Help with t-track length for a newbie - leave at 36"

Good morning,

I’ve been lurking here for a while but haven’t seen anything on t-track length.

I received my machine a couple of weeks ago and am about to mount it.

I bought 36" t-track and am wondering if there is a downside to leaving them at full length.

I’m thinking that there may be some benefit to having extra length outside the work area to allow clamping of a “full-sized” workpiece.

I intend to use 5 x 5.75" MDF strips with 6 5/16" t-track, 1 on each outside edge, outside work area.

Lee Valley was sold out on 1/4" at the time.

Any help would be really appreciated.


Morning Dan,

As with everthing “to each their own” but I think a large chunk of users have their T-Track cut to 32.25" to match the max travel of the Woodworker. I also added small 5.5" cross pieces to the ends of my wasteboard strips so that I can still insert clamps in/out easily but allow me to still get a little extra reach at the ends between strips.

Hope that helps!


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Hi Alex,

Thank you for the quick reply!

Have the cross pieces would allow for still more clamping options :grin:

Make it a great day!


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That’s my plan. So far I’ve found 30", 36", and 48" lengths. 30" would probably work and for the larger stuff you could just mount something outside the spoil board. 48" would work as well but you’ll most likely want to shorten them which means a bunch of short pieces that you could use to go the opposite way. But if you are going to put pieces of MDF between the T-track that would mean a lot more screws to hold each piece down. I was just going to use 3/4" and make dados for the tract to sit in and recess the T-track down making it less likely the bit could hit it. The screws that hold the T-track down would also hold the MDF in place.

I’m thinking of using one of the cam lock style clamps to hold the work against a couple of boards. Both Rockler ($$$$) and Grizzly ($$) sell a version. Since neither would be too friendly to a router bit I was thinking of using some hardwood between them and the work piece.

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Hi Dr-Al,

Thx for the info.

I’m waiting for an email to let me know that I can go pick up the MDF at Rona.

I’ve ordered 5/8" and plan to laminate 2 layers.

The t-track that I have is 7/16" high giving very little room for resurfacing.

MDF is available around here in up to 5/8" in 2’x4’ “handy panels” making transport easier without cutting down a full sheet to size in a parking lot.

I was thinking about dados for the tracks but will look at that in the future when I know how to do it!


Alex (Great name BTW)

I think I see in my head what you’re talking about with the dattos, just be careful if you are using the t-track to hold down the MDF you will have to take that off every time you replace a spoilboard section.

I used 3/4" MDF for my strips and just hold it down with 6 threaded inserts into my deck (Middle, and Ends) to lock that down and easily replace it when I need to.

On you length scraps just be careful that you leave yourself enough to have at least 2 holes for drilling it down. I bought all 36" and the scrap piece did leave me 2 holes. (sure I could have drilled new ones but the spacing would have been off and my ODC would not allow that). :rofl:

Hope that helps guide you a bit.

I’m using 1 1/8" advantech subflooring for the under the spoil board. My plan is to just use locknuts with washers to hold the T-track and spoil board in place. When it comes time to replace the spoil board I was just going to remove it, cut the dados in the new sheet, and then put one on top of the other and drill new holes to line up with the old holes. It might be a little more wasteful than just replacing individual boards but I can live with it. If needed I can always use 1/4" MDF under the project if needed.

These are the clamps I was thinking of.

Hey Alex,

I plan to counterbore and screw the laminated MDF to the 3/4” plywood “table” that I’m about to mount the machine to.

I was thinking about the dados to give me some additional spoil board headroom but I decided to use the 2 layers of MDF to see if it works.

The name wasn’t really planned other than it’s my initials.

On the OCD front, I’ve 3D printed jigs for marking the holes on the MDF and also holes in the t-track :joy:

Thank you!


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Thx Dr-Al.

I hadn’t thought of looking a subflooring.

Those clamps look awesome!

I was thinking that I could 3D print some custom clamps with 3D bolts going forward to save on bits.

I also bought a bunch of CA glue along with accelerator to try out.


That’s what forums are all about. Each person has different ideas. Over the last 4 months I’ve been reading what others have done and trying to figure what will work for me. It now looks that my July 4th date for shipping is going to be pushed out by a couple weeks because 1F is behind. So I have more planning (and reading) on what to do. But it looks like that’ll be an ideal time as that’s about the time 1F should be shipping the new products they’ll be announcing soon.

I use those rockler press clamps as well. They do make a stationaly set that I use on the back side as my stop. I chose those over the shop fox ones as they are alumnium so if you miscalculate a bit its more forgviing on a bit .

Rockler also sells a CNC clamp that are blue plastic and hold down from the top. I bought them and they are okay but not exactly what I’m looking for. BUT they do come with T-Bolts that they had made specially for the clamps which are made from Alumnium themselves. So while I do not use the clamp I moved those bolts to the otherr Rockler clamps. (best of both worlds).

I’ve been in touch with Rockler corportate and have made a request that they start to carry the line of Alumnium T-track bolts as a stand alone product, which they have stated they will look into. So … who knows. :stuck_out_tongue:


Thx Dr-Al

I finally got my mounted late yesterday and I’m about to install the dust boot.

Lots to learn for sure.

Thanks for your help!


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That sounds great Alex.

Thanks for the info!


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I just got my machine and at about the same stage…I haven’t screwed it down yet.
The picture shows where I am starting from and I think I’m leaving at 36 inches.

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You are likely going to run into issues starting your T-Track agains the Y-Rails like that, most clamps overhang the track a bit so you may never be able to get them in or out. You may want to think about a bit of space based on the clamps you plan to use.



Hi Don,

I screwed my machine down on the weekend and was able to finally get my MDF yesterday.

If you go wider than 32" with the MDF you will not to able to mill the surface to the edges.

My plan is to use 36" long tracks, 2" extra on each end, front and back.

My tracks are larger than yours, but I plan to use 5- 5.75" strips of MDF with the outside t-tracks just outside the cutting area. The inside edges will be at 32".


Ok…thanks…I’m still picking out the clamps…so appreciate the feedback.

One of the reasons why I was thinking of going the dado route is so that I can put a T-Track about an inch or so in from the end of the spoil board so it doesn’t interfere with the Y-rails. I ordered 6 36" rails the other day along with a couple cam clamps. In a few weeks I’ll build the table but will wait on doing the spoil board until my 1f shows up.

That sounds like a good plan.

I have my machine mounted and picked up the MDF yesterday.

I was able to drill and countersink my t-tracks on Monday.

I’m hoping to be able to start working with the MDF in the next few days.

Life gets in the way sometimes!


Ok, I have a silly question regarding T Track and MDF strips between the track. It appears that everyone is screwing the MDF to the table top; my question is why? If I’m using T Track clamps to hold down my material, couldn’t the MDF just rest underneath the clamped material? I’m sure I’m missing something simple here…