Author Topic: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail  (Read 2755 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline rjboch

  • Posts: 2
2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« on: June 21, 2019, 01:10 AM »
Hey FOG! Just getting back into woodworking (non-professional hobby) and have started to outfit my garage with a bunch of Festool. For longer cuts, I was wondering if I should buy one long 106 inch guide rail or just combine two (2) 55 inch rails for making long rips. Any thoughts? pros and cons? I figure I could save a few hundred bucks, but if it sacrifices accuracy, I would buy the 106 inch rail. Thanks!!

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 Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 932
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2019, 03:28 AM »
 [welcome] to the FOG

To me it depend on what you are looking for. Do you already have guide rails and which one?

The two options (prices are CAD)
1) Two FS 1400/2 ($384) + two Festool connectore ($62) + Betterley straightline connector ($139) = $585
1.1) FS 1400/2 ($192) + two Festool connectore ($62) + Betterley straightline connector ($139) = $393
2) FS 2700/2 ($478) = $478

If you have already a FS 1400/2, it's slightly cheaper to buy a second one. If you don't have a FS 1400/2 LR32 it might be a good idea also to get one. However if money is not a concern and you have room to store the FS 2700/2 I would go that route.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 03:34 AM by Mario Turcot »
Mario

Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 157
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2019, 04:27 AM »
Prices on longer guide rails get absurd, and they're a pain to store especially if they become taller than your shop ceiling. I think it comes down to - how often are you going to make super long cuts? And is absolute precision necessary? I say that because any guide rail connector is going to introduce some error, even with the Betterley aligner. You have to flip the guide rails to get both connectors secured, and that's where they can easily get bent slightly out of shape.

I went the multiple guide rail route and don't have any regrets.

Also, I would skip the Festool guide rail connectors as they're overpriced and feature a slotted screw which strips easily. Recommend getting the new TSO connector with the keystone alignment feature and beefier plunger-style fasteners, which also use hex drive. Essentially the same price as the Festool connector.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 704
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2019, 05:02 AM »
If only occasionally needing to cut long lengths, go for the two rail option. If you’re regularly cutting longer lengths, go for the longer rail.
The long rails are as said, a hassle for storing, and handling, and can get damaged if care isn’t taken.

If I being passed a lengthy piece of sheet material cut with a plunge saw, and I had a choice that it were cut with a single long rail, or two joined, I’d choose the long single every tine.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3869
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2019, 06:55 AM »
I guess it depends on how often you plan on working with material that requires longer cuts.  There are all sorts of situations -- say, breaking down multiple sheets of ply -- where you might be in a position of having to switch back and forth between longer and shorter rails such that joining rails would be a time sink.  For me having the longer rail is totally worth it.  And it takes only an hr or two to build a dedicated storage case to keep it safe and straight while not in use.  But there are plenty of people on the FOG who do just fine joining rails for the occasional longer cuts they have to do.

If you do go the longer rail route, I would strongly suggest going for the 3000 rather than the 2700.  The 2700 is just long enough for a lengthwise rip of plywood with the TS55.  With the 3000, you can do diagonal length cuts on a sheet of ply, and even more importantly from my perspective, edge joint lumber up to 9ft in length, an operation where the absolutely straight cut delivered by a single rail is critical. 


Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 554
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2019, 07:02 AM »
I started a thread that didn't get attention highlighting the new Metabo guide rails. They're festool compatible, but utilize a joining bar akin to the maffel/bosch system.

I've never owned the long rails, always joined two 1400s. But man i want one! Joining rails ain't fun or accurate in my experience. (By that i mean its easy to loose a mm of accuracy over a full board if you're not keeping close tabs on things)

It's only a testament to how many tools & accessories are on my wish/shopping list that I've never bought one.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 387
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2019, 08:16 AM »
I started out planing and joining rails. Then it got to be a pain. So I picked up the 118” one. Sold a 55”. You need to think about storage on all your rails.
Either way if you decide to join. I would probably have either three 55” or two 55” and one 75”. The 55” ones with holes for shelve pins.
This way you have your two rails connected to attack sheet goods lengthwise and your third rail to handle cross cuts. Why the 75? So you can cross cut sheet goods on an angle.
I still joins tracks. I currently boxing beams and I have my two 118” connected. 
Rick.
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline rjboch

  • Posts: 2
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 08:29 AM »
Thanks for everyones time and advice! Its great to hear from so many experienced users. I will go with a longer rail!

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 298
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2019, 09:02 AM »
I'm a hobbyist too - I like to get a nice straight line rip on ply and rough sawn lumber I mill. I have always used a single long rail for this. I didn't care for attaching/straightening/detaching multiple rails.

My 118" rail is Makita branded. I have a Makita cordless and corded TS75 saws as well as a Makita 55" and Festool 75" rails. I adjusted the saws to have the same cut path but found the Makita rail rib that guides the saw is thinner than the Festool. I carefully added some Teflon tape that I had to the side of the rib and now no longer need to mess with the guide rail cam setting when I change rails.

When I purchased my Makita cordless the 118" rail was $200 shipped (think it's around $250 now).

(FYI - No matter what rail you purchase make sure to check it for straightness when you get it.)

Mike

Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 932
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2019, 09:20 AM »
Thanks for everyones time and advice! Its great to hear from so many experienced users. I will go with a longer rail!

@rjboch I started a thread not long ago about how people on the FOG store their guide rails. Have a look, some great ideas.

