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Author Topic: crosscutting with festool guide rail  (Read 19781 times)

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Offline russ_1380

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crosscutting with festool guide rail
« on: August 10, 2009, 10:21 AM »
Hi guys

I've just made a quick shelving rack for my garage with my domino and ts saw, rail.

They are great tools but I've come across a slight problem (me not the tool).  Perhaps you guys could offer some advice/tips:

When cutting a square panel, I scribe the shape and use my rail.  I can get the two edges near enough parallel (or as near as you can factoring the human error; ie positioning the rail).  That works great.  However when I want to cut the adjacent? edge (the one at 90 degrees, a crosscut if you like) I struggle to maintain an accurate cut.

The reason i struggle is I have the long saw board (1400) and say I want to cross cut a section that is 12inch wide, i find it hard to keep everything lined up correctly.  I scribe the line using a square to ensure true 90 degree mark up, but my human error always makes the cut not as accurate as i d like.  Its because the rail is too long for a comfortable cut.

I suppose the MFT table would be the answer for making true, accurate 90 degree cosscuts, but this is way out of budget for the time being.

Are there any shorter rails I could use?  say <15 inches long?  I don't want to butcher a good rail.  I could alway buy a second hand one and chop that down but it seems sacralige to bodge a festool, especially considering the price of them.

Or is there a strong 90 degree jig/clamp festool make?

I bet someone on here has a good tip!

Cheers

R

 

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Online Tom Bellemare

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 10:31 AM »
There's an 800 mm guide rail. There's also an Angle Unit for Guide rails.

Though the Parallel Guides are meant to measure off the ends of the work piece, you can use only one of them and it makes a very accurate and useful square when abutted to the side of the work piece. It makes your guide rail sort of like a big framing square.


Tom
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Offline Charimon

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 10:35 AM »
Hey R

I haven't found a good solution yet.  but I have often wanted a short rail my self. Just long enough to use on 2xs and trim.
The idea being you dont have to dig out yous smcs at the job site just to make a cut or two.
If you are up for it... I would be happy to pick up an fs 800 and slice it in 1/2  we can split the cost of the rail $63.00 and shipping it to you.  Total cost should be less than $40
IMO There is nothing wrong with modifying a tool For the better of your work.   If we do this, i will mount a permanent 90 deg lip to the bottom of mine.

PM me if you want to do this
Thanks Craig
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 10:42 AM by score0matic »
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline Charimon

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 10:45 AM »
Russ I just realized you were in England,  Shipping may be just a tiny bit more ::) ::).  If any one else wants to cut one up let me know.

Craig
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline russ_1380

  • Posts: 50
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 10:47 AM »
cheers guys

I bought the parallel guide system but sent it straight back, i couldn't get on with it at all. I think its best suited to the MFT, if Ihad the table then I coul perhaps of got on with it.

Scorematic, thats a very kind offer, but I'm in the UK so I guess shipping would make it unfeasible.  

How would you mount a 90 degree bracket?  That sounds a top idea to me!  I'm just not sure how to fix it to the rail, any ideas?

cheers

Russ

Online Tom Bellemare

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 11:24 AM »
The Festool Angle Unit is what they sanction for registering their guide rails at an angle (90 degrees included) to the work piece.

They don't suggest using the Parallel Guides. Mine are quite useful as I described above but I'm told they aren't all so they don't sanction them for that use.


Tom
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Offline Aegwyn11

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 11:39 AM »
I got the guide rail accessory kit:

http://www.festoolusa.com/products/guide-rails/kits-and-other-accessories/guide-rail-accessory-kit-492396.html

Includes the tool Tom referred to (works great!), along with a few other nifty things all in a Sys1.
Nick & Tanya

Offline Steve-CO

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2009, 11:53 AM »
This attachment from Dewalt works well with the Festool tracks.

http://www.cpopowertools.com/products/dws5027.html

Offline Charimon

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 11:53 AM »
OFF TOPIC
By the way I reconciled my name on several different forums to charimon. having a different id here and there didn't matter much while i was a lurker but now that i am starting to post more i need to have a single identity ;)  

