Author Topic: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?  (Read 3469 times)

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Offline Ned

  • Posts: 1147
Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« on: February 22, 2007, 09:45 AM »
I keep imagining dedicated jigs for various purposes that involve short sections of guide rail.

I also wince at the thought of cutting a guide rail.

Anyone used a short section in a jig?  or shortened a rail a bit to be more convenient for a specific task?

Ned

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Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3656
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 03:57 PM »
No, but i have thought about it.  I have a whole bunch of the old style rails and will slowly replace them with the new style.  the old ones will not be thrown away, so i have had some ideas for small jigs.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Jim Force

  • Festool Dealer
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  • Posts: 11
    • Force Machinery Co
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2007, 05:46 PM »
We had some guide rails get damaged and we cut the usable ones down that we could. You should use a blade with a triple chip grind. The real secret to cutting aluminum is to use a stick wax lubricant like Lennox Lube Tube or Johnson's Stik Wax. Aluminum chips will stick to the saw teeth, making the blade seem very dull if you don't use the wax.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3475
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2007, 11:07 PM »
We had some guide rails get damaged and we cut the usable ones down that we could. You should use a blade with a triple chip grind. The real secret to cutting aluminum is to use a stick wax lubricant like Lennox Lube Tube or Johnson's Stik Wax. Aluminum chips will stick to the saw teeth, making the blade seem very dull if you don't use the wax.


If you don't have a wax lube that will stick to the teeth at least use WD-40 or similar. Or, use a Festool circular saw (with triple chip blade) and turn the speed down some.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3656
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2007, 08:15 AM »
Isn't one of Festools blades designed for cutting alluminum.  Also, without looking @ catalogue right now, I think they have jigsaw blades designed for cutting alluminum.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Brian 57

  • Posts: 57
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2007, 08:22 AM »
I have thought for some time that, given my technique, I would prefer to use a slightly longer rail than the 1400 when crosscutting sheet goods. I would prefer a length of around 1600 -1700mm so that I could seat my TS55 properly and so:-
a) begin the cut with the saw plunged to the correct depth, rather than plunging immediately into the material.
b) have enough of the rail protruding beyond the material that the saw is comfortably supported on exit.

Offline Ned

  • Posts: 1147
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2007, 12:45 PM »
...I would prefer to use a slightly longer rail than the 1400 when crosscutting sheet goods. I would prefer a length of around 1600 -1700mm...

Brian,

I feel the same way.  It's a lot easier with adequate take off and landing zones on the rail.  I got a 1900 rail and I'm very comfortable crosscutting 48" now.  I suppose there are circumstances where it would be worthwhile to shorten it a bit, but it's easy enough to handle as is for me.

The 1900 plus the 1400 you already have give you a generous combined length for "ripping" plywood panels.

The 1900 is now my most used single rail (not counting the one on the MFT).

Ned

Offline John Stevens

  • Posts: 807
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 10:37 PM »
Hi, Ned.  I know this doesn't answer the question you asked, but I have made imitations of the Festool guide rails by fashioning the base of the rail from nominal 1/4" cabinet-grade ply and the raised part from UHMW.  A couple og strips of UHMW tape on the top of the base would probably have reduced the friction between the tool and the base.  I used double-sided tape to attach thin, sticky carpet padding to the underside of the base to keep it from sliding in use.  You could probably omit that if you were planning to permanently attach your shop-made rail to a jig.

It took a little fiddling to cut the UHMW strip to the proper width so that I didn't have to adjust the set-screws on the saw or router, but other than that, it the rails took little time or effort to make and worked quite well.  Sometimes I even regret getting rid of them because they were a bit stiffer than the aluminum rails and sometimes that stiffness is an advantage.

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Ned

  • Posts: 1147
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2007, 11:09 PM »
Hi, Ned.  I know this doesn't answer the question you asked...

Interesting, John.  I think this is exactly on topic.  I just didn't think to ask.

Ned

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3656
Re: Ever (intentionally) cut a guide rail?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 09:45 AM »
Hi, Ned.  I know this doesn't answer the question you asked, but I have made imitations of the Festool guide rails by fashioning the base of the rail from nominal 1/4" cabinet-grade ply and the raised part from UHMW.  A couple og strips of UHMW tape on the top of the base would probably have reduced the friction between the tool and the base.  I used double-sided tape to attach thin, sticky carpet padding to the underside of the base to keep it from sliding in use.  You could probably omit that if you were planning to permanently attach your shop-made rail to a jig.

It took a little fiddling to cut the UHMW strip to the proper width so that I didn't have to adjust the set-screws on the saw or router, but other than that, it the rails took little time or effort to make and worked quite well.  Sometimes I even regret getting rid of them because they were a bit stiffer than the aluminum rails and sometimes that stiffness is an advantage.

Regards,

John

a great idea, John.
i hope you don't mind that i have copied that one into my permanent files.  I'd hate to get in trouble with patent laws :(
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker