Author Topic: Ripping sheet goods  (Read 5848 times)

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Offline myer84

  • Posts: 31
Ripping sheet goods
« on: November 22, 2017, 09:16 PM »
Here’s a question for the pros out there. So, I’m looking for ideas on how to rip down sheet goods at a fast pace with accuracy. I know I have the option of buying a long rail to cover the length of a board; however, not in my budget at the moment.

I do however, have two 55” rails and able to join them, but I then deal with alignment issues and my cuts are never the same width from one end to the other. I also have the Incra and rip dogs guide rail system, but I still run into alignment issues. My initial cuts are good, but when I’m doing repetitive cuts, I tend to loose that alignment at some point causing my final cuts to be slightly off.

I was wondering if there is something out there similar to the Kreg rip cut jig for the TS55. I have the jig and can try to adapt it to my saw and test it out, but I would like to know if there are options out there that are made for our saws that I can try.

Just looking for ideas. Thanks.

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Offline jobsworth

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 09:51 PM »
Ive never had a issue joining 2 55" guide rails together. Do you butt the rails up to each other? I usually leave a small gap maybe 1/16, I use the ts 55 to align the rails slide the saw in the middle of the joint and tighten the gibs down on the saw (little green knobs) tight the guide rail connectors the readj the saws gibs easy peasey

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 399
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2017, 12:06 AM »
When connecting two rails, I leave a little gap and then align the rails with a 4 foot level.  I never have any problems at all.  As Jobsworth said, easy peasy.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2017, 12:20 AM »
When using the Rip Dog parallel guides make sure they are calibrated and set exactly the same (each guide scale). Also make sure when placing them against the piece that they are both actually touching the edge. And check the setting at intervals to make sure the stop hasn't crept with each successive butting against the work piece edge. I had one not tightened enough once and it was introducing a slight bit more error each time I positioned the guide against the work piece.

Seth

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 01:05 AM »
Joining two rails works as long as you ensure that they are straight when you tighten up the grub screws and then treat the joined pair with care.

One or two of my professional friends use saws costing up to $40,000 for cutting sheet goods but those that cannot afford that sort of luxury do what I do....

Make a thin cut along a long edge in order to produce a clean reference edge. Having worked out the cutting plan for the job then do the next long cut by measuring from that reference edge in two places at opposite ends of the sheet - handle a joined pair of rails carefully.

Then use your tracksaw cutting station to get near CNC accurate cross cuts and trim cuts. The tracksaw cutting station is a piece of MDF with a series of 20 mm holes where the rows and columns are at perfect right angles. It can be upto a whole sheet in size or even as small as the top of your MFT3. It has to be made very accurately.

Peter

« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 06:10 AM by Peter Parfitt »

Offline David Stanton

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 02:19 AM »
Hi there myer84. I have a few 1400 rails and tried every trick in the book to get them joint perfect when connected, even using a 1.8 metre level behind the rails to keep straight as I tightened the screws but as you say, there was some degree, no matter how minute, error would creep in. I ended up frustrated and bit the bullet, bought a 2.7 metre rail and have never looked back. It cost me a bomb but as I say to people, "buy once, cry once". The longest cut I make is 2.4 metres (8 x 4 feet ply or melamine) so the 2.7 gives me 200mm approach to the sheet good and 100mm exit.
Other's ideas mentioned here are good but I went the 2.7 metre rail and never looked back. I may find something further down the track that amazes me and if I do, as always I will do a video on it as I did on Peter's UJK Parf guide system.
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Offline bulubuluplopplop

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 05:01 AM »
I have also unsatisfying results with the Festool FSV connector.
I just use a long 3 metre aluminum straightedge (the profiles used for concrete, not sure how its called) to move the 1400 rail along, and it works fine.
The straightedge is fixed to the panel with clamps.

Offline DynaGlide

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 08:41 AM »
I didn't bother with the Festool rail connectors I bought the Makita. Better design. Worth a look. Sedge had a video on aligning rails using your track saw base.

