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Author Topic: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue  (Read 7185 times)

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Offline aktrout

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Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« on: December 14, 2014, 12:49 PM »
I recently cut eight walnut boards approximately five feet long to edge join and make a table top for a walnut table I am making.  I connected two of my Festool tracks together and made cuts on both sides of each board to join them.  When I went to put them together, they did not fit as well as I thought they should.  It seems like there is a small bow in the middle of them.  It would appear that the problem was caused by not having an exactly straight cut.  The only thing I can think of is that when I attached the two tracks together I did not get and exactly straight cut line.  Any thoughts?  Any suggestions.  Thanks.

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Offline Festoolfootstool

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 12:58 PM »
sounds like that is the issue, use a long straight edge when joining the two rails leave a slight gap between the two
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Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2014, 01:02 PM »
A few questions.

Did you connect with a straight edge prior to final tightening of the connectors? 

Were you leaning over pushing the saw, or walking along as you made the cut?

Bryan

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Offline wow

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2014, 01:06 PM »
You don't say how you adjusted them originally? The ends of the rails are not necessarily square, so if you merely butted the ends together, your connection will not be straight.

One common technique to get a straight edge when joining them is to use a level against the side opposite the strip. Everybody has a level, and the edge of it should be perfectly straight. If you align both rails so they are snug up against the level and THEN tighten the rail connector, you should be good.

Does that help?

Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline ear3

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2014, 01:16 PM »
I raised the same issue in a post a while back.  If you search "Betterley" you can find some threads on it.  Betterley's the name of a straight edge used by some for aligning the rails, though as already mentioned in above posts, aluminum level will work as well.

I ended up just getting the longer rail (3000mm), because I was worried about the joined rails going out of alignment if I was doing a project where I'd have to flip the rail several times, and have not regretted it.  It is possible, though, to achieve straight cuts with rail connectors, provided you take care with the setup and recheck alignment every so often.
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Offline JCLP

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2014, 01:22 PM »
I agree with Wow. I use a 4' level on the back edge of the rails and then lock in the Betterley Rail connector and then tighten the screws. I found this works perfectly everytime. Also, I found that by having a very clean and sharp blade reduces the stress on the blade making guiding the track saw down the rails a lot easier. I also use a product called Bladecote from Bostik on my blades. It reduces friction a lot.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 07:04 PM »
I concur with using the Betterley Straightline Connector or the use of a 4' level.  I'll also suggest that you can salvage most of the boards already cut with minimal loss by duplicating the process shown by Bob Marino here

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Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 07:17 PM »

Agree with need to use a straight edge when joining rails. I leave a 1-2mm gap between the two rails.

However there is another consideration. How long after cutting, did you lay out boards for joining? The release of tension when ripping the boards can cause movement.

Some on the FOG but not me yet, have used  SRSemenza's technique of laying the rail edge along between the edge of two boards so the blade will simultaneously cut both edges. Thus when ripping, any inconsistencies are shared uniformly by both edges.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 07:29 PM by Untidy Shop »
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Offline JCLP

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 07:54 PM »
"Some on the FOG but not me yet, have used  SRSemenza's technique of laying the rail edge along between the edge of two boards so the blade will simultaneously cut both edges. Thus when ripping, any inconsistencies are shared uniformly by both edges."

Great idea. When I use to lay linoleum flooring I would cut both edges at once to ensure a perfect joint. I will use this method when creating glue joints between boards. Thanks for waking up that part of my memory.
Cheers,

Offline SRSemenza

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Offline aktrout

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 01:51 AM »
Thanks for all the great advice.  I am new to the Festool Track Saw and this is the first time I have joined a number of boards where they had to be cut with the two rails joined together.  I DID NOT leave a space between the two rails, nor did I use a straight edge to check the connection.  Of course in thinking back about it now after reading your suggestions it seems pretty obvious.  I should have of that on my own.

By the way I put the boards edge-to-edge to check them shortly after cutting them and the 1mm to 2mm bow in the middle was immediately apparent.  I don't think it was from movement in the wood, the problem was that the two sections of rail were not perfectly straight.

Thanks for the help.

Offline RJNeal

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2014, 07:30 AM »
Aktrout, are you also using clamps to hold the rails?
There was some discussion here on FOG on when the user was cutting their were also pushing the saw laterally. The clamps would hold the ends and the middle would bow in the middle.
Good luck,
Rick 
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Offline aktrout

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 11:27 AM »
Sometimes depending on the circumstances.

Yesterday I re-cut two boards following the suggestions given on how to properly connect the two rails.  I got a much better result and simply used a slightly shorter domino tenon to connect the boards. 

Thanks for the help.

Offline Travisaward

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2018, 04:29 PM »
Does anyone have a problem with having to adjust the bevel for different tracks?  I have 4 different tracks, 1-32", 2-55" and 1-75".  One of the 55 and the 75 are both right on when I set the saw to 0° and they make perfect cuts, but the other two it seams I have to adjust the bevel about a half degree to get a good cut.  It's frustrating because I planned on joining them together at random lengths for projects but if I join the 75" with the 32" the angle will be fine for most of the cut but change once I get to the 32" track.  I was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem or even noticed it.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2018, 05:37 PM »
I have never experienced what you have just described.  I would respectfully offer that you might want to check a couple of things:

1.  If you flip the "bad" rails over, there are two anti-slip black tips of foam.  One is in a wide recessed area and there is one that is a recessed area just wide enough for the strip.  Does the black strip ride up over the "ridge"?.

