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Old 08-17-2009, 07:12 AM
David Parker - archive David Parker - archive is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sylvania, OH
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Default Beginners Guide to EZ Smart Woodworking System

Hi All,

I'm relatively new to woodworking and am trying to answer that age old question - should I buy a table saw or build a power bench? Due to space and safety considerations, I'm leaning toward the power bench right now. When first starting my research into the EZ Smart System, I could not find a quick easy guide that gave me an overview of the system. Many terms are used that are not intuative. The EZ FAQ and User Guide page are great, but don't quickly give an overview. They are a good second step.

Now that I've educated myself on the system, I thought it would be helpful for me and perhaps others if I wrote up a beginners guide, which I call EurekaZone 101. I've attached my first draft of this guide. Remember, this is written by someone who has no first hand experience with the system, only what I've seen on the EurekaZone website and the Sawmill Creek site. I have a couple of questions/requests:

1. If I've made any factual errors due to my limited understanding, please let me know so I can correct them.

2. I want to keep this guide as an overview of the system and not an exhaustive listing of every feature. Also, I'm not trying to sell the system here, only give someone a basic overview of what it is. I don't want to list every great feature the system has (and it has many). If there is something that I left out that you feel absolutely positively has to be there, please let me know.

3. I was considering using photographs in the guide, but not owning the system limits me in this regard. If EurekaZone wants to give me permission to use their photographs they have posted on the web, I'd be glad to consider using a few. (I'll give you credit for the photo). Again, I don't want this to be a pictorial. I just need a few carefully chosen pictures to clarify what I've said in words.

Thanks much for your help!

Dave Parker

(link not yet available)

Last edited by Dik Harrison; 08-17-2009 at 01:03 PM.
Old 08-17-2009, 07:14 AM
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Posts: 140
Default Reply: Bill Griggs - Suggestion.

Very nicely written. Here is a suggestion.

Two smart clamps are included with the EZ Smart Guide package.

I think you need to state that the Smart Clamping system is an upgrade to the smart clamps. The difference between the two is that the smart clamping system allows you to cut really thin pieces....... etc.

Old 08-17-2009, 07:15 AM
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Default Reply: Paul Greathouse


Great Job. I've have had the EZ system for 3 or 4 years now and I don't think I could have done a better job of describing it than you have done. Your EZ 101, should help anyone new to the system understand it better.

I know some of us that have had the EZ for a while take it for granted that everyone else knows as much about it as we do. Even though alot of what is in your description has been said/posted in parts here and there, I don't believe anyone has ever put it all togeather as you have.

I don't see any reason why Dino would have a problem with you inserting some of the EZ pictures into your description. You can certainly use any of mine that you see fit. I'm not sure how often Dino checks in here now that there is a forum on the EZ website. If you don't hear from him soon, you may want to give him a call at the phone number on the EZ website to ask about the pictures.

Its great that there is a forum on the EZ website but I would hate to see this forum go away because of lack of participation. The EZ forum here at SMC used to be very active with a great deal of information made available to everyone. Without it I probably wouldn't be into the EZ stuff as much has I am.

You have taken a step in the right direction to make this forum interesting and to keep it going. Keep up the good work, and if you have an questions feel free to ask here or PM me.

I own several different lengths of guide rails, square, cabinet maker, smart clamping system, smart table, SRK, PBB with B200 and other misc. equipment. Feel free to check with me on anything your not sure about, but it looks like you already have a good basic handle on things.
Old 08-17-2009, 07:16 AM
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Default Reply: Dik Harrison - Way to go...


You have definitely gotten the feel for EZ. You will love it once you get your hands on some.
Old 08-17-2009, 07:17 AM
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Default Reply: Greg Samoluk

Well done!!!
Old 08-17-2009, 07:17 AM
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Default Reply: David Parker

Just to let people know, you can now find the latest version of the EZ 101 guide over on the EZ Smart Knowledge Base. My thanks to Dik Harrison for taking care of this.