Offline ben_r_

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 08:51 AM »
Ive been using the Festool connectors to join two 55" LR32 rails with the Betterley Straightline Connector with great results. However that said, seeing as how it cost about $280 for that setup and a 106" guide rail is $340, I think if I were to do it again I would have just paid the extra for the longer rail. In fact I will probably end up selling that setup and picking up the single long rail sometime in the future.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline BMH

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2017, 10:25 AM »
I had two 55" rails I connected with the festool system. Leave a little gap between the rails and use a good long straight edge, Stabila level. It is important to tighten the screw symmetrically. I would be off on average 1-1.5 mm on a 8 foot cut. You have to check the rail after a number of cuts to make sure they are still parallel.

Then I bought a 2700 rail. Best decision ever, it has paid for itself on my first project. I can't believe it took me 5 years before I bought it. You add rapid clamp 489790 and/or 493507 with parallel guide and you are breaking down sheet goods at an amazing speed. 

Offline myer84

  • Posts: 31
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2017, 10:36 AM »
Thank you all for the quick reponses. I know many of you are successful when joining two rails and maintaining great accuracy; however, I like David have tried many ways to get both rails aligned without success. Maybe the first cut or two come out well, but after that it seems like the rail connection starts loosing its alignment.

I know that a long rail will solve this issue, and will start considering its purchase, but won’t be for a while.




Offline jobsworth

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2017, 11:04 AM »
You may get some error while using the 2 connected 1400 rails. But you have to ask yer self what is acceptable error? Even machinist Blue Prints have standard tolerancesnoted on the prints.

So what is acceptable tolerance is 1.5 mm out over 2400mm or 2.0 mm out over 2400mm? Unless your using a $40,000 aldendorf or feldner those are pretty good and acceptable tolerances.

 Wood expands and contracts more then that and its more accurate then what I used to get from my table saw. Some guys think theyre building the space shuttle but they are not they are cutting wood and wood products.

Yes I did get the 3000mm rail, but it wasnt because of accuracy it was because Im a Klutz and Ill join the rails make a few cuts, then take them apart put the one up and realize Oh snap I forgot to cut this piece and have to reassemble the rails again.o that a few times and youll understand.

Now with the longer rail I just grab it off the shelf and Charlie Mike
 
But other then that I was getting acceptable cuts within my acceptable tolerances. 
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 11:08 AM by jobsworth »

Offline TheSergeant

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2017, 11:13 AM »
Throw out your Festool Rail Connectors.  They're garbage.  You can make a set of 18" expanding connectors for ~$20.  The fit is much better and then don't creep, strip out or mar your guide rail. 

Here's a link: http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/homemade-guide-rail-connectors-(not-your-typical-ones)/

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2017, 11:34 AM »
@meyer84 Is it a taper from one end to the other or bow in the center or something other?  How far off?  I am not sure it is necessarily the rail connecting that is the problem.

Seth

Offline waho6o9

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2017, 12:23 PM »
To avoid lateral inconsistencies I place a support about half way when ripping sheet goods.

The extra time it takes to set things up is worth the effort, YMMV

271653-0

Offline myer84

  • Posts: 31
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2017, 01:21 PM »
Both, but mostly tapered. I’ve been off on one end by 1/8 a 1/4” when ripping a sheet of 4x8


To avoid lateral inconsistencies I place a support about half way when ripping sheet goods.

The extra time it takes to set things up is worth the effort, YMMV

(Attachment Link)

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2017, 01:37 PM »
Ive been using the Festool connectors to join two 55" LR32 rails with the Betterley Straightline Connector with great results.


Same here.  Wish I'd have had the foresight to buy "holey" rails vs. the standard rails.  In any case, straight cuts are not a challenge. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline gnlman

  • Posts: 120
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 02:50 PM »
Hi. Use Makita rail connectors, they are longer and remain more accurate when moving the rails, as you can tighten them without damaging the rails... I also purchased a betterly rail connector. I am just a home hobbyist, so having an extra piece for the odd time I have to join rails is not an issue I still check with a 6 foot stabila level just in case....not sure what the betterly cost now, but I think around a hundred bucks...lots cheaper than a longer rail.
Greg

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2017, 04:51 PM »
Both, but mostly tapered. I’ve been off on one end by 1/8 a 1/4” when ripping a sheet of 4x8


To avoid lateral inconsistencies I place a support about half way when ripping sheet goods.

