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As I mentioned another thread, I've got A junky Firestorm table saw and have endless trouble with it.
IMO a track saw would be awesome for accurately breaking down large sheets into more manageable chunks, but I'd prefer the easy repeatability of a table saw on the smaller pieces
Sofar I've been getting by with a straight edge, clamps and circular saw to break down 4x8' sheets. It isn't perfect so I tend to rely on the factory edges unless I know they are too far out of square.
How have you guys been fairing?
I use an aluminum straight edge to ripe down 4x8 sheet to 4x4 then run them through the table saw. I have a good sized Delta saw from Lowe’s.
I've been using a corded circular saw since I was young. I think twice over the years I've had the guard somehow catch the cord and pull it into the blade as it closed. One christmas my father got me a Makita cordless one that uses the same batteries as my screw gun. I didn't realize just how much the cord was a liability until it was gone. I can focus alot more on both making a straight cut and being safe without constantly having to worry about where the cord is, is it going to pull on the saw and bind the blade, am I going to trip or get caught in it ect.
For an aluminum straight edge, (among others) there is this Bora which is too steep for me and this Pittsburgh Tools from Harbor Freight, which I actually have.
However, I don't use it because I built two DIY kind-of-track saws, a 4' and an 8'. Basically glued two pieces of 1/2" MDF together, making sure to leave enough width to clamp down and not get in the way of the saw motor. The bottom piece was oversized on the cutting side and then I just ran the saw down the guide edge. Now I have a line EXCACTLY where my blade is going to cut. I was going to route a real track and build a base for the saw, but since I'm just ripping things down I decided not to bother.
I have the older model of the DWE7485 DeWalt Table Saw. It's the only one I've had so I don't have anything to compare it to, but it does well in "best of" guides.
I didn't understand sleds until a few years ago, but they are really handy. I built something like the one in the video below, but added some T-track and other bells and whistles.
Using the 5-cut method and a set of feeler guages you can get good accuracy. And get one of these...
I bit the bullet and spent the money for a track saw a few years back. My wife wanted some built in bookcases and a window seat in one of our bedrooms and that's how I justified it .
Then this followed me home the other day
$100 off of Craigslist. Needs a few minor things, but will replace the Ryobi table saw I paid $28 for a few years ago.
For breaking down panels I've been using an edge guide attachment for a circular saw that looks like this:
It's a bit clumsy but works well enough to break down panels into manageable sizes.
I've also used a Makita track saw which was the bees knees but I think quite pricey. The homemade jig that A4eaudio shows would definitely be a more budget friendly solution.
For a table saw I use an old Trademaster that I bought cheap with a bad fence. I retrofitted it with an Accusquare fence and couldn't be happier with it.
I use a ProGrip straight edge clamp for breaking down sheets and my old trusty Craftsman TS. Last year I built a base for it to house the dust deputy can. Nice to finally have wheels on it.
Who needs a guard mine just keeps getting in the way so I took it off.
That's the saw I have. Mine was out of square on the fence and the 90° on the blade. Fence was easy, correcting the blade was a little more involved.
Cuts like a champ now.
I built my own jig using aluminum T-Track and a saw I picked up at the pawn shop cheap.
The track I bought on Amazon is no longer available but this looks like the same thing.
I think Craig (PWRRYD) & I have the same basic older Craftsman saw. Mine is from the early 90s. It's a pretty solid saw as long as you take some time to dial it in. I hated the stock fence, so I bought their Exact-i-rip fence when it was on sale. My dad had an older shaft drive version, but I'm not sure if it was built as well as the belt drives.
Not mine - pic from eBay, this has the stock fence
Your Craftsman looks alot like my Ryobi!
Yep, we have the same Craftsman saw. And yeah that is the crappy stock fence that mine had too. I upgraded to a Saw Stop fence and it's made the saw go from so-so to full on awesome. I built a rolling stand for mine since it's stored in the garage and I do all my cutting on the driveway. I added another table extension to mine which is my router table.
I am quite envious of your router extension!
I have an old Craftsman too, but I'm certain it's older than the one pictured above.
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Tom's and mine may be from different decades (I guessed mine to be from the late 70's) but they are pretty much identical. Belt driven, 3 Hp, cast iron top. I bought mine off craigslist for $40. It was missing the v-belt ($6 at Farm & Fleet) and the top surface of the table was completely rusted from sitting in a shed for 10+ years. Luckily the rust was only surface rust and cleaned up easily. About 2 or 3 times a year I wipe the wax off the top with mineral spirits, hit it with my DA and a red scotch brite pad, then rewax it. Wood slides over it like butter
Yes, Jakes dad, one in the same. I'm pretty sure someone else has this model too. I really like the router extension.
I have the Ryobi BT3000 too. I put in new blade adjustment shims from the BT3001 model, purchased rail extensions and a second fence. The second fence is used just for the router table extension and easily slides off when not in use. Works like a charm despite its age.
I wanted another leaf with the router hole, but they're a bit pricey on ebay to justify the means.
I’ve loved my dewalt, and just noticed a ton of similarities between my dewalt and Vince’s Skil saw…..
I have this same Craftsman as well, but mine is still all stock.
Buy a good fence and you will have a top notch saw.
Nick, what year is that one from? Looks like the one my dad had, but yours has a much better fence!
I believe the early 80's. The stock fence was useless junk, this one works very well. A night and day difference. I'll take a cheap saw with a good fence over a nice saw with a cheap fence any day of the week and twice on Sunday .
I would suggest to anyone who plans to make speakers or woodworking a long term hobby and has an old craftsman, sell the stock fence on eBay, skip the next moderately costly build, and just buy a better fence.... Those Scan Speaks will wait.
This has been a great saw, except the first week the handle for the fence fell off, and I couldn’t find the bolt anywhere so I had to rig up my own bolt and washer system. Never had a problem with it since.
Bought a Mao Shan TSC-10L 10" table saw new in 1990. Date stamp on the faceplate is 1-1989. Built alot of speakers with it over the past 30 years. It has a 1-1/2HP motor, cast iron bed, and cast iron extensions. Don't know the exact weight; but it is heavy. I had to dissassemble it completely to get the individual parts down the steps into my basement.
I still use the crummy fence that came with it. I bolted sacrificial particle board runners onto it so that I can use it with my stacked dado blade. Feels a little sloppy before clamp down, but if I use a 2 foot square to align the fence before clamp down, I get good 90 degree corners with little to no run out.
One thing I forgot to mention is that my Mao Shan table saw is designed for left handed users. And I am a right handed table saw user. My blade tilts to the right, so if I place my fence on the right side of the table saw blade, I cannot tilt the blade to cut beveled edges. This will bind and kick back. So, if I want to tilt the blade to cut beveled edges, I need to put my fence on the left hand side of the table saw. This is very difficult to do and feels very awkward. The only way for me to fix this problem is to replace the entire table saw with one designed for a right handed user. Here is a video that explains this better than I can:
Mine is like that, tilts right, fence on the right. Never thought of it as an issue.
Ummm? Mine does too and so do I. Never seen one tilt to the left.
Pictures above are split between left and right