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Tablesaw, tracksaw, bench..... opinions please!

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TRITON

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As said he could do what we all do on site and just cut the sheet up on the floor outside with his tracksaw.

If he's organised he could do it inside on the floor, it doesn't take up that much space as you tend to cut them whilst kneeling on the sheet, you don't need the space to be able to walk around it.
What would probably be better. For space and for safety is a vertical panel saw for sheet material. And plenty of YT vids on making one. Certainly easier to manhandle the board onto the the saw and it takes up little to no room.
eg - though theres other examples not as long
 

baldkev

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I did consider a wall mounted panel saw setup but id still have to leavebthe area clear, so i settled on a bench. Total width will be around 1m by 3m long.

I do currently cut sheets outside then bring them in, but not great in winter. Im pretty good with my tablesaw, but crosscutting is often the issue. Its a hightop container which helps.

I think having the bench , tracksaw and built-in tablesaw will cover it.....

This is the space:

Yep i know i need to tidy up! 🤣 Theres more wall units ready to be assembled and the space under the bench will be good storage
To be fair im in the middle of something 🙂
 

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sometimewoodworker

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The thread is for baldkevs workshop. See it in the pic ?. here I'll lend you my glasses if you need them :rolleyes:
So im looking at the space KEV has. Not you, not your amazing 1.2mx1.7m.1.2m bench. This one of course being your main workbench. not to be confused with your other workbenches, in your 20m square shop.

Do please read what has been posted before getting your panties in a bunch. Or are you being deliberately argumentative?
In this thread I have not said what size my workshop is nor is it really important apart from the point that it is not a small/tiny one and my main tool for cutting sheet material is a tracksaw.
Nor yet have I said that I have a 1.2x1.7x1.2 workbench. Or is the full stop to small to notice? Neither do I claim it is amazing.

I mention the size to illustrate that you have no need of a workbench or cutting station as big as the full sheet you are cutting

For the cut itself you need the width + about 600mm. For the cutting surface, the width - about 600mm~800mm. These numbers envisages an island, for a cutting surface against a wall it would need to be larger


Can you see a 1.2m deep bench in there ?
No, but why does there have to be one now?

I cant. I'd say what is there is no greater than 3', though probably closer to 30"
So.....
what about if you were to take in an 8'x4' sheet and lay it flat on the bench we can clearly see isnt 1.2mx1.7m.1.2m.
How much room would it take up.
Where would Kev stand to be able to operate the saw.
How much of the 8'x4' sheet would overhang.
You do remember that one item is being sold do you?

You do remember that a workshop is not fixed in its current layout permanently?
That buying tools can mean that the workshop is capable of being reorganised?


I too have a tracksaw
and a sawbench
and a handheld circular saw
And a cross cut saw
And assorted handsaws

So im not bias, im just looking at the room he has, the placement of his machinery and how I would tackle such a task.
well you are looking from the view of a 120 sq foot workshop. Kev has about 300 sq feet and can reorder his tools and shop if he wants. Your post certainly seems biased in the way you have written it. Though it could be that your tracks do slide around and that you do have to support one of the strips you cut, if that's the case it says things about your setup and tool rather than a more usual one.

My workshop is a bit larger than either yours or Kev's. To repeat myself. I have or can reorganise the free space to put in a table saw, I could also afford one without too much difficulty. I chose not to. I use a track saw and rails (they don't slip BTW) to cut my sheet goods
 

sometimewoodworker

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I did consider a wall mounted panel saw setup but id still have to leavebthe area clear, so i settled on a bench. Total width will be around 1m by 3m long.

if you are building your tablesaw into the bench, it’s going to work, though you may find you need to be able to extend the width a bit. If it’s only for cutting sheet goods it’s a bit longer than needed, but when has anyone found they have too much horizontal space :)

If you are going to do a lot of cross-cutting then an MFT style flip down rail is very convenient, though for me it is too spendy and there are other ways to do the same job.
 

TRITON

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Do please read what has been posted before getting your panties in a bunch. Or are you being deliberately argumentative?
Deliberately ?. Not really, just didnt see how your big workshop equated to Kev's so as an example of where to cut sheets it wasnt a fair comparison. Of course that would be ideal, but in this case it wasnt,so posting it was nonsensical.
As to getting upset. You started that buddy " Most of your information is either wrong or a gross exaggeration and obviously written as blatantly anti-tracksaw along with a suggestion that makes no sense if you want accurate cuts (ripping the sheet first on a table saw). "
There is two camps, track saws are good but saw benches are better, and not only better but more versatile. Each obviously has its place in a workshop
Personally I cannot stand clowns who hark on constantly about tracksaws being the be all end all and thats all you need and saw benches are rubbish. Once you started on that nonsense I stopped taking your answer seriously.
Anyway, this is kevs thread. so ill leaving it at that.
 

baldkev

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All opinions / suggestions are valid. Whatever works for 1 person may not suit another.

