Author Topic: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.  (Read 11649 times)

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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1118
New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« on: February 17, 2017, 03:53 PM »
Connection strength and self-alignment of guide rails is a well known feature of Mafell/Bosch rail system. Something that Festool needs to improve upon. Overall thickness of the rails is similar ~ 5 mm.
There is no reason Festool can't do the same while preserving backward compatibility. Here is how:

« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 03:59 PM by Svar »

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Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 557
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 04:01 PM »
Makes sense, but Mafell/Bosch may have a patent for that type of guide rail connection. 
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline LooseSox

  • Posts: 89
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 04:25 PM »
So being new to the FOG and festool in general and having recently bought a ts55 and now looking to buy another guide rail, are you telling me that with what is pretty much the most expensive rails on the market, I'm going to have to jiggle them around to get them to line up when joining them together?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1118
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 04:31 PM »
So being new to the FOG and festool in general and having recently bought a ts55 and now looking to buy another guide rail, are you telling me that with what is pretty much the most expensive rails on the market, I'm going to have to jiggle them around to get them to line up when joining them together?
Yes. It's not too bad, though. Search this forum, there was plenty of topics on this.
Among others:
http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/homemade-guide-rail-connectors-(not-your-typical-ones)/msg222492/#msg222492

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1374
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 04:53 PM »
@LooseSox -

depends on what you consider jiggling. 

I've been using festool rails near on twenty years now and I haven't once needed an alignment guide, nor do I spend lots of time futzing about with them. My bread and butter and why I went to a track saw in the first place is fitting panels to very expensive imported kitchens.  Mostly veneer and lacquer. 

Now, my sentiment/experience is in the minority round here , very accurate cuts can be achieved with joined rails and with out xtras and my process takes less that two minutes at the start of the operation including removing the rails from their case.

I'm not arguing that a 3000mm / 8' rail doesn't have its place; but when portability and expense are factored in you may find a little jiggling isn't so bad like Svar says.

@Svar - nice drawing.  They might as well incorporate the superior splinter strip too, while they're at it.

Offline LooseSox

  • Posts: 89
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 05:33 PM »
@antss

Not that I've done it yet as I'm still yet to buy a second rail, but with how good everything else festool is that I've used and the cost of the rails, I'd expect to drop in the joiners and have two rails joined together in perfect alignment without doing anything else. I could never understand  (looking at the prices) why any sane person would pay near double the cost for a single large rail vs two smaller ones joined together but if its a pain to do then that would explain it I guess.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1374
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 06:33 PM »
Sox, welcome to the club.

Hate to be a crumudgeon , but you'd better get used to some shortcomings with this line.  They are like everyone else in that regard though.  Overall it's a solid lineup, but there are idiosyncrasies , annoyances , and sometimes stinkers with the offerings. Comes with the territory.

When the rails first appeared they connected with only one bar and that led to twisting of the assembly - shoulda been around for those days.  Then an improvement was made to have two spines and connectors which eliminated that issue.  There was still no other system available at the time to compare with .    But, when they changed designs they didn't bother alter their hose/cord guide and still have t to this day.  It's not as wide as the rail anymore and cords can get caught in the slot that's exposed.

FT keeps their head in the sand about it and the fanboys will come round and tell you all kinds of solutions to alieviate the issue that shouldn't exist in the first place.   

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. It's a solid saw and track but still has some issues.

Online DB10

  • Posts: 902
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2017, 06:35 PM »
@antss

Not that I've done it yet as I'm still yet to buy a second rail, but with how good everything else festool is that I've used and the cost of the rails, I'd expect to drop in the joiners and have two rails joined together in perfect alignment without doing anything else. I could never understand  (looking at the prices) why any sane person would pay near double the cost for a single large rail vs two smaller ones joined together but if its a pain to do then that would explain it I guess.
@LooseSox  I got by with two 1400 rails connected together for quite a while, connecting two rails together isn't too bad, moving the connected rails on your own can be a pain though, if its speed your looking for you can't beat one long rail.
 I was lucky as I happened to come across a second hand 2.7 rail on Gum Tree for a fraction of the new price. Guide rails are the only second hand thing I've bought from Festool, most jokers want almost new prices for beat up Festool crap on Gum Tree but with the guide rails I was lucky, Keep an eye on Gum tree and you may get lucky to.

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3987
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 06:46 PM »
...
Guide rails are the only second hand thing I've bought from Festool, most jokers want almost new prices for beat up Festool crap on Gum Tree but with the guide rails I was lucky, Keep an eye on Gum tree and you may get lucky to.


"Clowns to the left me and jokers to the right"

Offline McNally Family

  • Posts: 468
  • Festool Atomic Phaser Particle Blaster (APPB Set)
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 07:06 PM »
So being new to the FOG and festool in general and having recently bought a ts55 and now looking to buy another guide rail, are you telling me that with what is pretty much the most expensive rails on the market, I'm going to have to jiggle them around to get them to line up when joining them together?

