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Author Topic: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.  (Read 8623 times)

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Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1683
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2017, 05:59 PM »
Guess I'm not completely sure I understand the movement/play you describe. I do certainly check squareness of the guide rail to fence before doing final cutting at the height which reflects the approximate thickness of the wood I'm cutting. However, I am not aware of any movement of the tab in the front or the bracket in back.

Just a few things to check. . .
1. Check that all the bolts that hold the guide rail to the fence are tight.
2. Check that all bolts are which hold the brackets in place are tightened.

There is a great video online that Brian Sedgeley from Festool has done concerning squaring up the fence to the rail. If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching. It simplifies the process and, from personal experience, it works.

There are adjustments on the brackets to make them clamp more securely but, from your description, I doubt that this is the problem.

Maybe there is some defect in the brackets, but I don't think I've ever heard of any defects that have shown up.

Again, I'm not sure I totally understand your problem. I have never had any problem resembling yours. If you can't find the Slop Stop in the UK, maybe someone on the FOG has a suggestion for making your own. The Slop Stop is really only a plastic insert for the underside of the guide rail which when adjusted properly wedges the tab that holds the guide rail onto the tab in place without any side movement.

Hope this helps.
Randy

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Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3777
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2017, 06:21 PM »
Saw slop? Why is always one needs to buy more accessorise to make the tools work?

Is it possible that the smaller rail on the MFT has a jog in it?
I would take the rail off the MFT and try a cut with that rail and the other rail and see they differ.

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2400
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2017, 06:53 PM »
The slop you describe in your MFT brackets has been discussed here many times before, and is the most frequent issue for users having problems getting and keeping their setup square. Typically, one will square the rail and fence with the rail sitting flat on the table. Then the problem comes when they try to raise the guide rail brackets to the appropriate height for the material to be cut. The slop in these guide rail brackets makes it all too easy to set the height with the brackets skewed out of plumb, making the rail and fence out of square.

I noticed this problem with my MFTs when I first started using an MFT 11 years ago. I would always try to keep one side of beveled metal portion tight to the black plastic base piece as I would raise or lower the bracket to keep it plumb. This works for me, however, in a somewhat recent thread a member here elected to place a portion of the brackets in a vise and squeeze the flanged portion a little tighter such that when reassembled, the guide rail bracket would raise an lower without much/any slop. In any event, now that you have discovered the issue, you should be able to find a process for raising and lowering your MFT's brackets in a way that keeps them plumb so the rail and fence remain square.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2017, 05:28 PM »
Hi Again, Thank you for getting back to me. I have to admit that I missed your replies, as I didn't spot that there was a second page button at the bottom of the first page, Whoops!. Corwin, you have hit the nail right on the head. The problem is exactly as you describe. I have today, tightened the bolts that tighten the guide rail height adjusters and although this won't fix the problem, it will stop the brackets tipping once the weight of the saw is on the rail. I have already started to bias the brackets against one side of the plastic block to keep them plumb, as Corwin described. I am going to work on an idea I have thought of, to overcome this issue. If it works, I will come back on this post with some photos and a description of whats needed to make it. I really appreciate the help of all that have taken time to come on here with advice and suggestions. 

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1924
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2017, 05:55 PM »
My front lock down has a stop that rides in the extrusion channel. It is locked into place with a set screw. I trued up the rail using a Woodpecker framing square and tightened the back hinge unit. The SlopStop virtually eliminates any side to side movement of the rail.
Birdhunter

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2017, 05:08 AM »
Hi Birdhunter, I have the same stop on mine as well. The problemed area is the metal part (Height adjuster) that slides up under the guide rail. The part with the peg that locates in the channel of the rail. This part, when unlocked to make the height adjustment, moves in relation to the plastic block that it slides up and down on. I have just added a photo to make this clear, as I'm making a total mess of trying to explain this, and I think I might me making it more confusing than it needs to be  [big grin]262681-0

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2400
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2017, 01:26 PM »
Another thing you can do is to take a scrap (the same thickness material as your workpiece) and place it under the guide rail to support the guide rail where it spans between the front bracket and the leading edge of your workpiece.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2017, 01:47 PM »
Hi Corwin, I was actually doing that as it happens. I think what has been going on, is that I was lifting the rail higher to accommodate thicker material, unaware that the adjusters had this problem and locking them out of plumb. this would tip the splinter guard side of the rail and the opposite side up. That explains why the start of the cut was bowed inwards and then straightened up once the saw was further down the track, as the track is able to settle down on the work piece towards the center as it flexes. I hope that makes sense. You seem to have a good handle on this problem, so I guess you know where I'm coming from? I have ordered a couple of bearings and I'm going to try and do a modification that uses them to bias the adjuster towards one side, so that adjusting the rail height doesn't require any more user input than is necessary. I will let you know how it goes. If it doesn't work then it's not a big deal, as the bearings are cheap enough. Thank you again for your input.   

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1924
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2017, 04:21 PM »
The picture of the height adjuster with the rocking movement arrows explained well the issue you are having. When unlocked, mine rocks also.

I don't know why I have never had a cut that wasn't perfectly square. I always check the rail before a cut with my Woodpecker framing square with the rail down and resting on the tab after adjusting for material thickness. I use Qwas dogs to butt the top edge of the framing square against when I check for rail squareness. I use the same Qwas dogs to butt the material against for the actual cut.

