Installing and aligning T-Tracks

Hello everyone.
I am ready to install T-Tracks and slats on my 1F table. However, I am unable to come up with a way to align T-Tracks with machine axes?
Any hints / ideas ?

Thanks,
kr

If you have a wooden table you could use the machine to create some alignment marks with a V bit or similar.

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Thanks for the quick response.
Yes, it is a wooden table; the top is MDF. Yes, I think I can just use the joystick to move the bit along the Y-Axis to create lines at the required internals. I think that should work.

kr

I just did this with the aluminum extrusions I am using.
I put a 8mm rod in my spindle and lowered it into the groove.
I started at the front and made a mark, then ran the spindle/rod to the back, and used that as the final positioning.

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This is another idea. I think I can use either one.
Thanks.

I drew up a file in VCarve and used the Onefinity to cut all the screw holes for the T-Track. All I had to do was screw the tracks into the holes and it was perfectly aligned to the machine.

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Great idea. I may try that too.

That’s pretty much what I ended up doing because, honestly, that’s a lot of holes to drill. There’s 9 holes per t-track section (81 holes for 9 sections) and 10 holes per plank (80 holes for 8 planks).

What I did, though, was zero to center of the cutting area, setup a quick jig into which the planks would slide then repeatedly ran a job that drilled the holes into each plank (once for the through holes then again for an inset). Then I let the machine place the first track by drilling the first 9 holes right down the center of the bed. After that, it was just a matter of laying things out and screwing 'em down. The outside tracks are actually outside the boundary of the cutting area so those had to be hand-drilled.

What I would have done differently: probably would have used HDPE instead of pine to make using cutting fluid less of an overall mess.

Edit: I should say that Carbide Create was perfect for this job. Its drilling toolpaths were flawless.

you have an automated hole driller, use it to drill your holes.

One thing that sorta sucks is that designing a wasteboard is not an easy task. You don’t really know what you want until you make it. And it’s probably the first thing you will make. I wish I’d made mine differently but that’s based on how I use it…it would be different from yours.

Best bet is to buy a file from one of the guys who advertise them and build yours based on that.

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I would probably go to the maximum extents of a surfacing bit which would be a bit larger than the tip of a V bit personally, though the V bit would be the best at creating the lines.

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I used my 1F to drill all the holes. I also used machine screws so I had to add recess pockets on the back side to accept the T-nuts. Only thing I’d do differently is add more T-tracks so they are 3" apart instead of 6" because with my current design I’m constantly running into issues not being able to reach things with my hold downs.

I am following the Josh’s advice, drilling holes for T-Tracks. I generated the toolpath in F360. F360 has an option for Drilling. I selected 1/8" flat endmill to drill 1/8" holes. Will that work? I mean 1/8" bit to drill 1/8" hole is workable?

Thanks,
kr

I think you could probably just use a drill bit too.

Oh, I didn’t think about it. I thought I was not supposed to use drill bits.

I did but, man, it was seriously over-driven. You can’t really get the speed of the router low enough for drilling but it did work out fine, at least in pine, hardwood plywood and mdf. That was with 1/8" hss and really conservative feed.

There are router “drill” bits, as well.

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On the base, not your spoil board, but what you put your spoil board on. Use a V but, and score a straight square all around your cut area. Take the measurement, and cut your spoil board into equal parts, keeping the edges straight. So if it’s 48" wide, you can do 4x.75=3. (size of t track, excluding the first and last, since those will be outside cut area. 48-3=45" of spoil board. Now cut your spoil board into equal parts, with 6 you’d have 5 equal parts, starting and ending with a t track, so 45/5. That means your spoil board will be 9" wide each.

Now lay down a straight edge and the 48" long side of your scored rectangle, drop your pieces in place. It will look like this.

.75+9+.75+9+.75+9+.75+9+.75+9+.75=48"

Now everytime you need to replace your spoil board, you just recut your 9" strips, making the T track your guide for proper alignment every time.

I then flatten the board. Lay down a 1x1" grid system for alignment purposes. And throw dog holes in it for dog hole clamp system that you can 3d print.

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in retrospect I wish I’d put my outer t tracks outside of reach of the router. Currently mine are within the 48" and thus I couldn’t use them to clamp something that’s 48". Dumb.

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whats another 2 on the outside of the ones that are there? ahah

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Excellent point! T tracks everywhere!

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