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Track saws and thin blades

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Blacks carpentry

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I’m not sure if this is a pee in the wind post or a warning to others that expect expensive track saws and their new thin-kerf fast rip blades to be perfect solution to their sheet ripping needs, but I have to say that these blades are a huge source of frustration. Blade drift is a nightmare (specifically in hardwood and birch ply). Splinter strips last several cuts before the cut line has moved at least 1/2mm and bevel cuts are not accurate. I have used many finishing and ripping blades for my Mafell mt55 and makita plunge saws and they both have the same woeful performance from new, driven at slow pace. Has anybody experienced this or found any nice thick 160mm blades for the Mafell?
 

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Spectric

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I have to say that so far my Makita tracksaw has performed well, no issues and once the rubber strip has been cut then providing your offset does not change then the cutline should not change. I clamp my track down but some people do not, @JobandKnock being one of those and with a lot of tracksaw experience. The following diagram shows how the offset works and is a combination of blade thickness and kerf so using different blades with different kerfs does not always change the offset.



1638887244347.png


These three Makita blades, 28, 40 and 48 teeth all have a 0.3mm offset, the 1.6mm thickness with 2.2 kerf is the same as the 1.0mm thickness with 1.6 Kerf.

B-092601651.61.372012282.223°0.3Specialised
B-092321651.01.960017401.618°0.3Specialised
B-092761651.62.352021482.20.3Specialised
 

Jones

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My festool works perfectly. Is the blade parallel with the track? If so is there any adjustment? The photo shows a very poor cut which suggests something wrong with the saw or operator error not the blade.
 

Alpha-Dave

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Look like the saw isn’t following the track; have you adjusted the saw’s foot so that it grips the ‘rib’ on the track? It should move smoothly up and down the track but no side-to-side movement.

Alternatively the track has moved during the cut; I always clamp mine on at 2 points.
 

Blacks carpentry

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The blade is perfectly parallel with the track. The blade used in the photo is a brand new mafell blade going through 25mm elm at a slow pace. As stated before, the problem is with the thickness of the blade. Either the tooth shape cannot hold centre or the heat is making the thin blade soft and wobbly. I’ve been a carpenter since 1997 and bought my first track saw the day makita released it so I’m pretty experienced with tools and techniques..
 

Blacks carpentry

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Look like the saw isn’t following the track; have you adjusted the saw’s foot so that it grips the ‘rib’ on the track? It should move smoothly up and down the track but no side-to-side movement.

Alternatively the track has moved during the cut; I always clamp mine on at 2 points.
It couldn’t be any more snug and yes it was clamped. The blade itself had drifted out of line, I have not had any issues with mdf or softer timber but I rarely use MDF
 

Alpha-Dave

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Interesting, elm has notoriously complex grain direction, I wonder if the blade is not rigid enough, and the rake of the teeth is pulling it to the sides as it follows the grain of the board.
 

Blacks carpentry

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My festool works perfectly. Is the blade parallel with the track? If so is there any adjustment? The photo shows a very poor cut which suggests something wrong with the saw or operator error not the blade.
My festool works perfectly. Is the blade parallel with the track? If so is there any adjustment? The photo shows a very poor cut which suggests something wrong with the saw or operator error not the blade.
Do you work with hardwood? Birch ply mainly? Do you use the original blades? I have used the festool saws with no issues. From my understanding, festool 160mm blades are now thinner kerf than they were originally so I’m not about to ditch the mafell in favour of Festool.
 

