Author Topic: FS-WA arrived way off square  (Read 1879 times)

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Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
FS-WA arrived way off square
« on: November 17, 2022, 10:46 AM »
Hi all,

is it to be expected that when buying the FS-WA it comes not even close to being square? (image attached, its visibly off)

if so, is this something i can calibrate myself?

Dan

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Offline bwehman

  • Posts: 173
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2022, 10:48 AM »
The two Allen bolts get loosened to calibrate.

Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2022, 11:53 AM »
ok cool, is there an easy way to adjust it accurately? i tried lining it up against the side of my worktop and then the edge of the rail on the other side, but is there a more sensible way to do it?

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1640
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2022, 12:15 PM »
My gut says to connect a rail and then get out a large square to true it up.  I'm surprised Sedge or Brent haven't done a video on it.

Sedge only mentions that it's "calibrateable" in the Festool Live Episode #88 on the new FS-2 Kit, around 26:45:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyoR3c-eEI4?t=1605

@Brent Shively or @DerickC , an idea for a video short?

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2452
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2022, 12:37 PM »
If you have a CNC'd MFT and some dogs, try using the table edge for the square and 2 dogs for the rail. As long as the dog holes are square/perpendicular to the edge it'll work great.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5724
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2022, 12:39 PM »
Thanks for the good photo of the device. Looks like the "mark" on the adjustable bit is nearly a full degree wide. How are you supposed to set an angle accurately with that?

Before recalibrating I'd remove the screws and file a bevel on the nose of the curser and then scribe a fine line along the center of what's left of the embossed ditch.

Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2022, 12:46 PM »
it has a decent "click" on the common angles, it kind of snaps into a recess on the underside, so the actual pointer on top is a bit less relevant at common angles i think?

filing and scribing it are probably a bit beyond me to be honest  :'(

i dont have an mft, unfortunately im a bit of a n00b with this sort of thing, was hoping this would arrive setup so i could make accurate cuts straight away hah,

if anyone has a recommendation for a square i could buy to try and true it up that would be really helpful

i suppose i could also cheekily take it to a workshop where they might have the kit to calibrate it more easily than i can at home

thanks for all the advice!

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5724
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2022, 12:50 PM »
To recalibrate make a guide rail square to an edge.

Use a panel with a straight clean edge long enough for the rail under the protractor head.
Use your biggest accurate square to make the guide rail square to that edge registering the square to the left side of the guide rail.
Use a clamp to secure the guide rail to the panel.
Slide the protractor gizmo onto the rail and secure it.
Looks like it may take some futzing to get the head secure and get the rail under the head flush with the panel but when they are both comfortably in place you can tighten the knob on the protractor and then adjust the curser to line up the new thin scribe line with the 90* mark on the scale and then tighten the screws.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5724
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2022, 01:17 PM »
Woodpeckers big squares are good and TSO has nice big triangle squares. A machinist or engineer's square isn't as good in this case because they have thin blades which won't interface sufficiently with the side of the guide rail.

The detents in the head probably have a little play in them but they should be a close enough match to the indicated angle that they will still be useful as intended. (i.e. roughly accurate)

Only if the tool is good enough to keep in your opinion should you bother to improve on the embossed cursor. This is not a precision tool (even though it is costly). You should invest in something better in my opinion. I would suggest the MTR-X or MTR-18 from TSO Products.

If you want to keep the tool and improve it's accuracy to maybe good enough from fairly close then do what I describe above to make the cursor more accurate. You ought to have a file (several actually). If you don't you can use some sandpaper on a block of wood to put a bevel on that cast aluminum (or zinc?).

You should know that even if you are happy with the reliability of setting the angle, keeping the angle in practice may be difficult. The knob on top of the protractor might not provide enough friction to keep the angle from shifting while you set the guide rail in place on the work. Festool's previous attempt to make a protractor for the guide rail was notoriously unreliable in that regard.

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1640
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2022, 01:28 PM »
@mino or one of our other European brethren have one of the FS-WA angle unit and have stated that it is many lightyears beyond the original protractor head in terms of accuracy and reliability.

Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2022, 04:50 PM »
To recalibrate make a guide rail square to an edge.

Use a panel with a straight clean edge long enough for the rail under the protractor head.
Use your biggest accurate square to make the guide rail square to that edge registering the square to the left side of the guide rail.
Use a clamp to secure the guide rail to the panel.
Slide the protractor gizmo onto the rail and secure it.
Looks like it may take some futzing to get the head secure and get the rail under the head flush with the panel but when they are both comfortably in place you can tighten the knob on the protractor and then adjust the curser to line up the new thin scribe line with the 90* mark on the scale and then tighten the screws.

thanks a lot for the detailed instructions here, i will try this tomorrow, ts55 is my first festool purchase (im normally a makita guy but the ts55 seemed a way ahead for track saws!) so excited to get cracking on some basic stuff (just some shelving bits for kids rooms)

Dan

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2086
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2022, 05:41 PM »
Bu looking at the pics, I would assume that the detents are still fine, it's just the indicator that is off? There is usually some slop in such mechanisms, but I have never had one of these in my hands.
I have thought about getting one, just for the angular capability though.
I have the Woodpeckers version of the adjustable track square. It is very accurate. I have made some very large octagon shapes with it, but there is one HUGE limitation to it. The thing only pivots one direction. This is fine if you can turn the piece over to cut the angle the opposite direction, but that isn't always possible.
Thus the reason for looking into the Festool version.
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Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2022, 04:42 AM »
Bu looking at the pics, I would assume that the detents are still fine, it's just the indicator that is off? There is usually some slop in such mechanisms, but I have never had one of these in my hands.
I have thought about getting one, just for the angular capability though.
I have the Woodpeckers version of the adjustable track square. It is very accurate. I have made some very large octagon shapes with it, but there is one HUGE limitation to it. The thing only pivots one direction. This is fine if you can turn the piece over to cut the angle the opposite direction, but that isn't always possible.
Thus the reason for looking into the Festool version.

the detents are part of the adjustable indicator part, (pic attached) so that whole unit is adjusted together, certainly when setting it to zero currently with the detents, its visibly off


Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2022, 05:01 AM »
last question... when you're talking about "squares" to calibrate, can you share a link to a pic? if i look for squares i see "combination squares", "engineers squares", "rafter squares" etc. and im not sure which one we're talking about (examples here: https://www.toolstation.com/search?q=set%20square)

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 2452
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2022, 05:05 AM »
last question... when you're talking about "squares" to calibrate, can you share a link to a pic? if i look for squares i see "combination squares", "engineers squares", "rafter squares" etc. and im not sure which one we're talking about (examples here: https://www.toolstation.com/search?q=set%20square)

Like this https://tsoproducts.com/tso-precision-triangles/ptr-18-plus-precision-triangle/



Handy to have in the shop but they'll set you back as much as the guide rail square itself.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2022, 05:07 AM »
last question... when you're talking about "squares" to calibrate, can you share a link to a pic? if i look for squares i see "combination squares", "engineers squares", "rafter squares" etc. and im not sure which one we're talking about (examples here: https://www.toolstation.com/search?q=set%20square)

Like this https://tsoproducts.com/tso-precision-triangles/ptr-18-plus-precision-triangle/

(Attachment Link)

Handy to have in the shop but they'll set you back as much as the guide rail square itself.

RMW

gotcha, thanks for the help!


Online mino

  • Posts: 1209
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2022, 07:37 AM »
@mino or one of our other European brethren have one of the FS-WA angle unit and have stated that it is many lightyears beyond the original protractor head in terms of accuracy and reliability.
Correct.

The biggest advantage is the FS-WA CAN be calibrated, this means one can "calibrate-out" even any tiny bend a rail can have /most do/.

The biggest disadvantage is the FS-WA MUST be calibrated for accuracy:
 - every time one changes the angle
 - recommended also when changing rails (to calibrate-out any rail irregularity)

The detents are - by definition - only aproximate. So it is normal they do not give precise angles. Actually it is even desirable in my vie - > avoids the false impression a detent (of any kind) can be used for accuracy.

