Author Topic: Help with first purchase  (Read 2805 times)

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Offline rechilcot

  • Posts: 2
Help with first purchase
« on: July 15, 2019, 10:50 PM »
I know this has been asked before, but I do need help in making a choice between two products.  I have a shop full of tools.  I have a cabinet saw, radial arm saw, router table with a 3 hp router, bandsaw, lathe, mortising machine, drill press, numerous sanders and hand held routers.  I have been looking Festool's track saws and the domino machines.  I do fine woodworking.  I do not have a track saw and rarely do sheet goods. My question, which tool would you suggest given my scenario?

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Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 346
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2019, 11:51 PM »
I guess my question would be that if you have a good (and full sized) table saw and a RAS and you don’t break down a lot of large plywood then what do you envision using the track saw for? That combined with how unique and useful the Domino is, I would lean Domino. That is all without asking you more about what type of work you do the most and which operations that you do where you do not love the methods dictated by your current tools, ie. areas for improvement that you have in mind.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 12:06 AM »
I know this has been asked before, but I do need help in making a choice between two products.  I have a shop full of tools.  I have a cabinet saw, radial arm saw, router table with a 3 hp router, bandsaw, lathe, mortising machine, drill press, numerous sanders and hand held routers.  I have been looking Festool's track saws and the domino machines.  I do fine woodworking.  I do not have a track saw and rarely do sheet goods. My question, which tool would you suggest given my scenario?

Hi,
   
    Welcome to the forum!  [smile]

           Based on the tools you already own and the lack of sheet good use ....................... Domino.

Seth

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 366
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 03:25 AM »
Based on the tools you already own and the fact that you don't already have a specific use case in mind, I would say either a nice pair of earrings for your wife, a weekend away together, some money in the bank for a rainy day or a payment on the house/car/pension plan/whatever.

Seriously, don't buy it if you don't need it. Wait until you do find a need.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 692
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 04:49 AM »
If you have a mortising machine, you don’t really need a Domino, and you already have a track saw. So maybe a different type of tool might be an option?

If you go for a Festool track saw, get a TS-75 the 55 is in my opinion, is under powered, or go for the cordless 55, it copes better than the corded version and no cord to get in the way.
If you choose a Domino, get a DF-500 it will cover a lot of general joinery, if you're looking at making bigger stuff, large framing, gates and barn doors etc for example, go for the DF-700

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2606
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 05:35 AM »
My shop looks a lot like the OP’s based on the equipment described and the furniture work.

The Domino 500 changed my methods of work more than any tool or sets of tools except for my jointer and planer.

The jointer and planer enabled my to produce flat, square, straight boards and the Domino enabled me to join them.


The TS55 track saw is useful for breaking down plywood but most of the fine cutting is done on the big table saw.

Not asked, but I’ve started doing a lot of hand work and my collection of Lie Nielsen chisels and planes has provided more fun than any power tool plus I’ve finally learned how to put a scary sharp edge on a cutting tool. Getting that perfect curl off a board with a truly sharp plane is a big thrill.

My mortising machine was gifted and my biscuit machine is somewhere in a dusty box.

Last thought, if you buy the Domino, buy the kit with all the tenon sizes and cutters. You will also need an extra 4mm and 5mm cutter as spares. Watch videos on the Domino and practice with scrap wood.
Birdhunter

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3860
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 07:32 AM »
I predict you'll eventually get both, but immediately, I might lean towards the domino, simply because it gives you more capabilities within your current setup.  Your mortising machine will duplicate some of it, but try mortising the end of a 3 ft. board and you will realize what the domino can do over the mortiser.

But I'm curious, how do you joint and thickness boards in your current setup (don't see a jointer or a thickness planer in the list)?  Coupling a tracksaw with the tablesaw will solve just about all of your edge jointing needs, and if you throw in a few handplanes, you will have all the jointing covered.  The tracksaw is good for so much more than breaking down plywood.  The cordless TSC55 is a better bet over the corded version with regards to power and utilizing the full depth of cut capacity in hardwood.  The TS75 is even more powerful, but I tend to only bust mine out when working with really thick stock, as the larger size of the saw demands a longer runway of track both before and after the cut.
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Offline rechilcot

  • Posts: 2
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 07:43 AM »
Thank for all the suggestions.  When I do break down sheet goods, I use a sidewinder and finish the dimensions on a table saw. Woodworking has been a 30+ year hobby for me.  I started with a 1940s Craftsman tilt table saw, and some hand planes.  Over the years I have added tools to the point now, I am upgrading about everything.  I never had a track saw, but I see so many extol it's virtues.  The domino peaked my interest when I first saw it demonstrated.  Like the other poster, the stationary planer and jointer took my work to another level. 

