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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks.

I'm new the forum (first post) and new to wood working in general. One of my first projects is to make some shop furniture so I bought a Makita track saw for ripping sheet goods. I also bought a cheap Makita router RP0900k and the guide rail adapter along with some undersized plywood bits for making some dados.

Well... it's too early and didn't get enough sleep or I'm downright slow, but I can't figure out the workflow for using the router with the Makita track. Perhaps its a case of Analysis Paralysis...

I mounted the router to the guide rail and notice I can move the router left and right on the rail and lock it into place. The question is, should I be setting my rail on my marks (just like I do when using the track saw)? If I do that, I assume I have to nudge the router over on the rail and line up the edge of whatever bit I'm using with the edge of the splinter guard? Seems awkward. Perhaps I'm missing something key? Any advice and or photos would be tremendously helpful.

Looking forward to learning a ton reading this forum. Thanks!
 

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I haven't used the Makita set up, but I assume that it should be similar to the Festool. There is a mark on the side of the router base that represents the center of the collet. Put the rail down on the plywood. Put the router on the guide rail. Loosen the guide rails screws on the router base. Move the router in and out until the mark on the router base aligns with where you want the center of the dado to be. Tighten the guide rail screws on the router base. Set bit depth. Fire up the router. You made need multiple passes.
 

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One other option you might consider is to measure from the center of the bit to the edge of the guide rail. Cut a piece of ply exactly to that width. Lay one edge of this piece to the top edge of the dado location, then snug the guide rail up to that spacer piece. Using a bit smaller than the dado, cut one edge of the dado. Turn the workpiece, then reset the spacer to cut the other side. I'd mark the edges with a knife to increase accuracy. But the best way to do this would be and exact fit dado jig, which you can find plans for online, or search the Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't used the Makita set up, but I assume that it should be similar to the Festool. There is a mark on the side of the router base that represents the center of the collet. Put the rail down on the plywood. Put the router on the guide rail. Loosen the guide rails screws on the router base. Move the router in and out until the mark on the router base aligns with where you want the center of the dado to be. Tighten the guide rail screws on the router base. Set bit depth. Fire up the router. You made need multiple passes.
I would have thought the whole point of the guide rail adapter was so you could put the track right on the mark and go. But it's obviously dependant on the size of the bit so I guess you have to fine tune the rods position each use carefully making sure the bit doesn't cut into the splinter guard or worse, the track.
 

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I would have thought the whole point of the guide rail adapter was so you could put the track right on the mark and go. But it's obviously dependant on the size of the bit so I guess you have to fine tune the rods position each use carefully making sure the bit doesn't cut into the splinter guard or worse, the track.
I am not familiar with the Makita system, so I am assuming that it is similar to Festool. When I started this project I made an exact width dado jig: 139 - Exact-Width Dado Jig - The Wood Whisperer, but I was cutting dados in full size sheets of ply and the jig flexed during the cut and ruined the piece. Instead of wasting time to build another jig, I went with the rail system and it worked out nicely.

This is how I set up for exact width dado/rabbet cuts using the rail system. Ply is rarely a standard thickness, even within the same batch of ply so I never use the undersized ply bits. I always use a caliper to measure the thickness and go from there. In this project the ply varied from 18.92 to 19mm, so I set up for 19mm dados. I used a 1/2" down spiral bit for the cuts. I set up the router to the rail so that the router edge was touching the rail edge. I measured from the edge of the rail to the inside edge of my bit. This was 3" so I cut a 3" wide piece of mdf to use as a setup jig for all of my cuts. This jig let me set up the rail for repeatable cuts. With the rail clamped I make the first cut. Then I used a 6mm domino (1/2" + 6mm=close enough), as a spacer to set router for the 2nd cut. Because it's 4 in the morning and I need more coffee, I know this is clear as mud, so here are some pictures.
 

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@Bob Adams

Do you clamp the track to the part being cut, or do you find that the strips on the bottom of the track keep it from slipping while you're cutting?

I use the EZSmart version which has stops in the Y-direction so you can cut the dado in two passes without moving anything other than the carriage between the stops - but I do clamp the track so it doesn't move.

 

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@Bob Adams

Do you clamp the track to the part being cut, or do you find that the strips on the bottom of the track keep it from slipping while you're cutting?

I use the EZSmart version which has stops in the Y-direction so you can cut the dado in two passes without moving anything other than the carriage between the stops - but I do clamp the track so it doesn't move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su88uvZN_Ac
That is slick! I have been using the Festool track for about 5 years, I tried 1 time without clamps. Never again!
 

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Tom do you have the Srk ? I 'd like to buy but can't justify the $200 dollar price for srk. do you use it a lot. I have eureaka track.
Gary,

Yes I have the SSRK, and use it primarily for cutting dadoes in cabinet parts. As shown in the videos made by EZ, it's pretty versatile although I really haven't used it for much else. Used in combination with the MFT top and Parf Dogs, you can quickly cut accurately sized dadoes - put a stop on the table and you can cut multiples very easily. I have the EZ saw. don't use it much since I bought a Makita track saw but do use the UEG for breaking down sheets of plywood before cutting finished parts.
 
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