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Table saw vs guided Circular saw for cutting 4x8 plywood panels or melamine panels

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Forum topic by MiniMe posted 10-19-2019 06:41 PM 2401 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


10-19-2019 06:41 PM

Hi guys

I have a Ridgid TD 3650 no out feed table and I need to build free standing kitchen cabinets (floor to near ceiling ones) an island and two bathroom sink cabinets (wide ones)

I was shopping for tools and I noticed that Festools and Kreg have guides that you can use to attach a circular table saw to them and then cut the panels as you wish

I will have no helper so I will have to improvise a trestle outfeed table using a B&D workmate table
What are the pros and cons for using this method compared with using just the table saw?


35 replies so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

2826 posts in 2341 days


#1 posted 10-19-2019 08:04 PM

Table saw no outfeed table is an accident looking to happen, done it many times, now use track saw. Really wonder why it took so long ?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

279 posts in 137 days


#2 posted 10-19-2019 08:12 PM

I am becoming more and more drawn toward a track saw. I was using a clamped on guide rail and my skil saw but a couple of times I got off track managing the cord or not paying attention. Probably need a new blade too. I have a small jobsite TS so there is not a lot of fence to align the plywood to. I hate to put money into it but I think a track saw is the way to go for breaking down sheet goods.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4232 posts in 2524 days


#3 posted 10-19-2019 08:24 PM

I think a track saw is incredibly useful. I have a big cabinet saw and still use my track saw to breakdown plywood. With the right blade you can get great cuts. Even With a cabinet saw, cutting a full sheet is tough and being older, I no longer can lift them.

There is a full debate on which track saw is better. Several of them work fine. I have had a Festool for quite a few years and love it. I just used it to cut up five sheets of Red Oak Plywood

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Andre

2826 posts in 2341 days


#4 posted 10-19-2019 08:28 PM



I am becoming more and more drawn toward a track saw. I was using a clamped on guide rail and my skil saw but a couple of times I got off track managing the cord or not paying attention. Probably need a new blade too. I have a small jobsite TS so there is not a lot of fence to align the plywood to. I hate to put money into it but I think a track saw is the way to go for breaking down sheet goods.

- controlfreak

Same story for many years, went out to buy the Makita track saw but came across a Dewalt on sale plus 103” guide as a bonus, truth is have only used long track 1 time in 5 years.
Dewalt kind of bulky but cuts perfect, and blade IMO pretty darn good. Still on the saw!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

124 posts in 180 days


#5 posted 10-19-2019 08:53 PM


Same story for many years, went out to buy the Makita track saw but came across a Dewalt on sale plus 103” guide as a bonus, truth is have only used long track 1 time in 5 years.
Dewalt kind of bulky but cuts perfect, and blade IMO pretty darn good. Still on the saw!

- Andre


I think Dewalt blades are very underrated. I swear by their 70T plywood blades. I just used one in a cheap Skil saw to crosscut some 5/4 hard maple. That blade went through them like butter.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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PaulDoug

2215 posts in 2239 days


#6 posted 10-19-2019 09:22 PM

I think the track saw is the safest way to break down plywood sheets. I am thinking of getting one just for that purpose.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View MiniMe's profile

MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


#7 posted 10-19-2019 09:52 PM

It seems that everybody is in agreement, so track saw it is.
The Home Depot near my place does cutting too, having the cutting done there cold save time and transportation will be easier.Any issues with their saw/cuts?

Can I understand that the tracks are vendor neutral? I have a porter and Cable 10”

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

868 posts in 1638 days


#8 posted 10-20-2019 01:11 AM

First, whether you do it yourself or have it done at the store, don’t make your break-down cuts as final cuts. Make them as close rough cuts and then finalize them when you are working with smaller pieces on the table saw. So, accuracy at this point is not critical.

If you decide to go with a track saw, remember that you can make your own out of plywood if you want to save some money. There are YouTube videos on the subject.