I have a project coming up for a hall table which is 48 inches x 24 inches  (122 cm x 61 cm) and will have tapered legs.  The table apron will be made of 3/4 inch (2 cm) walnut and 2x2 (5x5 cm) walnut legs.  The top will be a live edge slab.  Normally I would use my hollow chisel mortiser and table saw to make the mortise and tenon joints between the apron and legs.  Would the domino be able to used instead of my current method?  Also, what size domino would you suggest.

Thank you all for giving guidance.  Now I am also looking at the vast array of sanders that are available.  The green slide is certainly a slippery one.

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 70
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 09:00 AM »
The Domino system was my most recent purchase and it's a game changer. Given your parameters...Domino for sure.
----
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 10:01 AM »


I have a project coming up for a hall table which is 48 inches x 24 inches  (122 cm x 61 cm) and will have tapered legs.  The table apron will be made of 3/4 inch (2 cm) walnut and 2x2 (5x5 cm) walnut legs.  The top will be a live edge slab.  Normally I would use my hollow chisel mortiser and table saw to make the mortise and tenon joints between the apron and legs.  Would the domino be able to used instead of my current method?  Also, what size domino would you suggest.



Yes, Domino will attach apron to legs.

   

Seth

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1168
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 10:23 AM »

I have a project coming up for a hall table which is 48 inches x 24 inches  (122 cm x 61 cm) and will have tapered legs.  The table apron will be made of 3/4 inch (2 cm) walnut and 2x2 (5x5 cm) walnut legs.  Also, what size domino would you suggest.


You did not give the width of the apron. Twin 6mm dominoes would give the strongest joint, or a single 8mm domino if the apron is not wide enough.

Offline Dove_Tail

  • Posts: 11
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 12:52 PM »
As expected, most of the responses recommend that you buy the Domino first.  I agree with that recommendation given your existing tools and type of work.

But...Don't underestimate the benefits of the track saw.  Like you I have a cabinet saw - Great machine to be sure.  But I find that the additional accuracy and straightness of cut achieved with the track saw is superb.


Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 69
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 01:12 PM »
I, too, have a similar setup..or at least I did but am now spooling up again as I sold many of my power tools prior to our cross country relocation.  I am a little surprised to see so many nods to the Domino given all the accolades I've seen for a track saw.  I just pulled the trigger on a TS75 as I need the add'l capacity over the TS55, but may now also consider the Domino (likely the XL for the type of work I generally do).  I was lent a Domino XL for a small project and love it, but have been reticent to pony up the dough for one.  Seeing so many saying how it has changed their workflow for the better is highly encouraging.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1734
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2019, 01:34 PM »
I once got the excellent advice that if I were a hobbiest, I must be in this at least somewhat for the fun of it.  So the speaker advised that I choose a tool that would make me happy every time I used it.  For me, that's the Domino.

And yes, you have a mortiser, but setup on the Domino is much faster and dust collection is phenomenal.  Also when you are working with long pieces or large bulky pieces, you will find it is a joy to bring the tool to the work, rather than trying to support the work while using the tool.

I have much the same setup as you, but even with a big tablesaw, I still find lots of needs for the tracksaw.  For instance, I am a nut about grain orientation.  I will often find the grain I need for a leg, say, at weird angles to the edges of the board and the board too big for an angled cut on the band saw.  Its a piece of cake for the track saw.  If you buy rough, sometimes waney, lumber - the track saw can easily and precisely trim off the waste.

Another major advantage of the track saw is that you need much less shop space to work it.  On a stationary saw you will need major open space behind and in front of the blade to make the cut.  Just a few inches of extra on the tracksaw.

