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Stan Tools Parallel Guides for Makita or Festool track saws

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HexusOdy

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I've had a Makita track saw for a while and it's a handy tool but slow and inaccurate without parallel guides. Something they should all come with out of the box IMO.

It's something I've always wanted to own but just couldn't justify spending £150+ on for what amount to two bits aluminium extrusion with some stops. But then I found a set of guides by Stan Tools (on Ebay or direct at £70 for guides that go up to nearly 70cm depth of cut (67cm is I recall). They do a bigger set too. The minimum cut width is 22cm but they have a thin rip kit for anything less that's an addition £30 and takes that right down to 0.

It's still £70 for two bits of alu extrusion with some stops and rail clamps but it's better than £150+.

They work as all guides do and I'm glad I now have them. It makes using a track saw a lot quicker and if you want a bunch of repeatable cuts it's a must.

I imagine they will also fit other tracks that are Festool and Makita compatible.

I did get about half a mm twist in the stops when tightened up so that one side of the stop hits the surface and the other has a tiny gap but you can account for that when doing the initial setup and it makes no difference in use.

 

owen

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Slow and inaccurate without the guides? You must be using it wrong if it's slow or inaccurate? All you have to do is Mark either end of the piece you want to cut, drop the track on and make the cut? I wouldn't like to use those guides they would slow me down no end unless I was cutting a load of pieces exactly the same size
 

HexusOdy

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Inaccuracy can only be measured if cutting multiple pieces the same size. If you just want a single cut then sure you can get your tape measure out and measure two marks, but if you want multiple identical cuts (as most projects do) then the guide rails give you quicker and more accurate repeat cuts.
 

Petey83

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I had the Festool system once upon a time and it was accurate but not any good on narrow board.

Unused then to break down some MR MDF to make all the skirting and architrave for my new house at the time.

If you have a lot of repetitive sized cuts to make in sheet stock then they are good as they ensure accuracy with speed.
 

pulleyt

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I was looking at various parallel guides to use with my Festool rail a couple of years ago and baulked at the price of the commercial products. And then I came across my very first Peter Millard video on YouTube which inspired me to make a pair of adjustable guides that would work both cut side and waste side of the the rail. Copying Peter's use of scraps of 6mm mrmdf and double sided tape along with a couple of bolts and wing nuts, I made two guides as shown below.
(I recommend you view Peter's video on how to setup the guides - he can explain much better than I can and it is his idea! - thanks Peter).

This is the underside of the guide:


For the first cut I would mark the board and set the rail in place. Then place the parallel guide at one end and set the adjustable stop, either on the 'cut' side if the cut is wide enough (>240mm with the stops constructed as they are)...


... or on the 'waste' side if looking for a narrower cut, bearing in mind the 2.2mm kerf thickness of my blade.


I set the first of the guide strip flush with the main board of the guide so that I could set the second guide using the first guide, if that makes sense


These have worked well for me on a few projects.
 

Nelsun

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The best tip I ever heard for working with parallel guides for narrow rips was to use a ruler with a stop on it to set the guides. Set the ruler stop to whatever measurement you want, turn it upside down, butt the ruler stop up against the splinter strip and slide the parallel guide depth stop up against the end of the ruler. Using a fixed physical stop to set both your guides makes for an silly person proof setup... I should know ;)

For repeated cuts (e.g. face frames, rails and styles) making some setup blocks is another time / error saver. And, yes, this can all be done on an accurate table saw if you have one.
 

petermillard

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pulleyt":2un37imb said:
I was looking at various parallel guides to use with my Festool rail a couple of years ago and baulked at the price of the commercial products. And then I came across my very first Peter Millard video on YouTube...
Thanks! The beauty of these simple guides is that you can flip them around and use them for narrow repeat rips as well - though I used a pair of combi squares for years, without any problems.
 

johnnyb

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I got good service from stan tools. I brought a set of these years ago. they are 3d printed. mine snapped they were like a honeycomb inside. I let them know via ebay. i had to send a photo of the broken ones but they sent me new style ones foc.
not a ringing endorsement but not bad service.
 

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