Mafell rail saw / cross-cutting system

One of the tools Kurt was proud to show me was his Mafell rail saw / crosscut saw.

When used with a long track, the Mafell saw works much like a regular rail saw. What is special about the Mafell saw though is how it works with a short track to form the "Mafell cross cutting system".

The saw is slid into the crosscutting track from the end, and stays attached to the track, so that you can pick up the saw with the track one handed. A spring return automatically keeps the track pushed forward relative to the saw, so that you can pretty much use the saw to make guided cuts with just one hand.

The track has two guide pins on the bottom, which are used to set the angle of cut. The guide pin on the right of this photo can be slide along the track to set the saw for different angles of cut.

A scale on the edge of the track shows what angle of cut the pin is set to. I like the size of the scale - much larger than a typical miter or angle gauge. It makes it easier to be confident that the angle is actually set accurately.

A rubber profile on the bottom of the track helps keep the saw steady on the material while a cut is made.

The rubber edge of the guide rail goes right up to the blade. You can just line up the edge of the track with your pencil mark to make the cut. And the edge being so close to the blade also helps prevent tearout.

The saw's blade guard is actually pushed open by the track as the saw is pushed along, so that you don't end up pushing the blade guard against the stock to open it. This also makes it easier to cut accurately, because one isn't using the work piece to force the blade guard open. The blade guard is actually mostly open by the time the cut starts.

You can buy this saw from Mafell. Mafell isn't one of those companies that makes everything in China though, so the saw is a bit pricey.

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