Festool Track Saw Accessory Kit


Jonathan McCully
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Bought a TS 55 from recon awhile back, and now that I’ve moved, I’m looking to buy some tracks in order to more easily rip sheets of plywood. I’m planning to buy two 55” tracks, but am unsure whether to buy the Accessory Kit Systainer or just buy two rail connectors. Do any of you have experience with the accessory kit and are the accessories worth buying or should I save some money and just buy the connectors? Thanks.

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I have the two rail connectors and the TSO guide rail square and two Festool rail clamps which you will find other uses besides clamping the rails to work pieces.  This has all served me well and I have never needed or wanted the other stuff in the kit.  All that I have fits in the TS 55 sustainer.

One other suggestion, and this is just a personal preference, I have the 75" rail and  55" rail.  with 2 - 55's for cutting 8 ft sheets length wise your saw is hanging off the end or you are plunging into your work to get started.  I would rather plunge and then start the cut.  And having the 75" rail is nice when working with 5' X 5' sheets of baltic birch ply. 

 

https://tsoproducts.com/tso-guide-rail-squares/grs-16-guide-rail-square/

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Chet, I checked out the link to guide rail square and their videos. That’s certainly a neat deal but not cheap but beats the heck out of aligning both ends of the guide rail to measured pencil marks. Do you frequently use your track saw to cut pieces of ply other than to just break down large 4x8 or 5x5 sheets?

The last video on your link shows an independent guy demonstrating the guide rail square and he does it on a table with a hold down clamp. The table is also a neat deal and wish I knew who makes it. 

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1 hour ago, Chet said:

One other suggestion, and this is just a personal preference, I have the 75" rail and  55" rail.  with 2 - 55's for cutting 8 ft sheets length wise your saw is hanging off the end or you are plunging into your work to get started.  I would rather plunge and then start the cut.  And having the 75" rail is nice when working with 5' X 5' sheets of baltic birch ply. 

 

https://tsoproducts.com/tso-guide-rail-squares/grs-16-guide-rail-square/

Really like the suggestion of the TSO rail square. That seems like a really smart addition for making square cuts.

I’m a bit confused about your recommendation for a 55 and 75” rail. You mentioned that with 2 55” rails, I would have the saw hanging off the end when cutting an 8’ piece of ply. Wouldn’t my saw hang off the end even more if I connect a 55 and 75 for that same 8’ piece? Maybe I’m just not visualizing this correctly and I appreciate the correction.

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On 9/21/2021 at 10:00 PM, Jonathan McCully said:

Really like the suggestion of the TSO rail square. That seems like a really smart addition for making square cuts.

I’m a bit confused about your recommendation for a 55 and 75” rail. You mentioned that with 2 55” rails, I would have the saw hanging off the end when cutting an 8’ piece of ply. Wouldn’t my saw hang off the end even more if I connect a 55 and 75 for that same 8’ piece? Maybe I’m just not visualizing this correctly and I appreciate the correction.

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The track needs to extend beyond the length of your work some.  With only using 2 55 inch tracks that overhang would only be about 7 inches at both ends, so when you place the saw on the track and start it you would already be at the beginning of your work.  I prefer being able to start the saw, plunge it down and then move into the work.

Coop if you thing the TSO guide is pricey look at Woodpeckers version.

On 9/21/2021 at 7:32 PM, Coop said:

Do you frequently use your track saw to cut pieces of ply other than to just break down large 4x8 or 5x5 sheets?

I have been very thankful to have the track saw a number of times not involving Ply.  The current bed build I did all the cuts both rip and cross cuts with the track saw when making the side rails.  Final dimensions of those are 86 inches long  In my shop I couldn't rip or do the cross cuts because of lack of space around the table saw so I did it all using the track saw.

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11 hours ago, Jonathan McCully said:

Do any of you have experience with the accessory kit and are the accessories worth buying or should I save some money and just buy the connectors? Thanks.

Like @ChetI started with the 75" & 55" rails.  Over the years I have added different rails that were project specific.  I added several accessories, the angle guide,  plunge cut stop and parallel guides, to be specific.  Again these were project specific, the angle guide and plunge cut stop are very useful in my shop, the parallel guides are not.  This was before companies like TSO and Woodpecker came out with their rail square products.  Then I bought the TSO rail guide before the Woodpecker guide was available.  If I was starting over today I would still buy the tracks,  the plunge cut stop, and add the Woodpeckers rail square because of the built in angle guide.  

One last thing, DO NOT attempt a plunge cut without the stop in place.  The kick back is terrifying.  Don't ask.

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Having never personally seen a track saw in use and I have an extruded aluminum guide that I use, I’m still trying to comprehend and justify. It’s pretty apparent from watching you tube videos that the saw itself rides above the surface to be cut and that you “plunge” the saw down to start the cut. When and why would you need to plunge the saw into the piece not prior to the edge, thus requiring a stop? Hope that makes sense? 

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30 minutes ago, Coop said:

When and why would you need to plunge the saw into the piece not prior to the edge, thus requiring a stop? Hope that makes sense? 

Sink cutouts, in counter tops has been my primary use.  The saw has an alignment mark indicating where the blade will enter.  Make all 4 cuts, finish off with a jigsaw/handsaw and the cutout is complete.  Another place is to cut out a bad spot in a wood floor.  Same principle.  Those are the two that I can think of, I am sure there are more.

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