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Anyone else have an issue with differing Makita track profiles?

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mikeprevette

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So last year I bought a Makita 36v Track Saw kit from FFX. Saw, Makpak, 2x 1.5m rails, clamps, rail connectors, etc. I've really only ever needed a single section of the rail, and didn't bother connecting the two until this week. I had the saw pretty dialed in for the first section of track (no wobble at all) and it was delivering great cuts.

This week I decided to connect the sections, and I discovered I couldn't pass the saw from one section to the other. Upon closer inspections, the extrusion profiles of the two sections don't line up at all. There is an entirely different bevel in one section. I can wiggle it about and get 1 tracking surface aligned, but then the others won't line up and vice versa. I can adjust the saw so it's loose enough to pass the transition, but that makes it so loose I might as well be using a circular saw.

Even the surface finish is different. When the track arrived it was well packed and nothing would make me think it had been opened before.

Anyone else have this issue?
 

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petermillard

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I’ve never seen a variation like that from the same manufacturer. That’s unacceptable. I’d contact FFX about sending both rails back for replacement under warranty as they’re not fit for purpose.
 

Essex Barn Workshop

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Wow that's ridiculous! My guess is that one of them is defective, though how it got through any sort of check god alone knows.
I'd definitely contact FFX and send them both back.
 

Doug71

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My 2 Festool rails are different (1.4m & 3m), the ribs the saw run on are different widths and I have to adjust the saw when I switch between rails although yours do look much worse!

Festool say there can be slight differences and their advice is something like set the saw to the widest rib, align the sawcut side of the rib when you join them and keep the saw pushed against this when cutting, obviously not ideal.

Your rails do look like they are from totally different batches, frustrating when you got them both at the same time.

As said contact FFX for replacement as not fit for purpose.
 

Woody Alan

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Yep, I bought my festool years ago and just recently bought more rails and there is a defintie mismatch. I am kind of resigned to the fact they may have updated their tooling for extrusions or even their source of extrusions.
 

Spectric

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Your rails do look like they are from totally different batches,
These rails are aluminium extrusions and there should not be any variation let alone one that is so obvious, I would think a company like Makita would have good quality processes in place. It could be one has been damaged, looking at your first picture is the one at the bottom your original rail? It looks like the one at the top has been squashed, the side deformed. I think @JobandKnock may be able to give some info as he uses makita rails. One other possibility is a fake, does anyone know if saw tracks are being copied and sold as genuine?
 

C64

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Is the variation the same at the other end or do they transition properly when connected up? If all’s well then I would personally let it go and start using it rather than chew up time calling up, sending things back and waiting for new tracks to arrive. But of course, I understand that it’s very aggravating paying decent money for imperfect gear and want it to be rectified.
 

fixit45

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If one was to look into the problem more closely, you would probably find that they are manufactured in China! It appears hardly any companies make their own products anymore.
 

C64

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If one was to look into the problem more closely, you would probably find that they are manufactured in China! It appears hardly any companies make their own products anymore.
And I suppose all shoddy building work is done by Eastern Europeans?
 

Doug71

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These rails are aluminium extrusions and there should not be any variation
This is the reason Festool say they can't guarantee that any two rails are the same as the rails are extrusions and not machined. I know nothing about such things so only quoting what I have read. I would presume the rails would just come out of the machine all the same size but apparently it's not that straightforward.
 

mikeprevette

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Is the variation the same at the other end or do they transition properly when connected up? If all’s well then I would personally let it go and start using it rather than chew up time calling up, sending things back and waiting for new tracks to arrive. But of course, I understand that it’s very aggravating paying decent money for imperfect gear and want it to be rectified.
Yeah I tried mating the opposite ends as well to the same result. I just ordered a 1m section of rail, and hopefully it's profile will match 1 of the sections, then I can use that combo for ripping sheets, and keep the odd one for one offs.

Going back to FFX will likely have no effect, and Honestly it's Makita that packaged up the combo so it's really on them. I might try and make contact, but I don't have a ton of time to be chasing down manufacturers.
 

mikeprevette

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These rails are aluminium extrusions and there should not be any variation let alone one that is so obvious, I would think a company like Makita would have good quality processes in place. It could be one has been damaged, looking at your first picture is the one at the bottom your original rail? It looks like the one at the top has been squashed, the side deformed. I think @JobandKnock may be able to give some info as he uses makita rails. One other possibility is a fake, does anyone know if saw tracks are being copied and sold as genuine?

Yeah both sections came at the same time and were both packaged up by Makita. There was nothing suspicious about the packaging and nothing to make me think 1 of the 2 sections would have been swapped out. I likely was just unlucky and got the split between 2 batches where the extruder was re-tooled.
 

TRITON

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Correct. 😁
No offence intended.
Seen some shocking building work when I was in Romania.

Up until that point I was labouring under the illusion brickwork had to be straight,level and parallel.

Apparently not :LOL:

The real truth lurking behind render coats.
 

mikeprevette

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My 1m extension arrived and it's much closer to one of my previous sections than the other. It's close enough now the saw can still transition the sections, but also feel reasonably tight. So now I'll let them live together and use the odd one as a shortrail.

Each one seems a lot more "Unique" than I would hope considering the task they are responsible for, but I suppose any added precision would make them cost prohibitive. That being said I always thought extrusion was a cheap way to make a lot of largely identical material.
 

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Inspector

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Extrusions have variation in them depending on wear of the dies, variations between dies in different machines, can't expect them to use only one extruder for all their production, getting two pieces from different runs etc. Contact Makita and tell them what you have and attach or offer to attach pictures and see how they react. My bet is they will take care of you. You have nothing to loose by trying and it will take a fraction of the time spent here discussing it.

Pete
 

C64

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Seen some shocking building work when I was in Romania.

Up until that point I was labouring under the illusion brickwork had to be straight,level and parallel.

Apparently not :LOL:

The real truth lurking behind render coats.
It’s the same here in middle of London with these grand multi-million pound Victorian houses. Once you remove the cement render that some numpty (“yeah mate, nobody uses that lime stuff any more”) slapped on, the walls are as crooked as a three pence piece.
 

petermillard

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This is the reason Festool say they can't guarantee that any two rails are the same as the rails are extrusions and not machined. I know nothing about such things so only quoting what I have read. I would presume the rails would just come out of the machine all the same size but apparently it's not that straightforward.
I was told way back by DeWalt that their rail extrusions change shape as they cool down - they’re extruded at heat, of course - so they’re made ‘wonky’ so they cool down straight; I’m not really a ‘metals’ guy, but I’d expect that’s where the batch variations come in??

The OP’s Makita rail though, that’s beyond mere variation!
 
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