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Old 11-02-2016, 10:17 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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Default Getting Started (Gearing Up)

If this is not the right forum, please direct me where.

I am considering this system, specifically for cabinet making.

As it is presently, I must have my sheet goods reduced in size for transport. Consequently, I never really have to deal with a full 4x8 sheet. As a matter of fact, I can't even transport a 4x4 sheet, so I have considered having sheets cut to 2x4 or 30-1/2x48.

I have a table saw with a fence that can be set for up to 24". It seems to do an okay job, but as it is presently setup, kind of chews up the veneer on plywood cuts a little. I have 2 circular saws, one is the small Craftsman C3 trim saw (battery powered) the other is the Skil 5150 (corded but forever old).

However, it has been recommended that I look at either your track system or Festool's. I have already decided that theirs is more expensive than I care to entertain.

So for accurately breaking down sheet goods, and squaring up panels and so forth, it would appear that you have a workable solution.

1. What parts/pieces/kits do I need to get started?
2. What is the best configuration overall for cabinet work?
3. Is there a path from 1 to 2?
4. Are there tools and configurations that will help with door and drawer front creation as well?
5. Do I need a different circular saw?

Thanks in advance,

-- Abs
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2016, 11:11 AM
Burt Burt is offline
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Location: Sumter, SC
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Your questions are loaded ones.

Usually members of the forum will recommend a track saw system as a way to get your feet wet. The track should be at least 54". At a minimum you will need the track, a saw base and a pair of smart clamps. All of these can be used as you move up the ladder in the EZ world.

When I was able to make cabinets, I used the UEG, Cabinetmaker, SSRK and EZ 1. The UEG did the rip cuts on plywood. The cabinet Maker did the cross cuts. The EZ 1 handled the pieces once they were small enough. This system is safer, faster and easier to use than a table saw. I went from 3 unisaws to an all EZ shop.

The SSRK is a unique routing device. It is the best way I've ever found to make dado's. I have even used it to make raised panel doors but it couldn't compete with a good router table equipped with a stock feeder. Also you would have over $1000 invested in a power fed router table.

As for your saw, I don't know what condition it is in. Old isn't necessarily bad if it is still a good solid saw. Maybe you can try it and move up if you decide you want something better.

From what you were saying about your table saw, you may need a new blade.

If you are going to continue to bring 2 x 4 foot pieces into the shop, the EZ 1 is all you will need. That practice seems to me like it would waste a lot of plywood.

I'm sure other will present different ideas.


Burt
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  #3  
Old 11-02-2016, 11:52 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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I have only brought in 2x4 because I was experimenting. I would think I could do better with 30-1/2" x 48 I could trim that square to 768mm and make 4 upper end panels or 2 lower panels from it. with no additional waste.

2x4 isn't terrible since it leaves me 17 and a little which is more than enough to make a standard width top or bottom or a couple stretchers or nailers. One must be careful.

My saws are all in pretty good shape. The little one is brand new and I currently use it with a self made jig for trimming panels and such. The skil, seems to be in good shape too, it gets little use (maybe 100 hours at the most) since I have both a TS and CMS. It definitely needs a new blade though.

So stepping in with a 54" "Beginner Kit" looks like $162 from WoodCraft. As I am understanding that still doesn't give me the "squaring" ability. It is still a matter or striking a line and then eyeing things up to the line to make the cut. Nor does it give me the reproducibility. For those I need either the "square" and the "repeater" or the "cabinet maker" at about $179?

Is the Cabinet Maker, anything more than a bundle of the square, handle and repeater?

Is the square similar to the "Festool" protractor? Does it do more than just 90 & 45? Does it offer detentes or is it fiddly and requires other external gauges to set angles?

So if I were to start out with the 54" kit and add the cabinet maker, and later decide to move up to the EZ-1 do they all come along or are they not compatible or are they parts of it?

Do people more often just use the bridge with their own tables or actually move into the ez-1?

Sorry for so many questions, they just keep coming to me.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2016, 11:58 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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By the way, for comparison this is what I am using now



https://www.dropbox.com/s/b3pmfq1p7o...eljig.jpg?dl=0

Last edited by Absinthe; 11-02-2016 at 12:04 PM. Reason: can't get image to work :(
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2016, 12:13 PM
Burt Burt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
I have only brought in 2x4 because I was experimenting. I would think I could do better with 30-1/2" x 48 I could trim that square to 768mm and make 4 upper end panels or 2 lower panels from it. with no additional waste.

2x4 isn't terrible since it leaves me 17 and a little which is more than enough to make a standard width top or bottom or a couple stretchers or nailers. One must be careful.

My saws are all in pretty good shape. The little one is brand new and I currently use it with a self made jig for trimming panels and such. The skil, seems to be in good shape too, it gets little use (maybe 100 hours at the most) since I have both a TS and CMS. It definitely needs a new blade though.

So stepping in with a 54" "Beginner Kit" looks like $162 from WoodCraft. As I am understanding that still doesn't give me the "squaring" ability. It is still a matter or striking a line and then eyeing things up to the line to make the cut. Nor does it give me the reproducibility. For those I need either the "square" and the "repeater" or the "cabinet maker" at about $179?

You can do a lot by just measuring with the rail.

Is the Cabinet Maker, anything more than a bundle of the square, handle and repeater?

No, it isn't.
Is the square similar to the "Festool" protractor? Does it do more than just 90 & 45? Does it offer detentes or is it fiddly and requires other external gauges to set angles?

The EZ square only does 90 degree cuts. The Festool square is useless.

