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HDC83

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Some info on plunge saws, tracks and accessories.

Metabo FS [joining plate with the option to add a joining bar to add stiffness]
Mafell/Bosch FSN [joining plate]
Dewalt [single joining bar]
Up facing outer channel- Festool/Makita/Triton/Excel/Metabo(pre-fs rail)/Erbauer [option to use 2 joining bars]
Down facing outer channel- Evolution [option to use 2 joining bars]

3 types of joiners for Festool type rails-
Festool are solid bars with grub screws that can damage the rail if over tightened
Makita type has 2 bars that expand away from each other that clamp on both top and bottom of the slot (Excel do a copy of these in a twin pack on the bay for £13.50)
TSO joiners (expensive but self aligning)

Metabo KT18LTX66BL, Mafell and Bosch plunge saws will run on all rails except Dewalt
Makita and Festool plunge saws will not work with Mafell/Bosch FSN/Dewalt rails
Dewalt 54v plunge saw will run Festool/Evolution rail and Makita/Triton/Excel with the anti tip nib machined off (don't know if the corded version will)

Benchdogs make
Rail squares for Dewalt/Festool/Makita/Triton/Excel/Evolution/Erbauer/Mafell/Bosch FSN
Parallel guides for Festool/Makita/Triton/Excel/Erbauer
Benchdogs will be releasing repetitive stop accessory for the square soon

FC tools make
Rail squares for Dewalt/Festool/Makita/Mafell/Bosch FSN
Parallel guides for Festool/Makita/Mafell/Bosch FSN
Repetitive stop accessory for the square

TSO have squares, parallel guides and repetitive stops but very expensive

To many manufactures to list them all

Thanks to @petermillard for this video that shows the Festool compatibility
 

sometimewoodworker

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Festool are solid bars with grub screws that can damage the rail if over tightened
My Festool joining bars have been in use for over 10 years, the grub screws are flat bottomed. Yes they leave marks. No they don’t damage the rails. You would have to use gorilla strength to have any chance damaging the rails.
C62D1D14-C96C-4FDC-AB37-83EAE76E59F7.jpeg

if they used points or cones they could damage the rail but they don’t.
C988A517-33A1-4614-A9FB-2C172479465C.jpeg
 
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HDC83

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My Festool joining bars have been in use for over 10 years, the grub screws are flat bottomed. Yes they leave marks. No they don’t damage the rails. You would have to use gorilla strength to have any chance damaging the rails.
View attachment 108549
if they used points or cones they could damage the rail but they don’t.
View attachment 108550
Thanks for the info and pics. Yes if your careful they won’t damage but I have personally seen my bosses rails have been dimpled and has been spoke about of FOG before. I was only showing there’s alternatives to the festool joiners.
Thanks
 

sometimewoodworker

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Thanks for the info and pics. Yes if your careful they won’t damage but I have personally seen my bosses rails have been dimpled and has been spoke about of FOG before. I was only showing there’s alternatives to the festool joiners.
Thanks
There are alternatives now sure, when I got mine there were not.

I have hardly been gentle with mine as you can see with the slots on the other side. I suspect that some FOG users swapped the originals with hex socket versions and the flat top ones are not standard so if that’s what they did it would explain why they dimpled.
CFDD4E67-96AE-405C-A1EF-421EF3363F0B.jpeg
 

ivan

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We have an older Mafell that plunges on columns like a router, the current pivoting version, and a Lidl Parkside.
The mafell track has a virtually perfect joiner, but the track is narrow, and 3M of it is easily (mis)laid in a slight curve. Mostly use festool 3M for long cuts as being wider it's more rigid and no join, always get straight cuts. Festool system 32 track is also good stuff. We adapted the plate to take a DW621 router- you can also use the DW router atachment for track.
The demonstrator of the old Mafell showed me how to first climb cut 3mm deep toward yourself, and then away at full depth, giving the cut perfect chip free top and bottom. The result would be impossible for the 1950's well muscled chippie with his hand saw...
The current Mafell version has a built in stop to aid this, and runs on Festool type track if you want. The saw can be adjusted to Festool track, but not the Mafell, which allows a bit of lateral movement on the track. If sizing veneered stuff where cut quality may be important, removing lateral play (saw still sliding smoothly) maximises cut finish.
We couldn't resist the Lidl at £69. It works surprisingly well, although the supplied track is not much use. It has a 3 yr g'tee, but I imagine spare parts are not available. It looks fairly robust and you wouldn't wear it out on a bit of DIY.
 

