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Author Topic: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.  (Read 6115 times)

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Offline lasttoleave

  • Posts: 29
TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« on: May 31, 2015, 12:39 PM »
Hello,

I've searched for this problem and read many suggestions, but I am having a strange issue with my TS55/MFT3 set up, so I was wondering if anyone has some thoughts on what it might be.

When cutting some cabinet panels on the MFT3 recently, I was using one of the freshly cut edges and two clamps as a stop for some repetive cuts and noticed that as I butted the boards together, even two freshly cut edges did not meet nicely and there was some gap at one end of the board. I then managed to detect that this was happening at the front edge of the cuts (when starting the cut) so I went on test a few things..

I thought it could be the plunging action introducing some force or movement so I added sacrificial pieces in front of the panels but they still came out with this problem. I checked the saw was fitted firmly to the rail with the cam adjustments too.

Using a few very good straight edges I can rule out my measuring equipment, and I cannot detect any real rock/bend in the rail itself. I clamped my boards to the MFT when making test cuts, so nothing is moving during the cut. I applied little to no forward/sideward pressure, I've tried plunging at the start of the panel and way before the cut, using sacrificial boards to support the rail with no change

I then thought it might be my MFT brackets, so I used some rail dogs, clamped the board down, but the result was still exactly the same so I can rule out the attachment of my guide rail as the issue.

The gaps I am seeing are consistently something like 0.25-0.50mm which feathers to nothing approximately 40-50mm in from the edge then the rest is dead straight. With the boards clamped in a vice and holding the straight edges at 90 degress to the edge, the gap is always in the same place, and always at the front edge of the freshly cut edge, which suggest either something is wrong with my guide rail, or the way in which I am entering a cut.. but I am running out of things to try.

Nothing really indicates the saw is causing the issue, but I am open to all ideas and suggestions!  ;D

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Online Birdhunter

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 01:02 PM »
Any way you can butt the guide rail along something you know to be straight? That would tell you if the rail is the problem.

I had some left/right movement at the front end of my MFT guide rail when I bought the table. I added a Slop-Stop and have zero play now.
Birdhunter

Offline Chris Wong

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2015, 01:04 PM »
If you make a cut under the rail, it should match the profile of the rail's splinter guard.  But what do you see if you turn the board around and butt it up against the rail's splinter guard?  Any gap?  If so, where?
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Offline NL-mikkla

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2015, 01:21 PM »
How fast do you clamp the rail down to the board?
I have seen/read when clamping to firmley you press the anti slip making the rail to rise a bit.


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Offline Edward A Reno III

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2015, 02:53 PM »
That's strange -- I had a similar problem, but at the back end of the cut.  Since there is no bevel lock at the back of the TS55, it can sometimes happen that the rear of the saw is at a slightly different angle.  So at the end of the cut, if you don't push the saw all the way through, there will be a different angle for the last inch or so.  But as to what's going on in your case, it beats me.  Is the rail supported all the way through-- meaning you have scrap of same thickness as workpiece holding up the rail behind the saw?
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Offline tjbnwi

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 04:27 PM »
Is the saw up to speed before you enter the work piece?

Use a narrower piece for a test cut, if the problem persists it's not the guide rail.

Tom

Offline Joints

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 07:17 PM »
I had the exact same problem when trimming less than the blade width off some 18mm english oak.

How much are you taking off?

Offline lasttoleave

  • Posts: 29
Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2015, 02:45 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions, to answer each questionm in turn;

Any way you can butt the guide rail along something you know to be straight? That would tell you if the rail is the problem.

I had some left/right movement at the front end of my MFT guide rail when I bought the table. I added a Slop-Stop and have zero play now.

I have noticed this and removed the play with soem tape, but to further remove this as a apossible cause I used my rail on a diffferent surface using clamps, and also used rail dogs on the MFT so I don't think it's possible this is the cause as the issue occures in the same section of the cut each time.

If you make a cut under the rail, it should match the profile of the rail's splinter guard.  But what do you see if you turn the board around and butt it up against the rail's splinter guard?  Any gap?  If so, where?

