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 Another way to align Guide Rails

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Dik Harrison

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Posts : 233
Join date : 2008-07-01
Age : 70
Location : Evans, GA, USA

PostSubject: Another way to align Guide Rails   March 6th 2009, 8:15 pm

This thread was originally posted on SMC.

This is the method I am now using to assure my Guide Rails are perfectly aligned. I find it easier since I can hear if there is a misalignment.



Burt Wadell Posted:

Dik,

This is the method that I most frequently use and it works quiet well.

Burt


Dik Harrison Replied:

Burt, I knew you said you used a straight edge, but I thought you were looking at the gap between it and the rail. I just couldn't see that well, so I tried this.

David Eldridge Posted:

Thanks. That is a great way to align the rails. Very ez to understand and apply.

Craig Mitchell Posted:

Great video!


Burt Wadell Replied:

Dik,

I also like this because it is a quick way to check the rails. I often just grab a yard stick for a quick check. If I find a problem, I'll use something more precise. It is all about keeping it EZ.

Same problem here with the eyes. That is one reason I like the Hilti so much. I can see how to set it.

Burt

Michael Vrbanac Posted:

Good video, Dik! I do something similar only with an 8' precision level accurate to 0.00050"; in all its working positions. I had been using it to check true edges on panel stock but it worked well for
this, too. Its quick and easy and once its set, I'm good to go. The process to do this is a lot like you show in your video. Michael

Ira Gold Posted:

It can't get any E-Zer than that! Great stuff.


Andy Richards Posted:

whats up with all these alignment methods? I thought the rails self aligned - is it not always precise enough? or do you guys just like to double check? I suppose the same can be said for a table saw fence. Sure, it's supposed to self align, but rarely actually does...

Bruce Benjamin Replied:

Good question and two answers...Yes, the EZ rails are supposed to self-align and most do. Mine do every time. Sometimes you'll see a method to fix a problem on this forum but it's not necessarily a common problem. For those with the problem they still need to be fixed though. That's the purpose of this thread.

Second answer/comment...Not that it's really relevant to this forum but my Biesemeyer (clone) tablesaw fence always clamps down exactly where it's adjusted, (parallel to the blade) and as far as I've ever heard, they all do this. There may be a few cheap brands or other lessor designs out there but the Biesemeyer fences are pretty much always dead-on.

Bruce


Burt Wadell Replied:

Andy as a rule the EZ rails align perfectly but like anything else, you ocasionally have a problem. I've used the EZ rails for about 3 years and recall having alignment problems twice. I do check my rails from time to time - usually when we are starting the plywood for a kitchen. In a manner of a couple of hours, we will cut more than $1,000 worth of plywood.

I think that you and Bruce are talking about different levels of tables saws. The Better fences ($400 plus) are normally dependable. The fences on a cheaper table saw is guess work at its best. My old Sears COntractor saw use to throw more stuff at me in a week than a unisaw would in a year. It sure is nice to relax and use the EZ - use dust collection and you don't even have saw dust coming your way.

Burt


Michael Vrbanac Posted:

Andy,

You're right. I double check everything. Measure twice, cut once works for other stuff, too.

Michael


Dave Shepard Posted:

Mine never align.


Andres Cuevas Posted:

But now you have two methods for aligning the rails.

- The Thread Method: It's cheap but you have to use your eyes.
- The Precision Straight Edge Method: It's more expensive, no eyes needed, you only have to hear the misalignment.

Andres.


Dave Shepard Replied:

Oh yes, I've already tried your thread method and it worked a treat.

Dave


Louis Rucci Posted:

I have to ask. How much is a straight edge with that accuracy cost?


Dik Harrison Replied:

Mine is a 24" and it came from here:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=56676&cat=1,240,45313


Steve Kosh Posted:

Sorry to drag up this old thread but I need to ask a question relating to the video using the straight-edge to align the rails.

I was talking to a friend who is familiar with the SGS-100 setup... I asked him about rail alignment. He said the older SGS-100's came with three connectors and was easier to align (using the straight-edge) but the new SGS-100 only comes with two connectors, making it more prone to error (movement)... an opinion.

I searched the Creek and found this Video and it looks like he has three connectors (includes center).

With only two connectors, you have to flip the rails over to tighten the connectors... is that a problem?

Why was the three connectors reduced to two? ... cuts costs?

Can some one using the SGS-100 system (with the 2 connectors) chime in? I guess the string method is always an option.

Regards.


