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Author Topic: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track  (Read 1747 times)

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Offline GarethR

  • Posts: 5
TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« on: November 04, 2017, 05:52 AM »
Has anyone noticed when cutting without a track that their TS 55 catches on the edge of the piece being cut?

The base plate is uneven, i.e. not consistently flat across the plate, and a high spot on the plate just behind the blade is getting caught on the edge of the sheet (e.g. MDF).

This raises another point, the left side of the saw through the middle is low compared to the right side and will adjust the saw blade angle (perhaps only a small amount) when moving the saw across the work piece as the saw drops down to left side.

Any comments?


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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 07:31 AM »
Others who use their tracksaw freehand on a regular basis will have to chime in, but for me, the couple of times I attempted to use the saw without the track I was not impressed, and noted difficulty in keeping the cut straight on the scribe line.  I know Festool claims it can be used without the track, but it has never worked out for me, and so I simply do not try to do it anymore.
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Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 120
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 09:27 AM »
Considering how easy it is to get accurate cuts by putting a rail on the work piece, I just don't see why anyone would need or want to use a track saw without the track/rail.

Otherwise a good old fashioned circular saw would be the best choice and a whole lot cheaper.
- John

Offline GarethR

  • Posts: 5
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 02:09 PM »
Thanks.

John:

1) as ear3 has said, Festool advertise that the saw can be used without a track
2) for those on a tighter budget they may not have enough tracks to cut larger pieces
3) there are situations when I'm cutting goods close to the ground and there is not enough underside clearance for the clamps to attach the track to the workpiece     

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 120
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 04:10 PM »
Honestly the only type of cut Festool really advertises without the rail is cutting flooring at the wall edge. Why that is important since the cut is still almost a half inch from the wall is beyond me. That's why baseboard molding is used.

If you don't have a long enough rail, do your cut, then reposition the rail with splinter guard as reference and continue your cut. Far more accurate than freehanding a track saw with no track.

You can easily get by without clamping the rails to the work surface. Keep the work area clean of saw dust and apply down pressure on the rail. It can be done correctly and accurately for such situations.
- John

Offline GarethR

  • Posts: 5
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 05:43 PM »
Thanks John for the comments.

Honestly the only type of cut Festool really advertises without the rail is cutting flooring at the wall edge. Why that is important since the cut is still almost a half inch from the wall is beyond me. That's why baseboard molding is used.

As an example Festool also sell a parallel side fence which is used without a track.

If you don't have a long enough rail, do your cut, then reposition the rail with splinter guard as reference and continue your cut. Far more accurate than freehanding a track saw with no track.

My preferred method for cutting larger pieces is to attach a straight edge against which to run the saw. Has worked very well in the past and other than the obstructions on the base of the TS 55 seems to work with the saw. Allows me to cut without having to stop and re-position things and is accurate.

You can easily get by without clamping the rails to the work surface. Keep the work area clean of saw dust and apply down pressure on the rail. It can be done correctly and accurately for such situations.

Have previously used a rail without clamps on a clean surface, and while doable I have found things move occasionally so my preference is to clamp everything down and not have to worry about things maybe moving.


Offline DB10

  • Posts: 907
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 06:34 PM »
bnaboatbuilder has answered all your questions perfectly, by not taking his advice you are just making things unnecessarily difficult for yourself but that's your choice. People get by with only using one rail if that is all they have and you don't need to clamp down the rail when you are cutting, especially on the floor, that is why the rails have anti slip strips underneath.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 06:41 PM »
Cutting with the TS saws off the track is doable (I have done it many times) but honestly I put those experiences akin to "I am on a desert island with only one tool and I need to...".

@bnaboatbuilder, the reason for the 1/2" or whatever measurement it is along the baseboard is for engineered floors that need that expansion space. Usually done before baseboard installed.  Engineered floors are more popular in Europe where Festool has a larger following.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 267
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 08:21 PM »
While John has answered Gareth's points very well, Gareth has put forward a very legitimate question regarding the capability of the TS55 (as well as the TS75 I assume, which I own) to cut like a circular saw. Before his query, I thought I could cut freely like a circular saw with my TS75.

Yes, there is no doubt for consistency, accuracy and precision, the TS should be used with the track, clamped down. However, if the TS could perform like a circular saw, it would be an option welcomed by those who choose to do so. Questions like his add to the body of knowledge regarding the TS. Thanks, Gareth.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 08:52 PM »
The spring tension on the plunge saws are the primary reason in my estimation.  The HK saws are like conventional circular saws.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 120
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 12:11 AM »
Conventional circular saws, I have 3 or so, have very viewable blade line cutting. You can see the blade, you can see the cut line, you can follow the cut line very easily. I prefer a left blade orientation that is common on worm drive saws. Thankfully most if not all battery powered circular saws adopted left blade designs (because I am right handed as is 90% of the world).

There is no track saw I know of that allows a good line of sight of the blade and cut line during the cut process with no track, I own 2 track saws from different brands, and have viewed the operation on pretty much all the rest.

A track saw should be used on a track. Hundreds of circular saws exist out there that allow freehand sawing so the user can view the blade tip, the cut line and follow the line accurately by hand. Track saws on the other hand are truly designed for pure accuracy on a track/rail. And because of better dust collection, track saws intentionally have closed blade wells to facilitate clean cutting with a vacuum.

Now with regard to the track moving, yes, that is a reality. I clamp my rail more often than not. I also adjust my cutting situation to accommodate clamps on the track. Working on the floor is a reality but only if it's flooring. Anything else can be elevated. 2 saw horses and 2 wall studs (2x4 x 8 ft wood) are all that is needed to hold sheet goods to cut down to smaller sizes with a track saw and rail. I do it often. Or just any common workbench. It allows working with materials at hip level height not on a floor.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 12:50 AM by bnaboatbuilder »
- John

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 08:40 PM »
I'm fairly militant when it comes to clamping the track.  I find that there is room for error, especially when entering the cut, for the track to skew slightly at the other end a milimeter or two (because you are applying lift force at the front of the track).  You can control for this by placing your free hand on the track in front of the saw, but I've experienced a skew enough times that I don't risk it if I don't have to.
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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 581
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 08:03 AM »
I'm fairly militant when it comes to clamping the track.
I found that the RAPID clamp works good for this, also when having the sheets as a stack or single ones on the floor (with some Dachlatten, or 2x4 for the imperial guys, as support).

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 383
Re: TS 55 REBQ - Problems Cutting Without Track
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 10:15 AM »
A track saw should be used on a track. Hundreds of circular saws exist out there that allow freehand sawing so the user can view the blade tip, the cut line and follow the line accurately by hand.

True, but in a cinch a TS55 or 75 will do — the notch on the leading part of the frame is a fair indicator to follow instead of the cutting edge of the saw (which you will never be able to see, because it is on the underside of the material…).
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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