Thursday, May 27, 2010

TS 75 vs 1 1/2" Hard Maple

Well, I've been making an end grain faced cutting board for the kitchen out of hard maple. To quickly recap I cut the 8/4 maple plank into strips 1.4 inches wide x 20 inches long and glued them back together into a board with Titebond III. I planed that down to even it out and was ready to cross cut it so I could glue those strips together with the end grain making up the face of the board. The original cutting I did on my Delta 10" contractors saw which handled that wood with a rip blade no problem. Now that I no longer have that saw it was up to the Festool TS75 that I just got to do the cross cuts. I cut the board into 1.5 inch strips again, 14 cuts of about 18 inches.

The TS 75 did an admirable job once I got my setup and technique down. I found it easier and more accurate to set a combination square and use that from the end of the board to the edge of the saw track. I set my square 3/32 longer than I needed to compensate for the blade kerf. Also I found that it is best to back up the stock you are cutting with some sacrificial plywood or something, especially if you are keeping the cutoff. This keeps the piece from breaking off and also allows you to cut with a smooth stroke.

I started by reaching around and grabbing the cutoff and the hesitation in my cutting stroke would cause a little burning. Once I smoothed out the cutting I was able to cut the thick stock without burning.

The feed rate is also something I had to experiment with. The Festool with it's speed control electronics is a bit of a different experience than a standard circular saw. It can make kind of an odd noise, which apparently is normal, keeping the speed constant. Festool recommends the speed control be set to the maximum, 6, for hard and soft solid woods. I had no trouble with this setting. I also found that the saw was able to cut at about any rate that I wanted to feed, but I opted to take it slow.

I was pretty pleased at how well this saw handled this thick hard stock.

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