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Scott M
10-05-2015, 01:35 AM
Hi,

Iím a new owner of EZ products. That said, Iím having issues getting zero clearance on my ACE. Iíve now burned through ~7 ACEs, Iím not dialing things in any better and Iím tearing my hair out. My apologies if I missed a thread that would have explained all this but I dug around for a while and... Here are some facts about my ďsituationĒ:

- Iím using the EZ Smartsaw (the orange one) which came preinstalled on the new gray base from EZ. The base is slightly cupped "up" more toward the front (I didn't put a feeling gauge everywhere but not a ton).
- I checked the position of the base on the rail. There is maybe 1/32" play of the base on the main rail guide left to right (I'm sure there has to be some or this would be a quality control nightmare for the EZ folks). The front of the base does seem to be high centered a bit on the rail base guide (i.e. I can slide a .005 feeler under the base on the main guide but not on the front).
- I changed the EZ 24 tooth blade out for a 40 tooth Freud Diablo (the EZ Smart blade has a monster kerf on it and I wanted a finer finish)
- Iíve checked the distance from blade to the base and it looks like itís within no more than 1/100th of an inch out, if that, and thatís marking a tooth and checking same place on the blade front and back.
- I have checked 90 and after making some adjustments Iím within probably a couple of thousands.
- Iím using the right hand on-rail chip edge insert which I already prepared (and donít seem to be having issues because the scrap on test cuts to the right of the blade is clean). While I saw something that mentions it should act as a balancer, mine rides clear of the cut piece by maybe .01" or a bit less.
- Iím using masking tape along the anti-chip edge as suggested in the instructions. Looking at the anti-chip edge after my cut, I donít think this is a chipping issue, edge looks/feels pretty clean which no obvious chips.
- Iím using the climb cut technique demonstrated in the EZ video going slowly (much more slowly than the video demonstrates). I didn't reverse the blade and come at it the other way as suggested on one of the threads.
- I am clamping one end of the rail using the smart clamp and alternating using a shop clamp on the side of the top rail edge to make sure it doesnít move v. using nothing (the EZ video only uses one clamp but I figured that I wanted to make sure the rail wasnít moving if that was the issue). In the video, the rail actually moves during the anti-chip edge preparation and doesnít seem to make any difference which logically makes sense given itís a straight line and really shouldn't matter of the rail/ACE move in relation to the wood as long as they aren't moving in relation to each other).
- I don't fee any slop in the ACEs relative to the track.
- As you can imagine, at this point having burned through a few of these anti-chip edges, Iíve tried everything in terms of where pressure is during the cut etc. The saw itself does feel like it has some left/right movement in it (and I have triple checked that the miter lock is tight) but not sure itís significant enough to be creating what Iím seeing and I'm guessing that's a bit of the "high center" issue I mentioned before. I stand to the right side of the saw when preparing the anti-chip edge and when making my test cuts afterwards.
- Iíve put paste wax on the rail to make the slide smoother (huge differenceÖ).
- The only thing I havenít done when preparing the anti-chip edges is use the anti-bind tail fin, which the video does, but that shouldnít matter because when riding on the rail, it doesnít contact the wood or the anti-chip edge.

For whatever reason, I get roughly a ~1/16Ē reveal between cut line and the ACE which means tear out on the rail side and no zero reference mark. Itís fairly consistent along the cut.

Any help appreciated and I'm sure I'm going to laugh about some super silly mistake I'm making.

Looks like a few of you have ditched the ACE for a homebrew 1/2" piece of ply screwed to the base but I have the new gray base (v. the Modunis) and doesn't look like enough meat on that thing to screw into (particularly if you remove the inserts).

Thanks in advance

sean9c
10-05-2015, 04:29 AM
I can think of 2 things. Least likely is blade runout on your saw. Easy to check, just clamp a stick to your saw so it barely touches a saw tooth, then rotate the blade and see if it runs true.
The other thing that I've had happen, and the reason I don't like the anti chip edges, is that they hold the saw track up off the wood. If you press the saw track down, as you would if you clamp it down, the plastic edges splay out. So you clamp your track down, trim the edge, unclamp your track, track springs back up as the plastic edge pulls back in. Now the edge only indicates your cut line if the track is clamped down. The edges were designed this way so they provide pressure on the wood to minimize tear out. The reason I don't like them is that you always have to duplicate your setup in order to get consistent results. If you've trimmed your edges with the track clamped down and then use the track not clamped down the edge won't indicate your cut line. If you trim your edges with the track not clamped down and then decide you want to clamp the track down you'll end up recutting your edge.
If you want to check this just make a cut with your track clamped down, look at the cut line then unclamp your track and check your cut line again and see if the edge moved in relation to your cut.

Dino
10-05-2015, 11:20 AM
Very good tech stuff from Sean..

Only two questions from me.
How old is your tracks-edges?
Do you use the fin insert when trimming the edges?
Do yo trim both edges before start cutting?

The trick is consistence on the pressure that you apply.
speed and how you move.
We made 4 extrusion dies and changed the plastic formula few times
until we achieved the perfect balance on clean and repeatable cuts.

If something has changed without notice...we need to fix it

thanks
d

Scott M
10-05-2015, 11:44 AM
Thanks Sean. I will try this tonight.

Scott

Scott M
10-05-2015, 11:49 AM
Dino,

Not sure how old exactly because I don't see a "born on" date but they were recently ordered including several that arrived just last week.

I don't use the fin insert when trimming because it doesn't touch either the wood or the ACE when the saw is on the rail.

I originally cut both edges before I started cutting but have stopped that figuring that I would rather ruin just one v. two before I make a test cut and since it seems like most of the job of the off-cut ACE is just to provide dead wood stickiness, seemed like leaving it intact would be the best.

