Author Topic: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection  (Read 1179 times)

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Offline bnos01

  • Posts: 4
New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« on: February 06, 2018, 04:35 PM »
I've decided to take on most of the aesthetic projects in regards to home improvement/renovation rather than contracting it out so I need power tools which lead me here. I'm pretty much set on purchasing the OF 1400 before the 2018 price increase but still in need of a table saw to break down sheet goods for cabinets, trims, and miscellaneous furniture.

After doing a bit of research, I'm starting to become more inclined to purchase the track saw instead. It would be a bit more versatile and mobile than a jobsite/contract table saw. For those who have been through this decision before, any pointers would help?

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Offline rst

  • Posts: 1897
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 05:14 PM »
I've been wood butchering since 1971 and own two full size table saws, one with a sliding table.  I use my Festool track saws more than any other tool.  While I have every size track that Festool makes, I use the 1900 and 3000 the most.  TSO Products GRS-16 PE Parallel Edge Guide Rail Square should also be a priority.

Offline SS Teach

  • Posts: 285
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 05:19 PM »
Welcome to FOG. I found breaking down sheet goods on a table saw is less than optimum. After I tried it I immediately got my TS 55R. You’ll also need a work bench, or some place to make cuts. A MFT would be super. A CT is needed. Also needed are some sanders and papers. The router will need some bits. You’ll spend more than you budgeted.But Festool and budget are two words that don’t belong in the same sentence. Good luck with your plans and enjoy the Festools. 
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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3394
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 05:27 PM »
I've decided to take on most of the aesthetic projects in regards to home improvement/renovation rather than contracting it out so I need power tools which lead me here. I'm pretty much set on purchasing the OF 1400 before the 2018 price increase but still in need of a table saw to break down sheet goods for cabinets, trims, and miscellaneous furniture.

After doing a bit of research, I'm starting to become more inclined to purchase the track saw instead. It would be a bit more versatile and mobile than a jobsite/contract table saw. For those who have been through this decision before, any pointers would help?

Go with your inclination, you won't regret it.

Offline bnos01

  • Posts: 4
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 05:35 PM »
With Festool, I'm seeing this as more of an investment because if I'm going to purchase a power tool; I'm approaching it as 'one-and-done' thing. It's pretty cool to see all the accessories that can go with track saw.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 05:44 PM »
As a traveling carpenter I used to use my portable Dewalt table saw quite a bit.  Plywood cutting was always a potential short dirtying proposition.  Once I got my beloved TS55 I pretty much stopped carrying the table saw and our laundry detergent costs went down.

Peter

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3394
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 05:49 PM »
With Festool, I'm seeing this as more of an investment because if I'm going to purchase a power tool; I'm approaching it as 'one-and-done' thing. It's pretty cool to see all the accessories that can go with track saw.

At the moment I can't think of an accessory to the saw that you really need other than more track. You should have short, medium, and long tracks. For the short/medium tracks get an accessory like this.

Offline bnos01

  • Posts: 4
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2018, 06:32 PM »
With Festool, I'm seeing this as more of an investment because if I'm going to purchase a power tool; I'm approaching it as 'one-and-done' thing. It's pretty cool to see all the accessories that can go with track saw.

At the moment I can't think of an accessory to the saw that you really need other than more track. You should have short, medium, and long tracks. For the short/medium tracks get an accessory like this.

I definitely will need more track to comfortably rip 8' for sure. As for the GRS-16 rail square, I like how it clamps firmly on the guide rail ensuring straight cuts. That's the reason why I've decided to cut down my sheet goods, you take the accuracy into your own hands.

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 300
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 06:50 PM »
I don't have a table saw and just have a TS55 and have done all sorts of projects around the home and relative's houses, including a table, study cabinets, bed, dolls house, chuck box / camp kitchen, etc. I absolutely love how I can take the saw to where I need it and work. I would also say get yourself a dust collector as this enables you to work indoors in any environment and not worry about mess, and give that you're buying the router it would also make sense. The TSO products Guide Rail Square has also been an absolute pleasure to use, and I find the "PE" edition fantastic to be able to reference off the far end of the cut.

You won't regret the purchase of a track saw for your type of situation.

