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Old 12-29-2011, 10:02 AM
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Default First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

I'm working towards buying a TS55 and I'm trying to figure out what I really need to make the system functional on a basic level. My primary concern is to be able to cut down sheet goods for making shelves, cabinets, tables, etc. Long term, the goal is basically a full table saw replacement and then expansion into the rest of the Festool system in order to have a semi-decent wood shop for general use that can pack away when it isn't being used. I'm a mechanic by trade, so that set of tools gets the priority for space. The woodworking tools have to come out to play and then go hide.

At the moment, I have on the "Absolutely have to have" list:

1) TS55 w/ included FS 1400/2 (does it come with a Systainer?)
2) FS 1900/2
3) Two Guide Rail Connectors


The "Would really help to make it more functional for more things" list is:
4) Two Quick Clamps to hold the rail to the work
5) Parallel Edge Guide for repetitive rips (the $55 one that rides on the saw, not the fancy setup that holds the guide rail)


Thoughts on what's really necessary?
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

Hi williaty. I would recommend you get a 3000 rail instead of the 1900. I used to join 2 rails for longer cuts, but found it a hassle. With a 3000 and a 1400 rail, there's always one on hand for long or short cuts.
The clamps are good, but I rarely use them now, because the rails grip so well.
I haven't used the Parallel Edge Guide, but repetitive cutting is quite easy with the rail, and I think it may produce a better cut than the edge guide.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

Welcome to the slippery slope!

With emphasis on the word minimum, your proposed setup will work. Its pretty much what I started with. You can put your sheetgoods on top of sawhorses, with a couple of 2x4s or a sacrificial sheet of cheap ply for support and cut extremely accurately. You can get by without the clamps, but they are super expensive, so give them a second look. You will need a vacuum, though a shop vac will do for a bare minimum configuration. It does come with a systainer. I don't have the parallel guide you mentioned, can't comment on that.

When you get ready for that table saw replacement, think MFT - until you look into it, it seems just a table with holes, but it really takes your saw to the next level. The parallel guides and the long rail speed up work enormously, but may be overkill (in my opinion) for weekend warriors...

The good news is that the stock blade that comes with the TS55 is very good, no need to upgrade for a long time (I still haven't).

Hope this helps, ask lots of questions - lots of good advice here.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

Id add a MFT (or 2)

then essentails (clamps)

these clamp:

FS-Rapid Quick-Action Clamps - Bob Marino's Festool Store



Screw Clamps - Bob Marino's Festool Store

Quick Clamps - Bob Marino's Festool Store


and a CT 26

Thats a good start for ya
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

I strongly second (or third?) the suggestion of getting an MFT or two. I have two, and they're the most-used parts of my Festool arsenal. They're the center of my woodworking shop.

I also agree that you should get the longer rails, and not fuss with joining them together. I used to do that, but was not always successful in getting them perfectly straight. It's just so much easier to grab the long rail off the wall and do your cut.

I love the Festool C-clamps. If you get the MFT, get the clamping elements. They're awesome.

And you DEFINITELY need one of the CTs. I'd second the CT26 suggestion. I'd also recommend getting the Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy - it'll save a huge amount on bags.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

MFT is simply out of the question due to price at this time. It's in the long-term (several years) plan though.

I have no place to store the 3m rail and can't really afford it right now anyway, hence using the 1.4m+1.9m.

Is the dust collection so heavily recommended just because it's nice to work in a low-dust environment or does it actually affect the precision or quality of the cuts? As I said in the first post, I'm a mechanic, I'm used to working with a respirator on when I'm modifying metal parts, so wearing it for woodworking is no big deal.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

The saw is really meant to be used with a vacuum. I would be concerned of sawdust clogging ports and the riving knife.

I have the $55 parallel guide that rides on the saw and it is a waste of money. It is easy enough to set the guide rail for a parallel cut.

Many guys are buying and using the replacement top for the MFT without the MFT. Simply place the MFT on some saw horses or an old table.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
MFT is simply out of the question due to price at this time. It's in the long-term (several years) plan though.

I have no place to store the 3m rail and can't really afford it right now anyway, hence using the 1.4m+1.9m.

Is the dust collection so heavily recommended just because it's nice to work in a low-dust environment or does it actually affect the precision or quality of the cuts? As I said in the first post, I'm a mechanic, I'm used to working with a respirator on when I'm modifying metal parts, so wearing it for woodworking is no big deal.
If ya cant afford a MFT the Id look seriously at building the ultimate work bench.

Dust collection will due a couple of things for you. But the most important thing is prolong your life as wood dust isnt good for you.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

If you run your TS55 without dust collection you'll find that it throws a great deal of sawdust. It'll cover everything, including your lungs. I would STRONGLY encourage you to budget for a dust collector. I believe that Festool is having a sale - if you buy the TS55 with a CT you'll save 10% on the total.

You'll find the CT is a pretty impressive machine. I love that you can plug the saw (or any other tool) right into it. The vacuum will run for a few seconds after you turn the tool off, to clear the dust from the hose. And you'll hardly find a speck of sawdust around after you've made your cuts.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: First Festool: What's the Minimum Workable Setup for a TS55?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
If ya cant afford a MFT the Id look seriously at building the ultimate work bench.
I'm definitely looking at taking the ideas from the MFT and the various grid tables I've seen online and building something I can afford! There's some great ideas out there that really look like they're capable of saving a lot of hassle.


Quote:
But the most important thing is prolong your life as wood dust isnt good for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
t'll cover everything, including your lungs.
Guys, wood dust (other than Cocobolo, I suppose) is SO far down the list of toxic things in that shop already that it's hardly worth mentioning. I work with stuff so toxic that it can cause respiratory paralysis via skin exposure. Having to wear a respirator while working is no big deal. Long term, sure, I definitely want dust collection as it does make for a more pleasant working environment. However, functionality comes first. Then comes dust/fume collection for the more toxic things I work with. Wood is last on the list simply because it's the least toxic.

Remember, I'm a mechanic and this is a auto and metal shop, not a wood shop. The wood working equipment is to build stuff that I'll use to facilitate my other work, not an end unto itself.
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