Festool Owners Group

FESTOOL DISCUSSIONS => Ask Festool => Topic started by: Svar on October 19, 2012, 04:00 PM

Title: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Svar on October 19, 2012, 04:00 PM
Why holes on MFTs are spaced at 96 mm? Why not 100 mm for a round number and convenience of referencing / measuring? Yes, I know, there is standard 32 mm shelf pin spacing, but that is what LR32 rail system for. What does it have to do with the table top? The only instance I know of something matching to 96 mm pattern is Kapex feet, but then again Kapex was made to fit MFT, not the other way around. Is there anything in Festool arsenal that requires dog holes to be that way?

This all comes down to many attempts by users to make their own tables mimicking Festool plates, although other (not necessarily square) hole patterns might be more practical.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Festool USA on October 19, 2012, 04:38 PM
You nailed it. It's base 32mm. Beyond that, I don't have any insight but I believe that the hole spacing and size is more common in Europe. But our friends overseas would have to confirm that.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Distinctive Interiors on October 19, 2012, 05:15 PM
In the European kitchen field, most manufacturers work with the Base 32mm system and multiples thereof (handles, shelf drillings, hinge plate spacings etc....). There must be a logic behind it, but I dont know what it is. [unsure]

Tim (Distinctive Interiors)
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: duburban on October 19, 2012, 06:01 PM
are these numbers used when sizing euro kitchen cabinets for width/height?
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Svar on October 19, 2012, 06:18 PM
"are these numbers used when sizing euro kitchen cabinets for width/height?"

Duburban, you might be on to something! If they are, then it would be convenient to cut panels to size referencing from bench dogs.
What is the distance from the crosscut kerf (factory setting) to the nearest row of holes?
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Alan m on October 19, 2012, 06:49 PM
its based on the 32mm system.
i dont know why its 32mm and not 33mm or 34mm etc . it must have something to do with "those cool mathematical things where you do a load of different things to the numbers but still comes out the same" not sure what the proper name for that is. lets call it a magic number
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Tom Bellemare on October 19, 2012, 06:57 PM
Two to the fifth?


Tom
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: ccarrolladams on October 19, 2012, 07:14 PM
Just after WWII, centuries of housing units needed to be replace in a big hurry. A group of experts were convened to establish a recognized standard, the idea being components made in one plant or factory would interchange with components made elsewhere.

Prior to that time there were various styles of tracks to support adjustable shelves. But in an emergency, eliminating manufacturing those tracks from precious and scarce steel was not the preferred approach. Someone had the idea of simply drilling regularly spaced holes in the side of cabinets and bookshelves, eliminating the tracks.

Someone else remembered a long used manufacturing tool similar to a line boring machine. Several folks started to refine the design of line boring machines. To make then practical the central drill is directly powered and the other drills are powered by helical gears, meaning alternate drill rotate in opposite directions, hence the red and black color codes.

Why was 32mm selected? Simple! At the time the most readily available commercial helical gears for the purpose had their shafts on 32mm centers. Smaller gears would not stand up in production and larger gears spaced the holes too far apart.

Here in the USA I was following those standards setting meetings very closely because I believed in the concept of building custom interiors using standard modules. When the 32mm standard was approved there was no secret in the debates about the gears being the deciding factor.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Peter Halle on October 19, 2012, 08:14 PM
Thanks Carroll!

Peter
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: greg mann on October 19, 2012, 10:02 PM
Carrol's account dovetails with everything I have heard as well. It is interesting what 'accidents' of history influence posterity and yet are still obscure.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Alan m on October 20, 2012, 02:20 AM
thanks carroll/ thats very interesting
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Timtool on October 20, 2012, 06:55 AM
Good to know that, in the case of the MFT top there probably is that same "keep it simple" story, line boring machines have 32mm spacings standard. The tops are probably drilled like that with one of those and not some fancy CNC that can do anything. In that case making them anything other than 96mm apart would explode production cost.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Michael_Swe on October 20, 2012, 07:06 AM
About cabinet width: No these are not multiples of 32mm, at least not in Sweden. Standard cabinets come in almost every size in 100mm increments.
I would guess that 600 mm is the most common width of cabinets for kitchen (a little less than 24 inches).
300 mm and 800 mm is common as well.

