Reply by Loren

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Posted on Panel saw

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10917 posts in 4615 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 06:00 PM

If you don’t have a floating shoe that allows the saw base to ride
directly on top of the work, you’ll struggle to make good cuts,
especially in chip-prone material. Even if the saw cuts square,
if the cuts are rough, you’ll have to re-cut the parts on another

Your design is a good starting point and better than many shop-built
saws I’ve seen. You’ll discover what’s working for you and what’s
not when you get some experience using it.

I’ve owned 3 vertical panel saws and am in the process of building a
4th, modeled on a Striebig, which will be the most precise of
them all.

A very good design for an economical panel saw is the PanelKing,
which is no longer made and I thing the inventor’s business was
pretty much wrecked by the emergence of tracksaws. The
PanelKing does do some things better than tracksaws however,
especially repeat and exact parallel ripping of panels. It has a
floating shoe as well. I have an earlier, cruder version of the PanelKing,
which I considered upgrading, but the company closed and
I was not too impressed with the longevity of proprietary parts
used in the mechanism.

Here’s a picture of the PanelKing:

Hopefully you can make out that the saw shoe has a somewhat crude
mechanism that allows you to move the saw carriage out of the way,
put your panel on the table, move the rails to position, lower the shoe
to ride on the panel, and make your first cut. The use of a Festool
plunge saw is not essential but it does make some cuts faster and
the dust collection and variable speed are good features as well.

I do recommend using a saw with a brake or one that stops relatively
fast. This will allow you to work faster when using the saw.

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