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Thread: Cutting Sheet Goods -

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Southern, Illinois
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    106

    Cutting Sheet Goods -

    Hey all-
    Project coming up were I will need to cut lots of sheets goods and was wondering what everyone else does? Right now, I usually rough cut using a circular saw & guide and then finish cut on the table saw if the piece is small enough. Every now and then I will cut them on my table saw, but my shop is not big enough to do this on a regular basis (7' ceilings, etc.). I am thinking about pulling the trigger on a festool setup. Sure would be nice, but ouch the price is a little high. Other ideas?

    Sure would be nice to find something that is as fast and easy to use as a table saw....maybe I just need to invest some time into creating large infeed and outfeed tables.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,448
    I'm still using saw horses, circular saw, and guide. I'll be building in and out feed tables soon for the table saw. I have an out feed roller, but usually don't do anything over 4' x 4' on the table saw if I don't have to.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    I use a grid made of of 2x3 that I can set on my workbench and a track saw (EZ).

    Track saws are ok, but I don't seem to get the same precision that I do with a table saw.

    Depending on the cut, it can also be kind of tricky to reach all the way across a piece with the track saw.

    It's just to difficult in my small space to manhandle sheet goods on the table saw.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Southern, Illinois
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    Brent - precision is a concern of mine too. I have looked at a panel saws (one of the cheaper ones - $1200), but have heard not to expect table saw accuracy out of the cheaper models. I seriously doubt I would pull the trigger on something like that anyways, but I would be upset if it came home and only got guide\circular saw accuracy out of it.

    It does seem there are a few more guided saws on the market these days -Makita, Dewalt and Festool. All getting decent reviews too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Makita-SP6000K...lp_edpp_ttl_ex
    http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DWS520C..._bxgy_hi_img_b
    http://www.amazon.com/Festool-TS-55-...ref=pd_cp_hi_2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    I have a low tech deadly accurate relatively inexpensive way to cut sheet goods. But then we tend to favor more expensive faster ways that yield less accuracy. Sighhh....
    ++++++

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    I have been using a shop made guide for years. I think the quality of your cut (no offense to those who favor Festool or the EZ systems) relies more on your saw than on your "system". I read an article years ago and it still holds true.

    Step 1 - Use a circular saw that has an adjustable footplate so that it can be aligned for a true cut.
    Step 2 - Align your saw to your guide; any problems, see Step 1.

    I made this in a very short period of time to replace the "temporary" one I have been using with good success for years. The only downside is it does not come in multiple sections so the longest uninterrupted cut you can make is determined by how long you make it. Most of us don't want a 100" jig hanging around the shop for those rare long cuts so I made mine a bit shorter .

    P.s. My PC-MAG circ saw base was not designed as adjustable but, it was made in such a way that I could adjust it by pulling a pin and inserting shim stock. Your saw may offer this possibility. My dad's Makita also was not designed to adjust but, we milled the aluminum foot plate to align it with the blade travel. Not ideal but, very workable for a long time and a relatively lower cost. Spending money is fun too though .
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 03-27-2012 at 01:56 AM. Reason: sp
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    I have a low tech deadly accurate relatively inexpensive way to cut sheet goods. But then we tend to favor more expensive faster ways that yield less accuracy. Sighhh....
    Going to share?
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    I've been considering making a zero clearance plate for my circular saw too. Kind of like this...

    http://woodworking.phruksawan.com/zc...Saw/index.html
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    My issue with accuracy, with a track, or even a shop made guide, is in repeating the cut.

    If you need to repeat the cut, you need to measure and place the guide.

    Doing that just isn't as repeatable as using the fence on the table saw.

    I did make this to help for ripping things like shelves

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ular+saw+guide

    You do need to be careful when adjusting the cut to make sure that you get the fence set right with the blade, otherwise binding can happen.

    With a sharp blade I have no problems with the quaility of the cut, it's really more about the repeatability. I know that the EZ system has accessories to help with that as well. Festool probably does? I don't own one so have never looked...

    If I was really cutting a lot of sheet goods, I think I'd probably get/make one those vertical panel cutters.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  10. #10
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    this may be it brent,,,
    LINK
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

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