@LooseSox

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tools-accessories/long-guide-rails-worth-it/msg497366/#msg497366
GREEN: In order of purchase = | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) | Next  Purchase: A new sander by Christmas |

RED: // Mafell P1cc  //  MT55cc  // Next purchase: TBD

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3987
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 07:19 PM »
There are 2-rail systems (Festool/Makita and the newer Bosch/Mafell), and the Bosch ones are easier to attach... but the green saw doesn't work in it!
Search Bosch/Mafell and you can work through it all.

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1913
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 08:10 PM »
@Svar great thinking. If they do it I hope they send you a fat check.

@LooseSox IMO the connectors are the Achilles Heel of the rail system. To make matters worse you can't assume the rail ends are square. If they were then we could butt them together and be good but that would make too much sense so you end up with a tiny gap between rails that makes the whole thing more prone to slip. But don't over tighten those screws so you don't dimple the rails...seriously lacking.
+1

Offline Jaybolishes

  • Posts: 358
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2017, 08:25 PM »
Funny you mentioned the dimpled rails.  I had two 1400 rails at the site last week and again forgot to grab my 3000 rail. I had to join two rails and I tried carefully not to dimple the dang rails. I tightened them not even as tight as I thought would be satisfactory, flipped them over and major dimples. I never want to  join rails again but it will surely need to be done at some point..  I think I may try to grind the ends so when tight they make a straight rail. I swear festool makes them unsquare on purposes. I mean what gives here, it wouldn't be asking too much to make the ends square.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 08:33 PM by Jaybolishes »

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1374
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 08:26 PM »
@Paul G  - my rails definitely have square ends but,  I have always left a very slight gap between them when connecting two together. 

It was suggested to do this for better alignment back in the Festo days, and I think that tidbit may have even found it's way into a supplemental manual or official training video too.  I know I've seen or read it somewhere in the last 5 years.

There's always a compromise, the single long rail's is price and greater possibility that it's not entirely straight along the entire 3000mm.  Or that it get bent.  So it boils down to what trade offs you're willing to live with for your specific needs.  I'm guessing FT would prefer you simply purchase both the long rail and several short ones + connectors so that all your bases are covered.

1st pic is of a 1080 rail that is 12-14 years old and has lot of battle wounds.

2nd pic is a 1400 holey rail that is 2 months old   - both square as referenced with a Starrett no.4

@Svar - the only incompatibility issue that would arise with adopting your mafell like connector would be that it would interfere with the LR32 system in the middle of a holey rail connected setup.  It could be worked around fairly easily but it'd be one of those idiosyncrasies I mentioned earlier.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 08:58 PM by antss »

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 359
New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 09:20 PM »
I have had to join rails,and have found it to be easy.
My only criticism /complaint is the slotted screws on the connector , i changed the out to t-15 ( I think that's the size). Oh and I don't care if it dimples the rail, it's a tool after all, not a museum piece. Ymmv.
Btw that Mafell connector is pretty nice tho.
Charlie


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 958
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 09:46 PM »
After making this simple jig, joining & aligning guide rails is very easy.


Offline SRSemenza

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Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 10:23 PM »


FT keeps their head in the sand about it and the fanboys will come round and tell you all kinds of solutions to alieviate the issue that shouldn't exist in the first place.   


  Regardless of a problem existing with the rails the owners of them come to this forum for information , advice, and help.

   Are you saying it is a bad thing for members of the forum to take the time , make the effort, and help people improve and maximize the use of their tools? To me the use of the term "fanboys" suggests that meaning.

Seth


Offline SRSemenza

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Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 10:25 PM »
@Svar Nice idea!


@JD2720  Cool jig!


Seth

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2017, 10:32 PM »
I have had to join rails,and have found it to be easy.
My only criticism /complaint is the slotted screws on the connector , i changed the out to t-15 ( I think that's the size). Oh and I don't care if it dimples the rail, it's a tool after all, not a museum piece. Ymmv.
Btw that Mafell connector is pretty nice tho.
Charlie


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro


I agree it isn't like joining the rails is an insurmountable problem. There are some issues as is well documented on this forum.

@LooseSox   When you factor the cost of the rails you need to factor the cost of the Mafell saw that works on the Mafell rails.

    Plus don't fret too much about things that can get somewhat blown out of proportion and spend some time enjoying the use of your new tools.  [smile]

Seth


Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 646
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2017, 11:35 PM »
I'm a big fan of the Betterley guide rail connector.  It's fast, easy, accurate, and in my humble opinion well worth the money.

I can't understand why anyone who is willing to make the significant investment in tools that Festool requires would balk at spending $100 on such a superbly machined and effective accessory.

For the record, I do not own a guide rail over 75 inches.  I connect guide rails and I'm proud of it.   [big grin]
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 11:37 PM by deepcreek »
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 492
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2017, 11:52 PM »
Purchasing a tool or building a jig to fix a design problem that should not exist makes it clear the original design is crap. Even if you get them perfectly aligned you still have the dimpling issue. Poor design all the way around. Instead of making radios, coolers, socket sets, rulers, sand paper (for hand sanding) and various other gadgets spend some time of a new rail connection system.