My splinter guard doesn't really indicate much at all because I have found that after a fresh cut, there is a vewry very tiny lip from the splinteguard and the edge that has just been cut, Implying that the that the splinterguard does not truly replicate the cut being made by the saw, I'm not sure why this is but it does mean that at some point the blade has shaved the splinterguard slightly in a previous cut. Maybe someone has an idea as to the why this is? I don't think it's related to this issue as I find this tiny lip on every cut made with the MFT regardless of how carefully I set things up/hold the saw etc. But it would be good to know why this is the case.

How fast do you clamp the rail down to the board?
I have seen/read when clamping to firmley you press the anti slip making the rail to rise a bit.

I've tried using Rail dogs, clamps and the stock MFT fixtures so I can't see this causing the problem unfortunately.

That's strange -- I had a similar problem, but at the back end of the cut.  Since there is no bevel lock at the back of the TS55, it can sometimes happen that the rear of the saw is at a slightly different angle.  So at the end of the cut, if you don't push the saw all the way through, there will be a different angle for the last inch or so.  But as to what's going on in your case, it beats me.  Is the rail supported all the way through-- meaning you have scrap of same thickness as workpiece holding up the rail behind the saw?

I've tried putting scrap the same thickness in front of the cut but not behind (yet). I can't see a reason to as the gap appears at the front of the cut only.BUt this scrap doesn't seem to affect the cut which would indicate it isn't how the saw is entering a cut.. but an issue with that specific section of the rail/MFT set up, but again, this seems less liekyl than my technique being at fault!

Is the saw up to speed before you enter the work piece?

Use a narrower piece for a test cut, if the problem persists it's not the guide rail.

Tom

I'm unsure on the initial cuts, but when using a scrap piece in front of the panel, the saw must be up to full speeed when it enters the real panel, so I'd have to say yes for the purposes of finding the issue.

I am going to cut 4 boards, one the full "length" of the MFT (set up in it's usual position) and 4 others until I am basically just cross cuting some 4" Ply. I'll report back and see if it indicates it's the way the saw enters the cut of a specific section of the Rail/MFT.

I had the exact same problem when trimming less than the blade width off some 18mm english oak.

How much are you taking off?

I thought of that but the blade has seen very little work so I'd be suprised if it was struggling with either task. I've been shaving a mm off, and cutting a good 50mm off the panel  as means of testing.. so I don't think this is linked to the issue.

The ply is only 15mm thick, and the saw doesn't seem to struggle, so I think the stock blade is coping okay.

I'll make some more test cuts of varying length and report back. Thanks!

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2015, 07:46 AM »
From what you are describing I'd a possibility is you're cutting panels that are the full width of the MFT with the saw's base partially off the rail as you start the cut.  The rear adjustment gib is off the rail and causing a bad cut on the first couple of inches of the piece.  I think this is a little unlikely since it is something you'd catch pretty quickly.  Another unlikely one would be if you entering the cut too fast causing some deflection of the blade at the start of the cut.  Also, as Joints mentioned, cutting off small amounts, like less than a saw blade can cause the blade to deflect.     
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Offline lasttoleave

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2015, 03:42 PM »
From what you are describing I'd a possibility is you're cutting panels that are the full width of the MFT with the saw's base partially off the rail as you start the cut.  The rear adjustment gib is off the rail and causing a bad cut on the first couple of inches of the piece.  I think this is a little unlikely since it is something you'd catch pretty quickly.  Another unlikely one would be if you entering the cut too fast causing some deflection of the blade at the start of the cut.  Also, as Joints mentioned, cutting off small amounts, like less than a saw blade can cause the blade to deflect.     

The base is definitely on the rail as I have the deflector fitted for every cut, so that's not an issue. I've tried entering the cuts from just about every angle, and sensible variation of speed including the saw's speed but nothing makes any difference.

I used my Rail Dogs again for my most recent test cuts, and this time I made sure they spanned the width of the MFT to rule out something regarding the usual space of the table.. I had the same results. I then swapped out the ply for some 18mm MDF and although the results were the same initially, I managed to reduce almost all of the issue by having a sacrificial piece in front of my boards. This is good, but really not what I was hoping for as I'm not always going to have scrap the right thickness/dimensions and it's just quite a lot of waste to have to do this for every cut. This does mean though that it is not the rail, but the saw itself or the wat it's entering the cut.

The saw is only a couple of months old, so the blade hasn't seen any heavy usage whatsoever, and the saw seems to function fine but I am wondering what is causing this inaccuracy at the start of each cut. Does anyone think it could be a problem with the saw or the blade?