View pottz's profile

pottz

6639 posts in 1520 days


#9 posted 10-20-2019 01:59 AM

i use a track saw for cutting all my sheet goods,i have the dewalt and the cuts are accurate as being cut on the ts imo.if you cut sheet goods on a ts you gotta have an outfeed table of some kind or your just asking for problems and a pita.i would never trust the big box guys to cut my sheet goods,most are lucky if they know how to turn on the saw-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View BattleRidge's profile

BattleRidge

120 posts in 751 days


#10 posted 10-20-2019 02:36 AM

I have the Kreg Accu-Cut and like it really well. It is easy to set up, simple to use and quite accurate. I paired the Accu-Cut with a 7-1/4” Metabo-HTP circular saw with a 60 tooth Diablo blade and the set-up generally stay married together unless I need the saw for something else. I also purchased a pair of Kreg track clamps for extra security while cutting and prefer to incorporate the clamps when possible.

I have a 4’ x 8’ combination workbench / assembly table / outfeed area and will often place the plywood there with the edge overhanging where I will either just pull it away by hand once cut, or use a workmate or such to support the cut piece. For additional support or during some cuts, I will place a few 2×4’s beneath the plywood on the floor during cutting. Some folks will use a piece of sacrificial foamboard insulation for support which I considered doing, but i didn’t want the hassle of storing the foamboard when not in use.

The Kreg has been vast improvement over trying to cut a sheet freehand or with a makeshift guide, as well as trying to maneuver large sheets through a table saw or such. If you feel there is too much play between the track and guide, a small strip of friction-free tape can fill the guide for less wiggle room, but I haven’t found it to be a problem for the projects I have used it on.

I was fortunate to pick up the Accu-Cut for $20.00 at a dealer’s scratch and dent sale (the package was messed up but the jig and all parts were in perfect condition). I would like to add an expansion track to extend the cutting capability to 8’ at some point, but will wait until I can find it less than the standard $80+ price.

View 1965scooper's profile

1965scooper

12 posts in 2210 days


#11 posted 10-20-2019 02:50 AM

Listen to the wise comments above. Use a track saw (with a quality blade) or well made clamped guides. I only have clamping guides of various lengths, and they have served me well. I use a 4’ x 8’ slab of 2” rigid foam insulation as the cutting surface and simply get down on the garage floor and “git ‘er done.” I’m a senior citizen who works without a helper, so I clear the floor of obstacles, remain mindful of where the extension cord is placed and proceed with deliberate care. Yes, I’m down on my hands and knees, and it hurts to stand up. But if I keel over I won’t have far to fall. And if you want to take a little nap on the foam after the cuts are made, it’s pretty easy to stretch out and just dream how easy it was, forty years earlier. Although if my wife found me napping on the garage floor, she might not understand.

I would avoid any big box store’s panel saw to do much beyond cutting a sheet in half for easier transport. I know little or nothing about the skill of the operator, the condition of the equipment or the mileage on the blade.

-- 1965 Scooper

View MiniMe's profile

MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


#12 posted 10-20-2019 03:05 AM

Below is my rack (the grey structure). It is made using slotted angled iron and I used threaded rods and bolts to add support for various lengths of wood boards or simply for structural or fence boards. the whole thing is on wheels and the bottom side is filled with pieces of wood oriented traversal to the structure to create a ..bottom surface/support

I can add the blue part and make it foldable and imitate this

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4079 posts in 1109 days


#13 posted 10-20-2019 06:56 AM

For the TS it certainly is up to cutting plywood. The problem is keeping it aloft, guiding it, and keeping the edge glued to the fence. A track saw you lay the sheet down, preferably on a sheet of foam insulation, and make the cuts. A lot of people do it on the ground, where if your reach doesn’t get you across a full sheet of plywood, they kneel on it, and saw as they crawl along with the cut, so they never need to extend past what they feel comfy with.

Festool, DeWalt, and Makita track saws been around long enough they are starting to show up on craigs list. This one is Columbus Ohio, a TS55 and a midi vac for $750.00 thats well under retail.

-- Think safe, be safe

View MiniMe's profile

MiniMe

140 posts in 587 days


#14 posted 10-20-2019 11:34 AM

How about the Kreg ones ? Are they any gòod? Verias also has some guides

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

687 posts in 439 days


#15 posted 10-20-2019 08:45 PM

From the multiple projects you mentioned it would seem logical to go with a track saw. Otherwise, get a helper and use your table saw.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

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