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Cheapest no-tip track upgrade I can find

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Review by paxorion posted 05-15-2015 02:35 PM 5630 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Cheapest no-tip track upgrade I can find No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Ever since the IWF 2014, I have been dying to pick up the new BORA guide systems. After months of hunting and phone calls to BORA, I finally managed to get my hands on the BORA saw plate. The short story is…it’s awesome. Paired with the BORA WTX, this answers the mail on a track system upgrade for my Porter Cable PC15TCSMK.

The Good:
  • Works as advertised. The saw guide is (supposedly) compatible with any straight edge guide in the market. I’ve tested it with both the BORA WTX and a HF straight edge guide and yes it does work. YMMV as the saw plate tracks are square and a irregularly shaped clamp face may not work as well (if anyone can test with the Emerson clamps, I’d love to hear how they work).
  • The adjustments to remove lateral play is a large plastic bar that slides into place. It seems flimsy at first but it is extremely easy to adjust. Just seat the guide on your “track”, unscrew, and push it against your “track”. I have no lateral side to side play in use.
  • It’s very easy to drop your saw in your straight edge “track”, slide it down to make your cut, and lift up to remove.
  • No straight edge guide for a track? You can use any straight edge that the saw guide can ride on. I used some scrap plywood for a test and it did the job phenomenally.
The Bad:
  • Setup was a PITA for my saw. It was harder to setup than with the Kreg Rip Cut. There’s a good YouTube video I found about the setup. I had to loosen the bevel lock in order to get the screws setup to hold down. Afterwards came the fun of squaring up the blade to the guides. Thankfully it was a one-time ordeal.
  • Without the back support bracket, the saw will tip. Make sure you tighten it well.
  • You lose a fair amount of cut depth with the saw guide. By my measurement, just north of 3/4” of cut depth is lost.
The Ugly:
  • ZCI is not a part of the design for this saw guide. This is one deficiency of using the saw guide with a straight edge clamp.
  • Depending on your circular guard, you’ll have to extend the blade fairly far out from the saw edge. I had lots of problems with squaring up the blade because the guard would butt into saw guide and skew the blade.
  • Dust (still) sprays everywhere. In addition to be a health hazard, dust is an enemy of accuracy, throwing off registration.

The Future:
Hands down, this saw guide is awesome. The BADs I listed are either one-time setup or usage considerations. I mainly want to use the saw guide for straight cuts to breakdown plywood. So with just north of 1.5” depth of cut, it isn’t an issue. Not deal breakers in my book. The UGLYs can be overcome. I mentioned that the saw guide works with any straight edge clamp, including home made ones. The FUTURE I see for it, is a jig solution to the ZCI problem. I will be re-making my home made straight edge guides, with the plywood guide sized for the saw guide. With that, I can pair a homemade track with an after market circular saw upgrade for a track saw experience. A little more lost depth of cut won’t matter for the 3/4” plywood I’ll be using the saw guide for.

In conclusion, the $29 I paid for this saw guide is by my book, money very well spent. A fantastic upgrade universal use guide that saves me a ton of time in making my own guide jig.

-- paxorion




View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2248 days



8 comments so far

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1631 posts in 1417 days


#1 posted 05-15-2015 07:35 PM

Excellent post-

-- Desert_Woodworker

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2252 posts in 2649 days


#2 posted 05-15-2015 08:42 PM

I have both Bora 5” and Emerson 98” straight edge clamps and was planning on building my own saw plate guide that would ride on the Emerson since that’s the clamp I use for breaking down plywood sheets , the Emerson clamps have much deeper groove for a guide plate to ride in.

were you having a hard time finding / ordering the new BORA guide systems?

Great post.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Bigrock's profile

Bigrock

292 posts in 3165 days


#3 posted 05-16-2015 02:56 AM

Just bought the 50” Bora Guide and Saw Plate today at Lowes for $49.99.
Looking forward to putting it to use on Saturday. Thanks for the review.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2248 days


#4 posted 05-16-2015 12:33 PM


were you having a hard time finding / ordering the new BORA guide systems?

Great post.

- distrbd

Took me a while to find them. Mine are a mix of purchases from Lowes and Acme Tool. I also have the 50” extension rail finally got the saw rip guide (review pending more usage).

-- paxorion

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

2333 posts in 2518 days


#5 posted 05-17-2015 08:07 PM

When I’m breaking down sheet goods, I use a straight edge clamp and put the sole plate against it and saw away.
I use a worm drive saw (Hypoid), is this Bora unique for the side winder saws?

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

1107 posts in 2248 days


#6 posted 05-17-2015 08:22 PM


When I m breaking down sheet goods, I use a straight edge clamp and put the sole plate against it and saw away.
I use a worm drive saw (Hypoid), is this Bora unique for the side winder saws?

- Grumpymike

The saw guide gives you registration to the straight edge. Think of it as assistance to keep the saw from wandering away from the straight edge clamp. I’m not sure if it’s compatible with worm drive saws.

-- paxorion

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2899 posts in 2451 days


#7 posted 05-18-2015 03:56 PM

I have the Bora kit (saw plate and 50” straight edge). It’s not compatible with worm drives. I have both a Skil MAG77 and a Bosch CSW41 pictured here (they are basically the same saw)

. The saw plate needs to clamp on the the toe of the circular saw. You can see the two clamps on my sidewinder here:

The bevel adjustment on my worm drives makes that impossible. Yous may be different but just be aware that you need space on the toe of your saws shoe to clamp it to the guide. If the front your saw looks like this (this is the Skil, the bosch is the same). it won’t work:

I have a far less than favorable opinion of the saw guide, but I love the new bora straight edge. The clamping is a lot better and the t-tracks are awesome.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

View jamescartin's profile

jamescartin

2 posts in 349 days


#8 posted 12-31-2017 02:14 PM



I have the Bora kit (saw plate and 50” straight edge). It s not compatible with worm drives. I have both a Skil MAG77 and a Bosch CSW41 pictured here (they are basically the same saw)

. The saw plate needs to clamp on the the toe of the circular saw. You can see the two clamps on my sidewinder here:

The bevel adjustment on my worm drives makes that impossible. Yous may be different but just be aware that you need space on the toe of your saws shoe to clamp it to the guide. If the front your saw looks like this (this is the Skil, the bosch is the same). it won t work:

I have a far less than favorable opinion of the saw guide, but I love the new bora straight edge. The clamping is a lot better and the t-tracks are awesome.

- lumberjoe

Very nice tools …....
Must4care

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