Author Topic: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)  (Read 24079 times)

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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
I built this guide rail support unit for my worktable over a year ago. It proved to be very sturdy, with zero play, and excellent repeatability when the guide rail is raised, lowered or reinstalled.  This is my second prototype, hence RSU2. The set consists of two support blocks with cam clamps, two steel raiser rods, front horizontal support, and a rear hinge.


1) This design addresses some known issues with stock supports by Festool. Namely, a) lack of repeatability and the need to re-square the setup often, b) excessive play where the guide rail engages frond support bracket. These issues caused many to use tall bench dogs for rail positioning instead, which has its drawbacks, especially when cutting narrow or small stock.
In my design the rail always registers perfectly due to tight fitting plastic (UHMW polyethylene) splines and precise fit of the raiser rods.


2) The raiser rods support blocks attach to the t-slot in your bench or cutting table. The spline ensures that the block is perfectly aligned and the rod is always perpendicular to the table surface. The slot milled in to the block is 8.6 mm wide. It matches Festool MFT3 t-slots. For use with 8020 type extrusions the spline has to be modified to fit 8.3 mm t-slot. The spline can also be removed completely to attach the block to any regular bench or flat surface. I intentionally made it this way (with removable spline) for easy modification.


3) The rods lock securely by cam clamps in any position.



4) The rods are 416A stainless steel, 20.0 mm in diameter, drilled and tapped to M8 on one end. FYI: 416A SS is softer and less corrosion resistant than other SSs. It is also magnetic.


5) The support bar and hinge are made of 6061 aluminum. The hinge pivots on polished steel pins with nylon washers. Just like in all other components plastic splines that engage the guide rail are placed in slots and screwed to eliminate any lateral movement during use or reinstallation (original Festool hinge fastener allows some lateral play there).



6) When the raiser rod is locked and the rail is lifted or lowered the hinge/rod assembly may inadvertently experience torque. To prevent the central screw from loosening I installed an anti-rotation pin next to the screw. This is just a precaution. I used the setup without the pin for over a year and the screw never got undone.


7) Using round raisers has added benefits. With the optional shaft collar the support block does not have to be clamped. If you lower the cam lever slightly to make the rod just snug the rail can simply swing out of the way left or right after the cut.



In addition, the guide rail can be positioned at any angle to the table. It is useful for miter cuts on long stock. Simply loosen the bolts and slide support block(s) in either direction.


8 ) Removing the rail is easy. Release the cam clamp and pull out the rail with the hinge still attached to it. When you reinstall, it will be at the exact same position. No need to re-square.


I have some improvements in mind, so perhaps I’ll come up with RSU3 in the future.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 06:49 PM by Svar »

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Offline Bugsysiegals

  • Posts: 86
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 02:14 PM »
Awesome work, thanks for sharing!! 

I'll be building a few systainer storage / workbenches with some 8020 this year and will incorporate the MFT style top on them.  Once I do, I'll have a better feel for whether I plan to cut on them or if I'll stick with the MFT table.  If I do, I'll look you up and see if you have more RSU available.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1010
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 03:06 PM »
Very nice build.

Suggestion:
Possibly prolonging the cam clamp screw (and a sleeve) on the back side so the lever is not hidden below the rail could make accessing it easier with the rail down and in a low position.

Other idea that comes to mind:
What about replacing the clamps with linear bearings, spring load the rods to be pushed up and pull them down with bowden cables connected to a central lever (which could be mounted at the front of the table)? That should make height adjustment a breeze (using the lever) and the bowden cables would only have to be adjusted once for front and back supports to always be at the same height.

Rail removal would be a bit more difficult then (as of spring and cables which would need to be detached, so you can't simply pull it with the rod), but a cam clamp instead of the allen screw at the back support would make for a quick release of the rail, while a smartly placed chamfer on the ends of the block that goes into the bottom slot of the rail (plus forming the plastic parts in a way so the block can't rotate rotate out of alignment or come to close to the support so one would need to manually lift it to get it into the slot) could make reattachment a simple and fast procedure as long as the cam clamp on the bottom is in released state.

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 384
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 03:19 PM »
Beautiful work.  This idea will have many uses and I really like the way it can be used anywhere on the table.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 03:24 PM »
Beautiful work.  This idea will have many uses and I really like the way it can be used anywhere on the table.
I actually have an extra pair of support blocks on the short sides of the bench and just move the raisers around for long cuts (I do have to switch to a longer rail though).

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 384
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 04:19 PM »
Beautiful work.  This idea will have many uses and I really like the way it can be used anywhere on the table.
I actually have an extra pair of support blocks on the short sides of the bench and just move the raisers around for long cuts (I do have to switch to a longer rail though).

That's exactly what I was thinking about.  I did move my MFT rail guides to the short sides when I replicated an auxilliary MFT top.  It wasn't difficult, but it took more time to swap the brackets between sides, and re-square,  than I would have liked.  With two sets, your setup would allow a semi-permanent placement on the table and the ability to do a quick swap for the different rail lengths.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 425
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 04:40 PM »
What a beauty!

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1118
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 06:40 PM »
Nice! LOVE thise idea to have hardware that would give MFT/3 functionality to benches that use 80/20! Anything that incorporates 80/20 Im all for! That stuff if just too cool!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 07:04 PM »
Nice! LOVE thise idea to have hardware that would give MFT/3 functionality to benches that use 80/20! Anything that incorporates 80/20 Im all for! That stuff if just too cool!
I got introduced to 8020 in the late 90-s for some robotic stuff. Yes, it is cool. I also use Bosch-Rexroth framing, which is equivalent and in some ways better.

