Author Topic: TSO rail square not square  (Read 3605 times)

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Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
TSO rail square not square
« on: November 24, 2020, 07:45 PM »
Hi all,

I just received my TSO GRS-16 PE rail square and I cannot get a square cut to save my life. I’ve taken off the factory edge and tried it on multiple pieces (probably 20 cuts) and get the same consistent result again and again. I’ve also tried using a different/shorter rail and same thing. Clamping both ends has no effect either.  It’s about a 1/16” off over 34” and 1/32” over 17”.

I would normally assume it’s me but the fact that it’s always off the same amount on every cut, isn’t square to the parallel guides I bought from TSO, doesn’t square up to any of my squares, and the fact that I get the same result on different rails makes me wonder if it’s the rail square that isn’t square.

Has anybody else had this problem?

Thanks in advanced,
Tyler

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Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 08:00 PM »
I should also mention that the 5 cut method of referencing the previous cut edge doesn’t work either.

Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 142
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 08:15 PM »
mine is square within 0.5mm over the length of the FS 1400/2 rail. i don't think i've ever clamped it

the edge you put the grs on has to be flat. i just let the rail fall the 3-4 in it was raised while aligning the grs edge


do you end up with a right trapezoid after 20 cuts or what?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 08:18 PM by usernumber1 »

Offline GigaWatt

  • Posts: 33
  • Life long woodworker & retired Electrical Engineer
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 08:22 PM »
I should also mention that the 5 cut method of referencing the previous cut edge doesn’t work either.
/

Never had a problem with mine using it on 1400/2, cuts perfectly square.
You need to contact TSO, they have great customer service.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 368
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 08:24 PM »
I was not a fan of the TSO rail square either.  It was fine for trimming down doors and quick cross cuts on narrower stock not 48-49" with a 1400 rail.  I got rid of it and bought the TSO MTR triangle or whatever its called.  I like it much, much better.  It comes in handy for many other tasks too as well as squaring a rail up for cross cuts when Im not using a fence and rail hinge thingy (sorry I dont have the correct names or part #'s) most of it is built by me anyways.  Either way it might not be as convenient as having something clipped to the rail but the added versatility more than makes up for it.     

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 09:18 PM »
mine is square within 0.5mm over the length of the FS 1400/2 rail. i don't think i've ever clamped it

the edge you put the grs on has to be flat. i just let the rail fall the 3-4 in it was raised while aligning the grs edge


do you end up with a right trapezoid after 20 cuts or what?

No I don’t have any right angles after I make 5 cuts.

If you were looking at the piece from above, the bottom is wider than the top and the right side is longer than the left side.

Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 279
    • Compass Custom Creations
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 09:47 PM »
Hi all,

I just received my TSO GRS-16 PE rail square and I cannot get a square cut to save my life. I’ve taken off the factory edge and tried it on multiple pieces (probably 20 cuts) and get the same consistent result again and again. I’ve also tried using a different/shorter rail and same thing. Clamping both ends has no effect either.  It’s about a 1/16” off over 34” and 1/32” over 17”.

I would normally assume it’s me but the fact that it’s always off the same amount on every cut, isn’t square to the parallel guides I bought from TSO, doesn’t square up to any of my squares, and the fact that I get the same result on different rails makes me wonder if it’s the rail square that isn’t square.

Has anybody else had this problem?

Thanks in advanced,
Tyler

So you signed up to complain about a product.  Please tell us that you contacted TSO first.  If not, I'm sure Hans and his team @TSO_Products will help get this sorted out anyway.  I trust that you'll come back to tell us how the issue gets resolved.

Respectfully.
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|ETSC 125|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|STL 450|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
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Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 684
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 09:59 PM »
When I went to use my TSO square the first time it was off by more than yours. My first thought was I just paid a good amount for this and it’s not square, but, ends up one of my rails was not straight. Maybe this isn’t your issue but is there a way for you to try another rail? Or do you have a long straight edge to test the rail?