I'm hoping to get the best of both worlds. The reason for the 3m bench is so the 2.4m sheet can fit on there without being over the tablesaw, so i won't be risking cutting into it with the tracksaw when im not paying enough attention 😆🤣
More seriously though, I'll route out a hole for my router plate so i can have another place to set up the router.

I'll make myself a very square square to set the track with for crosscuts over 600, anything under that can be covered by dog holes to align the track ( or use my radial arm saw...... or tablesaw 🤣😆 )
 

baldkev

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@clogs
Sorry it took a while to respond, i just got round to watching the video. I like the idea of using the doors to store stuff, i could do that with the slave door easy enough.

He certainly likes his plywood!👍
 

sometimewoodworker

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I'm hoping to get the best of both worlds. The reason for the 3m bench is so the 2.4m sheet can fit on there without being over the tablesaw, so i won't be risking cutting into it with the tracksaw when im not paying enough attention 😆
many people, myself included, use a polystyrene or other rigid insulation sheet to cut on. mine are 20mm thick (note to self time for new ones) this means that it is remarkably difficult to cut into the bench, but also improves dust collection. In my case it means that I have a bench top with very little damage so I probably will not need to ever replace it.
 
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sometimewoodworker

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Deliberately ?. Not really, just didnt see how your big workshop equated to Kev's so as an example of where to cut sheets it wasnt a fair comparison. Of course that would be ideal, but in this case it wasnt,so posting it was nonsensical.
Not nonsensical at all it was directly on point as along with the information that, as written was distinctly anti tracksaw (despite your having one yourself) you wrote
Tracksaws are for people who dont have the room for a table saw.
I do have room for a table saw, (I could probably even find space to fit in one with a sliding table that would take full sheets) and I use a tracksaw mostly because it’s the better tool for the job and the cost benefit of even a more modest table saw is not there for me. That is the same reason that I don’t, and won’t, have an MFT. I don’t have unlimited money to spend as I have to keep SWMBO happy (she just bought a V12 vacuum and last year a Mazda 2)

For others, specially if making enough same sized pieces, both may be good options, even more so if they make money with them.
 

TRITON

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No mate, you read it again
" Most of your information is either wrong or a gross exaggeration and obviously written as blatantly anti-tracksaw along with a suggestion that makes no sense if you want accurate cuts (ripping the sheet first on a table saw).
Your use of language towards me was off, which is why I reacted so.
'Blatantly' and 'Gross exaggeration' , and that I make no sense; so therefore must be a fool or something who doesnt know how to rip timber..
Blatantly anti anything is not exactly how you should be writing out replies in a 'them or us' type of nonsense.
 
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sometimewoodworker

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No mate, you read it again
" Most of your information is either wrong or a gross exaggeration and obviously written as blatantly anti-tracksaw along with a suggestion that makes no sense if you want accurate cuts (ripping the sheet first on a table saw).
Your use of language towards me was off, which is why I reacted so.
'Blatantly' and 'Gross exaggeration' , and that I make no sense; so therefore must be a fool or something who doesnt know how to rip timber..
Blatantly anti anything is not exactly how you should be writing out replies in a 'them or us' type of nonsense.
Well this is a debate where my responses to you are going to end with this reply.

I absolutely stand by the idea that trying to make an accurate rip cut of 2.4 meters length on either of Kev’s saws makes no sense, the one he sold couldn’t split a full sheet (he said max 500mm on the fence), controlling 30kg (moderate thickness sheet) through the blade to give an accurate glue ready cut starting 2.4 meters from the beginning is extremely difficult if it is possible at all while using a tracksaw it is trivial and I do it all the time on my projects. A honking great sliding table saw can do it, a site saw probably never.

I hold no responsibility for you misinterpreting my comment on the proposed rip cutting method to be a comment on your abilities, I don’t know your abilities, or the tracks and saw that you use I still do not comment on your abilities but if your description of the difficulties of using a track saw in anyway relates to your own experience then you have a bad saw with worse tracks.

for years my workshop space was about 30 square feet + 30 square feet it’s only in the last 4 years I have got my many times larger purpose built workshop with an attached finishing room 5m X 5m so I know the joys of working in a shoe box and now an aircraft hanger (a tiny aircraft hanger to suit a microlight aircraft to be sure but it would still fit)
 

baldkev

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many people, myself included, use a polystyrene or other rigid insulation sheet to cut on. mine are 20mm thick (note to self time for new ones) this means that it is remarkably difficult to cut into the bench, but also improves dust collection. In my case it means that I have a bench top with very little damage so I probably will not need to ever replace it.
Thats interesting, how did it improve dust collection?
I figured I'd have 18mm mrmdf, followed by 6mm sacraficial on top.



Just to be clear guys, arguing is pointless. Its fine to have a different opinion, we are all different people, so hug and make up. Or go join the arguments section of the forum and fight it out there 🙃
Thanks for everyones input👍
 

TRITON

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. Or go join the arguments section of the forum and fight it out there 🙃

Theres an arguments section ??? :oops: Do I see Jacob or Artie as the moderator for it ;):LOL:

You are absolutely 100% on the spot, and I apologize it taking up space in your thread, only I just dont like folk making implications and speaking to me in an unwarranted fashion.
Clearly it got out of hand a tad.

