Festool, DeWalt, or Makita?

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I've been using a shop-made, 9 foot long, guide to cut plywood, etc. It's just a 1x4 screwed to 1/2 inch Baltic Birch ply. The edge of the 1X4 has acquired a slight groove where the foot of the circular saw runs against it. I remember the job it was making the guide and getting it absolutely straight. I'm not particularly interested in doing it again.
I'm pondering the purchase of a Plunge/"track" saw. But I see descriptions of "anti splinter" strips, glide strips, high friction strips and other "add-ons" or replacements. Do I really need all that extra crap. I'm almost tempted to buy just the "track" and use the same saw (Milwaukee *left* blade) I've been using but I thought the plunge ability and other advantages would be worth the money. Some input would be appreciated. Thanks,
Max
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On 3/30/2010 8:05 PM, Max wrote:

Save some of your hard-earned cash - just replace the 1 x 4 with a piece of 1/8" x 1-1/2" aluminum angle.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Every piece of angle aluminum I've had access to wasn't *exactly* straight. I need a "benchmark". a "master", "something" that's absolutely straight. I do a little metal work now and then and I have several pieces of angle iron of various sizes. None of them are straight enough for me and that includes an 10' piece of 2X2 square tube, 12 gauge. Even it has a slight bow in it. I paid $20 for a 10' piece of 1X2 aluminum tube that I thought would work but it had a slight bow. I like your suggestion but I think I would have a difficult time implementing it.
Max
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On 3/30/2010 8:38 PM, Max wrote:

I cheated with mine (and I didn't need a nine-footer) - I clamped a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" BB to my base board, slapped my 8' pre-drilled 3/4" angle up against that, and screwed it down while holding the angle against the plywood edge.
Then I unclamped the plywood and used my circular saw to trim the width of the base board.
It's straight enough. :)
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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On 3/30/2010 9:10 PM, Morris Dovey wrote:

Whatever works for your particular use. I did that for 20 years and there is no comparison, for what I do, with the "plunge" saw methodology.
AAMOF, I have very straight 105" and 48" aluminum angle, complete with a guide system that will fit any circular saw, that has been resigned to the dust bin of history.
Never again ...
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On 3/30/2010 9:55 PM, Swingman wrote:

I confess that I haven't used mine for quite a while, too - same with my panel saw. Nowadays I cut more accurately without any guide at all.
In fact I use the same tool to cut precise elipses, parabolas, gears, text, dovetails, M&T's, dados, lap joints,...
...in wood, plastics, and soft metals. :)
But not everyone needs, wants, or can afford spendy tools - and I have to admit that my old angle guide (and the little SawSquare for cross-cutting) worked well enough to halve a knife mark.
I'd be happy to join you and Leon on the Festool cheering squad, but I prefer to not sacrifice precision and flexibility for portability I don't need. ;)
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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With some of that precision at my disposal, I still reach for my trusty 12-foot x 6" aluminum straight edge. I still do many cross cuts with a 48" shooting board with my Skil worm-drive. Then again, that Corian is awkward and heavy and the tools are a lot easier to move. The 75 model Festool is not far away. I have used it and there is no equal. A lot of the attraction comes from its dustcontrol.
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On 3/30/2010 11:55 PM, Robatoy wrote:

That makes sense to me, and my attitude would probably change if I were working with difficult-to-move materials. What I build doesn't begin to become heavy/awkward until assembly time - at which point I tip it onto a pallet and wrap/strap it for shipment. Even then I'll guess that a fully assembled 8x6 solar panel on its pallet weighs less than a full sheet of your solid surface material. I'm glad I don't have to muscle stuff like that around my shop...
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DeSoto Solar
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A winner all by itself!
Max
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On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:10:57 -0500, the infamous Morris Dovey

Whassa "3/4 BB", Mawwwwwriss?

The porch frame I just put in was 1.5" out of square. I built it that way because the porch roof/railing/uprights were all skewed and the roof would have looked out of square if I'd built it properly. <sigh> So, I needed to rip a couple of six foot tubasixes. Nix the SCMS. Nix the Ryobi portable table saur. Nix the Tiger saw. Nix the ryoba. Nix the pruning saw. Nix the razor knife. Nix the Zona saw. Nix the drywall saw. And nix the fret saw. Hmm...what else do I carry?
OK, the ancient Skilsaw gets the job. (Not a hard choice. ;)
I put another piece of tubasix up against the piece I wanted to cut and used it as the straightedge with a very dull HF blade. After the smoke cleared, I put on a new blade that night. The other stick cut in about 1/4 the time, and without any of the smoke. Amazing! (Note to self: remember to replace the blades you use with new ones so you'll have them in the truck when you need them.)