Whichever you buy, think hard about which model.  Its tempting to go for the larger ones, but they are expensive and heavy - and you will being lifting those tools a lot.  I have both the DF500 and the 700, but the 500 gets almost all of the work.  I build dressers, chairs, tables, desks, most anything.

There are lots of threads on the FOG about choosing which tools and which models.  "Search" is your friend.

And welcome to the forum!!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 12:22 PM by Jesse Cloud »

Offline glass1

  • Posts: 531
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 10:34 PM »
Sanders and a ct. cannot imagine based on your tools that you already have that you do not already have these. Domino is the real deal, you should know when you are ready. Track saws are also jointers as in they along with long tracks can rip the crowns out of material. The 850 planer is so sweet. But really the routers are the real deal. The jig saws are average. Kapex is flawed but if your mobile it’s portable. Avoid the ts 55. Go tsc55. Just my 2 cents.

Offline SolCalKid

  • Posts: 2
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2019, 05:17 PM »
drum sander has been very useful to me.

Offline waho6o9

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Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2019, 11:12 PM »
Domino and a dust extractor. 


Offline jeffm13

  • Posts: 23
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2019, 02:54 AM »
TLDR: an MFT (or a diy MFT-style table).

I have a decent sized shop with all the stationary tools: table saw, band saw, miter saw, router table, small drum sander, dust collector, jointer planer.  I've also invested a fair amount in Festool the last few years.  I started with a Domino 500, and that truly was an eye opener. Then I added a track saw, and found it much easier to break down sheet goods.  And then I went a bit crazy and decided to go all out Festool: a bunch of sanders, a jig saw, an OF 1400 router, LR32, CT36 dust extractor, Domino XL 700, Seneca, and the list goes on. 

But the one thing that really changed the way I work in the shop? A DIY MFT-style assembly table (using the Parf Guide System to drill the holes). Plus a bunch of accesories: TSO, Parf, Qwas, Bench Dogs, clamps from Festool and elsewhere.  Using that table with dogs and fences and clamps and stops, along with the track saw and domino(s) and guide rails and parallel guides and dust extractor and sanders and...  has truly changed the way I approach a project. I'd say that I cut my table saw usage by at least 50%. With no sacrifice in accuracy. Dominos have improved my joinery immensely. Sanding is still a chore, but so much easier with sanders specialized to particular tasks. And everything is aligned perfectly square and stable using the MFT-style assembly table.

So if you're dead set on buying Festool, start with a Domino joiner. But if you want to improve your productivity: start with an MFT (or MFT-style) bench.

Jeff
Festool: TS75, DF500, DF700, OF1400, LR32, ETS EC 150/5, DTS400, RS2E, T18, TXS, CT36, PS420, FS1400 (2), FS1400/2-LR 32, FS 2424/2-LR 32, Tradesman/Installer Cleaning Set; TSO: MTR-18, GRS-16 PE, TDS-10, TPG-20/30; UJK: Parf Dogs, Super Dogs, Parf Guide System MkII, Seneca: Parallel Guides, Domiplate, Domishim; Makita: 3000mm Guide Rail; Jessem: Mast-R-Lift w/metric conversion kit, Pow-R-Tec Router, Mast-R-Fence, Mit-R-Slide, ClearCut Stock Guides; Grizzly: G0441 Cyclone, G0691 Table Saw; Laguna: 18BX Bandsaw; Robland: X31 Combination Machine; Incra: MagnaLock Cleansweep; Woodpecker: 1281-300mm, 600mm T-Square, 1200mm Ruler, 1200mm Story Stick Pro; Bosch: GCM12SD Glide Miter Saw

Offline Aniline_Kohlrabi

  • Posts: 4
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2019, 11:00 PM »
If you don't break down sheet goods often, get the domino. You will end up using it more often than the mortiser. It is an absolute game changer for solid wood construction. I used one recently to make mock frame and panel doors using a veneered plywood panel and it went together in one afternoon. I didn't even make any formal joinery marks, just pencil lines where I wanted the biscuits.

However, if you get the domino, you must also invest in a suitable hold down system for your bench, either with MFT-style bench dogs and clamps or old-fashioned holdfasts.

