Author Topic: Rail connector modification  (Read 3638 times)

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Offline John2532

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Rail connector modification
« on: February 26, 2012, 04:52 PM »
I haven't justified purchasing a long rail for ripping plywood and was always looking for a way to facilitate joining/aligning two rails.  In a perfect world, the rail connectors would fit the rail slots snugly and by default, the two rails joined together would be aligned perfectly.  Unfortunately, this is not practical from a manufacturers point of view.

Inspired by the adjusters on my unisaw miter gauge, I performed a relatively easy mod to the rail connector to make the alignment of 2 rails easier. I drilled 4 holes through the connector sized for a 1/8" nylon rod. The rod I had was slightly oversized so I used a .128" drill. Then I tapped the holes approx. half-way through for 8/32 set-screws. Assembly was installing the set-screws so the were just flush and inserting the rod from the other side and trimming to length.  The set-screws act as pushers on the nylon rods which extend through the other side and eliminate the free-play between the rail and the rail connector.

48224-048226-148228-248230-3

As of yet, I've only modified one connector and have been using it in the bottom slot, the same profile that the saw uses for alignment.  I haven't tested it enough to say that the rails will align perfectly with this mod but I can say it is a huge improvement. The only change I might recommend is to use nylon-tipped set-screws instead of the nylon rod/set-screw set-up.

I know this might be a little more metal-working that some may want to perform, but with about $10 in supplies and a hand drill you can eliminate most, if not all, the tweaking required to get the rails aligned after assembly.

John

edit to correct pics
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 12:51 PM by John2532 »

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Offline Dave Lame

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Re: Rail connector modification
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 06:50 PM »
John,

Nice work, again.

You must now be the King of Festool Anti Slop gadgets/mods.


Offline Sal LiVecchi

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Re: Rail connector modification
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 07:12 PM »
John   another great idea, now are u going to produce these as kits for installation on guides we have or are you at least gonna allow use to copy it from  you.

Sal
Life is too short and the road is too long to drive anything less than a Festool

Offline John2532

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Re: Rail connector modification
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 08:37 PM »
Thanks for the compliments!  I definately have no plans to sell these in any way, shape or form,  just wanted to share an idea. 

If anyone wants to tackle the project I can post the part numbers/supplier of the materials.  Or if anyone is in the entrepreneural mood, they have my blessings to run with any form of the idea.  To those of you with access to a milling machine, you could skip the  set screw adjusters and mill some .500" x .250 stock slightly for your preferred fit.

John

Offline GlenC

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Re: Rail connector modification
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 02:54 PM »
I like the 2-piece connector and may make a set myself.
I also might try using a 18" 6MM x 12MM bar with 8 nylon tip set screws from McMaster-Carr https://www.mcmaster.com/#94115A303

The larger 1/4-28 has a larger tip so it should hold the rails firmly without a lot of torque/pressure

Glen
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 03:02 PM by GlenC »
Glen