ON TOPIC
I think the best way to do it is:
1.  for your 90 deg stop use alum 1.1/2" wide 1/2" thick by 10" long
2   rout or mill a 1 17/33 wide slot (triming just the bottom protrusions, rubber and al,) at 90 deg  on the bottom of your "Shorty" rail about 5 " up from the starting side
2.1 drill and countersink 2 screw holes in the rail with matching holes (taped for  #8 by 32) in the stop.
3 mount the cross bar
4 check for and adjust for square by the cut and flip method
5 when adjusted secure with with industrial mounting CA glue

Thanks Craig
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 11:56 AM by Charimon »
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline russ_1380

  • Posts: 50
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 11:59 AM »
Thanks everyone

The angle guide looks useful.  I forgot Festool made that.  I saw it a few months back and wondered if it would lock up tight enough to ensure a nice true 90 degree.  I think someone used a bit of sandpaper inbetween the two pieces and it seemed to work.

I may try it.

I am leaning towards the mft now!  What have i started looking at tools i can't really afford lol!   ;D

Anyway, the trouble I have is the mft is around ?400-500 over here in the UK.  That money is really for my future  table saw (budget of around ?800-900).  I know the pros and cons of each, but i definitely want a table saw in the near future for cabinet making, where dead on accuracy is a must.

The other appealing bit of the mft though, as well as crosscutting, I could use it for routing dado rails (for shelves, drawers etc).

For mft users: can you rip as well as crosscut?  I.e. move the saw guide 90 degrees whilst keeping the fence in the same position?  
                      


I need to think......

Online Tom Bellemare

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 12:03 PM »
Quote
For mft users: can you rip as well as crosscut?  I.e. move the saw guide 90 degrees whilst keeping the fence in the same position?

Yes, you can or you can leave the guide in the same position and angle plus move the fence.


Tom
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Offline russ_1380

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 12:05 PM »
cheers Steve,

Does that one fix rigidly to Festool tracks or does it flop around a bit?

I think I'd prefer to have a fixed 90 degree stop, as tbh I never really cut anything else at the mo.  (I'm a beginner lol).  At least then it is minimising the risk of slop or movement.

I'm not very good at machining accurately so I might ask a friend to see if he could fix me an ally bracket at a true 90 degree angle.  (He is an engineering college teacher, so has access to a full engineer's shop).

Its all good advice though people, than you




Offline MarkF

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 12:50 PM »
Try lightly tapping the corner of a razor blade into the line at each end to act as stops for the cutting strip to gently butt against.  Clamp the guide, remove the razor blades and make your cut.  Thanks John Lucas!
http://www.woodshopdemos.com/fes-sq-2.htm

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 01:13 PM »
Mark, thanks for the mention.  And to Steve, spend some minutes (hours) in the Festool section of my website. Here is the link: http://www.woodshopdemos.com/men-fes.htm   There are many stories on parallel and perdendiculor cutting.
   Now, this is what we use all the time for crosscuts in my shop:


and here is the story:  http://www.woodshopdemos.com/Fes-Parallel-3.htm
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Steve-CO

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2009, 04:24 PM »
cheers Steve,

Does that one fix rigidly to Festool tracks or does it flop around a bit?

I think I'd prefer to have a fixed 90 degree stop, as tbh I never really cut anything else at the mo.  (I'm a beginner lol).  At least then it is minimising the risk of slop or movement.

I'm not very good at machining accurately so I might ask a friend to see if he could fix me an ally bracket at a true 90 degree angle.  (He is an engineering college teacher, so has access to a full engineer's shop).

Its all good advice though people, than you








No slop at all, real tight fit, one knob snugs it up so it won't move.   Mine was a perfect 90 degrees when tested with a Woodpecker precision square.




Offline ForumMFG

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 06:57 PM »
This seems to be a popular thread.