JobandKnock

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You do not mention a rail square, is this something you don't use or require? If not then I assume you mark out and line up the track. If I go down this route I am looking at corded Bosch or Makita, what are you using?
I do use a rail square - the Insta RailSquare - which I've had for about 3-1/2 years. Brilliant for site work

Current kit:

Festool TS55 , Festool TS75, Makita DSP600 (2 x 18 volt), Hilti WSC 265

Rails:

Festool 800mm, 1400mm (3 no), 3000mm
Makita 1000mm, 1500mm (3 no)
Insta RailGuide
BenchDogs parallel guides (3 piece)

The main reasons to.ysecthem are speed and accuracy against manual measuring. Were I more bench based I'd consider an MFT, but for site use I think they are impractical (too bulky, too heavy)
 
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Spectric

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Hi JobandKnock

So what saws are you using? I am thinking of Makita corded but as mentioned joining tracks is not so good.
 

JobandKnock

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So what saws are you using? I am thinking of Makita corded but as mentioned joining tracks is not so good.
Just added to my previous post, sorry. I use the Makita joiners these days rather than the Festool ones. The Festool/Makita track isn't quite as good as the Mafell/Bosch one, but I have lived with its' quirks for the last 14 or so years with nary an issue, so I don't think it's a deal breaker. It has been handy because the Mak cordless can use the same rails and my cordless were mainly Makita
 
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Spectric

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It is good see someone not blindly addicted to everything green! So @JobandKnock you rate the Makita saw and tracks and using them on site shows they are tough, but then I don't think I have had anything bad from Makita, just nice to get positive feedback. What are it's quirks, is it just a case of being extra carefull with alignment when joining them?
 

JobandKnock

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The Makita saws aren't quite as "finished" as Festool ones, for example the depth setting on Festools is a sort of micro ratchet affair whereas the Makitas have a simpler pointer and thumb knob affair also the Festool has a more sophisticated blade locking mechanism than the Mak. The details are minor and TBH there's no discernable difference in cut quality and accuracy between them (at least in site work). The only reason I still have Festool rails is because the extra lip on the Makita rails precludes their use with the big TS75.

The rail joiner "issue" with Festool/Makita rails just means that if a pair of joined rails are getting moved around a lot and maybe bumped the joint can end up slightly out of straight. A quick up-end of the rails and a sharp rap end on of the rails onto a piece of plywood or MDF on the floor cures it. Crude, but effective. TBH site work really precludes babying kit - I think most weekend woodworkers would be horrified at how we treat our kit, but to put it in perspective my cordless Mak has cut more than 1000 sheets of plywood and MDF in the last 15 months (9, 12 and 18mm) - mainly for diaphragm flooring and wall cladding. It is there to earn money for me - and it does
 
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Spectric

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Hi

Yes I know how tools get abused on sites, they are there to do a job and wear, tear and abuse is accepted and is a good proving ground for tools, I can remember trying to fix my brothers planer that was full of plaster and I doubt the Festool would stand up as well on sites. I like keeping things simple rather than fiddly and is one of the reasons I am drawn to the Makita Sp6000. Since owning my only Festool tool which is a Domino 700 I can say that the quality is not reflected in the cost and I could not achieve the accuracy I aim for until watching @petermillard video on the FC tools alignment jig which has made this tool rather expensive but I hope at some point it will retain a high resale value. Once the patent expires I wonder what or if the likes of Bosch or Makita will enter the fray and show Festool how it should have been done!
 