The extra time it takes to set things up is worth the effort, YMMV

(Attachment Link)

OK, on the tapered from one end to the other a 1/4" is  lot. In that particular case I think something other than the rail connection is going on. Especially since a taper due to rail misalignment would only occur from the rail connection point to the end not over the entire length.

Seth

Offline myer84

  • Posts: 31
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2017, 05:48 PM »
I’m going to order the Makita rail connectors and use my saw to align both rails just as suggested by jobsworth. Hopefully this solves my alignment issues.

Offline Holmz

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2017, 07:47 PM »
I never seem to have a problem - so maybe I am just lucky?

The Makita guys also seem to have better "luck" than average.

Better to be lucky than good.

I think he needs the long rail - as the alternative will not really work.


Offline Naildrivingman

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2017, 07:20 AM »
There have been posts here where users questioned the straightness of contiguous long rails as well. Personally, I own the 1400 & 2700 and I bought them strictly for the convenience of processing sheet goods.  Neither have let me down. I would strongly suggest that Makita splinter guards are employed. They are better than FTs offerings, plus they add an additional grip strip to the rail.
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Offline bnaboatbuilder

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2017, 08:56 AM »
Never had any issues using the Festool connectors and Betterley edge. But I did buy the Makita 118" rail last night from Tool Nut because the price is just too good at $174.
- John

Online Cheese

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2017, 10:02 AM »
Check your splinter strips to make sure they protrude from the rail an equal distance on both ends and along the entire length. A while back one of the splinter strips on my 1400 rail was actually protruding about 1/16" less than it should be about 18-24" from the end of the rail (slightly bowed in) while the very end of the strip was in proper position.

This meant if the pencil marks were made near the ends of the rails and I aligned the ends of the rails to the pencil marks everything was fine. If however, I wasn't careful and made one of those pencil marks 18-24" from the end of the rail, then I'd be aligning a faulty part of the splinter strip with the pencil mark.

Another good check is to align the 2 rails with a 6 foot level and then tighten everything down. Then move the level to the front of the rails against the splinter strips and note how they align with the level.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 10:11 AM by Cheese »

Offline myer84

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2017, 12:03 PM »
I've questioned my splinter strips at some points because I can visibly see skewed cuts along the center and near the end of the rail, but now seeing your example, I can see how I could possibly place one end of my rail on my reference line, but the blade not actually cutting on it due to the splinter guard being off. 

Check your splinter strips to make sure they protrude from the rail an equal distance on both ends and along the entire length. A while back one of the splinter strips on my 1400 rail was actually protruding about 1/16" less than it should be about 18-24" from the end of the rail (slightly bowed in) while the very end of the strip was in proper position.

This meant if the pencil marks were made near the ends of the rails and I aligned the ends of the rails to the pencil marks everything was fine. If however, I wasn't careful and made one of those pencil marks 18-24" from the end of the rail, then I'd be aligning a faulty part of the splinter strip with the pencil mark.



Offline Naildrivingman

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2017, 12:27 PM »
I've questioned my splinter strips at some points because I can visibly see skewed cuts along the center and near the end of the rail, but now seeing your example, I can see how I could possibly place one end of my rail on my reference line, but the blade not actually cutting on it due to the splinter guard being off. 

Check your splinter strips to make sure they protrude from the rail an equal distance on both ends and along the entire length. A while back one of the splinter strips on my 1400 rail was actually protruding about 1/16" less than it should be about 18-24" from the end of the rail (slightly bowed in) while the very end of the strip was in proper position.

This meant if the pencil marks were made near the ends of the rails and I aligned the ends of the rails to the pencil marks everything was fine. If however, I wasn't careful and made one of those pencil marks 18-24" from the end of the rail, then I'd be aligning a faulty part of the splinter strip with the pencil mark.