Steve,

Dik Harrison Replied:


I think that the reason Dino only sells two connectors with rail combinations 100" and less is that he and others believe three are not required for the shorter lengths. I disagree, and feel that three should always be used for rigidity, strength, and better alignment. The connectors and rails are self aligning, but if you have the ends of the rails touching and they are not perfectly square, the alignment will be thrown off. Likewise, it is always possible to introduce misalignment if your technique is lacking. I think it is safer to err on the side of caution, that is why I use three connectors and showed that in the video. You can always buy a center connector for your SGS 100 rails from Dino. Just make sure that they understand that you want the center connector since the hole pattern is different from the other two connectors.

David Stenglein Replied:

Steve,

Another way you can align the rails is use a big empire triangle and a couple of irwin speed clamps. With the rail flipped, lay the triangle down so that it lies flat on the rail, with the lip up against one side and so that the lip has about the same amount on either side. Use the speed clamps to clamp this lip to the other side of the guides. I found that with good clamping pressure I got it straight.

This is pretty much a variation on "squaring the square".

-Dave


Burt Wadell Replied:

Sorry to drag up this old thread but I need to ask a question relating to the video using the straight-edge to align the rails.

I was talking to a friend who is familiar with the SGS-100 setup... I asked him about rail alignment. He said the older SGS-100's came with three connectors and was easier to align (using the straight-edge) but the new SGS-100 only comes with two connectors, making it more prone to error (movement)... an opinion.



Your friend is correct that the SGS 100 originally came with 3 connectors and has been switched to 2 connectors. I have used them both ways and find no difference in performance as long as I use the rail plain or with repeaters. When I use a 100 inch or longer rail on the PBB, I do add the third connector because of the weight of the saw. At the time change was made, the PBB didn't exist.


I searched the Creek and found this Video and it looks like he has three connectors (includes center).

With only two connectors, you have to flip the rails over to tighten the connectors... is that a problem?



No. Just be sure to leave the appropriate spacing between the rails. As long as I've been doing his, I messed up and stuck the ends together on a set a few days ago. It wasn't straight. Put in the proper space and alignment was perfect.

In putting the rails together, I connect them, roll them over and check. Usually there are no problems.

Why was the three connectors reduced to two? ... cuts costs?

I don't know but my guess was because the center connector was extra weight, extra hastle and no improvement in performance

Hope that helps.

Burt
Steve Kosh Replied:

Thanks for the info...

I have to agree with Dik, it would have been a more robust connection
if that Center Connector wasn't removed from the SGS-100" Package. It's
included
with the SGS-114" Package.

Ordering a Center Connector would end up being a real hassle... an
extra $14 + Shipping just to restore the SGS-100" to the way it was
shipped previously.

Disappointing.

Bruce Benjamin Replied:

I got my original 100" system about 4 years ago, (Give or take) and it
only came with 2 connectors. I've never had any problem with alignment
using only 2 connectors with 2 50" rails and shorter. From what I
remember the advice from Dino was always to use the 3rd connector when
connecting longer lengths of rail or 3 or more rails together.

I wouldn't assume that you are being short changed by only getting 2
connectors with the 100" system. Of all of the woodworking tool
companies that I've dealt with over the years EurekaZone is the
last one I would think of when it comes to cutting corners to
save a few bucks at the expense of less function for the consumer. The
evidence for this is in Dino's outstanding warranty policy and his
unmatched willingness to give free upgrades, (Or at least very low
priced) every time a tool is improved or updated.

Bruce


Louis Rucci Replied:

I have one from Lee Valley also. He just said his was 8 feet long. That's what caused my question.


Dave Shepard Replied:

I never got centre connectors with my 114" Package. Because the
delivery company Dino uses is for some reason incapable of getting long
packages to the UK, the long rail had to be cut in two, I had to pay
for the extra connectors and didn't get any centre connectors. Getting
the rail straight (and to stay straight) whilst working with full
sheets is both fiddly and difficult.

Diono Makropoulos Replied:

Hi Dave.
One call or email and your (our) problem is solved.
Now we can ship longer rails.
We need to go over your order and make it right.


Bruce Benjamin Replied:

It seems to me that if someone doesn't get something with their order
that they should've or if they are somehow unhappy with what they got
that a simple email, phone call, or letter would be the first thing to
do. Even just posting to this forum or the other EZ forum is better
than just being unhappy with an EZ tool. I can't imagine being unhappy
with something I bought from a company, (Especially Dino and
Eurekazone) and not asking them about it. Some companies may just shrug
their shoulders but most will attempt to make it right, and nobody is
more willing to fix problems than Dino and Eurekazone. For anyone else
with problems you should just ask about it before leaving sad faces, () and just living with the problem.

_________________
Have fun...

Dik
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