Old 08-17-2009, 07:18 AM
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Default Reply: Ken Kortge

Awesome intro!!!!!! Thanks for putting that where the pics are much nicer. I'm a fairly new user, I've grown up to using a Smart Table, but so far only dream of graduating to the Power Bench world.


You might show a picture of the anti-chip insert - maybe from the bottom of the base - and put that next to the respective paragraph. Also, it is my understanding that AC-1 is also important if the saw is used along side the guide rail - rather on top of the guide (still using the guide, but just as a straight edge).

On the picture with the connector extrusions - you might add some text to identify them - just to be clear. It looks like there were originally some pointing lines in that picture.

VERY nice description of the EZ Bridge!!!

Starting at the paragraph that describes the SME, it might be easier to follow with a few more photographs showing the SME in close-up, a picture of the squaring stop in use, and a picture of the EZ Back to Back Rails in place/use. 1 picture = 1000 words. :-)

THanks for the hard work of putting that together. Slick!!
Old 08-17-2009, 07:19 AM
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Default Reply: Walter McNeil

I bought a EZSmart system a few months ago and I have a couple of thoughts I would like to add; especially if you are shopping for new saw while thinking about your smart purchase.
Don't get me wrong, I love the system and Dino was always quick to respond when I had questions/concerns, but there are a few things I wish I had known before buying a new saw and the rail system.
Note: I did NOT consult Dino before buying a saw or buy it from him; I'm sure he would have offered great guidance if I had realized that I should ask...

What I wish I had realized:
  • Reduced depth of cut- Your effective depth of cut is obviously reduced by the thickness of the rail and the smart base together, such that you may not be able to cut dimensional lumber on-the-rail with a 7 1/4" saw. My PC 423MAG will only cut a little over 1 3/8"; of course you can always cut off-the-rail for increased depth, but next time I would get an 8 1/4" saw.
  • Right -vs- Left Blade- The Smart Base is made for right blade saws and adapted for left blade saws; the anti-chip block for the lefty attaches to the base with two non-captive screws instead of sliding into place on the native right blade base. This is not a huge deal, but it is kind of a hassle to remove/replace/reallign it when you want to cut off-the-rail (the chip guard on the right-hand base just slides out when you don't need it and goes back in just as easilly). Also, even though I normally prefer a left blade saw, I found that I would prefer to have a right blade saw when cutting on-the-rail. Next time I would buy a Right Blade saw.
One more thing that caught me offguard: the ends of the track sections are not precision milled and may not be square. One might assume that the rail sections shoud be butted together tightly, but then the rail may not be straight. Leave a little gap between the sections and the rails will allign themselves. Only tighten the set screws enough to hold the rails in place; if you overtighten them it will deform the rail.
Old 08-17-2009, 07:20 AM
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Default Reply: Burt Waddell


First things first - welcome to the EZ forum.

Second, all of the things you mentioned are valid and have been discussed in this forum.

Depth of cut: Recently, EZ has recommended the Makita 5007 MGA. With the current base it has a depth of cut a little over 1 1/2" inches. Also several of us turned to the Hilti 267e (no longer made) as a solution. It cut 1 3/4" with a 7 1/4" blade. The Makita 5008 MGA is a great choice. It will use an 8 1/2" blade and has a cutting depth of 2 1/4".

Another note on depth. Not all 7 1/4" blades are 7 1/4". The Diablo is undersized and the Makita is an honest measure. Check the actual size of the blade on your saw.

Also, Dino is working on a new smart base that will solve this problem.

When it became time to part with my table saws, I purchased the Makita 5104 - 10 1/4" circular saw. It gives a 3" depth of cut on the rail and is super smooth. Several of us have this saw.

Right hand - left hand: Simple. With the EZ rail, use a right blade saw if you are right handed and vice versa. For some ripping operations, some people prefer to use the opposite handed saw.

In general, having the blade on the side of the rail away from your body is safest.

Your suggestions on not butting the rails tightly and not over tightening the set screws sound like they came right out of the instructions.

Again, welcome to the EZ world.

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