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  #1  
Old 05-22-2017, 09:40 AM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Default Ready to give up on Repeater and ACE's. advice?

So I just finished the cuts on the most recent cabinets project. Once again, I am finding 2 problems:

1. I can't trust the ACE to line up with a pencil line.
2. I am still getting top surface tear-out on plywood.
3. The repeater has some play so I can get different cuts with up to 1/8" difference.

I still like the cabinet maker fence.

Q1: If I don't use the ACE's do I need to put something a little sticky underneath the track to keep it from slipping when using the cabinet maker without clamps?
Q2: If I replace the ACE's with just a piece of wood, what is the best way to connect it into the track without damaging the ace slot?
Q3: If I simply use no ACE and don't replace the strip with wood, I would like to add a wood strip to the bottom of the saw plate. Am I right to assume it doesn't need to be much larger than where the saw comes through? Not the whole length of the plate. Or is it just easier to make one the whole length of the plate?

Q4: The repeater seems to be so much of a "right church, wrong pew" kind of thing. I think some sort of story stick would do a better job. Has anyone any suggestions for doing them either settable (repeatably) or fixed? Certainly this would be easier without the ACE in the way, but maybe a design that indexes off of the center rail??
Q5: I think any kind of repeater needs to be rigidly integrated into the fence of the cabinet maker. Any thoughts on telegraphing something within it? Obviously the longer fence extrusion would be another solution too, though perhaps it would be cumbersome. Perhaps something like a flip down stop attached to the top of the fence that could hold several measurements somewhat permanently and flipped out of the way when they are not being addressed?

Q6: Cut line indicators, seem like a good idea. Regardless of removing or keeping the ACEs. Are any designs better than any others?

Anything I missed to move to the No ACE, or No-Repeater philosophies?
Thanks,
--Abs
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2017, 12:46 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Location: Austin, Tx.
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Using EZ is a bit of 'trial and error', seeing as how each persons needs/experiences/etc. differ. Here are a few things that have helped me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
So I just finished the cuts on the most recent cabinets project. Once again, I am finding 2 problems:

1. I can't trust the ACE to line up with a pencil line.

I had the same issue; ended up ditching the ACE and attaching 1/2" ply to the bottom of the saw insert and making 'cut-line-indicators' and story sticks to set-up for cutting.

2. I am still getting top surface tear-out on plywood.

In my experience, if it is Chinese-ply, you might not win this battle w/out a bit of headache. I use domestic-sourced ply and don't have that issue, assuming: saw blade is good; saw bearings are not worn; saw adjusting mechanisms provide a non-flexing saw, when set; modified 'ACE' on saw base is not wallowed-out on cutting side; etc.

3. The repeater has some play so I can get different cuts with up to 1/8" difference.

I very rarely use my repeater, but have never had the variance issues you mention- not sure what to look for.

I still like the cabinet maker fence.

Q1: If I don't use the ACE's do I need to put something a little sticky underneath the track to keep it from slipping when using the cabinet maker without clamps?

I tried that once- didn't work for me, but others say it works fine for them. Maybe give it a go and see what you think? Spray-mouning a bit of 220, or finer, sandpaper on the track might be a quick/adequate solution.

Q2: If I replace the ACE's with just a piece of wood, what is the best way to connect it into the track without damaging the ace slot?

Short of milling the wood to slide into the track edge, perhaps attach a piece of wood using #10 machine-thread screws into #10 nuts, slid into the track edge. The nuts will need to be sanded or filed a bit to fit into the track edges; and, of course, countersink the screw heads to not be hit by the saw blade.

Q3: If I simply use no ACE and don't replace the strip with wood, I would like to add a wood strip to the bottom of the saw plate. Am I right to assume it doesn't need to be much larger than where the saw comes through? Not the whole length of the plate. Or is it just easier to make one the whole length of the plate?

I only use enough wood to make sure the saw blade, at any depth setting, cuts into the attached wood. I don't see any advantage to running the wood full length. (see pic)

Q4: The repeater seems to be so much of a "right church, wrong pew" kind of thing. I think some sort of story stick would do a better job. Has anyone any suggestions for doing them either settable (repeatably) or fixed? Certainly this would be easier without the ACE in the way, but maybe a design that indexes off of the center rail??