Offline lasttoleave

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 06:05 PM »
After a bit more testing I have concluded it must be some movement/deflection of the blade at the begining of a cut, I can't see what else it may be. I have contacted festool and will see whether they think it is more likely to be the blade or the saw at fault. But hopefully either way it will be resolved quickly.

Thanks again for the advice!

Offline harry_

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 12:21 AM »
I had a similar issue years back and found it to be slop where the nib meets the underside of the rail. My solution was to set the nib plate on the MFT ever so slightly out of perfect alignment. By that I mean that the rail will NOT just drop down on it, I have to tug it to the left just a wee bit.

There is the potential for this to put the rail slightly out of square. Adjust accordingly.
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Offline Laminator

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 09:43 AM »
I do have one 48 tooth blade that simply refuses to cut properly.  I keep it in the van for the rare occasion that I have to cut something that might have nails in it.

Just saying that your blade could have something to do with your problem.  If the blade cuts fine on other rails but acts up on the mft rail, then its probably not the blade.


Offline lasttoleave

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 06:49 PM »
I had a similar issue years back and found it to be slop where the nib meets the underside of the rail. My solution was to set the nib plate on the MFT ever so slightly out of perfect alignment. By that I mean that the rail will NOT just drop down on it, I have to tug it to the left just a wee bit.

There is the potential for this to put the rail slightly out of square. Adjust accordingly.

I am aware of the play in the rail but I eliminated rail movement from the equation by using rail dogs and also removing the aforementioned play.. It is not a case of the cut not being square but the actuall straigthness of the edge.


I do have one 48 tooth blade that simply refuses to cut properly.  I keep it in the van for the rare occasion that I have to cut something that might have nails in it.

Just saying that your blade could have something to do with your problem.  If the blade cuts fine on other rails but acts up on the mft rail, then its probably not the blade.

It's hard to tell if it behaves exactly the same on my other 1400 rail, but it seems more likely to be a blade issue I hope! I'm expecting a reponse from Festool soon so hopefully they can advise me with a solution. I can only assume it is either the blade acting up or the saw itself allowing some play/deflection of the blade when it enters a cut. Either way I'm sure it'll be dealt with easily enough.

Offline Kuffs

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2017, 04:03 PM »
Hi All, This is my first post on FOG. I have jumped on this topic as I have had the same problem. I have overcome the issue (Kind of) but, to be honest I have come on here to get my frustration off my chest. Imagine my excitement, finally I have found the money (£550) to purchase an MFT3. I also purchased the Parf dogs to aid set up, as so many people recommend them. So, I set everything up as precisely as possible, following guidance from this site and Youtube etc. I should add that all the advice was spot on and I was able to square the fence to the rail accurately. So what is the problem I here you ask? Well, the problem is that it still wouldn't cut square. After spending hours trying to resolve the problem, I discovered somewhere on FOG, that if you hold the rail down tight to the work-piece, the problem would go away. Although I was rather sceptical, I thought I would try it, and blow me down if it fixed the issue. So I have paid £550 for a piece of kit that I have to manually assist, in order to get accurately square cuts from. Not only that but another piece of advice was to purchase a slop-stop modification that might overcome the problem. So if I've got this right, I have a brand new MFT3 that I have to pay to modify, in order to make it work as it should have done straight out of the factory?

Quite honestly, this might well be the last thing I buy from Festool and it's not just because of this issue. I also have a OF1010 router that I can't plunge without it offering great resistance in-spite of it being brand new at the time and my keeping it clean and applying light machine oil to the bearing surface.  I'm the sort of person that takes really good care of his tools, so I hate to think how they would perform if I used them day in and day out. I could go on about the break on the CTL Midi jamming up a day after I got it and the spring on the plug cover coming adrift. I must need my head testing paying out my hard earned cash on these overpriced tools. I should conclude that I am not anti Festool, as the concept of what they are doing is very good, it's just not very well executed! I'm hoping someone on here might convince me otherwise.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2017, 05:25 PM »
Welcome the forum!  Sorry to here about the circumstances that have lead you here and are reflected in your post.  In an effort to change your mind I can say that if everyone had the same experiences or even similar experiences as you we wouldn't have a forum full of Festool users - especially all those who are willing to help out others.

