T-Track Amherst MA
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm
South Deerfield, MA
T-track is a versatile product that has many great uses around the shop. It can be attached to the fence of a chop saw, drill press or router table to provide a quick, secure place to attach feather boards, stops and hold-downs. It also makes a great addition to jigs and fixtures with parts that need to be adjustable or easily removed. At first glance, all T-tracks look pretty much the same. There are, however, several subtle but important differences among brands. We bought eleven brands commonly available and put them to the test to see which ones we liked best.
Sizes and Prices
T-track is available in lengths from 1 ft. to 12 ft. and averages about $4.50 per lineal foot. It is usually sold in 1- or 2-ft. increments, but some brands can be special ordered to a specific length. Most T-tracks are approximately 3/4 in. wide with a thickness of either 3/8 or 1/2 in. (see Chart). All but one are made of extruded aluminum.
Features We like
Accepts Standard Hardware T-tracks that accept standard hex head bolts and nuts as connectors are a big plus (Photos 1 and 2), 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 that are only available from one supplier. Pre-drilled for Easy Mounting We prefer T-tracks that are pre-drilled and countersunk to accept No. 6 or bigger wood screws (Photo 3). It's also nice to have screw holes spaced no more than 5 in. apart. Closely spaced 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 cut the T-track shorter, 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 not difficult (Photos 4 and 5). Some T-tracks even come with a groove to help you center the drill bit. A groove on 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.
T-tracks pre-drilled to accept No. 6 or larger screws have better holding strength than the tracks that are drilled for No. 4 screws.
Drill the shank hole from the bottom of the T-track with a 5/32-in.-dia. bit. Some T-tracks have a groove to help center the bit; it's helpful but not essential. A pencil line and center punch also work well.
Grooved for Glue