All of my story sticks index off of the center rail. (see pic)

Q5: I think any kind of repeater needs to be rigidly integrated into the fence of the cabinet maker. Any thoughts on telegraphing something within it? Obviously the longer fence extrusion would be another solution too, though perhaps it would be cumbersome. Perhaps something like a flip down stop attached to the top of the fence that could hold several measurements somewhat permanently and flipped out of the way when they are not being addressed?

Great idea! If you come up with something, please post a few pics.

Q6: Cut line indicators, seem like a good idea. Regardless of removing or keeping the ACEs. Are any designs better than any others?

Here is a pic of what I use. They are accurate enough to line up on right-side, left-side, or, middle, of a sharp #2 pencil line.

Hope some of this is helpful.
Rick

Anything I missed to move to the No ACE, or No-Repeater philosophies?
Thanks,
--Abs
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2017, 01:06 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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Wow bumpnstump, what great responses. I like the story sticks you show in your pictures. But other than the one short one, I am not sure I am following how the others are used from the image.
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2017, 01:47 PM
sean9c sean9c is offline
 
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IMO the ACE is accurate to the cut line only for the first few cuts, ever you move the track or push down on the track the ACE shifts a little and you saw a little more off it. I've done the same thing Rick did, a block of wood on the saw base and a cut line indicator. One thing I did different on the block on the saw base was make it as small as I could. My thinking was that I didn't want sawdust getting under it and lifting the saw. I've not tried it any other way so I don't know if my concern was valid.
At one time Dik milled up PVC replacements for the ACE that had a little T that fit in the slot. That seemed like a good idea.
IMO you'll save yourself a lot of grief if you spend some time coming up with a system where you are not relying on the ACE. The block on the sawbase and a cutline indicator seems the most popular.
If I'm planning on doing more than a few cuts I use a stop. If I try to cut to a pencil line I get variations.
IMO if you're making cabinet boxes you need 2 tools a UEG and a Cabinetmaker. With both you're cutting using a stop. The challenge with the Cabinetmaker is setting and keeping it square. The Cabinetmaker uses the same stop arrangement as the Repeater, I'll agree it's a kluge and not very elegant but I've found that with a little bit of care in how I push my material against the stop I can get repeat cuts where, using a measuring tape, I can't see any difference in length.
I think you can buy the anti skid tape that the euro tracks use. EZ had it at one time. I like Ricks idea of gluing sandpaper to the bottom.
I also agree with Rick on the Chinese ply. I bought some prefinished maple faced stuff that was impossible. Won't do that again. Also had some Russian baltic birch panels that were a real challenge.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2017, 02:11 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
Wow bumpnstump, what great responses. I like the story sticks you show in your pictures. But other than the one short one, I am not sure I am following how the others are used from the image.
OK- few more pics should help.

The two long story-sticks are similar in function. The flat one (pics 3 & 4) only allows set-up to the right side of the sawblade; the roundish one allows set-up on either right side, or, when you flip the stick end-for-end, and turn it over to the opposite flat side, it is calibrated for set up on the left side of the saw blade.

Set the measuring line indicator to the measurement desired, and the end of the story stick to abut the ridge of the track (as per in the pics). A stop, or a fence, is then moved to touch the indicator. I do one end, then move to the other end and repeat the procedure. A quick recheck of the first end, and I'm ready to cut. The ends of the sticks have a screw, which, when turned either in or out, allows the stick to be calibrated to the actual cut line. Pic 4 shows a screwdriver at the track ridge, about to turn the screw (out of sight in the pic) to bring the measure-marker into alignment w/the actual cut.
Rick
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2017, 04:04 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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bumpnstump - yes pictures sure do help. So do you cut your "good" piece on the saw side as opposed to the track side?

You have given me some ideas, now all I have to do is give some of them a try.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2017, 04:18 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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seanc -

I have both tools. However, I don't really know when to stop using the cabinet maker and start using the UEG...

