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Festool stuff #12: Rail square acrylics DIY - can be made for any rail

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Blog entry by mafe posted 12-09-2020 05:23 PM 1564 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Simple speed square rail square - easy peasy Part 12 of Festool stuff series Part 13: Makita rail / track adaptor - with zero clearance. »

Festool / Makita rail square DIY
this one an acrylic version-

This is the first version, I started on, as I went on, I found out, that a plywood version would make more sense, as it was easier to make, cheaper, more sturdy and could be made by every one, but I decided to finish what I started, so here it is.

When doing construction work, its useful to be able to make fast straight board cuts in many situations, these cuts 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.

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.


This is what we are making, an acrylic rail square.


You can buy a rail connector, but I decided to make one, as I have some thick aluminium laying around.
First up, cutting a piece that fits the width of the T-slot, or I actually made it a wee to big, so I could sneak in.


Hmmmm, not impressed with the cut quality, perhaps my metal blade is worn out.


A little sanding and it’s a fit.


I read, that you can make them self locking and centring by giving the sides a 45° cut, so I try this.


Like so.


The top a wee more narrow, than the T-slot.


Finding the centre.


Time for cutting some acrylics.


I’m happy with this.
Now mark the T-slot position and leave the edge sticking out a little on the cut side.


Marking a straight line.


Drill holes, I choose three, to connect to the rail connector.


Colouring with a Sharpie.


So it’s easy to see where the marks are.
A pointed drill bit is set in first hole and kept there, while marking the others.


Clear marks.


Drilling the holes.


This was where I found out, I should upsize my bolts…
So making the holes bigger.


In the connector also.


Grinded the heads of the bolts down.


Marking for the bolt heads.


A rabbet to accommodate the bolts.


It seems to work, but also make the build too complex and make too much room for mistake…


Other side.


Now it can be squared up.


Mine were not square at all, so I needed to kake the holes wider.


Like so.


We got a square, but I want more stability.


This was where I came up with the slide on thingy, that could have made the whole project more easy…
Also where I started building the plywood version…


Gluing layers of acrylics together.


Making sure they are straight.


Shaping a little to remove sharp edges.

Here you see the underside, basically it can be replaced with a similar solution, to the one I use in the plywood version…
But I will finish it off, as it is all about having fun.


Hold in place thingy profile ready.


Will be mounted like this.


Epoxy.


Clamps to hold it, while it dry.


Carefully took it off, to make sure I did not glue it to the rail.


Small piece of acrylics cut with a hole drill.


Hole in the side drilled for bolt.


Then a hole in the fence.


Countersink it on the back.


Wing nut and locking washer.


So it can turn.


Less is plenty, band aid for fools…….


Back side of rail square.


Front side.


Slide in place and tighten bolts.


Ready to use.


Back side.


One more hole drilled.


Just so it can hang on the workshop wall, when not in use.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, or some straight cuts.

Best thoughts,

MaFe

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



5 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10263 posts in 2038 days


#1 posted 12-09-2020 07:40 PM

Definitely over-engineered, but it looks like you had fun!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile

mafe

13872 posts in 4545 days


#2 posted 12-09-2020 08:41 PM

I might redo it, so it becomes like the plywood version, for now it will stay on the wall. It had a purpose, it made the thinking for the plywood version possible, sometimes we have to cross a lake, to get water.
Smiles, thanks, yes I had lots of fun, even finishing it, was not as fun, once I had the plywood version made, as I liked that a lot better.

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

13872 posts in 4545 days


#3 posted 12-09-2020 08:43 PM

Here a woodworking video to enjoy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5vqJCyeiig

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

View lew's profile

lew

13533 posts in 5211 days


#4 posted 12-09-2020 10:07 PM

I’m afraid I’d break the plastic one. I tend to drop things.

Beautiful build, Mads.

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

View mafe's profile

mafe

13872 posts in 4545 days


#5 posted 12-09-2020 11:44 PM

Thank you, I think the same, that’s why I ended up making the plywood version, as I’m planning to use it in the allotment around the house, so it might get some beating. Now the fancy acrylic version can stay in the workshop.
Big smile dear Lew.

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

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