Thank you Carrol for your interesting insight. I didn't have a clue about this.
//Michael
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Sparktrician on October 20, 2012, 08:33 AM
Just after WWII, centuries of housing units needed to be replace in a big hurry. A group of experts were convened to establish a recognized standard, the idea being components made in one plant or factory would interchange with components made elsewhere.

Prior to that time there were various styles of tracks to support adjustable shelves. But in an emergency, eliminating manufacturing those tracks from precious and scarce steel was not the preferred approach. Someone had the idea of simply drilling regularly spaced holes in the side of cabinets and bookshelves, eliminating the tracks.

Someone else remembered a long used manufacturing tool similar to a line boring machine. Several folks started to refine the design of line boring machines. To make then practical the central drill is directly powered and the other drills are powered by helical gears, meaning alternate drill rotate in opposite directions, hence the red and black color codes.

Why was 32mm selected? Simple! At the time the most readily available commercial helical gears for the purpose had their shafts on 32mm centers. Smaller gears would not stand up in production and larger gears spaced the holes too far apart.

Here in the USA I was following those standards setting meetings very closely because I believed in the concept of building custom interiors using standard modules. When the 32mm standard was approved there was no secret in the debates about the gears being the deciding factor.

Carroll,
     That's wonderful insight into the 32mm standard that I'd not found elsewhere.  Now, where did the logic come from regarding the 37mm setback commonly used for shelf pin rows?  I'm curious as to why, if 32mm worked so well for vertical spacing, the same number wasn't applied to setback as well. 

 [smile]
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Captainwrinkles on October 20, 2012, 12:31 PM
Why holes on MFTs are spaced at 96 mm? Why not 100 mm for a round number and convenience of referencing / measuring? Yes, I know, there is standard 32 mm shelf pin spacing, but that is what LR32 rail system for. What does it have to do with the table top? The only instance I know of something matching to 96 mm pattern is Kapex feet, but then again Kapex was made to fit MFT, not the other way around. Is there anything in Festool arsenal that requires dog holes to be that way?

This all comes down to many attempts by users to make their own tables mimicking Festool plates, although other (not necessarily square) hole patterns might be more practical.


If you want a round number, Would 4 inches (101.6mm) be better in north America. 100mm wouldnt make it easier?
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Svar on October 20, 2012, 12:37 PM
Thank you, Carrol, for a great lesson.
Back to the original question. So, if dog holes on MFT were 100 mm apart that would not compromise its functionality in any way.  It seems they were made to match 32 mm system just in case, although at present time there is no tool, jig, or fixture that really calls for this arrangement. Does that sound about right?

Captainwrinkles, although I'm currently in NA, I work and think in metric - system that I was raised with.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Captainwrinkles on October 20, 2012, 12:38 PM
Good to know that, in the case of the MFT top there probably is that same "keep it simple" story, line boring machines have 32mm spacings standard. The tops are probably drilled like that with one of those and not some fancy CNC that can do anything. In that case making them anything other than 96mm apart would explode production cost.

Also, The MFT top has 77 holes already (if i counted correctly) Can you imagine how much longer it would take to produce a top that has 589 holes drilled into it?
Not too mention that it would drastically reduce the strength of the top it there was only 12mm of material between each hole.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Len on October 20, 2012, 03:59 PM
It would be neat if  one of the German engineers monitored this board to answer technical or design questions.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Kevin D. on October 20, 2012, 04:21 PM
It's a plus having them that distance.  When I wanted to add an extra row of holes closer to the edge of my MFT, using the LR32 rail with the holes made it that much easier to execute.  Every fourth hole on the rail plunge the router, can't get much easier than that so the holes are perfectly aligned with the existing holes.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: ccarrolladams on October 20, 2012, 05:48 PM
Hi, Sparktrician,

Although I have studied transcripts of the Standards Committee meetings, I have found no discussion of any particular set-back of hole rows. Perhaps this is because parts would functionally interchange even if the set back were to be different. On the other hand, there was a lot of discussion before 80mm up from the bottom fixed shelf and down from the fixed top shelf became a standard. Remember, the 80mm is measured on the inside from the inner face of the shelf, not necessarily the physical end of the side piece.