I've asked before on tips on how to cut narrow stock such as 3" wide.  It would be nice if you guys could chime in on the best way to do this.  I've received some good tips but not many and I'm sure there are plenty of ways to do it.  I think cutting narrow stock with the TS and rail system is not fun at all.

Offline mhoy

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2009, 12:32 AM »
This seems to be a popular thread.

I've asked before on tips on how to cut narrow stock such as 3" wide.  It would be nice if you guys could chime in on the best way to do this.  I've received some good tips but not many and I'm sure there are plenty of ways to do it.  I think cutting narrow stock with the TS and rail system is not fun at all.

As long as your strip is shorter than your rails it should be an easy cut.  The story board method I've seen commented on seems ideal for a lot of cuts.

It was a gift having my rail system yesterday. I was doing some of the trim pieces in my remodeled kitchen. Sure enough, I have to cut a piece 3/4" on one end and 1" on the other and 30" long.  Put a shim on one side of the rail, put the rail on the line with the good side under the rail, clamped one end to be sure and away I went. Came out perfect. Mind you the wall curved at the end so I sanded inside the house with my sander with 80 grit along with my vacuum and very little dust.  A short time later a perfect fit.  This would have been painful with my table saw and ugly with my jig saw.

Another piece was 1 1/4" on one end and 1 1/2" on the other. Once again a simple cut with a perfect edge, no clean up required.  ;D

Mark
TS 55 EQ, RO 150, CT 22, CDD 12, DF 500Q, OF 1400, MFT/3, RS400E
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Offline Tinker

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2009, 07:33 AM »
If you are just starting in, I would advise to stay away from that Angle Unit.  There are several threads within this forum that will show just how frustrating that item can be.  John Lucas used sand paper with some success.  i believe he also used a seperate screw.  I used extra washers with limited success.  It seems that whatever method has been used, the angle will eventually slip.  It is fine for one setup. but for repeat cuts, forget it.  It can be very frustrating.

So far, the best method I have seen (not invested in as of yet) would be the parallel guides for a portable situation.

I use the MFT 1080 with fence and guide rail and make sure it is locked into square tight enough not to move.  Periodically, I check for square.  So far, it has not moved since a year or so when I had whacked the fence with a heavy 1x12 piece of white oak.  I now have more trouble keeping bottom plate on my ATF 55 square to blade (vertically) than keeping fence square to guide plate..  Every time i reset for a bevel cut, It takes several trial cuts to line it up perfectly.  Not a problem.  I had as much trouble when I had my old table saw.
Tinker
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Offline fshanno

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2009, 01:27 PM »
Blow your budget and get an MFT.  Honestly you'll never regret it, it's an absolutely super piece of equipment, as valuable as a table saw.  Especially if you don't already have a nice workbench.  Plus if you're familiar with the AdapTableTool products it's also potentially a job site table saw and a router table and a band saw and who knows what all.  It's portable but it's not just a job site tool.  Mine has been invaluable and it's never left my shop.  Why are you still standing there?  Go get one!

I also have one of the little DeWalt T-Squares and I have to admit that it's a great little accessory for cuts under 16", especially on smooth material.

I also have an angle unit and it's also a nice accessory.  I tend not to use it when square matters because you have to check it about every two cuts.  But it can work and it's very useful for making angle cuts when 1 degree accuracy is acceptable.

A simple little framing triangle can also work.  You can get one and make it absolutely square by filing it a bit.

When possible you can cut more than one board at the same time by laying them side by side.  The boards need to be straight, flat and the same thickness.  In effect you make one wider board.

I needed to cut eight 11-1/2" wide boards for shelves 34-1/2" long from a sheet of plywood.  I laid the 4x8 sheet down on 4 horses.  I ripped four 11 1/2" x 8' strips and split them in the middle to make 8 boards 11 1/2" x roughly 4' long.  I butted 4 boards side by side and clamped a 1400 guide on each end.  I make sure the guides are square by checking the diagonals before I cut.  Didn't worry about the ends of the boards, just let them run wild because I had 6+ inches to play with.  I clamped both the guides down and cut both ends of the four boards with two cuts on the same setup.  Then I did the same thing with the remaining four boards.  I never lifted any of the eight boards up from the 4 horses until all eight were cut.  It was a little tedious to get the guides square and the right distance apart, quite a bit of tapping but really it was kind of fun.  The diagonal is particularly easy to measure in this scenario because the guide and boards form a corner where you can hang you tape.



