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Question about festool rails, join two 55" rails or order the 106" rail?

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Forum topic by kennymac posted 05-14-2015 01:41 AM 1520 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kennymac

38 posts in 668 days


05-14-2015 01:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: miter saw jig

Been meaning to post here more, just no spare time between work and the damn yard work. I love spring but it certainly brings me a lot of work. Okay, on to my question…

I just ordered the TS55 with one of their vacuums, and it came with the 55” rail. Looks nice, haven’t had a chance to put it to use yet (the front yard is starting to really look good though) but I’ve got plans for the saw once I really get some shop time. One of my goals this summer is to get some cabinets built for our walk in closet, along with some shop cabinets, and I will need to be able to cut out pieces anywhere from 60” right up to a full 8’ sheet of plywood. Looking at the rails online the price of the 106” rail is over $300 without shipping whereas the 55” rail is only $130. One would assume that joining the two 55” rails would yield me the length I need to tackle any cut, however I am not sure if joining rails would compromise the quality of the cut.

So I am asking those of you with experience with the festool rails, would joining the two 55” rails be as secure and clean a cut as using a 106” rail? Or would there always be an apparent defect when cutting with the two rails joined?

Just a side note, I have two thin flimsy aluminum rails that join together with a small plate with two screws. Last time I used it with my circular saw to cut a full size sheet of 3/4 birch plywood the cut had a big bow in the middle, leaving the cut with a slight curve. Practically a waste of a sheet of plywood had it been anything but a shop table top I was cutting. I’m of the mind that I’d rather spend a little more $$ up front to ensure I have a reliable tool then have to fix this again.

Thanks in advance for any help.


20 replies so far

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1421 days


#1 posted 05-14-2015 01:53 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVFuPfvhHfE

Combine them, you will be glad to not store the 106” when you rarely need it.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View Mike Throckmorton's profile

Mike Throckmorton

124 posts in 1128 days


#2 posted 05-14-2015 02:34 AM

It is very difficult to get the two joined rails straight and then hard to keep them straight for multiple long cuts.

If you plan on using the tool more than a little for longer cuts (and you have the money) buy the longer rail.

The cleats on the garage door storage method works great

-- You are never complete, you just draw a line where done is and stop at that line.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 887 days


#3 posted 05-14-2015 03:11 AM



It is very difficult to get the two joined rails straight and then hard to keep them straight for multiple long cuts.

If you plan on using the tool more than a little for longer cuts (and you have the money) buy the longer rail.

The cleats on the garage door storage method works great

- Mike Throckmorton

+1

Really need to buy one of each, I am afraid.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#4 posted 05-14-2015 03:38 AM

To prevent that middle bow I put a stopper in the center and it
helps a lot.

Connecting to rails works well, just be patient.

View kennymac's profile

kennymac

38 posts in 668 days


#5 posted 05-14-2015 04:06 AM

Thanks for the tips so far. I’m not sure I understand the need for the stopper to help prevent the bowing, my understanding is that the rails are quite good at staying in place once there down on the board being cut. Plus I wasn’t aware that you need to put any pressure on the saw to keep in snug against the rail.

So two recommend joining rails and two say it’s worth getting the longer, anyone else?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#6 posted 05-14-2015 11:18 AM

I bought 2 55” rails and thought it was the cat’s arse. I was wrong, joining them to be perfectly straight was simply a PITA (and never worked either). If I was doing it over I would go straight to the 106”, which is really useful for straight edging rough sawn lumber as well as the long dimension on sheet stock. If you have to have 2 shorter ones, I would choose a 55” plus a 75”; much more versatile. Storing the 106 wasn’t that hard for me. I screwed the shipping crate to the ceiling and put it there.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View TREV0R's profile

TREV0R

1 post in 572 days


#7 posted 05-14-2015 12:28 PM

I own the 106 and two of the 55 rails. I find that joining the rails together works as well as the long rail. And a tip for joining the 55’s together. Tighten the two cambered adjustment screws on the base of the TS 55 so there is no slop when the saw is on the track, then use the saw itself as the straight edge. Set the saw so it overlaps the tracks where they will be connected. Just make sure to connect the bottom side of the tracks first. Then use the saw as the final adjustment on the top side.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7481 posts in 1470 days


#8 posted 05-14-2015 10:30 PM

Here’s something else to consider …

What are the chances that UPS or FedEx will deliver that 8foot+ long package to you and it has NOT been bent in half?

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#9 posted 05-15-2015 11:07 AM

I can only say that mine arrived in good shape, the Festool crate is somewhat substantial. I believe (but do not remember) it was delivered by Fedex. But your point is valid.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View kennymac's profile

kennymac

38 posts in 668 days


#10 posted 05-17-2015 01:33 AM

Thanks again for the replies and advice. I’m down in Tampa for the weekend helping my mom celebrate her 80th birthday so it’s been hard to keep up with this thread.

I ordered the 106” rail yesterday though Amazon. Shipping was free and they actually scheduled delivery next Wednesday. I probably could have gotten away with joining two rails, but it seems that the one long is a sure bet to get the job done right. I’ll try to report back once I have it and give a brief review.

Thanks again everyone.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1772 days


#11 posted 05-17-2015 01:58 AM

Everyone knows that when you joint two rails they don’t touch each other, you leave a small gap between them right?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View zzzzdoc's profile

zzzzdoc

526 posts in 2466 days


#12 posted 05-17-2015 12:17 PM

I never could get two joined rails to be perfectly straight, so like you I ordered the longer rail. Happy with my decision.

OK, I’ll bit. Why do you leave a small gap between the rails?

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3937 posts in 1956 days


#13 posted 05-17-2015 12:42 PM

I’m not sure of the reason, but Festool suggests leaving a gap (it was in a picture on the box of my shorter rails). I can only speculate that the ends may not be a perfect 90ยบ, but other than that I’m not sure why that’s so important….but it is what Festool says.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View remdds's profile

remdds

19 posts in 2088 days


#14 posted 05-17-2015 01:41 PM

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1772 days


#15 posted 05-17-2015 04:29 PM

Festool does not guarantee the ends are a perfectly square.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

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