Still reeling from spending 380 quid ($674) on a circular saw.

I don't know if this is a good idea or whether I should be sent off for treatment. I've just bought the Festo TS55 circular saw and accompanying guide and sundry toys.
This is a small contraption that is best described in a review of its predecessor (ATF55). It was this review that got me hooked.: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/festool_atf_55e_part1.htm
Anyway, in Europe that have the next incarnation of this thing (TS55) so I bought it today. It arrives thursday morning.
If anyone else has one then words of support are most welcome.
(I intend to make some bedroom/office furniture out of sheet material, that's why I got it)
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On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 19:52:52 +0100, "gandalf"

I just picked up a random orbital sander by Festool on some special deal ($75 for what retails at $225). It's excellent so far. I believe they make very good tools, so don't fret the cost now that it's already spent. Let us know how it goes.
JP
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Sounds like a great deal. Every report I've read on their sanders puts them way above all others.

Will do.
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On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 19:52:52 +0100, "gandalf"

I've had an ATF55 and guide-rail for years, and gagged at the price too. Never regretted it. Whenever any sheet goods are involved, it's the perfect solution; make sure you use the right blade (Festo 48-teeth is great for plywood, MDF, etc). Be careful when using the rail that the lead doesn't catch on the end, and if doing climb (backward) cuts, set the depth very, very fine. Also, look after the splinter preventer strip on the rail, keeping it accurate will make an enormous difference to its convenience. Bevel cuts will modify it, so if you plan to do any, I would suggest making up a separate guide system.
If the depth scale is black on black like the older model, you may want to highlight the digits (I did it by spraying the whole scale with silver paint, and wiping the raised figures while wet). That scale is really useful if readable.
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wrote:

I didn't gag as much as the wife did. Damn shop sent the invoice through the post and she opened it tonight when she got back from the office. Damn, damn, all is woe...........must be more careful in future.

That's good to hear.

That's the one I've ordered.

I've never considered going backwards with a CS. Sounds really dangerous.

I think the new version gets around that somehow.

If it is still the same I shall follow your advice.
Cheers.
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On Wed, 8 Sep 2004 21:11:48 +0100, "gandalf"

That's one of the beauties of the plunge saw, you can actually do it safely provided the cut is fine.The procedure was recommended by the festo dealer who sold me the saw.
Make sure the saw is adjusted for a good tight sliding fit on the rail. Once the rail is in place, you set the saw to cut just into the surface (the splitter needs to be set properly, 2-3 mm above the blade's low point). That allows you to do a first back cut into the top ply or laminate, preventing splintering. You just have to provide enough resistance to keep control of the saw; if your cut is fine enough it's easy. You then set hte full depth and run it the other way, to complete the cut. For specially fragile laminates, I was told that you can put your weight towards the left on the back cut, then to the right cutting forward. Any splintering will occur on the right-hand (waste) side). Never had any need for this myself.
I once lost control of the saw doing such a cut (set too deep and got tangled with the vacuum hose), and it leapt onto the rail. All it did, however, was make some dents in the top of the rail, and the plunge system had covered the blade well before it got near my body.
The plunge system also allows you to make stopped cuts, such as for a sink opening (on my older model, you need to remove the splitter first).
You would probably work this out for yourself, but for cutting sheets, the best way is to use a sacrificial board on sawhorses, everything stays put nicely at the end of the cut. The plunge means you can actually start the cut anywhere you like, without needing an overhanging edge.
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snipped-for-privacy@hascancelledlastaddress.com says...

Cannot comment on the saw but I have 4 other Festools (rotex sander, cordless drill, router and jig saw). Superb quality. You will not be disappointed with your saw.
--

Phillip Hansen
Skil-Phil Solutions
  Click to see the full signature.
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