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 10:44 PM »
Hi all,

I just received my TSO GRS-16 PE rail square and I cannot get a square cut to save my life. I’ve taken off the factory edge and tried it on multiple pieces (probably 20 cuts) and get the same consistent result again and again. I’ve also tried using a different/shorter rail and same thing. Clamping both ends has no effect either.  It’s about a 1/16” off over 34” and 1/32” over 17”.

I would normally assume it’s me but the fact that it’s always off the same amount on every cut, isn’t square to the parallel guides I bought from TSO, doesn’t square up to any of my squares, and the fact that I get the same result on different rails makes me wonder if it’s the rail square that isn’t square.

Has anybody else had this problem?

Thanks in advanced,
Tyler

So you signed up to complain about a product.  Please tell us that you contacted TSO first.  If not, I'm sure Hans and his team @TSO_Products will help get this sorted out anyway.  I trust that you'll come back to tell us how the issue gets resolved.

Respectfully.

I’ve been reading these threads for a while and have bought multiple Festool products because of it. It is also what drove me to buy this. I am by no means an expert and don’t have a lot of experience wood working and therefore I never saw a need to create an account to post until now. I read and that was it.

Next, not once did I complain. I simply stated my problem and asked if anybody else experienced the same issue.

So don’t get all fussy. It’s ok. I know TSO is a great company and will take care of it if it’s actually the square and not me.

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2020, 10:47 PM »
When I went to use my TSO square the first time it was off by more than yours. My first thought was I just paid a good amount for this and it’s not square, but, ends up one of my rails was not straight. Maybe this isn’t your issue but is there a way for you to try another rail? Or do you have a long straight edge to test the rail?

Yeah I’ve used two different rails and same result on both.

Offline Rick Herrick

  • Posts: 424
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2020, 12:01 AM »
So you signed up to complain about a product. 
Probably a tad uncalled for.  When something is broke, why not reach out to others looking for help?  A number of times, not always, I have found help on forums better than customer support.  Hans is way better than most but some customer support can take days to get back to you.

I prefer this to some that sign up, try to sell us something and then go away.  Other hobby forums I am a part of, won't let you put a classified ad up until you have posted XX number of 'meaningful' posts.  But I digress.....

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 949
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2020, 12:30 AM »
To be honest, my experience with getting square cuts using the TSO guide rail square has not been successful either.  I've tried using different guide rails, clamping, and not clamping, all to no avail.  I just can't seem to achieve good results. For me, this accessory was a disappointment and I have gone back to manually squaring each cut.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3355
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2020, 12:45 AM »
I have several TSO products. Zero problems, but I have talked to Han and have found him highly responsive to my request.

I think the IP was smart in stating an issue. Talking to Han first and sharing Han’s response would have been a tad better approach.

I use a very large Woodpecker square to line up my TS55 rail cuts. It’s the biggest square they make. I think it’s called a framers square.  Then, I clamp the rail. I always get perfectly square cuts. Oh. I do true up the reference edge on a sheet of BB plywood first.
Birdhunter

Offline Pant

  • Posts: 12
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2020, 03:34 AM »
Firstly have you checked with a machinist square that the square clamps square to the rail back edge? If it does then the square is square no questions. Getting the actual cut to be square is entirely different story  as many have noticed and there are many things to check. If it doesn't clamp square to the rail back edge then it's simply a defective product and you should get a replacement.

To give you an idea, my cordless makita track saw doesn't cut square unless I set depth of cut to at least material thickness + 8mm (normally I had used +6mm and never questioned it). Almost drove me insane because I checked every other potential source of error before it.

Another thing to check with the saw is the bevel angle, it must be 90degrees and definitely isn't out of the box from factory. cut 200-300mm long piece and rest it on a flat surface on its cut edge standing tall, now approach it with machinist square to check what angle it wants to stand in naturally being careful not to tilt it to conform to the square, if done correctly this techinque reveals easily even tiny deviations from 90 degree bevel. It allows measuring the gap with feeler gauges and use calculations to convert it to the fractions of turns the 90 degree stop screw needs to be turned. Make sure to check both sides, one side will have the gap at bottom and one at top, small gaps at the bottom are hard to see while the gap at the top is obvious with moderately long square no matter how small the error is.

