If you've got a question that isn't answered here or among our videos, please don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call!
This FAQ section is organized by topic:
Do the tracks actually join together easily / accurately / repeatably / etc?
Yes, the dovetail connectors are an old concept that's been excessively tested and proven to work well. Virtually all old metalworking and industrial manufacturing equipment use "dovetail gibbs" to remove play and maintain alignment reliably. We simply took the same concept used in $20,000+ machinery and applied it to a track system.
Simply flip the tracks over and slide the connectors into the two parallel dovetail grooves. Tightening the set screws in the connectors up will force the dovetails to line up with one another, aligning the tracks.
How accurate is an 8ft cut with two pieces being joined?
Manufacturing is all about tolerances - You should expect 1/32" deviation on an 8ft cut, usually less. Woodworking is a horrible place to use thousandths of an inch measurements, but the individual tracks usually vary 5-8 thou (~1/128") from one end to the other, so "the best" you should expect would be about 1/64" deviation, on an 8ft long cut. It's precise.
Do you sell a single 8ft capacity track that doesn’t have a join in it?
Nope. Shipping is an absolute nightmare, handling them is a pain, and there's no reason to. Aluminum extrusion tolerances are based on "deviation per foot", meaning if you extend the length the allowable window for a "good part" increases. Longer single extrusion doesn't end up more accurate, and our system was designed to go together easily and accurately from the get-go.
I have a slight horizontal 'bow' where I join the two tracks - Why / How to fix?
If you experience a slight bow where the tracks join, 99% of the time this is due to one of the cross-cut faces not being exactly 90 degrees - Simply leave a business card width of space between the tracks and re-tighten the connectors. If the cross-cut faces touch and are off, they will override the connectors ability to align the tracks. Simple fix that rarely has to happen.
Are the Anti-Chip Strips replaceable, and when do you need to replace them?
Yes - The strips are in small t-slots, so simply slide the old ones out, slide in new ones, and re-trim with your saw and blade.
You will need to replace the strips with a new set (along with a new Zero Clearance Block) if you take your saw off the plate/put a new saw onto the old plate, or change to a different thickness of blade. Same blade to a new identical one is usually just fine.
How long do they last with normal use?
Heavy consistent woodworking use, around 2 years. Consistent concrete or metal cutting, 8~10 months or so
Do you have to clean the anti-skid material found on the bottom of the strips?
Brush them off with your hand or a damp rag if particles get stuck to the strips, but the 'anti-skid' isn't adhesive based so most stuff brushes right off.
Can I expand the cutting capacity at a later date (start small and grow)?
Yes, simply grab a 57, 48, or 24 inch extension kit and it'll bolt together with no issues for your longer capacities down the road.
Will future accessories work with the track that I purchase today?
Yes, we absolutely hate forced obsolescence - The 11 gentlemen who purchased our track systems at the first woodworking show we ever attended in 2009 will -always- be able to use any new accessories we come out with in the future.
Do you suggest using any type of lubrication between the track and saw adapter plate?
Johnson's Paste Wax - Works great. Apply to both the track and the plate.
Saw Related Questions:
Does (enter saw) fit onto the adapter plate?
Yes - It's massively unlikely you'll find a "normal" 6-1/2, 7-1/4, or 8-1/4 inch bladed circular saw that won't be able to be adapted to our system.
Why? Because the adapter plate is flat on top. The metal base of virtually every circular saw in production is flat on the bottom. Those two surfaces touch, and the only reference we draw from or care about is the body of the blade itself. So, quite literally, the metal base doesn't matter where it ends up, what it looks like, or where the mounting hardware ends on on the metal shoe of your saw.
Will it have pre-drilled holes, or will I have to drill them myself?
You will have to drill your own unique/custom holes for mounting your saw to our adapter plate. As for where to drill, anywhere that is flat on our adapter plate is fair game - Do not put mounting hardware on the beveled edges machined into the bottom, as that's the part that rides on the track.
There are four brass inserts in the adapter plate, but those are -not- for mounting your saw - They're for mounting either the Zero Clearance Block or Dust Collection Nozzle to the adapter plate.
Should I countersink the bottom side of the holes I drill through the adapter plate?
