Triton in Australia

There has been much discussion recently here “downunder” wondering about Triton, the brand, and what was once the flagship – the Workcentre 2000. Traditionally, the centre of the Triton universe was a tablesaw (the Workcentre 2000 (WC2000) and the Router Table, and accessories to match (finger jointer, biscuit jointer, height winder and so on).

A bit of a revolution started when Triton then introduced power tools, not made in Australia (but designed there, or at least with the design modified by Australian Engineers). They were (and are) some of the best power tools out there for their designed role. The router in particular (and it’s more recent little brother) is arguably the best table-mounted router in the world.

Moving forward again to the present, and there is now a fleet of Triton power tools, and although the emphasis on innovative design seems to have tapered off, a collection of these orange tools makes any suburban shed a woodworking haven (or heaven!). We are still waiting on the promised lathe btw (and the collection desperately needs a planer/jointer).

There are some new tools on the horizon as well – (there’s an earlier thread here somewhere on the subject), and Triton sound like they are starting to do very well in the USA.

However, here in Australia, the core of the system (and their related products) seem to be fading in preference to the power tools (and getting to actually see them is difficult at best, which makes choosing a Triton x over its competitor tricky), and in a recent forum discussion I made the following comments, that I thought I’d relay here. It centres around the WC2000 and a possible need of a successor (a proposed new version with an extruded aluminium top currently looks unlikely). So at the risk of stepping on lots of toes, this is what I had to say (with some minor amendments):

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Anatomy of a Saw Blade

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The saw blade – irrespective of how good the saw is, how flat the table, how rigid the fence, if your saw blade is substandard, everything else is cheapened. The blade tends to be somewhat overlooked (ok a bit of a generalisation), as it just seems to keep going and going and going. What it is however, is a series of tiny chisels. A hand chisel gets looked after, cleaned, sharpened and stored correctly, and the saw blade should receive the same attention.

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These days, the blade is often laser cut from high carbon alloyed steel, with the cutting edge being a Tungsten Carbide Tip (often a Tungsten-Cobalt alloy) The tip is very hard, but brittle, and is brazed onto the body of the blade. It is used because it will retain its edge for about 10 times longer than steel. The width of cut (the kerf) is primarily the width of the Carbide Tip, although there are other factors that come into play. In general, the kerf is 3mm, but there are also thin-kerf blades which are good for minimising wastage, and to get better performance out of lower-powered saws.

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One scary looking blade

Haven’t seen these blades on sale for a long time, but they are one serious looking blade. They are meant for scrub cutters, but I was looking at the packet earlier today, and noticed that it also suggested that they could be mounted in a circular saw.

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Don’t know about you, but there is something about that which bothers me. I think it is being anywhere near the vicinity! Talk about a wide kerf as well. On the other hand, there wouldn’t be a piece of green timber that’d be able to resist! If it was mounted in a scrub cutter, I’d hate to be the scrub!!

Anyway, just thought I’d bring that to you as a bit of an oddity.

Some Triton Info

Had a meeting with Triton and the Victorian Triton Demonstrators tonight and lots of really interesting info came out of it. Unfortunately I can’t talk about much of it yet – but will bring what I can when I can.

So, what I think is safe to say: Saw the new (2008) Triton catalogue. Over 50 pages or so, lots of interesting stuff in there, including about 7 or 8 new Triton tools (pause for the censor beep).

Got to have a first hands-on look at the new Triton 2300W Saw. Designed by the Triton engineers a couple of years or so ago, it is about to hit the market shortly. The Triton Demonstrators will be getting it pretty early, so I’ll be able to bring you a good close look then. What I did see is a magnesium chassis, laser guide (240V transformed, not batteries), geared height winder with a much better access to the locking lever, a well functioning dust extraction port that will fit directly to the Triton duct bucket hose. There won’t be any additional cutting height achieved with this saw – the TSA001 already pretty maximised the achievable cutting height with a 9 1/4″ saw.

Other product info centred around the Triton Wet & Dry Sharpener. Where it comes to tightening the nut on the grinding wheel, don’t be squeamish about it (ok, don’t go nuts 🙂 to the point that the nut shears the threads), but tighten it well – the wheel can take it, and the last thing you want is to dress the wheel and have it move on the shaft at all, wrecking all that work. For those who think the Triton is a bit of an aftermarket rip-off of the Scheppach, sorry, but these are actually made by Scheppach for Triton, using the same German standards. For some reason they didn’t look at ensuring the support rail was straight, but that is now history, and they are now making the support arm by welding both uprights, rather than welding one and bending the other. Irrespective, I have one of the original sharpeners, and if you are prepared to spend just a little bit of time setting it up (and I mean a little), you can get some remarkably sharp tools straight off the machine (including the honing wheel of course), and for under $200, that is hard to beat.

Wish I could talk more about the new tools that are coming – will see what I can get permission to talk about!

New Triton 235mm Saw Announced

This has just been announced on triton.com.au – a new 235mm (9 1/4″) 2300W circular saw.

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I don’t have any other information on this saw at this stage, other than what is in the user manual (available here), and the spec sheet (available here)

I believe this saw (Product code TA235CSL) will be replacing the current 2400W 235mm saw (TSA001). The new saw is meant to be available in March 08.

Circular Saw Blade Tip Speed

Recently, I did some web research about the typically accepted range for router bit tip speeds so I could construct my own table for safe operating ranges of router bits of various sizes in a variable speed router. I found the speed range was between 100 and 150km/hr.

That has lead to another question that I’ve been asked: what is the normal tip speed of a circular saw, and do manufacturers make their small saws run faster to obtain a similar tip speed on their 7 1/4″ (185mm) model(s) versus their 9 1/4″ (235mm) model(s)?

This is comparing no-load speeds (Note, where there wasn’t a 235mm model, I’ve taken the next size down)

So just had a quick look, at 5 different company’s products, and calculated tip speed in each case and this is what I got:

Triton 235mm 4100RPM 181 km/hr 2400W

Triton 185mm 5000RPM 174 km/hr 2000W

Makita 235mm 4100RPM 181 km/hr 2000W

Makita 185mm 4700RPM 164 km/hr 1050W

GMC 235mm 4500RPM 199 km/hr 2300W

GMC 185mm 4700RPM 164 km/hr 1800W

GMC 185mm 5000RPM 174 km/hr 1200W

Dewalt 185mm 5800RPM 202 km/hr 2200W

Dewalt 210mm 5800RPM 230 km/hr 2075W

Hitachi 235mm 5000RPM 221 km/hr 2000W

Hitachi 185mm 5800RPM 202 km/hr 1710W

Gives one a real appreciation how fast a kickback from one of these things is……..

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