LumberJocks

Making a panel saw a more precise tool.

  • Advertise with us
Project by jack1 posted 05-22-2010 06:30 AM 3182 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In a weak moment a couple of years ago, I bought a panel saw… Actually, it was because of needing extra strength that I got one since I always had to have a friend come by and help me hoist up those heavy 4’x8’ panels of 3/4” oak onto my table saw so I could cut them. I did try to use those clamp-on straight edges and they do work somewhat but, cutting consistently was difficult at best. I got the Milwaukee with the 3 1/2 hp saw, hold-downs, extra length bottom rails to roll the sheet goods on, the measuring jig and wheels (still not too easy to move but better than nothing).
It did cut well and you could minimize the tear out on the edge of sheet goods with the use of painter’s tape to a certain extent. I figured that there had to be a better less time consuming solution. I decided to try a finer blade with more precision. The problem was to try and find a 8 1/4” blade to fill this need! I finally found a Freud 8 1/2” 60 tooth laser cut blade that’s much like their premium line. It is made for miter saws. As you can see in the 3rd picture, I had to “modify” the frame opening because the Freud is 1/4” wider than the Milwaukee blade and it was touching that frame. I used my Makita saws-all to cut out a groove to accommodate the extra blade diameter. It runs like a champ and it’s quieter.
The milwaukee came with a 40 tooth blade and, was like I said, ok. Ok if you are just cutting plywood for construction, gang cutting 2×4’s etc. It was not ok if you are working with expensive or thin ply as in the last two pictures. The first was cut with the milwaukee blade and the second was cut was with the Freud. Night and day! Not only are the cuts within 1/32” on the longest of cuts but they are very smooth without ripped or ragged edges.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!





18 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117615 posts in 3937 days


#1 posted 05-22-2010 06:58 AM

good fix

View NormG's profile

NormG

6435 posts in 3364 days


#2 posted 05-22-2010 07:02 AM

Excellent idea.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View patron's profile

patron

13648 posts in 3701 days


#3 posted 05-22-2010 07:19 AM

jealousy is all i can think of .

good fix !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View studie's profile

studie

618 posts in 3507 days


#4 posted 05-22-2010 08:13 AM

I was lucky to buy a Safety Seed Cut panel saw a few years ago for $625. It has the 3HS worm-drive motor and is about 10 feet long. Super clean condition too from a contractor going out of business. I had to go look at my blade and it’s a Freud 8” 62 tooth industrial, no mod’s needed but about $100. The saw case says 8” only and I wonder if I could have used a 8 1/4 instead. Just like my rockwell Super 900 I spent $100 on a rare 9” blade! No worries the both cut like a scalpel so I’m happy now for years of fine cuts. The panel saw an amazing time and back saver, not to mention you can have the Kid use it and always have square cuts!

Oh Yeah the thing cuts horizontal sweet, but like mine even with a long wheelbase is still not as good as with the Festool tracksaw just faster. Big production for medium shops, just have a cart at both ends!

-- $tudie

View mafe's profile

mafe

11949 posts in 3449 days


#5 posted 05-22-2010 02:28 PM

Wauu, thats a saw, nice fix. (I love the name on the blade).

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

4219 posts in 3935 days


#6 posted 05-22-2010 04:35 PM

I have a panel saw…..in my dreams….
(Smart fix)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13345 posts in 4033 days


#7 posted 05-22-2010 05:00 PM

Nice idea, I would love to own a panel saw but I have no room for one.

View HamrickWoodwright's profile

HamrickWoodwright

52 posts in 3288 days


#8 posted 05-22-2010 07:38 PM

sounds like a good idea I have the exact same panel saw collecting dust in my shop haha

View jack1's profile

jack1

2126 posts in 4387 days


#9 posted 05-22-2010 10:47 PM

The Milwaukee also cuts horizontally. There is a neat kit for doing cuts at waist height too but all that stuff is spendy like the dust collector kit. By the way, in the picture I have the blade in 180° wrong! I realized it after trying a practice cut. It was better than the old blade but not as good as when I put the blade in correctly! LOL
P.S.
Still cheaper than a CNC and not much more than the Festool… ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View patron's profile

patron

13648 posts in 3701 days


#10 posted 05-23-2010 03:19 AM

practice makes perfect !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile

jack1

2126 posts in 4387 days


#11 posted 05-23-2010 03:53 AM

not too perfect. I know what happens to people that are too perfect…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View patron's profile

patron

13648 posts in 3701 days


#12 posted 05-23-2010 04:05 AM

any time you are feeling to cool ,
you can turn the blade around again ,
like zen thing ,
until you come down some .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile

jack1

2126 posts in 4387 days


#13 posted 05-23-2010 04:07 AM

;0) everytime I feel too cool, I get in trouble. There are a few places I’m not allowed to be too cool in anymore…

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View mikethetermite's profile

mikethetermite

599 posts in 3626 days


#14 posted 05-23-2010 05:28 AM

Good fix, thanks for the tip.

Another tip, the flag hanging in your shop. The blue should always be on the left.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View jack1's profile

jack1

2126 posts in 4387 days


#15 posted 05-24-2010 04:57 AM

you are correct and I will fix Thanks.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com