2.  Again flip the "bad" rails over and look at those same areas.  Place a straightedge across your rail side to side.  Is the foam level with the aluminum ridges adjacent or just a super tiny bit high?  If not there is an issue with your rail, whether it is the foam or the extrusion.  The foam and the ridges should be virtually the same height.

Let us know what you find please.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 05:42 PM by Peter Halle »

Offline Travisaward

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2018, 06:30 PM »
Thank you for your comment. I'll go look at them for I haven't inspected them that closely yet. 

Offline Travisaward

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2018, 07:58 PM »
Ok I checked all 4 rails all over and they seem all identical when it comes to the foam strips and splinter gaurd.  Maybe it's just me trying to get perfection because when I say adjust the bevel it's less than half a degree. Is there a tolerance range the saws were designed with that would be acceptable for the cut to not come out at perfect 90°?

Offline Mario Turcot

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2018, 09:36 PM »
Do your saw base have any play in any track? if the two that are not square have a slightly bigger play it may occur that the saw base do not sits correctly on the track.
Mario

Offline John Broomall

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2018, 11:28 PM »
Lots of good advice in this thread. The only thing i would add is that you can only trust your alignment for one pass. Once you pick up the tracks to position for the next cut they can flex or bend and ruin your alignment. The answer is to buy a longer track or be willing to check your alignment on every cut every time.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2018, 11:45 PM »
Just for clarity ...........................  I think the problem is with the saw bevel, i.e., tilting the saw not the track to track alignment. I think, but I am not sure.


Seth

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2018, 05:13 AM »
If you know someone with a high quality table saw, making glue ready cuts is a snap. I have the TS55, rails, Betterly connector, etc and use them to break down sheet goods, but I do all the high accuracy cutting on a table saw.
Birdhunter

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2018, 06:58 AM »

Agree with need to use a straight edge when joining rails. I leave a 1-2mm gap between the two rails.

However there is another consideration. How long after cutting, did you lay out boards for joining? The release of tension when ripping the boards can cause movement.

Some on the FOG but not me yet, have used  SRSemenza's technique of laying the rail edge along between the edge of two boards so the blade will simultaneously cut both edges. Thus when ripping, any inconsistencies are shared uniformly by both edges.

Old post I know, but isn't that more or less what is known as 'kerfing in' and been used in the past with hand saws. Not taking anything away from the idea of using the technique with a track saw, that is a great idea.
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Offline Travisaward

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2018, 11:40 AM »
Mario Turcot-  I have checked and there is no play on any of the rails. In fact it may be on the tighter side since I want to make sure there is no play. 
Birdhunter- I suppose you are right. I bought the TS55 to straight line rip one edge on some rough cut lumber and for that it does an excellent job. From there I can take it to the table saw and cut it down to useable pieces.  The tools are on the very expensive side and I was hopeful you could get straight glue ready cuts right from the track saw.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2018, 12:08 PM »
 @Travisaward   Is the problem with the tracks aligning in a straight line when connected? Or that the saw is at a different bevel on different tracks?

     If different bevel .................... unless the wood surface is dead flat any variance in the wood surface will cause the rail to tilt and cause  slightly  varying bevels on the edge. Hardly noticeable for most purposes but frequently not good enough for edge joining. Hence the existence of jointers. But this (see link) method works great for jointing with a track saw.

         http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-how-to/edge-jointing-a-countertop-with-the-ts75-(or-ts55)/msg285830/#msg285830

Seth

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2018, 12:27 PM »
I think a track saw excels for the tasks for which it was designed. But, precision joinery is very demanding and, perhaps, not the forte of that tool.

Table saws, jointers, and planers are my tools of choice for making gap free joints.
Birdhunter

Offline Travisaward

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2018, 01:10 PM »
Seth- the problem was the bevel not being consistently 90° and that method you shared makes a lot of sense.  I don't have access to a big jointer for jointing the edges so I'm left with the TS55 and a 1950s Delta unisaw to get glue ready joints. I may end up trying that method on a Walnut table top build I have coming up.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Festool Track Saw, Track Issue
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2018, 03:35 PM »
Here you go http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-how-to/edge-jointing-a-countertop-with-the-ts75-(or-ts55)/msg285830/#msg285830

Seth


I used a very similar technique when cutting the boards for a tabletop with my TS 55.  The finished joints were so tight that light would not pass through them anywhere.  All boards were first surface planed to a specific thickness, then ripped with the TS 55.  All were cross-cut over-length.  The boards were subsequently screwed down to cross-slats while the joints to be refined were held as closely as possible before being jointed with the TS 55.  The jointed boards were then dominoed and glued together.  Once the clamps were removed after gluing, the tabletop was cut to dimension, edge-routed and sanded before finishing. 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 03:37 PM by Sparktrician »
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