As I mentioned in the original post, I've tried a bunch of different pressures and I have been going slowly to avoid tear out and always cutting from the same position relative to the saw (on the right hand side).

Scott M
10-05-2015, 11:58 AM
Sean, quick follow-up... Your comment might indicate your aren't using the anti-chip edges. What are you using as an alternative to get a zero clearance cut?

Thanks,
Scott

bumpnstump
10-05-2015, 01:03 PM
Scott, here are a couple of pics showing how some of us have addressed the issue.

Pic one shows a couple of saw base inserts. (These are earlier style, but the principle is the same for the newer style.) One of them has a piece of 1/2 Baltic Birch ply attached to it, screwed from the back side. The other one is just a plain ol' insert. Either one can be inserted/removed, just like in normal use. (Replacing chewed up Baltic is lots cheaper than replacing ACEs..... :eek:)

If you decide to do the Baltic ply modification, then, the next pics show how some have come up with an accurate marking gauge to cut on the desired cut-line.

Basically, the marking gauge is just a block of wood/plastic/whatever that has been routed out to 'saddle' snugly over the guide ridge of the EZ track. Into the cutting side of that block of whatever, a 90˚ bent piece of 1/8" wire has been inserted, w/the ability to adjust the wire nearer/farther from the block of whatever, to allow the wire to align w/the cut line. In pic one, you can see a very fine pencil line, w/the marker hovering over it, and the saw cut. (Bummer! in the pic, I can see I'm about 1/128" out of alignment- must not have had my glasses on...... :cool:)

I have one of these marker gauges for the right side of the saw blade, and one for the left side; and, I have one gauge (see pic) that allows for both right and left. (Heck, even the EZ ACE insert only allows for the left side of the cut line.......)

Doing it this way allows for super-accurate layouts when cutting; allows for right/left sawblade alignment; is cheaper to replace than the ACEs; and comes in very handy when doing set-ups on a Power Bench (PBB), since you can measure off of the marking gauges instead of using the saw/blade sitting on the track, and, you can do a right or left side measurement, depending on which gauge you are using.... nice (and fast).

Hope this helps,
Rick

sean9c
10-05-2015, 01:35 PM
I use a block of 1/2" ply on the base as Rick (Bumpnstump) describes. Having a separate gauge to indicate your cutline takes a little getting use to but I find it a better system.
Dino made a good point, make sure you trim both edges and have edges in both slots or your track won't sit level when you don't clamp it down.


Sean, quick follow-up... Your comment might indicate your aren't using the anti-chip edges. What are you using as an alternative to get a zero clearance cut?

Thanks,
Scott

Chad_C
10-05-2015, 07:10 PM
I don't use the anti chip edges either. They don't work because they flatten out depending on how much pressure you put them. Very frustrating. I use a marker and block of wood as shown before in this post and honestly I think the results are better as far as tear out goes.

sean9c
10-05-2015, 11:37 PM
The other way to do it is to replace the anti chip edge with solid plastic ones. I think Dik does this by cutting them out of pvc trim. Not hard to do, you have to make a T shape to fit in the slot at the edge of the track and make them 1/2" thick (the same as the track) you trim them to indicate the cut line just like the EZ edges. Being solid they don't move like the EZ ones and you still get a cut line indicator.

redoleary
10-06-2015, 10:42 AM
So in actual practice for you experienced guys, did the ACE end up being more of a cut line indicator than a chip inhibitor?

Scott M
10-06-2015, 11:21 AM
Thanks Rick. I will take a look at my newer base to see where I can screw in the 1/2" ply base plate.

Scott

Scott M
10-06-2015, 11:26 AM
That's what it's sounding like. Feels like there are too many variables in play.

Scott M
10-06-2015, 11:36 AM
Thanks Sean. Are there pics anywhere, I get it in concept but .... I poked around a bit and couldn't find anything. I think I'm concluding reading from the experienced guys that the ACEs might be a bit more hassle than they are worth given the variables in play (e.g. clamping pressure...) I did look and my more recent attempts on cutting new ACEs and the ACE on the non-cut side was already butchered/cut so in theory shouldn't be raising the rail but will recheck this weekend. I'm going to test blade wobble tonight using a dial indicator. I'm not seeing anything obvious but you never now.

sean9c
10-06-2015, 02:25 PM
Found this link, it has a lot of good info and some pics that might help. The ACE's work pretty cool when they're new. It's nice that they indicate the cutline, then you get to trust them , then they move or wear, than you're second guessing where your cutline really is, then you throw them away and screw a block of wood to your base and make an indicator, now nothing moves or changes, and you can trust your cutline again, life is good.
http://www.tracksawforum.com/showthread.php?t=4610

Thanks Sean. Are there pics anywhere, I get it in concept but .... I poked around a bit and couldn't find anything. I think I'm concluding reading from the experienced guys that the ACEs might be a bit more hassle than they are worth given the variables in play (e.g. clamping pressure...) I did look and my more recent attempts on cutting new ACEs and the ACE on the non-cut side was already butchered/cut so in theory shouldn't be raising the rail but will recheck this weekend. I'm going to test blade wobble tonight using a dial indicator. I'm not seeing anything obvious but you never now.

Tracedfar
10-08-2015, 01:19 AM
I'm also a recent arrival to the "Zone" and had some fits with the ACE after initial setup. After a couple of days I discovered my problems. First, varying the amount of pressure applied while making a cut can really affect accuracy and quality. Second, the thin kerf blade I was using easily deflects also degrading cut quality. My solution was to stop leaning on the saw and replace the thin kerf blade with a regular thicker one. Eureka! Problem solved, so far. If I continue to have problems, I'm going to try Dik's method of using pvc.