This is a valid point and one that I admit I have not checked often.

I did have a situation once where I used my 2700 rail to bevel the edge of a door. I did not run the entire length of the rail and luckily I observed the splinter guard before I went back to a zero degree cut.  Most of the splinter guard was cut to the bevel, but one tick mark landed on the uncut portion.  Likely it would have resulted in a minuscule error, but it would have been frustrating nonetheless.
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Online rst

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2017, 01:27 PM »
I personally do not use the splinter guard to set my rails, I have four different saws that is use and all are set to cut 3mm from the aluminum track edge or 5.5mm if I need the outside piece.  I use my Woodpecker Paolini rules to set this measurement.

Offline Corwin

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2017, 03:18 PM »
I don't use the splinter guard to locate the rail either. Bad idea IMO.

A simple way to locate the rail to your intended cut line is to cut a spacer the width of your guide rail and use that as an offset to locate the back side of the rail instead. To use, place spacer's right end to the line and then but a stop block up to the spacer's left end. Clamp stop block(s) in place, remove spacer and place guide rail up against stop block(s). Simple.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2017, 04:12 PM »
I don't use the splinter guard to locate the rail either. Bad idea IMO.

A simple way to locate the rail to your intended cut line is to cut a spacer the width of your guide rail and use that as an offset to locate the back side of the rail instead. To use, place spacer's right end to the line and then but a stop block up to the spacer's left end. Clamp stop block(s) in place, remove spacer and place guide rail up against stop block(s). Simple.

Hi Corwin!

I disagree. To me its much simpler to align the splinter guard to the mark.

Of course that requires a splinter guard that is in good condition and that the blade/saw to be used is the one that trimmed the splinter guard. If that is not the case, a simple work-around is to put a Post-It note (or opaque tape) on the bottom of the splinter guard in the vicinity of the marks then trim the add-ons with the blade/saw to be used and align as usual.

Offline ben_r_

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2017, 04:25 PM »
Yep, I align to the splinter guard strip on the guide rail too. Hasnt caused any issues for me yet that Im aware of. I only use my guide rails with on TS 55 though.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Corwin

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2017, 04:56 PM »
I don't use the splinter guard to locate the rail either. Bad idea IMO.

A simple way to locate the rail to your intended cut line is to cut a spacer the width of your guide rail and use that as an offset to locate the back side of the rail instead. To use, place spacer's right end to the line and then but a stop block up to the spacer's left end. Clamp stop block(s) in place, remove spacer and place guide rail up against stop block(s). Simple.

Hi Corwin!

I disagree. To me its much simpler to align the splinter guard to the mark.

Of course that requires a splinter guard that is in good condition and that the blade/saw to be used is the one that trimmed the splinter guard. If that is not the case, a simple work-around is to put a Post-It note (or opaque tape) on the bottom of the splinter guard in the vicinity of the marks then trim the add-ons with the blade/saw to be used and align as usual.

Nice idea using Post-It notes, Michael.  [big grin]

What I like about my method is that when ripping sheet material you don't need to go back and forth to check either end to make sure it remains lines up. Using stop blocks on either end allows one to set the rail in place where you want it without any further adjustment.

I remember years ago people here being impressed with the razor blade method. I wasn't. Far to fiddly for me.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2017, 06:08 PM »
@Corwin I did use your method when I was making a complicated form that required symmetrically opposed compound miters to be pocket cut. There used to be a picture of it in a photo gallery here (in the old days, two computers ago so I can't find the original anymore).

Offline RDMuller

  • Posts: 285
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2017, 09:03 PM »
Here is a nice trick in one of Brian Sedgely's pinterest videos.  This is the best way I have seen to join the tracks

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSleKgKDBn6/

Nothing beats a long rail, but this is pretty good. 

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2017, 10:03 PM »
Yea RD Thats what I advised the OP. I learned it from Steve Bace or Allan Kensley cant remember which one but Im thinking Steve.

