Quick Parallel Guides for your Track Saw – Simple & Accurate

Quick Parallel Guides for your Track Saw – Simple & Accurate

Learn how to make a set of parallel guides for your track saw to increase speed and accuracy when doing rip cuts! These guides are quick, easy and inexpensive to make but provide a lot of accuracy.

Track saws are great tools for breaking down sheet goods into finished parts. To maximize speed and efficiency when making rip cuts it’s best to use parallel guides. Parallel guides allow you to make repeatable cuts of exactly the same width and avoid having to measure and mark for each cut. I designed these guides to be quick, simple and inexpensive to make but be very accurate. They use a setting jig which guarantees that both guides are set exactly the same to give a parallel cut, which is the whole point. They only cost a couple of dollars to make and I’ve found them super useful. This video explains how to make and use these guides so you can build a set for your own track saw.

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50 Comments

  1. Nico Smets on July 16, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    These are great. I encorparated these in my workflow many years ago. In th esimplest form possible: measured to each other, no scale.



  2. Glenn Irwin on July 16, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    nice jig .



  3. K O on July 16, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Great idea. Good thing one of the festool add-on companies didn’t make those or the kit would cost $400.



  4. John Summerfield Photographer on July 16, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    3:56 You only need two including the setting jig. Set your setting jig, set the other as you just did.



  5. Ken Grimme on July 16, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Great idea. But why make (3) jigs. Make one setting jig, use it to set the other jig, then use both.



  6. TheWeazel01 on July 16, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Do you have to add the width of the rail itself to the 18 inches measurement exsmple you used in this video? The cut is on the other side right?



  7. Paul on July 16, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Great guides! How did you measure the offset for the track ?



  8. Michael Schuler on July 16, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Dan, your design’s inclusion of the measurement bar renders your system better able to produce absolutely parallel cuts than the "slicker" commercially available models that rely on accurate independent reading of the scales on a pair of stop/rail assemblies. As with many woodworking tasks, the best measurement is no measurement.



  9. Lutz Hegemann on July 16, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Awesome design. Firstly I was puzzled why to have a further setup jig instead of putting scales on both pieces. But it makes perfect sense



  10. Mike Cline on July 16, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    From watching the end of the video, it seems like these jigs assume you want to make a cut which is always greater than the width of your track. Is that correct? What if I want to repeatably cut 2" wide strips, is there a way to do that with these?



  11. Steven Fine on July 16, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    This seems to be measuring off the wrong face to cut multiple parallel rips. Am I missing something?



  12. John M on July 16, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    I watched a number of videos for ideas for parallel guides and I feel your design is the most simple and the most accurate of all the other designs. I made mine last week for use with a DeWalt track saw. DeWalt’s track has anti-splinter rubber edges on both sides of the track, so I needed to cut off the rubber on one side of the track so that the guide butted up to the aluminum track. I also make a couple of minor enhancements. I moved the scale to the top of the guide and added an adjustable plexiglass sight. This way I can fine tune the scale after I make my first cut. Another enhancement I made was to make removable 20” extensions giving me the ability to rip 26” without the extension and up to 46”with the extension. I considered making the guides longer, but I felt they would get in the way for narrow rips. And finally, to help keep which end of the guide is which, I painted the tips that touch the rail. I also painted a thin stripe on the rail itself to remind me which side of the rail to place the guide.



  13. Mark Koons on July 16, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    This is exactly what I need at this time. Thank you.



  14. gjvdspam on July 16, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    Made these a while ago. Worked simple and effective.



  15. Grey Point on July 16, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    brilliant work!



  16. coggsy3036 on July 16, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    What an annoying voice I had to switch off within writing this message



  17. Antonio Silvia100 on July 16, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    πŸ˜πŸ‘



  18. AM0nition on July 16, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    Awesome idea!



  19. Everson Silva Everson on July 16, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    Very good!



  20. kb coolman on July 16, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    You, good sir, just earned a new sub. This is brilliant. I bought a Dewalt track saw system a couple of months ago, and I’ve used it so much I can’t believe I ever went without it. But I was stumped on how to set up a parallel guide. This is super simple and absolutely brilliant. I’ll be making it this week for sure.