Blacks carpentry

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Interesting, elm has notoriously complex grain direction, I wonder if the blade is not rigid enough, and the rake of the teeth is pulling it to the sides as it follows the grain of the board.
Yes this is what I’m trying to communicate. Mafell told me to buy their blade with less teeth but the teeth are the same shape so would only offer the cut speed advantage. The blades are just too thin!
 

sawdustandwax

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No you're going mad it is the heat. They are just not suited to dense material. I was going to buy some thinking they'd save material but was advised against it, it was a table saw and the max depth was recommended at 30mm from a 250mm blade and for hardwood. It's described here in 2011 from an American, but still..:oops: he describes the issue the photo well
" However, thin blades, often called thin-kerf blades, are very sensitive to heating and wobbling, which in turn means non-straight (wavy or snaky) cuts"
 

Blacks carpentry

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No you're going mad it is the heat. They are just not suited to dense material. I was going to buy some thinking they'd save material but was advised against it, it was a table saw and the max depth was recommended at 30mm from a 250mm blade and for hardwood. It's described here in 2011 from an American, but still..:oops: he describes the issue the photo well
" However, thin blades, often called thin-kerf blades, are very sensitive to heating and wobbling, which in turn means non-straight (wavy or snaky) cuts"
Thank you, needed some recognition for my sanity! I can’t be the only carpenter/joiner that doesn’t exclusively use MDF, so how come these thin blades are now the standard issue? I hope i and others don’t have to resort to having blades custom made.
 

PerryGunn

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I hope i and others don’t have to resort to having blades custom made.
If it is a heat/friction issue, is it worth trying making the cut in two passes - if the track hasn't moved the cut lines should line up perfectly.

If it works, it may not be ideal but at least it's a solution that would work with the blades you have available.
 

baldkev

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I bought some 165mm blades for my makita 18v circ saw ( not track ) and they were thicker than normal. I used them ok, but it was clear they took more spinning up and took a wider cut. It was a while ago so i doubt ive still got the packet. ( its was a trend triple pack )
 

emlclcy

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i have a metal milling machine, if i use a slitting saw blade which is 0.5mm thick with no set (about 60mm dia) and try and cut through thickish ali with lubrication the blade wanders and it goes all horrible even with a very slow feed rate, several light cuts works well. so i wonder if something like this is happening? try 2 or 3 smaller cuts maybe
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
is this track saw and it's use the new how to sharpen thread......??????

I started cutting 8x4 sheets big time in California nearly 50 years ago.....with NONE of the above.....
we made/cut a piece of ply the same distance from the inside of the blade to the edge of the saw base....then used that as a distance guide for the straight edge.....
we would cut up to 10 sheets at a time this way....must have done thousands in my time......
still do it this way now......ps, my straight edge is a 3/4 MDF off cut and must be over 20 years old....
just cant see the need for this fashion item.....sorry....
 

bp122

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My Makita cuts through any material (birch ply, 40mm oak, any softwood, chipboard, you name it) smoothly and straight.

Maybe clamp the tracksaw and disconnect from the power and see if there is any wobble in the arbor. Maybe one of the bearings or something is off?

I know it's not relevant but my table saw Arbor has a 0.35mm runout and if the stock isn't fed properly, the cut is not great. Maybe the same principle?

This could have caused by anything - it may have been dropped, something heavy was loading the blade sideways or landed on it without you knowing it before you changed the blade. Or a factory fault if you have had this issue from the beginning?
 

Blacks carpentry

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is this track saw and it's use the new how to sharpen thread......??????

I started cutting 8x4 sheets big time in California nearly 50 years ago.....with NONE of the above.....
we made/cut a piece of ply the same distance from the inside of the blade to the edge of the saw base....then used that as a distance guide for the straight edge.....
we would cut up to 10 sheets at a time this way....must have done thousands in my time......
still do it this way now......ps, my straight edge is a 3/4 MDF off cut and must be over 20 years old....
just cant see the need for this fashion item.....sorry....
I also used to use a ripping jig and a 9” circular saw without wobble problems because the blades were thicker guage. Unfortunately it was not an accurate or versatile enough method for complex cabinet making so can’t go back to that.
 

Blacks carpentry

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i have a metal milling machine, if i use a slitting saw blade which is 0.5mm thick with no set (about 60mm dia) and try and cut through thickish ali with lubrication the blade wanders and it goes all horrible even with a very slow feed rate, several light cuts works well. so i wonder if something like this is happening? try 2 or 3 smaller cuts maybe
Yes the blades are too thin for light industrial use.
 
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