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Kreg Precision Trak & Stop Kit Review

Repeatable Operations, Every Single Time

IMG_2930If you are an aspiring woodworker, you know that your parts need to come out the exact dimension you want them.  You can’t be a 1/16” off, heck, even a 1/32” off. When we want something 24” long, it needs to be 24” long, exactly. If a project calls for a hole 3” from the edge of a board, for proper fitment, it needs to be 3” from the edge of a board. You get the point. Measure once and make an operation (cut, drill, etc.) once.

For this blog discussion, let’s focus on cutting a board to length. What are our options?

You can measure and mark for your desired length, take the time to align the miter saw blade to your mark. If you are like me, you will sneak up on the cut and get it in a few tries. This takes time and the opportunity for error is significant. Plus, if you need another part the same exact length, you need to repeat the process and the odds are they won’t be the same exact length.

You can use a floating stop block. A floating stop block is any heavy object that you can use to register your work piece against.

You can use a scrap piece of wood and clamp it to the fence or your work area and use that as a stop block.

I found a solution a year ago and will not go back. The Kreg Precisions Trak and Stop System. Repeatable results. Every Single Time.

Kreg Precision Trak and Stop System

The Kreg Precision Trak and Stop System is the perfect solution for repeatable operations that are fast and easy to setup. It can turn your miter saw station into a precise cutting system.

The system includes:

  • (4) – 2’ pieces of Top Track
  • (1) – Swing Stop
  • (1) – Production Stop
  • (1) – Left-to-Right reading self-adhesive tape
  • (1) – Right-to-Left reading self-adhesive tape
  • (1) – Owner’s manual

The system uses Kreg’s Traks that are self-aligning L shaped mounting tracks that are designed to be secured to a ¾” material. Incorporated into the Trak is a little groove where the included self-adhering measuring tape can be attached. The measuring tape reads out to 1/16” and is very easy to read.

The magic of the system comes in the two included stop blocks. The Swing Stop and the Production Stop. These two stops are the heart and soul of the system. After all, it is a stop block system!

Top Trak

IMG_2933The Trak used to secure and position both the Swing Stop and the Production Stop is made from aircraft grade aluminum with Kreg’s typically blue.  The Traks are self-aligning and are constructed with an “L” shaped to make mounting to ¾” material a breeze.

They come in 24” or 2’ sections, with 4 pieces total. They can be configured in multiple ways. For example, in my old shop I had 5 feet on the left hand side as I had to cut one to make the best use of space. In the current shop, I have a lot of room! I am thinking 8 foot on the left wing and 4 feet on the right wing. Please note, I have two kits, that is how much I like them.

Possible configurations:

  • 4’ on each side of the blade
  • 6’ on one side and 2’ on the other side
  • 8’ on one side

I did notice the Trak sections were not pre-drilled for the mounting screws. I am not sure why but they did have little groves to help locate the center of the mounting location. I would like to see them pre-drilled but maybe I am missing something here?

The Swing Stop

swing stop_1Why is it called the Swing Stop? Because it swings, out of the way. It is designed with a perfectly engineered arch that allows the user to push the work-piece into the swing arm causing it to raise. The user can then make his/her cut and reposition the work piece while the swing stop falls and is ready to be used as a stop block again.

The Swing Stop is by far the most used stop between the two included stop blocks. I use it so much because when I don’t need a stop block, I don’t have to remove it. I simply press my work-piece against it to flip the stop out of the way. When I need it, I can simply adjust it to the dimension that I would like.

The Swing Stop has one lens cursor that, traditionally, is used on the left wing of a miter saw. It can be disassembled and converted for right wing use. It is attached to the Trak with the use of the incorporated T-slot and is tightened down with a durable knob.

Production Stop

IMG_2908The Production Stop was created for the rugged shop environment, hence the name! It features dual lens cursors for use on either side of the miter saw. It is easily attached/removed by the large star knob on the back of the unit. That is one advantage the Production Stop has over the Swing Stop, it can be attached/removed vertically rather than having to start the Swing Stop at one end of the T-track.

I don’t use the production stop very often but when I do it is typically for larger parts or for a significant part run.

I find myself using the Production Stop quite a bit in conjunction with the Swing Stop. With face frames for example. At the beginning of a face frame job, I will have multiple dimensions and need do one of two things. I can either do two sets of batches, cutting one dimension at a time or I can move the stop each time. I rather use both the Swing Stop and Production Stop at the same time. You have to make sure the Production Stop as the furthest stop away from the blade as it cannot swing out of the way. This setup allows for faster batches and increased optimization of the material stock.

Shop-made Wings

miter saw station recessedMy shop-made wings are a little unique. My old miter saw station was configured so the miter saw was recessed below the surface of the cabinets and the material would sit flush between the cabinets and the work surface of the miter saw. The wings would sit directly on the cabinet surface.

My shop-made wings are constructed using two pieces of MDF. The vertical member is 3 ¼” tall and the horizontal member is 6” wide. I routed two elongated slots for a threaded rod and knob to secure it to the cabinet surface with the help of a t-nut on the underside of the cabinet surface. This adjustability made it a snap to align to my fence.

My future miter saw station design is currently up in the air. I am not sure if I want to recess my miter saw again or raise the wings. I think I might raise the wings and put some drawers in there.

Attaching the self-adhesive tape

IMG_2902Attaching the self-adhesive tape could be difficult to understand but it is very easy. First, the tape fits nicely in a designed channel so putting the tape down in a straight line is pretty much fool proof. You want to make sure the tape is in the correct spot or the measurements won’t line up with the actual cut length. Both stops have adjustable lens cursors so there is approximately 3/8” to ½” of flexibility.

Here are the steps I did to attach the tape in the correct location:

  • Build your support wings for the Trak and securely mount the Trak.
  • Assemble both stop blocks.
  • Cut a piece of wood to 24” and place against the blade of your miter saw. Mark the other end on the track.
  • Align one of your stops to that mark and make another mark on the Trak. This mark is where the 24” mark on the self-adhesive tape needs to be placed.
  • Start by placing down the 24” mark on the tape at the mark you made on the Trak. Make sure to press the tape to the Trak and there is no dust to stop it from sticking.
  • Make a test cut and measure the cut.
  • Adjust the lens cursor accordingly.

Overall

production stopIf you need accurate, repeatable cuts that are easy to setup, the Kreg Precision Track and Stop System is a perfect solution.

The user needs to make his/her own wings and also pre-drill the mounting screws for the Trak but other than that the unit is extremely well built, thought out, and easy to use.

It will turn any miter saw station into a precise material cutting machine! I would not have another miter saw station without one!

PRICINGKreg KMS8000 Precision Trak and Stops Kit

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swing stop close up

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