Author Topic: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide  (Read 5996 times)

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Offline mstack

  • Posts: 11
I've read the posts on the Festool Parallel Guide.  Does anyone have an opinion on the Seneca Woodworking guide? Pros and cons of each system.

Thanks for your help.

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2096
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 09:44 PM »
I'm a hobbiest.  I have both of them.  I use both of them.   I like the ease of using the Seneca guides a bit better.  Faster to setup and better balanced, particularly since you can use different lengths of adjustment track on them.  I also like their method of working with narrow pieces with an index point that slides under the rail rather than having to add the outriggers as you do with the Festool Guides.

Finally, they store in a smaller space if that is of any consideration for you.  I don't need portability outside my shop, but the ability to work with varying lengths of incra track make it easy to throw the heads in a systainer and the track lengths in with a bag with your rails.

If you are doing a lot of sheet goods, the Festool rails are really designed for this.  In my experience, if you are ripping solid wood planks, the Seneca guides give you a bit more control, particularly on narrower or shorter pieces where the Seneca guides don't overwhelm the wood.

Both are equally accurate.  And both work well.  But if I had to choose one set, I think I'd go with the Seneca ones.

neil
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 09:46 PM by neilc »

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1883
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 07:23 AM »
You didn't ask about the Woodpecker guides. Just wondering why.
Birdhunter

Offline mstack

  • Posts: 11
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 09:49 AM »
Thanks Neil. Are there any limitations with either system as far as the minimum material thickness it can be set to cut? In other words; do they work with 1/4" sheet goods or do I have to elevate the workpiece? 

Offline mstack

  • Posts: 11
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 09:53 AM »
You didn't ask about the Woodpecker guides. Just wondering why.

I wasn't aware of the Woodpeckers product. It looks like it was a one time tool run. Too bad because it looks like a great option. Anyone have experience with it? Is it available for sale anywhere?

Offline TonyfromPandora

  • Posts: 3
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 10:10 AM »
If you search 'Woodpecker PGS' you'll find some reviews on it...
TS55 TrackSaw
MFT/3
Domino
OF1400 Router
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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2096
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 01:14 PM »
Are there any limitations with either system as far as the minimum material thickness it can be set to cut? In other words; do they work with 1/4" sheet goods or do I have to elevate the workpiece? 

The Festool guides hang down lower, so on thinner pieces you do need to elevate the piece if the guides are not overhanging a table holding up the material you are cutting.  They are designed to drop down on either end of the piece you are cutting.

The Seneca guides ride on top of the piece you are cutting, and can accommodate 1/4" material without the need to elevate the piece you are cutting. 

Hope that helps.

Offline SS Teach

  • Posts: 240
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 01:31 PM »
Glad to see this question in the FOG. Since I got my TS recently I've wondered about this myself. The Woodpeckers guide was a one time tool. It was available in a systainer.
RTS 400, LS 130, Sandpaper Systainer, Profile Systainer. ETS 125, Sandpaper Systainer, Ro 90, Sandpaper Systainer,  Ro 150, Sandpaper Systainer, OF 1400, TS 55 REQ, CT36, CXS Li 1.5 Set, Centrotec Wood-Drill-Set/8pcs, CT Wings, Surfix Set.

Offline Billedis

  • Posts: 574
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 01:55 PM »
I put the 1 1/4 inch aluminum square on the Festool Parallel Guide, and no sagging now.  Ron Paulk shows this in his videos and it is very simple to do.  Bill

Offline mstack

  • Posts: 11
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 07:17 PM »
I guess it doesn't matter how the Woodpeckers guide is reviewed. It was a one time tool and I can't find anyone selling it on the net.

Leaning toward the Seneca guide.

Offline jplemons

  • Posts: 48
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 09:26 PM »
I haven't used either the Seneca or the Festool guides, but I do have the ones from Precision Dogs and can recommend them. They've been a great addition for me. I've used them several times and once calibrated are spot on. I have a set of 24" tracks for longer rips and a set of 18" as well. I use them for both rip and crosscuts. I also have a set of his dogs. Customer service s outstanding and he responds quickly to emails.

Offline tms0425

  • Posts: 99
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 09:30 PM »
I have both the Parallel Guides and RipDogs guides. I find the latter much easier to set up, particularly for narrow stock, lays flat on top of the piece, and I haven't touched the Festool ones since. The Seneca version is similar to the RipDogs so I'd assume works just as well.

