Author Topic: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine  (Read 1619 times)

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Offline 3PedalMINI

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Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« on: January 16, 2019, 10:31 AM »
I finally got fed up with the Kreg joints shifting on me, even with clamps. I have a mess of cabinets to build plus a van build out so I figured this made alot of sense. I was going to get the forman but realized that isnt going to help with the shifting of material due to the angle of pocket.

There isnt much info on the machine out there other then it seems to be an old porter cable design. Does anyone have any tips or tricks on using it? It was alot to spend but I figured it will more then pay for its self in time and efficiency. Castle seems to be very highly regarded in the professional mass production cabinet area.

Anyone have this?
The Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten -Benjamin Franklin

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Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 658
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 10:59 AM »
I have the TSM 12 and I like it. I have it mounted on a little mobile base so the table surface matches the height of my MFT/3 tables in my shop.

Funny, the 2.25hp Bosch router barely notices when routing the pocket, it's actually the 1hp Colt router that strains a tiny bit when drilling the pilot hole. That being said, you can rout pockets FAST, much easier than drilling and a nicer look (in my opinion).

I really like how quickly you can move when you develop the muscle memory for the sequence (clamp-pull-push-clamp). Having the pilot hole drilled all the way through and the low pocket angle really helps to avoid joint slippage when fastening.

I'll try to take a pic the next time in my shop, but I don't regret the purchase.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 11:47 AM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline TrackTubesGuy

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Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 11:34 AM »
I finally got fed up with the Kreg joints shifting on me, even with clamps. I have a mess of cabinets to build plus a van build out so I figured this made alot of sense. I was going to get the forman but realized that isnt going to help with the shifting of material due to the angle of pocket.

There isnt much info on the machine out there other then it seems to be an old porter cable design. Does anyone have any tips or tricks on using it? It was alot to spend but I figured it will more then pay for its self in time and efficiency. Castle seems to be very highly regarded in the professional mass production cabinet area.

Anyone have this?

I know your frustration with the Kreg ... I looked seriously at the Castle, but just don't do enough pocket holes to justify the cost.  I'm still considering the smaller Castle 100. You've probably seen the videos ... but I added the links just in case.  I follow Fred (Got It Made) and have corresponded with him about the Castle.  I saw Armor tools has a pocket hole jig now .. not sure how it compares to the Kreg .. but at least there are other options.




Offline Gwerner

  • Posts: 249
  • They call me George...
Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 02:06 AM »
I have my eye on the TSM-12 as well for the same reasons mentioned by the OP. I'm about to embark on a full cabinet and island build for a 24'x24' kitchen followed by cabinets and vanities for 3 bathrooms. The Kreg pocket holes drive me nuts with their tendency to shift no matter how tightly they are clamped, plus the idea of drilling a few thousand pocket screws with a cordless drill has my elbows and wrists screaming in protest already.

I know the Castle is considerably more expensive than the Kreg Foreman but I really like that if a motor in the Castle fails, I can just run to the local Lowes and replace it, no need to wait on a replacement motor from Kreg. Based on that alone I think the Castle could be a life-long machine. At least that's how I'm justifying the cost difference  [cool]

Offline Curt Boyer

  • Posts: 202
Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 11:09 PM »
Hey Brendon!
Van build. What did you get? I'm in the beginnings of a Promaster buildout for my partner. I have the Foreman and I have used the Kreg system for so long that I'm just used to its shortcomings. For cabinets and joints that need to be perfect I use dominos for alignment and pocket screws for clamping. I also use T-3 glue with 2-P10, let the joint set then run in your screws. If you don't have the Foreman, your welcome to borrow mine and see if could work for you.
Hope all in well!
Cheers
Curt
.

