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Old 06-10-2010, 03:34 PM
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Default TS55 vertical panel saw

This is a copy of a post I did on the FOG forum.

I have been thinking about building this machine for a while now based on the plunge capability of the TS 55 saw. A little background. I have been a professional cabinetmaker/installer since 1986. I owned and operated a custom cabinet shop in northern NJ until 1992 when we moved to the Orlando Fl area. I did not open my own shop here but began working for a small kitchen cabinet company running their small shop. Since 1997 I have installing high end custom cabinets in mostly new homes for the same company. In the fall of 2008 that business disappeared here and in many other places. I therefore went out on my own building and installing custom cabinets.

Since I was only installing cabinets I did not need a "shop" . The jobsite was my shop. All my tools were portable and easily movable from job to job.
I first came across Festool at IWF in Atlanta about 10 years ago. I bought the CDD 12 Drill. A short time later I bought the predecessor to the TS 55, the CT 22 and the MFT. I sold the old saw to a friend and bought the TS 55. These all served me well at the job.

Now I need a shop again. Most of my jobs involve cutting between 15 and 30 sheets of 4x8 material, mostly plywood but some melamine board. I have been using the TS55 and the guide rails together with my portable table saw. While ok I was not happy with the speed or the accuracy from part to part.

I decided to build a vertical panel saw modelled after a Holz Her 1265 Which I had owned and operated in my NJ shop (google "holz her 1265" and you will see what it looks like) with the TS 55 as the saw.
I have always liked cutting with a vertical panel saw. Some people do not. It takes up very little floor space and allows a large panel to stay fixed and the small saw to move.
Here are some pictures









The foundation of the machine is the solid and accurate movement of the main carraige in the horizontal direction and the saw carraige in the vertical direction. This is done with heavy duty linear bearings for the vertical movement (crosscut) and V groove roller wheels for the horizontal direction(rip). The frame and main carraige are made of MDF. The frame must be level and bolted to the floor. The saw rotates from vertical to horizontal on a heavy duty aluminum ball bearing lazy susan. A 28 lb counterweight slides up and down inside the main carriage to allow for stabile positioning.

To rip, the carraige moves from side to side and the saw carraige is locked in position at whatever scale setting is chosen. The scale registers from the bottom support upwards. There is also something called a strip gauge which allows you to cut from the top down. For example if you wanted several 3" strips it would be difficult to cut them from the bottom. With the strip gauge you set the gauge to 3", move the arm on the top of the panel, drop the saw carraige to the stop with the knob and cut away. Repeat your way down as often as needed. The horizontal grid supports the panel and moves up 1" pneumatically to avoid cutting into a rail.

To crosscut, the main carraige is locked in position "0" . The scale to the left is set to your size and the saw carraige is moved down to cut. In addition, there are two other positons marked +24 and + 48. These allow you to cut longer parts than the scale is marked. For example, if you wanted a part 90" long you would lock the carraige at +48 and set the left side scale to 42".

I have been a reader on this forum for many years and have never posted until now. I appreciate all the tips and tool reviews over the years. This project was a lot of work and I know that most members would not need a machine like this but I thought I would share this design so that maybe some of the ideas may lead to future jigs and inventions.

Although I had an overall plan for the panel saw, most of the details like the locks, scales, pneumatics etc were designed as I went along. The cost, excluding the TS55 which is easily removeable, was about $900 . The most expensive parts were the linear rails and bearings and the pneumatics, mostly purchased used on ebay.

I did not go into great detail but if anyone wants more info or pictures i would be happy to share.

Bob Fasano
Windermere Fl
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Wow, Bob! Amazing first post! Thanks. That's a wonderful machine you've built. I'm impressed with the details you've added - the rotating saw mount, the rulers, and all the cabinet work on it. You should consider selling them.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Bob, thank you so much for this first post.

I'm really impressed with your build of this panel saw. One thing I've noticed on nearly every panel saw I've looked at is a lot of play in the carriage mechanisms, between the rails and bearings. From the photos, it looks like your setup would be tighter than most.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Great first post and thanks for sharing. Impressive work and a very nice setup.

It looks like the vertical linear bearing is exposed and visible. Another good reason for the Festool saw with the great dust collection.

I would like to hear more about your green and orange markers. Some are visible in the square cut out and then there are some round green ones by the knobs.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Ditto on what everyone else said, Bob. Great post! I'd like to hear more about the pneumatics.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

The pneumatics are to shift the grid up 1" to avoid cutting into a rail when ripping. If you notice in the picture a black strip with orange and green stripes, this indicates to me where the saw blade is when ripping . If the grid is in the down position(orange) and the red wire crosses the orange stripe then it is time to shift the grid to up position ( green). The reverse is true in the green position. The real machines have a system which works with a proximity sensor and automatically shifts the grid. Perhaps I will upgrade this someday! The green dots indicate where the bolt holes are in the linear bearing rails. The 2 black knobs lock the carraige in the vertical position and are arranged so that one will always clear a hole and lock onto a solid part of the rail.

Last edited by corvxr; 06-10-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvxr View Post
This is a copy of a post I did on the FOG forum.

I have been thinking about building this machine for a while now based on the plunge capability of the TS 55 saw. A little background. I have been a professional cabinetmaker/installer since 1986. I owned and operated a custom cabinet shop in northern NJ until 1992 when we moved to the Orlando Fl area. I did not open my own shop here but began working for a small kitchen cabinet company running their small shop. Since 1997 I have installing high end custom cabinets in mostly new homes for the same company. In the fall of 2008 that business disappeared here and in many other places. I therefore went out on my own building and installing custom cabinets.

