Author Topic: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?  (Read 2884 times)

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Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« on: August 30, 2018, 10:47 AM »
Hello!

I picked up my TS55 the other day and I love it. That said it came with a 55” rail which isn’t long enough to cut an 8’ sheet. I do actually need to make some 88” cuts today as well.

My local woodcraft has both the 106” and the 118” in stock. I know the 106” should work but for $30 more I’m considering going for the slightly longer 118”. My only real concern is having extra rail sticking out further than necessary when making a cut.

I do have some festool clamps to attach the rails to what I’m cutting and I planned on getting a 32” rail while I was at it for shorter cuts.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!
Mike

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline jobsworth

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 11:33 AM »
get the 118"

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 55
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 11:34 AM »
Hi,

From the TS55 supplemental manual:

Quote
Tips for Choosing Guide Rail Lengths
The length of the guide rail must be at least 10 inches (250mm) longer than the cut to be performed. This is so that the saw can be supported (and guided) at both the beginning and end of the cut. The minimum position is when the guide rail cam (page 7) is at the edge of the rail, but still on the rail.
► The guide rail must extend at least 6 to 7 inches (depend- ing on blade depth) ahead of the cut to allow the saw- blade to be plunged without entering the workpiece.
► The guide rail must extend at least 3 inches past the cut to allow the center of the blade to exit the workpiece.

So the 106" guide rail should work for 8' plywood with a TS55.   

One thing to consider is where to store a long guide rail.   I have the 106" and had to store it horizontally on the wall.  It's too long to store vertically.

Bob
Bob

Offline Laminator

  • Posts: 319
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 11:44 AM »
Definitely get the 118".   

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1000
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 11:53 AM »
Definitely get the 118".

I agree with getting the 118" rail. The 106" rail will work for 8' sheets if you are only making square 8' long cuts.
The 106" rail will not be long enough for angle cuts on an 8' sheet.   

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 12:47 PM »
Thanks - I'll get the 118".  My ceilings are 10 feet tall so I can store it against the wall no issue.  I plan on keeping the box it comes in for storage.
Mike

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 01:26 PM »
After the fact but yes ...........  118"

Seth

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1077
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 01:28 PM »
Or if you dont want to store a super long rail and dont think youll be breaking down full 8' sheets that often, you can of course just get a second 55" and connector kit and connect the two rails together. That route is a lot cheaper though not as convenient.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 01:35 PM »
Or if you dont want to store a super long rail and dont think youll be breaking down full 8' sheets that often, you can of course just get a second 55" and connector kit and connect the two rails together. That route is a lot cheaper though not as convenient.

If you go the two part way get a 75" rail rather than a second 55". More length option available that way.


Seth

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1077
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2018, 01:45 PM »
Or if you dont want to store a super long rail and dont think youll be breaking down full 8' sheets that often, you can of course just get a second 55" and connector kit and connect the two rails together. That route is a lot cheaper though not as convenient.

If you go the two part way get a 75" rail rather than a second 55". More length option available that way.


Seth
Yea talk about unwieldy! A 55" connected to a 75" is WAY to awkward to handle IMO. A second 55" and a 75" is a nice combo and still costs less than the 118".
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 455
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2018, 01:56 PM »
Over here (the Netherlands) the TS55 is often sold in a set with two 55-inch rails and connectors. I presume that is not the case in the US? (Marketing ploy to be discovered bij NA-resellers!)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

TS55 · TS55R · OF1010 · DF500 Mk2 · MFT/3 + VL + CMS TS55 + CMS PS300 + LA-CS 70/CMS · CTL Midi · RTS400 EQ · 2 x CXS Li 1,5 · T15+3 Li 4,2 · TI15 Impact Li 4,2 · Centrotec Sets 2008 + 2015 · PSB300 · LR32-SYS · RO150 · Kapex KS120 · 2 x MFK700 · RO90 · OFK700 · BS75 · OFK500 · OF2200 · CMS-GE … | Mirka 1230L P&C | Hammer A3 31 Silent Power · Hammer N4400 

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2018, 02:38 PM »
Just a single 55”.