Offline 3PedalMINI

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Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 10:50 PM »
Hey Brendon!
Van build. What did you get? I'm in the beginnings of a Promaster buildout for my partner. I have the Foreman and I have used the Kreg system for so long that I'm just used to its shortcomings. For cabinets and joints that need to be perfect I use dominos for alignment and pocket screws for clamping. I also use T-3 glue with 2-P10, let the joint set then run in your screws. If you don't have the Foreman, your welcome to borrow mine and see if could work for you.
Hope all in well!
Cheers
Curt
.

Hey Curt! Hope all is well bud! I had actually originally wanted to go down the path of the Forman. But one of the last projects I was working on I just kept fighting the work piece. To be honest I actually had no idea there was a better option out there. Later I saw a post on IG that someone had gotten it so down the research path I went! It's probably way more then a hobby shop needs but I’ve got a mess of cabinets to build around the house for the mrs. (I got married)

I don’t know if you know but I had traded my little transit connect for transit 250 diesel with the high roof and medium wheel base. 4 months later I bought a house in Springfield and shortly after I moved in someone complained and after a 5 month long battle with the township I lost. I’ve been driving a F150 for the last two years. I finally couldn’t take it any more and got the transit connect again. I just couldn’t justify the cost of a metris and none of the dealers would even deal. I was stuck with a van under 79” due to a BS ordinance.

Do you still have your cabover truck?

Happy New Year!
The Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten -Benjamin Franklin

Professional Custom Audio Video System Designer/Installer serving Southern - Middle NJ, Eastern PA & the Surrounding Shore Points.
www.sigsv.com

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Offline 3PedalMINI

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Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 10:05 PM »
I Just received the machine! Overall assembly wasn't bad and it was accurate out of the box. The pocket it creates is absolutely beautiful and I cannot believe how quick it was todo! I read that the faster the motion the better the results, which is certainly the case.

My only Criticisms of the machine, although minor are these:

I do not like the power switch, I feel like it needs to be easier to click on and off.
I do not like how they did the power for the two routers (just a handy box with a regular outlet/metal cover and romex box clamp) Although simple and it works, it does concern me a bit being mounted upside down with vibrations caused from the motor. I would much rather see a different design/locking outlet like a Neutrik Powercon. I might change this on mine just for peace of mind.

Overall I'm very impressed with the machine. I know Castle is a very small company, but I would like to see the power improvements made. I would say this is well worth the money. I didn't get a chance to build anything yet but I have a pressing small shop cabinet I need to build for my screws!
The Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten -Benjamin Franklin

Professional Custom Audio Video System Designer/Installer serving Southern - Middle NJ, Eastern PA & the Surrounding Shore Points.
www.sigsv.com

Kapex 120,TS55,RO150,ETS125,CT-26,CT-MIDI,Tradesmen Cleaning Kit, Festool Ratchet Kit, Sys-lite, Sys Roll Cart, T18 +3, 2013 Centrotec Kit, Carvex 420, Carvex Accessory Kit, CXS,RO90, TI15 and Various Festool Systainers

Offline Gwerner

  • Posts: 249
  • They call me George...
Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2019, 10:07 PM »
I Just received the machine! Overall assembly wasn't bad and it was accurate out of the box. The pocket it creates is absolutely beautiful and I cannot believe how quick it was todo! I read that the faster the motion the better the results, which is certainly the case.

My only Criticisms of the machine, although minor are these:

I do not like the power switch, I feel like it needs to be easier to click on and off.
I do not like how they did the power for the two routers (just a handy box with a regular outlet/metal cover and romex box clamp) Although simple and it works, it does concern me a bit being mounted upside down with vibrations caused from the motor. I would much rather see a different design/locking outlet like a Neutrik Powercon. I might change this on mine just for peace of mind.

Overall I'm very impressed with the machine. I know Castle is a very small company, but I would like to see the power improvements made. I would say this is well worth the money. I didn't get a chance to build anything yet but I have a pressing small shop cabinet I need to build for my screws!

Glad to hear the positive review! I ordered mine a couple nights ago but it won't ship until after February 13th.