That's exactly what I said and the owner concurred. He added "It's only a rental unit."
-- May those who love us, love us; And may those that don't love us, May God turn their hearts; And if he doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, So we'll know them by their limping. --old Gaelic blessing
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On 3/31/2010 12:24 PM, Larry Jaques wrote:

BB = Baltic Birch (plywood)
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 15:55:27 -0500, the infamous Morris Dovey

But of course. <whap>
-- May those who love us, love us; And may those that don't love us, May God turn their hearts; And if he doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, So we'll know them by their limping. --old Gaelic blessing
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a wallpapers straight edge works great

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On 3/30/2010 8:05 PM, Max wrote:

Lord have mercy! If you can stand the freight, run, don't walk, to get the Festool FS55 or FS75!
The guide rails come with all that stuff and I've cut a lot of sheet goods (and even tubafours and sheathing) thus far with no inkling of having to replace any of those components.
There are a world of videos on youtube ... check'em out.
Festool will put a smile on your face ... GUARANTEED!
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Well, *if* I go with the Festool, it will be the FS75. I've read where the smaller one seems underpowered. Thanks for the recommendation. Question: Will a 1-1/4" vac hose fit the Festool ? I have enough shop vacs of various sizes that I'd hate to have to get the festool vac just for the saw. Question? I would be ordering online. Can the 102" guide rail be shipped with *reasonable* expectation that it won't get damaged?
Max
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On 3/30/2010 8:57 PM, Max wrote:

I don't think it is, but I have FS75, mainly due to the extra depth of cut. I am a firm believer in "batch cutting" as a means of maintaining 'square" in cabinet components, and this extra depth allows me to cut more stock at a time.

I can't answer that from personal experience. I bought the smaller vac (CT22E) mainly because Leon's advise, and due to the "fit" with all the other tools, and I have a large dust collector in the shop for the heavy work ... and I have plans to switch over to mostly Festool on things like routers, jigsaw, etc. as jobs, and finances, permit, which work with either Festool vac. (I may be dreaming here, but what the hell)
I will say that Leon ordered, for both of us, an adapter that fits the Kreg pocket hole jig so either of the Festool vacs can be used with it, so I think you may be OK in that regard.
Perhaps he will chime in here.

I got the 75" guide rail with the FS75, and bought an extra 55" guide rail, along with the kit for joining guide rails. This gives me more than enough flexibility for the longest diagonal cut on a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood, and the ease of use of the 55" on a 4 x 4 sheet, or smaller, sheet.
These guide rails excel at diagonal cuts that you can't do on a table saw ... something I've been beating my head against, looking for a solution, for years.
All my Festool stuff thus far were purchased locally at Rockler, but I have the shipping boxes for both guide rails and they are stout enough to make pretty good containers for general shop use, if not for long term offsite use.
Let me know if you have any more questions ... this Festool stuff is dear to my heart .. even the cons far outweigh the pros of most of the tools built today.
Then again, I'm getting to be a softy in my old age:
http://picasaweb.google.com/karlcaillouet/SadieBelle#5451560276095952578
:)
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Excellent!
Good news.

Cute as a...........dare I say...kitten?

Thanks,
Max
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Yup, I know what you mean. Moxie was done playing with me and went looking for Angela just to find herself locked out of Ang's study. Dawg KNEW Ang was in there and sniffed at the bottom of the door, whimpered a little and became quite silent. Half an hour went by and next thing I know, Ang was calling me to come take a look. Moxie had laid out a half dozen of her very favourite toys along the closed door for her. Those dogs give back so much when you treat them well.
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On 3/30/2010 11:17 PM, Robatoy wrote:

This tiny rascal has me wrapped around her little finger like no coon dog or hunting dog ever did. She actually belongs to our youngest daughter, who is staying here while recuperating from surgery, but since they only live three blocks away, in the house on the same property as the shop, I take care of the pup just as much, if not more, than she.
It was love at first sight ... I can't hep it. :)
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I think that a 1.25" ID would be too large. But there are lots of adapters out there. The adapter that Swingman mentioned for the Kreg jig is made by Fein. I measured the Festool Hose, the ID is 15/16" OD is 1.5".

Go ahead and get the Festool vac! LOL. You will probably not use the others again... the Festool vac works really well and is "quiet". Typically the power tool drowns out the noise of the vac.
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