I have a 32, 55, and 118 now. I’m trying to avoid using connectors.
Mike

Offline lunchman

  • Posts: 123
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2018, 03:07 PM »
I've got the 55 and the 106 rails, stored horizontally in brackets made out of scraps on my garage wall (splinter guard up as others do). I think you said you already have Festool clamps, but as a point of note the DeWalt track saw clamps work just fine with the Festool tracks. Despite the rubber strips on the track bottoms, I almost always use clamps to ensure there's no track movement.

Another item to consider - one of the guides from TSO Products. I bought the GRS-16 when it first shipped, it's proved invaluable for ensuring square cuts (and it might be easier to use with the longer track you purchased).

Enjoy the new toys.

-Dom

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 03:33 PM »
Yeah I had my track stored splinter guard down in my hot garage and the ends of the splinter guard started to come off the track - so I learned that lesson.  Thankfully they stuck back on pretty easily.

I'll find a way to store them horizontally - right now I'll be storing them vertically just due to space.  I'm still working on building my organization/storage.

I'll look into TSO Guides.

I do already have the festool clamps :).
Mike

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1000
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2018, 03:40 PM »
Thanks - I'll get the 118".  My ceilings are 10 feet tall so I can store it against the wall no issue.  I plan on keeping the box it comes in for storage.

Just drill a hole in the end of the rail & hang it from a hook on the wall.
It is a pain to get those long rails in & out of the box. 

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2018, 03:56 PM »
Thanks - I'll get the 118".  My ceilings are 10 feet tall so I can store it against the wall no issue.  I plan on keeping the box it comes in for storage.

Just drill a hole in the end of the rail & hang it from a hook on the wall.
It is a pain to get those long rails in & out of the box.
I'm a little worried about the splinter strip separating from the track if I just hang it as my garage can get up to 110 or so degrees in the summer [no AC yet, working on it].

I prefer to store it in such a way that the strip is either up [horizontally] or, if vertical, it's up against something so it won't separate.
Mike

Offline Corwin

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2018, 04:17 PM »
I'm a little worried about the splinter strip separating from the track if I just hang it as my garage can get up to 110 or so degrees in the summer [no AC yet, working on it].

I prefer to store it in such a way that the strip is either up [horizontally] or, if vertical, it's up against something so it won't separate.

Why would the splinter strip be affected by the way your store your rail? Certainly, you wouldn't want to store it horizontally with the strip down such that the weight of the rail was being supported by the splinter strip. But, other than that, I just don't see how it would affect the splinter strip.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2018, 04:19 PM »
I'm a little worried about the splinter strip separating from the track if I just hang it as my garage can get up to 110 or so degrees in the summer [no AC yet, working on it].

I prefer to store it in such a way that the strip is either up [horizontally] or, if vertical, it's up against something so it won't separate.

Why would the splinter strip be affected by the way your store your rail? Certainly, you wouldn't want to store it horizontally with the strip down such that the weight of the rail was being supported by the splinter strip. But, other than that, I just don't see how it would affect the splinter strip.

The 55" Rail was laying on my table saw with the ends not supported by anything - as it would be when cutting sheet good.  The adhesive holding the strip to the rail got soft due to the heat and started to separate at the very ends.
Mike

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 151
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2018, 09:15 PM »

One thing to consider is where to store a long guide rail.   I have the 106" and had to store it horizontally on the wall.  It's too long to store vertically.

Bob

I'm picturing at least one garage out there with a 5 gallon buck recessed into the ceiling to provide vertical storage.

Maybe Festool can market a really nice fully finished box 14.5" square and about 2 feet deep that can be fitting into a ceiling for vertical storage.  Be one of the first buyers and get a 5 year warranty.

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2018, 11:25 PM »
Both (I do have both)

Tom

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2018, 11:34 PM »
Both (I do have both)

Tom
Any tips on preparing the first cut to set the zero clearance on the splinter strip?
Mike

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2018, 11:41 PM »
Both (I do have both)

Tom
Any tips on preparing the first cut to set the zero clearance on the splinter strip?

