Author Topic: A Different Parallel Guide  (Read 6762 times)

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Offline Corwin

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A Different Parallel Guide
« on: December 02, 2015, 11:23 PM »
Here's another SketchUp animation of one of my old jigs:

On Edit: Turn Closed Caption ON



This is what I made years ago before Festool had offered their Parallel Guides. I used Incra's Incremental Track because I had a bunch on hand, but you could make a similar jig with T-track or Scaled Track instead, if you wish.

Unlike all the different Parallel Guides I've seen since, this one differs in that this jig holds the Guide Rail rather than having the Guide Rail support the Parallel Guides. Considering the somewhat flexible nature of the aluminum used in the Guide Rails, the longer Rails could use some support during handling. Also, joined Rails don't always make one feel too good about the longevity of their alignment, and this jig kind of acts as a backbone for the Rails keeping them in line. Thus, I feel this is a superior approach to what Festool and others have done. But, you may not share that opinion -- well, unless you actually try this method.  [tongue]

You may notice that the jig's base extends a little beyond the end of the Tracks at the far end (away from the Guide Rail.)  This is to set the unit down in an upright position without having the ends of the Tracks touching the ground and causing issues. I use 1-2-3 blocks to set the Rails 2" back from the edge of the jig where the Guide Rail(s) index off of. I setup my Incra Tracks on my MFT setup the same, and this enables me to use my left-hand Track on both jigs so that that Track does not need recalibration on either jig. I also have longer 52" Tracks for this jig for those wider situations. These also are indexed the same as the shorter Tracks, so they are quick and easy to swap as needed without recalibration. Plus, I have little wood extensions for those longer Tracks that attach to their backside and essentially extend the jig such that it can also stand on its ends without resting directly on the Incra Tracks. And speaking of swapping-out Incremental Tracks, I also have Tracks with the metric racks and scales which are also calibrated like the others, so I can readily swap between longer scales or metric scales as simple as you please. This system work very, very well. And it is exceptionally fast and accurate in use. Oh, and one advantage to using Incremental Track as opposed to other possibilities is in cases where you have to go back and cut yet another piece for a project after you are already further along... These type scales are precise in their repeatability and can be reset to a former setting with that same precision.

While this jig works great for setting up to cut wide panels, it can also be used in conjunction with my fenced sled (the same fenced sled I show in my MFT setup to cut pieces narrower than the Guide Rail -- cutting small pieces or ripping narrow pieces. Earlier this year I used these jigs to cut about 50 narrow strips from a stack of 1x6. Soon afterwards I came up with this idea for a variation of my jig -- if interested, check out my Narrow Strip Jig. You'll notice a lot of similarities.  [blink]



While these jigs are certainly more shop based than some options, I do show how I first started out using the Incra Tracks at the beginning of the Parallel Jig animation, which is a more portable option. You could go so far as to mount the Tracks onto a sub-base a few inches wider, and longer than the Tracks -- wider, so that you can use that additional space to clamp in place rather than clamping directly to the Tracks, and longer to allow for some clearance between the Incra Tracks and the saw's motor housing during deeper plunges.

In any event, I do hope that you have enjoyed my SketchUp animations and will at least consider some of the aspects that I've addressed here. These jigs are certainly not for everyone, but I'm sure some will find them a better choice for their needs that some of the methods that are currently so popular.

And a special Thanks to those that have created the models I've used from SketchUp's 3D Warehouse:

   jonathan S.           - Guide Rail models
   judedouch             - Incra Tracks
   TheHandyman101  - sawhorses
   Wpeeples              - Utility Handle
   zoomzoom632       - Speed Square

Sorry if I missed giving credit to any other models used from the warehouse.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 04:26 AM by Corwin »

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Offline TSO Products

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Re: A Different Parallel Guide
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2015, 09:52 AM »
Corwin,
thanks for the additional explanations to go with the two animations. Every time I re-view them and re-read I discover something else you thought of. I have bookmarked this post.
I am waiting for my SENECA and INCRA Track parallel guide parts to arrive so I can make my very first Track Saw cuts. Up to now my experience has all been "thinking it through" because I have not had the tools yet.

Your fence shown in a separate posting is high on my list to build because I have a corner to store it in. The lack of available wall- and other storage space prevents me from building my own version of your parallel guide. I'll see how well I get along with the SENECA approach. Glad I didn't buy the FESTOOL Parallel Guides.

Seeing your Guide Rail use with the Router gets me thinking, too.  I'll wait until I get into plywood case building and see what I'm missing considering I have table saws and router tables available in the shop.

thanks for all the time you invested in sharing your considerable experience and ingenuity!
Hans
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline Corwin

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Re: A Different Parallel Guide
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 11:10 AM »
Thanks. Glad that someone likes these animations.

You should enjoy those Seneca Guides. They are a good design and certainly will make parallel setups much easier than without them.

Re: A Different Parallel Guide
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 02:21 PM »
Corwin - I'm also someone who likes your animations.  While a picture is worth a thousand words your animations and the effort you put into them makes it truly easy to see what you've developed.  I may not steal your ideas 100% but there are lots of little things in them that I plan on co-opting.

Thx Kevin

Offline Corwin

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Re: A Different Parallel Guide
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 05:40 PM »
Thanks, Kevin. I don't really expect people to copy my setups 100%. After all, these setups were still a 'work-in-progress' back when I created them, and I had hoped to share them at a later date after some updating that I had planned. But, life changed and too much time has passed. Yet, this year I did a couple of projects that got me interested in getting my shop put back into working order. One day I thought about presenting some of my old setups using SketchUp as a way for me to learn that drawing program. It has been a fun way for me to learn.

Offline TSO Products

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Re: A Different Parallel Guide
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 10:44 AM »
Thanks. Glad that someone likes these animations.

You should enjoy those Seneca Guides. They are a good design and certainly will make parallel setups much easier than without them.
I received my SENECA Parallel Guides. Extremely well made and precise. INCRA Track Plus arrived - ready to put it to work. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions!
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline mbs

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Re: A Different Parallel Guide
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 07:59 AM »
Excellent way to communicate a concept!  I don't think I could have grasped the concept if it was only explained with text.  I'm lucky to have enough space to support a table saw but if I didn't I'd be setting up the system you've shown.

Thanks to everyone who participated in creating the video.


Cheers.