interesting comment re: Festool circular saw

A seemingly fairly experienced woodworker recently made a comment to the effect that he would never again use a table saw to cut plywood. He got the nifty Festool saw.
Whadya'all think?
Thanx Renata
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Renata" wrote in message

Depends entirely upon what you do.
Most cabinet/casework requires the dead-on accuracy that can best be achieved by "batch cutting" of parts and I doubt seriously whether the Festool saw will beat a table saw and fence combination for that.
Ask anyone who has to cut identical end panels for 20 or so cabinets whether they would want to measure each, and set up the guide for all those cuts, and you'll probably get a resounding "no".
I can certainly imagine using it to rough cut plywood to make it more manageable in a small shop, but even for one cabinet, with only two panels that need to be identical, I'd still put my money on a table saw and fence for accuracy and efficiency.
Just my tuppence ...
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 6/1/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think I would focus on making the first one square, and the second one close-but-slightly-larger. The template-following router bit is my new best friend.
Of course, if I had a table saw with infeed and outfeed tables large enough to stabilize a 4x8 sheet, there would be no where to stand in my shop, so I am perhaps biased.
- Ken

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Ken McIsaac" wrote in message

That's one way ... but a cabinet around here would be finished by the time you got around to cutting out the end panels. :)

Don't feel bad, I can't cut a full sheet of plywood in my shop either, but that hasn't stopped me, so far, from building _lots_ of cabinets ... although I am getting a bit tired of barking my shins on, and tripping over, cutoffs. :)
I think the Festool is a superbly fine tool ... I just simply don't need the one-off precision in most of my woodworking endeavors, so it would never replace a table saw for cutting plywood for me.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 6/1/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

me that for the amount of work I do, he would recommend a Festool saw. Although expensive, it is still only 10% of a sliding table saw. One of your other replies said it was inappropriate for 20 panels. Probably true, but for the individual projects I do, I am going to give it a try.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think that you should follow his advice. The Festool saw saves a hell of a lot of work in that you will be able to cut a stack of sheets at once, and not have to lug single sheets to the table saw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you are considering one, buy it, IIRC Festool has a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
It is not a TS replacement. It does however blow away the other circle saws.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

If making the final cut w/ it is mandatory, may be worth it. I rigged up a poor-man's panel saw w/ the Mag 77 and simply cut sheet goods to rough size where can be handled on the table or RAS for final cutting.
Seems a much faster/cheaper alternative to me, but to each his own and everybody has their own objectives and methods of work...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 08 Aug 2007 01:42:51 GMT, "Leon"

Not considering one, just an interesting comment, in view of my circumstances.
Just got done cutting about 20 sheets or so of ply for kitchen cabinets. Now that I'm nearly done (cutting, not the kitchen), I hear this and pause to think, would that have been a better alternative. When I started the project, I was in the mode of - I'm saving soooo much $ doing this myself that it justifies tool purchases. So, I mighta talked myself into one. Seems like it's better that the option didn't enter my mind.
The way my shop's (and myself) set up, it's difficult for me to cut a sheet by myself. I got neighbors to help so it hasn't been too bad. But, cutting across the width doesn't fly since the shop's too narrow (well, it won't be once I rearrange, move the wood storage out, but that's too late for this project).
Since I'm gonna be send ole Robin (Lee) a decent size order soon, and spending another few bucks on some other supplies, no way can I splurge right now on this saw. Besides, I just "splurged" on the DJ20.
Anyway, thanx for all the comments. Renata

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

For the task you describe above, IMO you made an excellent decision by resisting the temptation.
Providing you batch cut your cabinet panels/parts on a well setup table saw/fence system, you are going to end up with a MUCH better chance of SQUARE, identically dimensioned cabinets, than if you had cut each part of like length and width individually with a circular saw, regardless of the quality/accuracy of said circular saw.
Just the act of multiple measurements/setups is guaranteed to result in some error, and measurement errors have a habit of accumulating.
By batch cutting on a table saw/fence system you reduce this phenomenon to almost nil because all the parts are the same, regardless of whether their final measurement is precisely what the plans call for.
And, by starting off with a SQUARE cabinet, you are going to save an inestimable amount of time in installation and, VERY importantly, getting your drawers, drawer fronts, and cabinet doors to fit properly without a lot of extra work.
I once built cabinets without a good table saw and there is no circular saw in the world that would make me voluntarily go back to that way of working, for that type of work.
As usual, and depending upon what you do and how much time you have on your hands, YMMV.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 6/1/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
[snipped for brevity]