Offline 3PedalMINI

  • Posts: 471
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Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #8 on: Today at 04:33 PM »
Bringing this back up. I finally had a chance to really play with it on a project and the honeymoon is now over :/

Ive had to make a few adjustments to the machine. Granted its still new so maybe somethings are still wearing in. However my joinery is not lining up flush like it did the first evening I had it. I reached out to Castle and they immediately responded with a few tips but nothing they said has seemed to work.

my joints are shifting, especially with glue. I can get them to not move with some considerable clamping pressure but it is more then I would care to use on fine finishes and softer woods. The only thing I can think of is there is a bit of play in the pilot bit, I cant find an adjustment to get the play out, those of you that have this have you noticed any play in the pilot bit?
The Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten -Benjamin Franklin

Professional Custom Audio Video System Designer/Installer serving Southern - Middle NJ, Eastern PA & the Surrounding Shore Points.
www.sigsv.com

Kapex 120,TS55,RO150,ETS125,CT-26,CT-MIDI,Tradesmen Cleaning Kit, Festool Ratchet Kit, Sys-lite, Sys Roll Cart, T18 +3, 2013 Centrotec Kit, Carvex 420, Carvex Accessory Kit, CXS,RO90, TI15 and Various Festool Systainers

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3704
Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #9 on: Today at 05:23 PM »
Does the Castle machine plow a groove or drill a hole (like Kreg)? I guess it doesn’t matter, whenever the fastener is at an angle to the joint there will be a tendency for the part to shift in the same direction as the fasterer, especially with a lubricant like wet glue.

Forceful clamping of the screw receiving piece is needed to resist the screw pulling the piloted piece past the mating surface. If you don’t want to use that much force you could use a shim to lift/hold the piloted piece up the amount it usually moves when the screw is tightened.

To avoid the problem I put a Domino in the joint if possible.

Offline James Biddle

  • Posts: 153
Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #10 on: Today at 08:08 PM »
Castle advertises their machines as being less susceptible to joint creep because they have a lower angle of entry.  It's a few degrees if I remember.  I have a hard time believing that eliminates the creep, maybe reduces it a little.

I spent a long time at IWF at the Castle and Kreg booths comparing the machines.  In my opinion, the Castle is a better built machine on the outside and the Kreg better built on the inside. 

One thing that I've always wondered about but have never seen any reported issues is this: The slot cutter in the Castle cut a slot leaving a radius formed by the cutter at the end of the slot where the screw head engages during tightening.  Wouldn't  there more of a tendency for the screw to wedge and split the wood as its tightened into that radius?


Offline 3PedalMINI

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Re: Just ordered a Castle TSM-12 pocket hole machine
« Reply #11 on: Today at 10:29 PM »
A member of the castle team called me about an hour after I sent them the issues I’ve experienced. She asked if I could send them some videos of being in use, especially the wiggly pilot bit. She sent an email an hour after I send the videos and it’s been escalated to engineering.

So far I’m very impressed with Castles support. I just hope we can figure out the issues, perhaps it’s a defective machine.

I have wondered about the radius where the screw head engages. But out of all my tests I haven’t experienced any splitting. I will say I agree with you. I think the engineering is fantastic but the industrial design needs some help. Especially the electrical portion of it!  But I can appreciate it’s simplicity and the genius of it!
The Bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten -Benjamin Franklin

Professional Custom Audio Video System Designer/Installer serving Southern - Middle NJ, Eastern PA & the Surrounding Shore Points.
www.sigsv.com

Kapex 120,TS55,RO150,ETS125,CT-26,CT-MIDI,Tradesmen Cleaning Kit, Festool Ratchet Kit, Sys-lite, Sys Roll Cart, T18 +3, 2013 Centrotec Kit, Carvex 420, Carvex Accessory Kit, CXS,RO90, TI15 and Various Festool Systainers