Offline joemodern

  • Posts: 13
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2019, 07:59 AM »
Surprised no one has suggested a Vac Sys. I had already purchased the Domino, sanders, CT. and several other products, along with the MFT. The 2 things I use every time are the MFT and the Vac Sys. I was hesitant on the Vac Sys since I had already bought all of the clamps and they do work fine but the ease of doing things with the Vac Sys is amazing. It just speeds things up so much and is so easy to use it is amazing.

If you don't have a need for anything else right now then those 2 items will allow you to work better with what you already have.

Looking back I can't imagine how I made furniture without the Domino either- it is indeed a real game changer.

Offline NeoTerror

  • Posts: 14
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2019, 01:53 AM »
I agree with Alanbach. If your table saw can already take care of sheet goods, then go with the Domino; how often do you do jointing though?

I guess my question would be that if you have a good (and full sized) table saw and a RAS and you don’t break down a lot of large plywood then what do you envision using the track saw for? That combined with how unique and useful the Domino is, I would lean Domino. That is all without asking you more about what type of work you do the most and which operations that you do where you do not love the methods dictated by your current tools, ie. areas for improvement that you have in mind.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2019, 02:39 PM »
Like Birdhunter, I have almost the same equipment you described.

TRACK SAW
If you don't cut sheet goods much I assume you work with small hardwood board. Is your table saw do the work? If so a track saw will only give you mobility,

DOMINO
Having a mortising machine is very nice, to me where the Domino shine is to allign assembly. It's a real game changer, require a small amount of practice tho.

What ever tool you decide to go with, get a CT combo if you don't already have a good vac.

SOME MORE THOUGHT
How is your clamping setup? The VAC SYS was also a game changer because I had zero clamping system.
How is your radial arm end grain cut look? The Kapex for me removed the need to sand end grain by at least 95%
Mario

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 69
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2019, 02:49 PM »
...How is your radial arm end grain cut look? The Kapex for me removed the need to sand end grain by at least 95%

Curious...why is this?

The OP doesn't seem to be following this thread, last time on here was July 17 8-s
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2019, 02:55 PM »
...How is your radial arm end grain cut look? The Kapex for me removed the need to sand end grain by at least 95%

Curious...why is this?

The OP doesn't seem to be following this thread, last time on here was July 17 8-s

The Kapex combined with the right blade of course, make the cut so smooth, that I never use anything under 120 grit and often I don't even need to sand.
Mario

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2019, 10:16 AM »
@ChiknNutz  My apologize if I put more confusion in your mind with my statement. To illustrate what I mean here a picture of bubinga and hard maple. You can observe the no saw marks on the never been sanded piece.

and another exemple with wenge. Notice the saw marks on the baltic birch ply that was cut on the table saw. My table is extremely stable with very little vibration.

Both pieces have never been sanded. To me this is why the Kapex is so good. I also have a Milwaukee 12" compound saw that I only use for construction lumber, because of vibration.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 10:20 AM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline ChiknNutz

  • Posts: 69
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2019, 10:24 AM »
Yes, those are indeed very smooth cuts.  I will say the little I have used my new TS75, the smoothness of the cuts is also quite impressive.  That's what you get with precision equipment.
-Chris
Rotex 150/5 FEQ, CT 36 E, ETS EC125/3, TS75, Domino XL

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4103
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2019, 12:48 PM »
@ChiknNutz  My apologize if I put more confusion in your mind with my statement. To illustrate what I mean here a picture of bubinga and hard maple. You can observe the no saw marks on the never been sanded piece.
(Attachment Link)
and another exemple with wenge. Notice the saw marks on the baltic birch ply that was cut on the table saw. My table is extremely stable with very little vibration.
(Attachment Link)
Both pieces have never been sanded. To me this is why the Kapex is so good. I also have a Milwaukee 12" compound saw that I only use for construction lumber, because of vibration.

Your Kapex is cutting superbly!

