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Author Topic: How Resilient are the Rails?  (Read 6114 times)

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Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
How Resilient are the Rails?
« on: September 13, 2011, 09:58 AM »
Storing them the flattest possible is obviously the best, but under less than ideal...

How likely are they to "warp"/twist etc if they're not kept completely flat?

ie, I've managed to find that they do fit in a full size van, albeit not ideally. I'm thinking I can come up with some sort of clamping mechanics that attaches to the inner ribs of the van. But in the meantime, should I be worried that I'll permanently deform them?


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Offline VictorL

  • Posts: 589
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 10:09 AM »
Don't worry,

This is not a wood, so if you won't bend it or twist it, it won't sag.

VictorL

Offline Festool USA

  • Festool USA Employee
    FOG Administrator
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  • Posts: 8430
    • Festool USA
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 10:21 AM »
Like Victor said, these are made of aluminum extrusion, not wood. The ribs are going to add to the rigidity. Unless you ram it into something, sit something heavy on it, etc. you should be fine storing it in any orientation. At home, I have them hanging on the wall (there's a hole in the rails for this purpose). Here in our training facility we have 16' rail leaning against a wall and they're fine.

Shane

Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 11:40 AM »
Thanks, surprised not have been able to find much on transporting the 3000mm rail in a van.
I guess most people leave it in the shop

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3040
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 01:08 PM »
Seems to be amazing weather at the back of your van, and lots of rain at the front. Must be a very long van...

 :P

Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 01:49 PM »
yeah, a 99" would fit straight in and I'd come up with a similar solution.

But the 3000mm definitely does not, it barely fits in at a diagonal  [unsure]

Offline Les Spencer

  • Posts: 487
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 03:07 PM »
Not sure where everyone comes up with the theory that metal doesn't move. I was a tool maker and later a supervisor in a machine rebuild facility. Metal, steel or aluminum, will move and especially sag. Granted we were working in thousands of an inch but still I've seen cast iron rails which were 1 1/2"x 4" sag in the middle 1/16" if not support properly to evenly distribute the weight. The rail extrusions help immensely, but I never store my rails laying down for any length of time. I hang all my rails since I work out of my shop. Chris has the right idea for storing on their side while transporting. But unless I knew I would using the rails on a daily bases, I wouldn't  leave them in the van. I'd remove and hang in shop. I have a 2700mm hanging from the ceiling. Just don't want to take the chance. Old adage "better safe than sorry". [big grin]

One suggestion, I check my rails for straightness by taking a fishing line and stretching it taught parallel to extruded edge opposite the splinter edge. We used piano wire to check straightness on really long machine rails before we acquired a laser.

Just my thoughts. [blink]
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 03:25 PM »
good idea with checking for straightness

Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 03:28 PM »
so you think side is best?
i have them flat with a very mild bow. my concern is more if they torque at all, i would think even if they did inheret a bit of a cup it would lie straight when laid flat on stock?

Offline Ken Nagrod

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Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 03:45 PM »
so you think side is best?
i have them flat with a very mild bow. my concern is more if they torque at all, i would think even if they did inheret a bit of a cup it would lie straight when laid flat on stock?

Then frequently flip the guide rail if that's a concern.

Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1173
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 05:20 PM »
I keep my rails in the van for storage all the time. I keep them flat on the topshelve, the 3m rail sticks out about 50 cm, because the shelving doesn't go the entire length (I left some room to put my compressor, hang hoses, doorbucks and extensioncords). I have an older, medium sized, single cabin sprinter that can load +-3.3m behind the bulkhead.

My 3m rail did end up bent, but not by the way I store it in the van, it fell down with the parallelguides attached when I didn't put it out of the way carefull enough when loading a fresh board onto my cutting table.

Offline greenMonster

  • Posts: 290
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2011, 05:29 PM »
ah nice, im considering the sprinter myself. good to hear it fits, sorry to hear about you rail though

Offline whitesys

  • Posts: 126
    • www.davidwhite.us
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 12:44 AM »
Seems to be amazing weather at the back of your van, and lots of rain at the front. Must be a very long van...

 :P

No - Just Indiana
It can be raining hard on one side of the street and sun shining on the other side   [big grin]

Offline Jesse Haifley

  • Posts: 12
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 01:15 PM »
Like Les, I used to be a toolmaker, but unlike many of you I'm not a professional woodworker.  I agree with Les on the strict theory, but personally think it is highly unlikely that these rails would deform much under their own weight, especially if the Festool engineers specified the aluminum type and temper correctly, which they probably did since they seem pretty clever otherwise.  And it's an especially low risk for the axis we care about.  It's like a 40 foot glue-lam beam for a house: floppy on the flat side, ultra-stiff on the edge.  Since it's the edge (strictly speaking: the ridge that guides the saw) that we really need to keep straight with the saw rail.
I'm more anxious about bashing an egde when navigating in tight quarters, or about overtightening the set screws in the joining bars when stiching two rails together.  A dummy in my shop did that, putting permanent little divots in the guide portion of the rail.  Drove me nuts.

Offline Alan m

  • Posts: 3323
Re: How Resilient are the Rails?
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 02:27 PM »
i would have to agree with jesse. yes the metal will sag but very little. there will be more uneven surface on the 8x4 shhet than will be in the rail. as long as you keep the rail the right way up than clamps on the ends will hold it down. i would be more woried about banging or dropping stuff on it than it sagging. if i had that van i would make up a u shaped holder out of 2 layers of 1/2 " ply with a spacer in between. this could be screwed to the inside of the roof and the rail slid into itfrom the side. this would stop things banging it and stop it sagging
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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