So, as a web guy, I've always believed in the concept of "the wisdom of crowds". Case in point: in the 19th century, some mathematician got it into his head to ask a whole village to guess the weight of a particular ox. Every single individual got it wrong, but when he averaged all the guesses, the group was dead on. Web theorists call this the 'hive mind', and they use all sorts of examples.
So you'll remember the poll, a part of which is below. On another site, I swore up and down that my next table saw would have a riving knife. And while a bunch of people messaged me privately on the subject, some said they'd owned both the ez smart and the festool, and they too were in agreement. Thanks to all who voted and especially those who wrote multiple long messages... you guys are great!
View Poll Results: Best thing for cutting up sheet goods?
Go with Festool, with a long guide. $640 25 49.02%
Go with EZ-smart, with a new saw. $550 5 9.80%
So the other day we got into the car and drove all the way up to baltimore. They had both the 55 and the 75. I was thinking 55. Then I saw it, right next to the 75. Both cost way too much. And I knew I'd need an extension guide, to rip the length of a full sheet. And a plywood specific blade. The cost was adding up. WAY over the price of my table saw. But the last thing I wanted was to end up wishing I'd gotten the bigger saw. I saved 100 on my drill press, and now I've got a drill press that I don't love, but will have to live with forever. So after much sturm and drang (and many Doorlink jokes about her leaving me for her Venezuelan pianist who doesn't crave expensive power tools), we settled on the 75.
Here's the old jury-rigged setup. It worked, but it was inaccurate and I had to defeat the safety features on the saw to use it.
I know, no pics, didn't happen. So here are the boxes:
And here's the new beast:
The good (economic) news: I can't imagine ever wanting to upgrade my tablesaw now, and doing that would have cost way more. And it's a lot safer: one minor accident with the old thing would have cost more than this saw. And I'll never be staring at it, and saying to myself "I wish I'd gotten something else..."
Thanks for all your help with this one...