Offline Klamp

  • Posts: 17
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 08:39 PM »
I've had both the festool parallel guides and the precision dogs parallel guides. Sold the festool ones. The precisin dogs and seneca ww guides (and woodpeckers if you can find them) are very similar. I found the 3rd party option to be easier to set up, more accurate, and easily repeatable. Plus, they take up less space; just leave them on the rails. The festools required another table/saw horse

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1606
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 04:04 AM »
I have the Seneca guides and find them to be superb. I don't own the Festool parallel guides but I have tried them. I guess the key difference has been mentioned in that the Seneca guides sit on the material, and the Festool guides hang off at either end (unless you modify them in some way).

I use a Woodpecker rule and stop to set them - a trick I picked up here on the FOG. Very accurate results.

Set the rule stop, flip the rule over, butt the stop against the strip of the rail, and then push the Seneca stops to the end of the rule.



[NOTE: Tools from other manufacturers are of course available. As this is the Festool Owners Group, I tend to limit my advice to the tools that Festool sell, and assume that you've come to this site to get advice on Festool tools and because the level of skill and experience of the community here outstrips most you'll find elsewhere. If you *are* interested in tools from other manufacturers, please mention it in your post and also take the time to visit their user forums too.]

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Offline Eden1415

  • Posts: 30
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2016, 12:28 PM »
Bought and use the Seneca set.   Usually I like to make my own jigs.  In this case, their jig was too invitingly precise, and did everything that the Festool one would, without flopping around (lots of posts on how to fix that BTW).  Calibrated the tapes, and then I use a story stick for initial set ups, just to be sure.   Works real good, looks to last a long time. 

Offline webpp

  • Posts: 43
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2017, 04:34 PM »
I have the Seneca guides and find them to be superb. I don't own the Festool parallel guides but I have tried them. I guess the key difference has been mentioned in that the Seneca guides sit on the material, and the Festool guides hang off at either end (unless you modify them in some way).

I use a Woodpecker rule and stop to set them - a trick I picked up here on the FOG. Very accurate results.

Set the rule stop, flip the rule over, butt the stop against the strip of the rail, and then push the Seneca stops to the end of the rule.

Hey Garry, awesome trick!

Thank you for it.


Offline donwon

  • Posts: 136
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2017, 09:57 PM »
Which ruler are you using?  Assume the woodpecker is a standard tool and not a one time tool? [big grin]

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1606
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2017, 04:07 AM »
Yes, standard Woodpecker ruler and stop. They're not OTTs.
[NOTE: Tools from other manufacturers are of course available. As this is the Festool Owners Group, I tend to limit my advice to the tools that Festool sell, and assume that you've come to this site to get advice on Festool tools and because the level of skill and experience of the community here outstrips most you'll find elsewhere. If you *are* interested in tools from other manufacturers, please mention it in your post and also take the time to visit their user forums too.]

UK and Southern Ireland Members  |  Supplemental Manuals  |  Festool Links  |  Festool UK Spare Parts

Offline ShadyMaple

  • Posts: 21
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2017, 07:54 AM »
I have the Seneca guides and find them to be superb. I don't own the Festool parallel guides but I have tried them. I guess the key difference has been mentioned in that the Seneca guides sit on the material, and the Festool guides hang off at either end (unless you modify them in some way).

I use a Woodpecker rule and stop to set them - a trick I picked up here on the FOG. Very accurate results.

Set the rule stop, flip the rule over, butt the stop against the strip of the rail, and then push the Seneca stops to the end of the rule.

This is exactly how I use my Senneca guides.  I keep a pair of 24" incra rails on them - I can cut pretty deep - I think about 30" at max cut.  Personally, I've never needed to cut larger than that. 

Keep in mind - the rule stop will take up about 2 inches of length on your rule.  For instance - if you want to set up cuts that are 11", you won't be able to set it with a 12" rule - you'd need an 18 or 24. 

Offline leer

  • Posts: 255
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2017, 12:55 PM »
I guess it doesn't matter how the Woodpeckers guide is reviewed. It was a one time tool and I can't find anyone selling it on the net.

Leaning toward the Seneca guide.
Woodpeckers does periodically reintroduce One Time Tools. You can also go on their website and request a notification to get an email when a tool might reappear. No promises that it ever will be reintroduced, but if enough people expressed interest, that couldn't hurt. I own the Seneca guides and like them, but I'm a big fan of Woodpeckers products and like the design of theirs.
Lee

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 672
Re: Festool Parallel Guide vs Seneca Woodworking Parallel Guide
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2017, 01:27 PM »
I have the Seneca guides and find them to be superb. I don't own the Festool parallel guides but I have tried them. I guess the key difference has been mentioned in that the Seneca guides sit on the material, and the Festool guides hang off at either end (unless you modify them in some way).

I use a Woodpecker rule and stop to set them - a trick I picked up here on the FOG. Very accurate results.

Set the rule stop, flip the rule over, butt the stop against the strip of the rail, and then push the Seneca stops to the end of the rule.
Excellent idea!
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!