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Doug B

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You surprise me that you’ve had alignment issues with a 700 Roy I’ve heard of folks having problems with the 500 but not the 700, personally I prefer the 700 & have never had a issue with it.
 

Spectric

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Hi

Firstly to address @JobandKnock they are both Record machines, the BS400 is a 16 inch bandsaw and the PT107 a planer thicknesser, I will add that was also not without a few problems.

I think the alignment issues occur if you try and only use it on the tight setting, by using the sloppy setting where the length of the hole is increased by 3mm it becomes self aligning to a point and offsets any error in the pencil marks but this goes right across the grain for me as it is not good engineering. Anyone can cut loose joints and it is one of my specialities. Having discussed this with others I believe that Festool should not have needed this sloppy setting had they provided a decent fence system with the tool, something like the Woodpecker offering
or the ideas from FC tools. Also rather than the simple cross clamping arrangement and crude depth adjustment relying on abutmants on that slide why not incorporate a system like a router with screw and cam loc, you now have total control over the depth without needing domiplates and shims, plus you can use the right way up.

Had Festool not been the only manufacturer of this tool then the tool would have evolved because the OEM's would have been looking at gaining a competative edge and we would now have a much better version of the Domino and it could have been the dogs dangly bits without people having any issues.
 

Spectric

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Tracksaws, in my original thoughts with a track I was contemplating some parallel guides so the track would be at a fixed distance from an end without measuring, but now with a rail square in the running where you have the 90° could you not just use a single parallel guide from the rail square itself?

If the rail square is at a fixed distance from the end and the angle is 90° then I cannot see why another parallel guide would be needed, any thoughts, comments or ideas?
 

Jake

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Nearly all the alignment problems on any Domino are user-caused by plunging too fast. No snake oil solutions required, just some manual and guidance reading and some mechanical sympathy. I can make a row of tight dominos with no alignment issues, they are just a massive pain in the aris to assemble as they are so deliberately tight and de-compressing and expanding with the wet glue as you assemble.

Even worse if (as has been known in my case due to user screw-up) one needs to disassemble the joint, correct something (erm) and try again. The first time that happened was the last time I was OCD about having the whole row on the tight setting. I confess that was pretty early on (also pins).
 

JobandKnock

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If the rail square is at a fixed distance from the end and the angle is 90° then I cannot see why another parallel guide would be needed, any thoughts, comments or ideas?
Firstly, the rail square itself has a relatively short length which means that the edge it registers from needs to be straight and free of bumps. This might require a "dust cut" to be done down one long edge with a long rail to get a known reference edge. For certain tasks this isn't always possible because you need the full 1220mm of width of board for the task, so you accept that might at times have a less than perfect edge to reference your rail square of which obviously has a potential impact on accuracy

Secondly, even if your reference edge is dead parallel to the original edge (or your original edge is near perfect), sheet materials aren't always cut square. Whilst this isn't too much of an issue on many tasks, like sub-flooring, it can sometimes involve you in having to do some end squaring cuts before starting work on a sheet.

All this faffing about is analogous to the dust and squaring cuts that you often start out with when processing sheet materials on a full size panel saw, however once you have sorted out these two edges you are good to go

Finally, the rail square itself has a relatively short length (250 to 400mm for many of them) which means that the edge it registers from needs to be straight and free of bumps and lumps and you need to ensure that no sawdust or waste gets in between the rail square and the material.

Given all of that you can get a long parallel cut, but TBH it is potentially error prone. When marking out sheet materials I have always preferred to use a 24in (600mm) or 1m square over a 22in (300mm) on grounds of accuracy. I feel this is no different, so whilst I am happy enough with a 1220mm crosscut, having briefly tried doing 2440mm long cuts with a rail square has been less consistent in my experience

All of this means that for me a pair of parallel guides on a guide rail registered off an edge are likely to be more accurate. When parallel machining like this for a long time I used a pair of combination squares to set my cuts. These days I have some purpose made parallel guides (the Bench Dog set) because for repetitive rip cuts they are simply a lot faster and more repeatable, as well as relieving me of the need to lug a portable saw around at times (I am site-based, so that is a major issue)
 

Distinterior

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Nearly all the alignment problems on any Domino are user-caused by plunging too fast. No snake oil solutions required, just some manual and guidance reading and some mechanical sympathy. I can make a row of tight dominos with no alignment issues, they are just a massive pain in the aris to assemble as they are so deliberately tight and de-compressing and expanding with the wet glue as you assemble.

