Rail/plunge saw rail problems and cutting straight

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by JT101, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. JT101

    JT101 New Member

    Hi everyone

    I bought a rail saw last year. Was looking at Festool, but I don't use it enough to warrant spending the money, but I wanted something half decent and so I went for the Scheppach PL55 1200W.

    The saw itself is fine. I'm sure the Festool is a step up, but the saw cuts well. The issue is the rail.

    Two issues:

    1) It comes with 1.4m rail + 0.7m rail which you join together. When doing long cuts such as on a door etc, the rails move ever so slightly out of line. So I made some much stronger joining bars. It's better but still not perfect.

    So my question to Festool users is, do you have the same problem on long cuts when using a joined rail and how do you get round this? I believe you can buy much longer single rails, so maybe that is the solution? Or doing it in two cuts with the 1.4m rail, but then you get blade marks where you started again.

    2) The splinter guard strip. I've seen the strip that runs down the edge of the rail on the Festool one, and it is a cut above the Scheppach one. Slightly harder compound. So I swapped the softer rubber on my rail for the Festool. But I find the strip really doesn't last long. Few cuts and you can't follow the line of the strip on your marks. It's about 2mm out after a while. Plus it tends to start to peel away after a while (I thoroughly cleaned the rail before adding the new strip i.e. removed old adhesive)

    So my question is, do Festool users have the same issues?

    Ultimately I'm debating whether to upgrade, but as I say, the Scheppach one is annoyingly close to being very good (their mitre saw is excellent for the money), and is the Festool has the same issues, there is no point.

  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Never did like the Scheppach PL55,tried several & they wouldn't cut straight or sit in track correctly, so went with Makita version,as it had a score function,& a bit more power,but that's in a different price bracket.

    The Makita track is compatable with the Festool track, use to have a 1.4mtr & 2.8mtr lengths,don't think I ever used the joiners.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  3. mr moose

    mr moose Active Member

    Both problems can occur with the festool, if I join my two rails together I have to make sure they are lined up parallel and always leave around a 2mm gap. Then they do work well but more often than not I just use a single rail and then just move it along.
    The splinter guards do wear out but I put a plastic one on one about 10 months ago and so far it's holding up well, mind you it will ware out quicker if you do a lot of angled cuts. I also made a little marking device to get spot on cuts, I press it up against the inner rail and it shows exactly where the cut will be.
  4. metrokitchens

    metrokitchens Well-Known Member

    perhaps the blade is out of line? you can adjust it on the festool and the makita. it needs to be perfectly parallel with the rail.
    KIAB likes this.
  5. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    The Festool rail joining kit is probably one of the worst things they have made. I tried mine several times and like others now leave them in the box. It now either a long rail or move a shorter one along.

    The edge guards on the rails, seem to last a very long time. The only time I have had to replace mine is when I have done something stupid like stand on the cable as I change position or once when cutting came a cross the remains of a large staple that kicked up the saw.

    I would check there is no play in the saw as it moves down the track. If you can wiggle it at all it is too lose
    KIAB likes this.
  6. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    When I looked the Scheppach PL55,it didn't impressed me,just couldn't get one to cut straight,other one there was slop in running saw along track which I couldn't lose, even adjusting the cam locks.

    Scheppach PL55 is the same beast as the Grizzly,&Woodstar models.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  7. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Well-Known Member

    I 100% agree that the accuracy of the Festool track when "joined" is no better than any other track. The saw itself though is just so much better than anything else on the market, yep it's expensive but if using it for a living it's a no brainer.
    chippie244 and KIAB like this.
  8. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    I agree the festool joiners are not the best, but I don't have any issues with them. I use them carefully and butt the two tracks tight together before nipping the screws. Can't warrant a really long track so have a 1.4 & .8 (I think without checking). As I only use the joiners occasionally for trimming e.g. doors, they're good enough, and accurate if used carefully.

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