Vertical Panel Saw Choices

Information on capabilities and setup details for different vertical panel saws. May 2, 2011

I am moving into a new shop, one that is smaller than I currently lease, and will need to move from an old Hendrick's beam saw to a Striebig vertical saw. I have been thinking about this change for a while, and have a few questions now that I need it.

I am looking at any model from the 5192 model to the compact plus. Beyond the color change from green to white, could anyone tell me the main changes from the 5192 type models (80's), the optisaws (90's), and the compacts pluses (00's)?

I think, for cutting the thinner plastics that I do regularly, that I will need to make the back slats into a bunch of "T's" so I have a solid, or near solid, back plate to prevent vibration of the sheet, which leads to chipping. The older Striebig's seem to be more suitable for that, but could the models with the plastic strips do that too?

For sure, when the literature say's the saw will cut 6.25 feet, will it? Many of my plastics come, optionally, in 75" by 100" sheets, and I don't need the compact plus if it can't handle that I'll just move down to the regular compact and max out at 5' cuts. In general, any thoughts on cutting thin material would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
I've got the 5192 1988 model and mine maxes at a 70.75" rip. As far as the backing, I donít think the solid or near solid lathes will work, as the saw has a deflector to bend the lathes out of the way. So unless you disable the deflector, the lathes must be able to bend. Disabling the deflector kind of defeats it purpose. I have cut some laminate with a 1/2" MDF backup board, but kind of a pain to use all the time. That said, have you looked at the Hendrick ProV vertical? It has a pneumatic hold down beam. I see them come up on eBay every now and then. I have a friend that used one for several years (big shop) until he got a rear load beam saw. I thought of buying it myself, until I lucked out and bought my Striebig for 2K.

From the original questioner:
So the lathes bend out of the way? I thought they just shifted upwards but are you saying they twist? I know the Hendricks verticals might be an option, but the Striebigs have universally glowing reviews and seem good for what we do, which is a lot of cut to size partial sheet sales of lots of different materials. We do some production work too, but ease of cutting a single sheet would be a priority over stacking a bunch of sheets. I have a supplier with a pro-v and it's a little overkill for my needs but I'll keep that in mind too.

From contributor R:
The holddown beam on the ProV or a horz beam saw would seem an advantage.

From the original questioner:
I'm looking at a similarly good deal on this particular Striebig, but it's in storage at the moment so I can't go check these things out myself. Does the Striebig cut down into the table from the top, or cut up? Or, put a better way, looking at the blade from the left side, does the saw rotate counter clockwise or clockwise, when the carriage is positioned top to bottom? My Hendrick horizontal would rotate counter clockwise, pushing the material into the table (or back) and down, although it cuts the equivalent of bottom to top if it was in a vertical orientation. I know that the Pro-V cut up from the back into the gap of the hold-down bar, which works well I'm sure.

From contributor R:
Cuts stroke is from the top down. Thinking about it, you might be able to let a solid vertical lath maybe 1-2" wide into the horz at the cutting stations to back up material on vertical cuts, as the lathes all move in sync at the point where the blade is traveling. Horz ripping on thin material is still a pain between the lathes, but tying the verticals could help that as well.