FWIW, I am still using a very small car. So when I get a sheet of plywood I have them cut to to 32x48 unless I am forced to buy the 24x48 precut partial sheets. When I make cabinet boxes I try to square it up, then cut one size, then cut the other size. I have found that I am not really able to cut the whole length of a 48 with the cabinet maker on the 56". I really do need just a little more length.

So once the cabinet maker is on there and cutting away, when would I want to switch to the UEG?

So here is a thought. Using the factory edge I can square the 32" side. Then I can use the UEG against that side to come up with 23-1/4" panel width, then UEG against that cut and cut the waste off the other end of that panel. I would then have 2 panels of parallel sides cut to width and having unknown lengths. With the cabinet maker I can square off one side first, then cut the other side to final length. That would keep me from needing to cut the whole 48 on the cabinet maker. Does that sound like what you were thinking? I did a lot of dancing the last time I used the UEG, I have some non-slip stuff now that may help with that problem.

Once these cabinets are off to my daughter, I will go back to working on the shop cabinets. Since they are on my time, I can experiment.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2017, 04:39 PM
bumpnstump bumpnstump is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
bumpnstump - yes pictures sure do help. So do you cut your "good" piece on the saw side as opposed to the track side?
Yes, I usually cut in such a manner as to have the 'good' piece be on the saw blade side (right side, in my case). No real reason why, I guess that's how I initially started, and never saw a need to change; not sure if being right handed has anything to do with it?

When I do set up for the 'good' piece being under the track, I use the storystick shown in my first post (#2), middle pic. It's made to index off of the ridge of the EZ track and reach under the track w/accurate measurements; works great!
r
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2017, 05:25 PM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
 
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Here is my answer to part of your question. First photo shows what I use instead of the repeater, basically a longer square with a sliding stop to replace the repeater which I was never comfortable with - too clunky for my taste. The cut line indicator uses a cursor that can be moved to line up with a test kerf, independent of the condition of the ACE, so can be adjusted for different kerf widths.

I like the idea of the "solid" ACE milled out of a piece of PVC as it lets you line up with pencils marks on either side of a part rather than having to juggle the cut line indicator back and forth. Dik said that he made his out of a piece of PVC trim that he bought at a lumberyard - it needs to be 1/2" thick and all I can find is 3/4" so I'd have to run it through the planer. I've made smaller parts where I needed to machine PVC, and it really makes a mess - can't imagine what it would look like taking 1/4" off a long strip. Ideally, you'd want to start with a piece wide enough to cut an ACE from either side so you can use the set-up to wind up with a spare. The last photo shows a small part that I made to fit in the side groove of the rail (an idea that didn't work out); I found a 7-14" saw blade who's kerf was just a little wider than the leg on the rail so two passes through the TS, and then two passes over the router table to reduce the thickness so it would fit inside the rail groove. The strip would be trimmed just like the standard ACE so it would cut to your line.

I was thinking about this last night, and came up with the idea of taking the two different strips off a Makita track - the cut line/splinter strip and the anti-slip strip - and gluing them on the bottom of the EZ track. You would need the 1/2" thick block on the bottom of the base (doesn't look as if there's enough meat on the EZ insert for it to be modified), but with the block having a small rabbet having a depth equal to the thickness of the strip to give pressure to the top of the strip. The downside of this idea - and I'm not really sure that it's a big deal - is that the saw would have to be moved closer to the ridge on the track so you don't have a wide overhang on the rubber strip. This would be a one-time modification to the base, and would give a good accurate edge to line up with a pencil mark, plus the strip is relatively cheap and not as easily damaged as the EZ ACE. I think that's an idea that could work, maybe I'll try to look at it a little closer, take some measurements and make a sketch.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2017, 07:23 PM
Absinthe Absinthe is offline
 
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So I took a few moments and tried to see what I could knock out quickly. So here is an idea for the cut line indicator. In the picture you can see where it so barely left the feather edge of the pencil line after the cut. Also, using a few more pieces of scrap, I now have an adjustable story stick. Neither are spectacular. but they didn't cost anything, and I am pretty sure they will work quite well. Let's just call them prototypes.
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Last edited by Absinthe; 05-22-2017 at 07:33 PM.
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