The Festool guide rail accessory kit offers the most of the essential accessories for the guide rails system package in a convenient Systainer 1. Since I was buying for my first TS55 saw with guide rail, this kit was a convenient way to get starter without trying to figure out what is needed (specially being newbie).
Inside the guide rail accessory kit contain the following:
- one angle unit
- one limit stop
- one 1400 mm splinterguard
- one hose and cord deflector
- two guide rails connector
- two screw clamps.
The Screw clamps have a capacity of 120 mm. The clamps secure the guide rails to the material being cut. The clamps are attached in the bottom T-slot of the guide rail. Adjustability can be anywhere as the length of the rail. Also the clamps can be use to secure the material in the MTF table both on the cutting surface or along in all four sides of the table. Larger screw clamps capacity of 300 mm can be purchase separately.
Guide rail connectors
These two metal bars connect two guide rails to increase its cutting capacity for long materials being work on. The connector slides into the guide rails’ t-slots and secured with two sets screws at each end. It is recommended to use two connectors for accuracy. I have used these connectors to make rip cuts from a full sheet of plywood. So far, I have no issues of accuracy.
Splinter guard replacement
As a key component of the guide rail for a crisp cut on the workpiece, the splinter guard eventually wears out and needs to be replaced. The current splinter guard is clear opaque plastic material while older generation is black plastic. I find the clear opaque splinter guard useful in many occasion since you can see through your pencil marks.
Hose and cord deflector
The hose and cord deflector is one of accessories that someone may think is not needed. However this belief will quickly change when the user attempt to make the first cut with the plunge saw or router. Without it, the vacuum hose and the tool cord may ended up getting caught at the end of the rail forcing the user to stop and move them away (not a smart way of working). Another benefit of the deflector is to minimize any potential cord and hose damage.
As the name implies, it provides front or rear stop position on the guide rail. These stops are quite handy when there is a need to make repetitive cuts on the workpiece with either the TS Saw or router. These are installed at the rails t-slots. Also, when a plunge cut is performed, the limit stop prevents the saw from potential kickback.
The angle unit can be viewed as a large angle finder from 0 to 180 degrees. It can transfer angles from a work area to the workpiece. The angle unit connects to the top t-slot of the guider rails by two plastic protrusions. The angle unit just sits on the rails. There are mixed opinions about the usefulness of the angle unit as well as the ability of setting accurately the angle. I have found useful in several occasion when needed to make several angle cuts on a piece of plywood.
Also I have used it to make diagonal layout markings while setting floor tiles at home. So far I have not issues with angle accuracy. I have made some minor modification to attach more securely the angle unit. I used a spare knob (from the clamping elements) and an 8mm nut. I loosely installed the knob and nut in one of the middle holes of the angle unit. Then when installing it to the guide rail I simply slide it into the t-slot and tight the knob. Now the angle unit is attached to the rail more securely.
Some users may not see why Festool offers guide rail accessory kit since all the components can be purchase separately and at the end will cost the same. I believe that the reason was transportability to the job site. As for myself I needed to buy most of the accessories anyway and having everything in one package was a no brainer. Also I took the advantage of 10% discount that Festool offered last spring.