first panel saw

My intention is for this first to be the last. I checked google groups archives and see that there was a lot of discussions in the past on the subject and the Milwakee 6480-20 was a hands down winner. The dates of the threads on rec.woodworking where kind of old and when I looked around I see a strong contender Saw Trax ST-52. Here is the list of benefits of the Saw Trax over the Milwakee (for the discussion):
1. Total cost of system with dust collection and 8ft panel handling:
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

(sorry - hit the wrong button and posted this partial article)
milwakee: base unit ~$1200, 8ft extension ~$100, dust collection ~ $350, wheels ~$50: total $1700 saw trax: base including dust ~$1400, stand ~150: total $1550
2. Support for router installation instead of the rotary saw.
I find this a big plus. Being able to make dados with router on the panels is a big thing.
3. Keyless blade change:
The saw trax is using off the shelf porter-cable saw.
4. Very smooth track operation.
I had a chance of seeing the milwakee in operation at one of the shops here in Denver and the saw would have to be really pushed to move. The movies from the saw trax website shows this saw being moved with a small finger up and down.
5. Powder coated finish.
This saw trax finish versus milwaukee steel is more appealing or lasting.
Comments anybody?
-Peter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I wouldn't buy a panel saw at all. Instead build an open grid cutting table and then use your circular saw with a good quality guide.
If you have cash lying around, you might check out eurekazone for the EZ Smart system. I wish I could afford it all. There are videos and a message board at sawmillcreek.org.
But anyway, I slice up panels no problem with my collapsable table, twenty year old skil saw, and two dead straight aluminum guides.
Hope it helps. -Phil
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was considering the track system first. I looked at Festool and realized that the saw with gide and the table that would allow for alignment of the guide will put me right at the price tag of the panel saw (plunge saw and guide ~$1000, table ~$800). I saw the festool table with screws on the side to fix both sides of the guide and it must be very time consuming and inaccurate procedure. I checked the Eurekazone web site and see the same approach with sliders on the sides of the table moved by hand. The biggest advantage of the panel saw is the guide that does not need any alignment - it is always moving parallel or perpendicular to the edge of the panel.
-Peter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

On the second look at the EZ system I see it has nice hookups for the rail under the rail to the cut panel. It looks quite attractive with those anti chip inserts. It is not that expensive and has one more benefit over the panel saw - it cuts on any angle. I think I will give it a try before jumping into panel saw option.
thanks Phil! -Peter
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Very glad to help Peter. If you decide to go after a panel saw down the road, check out the latest ShopNotes Tools and Jigs book. It has a panel saw plan that looks doable. My workshop is literally based on extra pennies here and there. So I browse a lot and buy little. The EZSquare is on my eventual list........
Take care,
Phil
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you guys are looking for a real good straight edge I got one from the local window installer. Those aluminum studs used in store fronts are straight and stiff, not solid so they are fairly light weight. I got a 9ft piece for $20 second hand, best $20 I ever spent.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sat, Dec 8, 2007, 2:31pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@pzi.net (pzi) doth query: <snip> Comments anybody?
Yeah. Unless you need it for helping you make a living, and cut a Helluva lot of sheet goods, you really don't need one - unless you've just got money to burn - most of us don't. I don't recall hearing what you consider you need one for, or what type of woodworking you do. So, what DO you consider you need one for, and what kinda woodworking do you do?
JOAT Even Popeye didn't eat his spinach until he had to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.