The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline Charimon

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2009, 05:22 PM »
I think we have wandered slightly off the path here.  (NEVER thot I would be saying that :o :o )

Setting up a Mft, or in my case a Walko, is over kill to make a single or couple 90 deg cuts on shelves,  Just as setting up an SCMS is over kill.  The utility of a short rail with a 90 would be huge to anyone who has to bring the saw to the work,  (Deck builders,  Remodelers,  Tile Setters who have Festool habits ::)  ) 

Outside the shop the angle guide leaves LOTS to be desired, the fs-pa cumbersome, and even the fs 800 is too long to cross cut a short piece without support.

IDEA  an FS 400 with integral square.

Thanks Craig


"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline russ_1380

  • Posts: 50
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2009, 07:19 AM »
hi

I got the dewalt square.

It has slop and doesn't cut square.
 :'(

Is there any way to adjust it Steve?  Maybe I just got an unlucky one.  Mine didn't come with a knob for locking it up either.




Offline russ_1380

  • Posts: 50
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2009, 08:02 AM »
just had another play with it.

I adjusted the rail clamp on the saw and re cut the plastic guide.  The results are a little more accurate now.

It seems ok for crosscuts under 1 foot, which is good enough for me.  Anything longer and the amount that its out is noticeable by a large degree.

For the money it seems an ok fix where accuracy isn't the be all and end all.  And thats all you can expect for that money and a hand tool, so no hard feelings. If on the other hand the Dewalt square had some slight adjustment capacity it would be ideal.

As a mini review I'd say don't bother with one and save your cash.  Worth a try though, cheers Steve. 

R

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2009, 11:24 AM »
just had another play with it.

I adjusted the rail clamp on the saw and re cut the plastic guide.  The results are a little more accurate now.

It seems ok for crosscuts under 1 foot, which is good enough for me.  Anything longer and the amount that its out is noticeable by a large degree.

For the money it seems an ok fix where accuracy isn't the be all and end all.  And thats all you can expect for that money and a hand tool, so no hard feelings. If on the other hand the Dewalt square had some slight adjustment capacity it would be ideal.

As a mini review I'd say don't bother with one and save your cash.  Worth a try though, cheers Steve. 

R


Russ, this thread by our good friend Dave Ronyak might be of use to you, DeWalt T-Square Not Square Out of the Box.
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline russ_1380

  • Posts: 50
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2009, 02:51 PM »
Nice one Brice mate!

That's perfect.  I'll try what he has done. 

I made a quick jig today for crosscutting and it works pretty well.  Its only temporary and set for a given thickness material, but it does the job.  Kind of like a makeshift mft.  I'll still try filing the dewalt as I'd hate to have a useless tool lying around.


R



Offline Charimon

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  • Tool and Tile Junkie
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2009, 02:28 AM »
I picked up a FS800 and love it.  Sometimes what you think you want and what you really want are not the same thing.  Case in point

IDEA  an FS 400 with integral square.

Thanks Craig


That is a Dumb idea ::)

ON TOPIC
I think the best way to do it is:
1.  for your 90 deg stop use alum 1.1/2" wide 1/2" thick by 10" long
2   rout or mill a 1 17/33 wide slot (triming just the bottom protrusions, rubber and al,) at 90 deg  on the bottom of your "Shorty" rail about 5 " up from the starting side
2.1 drill and countersink 2 screw holes in the rail with matching holes (taped for  #8 by 32) in the stop.
3 mount the cross bar
4 check for and adjust for square by the cut and flip method
5 when adjusted secure with with industrial mounting CA glue

Thanks Craig

That is too complicated and limits the rails use ;)

However I've had an epiphany on how to convert an FS - KS to an outstanding crosscut guide.  I will post the making of it on a new thread.
"The existence of the flame thrower proves that at one time, somewhere, somebody said, " You Know, There's a group of people over there that I'd like to set on fire right now but they're too far away."

