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Parallel Guides for Track Saw

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  • #93523

    If any of you have a track saw, you might consider building your own parallel guides. Sure, you could buy the festool model but it is pricey and the two other aftermarket accessories aren’t a ton better in terms of cost.

    But this guy shows what he did. Check it out…

    http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/yet-another-homemade-parallel-guides/

    John S

    #93527
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    I really like this option, not to mention that he’s in Canada meaning I could get my hands on these things. I’ve heard some people aren’t necessarily a fan of Festool’s before, I haven’t actually been able to see them in person. This would be really great for repeatable cuts, it’s often the first argument I hear from guys about why they would never ditch their table saw, is if they need to rip a ton of 16″ shelves the table saw can be much quicker (if you don’t have the parallel guides.

    #93545

    I have the Festool version and I like them — they are especially useful for thin rips — 1/16 inch of an inch or so — I can get repeatable results with them. I think that making them is not too hard either, but for thin rips your offcuts have to be to the right of the blade and that is where Festool’s version shines.

    Orange County, CA

    #93546
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    I have the Festool version and I like them — they are especially useful for thin rips — 1/16 inch of an inch or so — I can get repeatable results with them. I think that making them is not too hard either, but for thin rips your offcuts have to be to the right of the blade and that is where Festool’s version shines.

    I was hoping you would chime in. I’m curious, with the Festool guides do they actually hug the factory edge of a sheet of ply, meaning that you are then also guaranteed a ‘square’ cut?

    #93548

    There is confusion on PG’s intended purpose. It looks like you could use them for a giant square and some users have tried this with success. The problem is that you cannot adjust them for square to your rail and if you get square cuts I think it is more luck than anything else. The are designed for ripping and you adjust the pointers to your blade to ensure accurate and repeatable ripping. You actually do not capture the edge of your material against the side of the guide at all — there should be a little space on each end — you only reference the edge off of the little pointers. Hope that makes sense.

    Orange County, CA

    #93553
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    There is confusion on PG’s intended purpose. It looks like you could use them for a giant square and some users have tried this with success. The problem is that you cannot adjust them for square to your rail and if you get square cuts I think it is more luck than anything else. The are designed for ripping and you adjust the pointers to your blade to ensure accurate and repeatable ripping. You actually do not capture the edge of your material against the side of the guide at all — there should be a little space on each end — you only reference the edge off of the little pointers. Hope that makes sense.

    That totally makes sense, I suppose if you are working off the factory edge assuming both sides are adjusted to the same length you will end up with cut that is as parallel as it would have been on the table saw, so really ‘square’ was probably the wrong word. Totally makes sense, thanks Scot!

    #93581

    There is confusion on PG’s intended purpose. It looks like you could use them for a giant square and some users have tried this with success. The problem is that you cannot adjust them for square to your rail and if you get square cuts I think it is more luck than anything else. The are designed for ripping and you adjust the pointers to your blade to ensure accurate and repeatable ripping. You actually do not capture the edge of your material against the side of the guide at all — there should be a little space on each end — you only reference the edge off of the little pointers. Hope that makes sense.

    That totally makes sense, I suppose if you are working off the factory edge assuming both sides are adjusted to the same length you will end up with cut that is as parallel as it would have been on the table saw, so really ‘square’ was probably the wrong word. Totally makes sense, thanks Scot!

    The workflow I usually use is take a small rip off the edge to ensure a straight line and then rip everything to width off of that edge to ensure parallel pieces. Then cross-cut to ensure 90 degrees to both faces.

    Orange County, CA

    #93769

    The workflow I usually use is take a small rip off the edge to ensure a straight line and then rip everything to width off of that edge to ensure parallel pieces. Then cross-cut to ensure 90 degrees to both faces.

    This is super smart. Definitely keeping note of this when I add the Seneca Woodworking parallel guide to my setup soon
    http://www.senecawoodworking.com/products/parallel-guide-system-for-incra-t-track-plus
    I also couldn’t resist adding one of the clamp dogs for adding the kreg automaxx to my table as well…
    http://www.senecawoodworking.com/products/clamp-block

    John S

    #94091

    John — let us know how you like the Seneca set-up. I have read lots of great things about is as well as the Rip Dogs set-up.

    Orange County, CA

    #94185

    John — let us know how you like the Seneca set-up. I have read lots of great things about is as well as the Rip Dogs set-up.

    I will do… I wasn’t quite sure how long/short of incra t-track plus (with the tape) to buy, but I went with 36” for now… I may eventually add 12” as well but thought the longer gave me a little more versatility in what I could do than the 12″

    John S

    #94244

    36 will give you a good range, but you might think it is unwieldy swinging 36 inch arms around the shop. The cool thing is that you can swap them in and out pretty easily.

    Orange County, CA

    #94262

    36 will give you a good range, but you might think it is unwieldy swinging 36 inch arms around the shop. The cool thing is that you can swap them in and out pretty easily.

    That was my concern as well – and having a dedicated pair of 12” t-track would be perfect for any narrow cuts

    John S

    #94270

    I think that 25 inch track would be the ideal size for most cuts — you could rip to the center for a 4×8 sheet of plywood and make narrower rips too.

    Orange County, CA

    #94321
    mattryyc
    Pro
    Calgary, Alberta

    Keep us posted on this John, I’ve been trying to figure out what to get setup for my ‘woodworking season’ coming up when it warms up and have been researching the seneca. I think I’m picking up the Automaxx setup as well for my custom table.

    #94336

    I would also look at Rip Dogs for a slight variation on Seneca’s design if you opt to go for non-Festool.

    Orange County, CA

    #94540

    I think I’m picking up the Automaxx setup as well for my custom table.

    I imagine I will be quite impressed with it assuming the seneca accessory also works quite well with it (did I mention that before? IDK)

    And Scot – I actually switched my t-track length to 24” instead of 36” – I had debated that a good bit in my mind if 36” would be too unwieldy and long and I think you are right… 24” ought to generally do the trick for now.

    John S

    #94625

    The good thing is that you can always add other lengths later if you needed something longer.

    Orange County, CA

    #304381

    Now this looks like another interesting alternative for parallel guides… check it out!
    http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/new-twist-on-parellel-guides!/

    John S

    #304602
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    Now this looks like another interesting alternative for parallel guides… check it out!

    That’s an interesting idea. My only concern with that would be with the flex in the rules you might get a little bit of inaccuracy compared to something rigid. It’s nice that you don’t have a long arm sticking out all the time though. I need to settle on some sort of parallel guide system for my tracks since I’m going to be using my track saw in the place of my table saw for the next while.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #305216

    That’s an interesting idea. My only concern with that would be with the flex in the rules you might get a little bit of inaccuracy compared to something rigid.

    I was wondering the same thing… though the small footprint of it would really make it more portable of an option than some of the others

    John S

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