Whether it’s done in the shop or on the job site, accurately cutting sheet goods usually requires a table saw and often a helper to lift heavy sheets on and off the saw. But there isn’t always a spare employee available, particularly these days, when many formerly busy contractors are glad to take on any one-man job they can get.
So if you’re outfitting custom closets, applying MDF paneling to a dining room, or trimming down replacement doors, a portable panel saw can make your job a little easier. When you don’t have to lift a sheet onto the saw top, slide it over outfeed tables or strategically place roller stands, and wrangle the resulting two pieces back down to the ground, the benefits of using a vertical panel saw become obvious – especially if you’re a one-man operation.
•For safety and cutting quality reasons, always keep the saw blade opening in the machine table as small as possible.
•On a daily basis inspect and clean out the area under the cut line of all trims to avoid a buildup of debris and interference with the saw carriage and service cables.
•Keep a set of blades they know work perfectly set aside. If they encounter a problem, typically chipping, they can best diagnose the problem by switching to the reliable blades that cut chip free and see if the problem is actually from another source.
•To avoid chips, ake sure your material is of good quality. stuff available.
Crosscuts on large sheets were never a specialty of table saws, especially for the compact models usually taken to job sites – but crosscutting is a perfect job for a panel saw. Shaving off a quarter-inch to true up a factory edge is no problem for these tools. Rip cuts on a panel saw are easy as well but require consideration of the fact that the material above the cut rests on the blade. To help with this problem, we recommend the saws have a riving knife that trails the blade to support the cut off piece.
Safety Speed Manufacturing offers a few options for people who are looking for a portable panel saw. The first model is the Panel Pro Pro2K which is a very economical saw. This home hobbyist saw makes it easy to handle those big sheets of wood or plastic and cut them accurately – horizontally or vertically. One operator can cut large sheets of material into finished sizes or into sizes that are easy to handle for further processing. You are then able to store it away with ease when not in use. The functionality and portability of the Panel Pro means you can use it in your shop or take it right to the job site.
The other portable models we offer are the professional grade C4/C5 panel saws. When shop space is limited or cutting on site is necessary, only Safety Speed lets you take the advantages of vertical positioning to the job site. The C models are a compact version of our larger models, measuring 5 ft. in length with the ability to cut up to 4 x 8 panels 1-3/4-in. thick. The C4 has a 50-in. crosscut capability while the C5 has a full 64-in. of crosscut capacity and both have a cutting accuracy of 1/32 in.
Tom Houska is a marketing representative for Safety Speed Manufacturing.