Plunge saw choices

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Santa paid a late visit and I ended up holding some cash that I want to apply to getting a plunge saw to cut sheet goods. None of my current tools work well enough, though to be honest, they work ok. I just want something that I don't have to hassle with to get a clean and accurate cut.
I'm currently torn between the two Festool models. Of the two, I'm thinking EQ 75, but is it worth the extra dough ($175)? I haven't worked out the others in the equation (DeWalt, Makita) but understand they only offer one model and they are close to the Festool EQ 55.
Does anyone have experience in making this decision and what did you decide? Any guidance would be helpful.
Thanks,
MJ
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Get the Festool 55 saw if you are mainly cutting plywood and 4/4 stock. It will cut up to 8/4 with the rail. But its not designed for that. If your main use is ripping 8/4 or maybe even 12/4 solid hardwood, then the Festool 75 is the saw. It is much heavier and bigger and harder to use than the light nimble 55 saw.
On Tuesday, January 15, 2013 3:35:53 PM UTC-6, MJ wrote:

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On 1/15/2013 4:06 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

will cut up to 8/4 with the rail. But its not designed for that. If your main use is ripping 8/4 or maybe even 12/4 solid hardwood, then the Festool 75 is the saw. It is much heavier and bigger and harder to use than the light nimble 55 saw.
What he said.
I personally opted for the TS75, mainly because I wanted the extra capacity, as my work often calls for me to be able to cover all bases, and it makes economic sense to do that with one tool if possible.
That said, and owning a cabinet saw, I would love to have the TS55 also, because the preponderance of my plunge saw use is indeed for sheetgood work, which the TS55 covers nicely and without strain, while being smaller, lighter and easier to heft for an entire day.
Bottom line, you will be tickled whichever one you decide upon.
IIRC, Leon asked me that same question when he went to buy one ... might want to get his take on the basis for him choosing the TS75.
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I went through this almost 3 years go. Festool has been making the track saw for a very long time, while brands are doing the "me too" dance.
I pondered the 55 or the 75. Food for thought. The 55 comes with a 55" track. Justt long enough to make a close to 90 degree cut on a standard sheet of plywood, no way for a 60" wide piece of Baltic birch.
The 75 comes with a 75" track. These saws cut well enough to make finish cuts and I knew that I would be breaking down sheets of plywood with mine and I do. So eventually I was going to buy another add on track to cut 96". While 55" sounds like it is long enough to cross cut 48", you have to place it just right to do so. There needs to be over hang the length of the saw base at the beginning of the cut and about half the base for the end of the cut.
So where am I going with this? If you think you will ever need the capacity to rip a standard sheet of plywood I advise to go with the 75. It comes with the 75" track which I always use over the 55" track for cross cutting standard and 60" Baltic birch and you will only need to add the shorter 55" track. The shorter 55" track is significantly less expensive than the 75" track. I don't recall the exact prices but considering both the 55 and 75 saw and you buy the extra track to get the 130" capacity the savings of getting the 55 saw over the 75 saw is about $20. Check the prices to be sure. Also you will need the 2 bars to attach the tracks to each other.
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With the caveat that there's number of accessory track sizes one can buy to fit most any frequently used lengths. And in addition to those accessories tracks, you can cut a longer track (carefully) to any length you want to fit specific purposes.
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Karl and I found a tool that holds the tracks true while you tighten the set screws on the rods. Not a Festool item but quick, simple, foolproof, and expensive. ;-0. IIRC $100.
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On 1/16/2013 8:03 AM, Leon wrote:

Don't look now, Bubba ... but you just described Festool to a "T". :>)
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Swingman wrote:

I have a related question.
In doing pocket-joinery ala Kreg, what helps insures that "nothing slips" when finally attaching the 2 pieces of wood with a screw (or screws). I don't believe that the second piece of wood is normally drilled, right? Based upon my experience, screwing two pieces of wood together does not yield precise results without more technique (clamps, pre-drill, etc.). Is there something remarkable about their screws?
Bill
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On 1/16/2013 9:14 AM, Bill wrote:

clamps or holddowns.
correct.
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On 1/16/2013 10:14 AM, Bill wrote:

