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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,919

    Default Please explain something about panel saws for me

    Hi. Many times Iíve looked at pictures of those big sliding table panel saws like Altendorf or SCM and always been mystified by how they work.

    The thing that puzzles me is this:

    Most sheet goods are 2400 x 1200 or thereabouts.

    The sliding tables appear to be sized about right to support a sheet lengthwise, but theyíre only about 350 to 450 mm wide.

    Typically there is an articulated, combined fence/support at the front of the sliding Ďtableí. Although it always seems a bit over complicated for the job it has to do, it no doubt is able to support the leading edge of the panel. However it is also only about 500 mm long.

    So that still seems to leave over half of the panel unsupported (or so it seems) when doing a narrow rip cut. The rear left hand corner of the sheet appears to be completely unsupported (defining rear as the last bit to go past the blade).

    I know it canít really be the case, so what am I missing.

    Randomly chosen image of typical saw attached, so itís clear what Iím talking about.

    Cheers
    Arron

    CB37962D-9B07-434C-8478-BD85D79FCEE6.jpeg
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Little River
    Age
    73
    Posts
    805

    Default

    The clamp holds one back edge and the operator the other. There is only a requirement to support the sheet at the first trim cut and after that, unless you are doing really narrow rips, the sheet is almost balanced.

    An alternative that shows a lot of promise is the crazy horse dolly shown in this video.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    29
    Posts
    4,752

    Default

    You just have to support the floating corner with your left hand; most of the weight of the sheet is carried between the table and crosscut fence, you only need to lift it a little so the front right corner sits flat on the table. It might sound awkward, but it's really not that bad.

    Altendorf (and possibly others) does offer a secondary outrigger table with a floor support for places that do extra heavy work like cutting thick aluminium plate.
    Additional cross slide with floor support roller - World Class Panel Saws

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    2,919

    Default

    Ok, thanks for clearing that up guys.

    And the crazy horse dolly looks great too - for places with a smooth floor.

    Cheers
    Arron
    Apologies for unnoticed autocomplete errors.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Woodstock (Cowra)
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,346

    Default

    Yes a smooth floor and KEEP IT CLEAN or it won't work effectively
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    geelong
    Posts
    117

    Default

    At work we just hold the corner up with the left hand and press the bourd to the sliding table with the right. there is normaly a slide out arm which helps with this. 3.6m x1.8 m sheets definetly require assistance -holding and walking with the cut. Best avoided though.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    2,240

    Default

    Good Morning Arron

    A sliding panel saw handles sheet material a lot more easily than a "conventional" saw bench. There are some good videos on the Felder Group website - also look at their demonstration projects - their walnut desk is particularly good.

    From my perspective the downside of sliding panel saws are:
    • They have a very large footprint,
    • $$$$$$$$'s


    Upsides are:
    • Rip and cross cut more precisely,
    • Handle sheet material far more easily,
    • Substantially better safety record.



    Cheers

    Graeme

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