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Makita Track Saw "veering" off line...first cut!

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Forum topic by Matterhorn posted 01-25-2021 01:39 PM 514 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matterhorn

4 posts in 34 days


01-25-2021 01:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: makita track saw

My first cut to trim the Splinter Guard has gone terribly wrong. I secured the saw snuggly in the track…still slides freely down the track length. I plunged down fully through 3/4” MDF and began moving forward. After 6” or so the blade began to bind and the saw was very difficult to push.

I stopped the saw and reviewed the cut…the blade had veered AWAY from the track line…see photo.

Folks I’m not sure WHERE to begin. I’m sure it has to do with the blade not being parallel to the track direction, but I have no idea how to adjust this.

Should I atempt it on my own or call Makita?

I can’t imagine it being that bad from the factory.

Any direction would be greatly appreciated…thanks!

-- Troy, Southern Indiana, ..."Now, where did I put that silly Owners Manual?!?!"


15 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6826 posts in 3500 days


#1 posted 01-25-2021 02:00 PM

I’d check to see the blade is parallel to the shoe’s edge….or maybe the track slot. Do this much as you would with a TS. If it’s off I’d call Makita…actually I’d call Makita in any case, but it’s better than have a little trouble shooting behind you.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1045 posts in 3982 days


#2 posted 01-25-2021 03:36 PM

Maybe check track for straightness??? Can you push saw full length of track with it off and not plunging? Also, as mentioned, check blade to saw plate is parallel similar to a TS miter gauge slot to blade. You could probably rig up calibers or something to check it.

View Matterhorn's profile

Matterhorn

4 posts in 34 days


#3 posted 01-25-2021 04:13 PM

Guys, thanks for the advice…

I checked the Parallel Alignment with a Steel Rule and as best I could tell, the Blade was in fact Parallel.

...and I have no “Binding” issue when pushing the Saw the Full Length of the Guide Rail.

One thing I tried…and it DID in fact work…was not Plunging the Blade to its Maximum while cutting 3/4” Material. When I set the Plunge Depth to 25mm the Saw Tracked Perfectly and Smoothly.

I really think there is something about the Ultra Thin Kerf (.057” wide). I don’t think that the the Blade is supported well when its plunged full depth through thin material. —and that’s ON ME.

I have ordered a New Blade: Makita 60 Tooth, ATB with a .073” Kerf to help “stabilize” it as it cuts…and a new Splinter Guard to replace the one I Fouled Up!!

I’ll run a few Test Cuts in different Materials and post the results

I was really Beat Down on the Saw when this happened. I was very excited about this purchase and when I saw the results it hurt. But, I think this is user error!! When I made the cuts with the more shallow Blade Depth this Saw ran Smooth…gave me hope ;)

Thanks Again!!!

-- Troy, Southern Indiana, ..."Now, where did I put that silly Owners Manual?!?!"

View Jared_S's profile

Jared_S

445 posts in 966 days


#4 posted 01-25-2021 06:10 PM

Something is very wrong with the alignment.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6519 posts in 1596 days


#5 posted 01-25-2021 06:25 PM


One thing I tried…and it DID in fact work…was not Plunging the Blade to its Maximum while cutting 3/4” Material. When I set the Plunge Depth to 25mm the Saw Tracked Perfectly and Smoothly.

- Matterhorn

That’s how you’re supposed to do it anyway. You don’t plunge a track saw all the way, only enough for the blade to protrude 4 or 5 mm below the board.

It even states in the Makita manual that “For cleaner, safer cuts, set cut depth so that no more than one blade tooth projects below workpiece. Using proper cut depth helps to reduce potential for dangerous KICKBACKS which can cause personal injury.”