Note that any underside clamping of the rail or the rail being laterally unsupported during any portion of the cut will result in non-90 degree bevel cut, so use additional friction strips or lateral clamps to prevent rail movement instead of underside clamping.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 03:41 AM by Pant »

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2020, 09:30 AM »
Firstly have you checked with a machinist square that the square clamps square to the rail back edge? If it does then the square is square no questions. Getting the actual cut to be square is entirely different story  as many have noticed and there are many things to check. If it doesn't clamp square to the rail back edge then it's simply a defective product and you should get a replacement.

To give you an idea, my cordless makita track saw doesn't cut square unless I set depth of cut to at least material thickness + 8mm (normally I had used +6mm and never questioned it). Almost drove me insane because I checked every other potential source of error before it.

Another thing to check with the saw is the bevel angle, it must be 90degrees and definitely isn't out of the box from factory. cut 200-300mm long piece and rest it on a flat surface on its cut edge standing tall, now approach it with machinist square to check what angle it wants to stand in naturally being careful not to tilt it to conform to the square, if done correctly this techinque reveals easily even tiny deviations from 90 degree bevel. It allows measuring the gap with feeler gauges and use calculations to convert it to the fractions of turns the 90 degree stop screw needs to be turned. Make sure to check both sides, one side will have the gap at bottom and one at top, small gaps at the bottom are hard to see while the gap at the top is obvious with moderately long square no matter how small the error is.

Note that any underside clamping of the rail or the rail being laterally unsupported during any portion of the cut will result in non-90 degree bevel cut, so use additional friction strips or lateral clamps to prevent rail movement instead of underside clamping.

I don’t own a machinist square but here is a picture of what I do have. If you look closely you can see a gap at the end. The other two pictures are of the parallel guides. The guide that attaches to the rail square touches the work piece but the other one is slightly off.

I know the square I’m using is not ideal but I think it’s pretty accurate. There is also play when I bump it up next to the rail square and the back of the actual rail. This is the case on both rails I have. Neither rail has ever been dropped or experienced any sort of abuse.

I’m fairly certain my ts55 is cutting at 90 degrees as I’ve spent a fair amount of time calibrating it. I’ll check again though when I get home this afternoon.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 09:38 AM by LumberSmith »

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2020, 09:39 AM »
Firstly have you checked with a machinist square that the square clamps square to the rail back edge? If it does then the square is square no questions. Getting the actual cut to be square is entirely different story  as many have noticed and there are many things to check. If it doesn't clamp square to the rail back edge then it's simply a defective product and you should get a replacement.

To give you an idea, my cordless makita track saw doesn't cut square unless I set depth of cut to at least material thickness + 8mm (normally I had used +6mm and never questioned it). Almost drove me insane because I checked every other potential source of error before it.

Another thing to check with the saw is the bevel angle, it must be 90degrees and definitely isn't out of the box from factory. cut 200-300mm long piece and rest it on a flat surface on its cut edge standing tall, now approach it with machinist square to check what angle it wants to stand in naturally being careful not to tilt it to conform to the square, if done correctly this techinque reveals easily even tiny deviations from 90 degree bevel. It allows measuring the gap with feeler gauges and use calculations to convert it to the fractions of turns the 90 degree stop screw needs to be turned. Make sure to check both sides, one side will have the gap at bottom and one at top, small gaps at the bottom are hard to see while the gap at the top is obvious with moderately long square no matter how small the error is.

Note that any underside clamping of the rail or the rail being laterally unsupported during any portion of the cut will result in non-90 degree bevel cut, so use additional friction strips or lateral clamps to prevent rail movement instead of underside clamping.