So I hope your choice of saw suits your needs in such a small shop. heavens knows we cant all operate out of aircraft hangers

Only kidding :sneaky: :LOL:
 

baldkev

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Arguments are a part of life and its often how things get resolved, but sometimes it pointless. Years ago i was on a car forum ( in my early 20s, when the internet was still young ) and it ended up with me doing battle with another member all the time. One day i logged on ready for the latest fight and I realised that it had become a regular 'thing'
I didnt log on again and i didnt miss it.

I did ask for peoples opinions and i got what i wanted. I think if i had a wider space I'd get a wider cast machine, but my situation isnt going to change for a long time ( money ) so I'll try with the combination. Luckily the dewalt is a fantastic little saw, so if i build the base / table well and have a way to lock it down, it'll be fine..... plus selling the multico oays for the tracksaw. The guy didnt turn up yesterday, had to take his dog to the vets. Hopefully monday. If not, ive got 4 or 5 other people who want it. Maybe its cheap? 😆 I put it on for 520, to get about 500 after haggling
 

sometimewoodworker

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Thats interesting, how did it improve dust collection?
I figured I'd have 18mm mrmdf, followed by 6mm sacraficial on top.
My bench has an MFT style set of 20mm holes at 96mm centres so the polystyrene acts in the same way as your 6mm sacrificial top will do but it’s lots cheaper and creates zero wear on the saw teeth. The improvements of dust collection comes from having a solid (non holly) surface. It is also very easy to take off when the bench is being used for holding down items or as an assembly table. You may find that your 6mm top does the same job. Is it going to be removable?

I settled on polystyrene as it’s easily available locally and the only 6mm MDF requires a trip of between 50km and 550km one way
 

Spectric

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When you watch Peter Millards video's he seems to do ok with a tracksaw in his tight compact space and I think most of the issues can be resolved with careful organisation. You also see a lot of videos where people are using PIR insulation as something to cut on using a tracksaw and
creates zero wear on the saw teeth.
I would also say that @baldkev there is a lot of good info if you search these forums with regards to tracksaws unless you have already been there.
 

baldkev

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but it’s lots cheaper and creates zero wear on the saw teeth
Yep it'll be removable but pinned down somehow. I'll probably avoid screws for obvious reasons. The back section can be pinned down with the batten, just needs a 6mm rebate. The zero wear is a good point. I was aiming at having it sacraficial so i dont need to move a sheet around and store it.

When you watch Peter Millards video's he seems to do ok with a tracksaw in his tight compact space

Yep, I believe he often gets things cut by his supplier to save splitting large sheets. I have read a few of the tracksaw/ mft threads, i dont think I'll go full mft, but you never know. At the moment i can see a few well placed dog holes would be great and I'll set up a few for stops whilst sanding etc. 👍
 

Spectric

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i dont think I'll go full mft, but you never know. At the moment i can see a few well placed dog holes would be great
That is how I have gone, rather than a worktop full of holes for things to fall through I use a top with holes that sits on top of my main bench but only when I need it and I also have put in dovetail slots for using Microjig clamps and fixtures which gives even better versatility and is a better option than ali track. The holes with dogs gives both alignment and restraint whilst the Microjig clamps provide a flexable clamping solution.

Take a look at this video, I first came across these when looking at the Hooked on wood site and Dennis's great bench, also worth watching.



 

Louie10

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tracksaw - Requires a flat surface to lay it on, so 8x4 minimum.
Is your workbench or space able to accommodate a flat 8x4 sheet ?.

Or
You arrive at your unit, and push through the board into the unit through your table saw giving you the 2x 608mm to further work on. A lot easier working on a half sheet than a full one.
Alternatively, you manhandle the sheet into your workshop. Struggle to get it lying flat, after first removing everything that might impede it, and with no doubt one side hanging precariously over the edge, you set up a tracksaw on it. Make the cut into two boards and the one you've just cut is difficult as you need to hold the sheet, be in control of the saw and make sure the track doesnt slide off, as the chances are your bench will be 2 feet wide, and half the board will now be hanging in the breeze or likely balanced on some sort of shaky support.
Of course you're going to need a minimum of 7 feet in the width to be able to operate the saw safely. By the looks of it you're going to be sitting on top of your planer/thicknesser to be able to work the saw.

Tracksaws are for people who dont have the room for a table saw. And before anyone whines its used in industry, mainly shopfitting. Shopfitters have workshops too with bloody great panel saws in them.
Hi Triton you make some great points of which I agree with. I am a cabinet maker based here in Northern Ireland and I am blessed to have both a good cabinet saw and a rail saw. The 55 is very good at dealing with sheet material and most thinner repeatable long cuts I do prefer to use the Fusion3. In my humble opinion it's nice to have both machines, the big Laguna is scary accurate and will produce highly accurate long cuts all day long but resizing a full sheet really is a good deal safer with the TS55. You are correct that a good Bench's that's flat is needed and of course the room to work the sheet. If you have the room then save your pennys and have both. Louie
 
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