So if I were to start out with the 54" kit and add the cabinet maker, and later decide to move up to the EZ-1 do they all come along or are they not compatible or are they parts of it?

All of these are compatible and use the same main rail.

Do people more often just use the bridge with their own tables or actually move into the ez-1?

I don't know. It certainly is possible to make your own table.

Sorry for so many questions, they just keep coming to me.
No problem.

Last edited by Burt; 11-02-2016 at 12:15 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-02-2016, 02:27 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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I am not one to want to bash one's product over another, even if I am associated with either one. The Festool protractor is an excellent tool when coupled with the rest of their system. Not sure it has a coot cost : benefit ratio, but it certainly allows someone to do all that you can with a miter gauge on a table saw within their MFT. If nothing else it seems to coincide with the "deadwood" concept touted here.

Is there something that they call a "square" that also exists independent of the protractor, that is perhaps useless?

What I don't see, from either company's offering is a proper protractor that could tie into the rail system and accurately angle it relative to a fixed edge. That would certainly be the cherry on top

I may have not be in clear in that one question or I don't understand the answer fully. let me try to clarify:

So if I were to start out with the 54" kit and add the cabinet maker, and later decide to move up to the EZ-1 do they all come along or are they not compatible or are they parts of it?

All of these are compatible and use the same main rail.


What I meant to ask was, are these parts of the EZ-1 and I just need to get the bridge and rails to complete it. Or does the EZ-1 provide its squaring and repeating and such on its own differently from the cabinet maker?

I see that they are doing angles in the video but they seem to be by eye, is there anything more than that which I am missing? It is an impressive looking device.
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  #7  
Old 11-02-2016, 03:51 PM
kenk kenk is offline
 
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Personally, I'd recommend the 64" track over the 54" track for cutting 48" plywood. I just think it provides a much nicer "launch pad". I prefer to have most of the saw base resting on the track before the cut.

Yes, the Cabinetmaker is just the Square and one Repeater connected to a track. Depending on the cut length you may prefer to use a shorter track with the Square and/or Cabinetmaker.

The EZ-One uses a 72" track, but you could use just about any size track on a homemade bench IF you have the bridge set. Most of the rest of the components of the EZ-One are SSME or SME extrusions and EZ-One specific parts (corners, squaring rod, feet, depth stop).

Many buy the track and the bridge and make their own bench. I'd suggest using a small length (12" of each?) of SSME to attach the bridge at the front and back sides of your bench - to make squaring the track just that much easier - and to attach a depth stop. You'd have to create some kind of squaring square fence - that will be a stop for the wood (like the fence on a radial arm saw) - and is the reference for squaring the track. You basically slide either the front or back bridge side-to-side to square the track with your squaring fence (whatever you make that out of - if wood use something hard and durable). The squareness of the really doesn't matter - its just a table - it could even be round or oval - so long as the track and the squaring fence are square to each other.

The clamps that come with the EZ-One work with other EZ components (SSRK, Clamping Table, ...), plus the Clamp Table related clamps (that don't come with the EZ-One) can be used on the EZ-One per your needs.

In my mind one of the advantages of the EZ-One - over a homemade bench - is that the three cross rails can slide to where ever needed to trap material and to attach clamps (on the top groove), which allows repeatable cuts of any angle. Just use a large protractor to set the angle (with respect to the track), set the stops to make repeatable cuts, and cut away. With a homemade bench you could route some grooves in the bench and insert lengths of the EZ T-track extrusion (much like on the clamping table) so you could use the EZ stops.

I managed to find a used EZ-One for sale in my area. Maybe start small as Burt had suggested and see what you think. Even though I have an EZ-One I'm sure I'll still be using my stand alone track, square, repeaters and clamps for projects - as needed. It just adds to my flexibility.

I agree that there is no reason why you couldn't attach your Skil saw to the EZ base.

If you're still learning, the easiest way for me to understand how this EZ gear works is to watch the videos - both those that show usage and those that show assembly - like of the EZ-One. It will start to make sense to you.

Ken
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2016, 04:19 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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Thanks, Ken, I will continue to watch more videos. I guess I can hope for a good deal somewhere, but if this is as good as I think, I probably have to wait for someone to die
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2016, 10:40 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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Seems I can use this with the router as well to cut my dadoes. There is a hint in one of the videos that perhaps I could use it to drill the system holes as well with some sort of indexing piece?

Also, what is the difference between the RipSizer and the UEG?
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2016, 02:06 AM
sean9c sean9c is offline
 
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If you want to set up an efficient cabinet shop ask Burt what he'd do and then do that.
Don't buy a 54" track if you want to crosscut 48", it's too short, it marginally doable but slow and frustrating, 60" is minimum.
The cost difference between EZ and Festool isn't that great if you have to also buy a good quality CS for your EZ system. Your 5150 is an older 10A saw you may find that you want to upgrade. You should make your choice based on functionality.
The Festool MFT is small for cabinet size pieces.
The Festool protractor is fine for cutting short pieces but not accurate enough for cabinet length cuts. The EZ Square is just an adjustable bar you can clamp to your saw track. You have to figure out how to set the angle. The EZ Square properly set up will cut cabinet size pieces accurately.
You will not get accurate and repeatable cuts by measuring and marking. Use the UEG to get accurate and repeatable width cuts (ripping). Use the Cabinetmaker (the Square and one Repeater) properly set up to make accurate and repeatable square cuts.
There is an awful lot of information both on the EZ website and already posted on this forum. It will benefit you to take some time checking out both.
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