Offline jander1960

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2010, 04:09 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but this reply belongs here...

For a quick, accurate cross-cut (as someone mentioned above, a couple of 2x4s), how about the BenchDog Pro-Cut Saw Giude.  Seems to be just what the Dr. ordered...

Bench Dog Pro-Cut (available at Rockler and others)

The first time you use the jig, you cut it to fit your saw (like the edge of a guide rail).  I haven't used this, but it looks perfect for the task.

Anybody out there used the Pro-cut with their TS saw?

jim
aspiring DIY'er
TS 55

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 5908
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2010, 04:55 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but this reply belongs here...

For a quick, accurate cross-cut (as someone mentioned above, a couple of 2x4s), how about the BenchDog Pro-Cut Saw Giude.  Seems to be just what the Dr. ordered...

Bench Dog Pro-Cut (available at Rockler and others)

The first time you use the jig, you cut it to fit your saw (like the edge of a guide rail).  I haven't used this, but it looks perfect for the task.

Anybody out there used the Pro-cut with their TS saw?

jim


Or this
http://www.kregtool.com/SquareCut-Prodview.html



The thing is I have had my TS 55 for years and never had a problem making sure cutting boards stayed square. Brilliant tool!

I did cut into my rail though so I decided  I buy a new 1400 so I had 3  1400 rails and I cut one into  600 leaving me with a 800 also  using my Kapex with a Ali blade.  Having 2 smaller rails  makes life soooooooooooooooo much easier definitely for cutting smaller sheets also cut out on units or worktops.  I hardly ever clamp my rails and a longer rails tend to get knocked and move more easily when cutting smaller material.  Also the 600 rail is perfect for repair stair nosing simply cut of the damaged nosing and replace with a new or if a client wants the stair carpet replacing with wooden finish you can easily cut all the nosing of the stairs and clad it with new.


JMB

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Offline rnt80

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Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2010, 06:21 PM »
JMB, I was hoping I'd hear someone state this.  I cut into my 1400 a couple of weeks ago and have meant to cut it down as well.  I'm ordering a new 1400 and as soon as it gets here I'll chop the old one in two.
Russell Tribby
Gilbert AZ
www.agapewooddesign.com

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 5908
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2010, 05:33 AM »
JMB, I was hoping I'd hear someone state this.  I cut into my 1400 a couple of weeks ago and have meant to cut it down as well.  I'm ordering a new 1400 and as soon as it gets here I'll chop the old one in two.

Was Size would you cut it 2?!?!?   I dont know what you have in mind but cutting it at 800-600 are two good sizes I think.   I did think of doing it at 1000 -400 but thought 1000 to big and 400 to small even though I think a 400 could come in use but the 1000 I might as well get the 1400 out.

Cutting it will the Kapex gives you two perfect square adges using the ALi blade.   

I got the Ali blade free from festool when I ordered the Kapex and because it was Christmas German was closed down during that period or something and I had to wait a while for my kapex and when I did get it it had a fault (the See-Saw topic) They offered to replace the base or completely new kapex I wanted new kapex because I always feel that if something is wrong something else might just not be right. Any way to say sorry Festool offered to give me anything I wanted free within reason he said he rather give me something I need free  so I asked for the Ali blade he said no problem.
I have only used the Ali blade once to cut my guide rail lol not used it ever since its all I wanted if for really any way.

Brilliant FESTOOL service.


JMB
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Offline Wonderwino

  • Posts: 727
Re: crosscutting with festool guide rail
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2010, 11:26 PM »


If you have more than one rail, the easy method I use is to line the back edge of one rail up with the edge you want to square to.  Then butt the rail you will cut with square to the end of the first rail.  Drop in a framing square to check it and cut.

Easy & Fast.  Smart?
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