I had heard about Festool and was sure I'd never buy one of their tools. I didn't have anything against Festool, I was afraid I'd get hooked on their tools. Then what would I do with the rest of my stuff?

I gave in and bought the TS 75 to see if all the talk was true. It was.

I have a decent table saw with a Biesemeyer fence. Ripping is very accurate with that system. But I also have a very small shop.

One thing I can't do with the space I have is rip sheets of plywood. I could move things around and make the space, but it's hard to hold a piece of 3/4 inch thick and keep it moving smoothly past the blade. I've done it many times but now I don't have near the problems.

 

I brought the TS 75 home and knew I had a little time so I could take it back if I wasn't happy. I picked up an extra 42 inch long length of track so I could extend over both ends of a 96 inch long sheet.

I had to try making mistakes it was so easy to use. In the past, I used straight edges, a four foot long level clamped on a board, I even bought an eight foot long guide bar supposedly similar to the Festool tracks.

Trouble is you have to take into account for the offset of the blade. Measure out 23 and 5/16 inches, and add on an extra inch and a half or inch and 9/16 depending on the saw I used. Then hope I did the math right and lined everything up before cutting.

 

When I setup the Festool, I set the track on the bench and set the saw in the guide. The first time you set the saw in the guide, there is a lot of play from side to side. On the plate there are two adjusting knobs that are quite stiff to turn. No tool is needed, they are stiff so they don't have to keep being adjusted. Turn them until the saw won't move in the track, then back them off until the saw slides smoothly. This will remove any side to side play.

The track comes with a piece of rubber that sticks out past the edge a good ways. The first cut is made along the length of the track and that removes most of the rubber strip. Good stuff for a former gear head. The smell of burning rubber in the shop again!

Once the rubber is cut, that becomes the cut line. Make your measurement and mark the wood. Line the rubber strip up with the mark and the saw will cut exactly along that line.

 

I made a strange measurement for my first cut just to see how close I could get. When I made the first cut, I almost screamed I was so happy. With no effort I cut a board and it was the same width from end to end. No taper. This was like using a table saw but it only weighs thirteen pounds.

I have ripped three sheets of 3/4 inch thick plywood at one time. The finish is splinter free and if there is a problem with the cut, it's my fault.

 

We are planning to remodel the kitchen soon and I knew I'd be a nervous wreck trying to muscle sheets of cherry plywood across the table saw. Remember I can't just look across and be sure the wood is square along the fence.

Now I set my plywood on a sheet of two inch thick styrofoam and set the blade so it just clears the plywood. There is no catching the off cut, I don't need an extension table at the end of the table saw to catch my wood and I'm every bit as accurate.

 

I made a video describing the saw and some of the great features. Unfortunately, my talking tape measure wasn't working when the video was made. I was out of nine volt batteries and had to move along. So I couldn't show the exact cut that was made. We did use a regular tape that my son could read and set the guide at 5-15/16 inches. After I made the cut, it was exactly that width.

 

You can watch the video by clicking here

 

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