Festool stuff #10: Rail square DIY - can be made for any rail

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Blog entry by mafe posted 12-09-2020 12:44 AM 9184 reads 6 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Adaptor, for Makita 18V circular saw on Festool rails._ Part 10 of Festool stuff series Part 11: Simple speed square rail square - easy peasy »

Festool / Makita rail square DIY
can be made for any rail.

When doing construction work, it’s useful to be able to make fast straight board cuts in many situations, these cut’s don’t need to be furniture precise, but within a mm or so pr. Meter, is more than fine. This is where these rail squares are brilliant, no setup, just a pencil mark for the size and you can make a nice straight cut.
Decided I needed one of these for my allotment house and that it would be a fun project, to make a MaFe version.
This square can of course be made for any brand of rail, my rail saw is a Festool, but I also made a rail jig, for my Makita and even have both brands of routers, that run on the rails.

Here the finished project first, plywood rail square mounted on the rail and put up against a piece of MDF for cut.

The cut side.
Hope you get the idea.

Let’s get to it!
I start by cutting a piece of quality plywood.
The size is the width of the inside of a Systainer, so it can be stored there and the hight, app half of that.

Marking where the T-slot is located.

Leaving a wee bit of the ply going passed the edge of the rail, on the cutting side.

A strip the width of the T-slot, is cut from old IKEA cutting board.
(It’s not needed to be from IKEA).

Make sure it’s a tight fit.

On the table saw, a rabbet is cut to fit the strip.
Go slow and sneak in on it.

Roger rabbet…

Forgot to take a picture, when I were screwing in, the strip, but it’s just three small screws, with countersink in the strip.
Here I cut an angle, to the fence, that starts where the rail ends, it’s not needed, I just found it nice looking and wanted to remove weight, when possible.

Testing it out.

Remember we kept this one a wee too wide, don’t cut it yet.

As you can see the fence is not completely square, so that will need to be corrected.

But I want to finish the build first and once all is done, square it up.
Here you get the basic idea, now we need a way to secure the fence and a little helper, to keep it on the board.

The washer will keep it from tilting and then I need to figure out how to hold it in place… Hmmmmmmmmm…

Perhaps something like this.

Well that might work!

Not bad at all, this will be a hardware free solution, that I like.


We got a sliding fixture.

Less is plenty, big smile.

The devil is in the detail.

This will work, the rail can slide in and out, but will be held secure in place.

More glue.

Gave it some brad nails, while it was on the rail.
Here you can see the fence.


Screws from the backside, to hold it firmly in place.

What a mess.

I decided to remove the centre screw and ad one on each side.

So I can drill a hole in the centre.

8mm straight in the middle.

There are cut out for a bolt, in the strip.
The bolt needs to be grinded a wee bit on each side, to fit in the T-track.

Now with cut out for bolt to ride in the T-track.

Bolt is put in place and fence is slided on.

Good size hand knob is screwed on to it, like this it will lock and secure the fence.

Back to the hold in place thingy…
A large washer.

Drilling a hole.

Marking position.

Screw with a locking washer is screwed in.

Like this it can be easy set aside, when not needed or transported.

It will prevent the rail from tipping and make it easy to align the board.


This is not needed, but again I would like to remove some material, to make it lighter and to look cool.

Also ran it over with a router, just to remove the sharp edges.

The fence.


Sliding the rail on to it.

Tightening the hand knob.
Is it only me who thinks this fence says WHOOO?
It really made me laugh.

Once squared up, I put a carpenters square on it, and found out it was app 1mm out of square.

This was simply corrected by running it through the table saw.

Test cutting and cutting over the wee extra, sticking out of the fence.

And yes it works like a charm, dead square now and really easy to use.
Think it’s going to be a winner, especially on the road.

Fits in a systainer.

But for now it will spend the winter on the workshop wall.

Well the fence story is not over, there will be another part or two, as I actually started out making one in acrylic / plexiglass / PMMA, before I made this one, but then got distracted into making this one, but that’s another story.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, or even a straight cut.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

9 comments so far

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5090 days

#1 posted 12-09-2020 01:35 AM

Love that washer idea- Inspired!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View pottz's profile


22315 posts in 2319 days

#2 posted 12-09-2020 01:43 AM

you just gave me another project that i can really use buddy,thank you.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9330 posts in 1917 days

#3 posted 12-09-2020 03:38 AM

It looks like a very surprised fence! Perhaps it saw the happy monkey dance.

Less is plenty, my friend. Well done!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile (online now)


13682 posts in 4424 days

#4 posted 12-09-2020 07:20 PM

Hi there,
Lew, smiles, yes less is more at times. Smiles, a big one.
Pottz, So happy if this is the case, look forward to see your go on it. Thanks.
Dave, Yes this is the Ohhhhhhhh fence, the Ohhhh happy dancing monkey fence… Laughs, thanks.
Best thoughts and thanks for leaving a word,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Andybb's profile


3382 posts in 1938 days

#5 posted 12-16-2020 09:28 PM

you just gave me another project that i can really use buddy,thank you.

- pottz


Thanks for the roadmap.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View MikeJT's profile


5 posts in 1421 days

#6 posted 11-27-2021 03:07 AM

Great job thanks for the detail.

View mafe's profile (online now)


13682 posts in 4424 days

#7 posted 11-29-2021 06:33 PM

Hi guys,

Andybb, +1 big smile here. Lovely word for a blog ‘rodmap’.

MikeJT, Thanks, always happy to share the journey.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View mtnwild's profile


4758 posts in 4862 days

#8 posted 11-29-2021 06:56 PM

Yea, No…Looks way too complicated and precise to me…Plus no Festools’’’

Would like to know if in that last photo, if that’s one of your drawings?

Cool man…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View mafe's profile (online now)


13682 posts in 4424 days

#9 posted 12-02-2021 09:34 PM

Hi Jack,
Laughs, this was the simple one, no one needs Festool, it’s a luxury item, I have worked with Estonian woodworkers, that could make things of a unbelievable standard, with a dull chisel, a hammer and a rusty skill saw. It just makes it easier to be precise, when your tool is.
Yes that is a croquis / live drawing of mine, a discipline I have enjoyed a lot, as you learn to focus and feel a shape, as you have no time, to use your intellectual side.
Best thoughts thanks,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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