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Very promising clamp edge system

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Review by paxorion posted 01-20-2015 02:23 AM 7690 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Very promising clamp edge system Very promising clamp edge system No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Like many other woodworkers, I’ve done a dance around buying a track saw or making due with after market and/or shop made guides. Knowing that I’d be in the dog house if I splurged on a track saw (i.e. Festool) before I had a decent portfolio of sheet-goods based projects, I attempted to make due with two HF straight edge and a home-made guide. At shorter lengths (up to ~24-30”) that solution work fine. Any longer, and it becomes a pick your poison question of fighting deflection or finding a straight enough reference for a long homemade guide. Lets not mention the storage problem for longer straight edges/guides.

Enter the new WTX clamp edge. A very promising new BORA systemfrom Affinity Tools. After watching the IWF video of the straight edge system, I was very keen on the promise of an extendable clamp edge solution that could give me up to that 8 foot straight edge ripping capacity. I picked up a 50 inch WTX from Lowes during what appears to be an introductory period of for $35. Having used it for several long (48) rips with my circular saw in the last few months, I am happy to report that it works flawlessly and that there is is ZERO deflection. A few observations:

The Good:
  1. Does what it’s supposed to do as a straight edge.
  2. Did I mention no deflection?
  3. Quality fit and finish with a very smooth clamping action. Once clamped, this thing stays put for the cutting/routing operation.
  4. Contrary to the reviews on the Lowes website, the clamp is VERY easy to use once you get the hang of affixing the free-floating position-able portion of the clamp.
The Bad:
  1. The advertised WTX system extensions and accessories (saw plate, rip guide) have been slow to come to market. As of this review, it appears that Grizzly, Lowes, and directly from BORA are the only sources I that stock them. Need to wait until I replenish my woodworking budget to buy them.
The Ugly:
  1. If the entire system is as effective as it’s sizing up to be, I might not be allowed to get a track saw.
The Verdict:
This is a great solution to meet my criteria. What I am excited about are the following:
  1. The BORA fit and finish makes this clamp leaps and bound more user friendly than the HF straight clamp. Once position, I can lock the clamp without it shifting on me (unlike the HF straight edge clamps).
  2. The extensions promises the length I desire to support full length sheet good rips of 8 feet
  3. The saw plate is another value proposition, providing a solid platform that the saw will ride on. This is a simplified spin on the circular saw on a track currently.

Once my woodworking budget replenishes, I look forward to expanding my BORA WTX system. I look forward to getting the 25” clamp, a 50” extension, saw plate, as well as the rip guide (to replace my Kreg Rip Cut).

DISCLAIMER: The pictures are from the BORA Tools website.

-- paxorion




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paxorion

1107 posts in 2128 days



11 comments so far

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Hawaiilad

3232 posts in 3103 days


#1 posted 01-20-2015 09:10 AM

Looks interesting…I will have to check them out. thanks for sharing

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View grantd's profile

grantd

86 posts in 1565 days


#2 posted 01-20-2015 07:37 PM

I have the emerson version that rockler sells (bought from amazon though) and I haven’t gotten a ton of use out of it yet. It works well as a straight edge but that model at least isn’t self squaring which can be a bit of a pain. Also because the saw doesn’t ride on top of it you have to account for the width of the shoe in your layout. It works well for breaking down sheet goods or trimming things like doors that aren’t safely cut on a table saw but if you need to do a lot of ripping it’s no replacement for a table saw.

View russde's profile

russde

105 posts in 2922 days


#3 posted 01-20-2015 10:14 PM

I was interested by the review and checked their videos and website looking for a definitive “does this clamp square itself when locked”? or not answer…couldn’t find it, so I e-mailed them, got this in return (very quickly I might add):

Update for Case 459 – “Clamp edge”
Good Afternoon,
Our Clamp edges do not self square, they have to be squared by the user.
Regards,

So, to me the main advantage over the HF clamp is that you can buy the extension to get full panel cuts, otherwise it doesn’t seem worth the premium, to me at least, YMMV.
Thanks for the review, I’m going to keep watch on these.