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

510 posts in 4753 days


#6 posted 01-25-2021 11:59 PM

Was the MDF supported the full length? This is important with a track saw. Using a couple of saw horses with MDF spanning them isn’t going to work. Track saw manufacturers all recommend using a fully supported spoilboard underneath or a 1.5” – 2” sheet of foam board on a hard flat surface (shop floor, concrete pad, driveway, etc. If the material bows in the center it will take the track out of alignment and also loose the surface tension it needs not to slide around. I usually have no more than 1/8” of the blade protuding below the material that I’m cutting.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Matterhorn's profile

Matterhorn

4 posts in 34 days


#7 posted 01-26-2021 03:19 AM

NorthwoodsMan, your advice is spot on. When I made the bad cuts my MDF was in fact fully supported by 1.5” Dense Foam on a hard surface. My problem occurred when I plunged the blade FULLY and it protruded beyond the thickness of the MDF 1-1/4”. And that resulted in exactly what you described: an unsupported, unstable blade free to wonder.
Only when I decreased the depth to 1/8” past material thickness did I get a good cut.
I’ve order a new Splinter Guard and will retry after it arrives.

Thanks Sir!

-- Troy, Southern Indiana, ..."Now, where did I put that silly Owners Manual?!?!"

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2277 posts in 1595 days


#8 posted 01-26-2021 03:31 AM

You’re not suppose to run any circ saw at max depth unless needed. Set you blade depth so the bottom of the gullets just clear the material.

The lack of binding in free air proves everything is OK.

If you’re over extending the blade the washer lip might be binding causing torque steer.

When in doubt, RTFM.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Matterhorn's profile

Matterhorn

4 posts in 34 days


#9 posted 01-26-2021 03:44 AM

Yes, I understand about Plunge Depth.

Someone mentioned to me that in order to trim the Max Length of the Splinter Guard on the Guide Rail with the First Cut that the Blade would need to be at Max Depth in order to utilize the full blade diameter and trim the Splinter Guard fully

That was why the mistake was made

This was user error

I’ll be sure to RTFM

-- Troy, Southern Indiana, ..."Now, where did I put that silly Owners Manual?!?!"

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

510 posts in 4753 days


#10 posted 01-26-2021 03:48 AM

Matterhorn, don’t feel bad. My first cut to trim the splinter guard required me to promptly replace it also! Different issue. I didn’t feel the need to read the directions.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1533 posts in 734 days


#11 posted 01-26-2021 03:52 AM


I ll be sure to RTFM

- Matterhorn

Rectify The First Mistake….and move on.

View Rich's profile

Rich

6519 posts in 1596 days


#12 posted 01-26-2021 04:21 AM


I ll be sure to RTFM

- Matterhorn

Read the fine manual (goes back to ‘80s MIT FTP Gateway).

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View jtm's profile

jtm

243 posts in 2643 days


#13 posted 01-26-2021 06:05 AM

Same thing happened to me. First cut – ruined splinter guard

I used it for the first time a few months ago to square up the end of a 1.5” walnut table top.

I thought maybe I was taking too much off at once, so I cut the other end in two depths. I haven’t had the time to really diagnose why this happened, so I’ll definitely keep an eye on this thread.

View xedos's profile

xedos

208 posts in 307 days


#14 posted 01-26-2021 01:49 PM



Same thing happened to me. First cut – ruined splinter guard

I used it for the first time a few months ago to square up the end of a 1.5” walnut table top.

I thought maybe I was taking too much off at once, so I cut the other end in two depths. I haven t had the time to really diagnose why this happened, so I ll definitely keep an eye on this thread.

- jtm

The saw is a bit light to crosscut 1.5” walnut in one pass with a 48t blade. It’ll do it , but it’s not ideal.

View mdhills's profile

mdhills

63 posts in 3639 days


#15 posted 01-26-2021 02:33 PM

I’d keep checking to figure out what is going on with this.
After you make your successful trim and have a defined straight cut aligned with your track, can you unplug the saw, fully plunge the blade and check alignment?

I don’t normally cut the blade at full depth, but there are some situations where you might do it (thicker stock or doing a stopped cut where you don’t want a long, shallow finish). Any alignment issues will be more pronounced with the deeper cut.

In the initial photo it looks like the cut was straight for a while and then veered pretty abruptly. Is there any chance the track is shifting (i.e., when you need to change your cutting position)? or is there anything wobbly in the tracking?

Matt

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