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I see Woodpecker has a new tool for making repeatable rip cuts with a track saw. https://www.woodpeck.com/parallel-g...67346459&_bta_c=66ahzljwu5jyz717vsowtj7k7w36o As usual it isn't cheap. Between the cost of the track saw (Festool shown at around $750 plus) and the $400 accessory you are up in the price range of a pretty good contractor style table saw. This might still appeal to those who could use this setup on a jobsite or just don't have space for a TS. To me it's the concept that is interesting and there is no reason why a wooden version couldn't be built. You'd just need two strips of wood or ply and cut a series of slots in them. Then wooden stop blocks with a threaded stud would go in the appropriate slots and get locked down with a knob on the threaded stud.

The other tool I would make would be a setting gauge which would be two strips of wood joined to each other so that they slide on each other and lock at the desired length, like this bar gauge you can make with the Lee Valley clamp heads: Veritas® Bar Gauge Heads - Lee Valley Tools I might even use this with the Woodpecker jigs if I had them. They would ensure that both ends were set equally so that you would stay parallel to the edge of the sheet. It's often the thinking behind the problem solving that I find interesting, in this case more so that Woodpeck's expensive solution. I do give them credit for a job well done.
 

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I have a similar arrangement made by Rip Dogs (unfortunately no longer available) which works very well, although it becomes a little cumbersome trying to move the rail with the arms attached in a smallish work space.

The following video shows a very ingenious home-made version, made with scraps and offcuts, that does the same basic job - although you wold have to make one for each width, but could have a collection for the various "standard" widths that you rip - e.g. upper and lower cabinet sides, shelves, etc. (although the shelves could be made using a shim between the fence and edge of the material). Building the jig starts at around 4:00


There is also a video by Dan Pattison of a variable version as mentioned by @Cherryville Chuck, including the adjustable setting fixture.
 

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Nice tip Chuck and the video Tom posted really shows how east this could be for scrap wood guides. Wish I had seen this before making all the shop base cabinets but the table saw served me well after breaking down the sheet stock to more manageable sizes.
 

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What you need is two pieces of 4 ft long, straight, 1x1.5 inch stock, a couple of short pieces of thin stock to use as stop blocks and a couple of small clamps to hold the stop blocks.

Measure and mark the width you want to cut and set up the track to cut that line. Lay the first stick so it touches the track and clamp the stop block on, under the stick so it is snug against the edge of the sheet. Flip the clamped stick over and lay the second stick on top so it touches the stop block. Clamp the second stop block on so it touches the open end of the first stick (see illustration below-stop blocks are red). Now you have two exact length sticks you can use to make both ends of the track perfectly parallel to the cutoff edge.

This will give you repeatable cuts on full sheets of flat stock. If you're breaking down the sheet into several different size pieces, you repeat this measure, set stop block(s), line up and cut process for each new piece. The advantage of this is the no matter what size you cut, the cut-line will be parallel to the cutoff edge. And you get repeatability if you're making the same cuts on several sheets of ply, for example, making a set of same size cabinets.

I was thinking you could adhere a tape rule to the sticks, but I don't think that would be very helpful compared to careful setting of stop blocks. The important measurement is the width of the cutoff marked at least top and bottom to set the track. Setting the first stop block assures that the second will be identical, thus the cut will be perfectly parallel to the edge.

If you want, you can send me $400 and I'll send you some sticks, clamps and stop blocks. Heck, I'll even paint them red and silver for ya.
 

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Just a little more thought on this. You could mark your Desert Rat bars for different width cuts, something like a story stick. But you'd want to make a stop block that indexed to the stick and sheet so it would line up as square as possible, something like the illustration. Line the sticks up so they are 90 to the sheet's edge, clamp the stop block on flush to the edge, then add the small positioning bar, pre drilled or glued. Let it dry then add two screws to make it strong. From then on the once you apply the block, the bars will be 90 to the sheet goods' edge.

You could put on a sticky measuring tape that accounts for the width of the track, but I think fine pencil marks would work out better in the end. You want the cut off piece to be an exact width, which may vary, but you'll always want the cutoff edges to be parallel.

OK, for your $400 bucks I'll add the little alignment tab and supply a longer stop block for better precision alignment. Take that Woodpeckers!
 

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Only if it is the peter pecker pickled pepper model able to withstand a powerful paralyzing pacadermic punch.
Oh, well, I'll provide a free replacement in case that happens, or it catches on fire, or wood worms attack the parts. I'll provide a lifetime, free replacement guarantee (for my lifetime of course).

Read the small print for details >:)
 

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Great product...in the traditional Woodpecker style...

I use an edge guide, stair gauges and a carpenter square to line up the cut. Very repeatable. Similar to Chuck's reference to the Veritas pieces.
 
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It's a shame the industry feels the need to keep pushing "silver bullets" at us...

Have we truly given the impression that we don't know how to use a tape/rule and pencil...? And that we don't know how to cut a straight line...?

Shame on us...

I better go get some coffee...! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, that's a little more reasonable. Aluminum extrusions aren't cheap so that's a bit more in line with what I think are the actual costs of making a product like that.

What bothers me a bit about a lot of this type stuff is that it assumes to some extent that we can't come up with a solution of our own. The path to becoming an expert woodworker includes learning how to make jigs to solve problems like this. As exemplified by another thread I'll have posted in about a half hour.
 
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While my red and silver, Peter Pepper track saw positioning jig was posted in a spirit of fun, it is a serious jig and very easy to make. One thing I see is that the stop blocks really needs to be fairly long (12 inches or so, so they will hold the jig 90 to the outside edge. Setting the little positioning block on the stop block precisely will assure that whenever the stop block is clamped on, the jig will be square and accurate.

I always enjoy working out jigs like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree Tom. Making jigs like that is usually more fun than the woodworking I'm doing. Maybe it would be different if I was trying to make a living at it. Then I could maybe justify spending the money for someone else to make it, particularly since it would be a tax write off.
 
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Since no one has yet bought one of my Peter Pepper Track Saw positioning jig at $400, I guess I'll have to lower the price a bit. So if you want to order one, simply write Desert Rat on the back of your check and take 10 percent off. And yes, I agree with Charles, that sometimes jigs are more fun to make than the project I'm using it on.

By the way, Charles and several others are now posting on workersofwood, which is a dot com, and other old friends are there and have sent a friendly hello to all their Router Forum old friends.
 
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