Author Topic: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly  (Read 8298 times)

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MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« on: January 05, 2017, 01:15 AM »
Guys, I recently  bought an MFT table and I have followed the instructions on how to square the rail. However, no matter what I do to it - it is never quite Square. It always is off from my straight line that I have created on the board that I want to cut with one of the FS track saw rails. I am at a loss as to how I can get this squared precisely. Thoughts??? What am I doing wrong?

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1952
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 05:34 AM »
I guess the first two questions are what are you using as a square and have you verified the square you are using is truly square? Very few of the commercial framing squares are true and it takes a fairly large square to true up the MFT.

Birdhunter

Offline jobsworth

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 07:02 AM »
Yup , I had the same problem and was bugged cuz nothing came out right. Then I got a woodpeckers square. So you need to get a true known square square
Loving the Calif sun....

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 69
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 07:46 AM »
Checking your square is easy, line it up on something large enough to cover its whole length, draw a line. Turn it over and position on the same line. If it doesn't match, it's off. If you're using a common framing square, you can true it by using a center punch to tweak the legs. The method is shown here; http://www.popularwoodworking.com/tricks/truing-your-squares.

You likely won't get it to the accuracy of something like a Woodpeckers though. Since the squareness of your table determines the squareness of everything you cut on it, a machined square like the Woodpeckers is probably a worthwhile investment.


Offline Dick Mahany

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 08:41 AM »
I made my own square out of MDF.  Simply use two sets of dogs (I really like Parf dogs from Lee Valley).  Use one set to establish a reference edge.  Then use a second set to square a track saw guide rail (or any other parallel guide if using a circular saw) at right angles.  This will yield a very precise 90 degree corner to be established provided that the set up is secured well for the cut.  I think my square is about 460mm on a side and cost about $10.  It was very cost effective and quick to make, and if I ever damage it, its not a big deal.

I use this square to set up the MFT and also for occasional verification checks and it has yielded perfectly square cuts that have produced many parallel and square cabinet parts and assemblies. Its also easy to verify using the square check method described earlier.  I wanted to buy one of the pretty, but expensive squares, but opted to spend the dollars for a few sets of dogs which for my purposes yield more value.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 09:00 AM by Dick Mahany »

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 08:58 AM »
I have made several really accurate square on my track saw cutting station and they are very close to perfect.



Peter

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3298
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 09:05 AM »
Welcome to the FOG! 

The three most common things that might throw the MFT out of square even after we think we've squared it are:

1) play in the rail, caused by a loose fit where the tab on the front bracket meets the rail

2) the fence lock down mechanism, which can push forward or pull back the fence slightly if the tab engaging the fence is not resting right in the channel

3) adjusting the height of the brackets, which sometimes causes either the front or the rear bracket to rest askew (out of plane with the table, as opposed to parallel)

Assuming your square is good, double check all three of these.  There's also a fix for number 1 called the Slop Stop, which many people have added to their MFTs   http://www.festoolproducts.com/tool-improvements-slop-stop-for-festool-mft-tables-and-rails.html
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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1952
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 09:17 AM »
Over several years of using the MFT and its flip down fence & tracksaw, I've learned the following.

1. Buy a big very accurate square. Any square less than 24" on the long side isn't going to work well. a cheap off-true square is going to be a continuing source of frustration and wasted wood. I have the Woodpecker framing square and like it a lot.
2. The SlopStop gadget is cheap and does just about totally eliminate any side to side movement in the fence.
3. The MFT hole pattern is very accurate. The holes combined with 4 Qwas dogs can give you very accurate alignment for cuts and for glue-ups. There are other MFT dogs, but I prefer the Qwas ones.
4. The MFT top will sag over time. It can be easily flipped over to reverse the sag.
5. Check and recheck your tracksaw depth of cut before starting a cut. It's far too easy to mess up and saw into the MFT and even the side rail.
6. The MFT top doesn't like to get wet. If you spill water on it, wipe it up fast.
7. Enjoy
Birdhunter

Offline linnlp12

  • Posts: 61
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 08:52 PM »
I had the same issue also.  I discovered if I put the fence lock clamp on the back frame rail of the MFT to square it, I couldn't get the rear fence to square with the cross track.  Locking the fence down with the lock clamp pulled the fence out of square.  I had to put the rear rail clamp on the left side MFT frame rail.  Not sure of my parts terminology here so I hope this is clear.  My guess was that the rear table frame piece wasn't completely flat since it is against the table in a vertical position.  Just a guess.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2017, 03:32 AM »
I use 2 angle stops / protractors on the fence makes it rock solid once tightened
Loving the Calif sun....

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 492
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 03:52 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that the two stops in the T-slots (where the rail holders register to) can be off out-of-the-box. You'll most likely have to align them once (and redo that in case you throw around the MFT which could twist the frame).

See http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tool-problems/ts55-req-and-mft-3-not-cutting-square/msg469685/#msg469685 and my post 5 below for a howto to set them correctly. As you have the fixing set you can use the bench dogs included to set the fence and the rail square to each other, when all is fine and set reinsert the stops.

Offline Dick Mahany

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2017, 06:10 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is that the two stops in the T-slots (where the rail holders register to) can be off out-of-the-box. You'll most likely have to align them once (and redo that in case you throw around the MFT which could twist the frame).

Very true.  Mine were off enough to cause about a 0.75mm error from front to rear.  I didn't realize that until after I cut that first kerf into my brand new MFT top.  Even though its just MDF, it always bothered me to see that crooked kerf after I squared up the table to the way it should have been done.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1952
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 06:43 PM »
I screwed up and cut a deeper than intended than in my MFT. I filled the kerf with two-part plastic wood epoxy and later sanded it flush with the surface. The repair has lasted several years.
Birdhunter

Offline Anderson-Plywood

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 01:58 PM »
You can use the Anderson MFT Square, manufactured using CNC machines, very precise and very affordable.
It is made out of 3/4" Phenolic plywood which is durable and the thickness helps with squaring.

Click here to see more details.

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With a Vast Range of Festool Products, Hard to Find Parts and Accessories





www.andersonplywood.com

Offline gearhound

  • Posts: 31
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 02:39 PM »
You can use the Anderson MFT Square, manufactured using CNC machines, very precise and very affordable.
It is made out of 3/4" Phenolic plywood which is durable and the thickness helps with squaring.

Click here to see more details.



Wouldn't mind having one of these guys! Anyone have experience with them? Any way to get it shipped cheaper to Colorado?

Offline Achtepa

  • Posts: 8
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2017, 03:10 PM »
I have one, it works amazing, the thing is dead square and was able to adjust my table in seconds. I also added the SlopStop so there is 0 play in the rail.

Offline DrD

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2017, 03:36 PM »
Ditto to Achtepa, The Anderson Square is dead on per my Woodpecker 26" square, and a whole bunch less expensive.  Used mine for a good while now, and it's what I go to for either setting or verifying square.

DrD
Dr.D

Offline jobsworth

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 02:18 PM »
what the last 2 guys said
Loving the Calif sun....

Offline gearhound

  • Posts: 31
Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2017, 03:05 PM »
Just ordered one! I've got a 12" woodpecker I've been using, but figure this will be quicker and a bit more accurate with the size? Also planning on getting a slop-stop.

Offline Anderson-Plywood

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Re: MFT Table Won't Square Rail Properly
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2017, 01:59 AM »
We are glad you like the MFT Square we make!
Just to let you know, we have a promo on the MFT Square for a limited time!
Click on the below image to learn more!

« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 02:02 AM by Anderson-Plywood »
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With a Vast Range of Festool Products, Hard to Find Parts and Accessories





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