  21. VONDOOM88 on July 16, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    Love the simplicity of this jig! You earned a sub



  22. BEN LATHAM on July 16, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    You Just saved me about Β£100 πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘



  23. Acer Juglans on July 16, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Very smart. This might be the best homemade parallel guides I’ve seen yet, and I’ve been watching a lot of videos on YouTube lately.



  24. bearbon2 on July 16, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Great idea and in my price range! I’m also going to use them to set my table saw fence, which is never parallel.



  25. Stowe's Creative Corner on July 16, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks! I just made two of these and used the ruler tape on one. Most accurate cuts yet with may track saw



  26. Edward Cullen on July 16, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    I will be making these, and maybe get more use from my track saw. This is a great video, thank you for the wonderful design.



  27. Audioventura on July 16, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    this is the first reincarnation of those that I think might actually work! really simple but reliable (from what I can tell).



  28. TheNeedlessMage on July 16, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    Fantastic simple jig! Will be making one this week. Great work.



  29. Marinos Marinos on July 16, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    Its far the best way to cut with accurate big sheets of plywood,the line with pen it isn’t accurate



  30. Av It on July 16, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    Is there some unwritten rule that woodworking video’s HAVE to have bad intros?



  31. Megan Cooper on July 16, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Great simple design but surely the guides can be registered to each other rather than using the 3rd piece?



  32. abad_gtr on July 16, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    genius idea! i’ll just ordered a track saw and will be making this to help dial in cuts faster…thanks for posting!



  33. peter Algya on July 16, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    Do you set up your measuring gauge to account for your track width ?



  34. Troy LaDoux on July 16, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    I love this idea. Thank you for posting this.



  35. Jim Nordgren on July 16, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for the tip,you are so right,this is a cheap option in making it work well and fast.



  36. heystarfish100 on July 16, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    DAN! Come back DAN!



  37. Jack on July 16, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    Great idea! However, as a minimalist I have to point out that you only need the parallel guides. The setting jig is redundant as you can set one parallel guide and set the other in the same way you set them from the setting jig. Either parallel guide can become the setting jig if that makes sense.



  38. daddybear on July 16, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    Why can’t we use the setting jig as a parallel guide? Then we just need 2 pieces. After you set up the first track at 3:45, use it with the setting jig.



  39. AoToGo on July 16, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    A great idea which deserved a like and a subscribe! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜€



  40. Robert Dailey - Dailey Woodworks on July 16, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    This is great jig. I just order my tracksaw and this is absolutely a jig I’ll be making



  41. Cindy Hammack on July 16, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Could inlayed t-track be used top and bottom? Then use the track connectors some how? Use the bottom to attach adjustable t-track clamps. I think I might try to figure that out. Hmmm. Thanks for the inspiration!



  42. Nial Stewart on July 16, 2023 at 3:07 pm

    Dan (or anyone else), I’m fairly new to woodworking, I have a track saw and router. A couple of questions… 1) How do you accurately route the groove down the center of the bars? Is this where a router table is invaluable? Thanks for any thoughts.



  43. Tueftler & Heimwerker - DIY Projekte & Tipps on July 16, 2023 at 3:07 pm


  44. daddybear on July 16, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    With the long groove in the center, does it flex along it’s width?



  45. LCOVE India Space Saving Furniture on July 16, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Super



  46. BigDanInLA on July 16, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Would putting a pointed end on the "T" end allow for even more accuracy? A smaller registration point, so to speak.



  47. Angie Williams on July 16, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    These look they would work great. I totally need to make these!!!



  48. Dan Pattison on July 16, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    Have you built one of the DP Shop Talk projects? Submit your project at the link below and check out other projects that have been submitted by viewers! Also leave your comments, questions and ideas at the bottom of the page in the comments box.

    https://www.danpattison.com/blog/viewerprojects



  49. Daniel Chao on July 16, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Where is it made?



  50. azucar151 on July 16, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Beautiful ! …. surely my next project… thanks for posting …. SUBSCRIBED !