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Old 08-31-2017, 08:42 AM
greg brophey greg brophey is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Default Need help with square cuts on track saw


I am guessing this is an issue unique with me and what I am using it on. I have been cutting rails and stiles for my cabinets on different occasions, and am using rough cut lumber. My process is that I plane the rough stock down to proper dimension I want to use, then bring over to guide rail to rip to width dimension. If I have a fairly wide board, I usually measure 1/8" strong and it gives me proper width for the offcut piece. If the size I want is under the track, I cut to the mark. However, problem starts when cutting. I cannot 90 degree edge cuts consistently. In looking at the base that is put on saw, it only has the raised portion on front side to establish this. Not a good saw to use with this system but this is not what is was advertised to do. Any saw should work. This is one I believe I am having issues with. Hate to buy a saw just for this track. Anyone have any issues related to this, as this is particularly noticeable during panel glue ups and edge to edge gluing where the angle is magnified. I have to tune up every edge cut or all edge to edge connections are not good. I am trying to think of different ways to square edge this cuts after cutting on track saw, but limitations exist as I have to keep most, if not all dimensions the same. Any ideas are squaring up edges quickly? I was thinking of using my planer, but if the bottoms are wrong, so will the tops be. I also was thinking of putting in right angle jig, planing these square, then turning over for bottoms. Again, major problem is with keeping right dimension of boards if cutting stiles and rails as edge to edge glue ups doesn't matter. As I said, most likely my particular problem may revolve around the Milwaukee older model saw, as I would prefer the Makita, but hate to buy one after owning so many of these older ones which I prefer in any other cutting situations. However, it is clear this saw base needs some type of better adjustment for cutting absolutely clean square edges or it is not worth using in my opinion. I did buy a custom made track at 12ft long so straightness would not be any issue, and it is not now that I have eliminated the joints, but my main reason for buying is for getting straight and square edge on rough cut stock after planed down, then cutting to dimensions. I cannot get consistent square edge cuts, and now need to find best way to square these up and sized after at least getting a straight cut and could use any and all remarks that anyone would suggest as I am not doing something right or bad circular saw choice.

I would appreciate any input on what you do if you encounter this issue, as it is a constant problem with my circumstances.

Last edited by greg brophey; 08-31-2017 at 08:51 AM. Reason: correcting spelling
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:34 AM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 264

I read somewhere that using only one ACE - either only installing one or cutting stock narrower than the track - will give a cut that's slightly off from 90. I'm assuming that your saw has been adjusted so that the blade is perpendicular to the base, normally gives square cuts and the problem is limited to cutting narrow stock for stiles and rails. I can't offer too much in the way of solutions - I use a solid (home-made) ACE, mostly rip narrow stock like you're trying to do on my table saw and only use the track for cutting tapers on parts, with the stock clamped under the rail.

As you have a planer, can I suggest the following as a solution

- cut the stock slightly wider than the finished size
- clamp a stack of parts between two square strips that are narrower than the finished size and run the stack through the planer - this will square up the top edge of the parts.
- flip them over, reclamp and run through the planer to the finished size.

This will give you finished size parts, square on both edges, and with a finish much better than with a saw cut.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:58 PM
Tracedfar Tracedfar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Balko, OK
Posts: 230

I had problems getting 90 cuts on narrow stock when I first got my system. I was out 1+ at times which may be fine for framing but disastrous for casework, furniture, and small, fine work.

Anyway, for me it was several things.

First, my thin kerf saw blade could deflect too easily. I got a decent, heavy full kerf blade and I try not to rush through the cut. A related issue is that some CS just aren't precision tools: too much flex in a stamped steel base, too much play in the arbor, inaccurate bevel gauge, etc.

Second, the bevel gauge on my saw was unreliable. I always, check the blade against it's base for square, especially after a bevel cut and before making a critical cut.

Third, the zero clearance insert was raising the saw a little. I sanded the ZCI down almost 1/32". This was frustrating. I came here to the forum and found I wasn't alone but it's an easy fix.

Four, on narrow rips, the track deflected by sagging a little on the off-cut side. I place a piece of stock the same height under the off-cut side of the rail to support it while making my cut. Ezsmart is the only guide rail system on which you could attempt to do this and have a chance of accurate, repeatable results. But since it is billed as a table saw replacement, it's a reasonable expectation.

There are several other things that can affect the accuracy of your work but these are the major issues I had.

Narrow rips may seem easier on a table saw but it's also when kick back happens. And small, narrow cuts are when your fingers are closest to the blade. Not so with EZSmart but there is a learning curve to it - not so much the tools - but the philosophy of it. It replaced my table saw but it's nothing like a table saw.

There are few things more frustrating or more satisfying than fine woodworking. Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:09 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lexington, Ky
Posts: 907

Often, when I'm needing the straightest edges possible on long rips, I'll use the router.

Pics one and two show the router being used w/EZ track- on top of the track, and at the edge of the track. I'll set the track to just 'kiss' the edge of the wood with the router bit. Once routed, I'll use the track and saw to cut slightly oversized width. Once cut, I do tomp913 suggestion to stack them together and run thru the planer.

pic three shows a simple gauge for setting the track distance for routing.
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