 

Offline greymann

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2017, 10:27 AM »
I bought the 3000 several years ago and have never regretted it either, except that storage in my 16x16 shop is a hassle.  However recently I have been using it less and less.  I have found that for base and upper cabinets which is my main use of sheet goods, I can make the first cut across rather than lengthwise without increasing waste to any measurable degree.  I have some tall cabinets coming up that will be an exception but I have found crosscuts work fine for all else.

Since this hasn't been mentioned in the comments above, I'm curious what general experience is as it eliminates the need to join shorter rails if that is all you have.

Dick Perry
The difference between theory and practice in practice is greater than the difference between theory and practice in theory.

Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2017, 03:02 PM »
Regardless of connected rails or a single looong rail I think it is important to remember to have the sheet goods supported well _all the way_ so it doesn't flex or sag when you are running the tracks saw along the (intended) cut line.  The rail itself is not support enough.

I use the Bosch FSN rail system for my Bosch, Metabo and Mafell gear and so far - zero problems. I did score a 3m (I think it is 3100mm) rail for less than a standard rail from a dealer that had an uncollected order. I didn't think I'd use it very often but it has been great to have both for breaking down sheet goods and for long cuts.  It hangs up on the ceiling in the workshop in the original cardboard sqube it came in - it is a bit of a hassle to haul it out and stick it in but well worth it.
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Offline kevreh

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2017, 12:45 PM »
To avoid lateral inconsistencies I place a support about half way when ripping sheet goods.

The extra time it takes to set things up is worth the effort, YMMV

(Attachment Link)

Waho609-

Those sawhorses look pretty nice, what brand are they?

Offline waho6o9

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2017, 02:20 PM »
Welcome to the FOG kevreh

It's a Walko IV sitting on some Stanley  saw horses. Perfect height for me.

http://walko.nl/en-uk/

Offline kevreh

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2017, 10:22 AM »
Nice setup, thanks. Makes me think I need to improve my sawhorse game,  ;)

Offline buckeyeguy

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2017, 03:32 PM »
I was wondering about aligning guide rails myself today. I have the standard 1400mm guide rail and was looking at getting another 1400mm LR32 guide rail since I recently picked up an OF 1400.

I have read a lot of where guys were using levels to align. Well, I don't have a level, nor do I have any other use for one, so I was wondering: Is it possible to just run a crosscut along the 4' side of a sheet of ply and then use your fresh cut to align? Basically using it as you would a level?

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 130
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2017, 04:00 PM »
That's a perfectly good plan. Cut a 3-4" strip at least and use the cut edge only. Factory edges aren't good.

You can also use the cams on your saw to do the job too. Video link further up.

I was wondering about aligning guide rails myself today. I have the standard 1400mm guide rail and was looking at getting another 1400mm LR32 guide rail since I recently picked up an OF 1400.

I have read a lot of where guys were using levels to align. Well, I don't have a level, nor do I have any other use for one, so I was wondering: Is it possible to just run a crosscut along the 4' side of a sheet of ply and then use your fresh cut to align? Basically using it as you would a level?
- John

Offline buckeyeguy

  • Posts: 31
Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2017, 04:19 PM »
That's a perfectly good plan. Cut a 3-4" strip at least and use the cut edge only. Factory edges aren't good.

You can also use the cams on your saw to do the job too. Video link further up.

I watched that video, but would question the accuracy of it. I have never actually joined guide rails before, so my doubt comes out of pure thinking and no real world experience.

If I used the base of my saw, my length of alignment is fairly short. Would that short length of reference be long enough over 2800mm of rail? But then again, that method is just slightly shorter than the Betterley straight-line connector.

Online rst

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Re: Ripping sheet goods
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2017, 04:55 PM »
I used a 72" piece of 8020 2012 extrusion I got from their EBay store (closed for holiday's...was going to check price) for years before buying the 118" rail.  Last piece I bought was $20 ish + shipping...I never bought just one piece, I've literally bought thousands of $ material from them over the years.