Since I was only installing cabinets I did not need a "shop" . The jobsite was my shop. All my tools were portable and easily movable from job to job.
I first came across Festool at IWF in Atlanta about 10 years ago. I bought the CDD 12 Drill. A short time later I bought the predecessor to the TS 55, the CT 22 and the MFT. I sold the old saw to a friend and bought the TS 55. These all served me well at the job.

Now I need a shop again. Most of my jobs involve cutting between 15 and 30 sheets of 4x8 material, mostly plywood but some melamine board. I have been using the TS55 and the guide rails together with my portable table saw. While ok I was not happy with the speed or the accuracy from part to part.

I decided to build a vertical panel saw modelled after a Holz Her 1265 Which I had owned and operated in my NJ shop (google "holz her 1265" and you will see what it looks like) with the TS 55 as the saw.
I have always liked cutting with a vertical panel saw. Some people do not. It takes up very little floor space and allows a large panel to stay fixed and the small saw to move.
Here are some pictures









The foundation of the machine is the solid and accurate movement of the main carraige in the horizontal direction and the saw carraige in the vertical direction. This is done with heavy duty linear bearings for the vertical movement (crosscut) and V groove roller wheels for the horizontal direction(rip). The frame and main carraige are made of MDF. The frame must be level and bolted to the floor. The saw rotates from vertical to horizontal on a heavy duty aluminum ball bearing lazy susan. A 28 lb counterweight slides up and down inside the main carriage to allow for stabile positioning.

To rip, the carraige moves from side to side and the saw carraige is locked in position at whatever scale setting is chosen. The scale registers from the bottom support upwards. There is also something called a strip gauge which allows you to cut from the top down. For example if you wanted several 3" strips it would be difficult to cut them from the bottom. With the strip gauge you set the gauge to 3", move the arm on the top of the panel, drop the saw carraige to the stop with the knob and cut away. Repeat your way down as often as needed. The horizontal grid supports the panel and moves up 1" pneumatically to avoid cutting into a rail.

To crosscut, the main carraige is locked in position "0" . The scale to the left is set to your size and the saw carraige is moved down to cut. In addition, there are two other positons marked +24 and + 48. These allow you to cut longer parts than the scale is marked. For example, if you wanted a part 90" long you would lock the carraige at +48 and set the left side scale to 42".

I have been a reader on this forum for many years and have never posted until now. I appreciate all the tips and tool reviews over the years. This project was a lot of work and I know that most members would not need a machine like this but I thought I would share this design so that maybe some of the ideas may lead to future jigs and inventions.

Although I had an overall plan for the panel saw, most of the details like the locks, scales, pneumatics etc were designed as I went along. The cost, excluding the TS55 which is easily removeable, was about $900 . The most expensive parts were the linear rails and bearings and the pneumatics, mostly purchased used on ebay.

I did not go into great detail but if anyone wants more info or pictures i would be happy to share.

Bob Fasano
Windermere Fl
Bob,

First please let me welcome you as a member and then WOW!!!! What a fantastic job on the panel saw. As I often get my plywood cut at Lowe's or Home Depot I have always been fascinated by the panel saws. However, their saws do not hold a candle to what you have built. Do you by any chance have any pictures that were taken as you built this? I have about a million questions but I want to study your pictures some more before I ask them.

Congrats and welcome,

Fred
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

I did not take pictures as I was building this but I can take more detail pictures if you let me know in which area you need them. Naturally, ask as many questions as you like.

Bob
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by corvxr View Post
I did not take pictures as I was building this but I can take more detail pictures if you let me know in which area you need them. Naturally, ask as many questions as you like.

Bob
Bob,

I am absolutely a novices, novice when it comes to pneumatics and can't even begin to fathom how you set it up or what goes into it. Ron, John, Michael, Peter and others would understand this far better than me. I am assuming that you do not have plans as you did so much as you went along. So, I guess what I am asking is if you wanted the "village idiot" (me) to build this how would you present it online like this? I realize that this is a huge question but as I thought more and more about it I realized that every question I had came from total ignorance.

Fred
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Kapex, OF2200,Domino,TS 75, Trion PS 300, RO 150, RO 90, ETS 150/5, ETS 150/3, DTS 400, RS 400, LS 130, RS 2, Deltex 93, RAS 115, CT 33, CT 22, CT 26 CT Midi, OF 1400, MFK 700, C 12, LR 32 3, Shinex, MFT/3s, 3 MFT 1080s, WCR 1000, UG-KA-SET, 10 Sysports, 2 Walko's, Marcou's J20A, S20A, M12, S45, S55A, VSP 40, Brese 650-55J, Sauer & Steiner XSNo.4, SS Jointer, A5 Desert Ironwood and #4 Damascus, Knew Concepts 8 inch Fretsaw, Knew Concepts 5 inch Titanium Fretsaw, Hammer K3 48x48, Hammer A3 31
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: TS55 vertical panel saw

Bob, you are obviously a fine and clever craftsmen as all Bobs should be.

Fred, your a sly old fox. Next you will be talking Bob into building one for you, cause your too XXXX (vapors) to do it for your self.


Bob


Last edited by BobSwenson; 06-15-2010 at 08:01 PM.
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