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 400
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 09:55 PM »
I purchased an OF1400 and a TS55 as part of my first Festool order.  Seems you will be doing similar projects to me and I now longer have a table saw.  The track saw is great and the OF1400 is very versatile.  I think you’d be happy with both. 

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 300
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 11:09 PM »
I definitely will need more track to comfortably rip 8' for sure. As for the GRS-16 rail square, I like how it clamps firmly on the guide rail ensuring straight cuts.

One more thought occurred to me, which is to be aware that the GRS-16 (and anything similar) takes up some of the capacity of the rail length. Murphys law would have it that sometimes when I would have been fine using the 800mm rail on its own I needed to use my 1400 instead in order to utilise the GRS. I haven't done the exact sums of how much it is decreased by (probably just the length of the GRS?) but it would be a real pain if you spend good money on a rail of "just the right length" and then find this out afterwards. Hope it helps.


Offline cpw

  • Posts: 66
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 03:34 PM »
For breaking down sheet goods, the track saw is best.

For other operations, I would not want to be without my table saw.  For example, I wouldn't use my track saw to rip face frames to width.

I also like to use the track saw to break the sheet down; but then use the table saw fence to cut things to the exact width that I want since I find repeated setup much quicker (i.e. I can use the same fence setting on the table saw over and over again).

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3583
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 09:10 AM »
This gets at the essential features of the table saw you need to consider when deciding whether to try to replicate it with a tracksaw.

While there's obviously a whole range of things one does with a table saw, the two critical ones where the track saw needs some assistance to compete are repeat/batch cuts and narrow rips.  Now if you get an MFT, you will be able to cover most of that ground.  The only thing that you would still struggle with would be narrow rips of very long pieces (still doable with a tracksaw, but not always foolproof like on a table saw).  And also repeat cuts of large panels that exceed the depth of the MFT (here again there are workarounds, such as flipping the orientation of the MFT and adding a longer rail).

I wouldn't or couldn't do my woodworking without a table saw, but I know there are others here who couldn't be happier with having abandoned their table saws for the tracksaw/MFT combo.  I would definitely advise getting the 3000mm rail if you plan on making your tracksaw the primary workhorse.

I think if your talking about choosing between a tracksaw and a portable contractor's saw, then the tracksaw clearly has an edge.  Not sure what your shop setup is going to be, but you can also get a larger hybrid/cabinet saw that has a mobile base without  breaking the bank and crank up the precision by adding an aftermarket fence.  I have the Ridgid R4512, which on its own is nothing special, but which I've been able to turn into a precision machine by adding the Incra TS fence (which was almost the same in price as the saw itself!), Jessem roller guides, and a foldable table extension.  That gives me repeat/batch capabilities not just in-project, but I can come back a day, a week or a month later and know that I can set the fence without worry to the exact same measurement I was using previously.

For breaking down sheet goods, the track saw is best.

For other operations, I would not want to be without my table saw.  For example, I wouldn't use my track saw to rip face frames to width.

I also like to use the track saw to break the sheet down; but then use the table saw fence to cut things to the exact width that I want since I find repeated setup much quicker (i.e. I can use the same fence setting on the table saw over and over again).
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 09:16 AM by ear3 »
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1143
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 10:04 AM »
The answer is both.  Since you mentioned sheet goods, I would start with the track saw, that's what it was made to do.  But as Edward said, some people (me) can find it fussy ripping smaller parts.  So supplementing with a small table saw might be in your future if you find the various ripping jigs aren't working for you.  The only nuisance is you'll get spoiled with dust collection on the track saw and the table saw will spew dust everywhere.
-Raj

Offline bnos01

  • Posts: 4
Re: New to Festool, Need Help with Product Selection
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 01:05 PM »
Well i'm having a shed being built in the back of the house, concrete is being laid as we speak and a portion of it (10'x24') will be dedicated as my workshop area. With this size, I can build a decent Roubo split-top workbench first (plywood laminate top; yellow pine 4x4 for the base).

Now after researching the MFT and everyone's comments about it, I'll keep one side traditional and the other to the MFT layout so that I can get the best out of both router and track saw. Thanks to everyone's input, I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable with this haha.