Even worse if (as has been known in my case due to user screw-up) one needs to disassemble the joint, correct something (erm) and try again. The first time that happened was the last time I was OCD about having the whole row on the tight setting. I confess that was pretty early on (also pins).
One way to help the process during assembly, whether it be "Dry" or even when you are doing the final glue up, is to zap your Dominos in the microwave for a minute + or - a few seconds....It shrinks the Dominos by a small amount and makes assembly/dis-assembly far, far easier!!!
I just pop mine in an old glass bowl lined with kitchen roll, zap them and its surprising just how much moisture is removed, especially as i store packets of Silica Gel in my Festool Domino's storage case to keep the moisture content at bay.....Assembly is then a doddle! (y)
 
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Distinterior

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I NEVER trust the factory edge of any sheet of material that I work with.....The first cut i make, whether it be with a Tracksaw or a Router, would be to trim the long Factory edge so that I know it is clean and straight.
From there, you can square up the other 3 sides using whichever method you prefer and suits your needs/tools.

The Parallel Guides are especially useful when breaking down long sections of material, 2440mm lengths for example.
Trimming to length with the Rail Square afterwards is more accurate over the shorter distance but I wouldnt use it for a "Square" cut over 2440mm on any material that required high accuracy. ....Too much room for error IMHO!

I regularly work with & have to break down sheets of material that are 2800mm x 2070mm in size and the chances of laying a 3000mm rail & rail square on the narrow end of the board over that distance are prone to error, as J&K stated above.
 
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Spectric

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I am starting to like and understand the potential of these parallel guides, need to look into this further but now have a wealth of good info, thanks all
 

Doug B

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I NEVER trust the factory edge of any sheet of material that I work with.....The first cut i make, whether it be with a Tracksaw or a Router, would be to trim the long Factory edge so that I know it is clean and straight.
From there, you can square up the other 3 sides using whichever method you prefer and suits your needs/tools.

The Parallel Guides are especially useful when breaking down long sections of material, 2440mm lengths for example.
Trimming to length with the Rail Square afterwards is more accurate over the shorter distance but I wouldnt use it for a "Square" cut over 2440mm on any material that required high accuracy. ....Too much room for error IMHO!

I regularly work with & have to break down sheets of material that are 2800mm x 2070mm in size and the chances of laying a 3000mm rail & rail square on the narrow end of the board over that distance are prone to error, as J&K stated above.
Sums up well what I thought when I first saw a track square being demonstrated a few years ago.
I tend to use a ruler & stop for repeat cut board sizes but I can see parallel guides would be quicker :unsure:
 

Distinterior

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I've just finished making a load of cabinets and wardrobes for a bedroom out of 18mm & 8mm MFC.....The parallel guides were a real blessing when cutting and machining multiple components in this type of material.
 

Spectric

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The parallel guides do make a lot of sense, holding the track a set distance from one edge and cutting the opposite side parallel leaves just the ends to cut square to these longer sides. Now what you really want is a fixture that can bridge these two longer parallel sides from which you can then use the parallel guides to cut the ends.
 

Distinterior

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The parallel guides do make a lot of sense, holding the track a set distance from one edge and cutting the opposite side parallel leaves just the ends to cut square to these longer sides. Now what you really want is a fixture that can bridge these two longer parallel sides from which you can then use the parallel guides to cut the ends.
Well,...In a manner of speaking, something does exist.....Its called an accurately machined MFT top and bench/ rail dogs.
Once you have your 2 opposing square & parallel edges, you just set up your long edges against your bench dogs, then set up your rail against your taller rail dogs and make your 90 degree square cuts on each end. Job Done! 👍
 

JobandKnock

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Only problems are limited crosscut capacity, lack of portability - oh, and the price! Despite that I'd still like one when I set a home workshop up
 

Distinterior

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Only problems are limited crosscut capacity, lack of portability - oh, and the price! Despite that I'd still like one when I set a home workshop up
Fair point, but it depends entirely on the size of your MFT.....I had this one below made ( 1220mm x 2440mm and the cost was £100 and the holes are tighter and more accurate than Festools original MFT top) and I take it to every jobsite as long as there is room....Second picture shows it in use on a different job.

