Monday, May 17, 2010

TS-75 Splinter Guard Enhancement

When I first got into woodworking, I pre-mortgaged my first three kids to buy some Festools.  As I was new, I opted for the TS-75 over the TS-55 not knowing if the more limited capacity of the 55 would make a difference.  Today, I can say... no.  Besides the extra unused capacity of the 75 over the 55 (20mm capacity difference), you get bigger biceps because the 75 weighs more, is more cumbersome, and has a splinter guard that only works at significantly deeper cuts.

The splinter guard is the green thingy off the side of the blade in the front.  The front of the blade rotates up as it cuts thus lifting unsupported fibers.  The fibers under the guide rail are supported by the rail, but the offcut fibers are not unless you lower the splinter guard to press on the fibers (you may not care about tearout on the offcut but many times I do).

The problem is this: the splinter guard is designed for the 55.  The TS-55 can engage the splinter guard at a relatively shallow cut depth.  The TS-75 uses the same guard and requires nearly 30mm of depth to engage the splinter guard.  On a 5mm guide rail, you are cutting 25mm (that's an inch for you 'merican readers).  This isn't acceptable when cutting 12mm or 18mm (1/2" and 3/4" respectively) material.

My solution was to attach a substrate to the splinter guard that made the whole considerably longer.










I simply cut a strip of wood 5mm thick by approximately 90mm long.  Two #6x1/2" screws countersunk through to the plastic hold it in place.  With the saw supported and the blade off the edge of the workspace, I plunged to full depth.  I cut off the wood on the other side of the kerf from the green guard with a flush saw then re-glued a portion of that above the wooded pad that isn't under the green plastic just to reinforce it.
Now, the blade is engaged with just a 12mm plunge depth.  Given that I always use it on a guide rail, that's a 7mm cut depth with support.

9 comments:

  • Anonymous said...
     

    Glad to know that I didn't make a mistake getting the 55. I've watched many of your review videos before finding your blog. Enjoy it immensely...except that it makes me feel a bit inadequate with only 7 Festool products.

    Dave K
    AZ

  • Anonymous said...
     

    Great Idea! I have the 75 and was not impressed with the splinter guard on the off-cut side. I wonder why Festool hasn't made one specifically for the 75?

    Frank J.
    AK

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    If you ever figure out why, Frank, let me know; seems like a simple accessory. At least the fix is pretty easy; I had only 1 spare when I made that modified guard. Still use it and it still works great for all depths of cut. I have a 5-pack ready for the day (2017?) when I need a new one so I can modify them all.

  • rrooster said...
     

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • rrooster said...
     

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • rrooster said...
     

    Well Paul-Marcel, I'm now having some minor issues with rip-out... the splinter guard on the rail is getting a bit worn & won't compensate for the lack of effectiveness in the ts75's own splinter guard. So going to implement your idea... I though you had a video showing this mod... but I can't find it.

    btw I have no buyer's remorse re the ts75... this saw really has made my table saw obsolete, with the ts55 I'd still have to revert to using the beast once in a while.

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    No, I don't have a video showing how to make it; pretty easy and it lasts a long time. Mine I made while doing this article is still on the saw and working very well. I did discuss it a bit in the TS-75 review (my first video! ack! can't stand watching it now that I know about lighting and sound a bit!)

    I just ripped a 8'x9" piece of 8/4 Maple into 4 pieces last night (that's on video, though); works very very well. Sure I have a cabinet saw, but I felt better taking the tool to the wood instead of the other way around.

  • Marc said...
     

    Hi Paul-Marcel. Thanks so much for posting good stuff here. I'm trying to make a decision regarding the TS75 or the TS55. It would certainly be rare that I'd cut anything over 2" thick, but wonder if the occasional >2" cut would be worth getting the TS75? It's really only $70 more than the TS55, but it is a bit heavier and is not as "slick" as the TS55 from adjustments to movement on the guides. Thoughts on the TS75 vs. the TS55? I'm a hobbyist, not a pro. But...I certainly don't mind spending good $$ for tools that last a lifetime. :)

  • Paul-Marcel St-Onge said...
     

    Hi, Marc... I agree that the TS-55 is more refined; they've put more into it and have made several versions vs the single TS-75. The 75 has more power than the 55, but that really only matters on thicker cuts. What I use my 75 for the most is edge jointing. When I get a board, I process the surfaces, put the guiderail on it to pick where I want the first edge then rip. It's so much faster than repeated passes on a jointer plus I can correct for skew grain or a bow/concave with ease. So if you work with 8/4 stock occasionally, the 75 would be much better at this, but the 55 could handle up to 2" (considering 8/4 is never even 2" out here, a 55 would work for me).

    Hope that helps!