MacGregor Building & Remodeling

Saturday, July 4, 2009 | Reader Comments | Guide Rails | How-To | Reviews | Saws

TS Success Stories

In June, we asked SysNotes subscribers to provide us with testimonials about their experiences with the Festool TS plunge cut saw and guide rail system. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the contest and submitted a TS Success Story. It's always a pleasure for us to hear about how Festool is making a positive influence on your quality of workmanship, ease of use and profitability.

After receiving all of the entries, several of us headed off to the Green Room here at Festool USA headquarters to pore over all of the contest submissions. After some discussion, we selected the story that we thought was the best representation of Festool's commitment to working faster, easier and smarter. In the end, we selected the story submitted by Len MacGregor who is now the winner of a free Parallel Guide Set. Here's what Len had to say...

"I am the owner of MacGregor Building & Remodeling, Inc. based in Natick, MA and have been in business for 15 years. Being such a small company I am always looking for ways to run things more efficiently, cut down on labor time and increase productivity.

My company provides all aspects of home improvement from small repairs, to room renovations, and complete new home construction.  The part of my job that I enjoy the most though is having the opportunity to do “custom woodworking".   As anyone who has done any of this work knows, it takes a considerable amount of space to set up for even the smallest job. One major problem that I have always been confronted with was achieving acceptable rips of sheet materials.  To set up a saw, in-feed and out-feed table in my space is impossible.  In the course of the TS 55 demo at a recent JLC Live event, I witnessed the ease of set-up, superb quality of the cut and, ultimately, how little room was necessary for its use.  Seeing these things, it quickly became clear that I needed this saw!

Although I wasn't at first certain how I would employ the saw, it wasn't long before the perfect application presented itself.  I had recently begun an exterior renovation, which was just then presenting a significant design dilemma.  I had finished installing and trimming the windows on a 3-story, 45deg bay on the front of the house when I realized that there just wasn't enough room for siding below the windows.  I really wanted the bay to stand out and the recessed panels just didn't seem to accomplish the goal.  At this point, I decided that I would install full-coverage raised panels to the bay.

I considered outsourcing this part of the project to several companies, but the cost, lead time and need to pull together detailed design specs made me decide to have a go at them myself.  I took all my measurements, stopped at the lumber yard to pick up all of the Koma I needed and headed to the shop to get started.  Because I wanted the panels to match the width of the windows, my rail and stile size were all different dimensions. 

Starting with sheet goods, I was able to use the TS saw to rip each piece to exactly the size I needed, virtually eliminating any waste.  Considering the cost of these composite materials, this was a huge factor.  Also, the ease with which I was able to make several cuts (using two 55" rails, coupled) with only a set of horses and a couple of 2X4s as a base was fantastic!  After milling down 4 sheets of ¾" plastic composite to 9 raised panels without having to wrestle a single full sheet through a table saw in a cramped space by myself was like a little slice of heaven.  After assembling all 9 panels, I made my compound miter cuts on the ends, and brought them to the job site.  With a little scribing on the tops, they fell together as though they were all one piece.

Now looking back at this project, when I figure my time and material costs, I am confident that I saved roughly $800 over my lowest quote.  At the same time, I was able to construct them to exactly the dimensions that I wanted, and easily completed the install within 3 days of first deciding to make them on my own.  All on top of achieving the precise finish product I was looking for!

Prior to owning the TS saw, I probably would not have attempted this job.  If I had, there would surely have been a considerable amount of head-scratching, and I may have ultimately conceded a loss on the project.  Following this project, I realized a lot of new possibilities and potential for my small company & shop.  I have several ideas on the drawing board right now (my 6-yr old daughter's desk at the top of the list) and I can't wait to see what else I can do with my TS 55.  My way of thinking used to be that as a small business I couldn't afford to own Festool... Now I realize that I can't afford not to!"

~ Len MacGregor

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