I have both Festool and Mafell saws, rails and connectors. The Mafell is a better saw with a better rail system and connector and it works on Festool rails if you have those. The upsides are the connector which stores on the rail, the anti-splinter guard design, and the cord deflectors that are included with each rail. The only downside to the Mafell rails is they are not as heavy duty as the Festool rails. That is not to say they are fragile, but just not as rigid as the Festool rails. I'd prefer a little more mass on the Mafell rails, but that is just me. My first tracksaw was a TS55 and I later purchased at TS75 for the extra cutting depth. After trying out an MT55 I sold the TS55 and kept the TS75 though I use the MT55 and it's rails almost exclusively. I'll also add that I purchased the 120" rail to avoid using connectors and have enough other sizes to never have to use the Festool connectors. I have parted with some of the Festool rails, but kept a few rails including the 120" for use with the TS75. If Mafell enters the market with a TS75 equivalent I'll sell of the TS75 of the rails.

Like others have mentioned the 120" rail is for the most part an in shop rail only. It is too big to carry around a job site where it could get banged up or bent.



Offline DrD

  • Posts: 396
  • I might not be fast BUT I sure am slow
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 12:17 AM »
@JimH2

Dimpling can easily be dealt with by substituting nylon tipped set screws (can be obtained from McMaster Carr) for the factory screws.  They also hold MUCH better than the factory screws.  Nylon-tipped screws and the Betterley SCL23 and you're all set.

DrD
Dr.D

Offline Travis Campbell

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    • http://www.ghostar.org/
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 01:02 AM »
@JimH2

Dimpling can easily be dealt with by substituting nylon tipped set screws (can be obtained from McMaster Carr) for the factory screws.  They also hold MUCH better than the factory screws.  Nylon-tipped screws and the Betterley SCL23 and you're all set.

DrD

Specifically, these screws:

https://www.mcmaster.com/#93285A412

Bought some; haven't had a problem in 3 years (and they seem to clamp down on the rail much better compared to the originals that come with the connectors).

Online ScotF

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Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2017, 01:15 AM »
I have never had issues joining rails. Tedious if going back and forth, but transporting a longe rail can be a pain too. I like the long 3000 rail and a 1900 rail for most cuts.

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 150
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2017, 08:41 AM »
This is surprising, I have the Makita tracksaw with two 55" (1400mm) rails and it joins with good alignment.  A buddy has the same setup and when I redid my deck two years ago I borrowed his two 55" rails and ganged four together to finish trim an 18' (5486mm) run of deckboards...worked like a charm and nice straight edge where it met the trim board.

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 958
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2017, 03:08 PM »
I have had my Festool guide rails for about 10 years. I never had a problem joining rails in the shop where I have a workbench.

I did have issues joining the rails out on a job site where I only had saw horses & maybe a sheet of plywood to work from. I made the joining jig for that reason. 

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 3987
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2017, 07:36 PM »
I have never had issues joining rails. Tedious if going back and forth, ...
...

^This^

We take the PITA~factor x # to get the total PITA.
My workflow has the # high because I alternate between rip and cross cut.
If one plans ahead there is less joining.

(Or if one knows that they cannot think ahead, then they get something like a long rail)

Offline Job and Knock

  • Posts: 93
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2017, 03:28 PM »
@Svar Nice idea!

I have a 10ft (3000mm) rail, plus two 1400s and the 3000 is far better to use, but a pain to carry around, so a solution  which is beer tahn carrying another jig would be very welcome. I am mainly site based, though, where getting a flat cutting deck can sometimes be a problem
Simplicity is the embodiment of purity and unity
- Shaker Maxims

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 663
Re: New Festool Guide Rail. This is what Festool should do.
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2017, 04:36 PM »
I don't have Festool but for my DeWalt track saw rails to ensure I put them together the same way each time I put a couple match marks on the underside of both rails. I made sure those two ends mated up squarely and then marked them. You could do the same by placing both rails butted together on your miter saw and make a single cut right down the mating line so you would cut them both at once and if there was any deviation from 90° than the angles would be complementary and cancel each other out. Match mark and you're good to go. You'll only lose a couple mm of each rail and never miss it. Any carbide miter saw blade should be able to cut the aluminum rails.

I have the same problem with dimpling if over-tightened. The DeWalt rails only have one T-track so any time you move a pair of rails that are joined you have to be careful and double check you alignment when setting up for a cut. It's not a good setup. Would be much better to have that one, wide bar for joining the tracks as the OP suggests, but two tracks with clamping bars would allow the rails to remain aligned. This is something it appears you can do with Festool rails since you have one track on the top and one on the underside. Not an option for the DeWalt rails.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 04:41 PM by Bob D. »
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?