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 226
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 08:26 PM »
Very nicely done!
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline Claimdude

  • Posts: 337
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 11:31 PM »
I would love to have a set of those! I have a custom built MFT style workbench and have rails along the our edge but they are the standard 1/4" style rail you get from Woodpecker, etc. I think what you have would work very well except the high density guides would need to be smaller.

Very nice work!!

Jack

Offline Kirkwood

  • Posts: 4
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 08:20 AM »
Are you making these available for sale, if so I would be very interested in purchasing a set

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 08:32 AM »
Are you making these available for sale, if so I would be very interested in purchasing a set
Please, look in the Classifieds section.

Offline Sean KS

  • Posts: 93
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 12:06 PM »
Love the simplicity. Great work.

Offline glass1

  • Posts: 431
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 04:49 PM »
Man. Good stuff. Festool should definitely job on that design because the current design is poor.

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 130
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2018, 01:33 PM »
Viktor,

The RSU2 worked out great. No issues adapting to the 8020 rails on my custom table.

Shaved the splines with the block plane





installed the mounts and squared everything



Shaved the spline for the front mount to fit the Festool track



Right now everything is about .002" square per foot for my cuts. Good for now.
- John

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1118
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2018, 02:44 PM »
Nice. So when will more be available? Interested to see the design changes in the next round.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 02:49 PM »
Nice. So when will more be available? Interested to see the design changes in the next round.
I don't know. However I had many requests, so it's tempting to continue.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1118
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2018, 02:52 PM »
Nice. So when will more be available? Interested to see the design changes in the next round.
I don't know. However I had many requests, so it's tempting to continue.
Are the parts all milled? If so did you do the milling yourself? And if so what mill do you have?
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Trevin

  • Posts: 82
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 03:59 PM »
@Svar I would be interested in these as well....

Thanks,
Trevin
Festool: MFT3 (x2), OF1010, OF1400, LR32, Domino DF500, Domino XL DF700, Kapex KS120, TS-75, Carvex 420, CXS, C-18, Vecturo OS 400, DTS 400, Pro 5, Rotex 125, VAC-PMP, VAC-SYS-1, VAC-SYS-2, CT-26 (x2), CT-SYS, SYS Light DUO, SYS-ROCK
Other: Minmax FS41, Sawstop PCS (3HP, 52"), Laguna BX14, Jet 17" Drill Press, Rikon 70-220VSR Lathe, Incra LS Router Station, Laguna P/Flux 3 Dust Collector

Offline Dane

  • Posts: 354
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 04:12 PM »
Put me on the list for one, as well.  If you ever decide to make more...

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2018, 04:12 PM »
Are the parts all milled? If so did you do the milling yourself? And if so what mill do you have?
Aluminum cut to shapes with a saw and milled (dadoes, rounded corners, etc.) using a router with end mills aided by some jigs.

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1118
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2018, 04:33 PM »
Are the parts all milled? If so did you do the milling yourself? And if so what mill do you have?
Aluminum cut to shapes with a saw and milled (dadoes, rounded corners, etc.) using a router with end mills aided by some jigs.
Oh nice! Well done. Did you 3D model them before you made them? If so what software did you use?
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2018, 05:27 PM »
Are the parts all milled? If so did you do the milling yourself? And if so what mill do you have?
Aluminum cut to shapes with a saw and milled (dadoes, rounded corners, etc.) using a router with end mills aided by some jigs.
Oh nice! Well done. Did you 3D model them before you made them? If so what software did you use?
I use SketchUp. But this is pretty simple, so no complete model, just some features that were difficult to visualize.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3570
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2018, 07:26 PM »
I'm late seeing this fantastic post, way to go Svar.

Great idea with excellent implementation and photos.

I do see a potential problem if others try to copy this idea,
the cut at the top of the posts needs to be dead square
or the rail will shift slightly as the elevation is changed.

Still the potential shift will be much less than is found in
the built-in slack in the standard MFT rail equipment.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1529
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2018, 08:02 PM »
I do see a potential problem if others try to copy this idea,
the cut at the top of the posts needs to be dead square
or the rail will shift slightly as the elevation is changed.
I made a jig to grind them square after rough cutting. Then placed them vertically on a flat surface and checked with a square.

Offline tdwilli1

  • Posts: 30
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2018, 08:23 AM »
@Svar I would like one also!

Offline jussi

  • Posts: 271
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2018, 09:58 AM »
I would like one as well.

As a thought, you may want to partner with a company to mass produce them.

Offline duc996

  • Posts: 159
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2018, 10:05 AM »
Viktor,
     I had the chance to install and use the RSU2 you sent and I am thoroughly pleased with it so far. The machining is really well done along with the fit. I too have had issues with having to resquare my MFT and hopefully the RSU2 will help remedy the issue I am having. So far, my MFT has stayed square and I have cut various thickness stock. The adjustments for raising and lowering the guide rail is much smoother and much easier to tighten with the cam lock. I didn't have to shave the splines for them to fit my guide rails and they fit very snug with zero play. If you build more let me know as I would like to order a couple more from you. Thanks.






Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 38
Re: New and improved Guide Rail Support Unit, RSU2 (lots of pictures)
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2018, 11:10 AM »
I slept on this. I also would like to purchase this !! Hopefully you will make more.