You reading my mail?? ;)
Less than fifteen minutes ago I walked out of the shop after making four seat frames for my bar stool project this morning, using pocket hole joinery:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopMissionBarStool#5834088508989074738
I use both these types of clamps, although the Rockler clamp on the right will do a pretty good job by itself:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page0675
I have two of them and use them over most other methods these days.
I also use this when doing a bunch of face frames for a large cabinet job, it is inset in a piece of large plywood base:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page !459&site=ROCKLER
Lots of different ways, but the first Rockler jig above may be all you ever need.
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Swingman wrote:

When they are demonstrating the Kreg Pocket-hole Jigs, the clamps are never mentioned! ; )
Thank you for the lesson!
BTW, Your 4 chairs look lovely, so far!
Bill
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On 1/16/2013 11:52 AM, Swingman wrote:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopMissionBarStool#5834088508989074738
based on your recommendation I bought one of these. clamps.
I notice yours does not have the screw backed out at the end, mine required backing the screw all the way out otherwise it rises off the workpiece defeating the point of the clamp. I tried all different lengths of pocket depth.
Am I the only one having this problem? Also adjusting that screw required an unbelievable amount of torque to break the screw, it was so tight.
Interesting chamfer on your seats.
--
Jeff

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On 1/16/2013 11:02 PM, woodchucker wrote:

I have never had that problem, so I don't know what to tell you. My initial guess would be the depth of cut (drill) and the depth stop not set correctly, but that is just a guess, with no basis in experience whatsoever.
> Interesting chamfer on your seats.
I have always done that to my seat web frames made for upholstery, and the upholstery guys seem to love it ... I was under the impression it was something that everyone did. It does make for a more comfortable to sit in seat, and a better fitting upholstery job.
When I delivered the seat frames to the upholstery shop yesterday, the old guy called his workers to look at the frames, and the bar stool I brought along so he could see what I wanted ... you would have thought I was from outerspace the way they gathered around and ohhh'ed and ahhh'ed ... "You mean you really made this chair, really???".
We tend to forget just how rare handmade custom furniture/woodwork is these days. :)
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I know what you mean about making something that other people/tradesman don't usually experience. I have had similar experiences. Some creative design, intelligence and execution is definitely in short supply in this "modern" world. Not that many craftsman around any more.
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On 1/17/2013 10:55 AM, Swingman wrote:

results. It appears that the plastic tube is too flexible when screwed all the way in, when it's screwed out it appears to have some side support.
I have tried deep holes using thicker pieces so I could move away from the edge more, and it had no effect. So my guess is I got the bad one.
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I purchased a right angle clamp for my pocket screw constructions. It adds an alternate dimension of clamping when using the Kreg jig.
http://www.leevalley.com/en/shopping/AddViews.aspx?pa019 http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?pI892&cat=1,180,42311,46275
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On 1/17/13 1:09 AM, Dave wrote:

Tangent... Those regular Kreg vice grip jig clamps are way too expensive. These deep throat locking pliers from Harbor Freight work great with Kreg pocket hole jigs. I put a large fender washer in my jig, where the clamp grips. They snap right into the recess and stay put. <http://www.harborfreight.com/11-inch-swivel-pad-lock-grip-pliers-39535.html>
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On 1/17/2013 10:03 AM, -MIKE- wrote:

I have half a dozen of those and use them for a lot of other clamping uses besides pocket holes.
I've always been partial to the "vise-grip" type mechanism for quick change clamping ... in my childhood I somehow knew a few folks who actually used vice grips when their gear shift broke on the steering columns of their trucks ... kinda thought they were standard issue there for a while. :)
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On 1/17/2013 10:25 AM, Swingman wrote:

locking pliers with the smaller round swivel end and the bigger round swivel but they are self adjusting for any thickness material with in it's capacity. Clamping pressure remains constant at what you set it regardless of thickness being clamped. Pretty high quality for this type tool. I got mine at a WW show a couple of years ago and will be buying more next go round. So easy to use that I use them left handed and I am right handed.
http://www.chhanson.com/products_ALC.html
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10" with swivel pads are $17.50 ea on Amazon, qualify for prime shipping.
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Best regards
Han
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