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Unread 07-05-2021, 12:43 PM   #1
robothivenj
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New to forum: introduction, bathroom reno plans, and saw/cutter advice.

Greetings all,

Fairly recent lurker / homeowner here that is going to attempt his first bathroom renovation including walk in shower tiling / shower pan, floor tile, and wall tile. This forum has been an invaluable resource to me so far, so for that I thank you!

I’m a homeowner that is not afraid of tackling improvement projects under the premise that I know I’m a total newb, understand up front that this may cost me money in fixing mistakes, and that everyone on this forum knows more than myself.

The bathroom in question is a decent size (10’x7’). The wife and I (mostly the wife) have decided on a vertically oriented, stacked subway tile (about 9 3/16 x 2 5/8”) for the shower and wall behind vanity, and a larger format 24”x24” for the floors.

At this moment I’ve been feverishly researching install, technique, equipment, shower pan (pre-fab hydro ban / revolutionary shower systems) vs. tried and true mud pan. I do have full access to the plumbing below as my basement is unfinished and it’s a first floor bathroom. I’ve decided on a hydro ban system for the shower and have the board and waterproofing material ready to go.

I’m sure I will have a ton of questions in the coming weeks and months, but at the present I’m trying to piece together all the tools and gear I will need. I’m the type of guy that doesn’t mind spending on tools, I like to spend once vs. buying cheap and regretting it. That being said, I’m not against purchasing something more affordable if it gets the job done.

I guess my first question would be:

Given the size of my chosen tile, would you guys recommend a quality snap cutter like Sigma, or a 10” wet saw? If all goes according to plan, I’d like to do more bathroom work in the future. My wife and I have a small rental property and would like to have more in the future.

Also, past research has shown me that Felker and Target earn high regard in these parts as durable workhorses. I’ve also noticed neither is manufactured anymore. The trend seems to be the lighter, direct drive saws, but I’ve also read they may not necessarily hold up long term.

Are there any current production saws that are built to the old school Felker / Target standard?

Phew, my sincere apologies for the long winded first post! These questions have been floating around in my head for a while.

Happy to be on board, I hope to learn a lot!

Thank you,
Joe
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Unread 07-05-2021, 01:24 PM   #2
Lazarus
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Used the Felker for years. Bulletproof saw. I believe it was bought out by Husqvarna a while back. Current iteration would be the TS60. Pricy, but a good saw. https://www.husqvarnacp.com/us/machines/tile-saws/

DeWalt is an excellent alternative but is direct drive...not belt driven. Half the price though and much lighter....
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Unread 07-05-2021, 01:54 PM   #3
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Welcome, Joe,

IMO, the desired 24"X24" floor tile size puts you squarely into expensive saw territory, regardless of wet saw or snapper. Be sure to check the specs to ensure it will handle that size tile, and buying quality will help to ensure it will cut straight (after a careful alignment).

I borrowed a friends inexpensive bridge saw and it was simply unusable, and no amount cutting technique adjustment or alignment effort would make it so.
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Unread 07-06-2021, 05:55 PM   #4
cx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
Are there any current production saws that are built to the old school Felker / Target standard?
Those Felkers are now made by Husqvarna, Joe. I don't know if they still make the same or similar models, nor can I testify to the quality of construction. Just haven't kept up with that line since Husky bought Felker.

From your description of your intended use, I'd recommend the DeWalt D24000. It works. And you can carry it. It's not a belt-drive, commercial production beast, but it's a reliable saw and will do what you need to do and likely last your lifetime at your intended rate.

While a big snap cutter can be a real boon to a production floor tiler, you'll not get the real benefit of it with the jobs you've described. And if you need to set up the saw for a single cut on the project, you may as well do all your cuts with it. There will be at least one inside corner cut on your small bathroom floor. You can't do that with a snap cutter.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-06-2021, 06:28 PM   #5
Lazarus
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Felker/Husqueverna is a great saw. No doubt about it, but I wanted a hernia free alternative and picked this up from Harbor Freight. With the blade shown, I have been able to cut damn near anything. Check it out...

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...B&&FORM=VDRVRV
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Unread 07-06-2021, 06:37 PM   #6
Lazarus
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As in the review, I added a rubber base on the tray to keep tiles from slipping. Pretty simple, but it helps.....
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Unread 07-08-2021, 07:23 PM   #7
robothivenj
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Gents,

Thank you for the advice so far, much appreciated.

How important is the ability to perform plunge cuts? I ask, because while I do think the Dewalt is a great saw, I found a Husqvarna Tilematic locally for $450 used.

I’m sure I will have many questions moving forward. Thanks again!

Joe
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Unread 07-08-2021, 08:28 PM   #8
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I don't use the plunge feature very often (speaking of when I actually do tile work), but I like it for use as a depth adjustment at times. More often when I'm cutting something heavy like 2" thick pave stones, but even then the saw will cut the stones in one pass rather nicely. And the depth adjustment is handy for using round-over blades.

I do like the tilt feature as I'm inclined to back-bevel tiles for outside corners.

How important will it be for you? Can't say.

The primary feature of that D24000 that caused me to buy one soon after they came on the market was the weight. It takes a couple trips, but I can carry the whole setup onto the jobsite by myself. Really important to me as I'm nearly always working alone. The water containment is also very good, allowing me to set up the saw in places I would otherwise not.

I don't know if the Husky Tilematic is the same tool as the old Target, but I do know that if it is, I can't move it without help.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-09-2021, 10:06 AM   #9
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The design of the Husqvarna requires the ability to plunge cut when making U cuts. I have the TS70 and agree it is heavy, the wheels and adjustable stand height makes up for this . Otherwise it’s a great saw and I don’t have any regrets.

The Ts60 is 80lbs and more manageable for 1 person
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Unread 07-10-2021, 01:11 PM   #10
robothivenj
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Hey gents,

It seems the most efficient solution for my needs is to go with the D24000 or TS60/70. The Husky would be cool, but losing the plunge feature, losing the bevel cut feature, and the weight may outweigh (pun intended) my desire for a “built like a tank” saw that will outlast me.

Joe
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