As a guy who has built a lot of cabinets over the years, I have hammered away at my guys that "sameness is goodness". Not only do errors accumulate, as Swing pointed out, they follow you around the entire process of building, all the way up to and including installation. Hinge locations, drawer slides, doors and on and on.... I would spend at least one day per month babying my sliding table saw (with scoring blade...another challenge in itself) cleaning the linear bearings and slides, blade alignments, fence alignments etc, to assure 'sameness' and "squareness".
Now, if I HAD to do it manually, the Festool system would be on top of my list. I'd be pretty confident that with some diligence and patience, I'd come pretty close. BUT.. at a snail's pace and with lots of room for screwing up.
r
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Last year I cut up 27 sheets of plywood for 2 kitchens for Swingman and this year 15 sheets for another kitchen. The TS is certainly the way to go. If you did not have a TS and you do a lot of on the job cutting where hauling a TS around with you is not practicle the Festool Saw and the Festtool table would be a pretty good decision IMHO for the smaller jobs. With the table and the saw/fence you can make repeated angle and square cuts, however probably still not as accurately as a TS.

If you are cutting plywood to rough demensions to later be accurately cut on the TS a good circle saw would probably do you although the Festool guide fence does not need to be clamped down and that in it self would save time if you want to make straight cuts.

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

Yeppers.
For the record, every woodworker needs to experience the phenomenon of working with a clone of himself, and finding a clone a tee bit smarter, at least in the other's shop, is a plus. Working with Leon is like that and proves that Great Minds do think a like ... if not look alike.
... I'm the good looking one. <g d & r>
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 6/1/07
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ah Shucks :~}) I'm the younger one.
g d & r ???? what's that? Smarter? I don't think so.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Renata wrote:
| The way my shop's (and myself) set up, it's difficult for me to cut | a sheet by myself. I got neighbors to help so it hasn't been too | bad. But, cutting across the width doesn't fly since the shop's too | narrow (well, it won't be once I rearrange, move the wood storage | out, but that's too late for this project).
I have some photos at the page below that show how I sometimes cut plywood sheets using a little PC circular saw. The approach shown is quick and easy, and I've been happy with the accuracy it provides - and I tend to be unreasonably fussy.
In those photos I used it in conjunction with a LV clamp-on guide and an "offset block" cut from a scrap of 1/4" plywood with the same saw and blade.
I don't think it's really necessary to spend a bunch to have both convenience and accuracy.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/outfeed.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think the word "hyperbole" describes that comment fairly well.
--
There are no stupid questions, but there are lots of stupid answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depends on lots of things. If your table saw is a cheap bench top or such saw with poor fences and no infeed table or outfeed table, then it would take quite a bit of luck to get a straight cut where you want it on a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" maple veneered MDF. The handling of the full size plywood sheet during the cutting is where lots of inaccuracies can occur. If you can minimize this, then you will get better cuts. One way is to use a horizontal sliding panel saw. The plywood is held by the sliding table and guided through the blade via a mechanically restrained sled. Or the vertical panel saw where the plywood stays stationary and the blade is mechanically guided through the plywood. Both of these methods allow you to cut multiple sheets at once for even better batch processing. Instead of making 20 cuts on 20 pieces of plywood, you make 5 cuts because you cut 4 sheets thick. The Festool circular saw lets the heavy large piece of plywood remain stationary and the blade is mechanically guided by the guide plate. You do have to measure and mark for each cut though. Maybe best to use the Festool for the longest finish cuts to do half the cuts and break the panel down to a manageable size in the process. Then take the smaller pieces to the table saw for repetitive cuts. Its a lot easier to accurately guide a 2x2 panel through the blade and against the fence than a 4x8 panel.
One thing the Festool has that few table saws have is the ability to cut without tearout. Unless you have a scoring blade and meticulously set it up on your panel saw. If the chipped edges from a regular table saw can be seen, it may not make much difference how accurately the piece is cut. Unless you recess the first 1/16" or so of the plywood, you will see the chipped edges. Festool won't have the chipped edges.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Snip

We should compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges here. The Festool does not have tear out because of the "replaceable" plastic splinterguards. New saws come with 5 replacements. When these splinter guards wear the saw will leave a splintered cut. The TS uses the zero clearance insert to accomplish the same thing. It too should be replaced when it wears.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmmm ... wonder why, then, a TS 55 reviewer/user would specifically state: "I do get some splintering to the right of the blade on the topside, but this is virtually unavoidable with a circular saw."?
http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/festool_atf_55e_part1.htm
Any saw will tearout under the right combination of blade/material/setup, including the Festool.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 6/1/07
  Click to see the full signature.
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.