Reading the hundreds of books about using System 32, the common explanation for the 37mm from off-set is that experience soon showed that if the front shelf support were off-set more an empty shelf would tip forward and if less than 37mm the support pins would be too far apart for ideal support. I have not found bench note from experiments. I like to think hundreds of apprentices were required to drill test holes every millimeter from 30mm to 60mm so tipping tests could be done.

Also, one of the first post-WWII European-style cabinet door hinge needed a hole 37mm in from the face of the cabinet. My guess is this is the reason most of us use the 37mm off-set.

At about the same time as the hinges using 37mm off-set became popular, manufacturers designed drawer slides using a 37mm off-set for the forward hole.

My suggestion is to double check the installation specs of the selected hardware before calling for the 37mm off-set for the outside hole row!
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Sparktrician on October 21, 2012, 08:16 AM
Hi, Sparktrician,

Although I have studied transcripts of the Standards Committee meetings, I have found no discussion of any particular set-back of hole rows. Perhaps this is because parts would functionally interchange even if the set back were to be different. On the other hand, there was a lot of discussion before 80mm up from the bottom fixed shelf and down from the fixed top shelf became a standard. Remember, the 80mm is measured on the inside from the inner face of the shelf, not necessarily the physical end of the side piece.

Reading the hundreds of books about using System 32, the common explanation for the 37mm from off-set is that experience soon showed that if the front shelf support were off-set more an empty shelf would tip forward and if less than 37mm the support pins would be too far apart for ideal support. I have not found bench note from experiments. I like to think hundreds of apprentices were required to drill test holes every millimeter from 30mm to 60mm so tipping tests could be done.

Also, one of the first post-WWII European-style cabinet door hinge needed a hole 37mm in from the face of the cabinet. My guess is this is the reason most of us use the 37mm off-set.

At about the same time as the hinges using 37mm off-set became popular, manufacturers designed drawer slides using a 37mm off-set for the forward hole.

My suggestion is to double check the installation specs of the selected hardware before calling for the 37mm off-set for the outside hole row!

Thanks very much for your insights, Carroll.  This is the sort of information that most literature I've seen on the 32mm system does not discuss.  It certainly adds to my understanding of the system to have an infill. 

 [smile]
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Francisco DelValle on May 02, 2013, 01:23 PM
Great thread! FOG just plain rocks!
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Claimdude on May 02, 2013, 04:41 PM
Why holes on MFTs are spaced at 96 mm? Why not 100 mm for a round number and convenience of referencing / measuring? Yes, I know, there is standard 32 mm shelf pin spacing, but that is what LR32 rail system for. What does it have to do with the table top? The only instance I know of something matching to 96 mm pattern is Kapex feet, but then again Kapex was made to fit MFT, not the other way around. Is there anything in Festool arsenal that requires dog holes to be that way?

This all comes down to many attempts by users to make their own tables mimicking Festool plates, although other (not necessarily square) hole patterns might be more practical.


Is that 96mm center to center of hole? What is the distance from the center of an outside hole to the edge of the wood top? I am looking to having a friend with a CNC make a custom sized top for me and need to know the exact dimensions.

Thanks
  Jack
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: Tom Bellemare on May 02, 2013, 05:08 PM
It is 96mm hole-to-hole (centers) and 70mm to the edges (center to edge).


Tom
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: ccarrolladams on May 02, 2013, 07:34 PM
Just remember the 70mm edge of top to hole center only applies to the actual Festool tops.

When custom making your own tops of other sizes, such as 4' x 8' you need to stick to the 96mm on center for the field holes.
Title: Re: 96 mm MFT hole spacing
Post by: RonWen on May 03, 2013, 12:06 AM
Using the 48" x 96" example the spacing from the edges will be as shown (for a 13x25 hole array).

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