Using T-Track by Home Decor Online Tips
T-track is a versatile product that has many great uses around the store. It can be attached to the fence of a cutting saw, pillar drill, or milling table to provide a quick and safe place to attach feather boards, stops and latches. It is also a great addition to masks and devices with parts that need to be adjustable or easily removable.
At first glance, all T-tracks look more or less the same. There are, however, several subtle but important differences between the brands.
Sizes and prices
The T-track comes in lengths from 1 foot to 12 feet and averages around $ 4.50 per linear foot. It is usually sold in 1 or 2 feet. increments, but some brands can be specially ordered for a specific length. Most of the T-tracks are approximately 3/4“ wide with a thickness of both 3/8“ or 1/2“. Almost all of them are made of extruded aluminum. There are some key features to look for.
Accept standard hardware
T-tracks that accept standard hex head bolts and nuts as connectors are a big plus, because standard nuts and bolts are readily available at hardware stores. This means you won’t get stuck in the middle of a project because you don’t have the right connector. Some T-tracks require special connectors which are only available from a supplier.
Pre-drilled for easy assembly
We prefer pre-drilled and countersunk T-tracks to accept No. 6 or larger. It’s also nice to have the screw holes spaced no more than 5 apart“ apart from. Close-together holes mean more holes for more mounting screws and less risk of pulling the T-track off the mounting surface. Also, if you need to shorten the T-track, you will still have a hole near the end.
If you need to add screw holes to a T-track, you can drill them yourself. It’s a bit of a hassle but it’s not difficult. Some T-rails also come with a groove to help you center the drill bit. A groove in the bottom is best because drilling the shank hole from the top leaves a burr on the bottom that must be removed with a file.
Grooved for glue
Grooves or glue lips on the sides of the T-tracks provide a mechanical bond when gluing a T-track into a nut. Gluing is the best way to fit a T-track into a nut when the material under the nut is too thin to hold the screws.
Undrilled T-tracks have an advantage here: there are no screw holes that glue can squeeze into. If your T-track has screw holes, cover the holes on the underside with small pieces of masking tape before gluing.
Fits into a machine gun slot
Some T-rails fit into the miter slots on table saws, band saws, and router tables. Some T-rails can be used with the slot up or down, while others need to be one way or another to get a good fit.
The 3/8“-The thick rails are the best choice for use in machine gun slots. The thicker tracks will extend over the slots of the machine gun and you will need to cut a nut at the bottom of the mask you are creating.
Many woodworking tools and supplies companies also sell a variety of T-tracks for special applications. Some have multiple slots, unique shapes, or even a built-in tape measure. One type is the oblique groove T-track, which is designed to accept the bar of a standard submachine gun gauge. In addition to these special T-tracks, there is a huge selection of ready-made masks and devices that you can add to your T-tracks.
Whether you are building a miter saw station or a simple crosscut jig, familiarizing yourself with the uses and applications of the T-track will make your life as a carpenter easier.