20180718_084927.jpg
20181115_124443.jpg
 
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sometimewoodworker

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If the rail square is at a fixed distance from the end and the angle is 90° then I cannot see why another parallel guide would be needed, any thoughts, comments or ideas?
Because with only 1 guide it is not a parallel guide.
parallel guides (to work as intended ) reference from 1 edge and set the cut parallel to that edge.

It is trivially easy to make parallel identically sized cuts quickly with 2 guides, the length you are cutting is virtually irrelevant, a 5 metre cut is almost as fast to setup as a 1 metre one

it is challengingly difficult to make identically sized square cuts quickly with 1 guide the longer the edge you are cutting the more likely (if not certain) you are to not cut completely square nor a parallelogram but a trapezoid.

it’s a common mistake for new users of the Festool parallel guides to set them tight to the board or occasionally try to use them to cut square thinking that they can skip a step.

I know I tried it, using 1 guide setting square takes minutes then cutting pieces, they were not parallel.
stetting parallel with 2 guides takes seconds then cutting pieces, all precisely parallel can often be faster than setting the first single guide.

The Festool parallel guides have a very long reference edge, they can (taking quite a bit if time) be set exactly 90 degrees to the rail but using 1 guide you will not be accurate to within 0.1mm in a 2 metre cut, this is something you can guarantee with 2 guides (any brand or no brand), they will be the same width on the 50th cut as on the 1st

square your board with 2 edges, parallel guides will cut so 2 angles are at a guaranteed 90 degrees just by referencing from 1 edge. I assume that you will use the correct reference edge ;)
 
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jonw1664

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Ok, I’m sold on the parallel guides, I’ve just looked on the internet and I can only see ones that fit Malupa / festool track, does anyone sell them to fit Mafell/Bosch track? Thanks
 

Doug B

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Ok, I’m sold on the parallel guides, I’ve just looked on the internet and I can only see ones that fit Malupa / festool track, does anyone sell them to fit Mafell/Bosch track? Thanks
I’ve not seen any commercially available ones Jon which is why I use a ruler & ruler stop.
 

David.Taylor

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Fair point, but it depends entirely on the size of your MFT.....I had this one below made ( 1220mm x 2440mm and the cost was £100 and the holes are tighter and more accurate than Festools original MFT top) and I take it to every jobsite as long as there is room....Second picture shows it in use on a different job.

View attachment 108948View attachment 108949
That’s a very nice MFT top but looks like you are cutting to pieces with the track saw. Can I suggest you route out a shallow slot about 3/4 inch wide along the long and short edges between the 1st and 2nd dog holes. Then if you make all your cuts with the track set against the same dog holes each time you won’t be making loads of cut marks in different places. If you are worried about tear out you could inset a sacrificial piece of timber into the 2 slots. If you are always trimming up a thin strip off the ends you could even sat the track of the edge slightly. You could save yourself some money by not having to buy a new MFT top so often.
 

Distinterior

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That’s a very nice MFT top but looks like you are cutting to pieces with the track saw. Can I suggest you route out a shallow slot about 3/4 inch wide along the long and short edges between the 1st and 2nd dog holes. Then if you make all your cuts with the track set against the same dog holes each time you won’t be making loads of cut marks in different places. If you are worried about tear out you could inset a sacrificial piece of timber into the 2 slots. If you are always trimming up a thin strip off the ends you could even sat the track of the edge slightly. You could save yourself some money by not having to buy a new MFT top so often.
I appreciate the advice David. 👍
However, I had that MFT top made about 3 years ago and it still has plenty of life left in it as yet.
The lower face is unmarked, so I can always use it that way around when the upper surface gets beyond practical use.
Plus the fact that i do consider it a consumable item as i could always just have another one made once this one gets beyond economical use ( I'm fortunate to have a good friend with a large CNC machine...) The major initial cost of this one was the time it took to write the CNC programme.....To have another one made would be far less but obviously, still allowing for the cost of a sheet of 18mm MRMDF.
 
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