Yes, it is best to countersink to keep the heads of the mounting hardware from scratching or catching on the track itself.
Why do you use nuts and bolts and not some type of clamp so my saw is removable?
We don't use clamps because they're inconsistent. It doesn't matter how particular you are, unless you're using a Haimer-style gauge and measuring down to 0.0005 you're not getting the saw and blade in the same place repeatably.
It doesn't get much more consistent than drilling a hole, bolting two things together, and leaving it alone. Since you trim the Anti-Chip Strips and ZCB to fit your saw and blade combo once it's set up, it's best (and fastest) to just leave everything set up for the next time you'll use the system.
Do I leave the adapter plate bolted to my saw when I want to use it without the track system (free-handed cuts)?
Yes - Leave it mounted! You can still use your saw off of the track free-handed, simply remove the ZCB or DCN and the adapter plate has plenty of surface area for lopping off a 2x4 or whatever your needs are without using the track.
You'll also find it to be more stable since the standard base plate is 7-5/8" x 13", which is larger than the base of most saws. Same concept as the "Big Foot" variations on the worm drive saws. Larger base, more stable cutting table.
What kind of blades do you recommend?
Diablo 40 tooth, CMT orange blade 40 tooth
40 teeth give a nice middle ground - Fine enough to have nice plywood cuts, but not so fine that a wet 2x4 gums up the gullets and causes burning. We use those blades for virtually every cut we make, other than on metals or stone.
What brand/model of saw do you recommend?
Brands honestly depend on personal preference. We've found virtually any saw you purchase in the $120 - $150 category from a known brand, preferably with an electric brake and a 15 amp motor, will be an amazing saw for your normal DIY / Homeowner / Moderately heavy types of use.
The $80-$115 range saws are generally for very light, sporadic use here and there but lemons are more common and generally the mounting between the motor/housing of the saw to the metal shoe is a little weak and will flex more noticeably.
If you're looking for a "lifetime" type of saw, it's usually better to spend the extra $50-$60 and get an 8-1/4" saw, simply for the extra 1/2 inch depth of cut you'll gain. Motors will be the same 15 amp, but the housings and metal shoes are generally stouter and the blades are still easy to find.
All else being the same, pick your favorite color and go with it.
How much depth of cut will I lose with a 6-½”, 7-¼”, 8-¼” saw?
Track + Adapter Plate removes 3/4 inch depth of cut, so it honestly depends on the specific model of saw you've got.
6-1/2 inch saws are generally good to 1 inch material, the majority of 7-1/4 inch saws are good to 1-1/2 inch DOC, though some will still leave splinters on a 2x4 due to model variations, and your 8-1/4 inch saws are good to 2 inch material.
Left or right bladed? What about worm drive style saws? Hypoid?
Doesn't matter - Pick the style and blade orientation you like. The only thing that changes is which end of the adapter plate becomes the "front", and the direction you make your cuts (right to left, or left to right)
Can I adapt a 10-1/4 inch bladed circular saw to your track system?
Yes, with a 10-1/4 saw you can handle 3 inch materials. We offer a drop-down menu on the products in our Complete Universal Pro Series Track Saw Kits category that allows you to substitute a 10-1/4 inch saw adapter plate into a kit for $20 extra.
If you wish to have both the standard (6-1/2 to 8-1/4 inch) adapter plate as well as a larger 10-1/4 inch plate, or if you'd like an extra standard plate, they can be found here with the same drop-down style menu to select the size: Circular Saw Adapter Plates
Can I adapt a 16+ inch bladed circular beam saw to your track system?
You can take one of the 10-1/4 inch plates and modify it to work, but currently (July 2020) we don't have a cnc machine large enough to make the plates for the larger saws, and I don't particularly want to farm it out. Looking to add machine capability towards the end of 2020 or early 2021.
That seems expensive for a few pieces of aluminum and a chunk of plastic, why is that?
Your car or truck is nothing but some chunks of steel and bits of rubber and plastic.
The raw material costs aren't what you're buying - You're buying the expertise of one of the best wide-body aluminum extrusion companies in the US, one of the few plastic extrusion companies left that will willingly do dual-durometer plastic extrusions, and our support, knowledge, and backing on every one of the products that we design and sell.