But you need to do something about the table saw. The teeth are scoring coming and going. Change the blade, add a stabilizer, angle the fence away from the the blade at the far end, or all three. That cut isn’t up to snuff.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2019, 01:03 PM »
@Michael Kellough

I'm working on the table saw today and will take your advice seriously, thank you. Since that picture I cut some melamine and changed the blade for that matter. I had a melamine blade I bought about a year ago just for that and boy I don't regret it. My usual blade is in the process to get cleaned. That's the original blade that came with the table saw. Used it for a bit over 2 years and it may need some sharpening  [embarassed]

It's not a cheap blade but cut like butter.

Mario

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4103
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2019, 01:08 PM »
@Mario Turcot   You said the table saw was vibration-free so I assume there is very little runout at the arbor (therefore doesn’t matter what brand the table saw is), so what blade made that poor cut in the Baltic birch?

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2019, 01:28 PM »
The original blade that came with the table saw. I can't tell the brand but it's a cheap one for sure. Has been used for over 2 years w/o
sharpening tho. The blade is ready for a facelift  [wink]


I'm looking for a replacement. The Forest Woodworker II is highly recommended but man 200$  [eek]

Should I go with a TCG or stick with ATB? I do some quick grooves on the table saw and found TCG usefull for that matter.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 01:52 PM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2203
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2019, 08:02 PM »
The Amana Electoblu blades are fantastic.  I use their 10" and 12" aluminum/plastic blades in my saws (table, chop and slider) to cut everything...aluminum, plastics and wood.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 346
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2019, 10:20 PM »
I love my Forrest blades. True, they are very expensive but in my last 25 years of woodworking I have never replaced one. I have the 40 tooth WW2 for combo work. I have a 30 tooth WW2 for ripping and I have a blade they call a Duraline Hi-AT that has 80 ATB teeth that is a terrific blade for melamine, plywood and crosscuts in hardwood. I have some others that I have collected for specific tasks over the years but those are my big 3.

Sometimes the combination blade is good enough but sometimes you just have to take out the blade wrenches and bring in the specialist. 

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 346
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2019, 10:35 PM »
@Mario Turcot - You might want to try another crosscut on that Baltic birch plywood (that you showed above) with that Amanda 80 tooth blade. I bet that you will get much better results. That Amana is the same basic set up as Forrest’s Duraline Hi-AT. It will also give you super clean cross cuts in hardwoods if you run into something that you are trying to crosscut on the table saw that is not as clean as you want.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2019, 11:00 PM »
@Alanbach
@Mario Turcot - You might want to try another crosscut on that Baltic birch plywood (that you showed above) with that Amanda 80 tooth blade. I bet that you will get much better results. That Amana is the same basic set up as Forrest’s Duraline Hi-AT. It will also give you super clean cross cuts in hardwoods if you run into something that you are trying to crosscut on the table saw that is not as clean as you want.

Challenge accepted

Virtually no saw mark  [scared] I will give another try with hardwood tomorrow.

I have to retract from a previous comment. The Amana Tool blade is not a melamine blade but a laminate blade. Not sure if it's the same or not  [embarassed]
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 11:07 PM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 346
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2019, 11:16 PM »
Ok cool, well that probably points to your original blade. Now you just have to decide if that other blade is worth sending out for a good quality sharpening or if it’s time for it to retire to a backup role only to be used for wood that you don’t trust (usually self harvested wood that might have nails, shot or other debris in it). You can try it again after you clean it, on that same plywood and see if you get any improvement but I bet it needs to be sharpened.

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 930
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2019, 11:36 PM »
Ok cool, well that probably points to your original blade. Now you just have to decide if that other blade is worth sending out for a good quality sharpening or if it’s time for it to retire to a backup role only to be used for wood that you don’t trust (usually self harvested wood that might have nails, shot or other debris in it). You can try it again after you clean it, on that same plywood and see if you get any improvement but I bet it needs to be sharpened.

You are probably right again. I will get it sharpened and test it again.
Mario

Offline obromis

  • Posts: 2
Re: Help with first purchase
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2019, 06:02 PM »
I guess my question would be that if you have a good (and full sized) table saw and a RAS and you don’t break down a lot of large plywood then what do you envision using the track saw for? That combined with how unique and useful the Domino is, I would lean Domino. That is all without asking you more about what type of work you do the most and which operations that you do where you do not love the methods dictated by your current tools, ie. areas for improvement that you have in mind.