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paxorion

1107 posts in 2128 days


#4 posted 01-20-2015 10:43 PM

Updated my verdict to address the following two comments:


I have the emerson version that rockler sells (bought from amazon though) and I haven t gotten a ton of use out of it yet. It works well as a straight edge but that model at least isn t self squaring which can be a bit of a pain. Also because the saw doesn t ride on top of it you have to account for the width of the shoe in your layout. It works well for breaking down sheet goods or trimming things like doors that aren t safely cut on a table saw but if you need to do a lot of ripping it s no replacement for a table saw.

- grantd

This straight edge serves as an add-on to my workflow. It’s primarily used to establish a straight reference. The saw plate, while it will still require planning for the offset, will allow the saw to ride on the track as opposed to against it.


I was interested by the review and checked their videos and website looking for a definitive “does this clamp square itself when locked”? or not answer…couldn t find it, so I e-mailed them, got this in return (very quickly I might add):

Update for Case 459 – “Clamp edge”
Good Afternoon,
Our Clamp edges do not self square, they have to be squared by the user.
Regards,

So, to me the main advantage over the HF clamp is that you can buy the extension to get full panel cuts, otherwise it doesn t seem worth the premium, to me at least, YMMV.
Thanks for the review, I m going to keep watch on these.

- russde

Having used both the BORA WTX and the HF straight edge clamp, I can confidently state my opinion. The fit/finish and ease of use absolutely makes the premium worth it. The HF straight edge clamp will slip 9 out of 10 times I lock it down. The BORA WTX has not slipped on me. Not to mention, no deflection at longer lengths.

-- paxorion

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BigMig

450 posts in 2696 days


#5 posted 01-21-2015 04:28 PM

I do a lot with Baltic birch plywood – which comes in the (inconvenient) 60” square sheets. It looks as though I’d need to buy the basic 50” clamp plus an extension to work with 60” sheets. Is that correct? Any issues with using the extensions?
Thanks for the review.

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

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paxorion

1107 posts in 2128 days


#6 posted 01-21-2015 06:12 PM



I do a lot with Baltic birch plywood – which comes in the (inconvenient) 60” square sheets. It looks as though I d need to buy the basic 50” clamp plus an extension to work with 60” sheets. Is that correct? Any issues with using the extensions?
Thanks for the review.

- BigMig

BORA has two flavors of extensions. A 25” and a 50” I haven’t gotten the extensions yet, but plan on updating this review or adding a new review once I get the extensions. Note that availability is slow to trickle in. The price of being an early adopter.

-- paxorion

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2090 days


#7 posted 01-22-2015 03:01 PM

Thanks for the review. I have the HF 50” one and so far it’s been doing the job, but I have to be very watchful for deflection when cutting a long run. Only thing I haven’t liked is always having to add in the width of the saw plate (only made THAT “mistake” ONCE ! )

Just checked and the Bora web-site shows a price at $53, and the Lowes is $39 … I like how the saw plate rides ON the track. Gonna hafta give this one a look next time I’m at Lowes.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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paxorion

1107 posts in 2128 days


#8 posted 01-22-2015 03:44 PM


Thanks for the review. I have the HF 50” one and so far it s been doing the job, but I have to be very watchful for deflection when cutting a long run. Only thing I haven t liked is always having to add in the width of the saw plate (only made THAT “mistake” ONCE ! )

Just checked and the Bora web-site shows a price at $53, and the Lowes is $39 … I like how the saw plate rides ON the track. Gonna hafta give this one a look next time I m at Lowes.

- JoeinGa

FYI, Lowes does NOT stock the saw plate in stores or on their website.

-- paxorion

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2286 posts in 1470 days


#9 posted 01-23-2015 03:31 PM

It looks like the extension, saw plate and router plate can be purchased at amazon (click the links).

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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paxorion

1107 posts in 2128 days


#10 posted 01-23-2015 04:50 PM

The router plate is part of the old Wide Track line of BORA products. Shipping time of 1-2 months for the extension and saw plate reinforces my criticism of slow to no availability as of this comment.

-- paxorion

View nkawtg's profile

nkawtg

280 posts in 1334 days


#11 posted 01-26-2015 10:49 PM

I saw this on the Bora site and was pleased by its clamping system and price.
For well under a hundred bucks you can have a 50” track and sled.

The Saw Plate Router Guide and Track are in stock at the company site
http://www.boratool.com/bora-wtx-clamp-edge-saw-guide-50-inch
http://www.boratool.com/bora-saw-guide
http://www.boratool.com/bora-router-guide-wt

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