These tools are literally designed and meant to last you a lifetime of use. If price is the only objection, use a 2x4 or a piece of angle-iron as an edge guide.
We also offer a custom DIY kit that consists of a 5lb chunk of aluminum bar stock, two small sandwich bags of plastic pellets, and a blank saw adapter plate for a very reasonable price.
Shipping / Returns / Warranty Questions:
What are my options for shipping?
We ship via UPS or USPS (Post Office) - With UPS you have all of the various next day, 2nd day, etc options to choose from, though they are expensive because our track shipping boxes are 59 inches in length. Post office is always Priority Mail on the larger packages, and most of the smaller ones will go out that way as well.
During checkout, the shipping services will provide an estimated transit time - THIS IS AN ESTIMATE ASSUMING PERFECT CONDITIONS AND WILL ALWAYS SHOW THE LOW END OF THE ESTIMATION. Post office is really bad about estimating a 2 day delivery and taking 4-5, as Priority Mail is advertised as a 2-5 day delivery window (sans Covid-19 issues)
Generally, if you're within a state or two of Ohio the post office does really well. Otherwise we'll ship it out UPS. The "Retailer Choice" or "Special Offer Over $100" options will be either UPS Ground or Priority Mail depending on where you live relative to Southern Ohio.
West Coast shipments will head out UPS and they're generally 4-5 business days.
How long does it take once I place my order for it to ship?
We generally ship the next business day, or the same day if your order gets in early enough to beat the daily pick-up from whichever carrier your package goes out.
We do reserve the right to backorder and split shipments if we're missing an accessory or component and ship the backordered component at a later date - This will be communicated on the packing slip with the physical shipment you receive. We make most things in-house so backorders are resolved fairly quickly, because we hate having to worry about them.
The carrier has had my shipment but the tracking information shows it isn't moving - What can you do to help?
Reach out and let us know it's an issue, we may have had to redo the tracking information and you have an old link.
Other than that, there's honestly not much we can do. We don't have an account manager that can magically make the carrier work more efficiently, pretty much our only recourse is to ship the items out again if they're in limbo for more than 10-14 days. This generally only happens during extreme volume times such as the holidays or during global pandemics when everyone orders and ships everything, and so far has only been an issue with a handful of shipments.
If there's a manufacturing related defect in any metallic components or accessories, we'll replace it free of charge for the lifetime of the product.
If there are fit and finish or other issues with any plastic components we can replace those during the first 30 days of ownership, after that there's honestly no telling how the items were stored, dropped, etc.
For example: Dropping your saw off the edge of a work bench and breaking off the corner of the adapter plate, that's on you to buy a replacement. Dropping the track and bending an edge (file it off or cut it shorter) is on you to replace it if you want. Shattering an anti-chip edge because a toolbox lid smacked into it, on you.
If the plate doesn't slide well on the track right after you took it out of the box, we'll replace it. Same if the Anti-Chip Strips were broken during transit, or if the strips chip out during the initial trimming during set-up of your system. Missing components obviously will be covered.
Basically, in summation, if it's something that's an honest issue with our stuff we'll fix it and make sure you're taken care of. If it's a user related issue, it depends on how pleasant you are about it.
Returns - What's the process?
Email or call us and give us a chance to help fix whatever issues you're having - If you need to simply return a system period without any issues just email or call and we'll email over a PDF return label. Our office number is 1 (937) 544 6855 and a direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be responsible for return shipment charges if you just wish to return the order without using it ("I don't need it anymore"), or if it's a case of gross negligence ("I backed over it with my truck"), or if you used it once or twice and figured out that it just doesn't fit your projects. The 100% money back guarantee doesn't have a time limit, and you'll only be out the return shipment cost.
If you failed at adapting your saw to the system without bothering to read the full color instruction manual (which took four months to make), watch the videos we have, or call us for help during the process and want to return it because you're frustrated...If you're pleasant on the phone, you can return it. Otherwise, chill out and let us help you make it right.
We're here to help and to ensure that you get the most out of the products that we make. We take care of our customers because they take care of us. Hopefully this FAQ has helped you out!