01 Jun. 1982|
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Before you get too infuriated we are certainly not saying this is always the case but we want to highlight a few specific tasks where a track saw really is our personal choice over other more common tools such as a table saw. When it comes to ripping large 4’x8’ sheet material and working as a one man wolf pack it is really our preference to use a track saw over the table saw, call us crazy. Even in the shop we prefer this method of using the track saw on a large piece of thick insulation for making long precision cuts, the great news is this technique works exactly the same anywhere you can find a level 4’x8’ slab of concrete to work on. While it would have been very simple to cut these strips on fresh new plywood with the ShopBot, if we were going to use others scraps it would not be practical to layout CNC cutting paths around others already cut out shapes (at least not with our limited knowledge of the machine). After spending several hours cutting these strips and the shapes for the pedestal we’d be happy to go back and scrap that proof of concept for a few minutes of laying out a cut path on the computer and letting the machine do all the work.
For more information on any shop or jobsite saws give the pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424. This entry was posted in Bosch, Wood Working Tools and tagged bosch plunge saw, dewalt plunge saw, dewalt track saw, finish saw, plunge saw, plunge track saw, track saw. In addition to the circular saw, all I need is my tape measure and framing square, a shop-built jig, and a couple small clamps.
After the glue has dried, run the saw against the fence, trimming off the bottom piece of plywood. We also want to try and understand a little better why the track saw is not that popular in the USA when it is one of the most common tools used in Europe and other countries. Jobsite tables saws like Bosch’s 4100-09 ($599, Ohio Power Tool) or compact GTS1031 ($369, Ohio Power Tool) and excellent options and ideal for jobsite durability with incredible accuracy. For a precision cut however that’s like comparing a shotgun to a rifle and after using a track saw for a little while it’s pretty hard going back, if you care at all about the precision of the cut. We had previously designed a pedestal bar height table measuring 54” square which could seat 8 if needed. The time cutting did payoff however as all the strips were more precise than we had really thought 8’ pieces could be with this method.
While it is a great tool we still would not recommend getting a track saw before investing in a table saw, we are not completely crazy, a table saw is the most used piece of equipment in many shops.
This puts the plywood at a convenient height, and the saw blade will nick the edges of the beams rather than cut a slot across the flat surfaces. For a minimal investment, I can cut plywood as accurately as I can with a table saw, though it does take a bit longer. I glue the plywood down with yellow glue, using narrow crown staples to fasten them to the edge of the board below. This way, all I have to do is ride the edge of the saw along the guide to get a straight cut.
We have no issues with these saws in any way but for handling large sheet material it should be a 2 man operation (according to the safety director & common sense) and both of these units will eat up considerable space in the jobsite trailer. Even when fitted with high performance circular saw blades like we recently tested a circular saw is not a finishing tool. We attribute this to the saw much more than our novice skills and have no doubt in the future we could build this table top mostly with others scraps. You can also do this with regular sawhorses, with two or three sacrificial 2 x 4s spanning them.
I use the saw to cut close to the desired line, then use a router and a straight guide to get a very clean precise final cut. Second, as you can see in the photo below, I also place the plywood on a sheet of 2″-thick, rigid foam insulation. So for a circular saw and miter saw, make your cuts with the good face down; on the table saw, with the good face up. By raising the blade you can change the direction with which the teeth actually enter the wood, shifting from an angled cut to an almost perpendicular cut. Most track saws come in a case no larger than a standard circular saw case and while the traces can be over 8’ long they are have a very small profile and can hide easily out of site in a well organized trailer. For framing lumber circular saws work great but even used without the track in many cases we still prefer to use the plunge cutting track saw over our circular saw. For the design of the table top we wanted to cut tons of 1.5” strips of oak plywood, then biscuit joint and glue them together.
You probably still think it’s a crazy idea, which after all the time it took to make this table we might not disagree.
You want the plywood to be fully supported as you make the cut , you don’t want the cut off piece to drop as the cut nears completion. Both of these tools can be used for a greater variety of woodworking jobs then a circular saw.
These blades will work for rough cuts in construction-grade soft lumber, but for working with hardwoods and sheet goods, you need to upgrade.
The size makes it difficult to keep the sheet flat on the table or bench, and simultaneously tight against the fence. Adding low-adhesion blue masking tape to both faces on the cut line holds the wood fibers in place while cutting plywood. Perhaps the larger jobsite table saws are just too big and folks have been force to find other ways to get the job done. So get some help: Ask a friend or family member to assist, or use a roller stand or sawhorse to keep things flat. The only critical dimension is to leave a space from the edge of the skinny piece to the edge of the wide piece that is bigger than the distance from the edge of the saw’s baseplate to the edge of the blade. For table and miter saws, invest in an 80 TPI plywood blade, one designed for cross (miter saw) or rip (table saw) cuts. That way, you can focus on pushing the wood or saw at a consistent feed rate, getting a cleaner, straighter cut. Also, whenever you use a circular saw, set up a straight edge or fence to guide the foot of the saw.