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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2009, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Thank you, Brice, for a very thoughtful and thorough review of the parallel guides. As always, you've provided a lot of food for thought.

When you're adjusting the guides to the saw blade it looked like your ruler and the scale on the guides were quite far apart. How do you ensure that the measurements are the same when you can't align the scales beside each other?
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2009, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
Thank you, Brice, for a very thoughtful and thorough review of the parallel guides. As always, you've provided a lot of food for thought.

When you're adjusting the guides to the saw blade it looked like your ruler and the scale on the guides were quite far apart. How do you ensure that the measurements are the same when you can't align the scales beside each other?
You first set the stop to what ever distance you want then you measure from the saw blade to the stop not the scale. Does that make sense?
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Last edited by BriceBurrell; 04-25-2009 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Nice review Brice!

The guides look very functional. Could you add a plastic pointer to over lap the scale to add accuracy because .5mm accuracy is a disaster in my book.

I was thinking about buying those but no one had any in stock. So I made my own version out of some scrap ply and some guide rail connectors. They are accurate enough to cut melamine from both side and have the kerfs line up perfectly.

One thing that I do not like about the Festool guides is that they have to hang off the work piece making it neccesarry to readjust for different lengths of stock.

I would give these a C+
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Brice said that his accuracy on the first try was .13mm & .22mm from one guide to the other guide -- that's about .005" and .009" with repeatability of +/-.09mm which is .0035". That's pretty darn good even without adding some sort of plexiglas lineup hair.
I was thinking I should build something along the line of Eiji's but with that kind of accuracy I may have to change my initial opinion of this set.

Very nice review Brice!

Ron
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2009, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Ron, the guides be accurate if you take the time to first precisely set the stops then pay attention to detail when setting the rail. Not the fastest process but it works. I've found it pretty easy to get an accuracy of +/- 0.5 mm it's difficult to get that kind of accuracy, repeatedly, measuring and setting the rail by hand. Setting the stop on the guide would be easier if there wasn't that gap between the scale and stop. This is something I hope Festool addresses.
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

As Eiji suggested it appears that you could add a plexiglass hairline for easier & more accurate setting. But, I would hope for better than +/-.5mm or .020" (that's more than plus or minus 1/64").

Still a great review.

Ron

Last edited by RONWEN; 04-26-2009 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Thanks Brice!

Good balanced review, that's what we potential buyers need to read
I guess, to a certain degree, it's as accurate as the user can set it.
I too couldn't live with .5mm in building cabinets.

I like the thought of using the guides to line up the router for dado's and sliding dovetails. I could see that working very nicely.
They do still interest me.
Cheers!
Okami
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2009, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Take a close look at what I wrote, it's easy to +/- 0.5 mm accuracy with the guides, I didn't write that's all the more accurate these things are. As Okami wrote, it's as accurate as the user set and uses it. Keep in mind that the guides are a big improvement over the old way of aligning the rails by hand and I'd bet more accurate than a homemade version.

The Festool guide rail system isn't for everyone. If you're into production where the accuracy needs to exceed 1/64" you need well tuned large stationary equipment not a TS plunge cut saw. OTOH, if you have a small garage or basement shop with no space for large equipment the Festool TS saws are exactly what you need. The parallel guides make the Festool rail system faster more accurate for repeat cuts. I've made good use of the guides so far and I see them getting a lot of use in the future. That doesn't mean I intend to sell my table saws anytime soon.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Nice review Brice. Seems to me that it might be a little fussy to set the scales precisely and equal initially, but once set you would get perfect repeatable cuts, dadoes, sliding dovetails, etc. For a pile of matching parts I think it would be a great tool. If it were easier to get the initial distance precise and equal on both stops would be really nice. Maybe someone will come up with an idea to simplify that.

Digital would be super. Close the stops up to the blade...zero... set your distances to equal digital readings... done. Precise, equal, simple, repeatable.
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Review of the Festool parallel guides.

Brice,
Another question comes to mind: The guides are designed to straddle the workpiece & they appear to be fairly thick aluminum extrusions. Is it nesscesary for them to "hang in space" off of the workpiece with no cutting table below or can they lay on the cutting table with the workpiece (let's assume 1/4" ply) between them? Would the parallel guides hold the saw guide rail up off of the ply (creating a gap between workpiece and guide rail) in that situation?
(the above question is for just the parallel guides WITHOUT the extensions attached).


Thanks,
Ron

Last edited by RONWEN; 04-26-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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