Are there some quirks with the tools?  Sure.  Some real issues?  Yep.  Ways to solve, work around, get cured?  Absolutely.

Hope to see you back here again and feel free to ask questions if you need some assistance.

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« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 08:48 PM by Peter Halle »
Scraps to Smiles.  To be continued.....  Stay Tuned.

Offline antss

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2017, 06:46 PM »
Kufs - why don't you just return them under the no questions asked trial policy ?   

Especially the ones that broke one day in ?

Offline Kuffs

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2017, 05:04 AM »
Hi Peter and antss. Thank you for your responses. There is of course no doubt that both of you are correct in your replies. As I said, I really wanted to vent my frustration and the forum seemed like a good place to do it ;-) I guess I hoped that someone from Festool might see what I had written and have a comment to make. The main point was that these tools are very expensive, and we as users should not have to be finding workarounds to make them work, as they should when they come out of the factory. I wouldn't buy a Rolls Royce and expect to hold the doors closed with sticky tape, just because they couldn't quite master getting door catches to work properly. Please don't read these comments as an attack on yourselves or anyone else on the forum. Like you, I enjoy woodwork and love tools and machinery. It just feels very unjust that these machines don't do what they should at the price we pay for them. Thank you again for your responses, they are greatly appreciated.

Offline Holmz

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2017, 08:27 AM »
So I think the possible mechanisms include:
The rail
The saw
The blade

If you can cut an edge and then bump the peice over and make another cut then you could measure and see if those cuts are repeatable and leave a constant width.

Repeat the process yet a third time. But this time use a jig saw to relieve a saw blade width in the middle or in 2 places. If those cuts have a lead-in or outgoing taper, then it must be the blade or the saw pulling over.

Try making a shallow 1-2 mm deep scoring cut first. If the full depth cut is pulling the blade away them some evidence make remain on the good or waste side of the cut wood.

A straight edge can tell if the cut is straight, which you already know it is not.
A cut with the other rail could use the straight edge to see if that makes a straight cut. If it does then that may indicate the rail has a jiggle in it.

Offline antss

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2017, 09:12 AM »
Kuffs - I agree with you wholeheartedly. 

It's just that sometimes the path of least resistance is the best one.  You shouldn't have to futz with this gear but users have shown that sometimes you do. What you can count on is Festool, because of their arrogance or stubbornness is not going to change any it. 

We as customers just have to decide if we like the upside more than the quirks and stinkers they produce.

Offline DrD

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2017, 09:23 AM »
I'll go out on a thin limb here based upon my experiences.  Technique.  If precision cuts are desired, precision technique must be employed.  I keep a hand plane handy to "dress up" the intersection of cut and joined boards.  I have found that hand position, ever so slight changes in grip angle, grip pressure, direction of push or pull relative to the cut line, all will affect and effect the precision of the finished cut.  This is the difficult part.

We work with wood (which has movement related to stress relief, humidity, temperature, etc), in a basically semi to uncontrolled environment, so our expectations of precision should match the situation.  Repeatability would seem to be more important than precision.
Dr.D

Offline Kuffs

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2017, 06:04 PM »
Hi All, Thank you for your responses. My problem had been that the cut started closer to the guide rail and then moved away from the rail as the saw was approximately 30mm into the cut, as if the saw was indeed pulling the cut slightly side wards. The only thing I have done (Under advice from someone on FOG I think) was to hold the guide rail down to the work piece with my left hand, while guiding the saw with my right. I know that having to apply pressure to the track is no big deal, but it doesn't help work flow or confidence in the kit. I'm sure once I get over my frustration with the MFT I will be singing it's praises, provided it continues to keep giving my straight and square cuts, as it is while holding the guide rail in place by hand. I also tried to measure the movement of the rail in relation to the peg it sits on. When I say movement, I mean left to right across the work piece. The movement was only 0.04mm so that really doesn't equate to the amount the cut is wandering by, which was 0.5mm. There is clearly something else going on here that I'm not understanding at the moment. Thank you Holmz for your instructions on how to test for the problem. I will give it a go in the near future. Work keeps getting in the way! Antss, I like the way you say " It's just that sometimes the path of least resistance is the best one" it is so true. I am a guy of a certain age, and I'm getting past making a fuss. I just want to get on and do stuff, and If that means I have to fix it myself then so be it. This is all made much easier, knowing I have you good folks to call on for help. Many thanks !!!