Doug71

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Hi

Yes I know how tools get abused on sites, they are there to do a job and wear, tear and abuse is accepted and is a good proving ground for tools, I can remember trying to fix my brothers planer that was full of plaster and I doubt the Festool would stand up as well on sites. I like keeping things simple rather than fiddly and is one of the reasons I am drawn to the Makita Sp6000. Since owning my only Festool tool which is a Domino 700 I can say that the quality is not reflected in the cost and I could not achieve the accuracy I aim for until watching @petermillard video on the FC tools alignment jig which has made this tool rather expensive but I hope at some point it will retain a high resale value. Once the patent expires I wonder what or if the likes of Bosch or Makita will enter the fray and show Festool how it should have been done!
@Spectric you do always speak very negatively of your Domino, what is the problem you have with it? I can't remember if you ever started a thread about it, if not maybe worth getting some other views and opinions on it's use? I'm no Festool fan boy but have had both Dominos for years and found both to be great bits of kit.
 

Distinterior

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I'd second Doug's comments.......I've had my DF500 for many years now (since 2014, bought 2nd hand from someone on this Forum) and I have absolutely no complaints.....repeated accuracy and a joy to use.
 
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sometimewoodworker

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I doubt the Festool would stand up as well on sites.
Tom Silva would disagree with that. Most if not all of his Festool tools are ones he purchased and uses, and has used, them for many years.
Since owning my only Festool tool which is a Domino 700 I can say that the quality is not reflected in the cost and I could not achieve the accuracy I aim for until watching @petermillard video on the FC tools alignment jig which has made this tool rather expensive but I hope at some point it will retain a high resale value.
That just shows that you did not do much research. I have had my 500 (pins) for quite a few years more than your 700

I have been using a domiplate and centring jig since they became available (again before the 700), neither of these seem to be essential for the 700 but AFIK they are.

I hope at some point it will retain a high resale value.
It does so if it’s not the tool for you then sell it.

Or you could get some Wensleydale to compliment your post. ;)
 

JobandKnock

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Once the patent expires I wonder what or if the likes of Bosch or Makita will enter the fray and show Festool how it should have been done!
I wouldn't hold your breath. Bosch's first foray into plunging track saws (the GKS68B) didn't fare well whilst their stab at a biscuit jointer has more or less disappeared as well. Makita, on the other hand, seem to have licensed the technology from TTI for the track saws, tracks and even the Systainer later on. If there was sufficiently large of a market in the Domino type tool I'm sure they'd have been in there by now
 

Spectric

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you do always speak very negatively of your Domino,
Yes I am always honest with reviewing anything, comes from years in a competative field of engineering and without critique inovation and improvement don't happen and without competion stagnation will occur.

I have done several threads on the process of deciding on going the domino route which involved looking at the other tools available and also jointing methods and why I was now looking at alternatives rather than staying with my Dowelmax, which is far more accurate straight out of the box just I was wanting something to deliver good joints in less time.

The Domino is way over priced and everyone knows it because there are no alternatives, you are not buying the tool but the functionality and basically Festool has a captive market, there are no other brands and so buy it or leave it. Now the quality does not stand out for something in that price bracket, and the accessories are really just plastic tack, not what you would expect. Now, yes it drills a great hole and the dominoes fit well but thats only half the story because you want the holes located accurately and everytime not with occasional misalignment, I have had to go third party to actually get the Domino accurate and after a few conversations with Frank at FC tools I went for the DAJ because I am not the only one not happy with having sloppy fitting Dominos to get things to align and now I can get what I want from the Domino but no thanks to Festool. I had initial concerns with the DAJ as it seemed to be aimed more at the sheet goods but after talking to Frank it is more than capable of handling thicker stock just by using different shims and that has worked great for me but it was not a turn key solution to joints. If I had better woodworking skills I would have perservered with loose tennons on my woodrat but again it was a slow process.
 

Spectric

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the Mafell DuoDoweller and the Lamello Zeta
Yes I did take both into consideration, the Lamello is sheet goods using so called knock down fittings so not much use to me and the Duodoweller would just have been a very expensive dowelmax and not delivered what I was looking for, so the 700 Domino is the one I went for but at a total cost of over £1390 inc the DAJ it is more expensive than my BS400 or PT107 but only time will tell if it redeems itself.
 
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