LumberJocks

Excellent Tool for Aligning Track Saw Track Sections

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Review by Rich posted 07-31-2021 01:42 AM 1283 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent Tool for Aligning Track Saw Track Sections No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For anyone who’s not aware, the ends of Festool tracks are not guaranteed to be square. You do not connect sections of track by butting them together because it won’t ensure the track will be straight across the connections. By leaving a small space between the two sections of track being joined, you can use various methods to align the track and ensure an overall straight track.

Festool recommends using the track saw itself to align the sections. In my view this is the least accurate method since the track saw base is relatively short. It also requires tightening the adjustment jaws on the saw to lock the track in place. Additionally, the track has to be flipped over to tighten the second connector bar from the back side. There’s no way to use the track saw when doing that, and the joint could be misaligned.

A better option is to use a straight edge. It works well when tightening the top connector bar, and can be used after flipping the track to align it while tightening the bottom connector. Very accurate, but clumsy.

Enter the Betterley StraightLine Connector. It locks onto the track and pulls it straight. Once the top connector bar is tightened, it holds the track sections in place while it is flipped over to tighten the bottom connector bar.

Using a 0.005” feeler gauge, I can attest that the result is indeed straight.

Here is the overall view of the StraightLine Connector. It is 24 inches long and milled from a solid piece of 1/2×2 1/2 inch aluminum stock. The anodized finish is flawless.

This view shows the underside and the mechanism that locks the track guide in place.

A close up look.

This shows the StraightLine Connector in place on the track.

This notch clearly shows where to align the joint.

It takes less than a quarter turn of the knob to engage the lock.

It does an excellent job of keeping the track sections aligned as you flip it over to access the bottom connector bar.

Priced at $109, this product is well worth the cost. I can only imagine what it would sell for if it had red anodizing.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner




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Rich

7348 posts in 1802 days



10 comments so far

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Desert_Woodworker

7951 posts in 2427 days


#1 posted 07-31-2021 03:03 AM

+1 very objective review. I like that you look at a well-known tool and your suggestions improve the product… good job.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Rich

7348 posts in 1802 days


#2 posted 07-31-2021 03:45 AM


+1 very objective review. I like that you look at a well-known tool and your suggestions improve the product… good job.

- Desert_Woodworker

Thanks, DW. This one is a clear winner for anyone who needs to connect track sections.

There are two different choices to make concerning tracks. Do you keep multiple shorter pieces and connect them, or do you buy the max length you need? I chose to go with the 800mm (32 inch), 1080mm (42 inch) and the 1400mm (55 inch) track that came with the saw. With the Betterley connector, I can confidently connect them to create a 3280mm (129 inch) track—long enough for any cut I’ll need to make.

The other option is to buy the 3000mm track. Its advantage is it’s guaranteed straight, but I really don’t want to be storing and maneuvering a ten foot track around my shop.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Peteybadboy

3880 posts in 3162 days


#3 posted 07-31-2021 11:42 AM

thanks Rich. I will take your advice and get one of those. I agree on the Red comment.

-- Petey

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Rich

7348 posts in 1802 days


#4 posted 07-31-2021 01:06 PM


thanks Rich. I will take your advice and get one of those. I agree on the Red comment.

- Peteybadboy

I ordered mine on June 25th from festoolproducts.com. It showed a July 12 ship date at the time, but was delayed. I received it July 30th. Their site currently lists in as in stock.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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LeeRoyMan

2061 posts in 940 days


#5 posted 07-31-2021 02:05 PM


There are two different choices to make concerning tracks. Do you keep multiple shorter pieces and connect them, or do you buy the max length you need? I chose to go with the 800mm (32 inch), 1080mm (42 inch) and the 1400mm (55 inch) track that came with the saw. With the Betterley connector, I can confidently connect them to create a 3280mm (129 inch) track—long enough for any cut I ll need to make.

The other option is to buy the 3000mm track. Its advantage is it s guaranteed straight, but I really don t want to be storing and maneuvering a ten foot track around my shop.

- Rich


I went with the 8’ section.
You know the one,
it has an 1/8” mdf plate and a 1×2 glued to it…...
(puts head down and walks away in shame)

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Rich

7348 posts in 1802 days


#6 posted 07-31-2021 02:25 PM


(puts head down and walks away in shame)

- LeeRoyMan

Keep your chin up, LeeRoy. I never judge a man by his track.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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BigAl98

284 posts in 4252 days


#7 posted 07-31-2021 04:52 PM

Yeah, the Red guys are truely out of the ball park on pricing. I can only say that at least they are American made, but at that price I understand why America is a net importer…and why companies out source their production.

-- Al,Midwest -To thine own self be true

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ScottKaye

802 posts in 3166 days


#8 posted 08-05-2021 09:43 PM

wonder how this would compare to the TSO Products GRC-12 Self-Aligning Guide Rail Connectors for less than half the cost. anyone have experience with both? you can see them here

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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Rich

7348 posts in 1802 days


#9 posted 08-06-2021 02:33 AM


wonder how this would compare to the TSO Products GRC-12 Self-Aligning Guide Rail Connectors for less than half the cost.

- ScottKaye

I considered those when I was looking at options. I guess you could save a few dollars if you’re joining two pieces of track—assuming those can do the job as well as the StraightLine connector, that is.

But, since that price is per pair, once you’ add a third piece of track, the savings go away, since you’ll need two sets.

There’s actually more to why I wouldn’t want to use those connectors, but no need to get into that here.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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RDan

191 posts in 3537 days


#10 posted 09-19-2021 03:11 AM

Good Review! That is the issue I have with a Masterforce® 8-Amp Corded 4-1/2” Plunge Cut Circular Saw Kit with 53-1/2” Guide Track. The tracks are short and trying to align them is a real pain. I use a True-Trac kit now. The two Dovetail Track connectors guarantee your track is straight. With my 2 Piece 8’+ and a extra 54” rail I get over 13’ and perfect alignment. Why the big companies in track saws don’t use 2 dovetail Keys is beyond me. Dan

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