In other words, the FS-WA *allows* for effectively absolute accuracy, by the nature of allowing calibration against a precise engineer's square. The price to pay for this is one must calibrate against a known-good reference.

On the other hand the FS-WA/90 (aka GRS 16) does NOT allow for absolute accuracy as it heavily depends on the rail being absolutely straight for the overall angle accuracy. The advantage though is that one can get "good-enough" accuracy with it most of the time (as in with most rails).

Practical advice:
The simplest (as in cheapest) way to calibrate the FS-WA for 90° cuts is using the 5-cut method and  tuning the until you get absolute precision. Then store the board (make sure it is at least 2'x2') and use it for future quick calibration.
Ideal material for this is the cheapest one - laminated particle board. It does not change shape with humidity or temperature.

The better way is naturally havin a DIN Class 0 (or at least Class 1) engineer's square of sufficient size. From what I gather this is a bit problematic in the US as there are the $300 Starret pieces and then all the junk for $20 at Amazon which is not worth $5 in reality ... In Europe this is easy as DIN is a thing and there are multiple makers in the $50 category for DIN Class 0 stuff. KINEX being my favourite as it is a local brand in SK/CZ ...

I got two FS-WA/90 at launch and lately one FS-WA ... having the FS-WA, I reduced my GRS 16(FS-WA/90) use to a minimum. Now use it mostly in pairs (both sides of cut) when need to cut very narrow stock or some aluminum profiles etc.
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline danturn

  • Posts: 8
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2022, 05:28 AM »
The better way is naturally havin a DIN Class 0 (or at least Class 1) engineer's square of sufficient size. From what I gather this is a bit problematic in the US as there are the $300 Starret pieces and then all the junk for $20 at Amazon which is not worth $5 in reality ... In Europe this is easy as DIN is a thing and there are multiple makers in the $50 category for DIN Class 0 stuff. KINEX being my favourite as it is a local brand in SK/CZ ...

I got two FS-WA/90 at launch and lately one FS-WA ... having the FS-WA, I reduced my GRS 16(FS-WA/90) use to a minimum. Now use it mostly in pairs (both sides of cut) when need to cut very narrow stock or some aluminum profiles etc.

ah interesting, those kinex squares seem pretty reasonably priced..

what sort of size would be sensible for this? sorry, im really starting at the basics here!

https://shop.kinexmeasuring.com/en/precision-universal-square-kinex-400x265-mm-din-875-0-p8432c22c190/?sort=p.price&order=desc <- this sort of thing (400x260mm)

i will also try the 5 cut setup, but i'd like to understand how to do both so i know a bit more about these things

Online mino

  • Posts: 1209
Re: FS-WA arrived way off square
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2022, 05:15 PM »
ah interesting, those kinex squares seem pretty reasonably priced..

what sort of size would be sensible for this? sorry, im really starting at the basics here!

https://shop.kinexmeasuring.com/en/precision-universal-square-kinex-400x265-mm-din-875-0-p8432c22c190/?sort=p.price&order=desc <- this sort of thing (400x260mm)

i will also try the 5 cut setup, but i'd like to understand how to do both so i know a bit more about these things
The bigger the better.

The idea is that the longer the (long) arm of the square, the better you can address any non-straightness in the rail.

Further, up until you reach about 400mm (long arm), a bigger Class 1 is preferable to a smaller Class 0. Given same price. Talking about Kinex here where the prices are kinda sane.

From my measuring (sample size of 10 or so) the FS/2 rails straightness corresponds approximately to a DIN Class 1 square (or a Class 2 straight edge, whichever you prefer). A DIN Class 1 square long arm is likely to be "straighter" than the FS/2 rail itself, so a longer contact surface is preferable to a more accurate one there. Rest depends on your budget ...

ADD:
In any case do NOT discount the 5-cut method for validation. It incorporates your technique (aka any systemic errors) which makes it (potentially) more precise than any square can ever be.

EDIT:
Fixed straight edge /square/ mixup, as for straightness, a DIN Class 1 square is about where a Class 2 straight edge is.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 09:04 AM by mino »
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.