Offline Holmz

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2017, 06:26 AM »
Hi All, Thank you for your responses...
...
Thank you Holmz for your instructions on how to test for the problem...

I spite of my general confidence in trouble shifting, I would suggest that you treat those "instructions" more like "ideas to approach the problem" than actual proven instructions.

If you cut a piece of wood that is starts further back under the rail, then does that taper still manifest itself in the same place on the (which is a different place on the rail)? That is a good clue as to whether it is the rail or the saw/blade.

Offline Kuffs

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2017, 03:29 PM »
Hi Holmz, Ok thank's for that. I guess that, as holding the guide rail down while making the cut has cured the problem, the issue is one of movement in the rail or the saw pulling the rail some how. All I need to do is find out if the rail moves left to right or is being pulled downwards on the splinter guard side. I have to admit I can't see how the second of those two could be possible.

I see your in Aus' what part, if you don't mind me asking.

Thanks again.

Offline grbmds

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2017, 04:00 PM »
Couldn't tell from your post whether you are completely plunging the saw prior to entering the wood or plunging over the wood. I would hope that even plunging directly into the wood would still yield a straight cut, but I would imagine the results of this operation would depend, to some degree on how fast you plunge and whether the saw is completely up to full speed before plunging. This was the only thing I got out of your post that I thought might be a cause. I confess I've never had this problem.

Through Festool classes and experience with the saw, I have learned to make sure I put constant force behind the saw rather than from the side. Sometimes, unknowingly, the cut can be deflected a tiny bit just from slight side pressure at any point along the cut.
Randy

Offline Holmz

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2017, 04:50 PM »
dead red centre  @Kuffs

Offline Kuffs

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2017, 03:53 AM »
Hi grbmds, I have not had this problem in the 5 years I've had the TS55 and Tracks. It's its a problem that has come about with that same saw in combination with my brand new MFT. The work piece is such, that the saw is plunged without the blade contacting the material, up to full speed, then fed into the work. I think you could well be right that I may be introducing some lateral movement, as when I hold the track with my other hand and do the cut, the problem goes away. I might try the operation again, only this time, standing to the right of the track/bench and using my left hand to guide the saw down the track. My theory being that this would put an opposite lateral force on the saw and perhaps produce either a good cut or one with and opposite taper than I have been getting.
A bit more experimenting is needed I think!

Thank you for your help grbmds.

Online Birdhunter

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2017, 05:09 AM »
I've read through the posts again and don't see where you have tried the SlopStop gadget. I may have missed it.
Birdhunter

Offline grbmds

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2017, 04:14 PM »
Hi grbmds, I have not had this problem in the 5 years I've had the TS55 and Tracks. It's its a problem that has come about with that same saw in combination with my brand new MFT. The work piece is such, that the saw is plunged without the blade contacting the material, up to full speed, then fed into the work. I think you could well be right that I may be introducing some lateral movement, as when I hold the track with my other hand and do the cut, the problem goes away. I might try the operation again, only this time, standing to the right of the track/bench and using my left hand to guide the saw down the track. My theory being that this would put an opposite lateral force on the saw and perhaps produce either a good cut or one with and opposite taper than I have been getting.
A bit more experimenting is needed I think!

Thank you for your help grbmds.
@Kuffs Since the reach over the MFT isn't all that long, I try to stand and push as much from behind the saw as possible. I don't know whether there is any slight variation over the whole cut as I've never measured it.  I do think it's important to keep consistent pressure on the saw in exactly the same direction; from behind is preferred for me. Also, what @Birdhunter said . . . The Slop Stop takes away any even slight side to side movement for the guide rail as it meets the tab on the front of the table. Maybe it shouldn't be necessary to buy this (as some have posted in the past), but it works and definitely improved my cuts and accuracy.
Randy

Offline Kuffs

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Re: TS55 + MFT/3 Not cutting Straight.
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2017, 05:16 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.

Offline grbmds

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

Online Birdhunter

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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

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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

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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

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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.   

Online Birdhunter

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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

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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?   

Online Birdhunter

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Online Birdhunter

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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

Online Bohdan

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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.