Short rail connected on one end, cut on foam with the rail diagonal corner to corner, set saw to 10 mm, start cut on short rail, cut 3/4 or so onto long rail, move short rail to opposite end, slide assembly onto foam, finish cut.

Tom

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1948
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2018, 07:01 AM »
The 106 is the only rail I don't own besides that 197" monster.  I prep my strips the same way Tom does.  My original way to cut 96" was to connect my 75 & 55.  I finally got fed up with that as I liked using my 75 for crosscuts.  I mostly use my 75 at my 62" x 106" cutting table.  All my rails hang from the holes in the rail excepting my 118 which is hung horizontally.  I kept the foam retainers from the shipping package, mounted them on the wall and store the rail with the foam clamping the rail in place and the splinter strip up.  Most of my work is in the shop prepping up to 5' x 10' plastic so my situation is different from most on this forum.

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2018, 11:22 AM »
Both (I do have both)

Tom
Any tips on preparing the first cut to set the zero clearance on the splinter strip?

Short rail connected on one end, cut on foam with the rail diagonal corner to corner, set saw to 10 mm, start cut on short rail, cut 3/4 or so onto long rail, move short rail to opposite end, slide assembly onto foam, finish cut.

Tom
I don't have any of the connectors - I ordered one and it'll be delivered tomorrow.  I meant to pick one up when I was at the shop last and spaced it.

That said I do still need to prep the short rails somehow.  Is it OK to plunge the saw into the middle of a new rail rather than starting on the very end?  reason I ask is that I can connect two rails, plunge in the middle of one, and run across to the other - then switch them and run off the other end.
Mike

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2018, 11:43 AM »
The best way is as described above.

You don’t really need the ends trimmed right away. Just go ahead and make a cut that doesn’t put to much deflection stress on the saw blade. The foam suggested is great. Set the depth for a shallow cut (as above) and make the cut at slow to moderate speed for best results. When you get the connectors you can trim the ends of the strips but don’t let not having them stop you from using the tracksaw.

After all, the rubber strip is a fungible item. It will get overcut before long but you should have time to see/learn how compensate in order to postpone moving the strip out farther. From time to time, after making a cut, before moving the guide rail, inspect how well the splinter guard aligns with the cut edge of the work. If perfectly congruent move on looking for places where there is a divot in the strip and the top surface of the work is revealed. Mark that place as bad and so on.

Tips for when the strip is worn- 
The anodized surface takes pencil marks well.
Mark the rail where the strip is still true and avoid using the bad places when aligning the rail to your marks on the work.
If there is an unavoidable bad spot where your mark is you can put a Post It note on the underside of the rubber strip in the bad place and then make a quick cut in scrap to make that place usable.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 605
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2018, 02:30 PM »
118" is the only solution. Joining two Festool rails is a rig at best given there are multiple 3rd party jigs for doing so. You will be a lot a happier with the larger rail and it's easy setup for a long cut.

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2018, 02:53 PM »
The best way is as described above.

You don’t really need the ends trimmed right away. Just go ahead and make a cut that doesn’t put to much deflection stress on the saw blade. The foam suggested is great. Set the depth for a shallow cut (as above) and make the cut at slow to moderate speed for best results. When you get the connectors you can trim the ends of the strips but don’t let not having them stop you from using the tracksaw.
It didn't really occur to me that once the splinter guard was trimmed that it would become damaged/inaccurate over time.

I'm new to track saws.
Mike

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1948
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2018, 03:51 PM »
I cut a lot of different materials, wood, plastics, phenolics, aluminum, so my strips take a beating.  I do not use the sacrificial strip for accurate cuts. All my saws are adjusted to cut exactly 3mm from the aluminum edge of the rail and I use a Woodpeckers Paolini pocket rule to set my marks.

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2018, 04:28 PM »
I cut a lot of different materials, wood, plastics, phenolics, aluminum, so my strips take a beating.  I do not use the sacrificial strip for accurate cuts. All my saws are adjusted to cut exactly 3mm from the aluminum edge of the rail and I use a Woodpeckers Paolini pocket rule to set my marks.
I looked at that rule. Can you by chance explain to me how you do this accurately?