I don’t own a machinist square but here is a picture of what I do have. If you look closely you can see a gap at the end. The other two pictures are of the parallel guides. The guide that attaches to the rail square touches the work piece but the other one is slightly off.

I know the square I’m using is not ideal but I think it’s pretty accurate. There is also play when I bump it up next to the rail square and the back of the actual rail. This is the case on both rails I have. Neither rail has ever been dropped or experienced any sort of abuse.

I’m fairly certain my ts55 is cutting at 90 degrees as I’ve spent a fair amount of time calibrating it. I’ll check again though when I get home this afternoon.

I can't attach the images for some reason so sorry there are no pictures. I'll keep trying and post them when i figure it out.

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 1171
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2020, 09:46 AM »
You probably need to resize your images so they are smaller.  I reduce my S9 photos (taken at the highest resolution setting) to 33% of the original size - they go from ~6-7MB to down to ~200-300KB
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

TS55, CT26, RO150, CXS, ETS 150/3, ETS EC 150/5, MFT/3, TS75, DF500, DTS400, OF1400, CT SYS

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2020, 09:54 AM »
Got the pictures here.

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2020, 09:56 AM »
You probably need to resize your images so they are smaller.  I reduce my S9 photos (taken at the highest resolution setting) to 33% of the original size - they go from ~6-7MB to down to ~200-300KB

Thanks!

Offline afish

  • Posts: 368
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2020, 10:10 AM »
You also need to check your/any square you are using.  Take a scrap of wood at least as big as the square make sure one edge is straight.  Take a piece of masking tape and run it down the middle of the sheet perpendicular to the known straight edge.  High contrast tape works best so either the blue painters or green frog tape. Place the body of the square along the straight edge and place the blade over approx. half of the masking tape.  Take a sharp razor knife and cut through the tape and remove half of it.  Now flip the square over and check it against the cut edge of the tape.   

Offline Joebuck

  • Posts: 28
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2020, 10:12 AM »
I had the same problem when I first used my TSO GRS-16. The cuts were out of square by 1/16” over a 36” cut. It turned out to be the 1400 rail I had was tweaked. After getting a new 1900 rail, the problem disappeared.

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2020, 10:54 AM »
I had the same problem when I first used my TSO GRS-16. The cuts were out of square by 1/16” over a 36” cut. It turned out to be the 1400 rail I had was tweaked. After getting a new 1900 rail, the problem disappeared.

If the rails aren't straight I'll be pretty ticked. Festool shouldn't be charging what they do if they can't guarantee their products aren't dead on. My MFT 3 table comes to mind as the miter gauge isn't accurate, the rail clamps on the side have slop, and the table wobbles (not a big deal but for the price I think it should come with the cross supports or have a better design). I also think I shouldn't have to worry about my ts55 not cutting a true 90 degrees. Why would it not a positive stop there so people don't have to calibrate the bevel angle?

Sorry to get off topic there.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 368
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2020, 11:20 AM »
Even 100k dollar CNC machines need tuning/adjusting.  I agree the rail should be straight.  I had the best results getting very square crosscuts using a piece of 80/20 for a fence and a homemade rail hinge similar to the festool on a 4x8 mft style bench.  I used a pair of 80/20 angles with parf anchor dogs so the fence could pop on and off in seconds since it was also my table saw outfeed table. I used the tso MTR to get the rail/fence square and then dialed it in using the 5 cut method.  placing shimstock between the fence and angles to adjust for square.  It was super accurate system once done.  Sorry tried to look for some pics but I dont have any and I actually just spent part of the day yesterday breaking down the mft bench and cutting it down to make room for some new equipment coming.  I could send photos of the loose components if needed.   
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 11:31 AM by afish »

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2395
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2020, 11:27 AM »


Sorry to get off topic there.

I wonder what other kind of hobby would bring more griefs or frustrations than woodworking! Frustrations from skill issues, yes, but often from tool issues too which are out of a woodworker's control.

