really doesn't happen Stick, the shop I used to work at years ago used this method and it was really nice. Foam will not melt from the saw blade, and the foam does not get sucked up into the saw as the foam is restricted under the piece you are cutting, and the foam does not fly around the shop at all, the best foam to use is old Styrofoam cooler type with the small bead granules. 

IMHO it's far better than saw horses, and you get complete support of the piece you are cutting.

I have used the pink foam board insulation with excellent results and none of the issues Stick mentioned. 

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49 minutes ago, Artie said:

putting it to a saw, so I can start using the Trac system, furthers my small work shop capabilities.

Without pictures this is only a myth:lol::lol:

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I've used both the clamp-on straight edge kit (they make a "rider" plate for a saw; I never tried that), and the Festool track saw.  The Festy is very nice, but awful pricey (got mine as a gift).  Looking at the Festy, there are some tricks used that could apply to any other solution: 

--Really good blade.  Blade might be more important than saw!

--They have adhesive rubber strips along both sides of the track; the strip on the blade side is installed maybe 3/16" past the edge of the track, and the blade shaves it with the first use.  After that, the gasketing presses down on the cut edge which eliminates splintering of the edge.  The gasket material grips the workpiece so I've never needed to clamp it.

--I use the blue building insulation as a pad/base, and adjust the blade to score about 1/8" into the base.  This really helps prevent splintering the edges of the downside.  I cut my 2'x8' blue pieces in half for flexibility and ease of storage.

--The saw blade comes up at the front, so you get a splinter edge on one of the four edges of the cut.  Blue painter tape over that cut will give you four good edges if you want.

--I still use a circ saw and straight edge for roughing out some pieces if it's too much trouble to break out the Festy, then do the finish edge on the table saw. 

--Dang saw (Fest) is calibrated in mm, and doesn't include the track offset, so I made my own table of "piece depth vs saw setting".  That sped up the adjustment process.

--I would conclude, given that I use the Fest maybe every one/two months, that buying it new wouldn't be worth it.  You can buy a lot of beer for $700.  Well, "enough" beer.

 

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