Anyone mod their TM-75 to make the table more rigid & accurate? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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gellfex
02-21-2010, 07:23 PM
I'm doing a granite tile counter with my TM-75 and the way the table can twist on those round rollers keeps me from getting really parallel cuts for the 2" strips on the counter sides. It seems if you don't push with perfect zen the table will twist one way or the other.With granite tile set butted, even a 32nd off will show. The fence can flex quite a lot too.

I'm thinking V-groove wheels instead of those round profile wheels would be more accurate, they're used in some robot motion systems. Maybe replacing the whole sled is the answer.

Any thoughts on mods, or how to get more accuracy out of this saw if possible? Digging through old threads, it seems lots of pros here love it and consider it accurate. I would expect it to be as accurate as a wood table saw, but maybe that's unrealistic.

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barlow46
02-21-2010, 09:10 PM
Jon,
First off, I am not a professional in the tile and mud arena, just a DIY'er with some construction skills. I recently purchased the T-75 for my bath remodeling project. I really appreciate the pro's evaluation of the t-75 which is why I bought it. It is a great saw compared to what I was using in the past. In the past, I have used the little box saw sold by the big box stores. When I set up my t-75, I had to use only two of the shims that came with it to square up the blade with the "push cart". After a bit of practice, I found that if I tried to push too hard and guide the cart, my cuts were a little off. But, if I let the saw do the work and actually pull the tile through the cut with me just putting light pressure on the cart to keep it moving, the cuts were right on. I have done a lot of carpentry work in the past and I liken it to using a skill saw, just let it do the work and guide it through the cut instead of fighting it to stay on line. This is not to say that you are not using it correctly as I am sure you are. I am thinking about using granite tile on my countertops in the bathroom instead of a slab. I am very interested to hear what the pro's say about this saw. It may indeed be too lightweight to handle the close tolerances that you need for the granite and of course it is not easy to practice on granite due to the cost. I would guess that you also need an exceptionally good quality blade. Good luck and I'll be following this thread to see what the consensus is.

gellfex
02-21-2010, 09:45 PM
Barlow, I've tried the light touch. I was examining the table wheels again and maybe the locknuts could be tightened up a bit. I recall checking the table square when I got it, but perhaps it needs another look.

As for cutting 1cm granite, go for it. It isn't as hard as you think. I did my first granite counter with a crappy home center 7" "table saw" type saw. Home Depot has black 12" tiles for $5. Give it a shot. Get a diamond file or hone for beveling your cuts that'll be grouted, and find a place that'll round over edges for you. I pay $8/ft.

JC
02-21-2010, 10:16 PM
Absolute black is soft granite..hardness usually has to do with quartz content..whiter(quartz) means harder many times.

My suggestion with the tray is to not use it ......freehand the tile when you want more accuracy, I had stand up felkers in the past with great tables so they know how to make them with good rollers..why they chose to use this crappy less then ideal table set-up is beyond me.

Its beyond fixable. get an old medal tray with medal wheels on both sides(completly removable one)..maybe the rails will line up..start from scratch

Get a fine white paint filled marker from a crafts store so you can see the line on the black absolute.

chumbley
02-22-2010, 01:43 AM
gellfex...

My experience with the TM75 is similar. The table rollers allow too much wobble, and if you tighten the nuts enough to minimize the wobble, they actually stop rolling (and just slide) on the tube. Works OK if you keep it lubed...

As for alignment... The adjustments for the tube allow you to get the slide parallel to the blade, but then there really aren't any adjustments to get the table perpendicular.

Don't even get me started on the "tools" that come with it or that there is no way to adjust (and therefore use) the measuring guide on the back of the table.

Having experience with setting up wood working tools, I was striving for similar perfection...and not finding it.

All that said, I've now down hundreds of cuts (both granite and travertine) on the TM75, and am learning the nuances. I've been happy with it, and love the portability. Maybe I've learned the "zen" of sliding the table, or I didn't really need the accuracy of a cabinet saw that I was striving for in the wet saw...

gellfex
02-22-2010, 09:52 AM
JC, I had heard that really light granites weren't truly granite! Oh well. Since this is for a rental, black is a big step up from the laminate counters which hold up badly. I've been marking for accuracy by laying masking tape on the line and marking with a ballpoint or pencil.

chumbley: I may experiment with making new V wheels out of delrin with sealed ball bearings that can take a preload on the shaft. After that a rigid fence with a micro adjust to get it parallel. I do recognize that the saw is more than adequate for typical tilework, butted granite tiles are perhaps a unique case.