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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-25-2010, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Festool Wannabe

My old saw guide has served me well, but I've always wanted a guide that would eliminate the need to take the work to the table saw for final sizing.
Here are some pictures of my attempt to make a more accurate guide.

I started with a "T" track and "T" bar from Peachtree. The first pic is gauging the "T" track thickness.
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I routed the 3/4 ply in two steps.
Here is setting the router bit to correct hight for the second cut.
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Had to gauge the width, too.
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And see how much adjustment was necessary
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Ahhh, a 1/8" key way "gauge" just fits. I'll lay the key way gauge between the ply and bring the fence to it. Thereby widening the dado.
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Pretty good fit, IMO
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Attached the "T" bar to the trusty old Skil worm drive with 1/4-20 X 3/4" bolts, lock washers and wing nuts. The holes in the shoe were already there from the factory. Don't know why, but I was happy.
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This pic just shows the "T" bar in the "T" track. Next step is to epoxy the track into the dado....after the epoxy gets here. Rural living is great but it does have it's challenges.
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Thanks for looking.
Gene

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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It's in the thinking stage, and for me that's a long process, but I'm trying to figure a jig to do cross cuts using the same principle. Sort of a fixed in place system to cut various widths larger than the 12" sliding miter will handle.
Home made RAS????
Any ideas would be welcome.

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Snowflake, AZ

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 10:42 AM
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I've seen the Festool guide used and it's nice but I thought it was not really worth the expense since you could make one of these really easily:

Circular Saw Cutting Guide

There's another plan I've seen that is the same thing but wider (like 9 inches). You use the circular saw on one side and a router on the other side. The idea is that the router will create an edge that could be jointed.

These can be made at various lengths (I have an 8ft, 5ft, and a 3ft). They are amazingly accurate; I can take the line or save it, depending on how I set the guide (I usually take it). After using it a while, I stopped drawing the line and just set the guide to 2 marks on each end of the cut (but I always re-measure once the clamps are set). Speaking of clamps, I use a pair of Irwin Quick Grip Bar Clamps to hold the guide in place. These help make the setup very quick.

One thing about the Festool version is that the circular saw has a stepped base (might be an option) which provides a zero clearance cutting surface; however, a stepped base could easily be added to any circular saw to achieve the same results.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 11:33 AM
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Couldn't you just make a shorter version of the one your making

Here is a link to one I am going to mke
DIY Track Saw


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Robert,
The guide in your pic is essentially what I've been using. Mine utilizes a purchased guide like the one from Penn State.

It's been banged up a little after many years of use so I wanted a new one.
So I thought I'd improve it a little.

Chuck,
A shorter one with a tee on one end is what I'm leaning towards. I've done the same thing for router cut dados.

Thanks, guys!

Gene Howe
Snowflake, AZ

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 04:15 PM
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That was what I was thinking...A T_square track for cross cutting

I have never seen that Penn State track. Looks like a good idea.

I would be interested in seeing your finished product.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2010, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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It's really not a track. More of a guide. The two pieces fit together end to end. The saw rides against the edge. I just attached to a piece of masonite wide enough for the shoe on one side and clamping on the other.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-04-2012, 09:47 PM
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Gene here is new version really looks improved. I think I'll have to order that jig your costing me money. It's ordered!!
Portable Panel Saw System 2.0 at Penn State Industries

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 08:34 PM
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I got my guide from Psi woodworking it is a heavey duty jig. I got to do final adjustments then I'll try it tomrow.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJM60 View Post
I've seen the Festool guide used and it's nice but I thought it was not really worth the expense since you could make one of these really easily
It all depends, Robert. The Festool (and other commercial) rail system has several major advantages over home-made; it has a replaceable neoprene edge strip which absolutely stops chipping and break-out (until you change the blade), it is both portable and extendable (e.g. you can join 3 x 1400mm or 55in rails to make a single 4.2m or 165in rail - useful for trimming flooring, etc but making the system portable) which a home made guide isn't, it is guaranteed straight whereas timber straight edges aren't (they can and do move with changes in the weather), it has an accurate parallel cut accessory available and there are several accurate right angle fences made to attach to it. But the rail alone isn't what gives the Festool (and its' competitors from Bosch, Mafell, Makita, deWalt, Hilti and Metabo) the edge - it's the plunge action, superior sawblades and excellent dust extraction in addition to the straight edge which really make the system work so well. And BTW you rarely have to clamp Festool et al rails down - the rubber strips on the bottom and a small amount of downwards pressure is generally enough to stop them moving.

The major downside is the price!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJM60 View Post
One thing about the Festool version is that the circular saw has a stepped base (might be an option) which provides a zero clearance cutting surface; however, a stepped base could easily be added to any circular saw to achieve the same results.
The Festool (and it's look alikes) actually have a very accurately machined groove cut in the base (not a stepped base) which also contains cam adjusters to take-up and wear in the self-lubricating guides. In addition the pivoting of these plunge/rail saws means that making a long mitre cut on the rail does not ruin the edge of the guide "rail" as it does on home made version. The plunge/rail systems are streets ahead of a home-made approach in terms of speed of use and accuracy/repeatability. But as I said that comes at a price which puts this type of saw out of reach for many people whilst for many professional carpenters it has become a must have.

For a long time I was a sceptic, but about a week after buying my first plunging rail saw system (Hilti) I was utterly convinced and wondered why I'd been so anti in the first place

Regards

Phil
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