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Nick2cd

Are Festool guide rails perfectly straight when joined with the connectors?

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I just got a new TS55R for Christmas.  as you know, it comes with the 55" rail.  i'd like to add the LR32 55" rail so i can cut 8' sheet goods length wise.  however, i don't want to sacrifice accuracy.  is it just as accurate to connect two 55" rails together as it would be to buy a 106" solid rail?

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At those prices it should be! I am getting the TS75 and 12 ft of rails next year sometime. I occasionally need to glue up a long wood table or counter top. I want a 32 mm drilled rail for the occasional long or oddly placed holes for shelf pins.

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==> as you know, it comes with the 55" rail

 

If you order from the better FT dealers (say, ToolNut), they'll substitute any rail you want. You only pay the up-charge...

 

BTW: when you get the rail, put-on a thin coat of paste wax (I used Renaissance) -- really hopes...

 

One more tip: I used nylon electric cable mesh w/ shrink-tube on the ends to bind the hose/cable into a single service connection. The nylon mesh glides over the surface instead of gripping the sheet's edge and/or rail. It further prevents the hose form marring the sheet's surface...

 

http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-mesh-cable-sleeving/=pypb2p

 

http://www.mcmaster.com/#shrink-tubing/=pypbnq

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Even if it wasn't perfect (which it should be, like H3 said...and it is Festool, afterall...it probably is), one pass over the jointer...

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==> as you know, it comes with the 55" rail

 

If you order from the better FT dealers (say, ToolNut), they'll substitute any rail you want. You only pay the up-charge...

 

BTW: when you get the rail, put-on a thin coat of paste wax (I used Renaissance) -- really hopes...

 

One more tip: I used nylon electric cable mesh w/ shrink-tube on the ends to bind the hose/cable into a single service connection. The nylon mesh glides over the surface instead of gripping the sheet's edge and/or rail. It further prevents the hose form marring the sheet's surface...

 

http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-mesh-cable-sleeving/=pypb2p

 

http://www.mcmaster.com/#shrink-tubing/=pypbnq

Which type and size did you use on a 27mm hose and cord? I have Velcro wraps holding the cord on and it likes to snag on things.

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I have the ts75 and i also bought the 10' rail for sheets. I joined the two for a 12 foot bar top once and i had no issues, worked out great!

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You can always use a straight edge to verify you are lined up at the connection point. I use my 50" straight edge to double check before I plunge the saw. A nice box beam level would also work in a pinch. 

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No. A shop I worked in had four 55" rails and we couldn't find a single combination of any two that would be straight when joined together. Didn't matter if we used a straight edge or the edge of another rail to align them plywood sheets all ended up with about an 1/8" concave cut. 

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==> Which type and size did you use on a 27mm hose and cord?

Due to the tolerances, you need to remove a connector from the end of the hose, slide on the nylon mesh/shrink tube, then re-attach the DC fitting...

 

I've looked through my McMaster Orders... All 50 over the past two years...

 

Problem is, I've done my CEROS hoses, FT27 and FT36... And each take different sized parts...

 

Best guess on part IDs:

9337K15

7132K81

 

You can always return if it's the wrong part...

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I had my doubts too but I found two of the current rail connectors work surprisingly well. Frankly it has to, as I wouldn't be able to handle anything longer than the 75inch rail in my shop, it's bad enough handling plywood and long hardwood boards with tricky corners and low ceilings everywhere at my new place.

 

I butt up a straight edge to get it aligned, though I've once seen a jig being sold somewhere that automatically align them dead on and hold them in place while you tighten the connectors.

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Here is the product to line up your guide rails. I personally don't think it is needed, but some may have a reason for it: http://www.festoolproducts.com/Betterley-SLC23-StraightLine-Connector-for-Guide-R-p/slc23.htm

I had my doubts too but I found two of the current rail connectors work surprisingly well. Frankly it has to, as I wouldn't be able to handle anything longer than the 75inch rail in my shop, it's bad enough handling plywood and long hardwood boards with tricky corners and low ceilings everywhere at my new place.

 

I butt up a straight edge to get it aligned, though I've once seen a jig being sold somewhere that automatically align them dead on and hold them in place while you tighten the connectors.

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thanks for all the great replies and info.  my shop space is limited, so it would be nice to accomplish this task with two 55" rails.  

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I just got my Festool equipment and have a couple of observations to make about the guide rails; first, like some others, I do not want to be taking the time and trouble to use a (potentially "un") straightedge to test to see whether the two 55" guide rails are straight when joined, and which I would have to do every time I moved them. And how straight do you really think that $50 six foot aluminum level is?? Worse, however, I quickly found out that I cannot use the parallel guides with that setup to rip an 8' piece of plywood. The left and right halves of the parallel guides take up a total of 11 1/2 inches when attached at the extreme ends of the joined rails. They have to be all the way on in order for the brass adjusting screws to both bear against the edge of the guide rail. Therefore, you need 96" plus 11 1/2, or 107 1/2" minimum, leaving the 106" guide rail an inch and a half too short. The same is true with using a single 55" guide rail with the parallel guides - you cannot rip a half sheet of plywood using the parallel guides because you need at least 48" plus the 11 1/2 again, or 59 1/2 inches. As European plywood is also 4 x 8, one would think that Festool would have the "standard" guide rails sized at 60" and 108" in order to both be used with the parallel guides. I suspect that it is what it is because the parallel guides came much later than the guide rails and they just left them that size rather than for reasons of pure greed. In any case, the lengths should be changed by 5" and 2" respectively.

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I just got my TS 75 a week ago. River rat is correct that you need 11 1/2" to plunge before a long cut to get the best rip. I joined my 75" rail to a loaner 106" and ripped a large stack of 11 ft long 5/4 oak to glue up some bar tops. A few test cuts were needed to get the rail joint perfect. I used a 30" machinist straightedge to double check the alignment. We marked where the rail joint was on each board and glued up 2 tops. After we sanded out the tops there was no sign of the joint affecting the seam. I could barely feel a slight hesitation as a ran the saw past the joint . Cutting with the best face downwards gave better results due to the splintery nature of oak.

I have a 118" rail on order, hope it comes in this week.

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I have the rail that came with my ts75 and i also purchased a 10' rail so i can work with sheet goods. I had to join the rails for a bar top build and i also had to make some adjustments to get a perfectly straight cut. But yes it is possible, just maybe not by just connecting them and going for it. Double check it before.

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