If one thinks paying a decent price for a tool properly made should be the solution, one is proven wrong and wrong again. Just ask the Kapex owners whose motors burned or turntable bed not being flat, or a DF user whose calibration efforts turned out to be as frustrating as using a misaligned joiner itself.

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2020, 12:05 PM »


Sorry to get off topic there.

I wonder what other kind of hobby would bring more griefs or frustrations than woodworking! Frustrations from skill issues, yes, but often from tool issues too which are out of a woodworker's control.

If one thinks paying a decent price for a tool properly made should be the solution, one is proven wrong and wrong again. Just ask the Kapex owners whose motors burned or turntable bed not being flat, or a DF user whose calibration efforts turned out to be as frustrating as using a misaligned joiner itself.

Haha this is true. I enjoy the problem solving of wood working but sometimes it would be nice if you could simply grab your expensive tools and know that they'll work as advertised. German engineering is amazing but I have the impression their products might be overly complex. If anybody has ever owned a German car I'm sure you can relate. It's awesome to drive until it's in the shop every other month for a faulty sensor. Then it becomes a giant money pit.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2335
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2020, 12:30 PM »
If the angle is consistently off, just glue a shim to the square where it presses against the back of the rail.

Offline LumberSmith

  • Posts: 14
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2020, 12:37 PM »
Update from TSO customer service. They are going to email the user guide and a video...

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5018
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2020, 01:33 PM »
Get a truly reliable square.

Also try the TSO square set farther up the guide rail. The ends of the guide rail are most susceptible to damage and the square depends on butting against good straight undamaged rail.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6598
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2020, 01:52 PM »
@LumberSmith

I had the same problem until I realized that the rail/GRS will move unless you clamp it

so for a 4x8 sheet of ply

1) cut factory edge (no need to clamp rail)

2) cut one of the 4'/48" ply edges using the GRS and clamp rail

3) verify that rail hasnt moved during clamping cuz it might.

4) Register GRS on 8' edge which you cut factory edge off and set PG to desired width and clamp rail.

5) VERIFY THAT RAIL DIDNT MOVE DURING CLAMPING

6) cross cut to rough length make sure you can use one of the edges (48") that you previously cut and check for square.

Make sure your tape is not damaged bent or otherwise inaccurate.

Thats what I recently learned and it has been working fine for me since.

If you are joining two rails together to make the 8' cut make sure those rails are accurately joined together.

they maybe the issue.

@gunnyr

Outstanding post .
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 01:56 PM by jobsworth »

Offline afish

  • Posts: 368
Re: TSO rail square not square
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2020, 01:57 PM »
When I first got my track saw I took a rip of wood approx 1.25" x 24-26" and attached it to the tongue of a framing square and ran it wild at first past the body.  Attach with 2 bolts 1/4-20ish oversize the hole at the end of the tongue since its almost impossible to find a perfectly square framing square for reasonable amount of money.  Adjust the wood strip using the method or similar method until its on the money and then place it on the sheet to be cut, the difference in the 1.25 wood strip (down and butted to the plywood) and the 1.5" tonge width provides a shelf for it to rest so it stays on the panel. If you are right handed the tongue should be to the left the body of the square should be pointing away from you and the wild end of the 1.25" guide should be sticking out to the right.  Now place the track up against the body of the square witch should be 90 to the reference edge and make a test cut.  You should be cutting off the wild end of the guide block that is attached to the square.  This makes it real simple for each subsequent cut because now you just line the end of the guide stip to your pencil mark at the edge and you know your track will be in the right spot.  It works good but is a little more fiddly do to the anti slip stips and the rail doesnt really like to move once its est down. If your on a budget its great. I made mine for zero cost as I already had everything lying around.  Once you verify its cutting perfectly square you can run another screw in just to make sure it doesnt move if you like.  One other thing the aluminum framing squares work better for this.  You could also substitute a piece of aluminum angle/bar for the wood guide but just make sure you have a blade that is suitable for cutting aluminum that has the same kerf as your wood blade and go slow and use a little wd40 on the cut. angle can catch funny sometimes when cutting.