After reading this thread, I will double check for squareness in the future.
Birdhunter

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2017, 04:51 PM »
Hi Birdhunter, Sorry if my explanation wasn't that good. I'm pleased the image helped. On my table it is possible to lock the position anywhere during that rocking motion, especially when the adjuster is at it's highest point. The higher the the adjuster goes, the more the problem is exaggerated at the saw blade. As I mentioned in my earlier replies, I manually bias the adjuster to on side to keep it in the right position. I should also mention that I use Parf dogs (The UK equivalent to Qwas) to set everything square, but before I discovered what was wrong, as soon as I raised the height of the rail all the squareness went out of the window. I would be interested to know if you too, can lock your adjuster in an out of plum position?   

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1924
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2017, 06:02 PM »
I looked at my height adjuster again and it appears that the flanges engage the plastic body behind the moving part and lock the adjuster into place.
Birdhunter

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2017, 06:17 PM »
I don't know where the flanges you mentioned are? Mine is effectively just a flat piece of plastic and the metal part is also flat, apart from where it wraps around the edges of the plastic. Have you got something different?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1032
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2017, 06:22 PM »
I don't know where the flanges you mentioned are? Mine is effectively just a flat piece of plastic and the metal part is also flat, apart from where it wraps around the edges of the plastic. Have you got something different?
Those edges that wrap around plastic should be snug to prevent lateral movement. They are bent at about 60 deg. and supposed to register against plastic block in the same position every time when locked. You could either bend them more or add a shim (self adhesive slick tape) on the inside.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 06:29 PM by Svar »

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2017, 06:32 PM »
Oh I see, sorry. I have considered putting them in a vice to perform a delicate adjustment  [wink]. I have been a bit concerned about doing that, as I have only had the table for a week. Even when mine is locked, if I apply a bit of force, I can rock the adjuster. If yours fits snugly, that explains why you haven't seen the problem. Thank you for checking for me, as that casts a whole new light on things.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1032
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2017, 06:36 PM »
Oh I see, sorry. I have considered putting them in a vice to perform a delicate adjustment  [wink].
I don't own MFT or Festool rail support, so my advice was purely theoretical. Be careful not to overdo it, I will not be held responsible for any damage.  [big grin] [poke] And it will void your warranty or whatever.  [big grin]

Offline Kuffs

  • Posts: 13
  • Here in body but not in mind
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2017, 06:46 PM »
I'm getting confused, I thought I was still replying to Birdhunter  [big grin]. I'm at that age where I walk into a room and when I get there, I forget why I walked into the room in the first place  [embarassed] So Svar, thank you for your comments. Are you a Festool employee?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1032
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2017, 06:55 PM »
So Svar, thank you for your comments. Are you a Festool employee?
No. Just a confused user.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1508
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2017, 07:27 PM »
If you can move the bracket after tightening you need to adjust the locking nut.  I remember adjusting mine to make it tighter after setting up the first time.  Also, putting the bracket in a vise to bend the side brackets is not a good idea.  Trying to press the sides together would probably cause the bracket flat to bow without  bending the sides much.  I made my own slop stop (I have an advantage with all sorts of plastic material as we stock,distribute, and fab) and I make sure that when I set my bracket that I push it to one side (to right) as I tighten. 

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1032
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2017, 08:05 PM »
Also, putting the bracket in a vise to bend the side brackets is not a good idea.  Trying to press the sides together would probably cause the bracket flat to bow without  bending the sides much.
Good point. Perhaps glue a shim on either plastic or metal part.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1924
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2017, 08:31 PM »
This is Birdhunter. I would suggest, as said above, putting the shims on the metal flanges of the height adjuster. In the USA, I can buy double sided tape. I'd use it to affix a thin metal or hard plastic shim to each side flange. My wife's credit card comes to mind as a candidate contributor.
Birdhunter

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 772
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2017, 08:51 PM »
Hi Birdhunter & grbmds, I have not got hold of the slop-stop. I am in the UK and it's not easy to get hold of here. However, I have today discovered what the problem is. I find it hard to believe others don't have this same issue. The front and rear brackets that the guide rail hinges, and at the front of the table sits on, have an enormous amount of play in them when they are unlocked to adjust the rail height. if you can imagine hinging the guide rail out of the way so that it's not on the  front adjustment bracket, then unlocking the front bracket as though you are going to adjust it's height.  Then lift the metal part of the bracket to its highest point and without locking it in place, rock the bracket from side to side. On mine, the bracket moves approximately 4-5mm side to side and is lockable in at any point between these measurements. when I first set the table up, I had the track sitting right down on the MDF top to cut the splinter guard for the first time. This means I also produced a kerf in the MDF which registered perfectly with the splinter guard. Once I lifted the track up to make some test cuts, the movement in the front and rear brackets must have occurred and unknowingly, I locked that movement into position and made the cuts. The higher the adjusters are raised the more pronounced the problem gets. I would definitely be interested in whether or not you have this same movement in your adjustment brackets? Thank you for persisting with this problem, I really appreciate your help.

@Kuffs

Your problem is being caused by the you doing your adjustments in the wrong order.

You need to release the back clamp, place the rail down on the material that you are going to cut and while holding the rail down flat lock the rear clamp. You then lift the front clamp into the rail at the correct height (if the rail sags add of piece of material of the same thickness to hold it up) and while holding the front clamp hard against the rail, so that it sits square, tighten the front clamp.

This way the rail guides are square to the rail, and the rail is parallel to the MFT, and will always finish in the same spot.

You have to repeat this procedure every time that you change the material thickness that you are cutting.