Festool TS 75 Track Saw

WOOD WORKING BY DESIGN

no tear out from Festool track saw
Image 1

It's somewhat funny how I ended up purchasing this saw. I was having plunging problems with my ancient Bosch 1613 router and was taking a hard look at the Festool 2200 plunge router. Then - I'm not certain exactly how this happened, probably a video I would guess, was demoing the TS 75 and my eyes must have popped out of my head because I began to see how I could put this saw to use immediately. Forget the 2200, I really needed the TS 75. I'll explain.

About three weeks ago I began making some sliding doors that we have needed since the kitchen was tiled. The tile rendered the folding pantry doors useless because of the added height of the tile. So, I was 'nudged' into making these two relatively heavy 80" x 37" x 1 3/8" doors. Most doors have panels. These doors have two each. I only make book-matched panels that are biscuited together. When done they have to be trued - the center of the book-matched panel must be centered in the finished panel - then they have to be squared. Without a table saw with an accurate rip fence this can be a challenge. Sure you can mark your saw lines and use the band-saw to cut them, then edge them on the jointer or use a hand plane. Probably the preferred way of doing this is on the table saw with a good fence. I won't argue that. A deep enough TS sled would also work. Mine is 25" deep. These panel's are approximately 30" long. We're going in circles here. I have to do the very best that I can or I don't do it. This is the way that I work and I make no apologies. The panel is not the biggest issue. Read on.

The door stiles are longer than their finished length. This was done by design so both ends will need to be squared against the stile when the glue has dried. Passing a heavy door through a table saw blade requires a very wide, slick and deep table saw table. My TS has 21" of table on the left side of the blade. I was not about to even try to ruin this door on my TS. This is why the Festool track saw was so appealing to me. The issues I was having were easily solveable with the TS 75.

Door Panels
Scribe the cut lines on both edges of the panels. Lay the Festool track on the scribed lines and clamp in place. Zip. Flip panel over and repeat. Panel one done. Do same to next panel. Panel two done. Take panels to TS sled and cut ends to length. Done! That was the easy part.

I am not at the point of cutting the door ends yet. I am waiting on a slot-cutting bit what will be here this coming Monday. When the slot is cut I will install the panels and glue the door up. I will let the door set for 24 hours then repeat the same process that I did with the panels and the door is trued. I will then screw on its hardware and see how it fits in the pantry. If it needs any tuning up the track saw can handle that easily.

I really feel that this tool has given me a ton of versatility that I never had before. It has saved me from having to make a huge table saw table to cut the ends of these doors. To be totally honest here, I would have never built the large table-saw table because I do not have the room for it. I would have used my 15-year old Craftsman circular saw because that would have been the only sensible way to cut the ends of the door. Do you know how much tear out I would have had on that door? A lot. The photo below shows you the tear out done by the Festool track saw.

no tear out from Festool track saw
Track-saw Photo 1.
The light colored board on the left has just been cut with the Festool TS 75. There is absolutely no tearout on either side of this board. Amazing!

One of Festool's little secrets is a small plastic fixture that rides directly on top of the workpiece which prevents tearout. Simple but very effective. The next photo shows this clearly.

festool anti-tearout fixture
Track-saw Photo 2.
This small plastic nib rides directly on top of the workpiece preventing tearout. Great idea.

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track saw on its track
Track-saw Photo 3.
Another shot of the saw on its track taken after cut was made.