Storing Guide Rails ideas
Mario

Offline rmhinden

  • Posts: 189
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2019, 09:49 AM »
Another alternative to joining guide rails is the one that TSO makes:

TSO GRC-12 Self-Aligning Guide Rail Connectors

I haven't used them, but it's a lot cheaper than the Festool connectors and a Betterley straightline connector.

Bob

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 554
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2019, 10:43 AM »
Yes, as Mike says, check any rail for straightness when it arrives! I've had a wonky 55" straight from the walk in store (not shipped to me) that was annoying as i didn't check it at the time!
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Dogberryjr

  • Posts: 132
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2019, 01:47 PM »
I bit the bullet and purchased an FS3000 recently, and even considering the steep price, I'm really happy I did. I'm fortunate to have a convenient place to store it, because it's huge.

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 298
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2019, 02:07 PM »
Yes, as Mike says, check any rail for straightness when it arrives! I've had a wonky 55" straight from the walk in store (not shipped to me) that was annoying as i didn't check it at the time!

Yeah, I mentioned it because I bought a TSO rail square for my Makita rail. When I went to use it the first time I found over 48" my cut was off by almost 3/16". After investigating found out it was the rail (my other 55" & 118" Makita and 75" Festool rails were spot on).

Mike

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5763
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2019, 07:58 PM »
I was using 2 1400 guide rails for the longest time. Never had any issues, didnt buy any bitterly rail alignment jig. they did a good job.

How ever me being me, Id make some cuts disconnect the guide rails put them away realized I mess something up needed to make another long cut reconnect every thing back together etc etc.

So i went about the the 3000 guide rail and been happy. So if you dont mind connecting disconnecting connecting etc then no reason to buy the 3000 guide rail.

Offline RJNeal

  • Posts: 387
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2019, 10:29 PM »
Jobsworth
That why I suggested if he hated to us the shorter rails then own three of them. Two stay connected always.
Rick
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 862
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2019, 04:39 AM »
look at the TSO self aligning connectors. They work very well and are easy. Work perfectly.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 550
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2019, 11:43 AM »
I bought the 3m rail,  I like it very much.  I have shorter rails (one from the MFT and a holey).  If your breaking down sheet goods, it's good to have both.  I will have both set up, one for rips and one for cross cuts and switch back and forth.  If you have to keep breaking one down during this, that will get old basically instantly. I wouldn't want to go doing cross cuts with the 3m rail.

I really don't get the storage concerns very much. It's not like many people have many rooms with no walls longer than 10 feet.  I just place it on my lumber racks with 2x4s and PVC pipes.   Other spots have have 2 screws in the wall and just hook it in the groove.

My real issue is if you need to take it someplace, being half the length would be nice, and long term storage (if you pack your equipment away for periods of time).  That's where it would be nice to have several identical rails around 1m long that connect very well, so when working one can assembly a short and long rail,  do the job, then break it all back down for storage.

But as long as your not planning an road tripping with your rail, or have a requirement to be able to put it all away in storage, I don't see an issue with the long rail.  Folks just need to remember rooms are generally longer and wider than they are tall, so stop trying to store them vertically.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4117
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2019, 12:56 PM »
 One single rail is always better but you can make do with joined rails. You have to get the alignment right and recheck every time you move it roughly (unless the new TSO connector eliminates that problem).

Did some work for a friend in a doorman building on the weekend when the freight elevator was closed. They didn’t allow tools in the passenger elevator so I cut a 1500 1400 rail in half and put Them and a few Systainers in a large rolling suitcase.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 10:43 AM by Michael Kellough »

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 785
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2019, 10:10 AM »
I have a bunch of Festool rails.  Having longer ones beats having shorter ones.  However, storing them is a pain.

I tried Mafell's system.  62" or 1600 mm is the longest you can get in the US.  I purchased two of these, along with the two other shorter rails and some connectors.  I can cut out to 16' by connecting them all.  They connect and align in about 5 seconds, and they all fit within a bag that's the size of a standard rifle case. 

More expensive, but certainly far easier to use, connect, store, and transport.

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 862
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2019, 12:51 AM »
The TSO works perfectly..... I have a large number of rails and I have tried it and measured them. Just to make sure so I would not get bit by assuming they worked. They worked beautifully and painlessly. They kill the problem of the problem associated with connecting rails. I have tried the others. festool and Makita. The TSO connectors are simple and effective.


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4117
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2019, 02:06 PM »
The TSO works perfectly..... I have a large number of rails and I have tried it and measured them. Just to make sure so I would not get bit by assuming they worked. They worked beautifully and painlessly. They kill the problem of the problem associated with connecting rails. I have tried the others. festool and Makita. The TSO connectors are simple and effective.

That’s a pretty unequivocal positive testimonial! Thanks.

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 862
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2019, 12:57 AM »
It is always a nice thing when you can put a pet peeve to bed. The connection of the rails has been a sore spot for me for quite some time. The only down side is that I have festool connectors, makita connectors that have now have no place to go..... I guess I will put them in my metal stock bin for future projects....

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6288
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2019, 10:47 AM »
The only down side is that I have festool connectors, makita connectors that have now have no place to go..... I guess I will put them in my metal stock bin for future projects....

That's exactly what I did...I pulled the few remaining set screws  [eek]  from the Festool rail connectors and placed the connectors in the steel stock bin for possible re-purposing. One less annoyance in life. [smile]

Offline joemodern

  • Posts: 13
Re: 2 Guide Rails vs. 1 Longer Guiderail
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2019, 06:42 PM »
I bought the TSO connectors after reading this and am quite happy I did- they work great and the screws, not slotted like Festool's, make it even better. Any one need a Festool connector?