I’ll be cutting wood only but I would like to know your process for cutting accurately from 3mm out from the track itself.

Edit: Looks like I can’t get a paolini rule anyhow. None for sale.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2018, 04:36 PM by IndyMike »
Mike

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1948
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2018, 05:38 PM »
I set my rule to 3mm and stand it on edge so the stop is on the line to be cut and the rule itself is touching the rail edge.  You should clamp you rail to a scrap piece and make a partial depth cut to check the exact offset from the cut to the rule. 

Offline Papajoe

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2018, 04:08 PM »
Hello!

I picked up my TS55 the other day and I love it. That said it came with a 55” rail which isn’t long enough to cut an 8’ sheet. I do actually need to make some 88” cuts today as well.

My local woodcraft has both the 106” and the 118” in stock. I know the 106” should work but for $30 more I’m considering going for the slightly longer 118”. My only real concern is having extra rail sticking out further than necessary when making a cut.

I do have some festool clamps to attach the rails to what I’m cutting and I planned on getting a 32” rail while I was at it for shorter cuts.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!

based on the requirements of squares and straight edge clamps required to connect 2 rails, i wouldn't consider this process. if your a hobbyist only, spending time alining rails may be ok, but to run production, grab a long rail and go. dont worry after a few cuts to recheck and aline the connection. COUNTER PRODUCTIVE!

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2018, 05:14 PM »
I am a hobbyist, at this point, but I'm big on efficiency because what time I have to do this is very limited.

Beyond dust collection - the sheer fact that I can set up cuts quickly and get them done was one of the main reasons I went for the TS 55.

When you only have an hour here, or an hour there, taking a few minutes to set up each cut - really kills your available time.
Mike

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1948
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2018, 08:43 PM »
Indymike, time being the case , buy the 3000mm, 118".  I joined rails for a couple years until I decided that the 5 minutes or so joining rails was not time efficent.  I own all the rails excepting the 197" and use the one most appropriate as time is a real issue when using professionally and when time is an issue.   

Offline Papajoe

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2018, 09:47 AM »
rail connectors with a normal "festool connection and straight edge can be off .040" on 8' cut.

not for me!

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 1077
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2018, 11:56 AM »
I use the Betterley too.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Online GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 566
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2018, 12:18 PM »
I just bought the Betterley.  I'm dumb because I missed the note that said the guide rail connectors are sold separately.  I need to pick up a pair of the connectors now.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2018, 03:44 PM »
rail connectors with a normal "festool connection and straight edge can be off .040" on 8' cut.

not for me!
I did go ahead for the 118" track - although storing it is fun.  I leave it upside down on my assembly table for now.

I'll have to look at what you linked :).
Mike

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2018, 03:51 PM »
That betterely looks awesome - too bad I didn't see that earlier :).

As it stands I have a 32", 55", and 118" so I should be good to go - but it would be nice in an odd situation to connect even the longer tracks together to cut something really long.  For example I have some 12' boards I'd like to cut in half but no track long enough.

That said I'd really like to be able to do short cuts / cross cuts with my TS 55 - I'm thinking that's really only doable with an MFT style setup?
Mike

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1948
Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2018, 05:44 PM »
Buy the Makta rail joiners.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Guide rails for plywood - 106” or 118”?
« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2018, 05:52 PM »
That betterely looks awesome - too bad I didn't see that earlier :).

As it stands I have a 32", 55", and 118" so I should be good to go - but it would be nice in an odd situation to connect even the longer tracks together to cut something really long.  For example I have some 12' boards I'd like to cut in half but no track long enough.

That said I'd really like to be able to do short cuts / cross cuts with my TS 55 - I'm thinking that's really only doable with an MFT style setup?

Add a 75" and you really have a complete range  [big grin]

I have the Betterley and it works very well. I use it for rails I take to sites. But for shop use ?  No, thanks. Assuming no storage problems one piece, ready to use is the way to go.

Seth