Author Topic: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.  (Read 870 times)

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Offline jamespierce

  • Posts: 2
Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« on: September 10, 2021, 04:09 AM »
I am 100% a lurker here on FOG but wanted to put a small suggestion out there which I have done.

Short Version: Buy a 5000mm rail and cut it down to 3000mm and 2000mm rails using a mitre saw - Save a few dollars.

Long Version: Big guide rails are really expensive, and if you want to break down full sheets you really need a couple of big rails. I personally have a TS75 as my track saw, so a little oversize on the tracks really helps.

I have some 1080 and 1400 rails from package purchases but I knew I needed bigger rails for full sheets - I was going to buy a 2700 or 3000mm rail but what I realized was that for a small extra investment I could just buy a 5000mm rail and then chop it down and basically get a bonus shorter rail for the cuts across the sheets.

If I need a 5000mm rail, I can still join the two halves again, but honestly for most users that will be a very occasional use case. Otherwise a 3000mm and a 2000mm rail are perfect to work with a 2400x1400 sheet with enough space to run a big saw in and out. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 12:47 PM by jamespierce »

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Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2021, 04:31 AM »
If you check the prices, a 3000 and a 1900 will be cheaper than a 5000 (which carries a significant transport premium).

It makes sense to cut up the smaller rails - which do not include the transport premium in their prices. I.e. the 1900 or 1400 ones, possibly the 2400.

Also, do not underestimate the fragility of the 5000 rail - you need two people to safely manipulate the 5000 one without a risk of bending it just by carrying it by itself. It is truly a specialty for those who absolutely need it for specific use.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 04:35 AM by mino »
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
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AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline jamespierce

  • Posts: 2
Re: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2021, 04:58 AM »
In Oz it's ~ 25% more to buy a 5000mm rail vs a 3000mm rail. For reference the 5000mm rail comes in a box which is reinforced by timber down the full length, vs the typical cardboard box packaging. It's not a massive saving, but it aint nothing.  Here our shipping is free direct from Festool also.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 05:08 AM by jamespierce »

Offline johnredl

  • Posts: 34
Re: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2021, 08:45 AM »
I bought 2 x 1400 rails. I find them plenty long enough to cut a full sheet

Offline mino

  • Posts: 533
Re: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2021, 09:16 AM »
In Oz it's ~ 25% more to buy a 5000mm rail vs a 3000mm rail. For reference the 5000mm rail comes in a box which is reinforced by timber down the full length, vs the typical cardboard box packaging. It's not a massive saving, but it aint nothing.  Here our shipping is free direct from Festool also.
OK, FYI the 2700 and 3000 packaging is also timber reinforced.

I would say then the 3000 is overpriced down under then or you have very good price for the 5000 as they possibly have old stock.

Either way, if price is better, go for it!


That said, if I was cutting a 5000, I would go with 2850-ish, 1600-ish and small off-cut instead.

For full-sheet, you need 2800-2850, not 3000 (while 2700 is indeed too short).

You also want a single-piece rail for full cross-cuts where you need about 1550-1600 and it is very useful to have a small piece like 500 or 600 for really short cuts AND for extending the longer rails "just a bit".

I also find 2000 a "stupid" length - too long for cross-cuts, and too short for long rips. I rarely do 1500-1700 mm long cuts which a 2000 rail or optimal for. Either I need 2000+ long cuts for big cabinets or under between 900-1200 for small ones. Most cross-cuts being in the <700 mm territory where my 1016 rail shines.

my 2 cents
When the Machine does not have a brain, use Yours.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AGC 18@AGC 125 flange, BHC 18, C 12, CTM 36, DRC 18/4, PSC 420, RS 200, TSC 55
Protool: AGP 125, VCP 260
Narex: EDH 82, EFH 36@LR32, EVP 13 H-2CA, S 57 A
My Precious: 2x 376, 376 holy, 632, 1016 holy, 1400 holy, 2400, 2x GRS 16 PE, GECKO-DOSH

Offline SRSemenza

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  • Posts: 9686
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2021, 10:43 AM »

   @johnredl  welcome to the forum!  [smile]

I was wondering about how the price worked out too, but pricing , shipping , packing and such can be different around the world. OP in Australia makes a difference.

Personally I find the 3000 to be a very useful length.  2850 would have the extra for the TS55 / 75 on sheet goods but a little more can still make it easier. 

I also do a lot of solid wood ripping with the TS saws. It is nice to have the extra when buying rough random length boards. The 'eight foot' boards that I get are frequently between 8 1/2' and 9'  long.

Yes, that 5000 rail needs some care when handling. It gets very bouncy. I have one that I cut to 13 1/2' for ripping 12' boards. Even at that length it is bouncy and wavy when handling. It helps to tip it up so the width is vertical rather than flat/ horizontal while moving it around.   

Custom rail lengths are very dependent on the persons usage and space.

Seth

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 689
Re: Cutting down a 5000mm guide rail - 2000mm + 3000mm rails.
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2021, 05:49 PM »

   

 Even at that length it is bouncy and wavy when handling. It helps to tip it up so the width is vertical rather than flat/ horizontal while moving it around.   

Custom rail lengths are very dependent on the persons usage and space.

Seth

I do that even with my 3000 rail. I try to never let it get horizontal unless it is actually laying on something. I store it standing vertically.
CSX
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OF1010
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ETS EC 125
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