Author Topic: MFT3 Advice  (Read 1712 times)

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Offline Grazza

  • Posts: 2
MFT3 Advice
« on: July 16, 2017, 03:00 PM »
Used to be on the forum a few years back (different user name) but life took a bit of a detour.  Now divorced and with a bit more time on my hands, I'm looking to get back into woodworking again.

Got my tools out of storage and discovered that the top of my MFT3 has a significant bow to it and whilst I am trying to straighten it I'm also looking at the options for making a new one (and because I am looking at making a larger assembly table with the hole format).  From what I've read the two favoured approaches seem to be the LR32 or the Parf Guide, does anyone have a view on which one is better?  I don't currently have either (although I do have the rail with the holes), the LR32 is twice the price but obviously does have another primary use which might be of interest in the future. 

Also what is the view these days on the best material to make a new one from?

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Offline Svar

  • Posts: 963
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 03:06 PM »
From what I've read the two favoured approaches seem to be the LR32 or the Parf Guide, does anyone have a view on which one is better?
My vote is for $15 pattern bit and your existing MFT top as a template.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1872
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 03:09 PM »
The replacement top from Festool would get you back into woodworking a lot faster than making one.
Birdhunter

Offline Wooden Skye

  • Posts: 1040
  • My little girl was called home 12-28-15
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 03:31 PM »
I would indicate where you live, there may be someone that can do, looking to sell or could even loan you the LR32.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 670
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 04:37 PM »
From what I've read the two favoured approaches seem to be the LR32 or the Parf Guide, does anyone have a view on which one is better?
My vote is for $15 pattern bit and your existing MFT top as a template.
Bingo.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline c_dwyer

  • Posts: 98
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 10:52 PM »
Welcome back @Grazza .  It's probably a dumb question, but if it's bowed in one direction, can you flip it over and let it calm itself down after a bit? Otherwise, you might find a CNC shop in your area who would be willing to make another top for you.  Files are available here on the FOG.

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 192
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 07:49 AM »
I'm a little weird when it comes to stuff like this.  I don't choose to use my time making things, because I feel I can buy them for less than the headaches I would get from trying to make things. Toolnut has a new top for $118.00.  I charge $50/hour as my shop rate.  I know that I could not drive to buy material, cut it to size, machine the holes, install the bushings and mount it to the table in 2.3 hours.

Believe me, I'm not criticizing those who are DIYers, I simply choose to buy over make.

If I were to make one, I would probably use MDF or MDO (if there's a chance it will get wet).  I clearcoated my tops with spar varnish, in case they got a little damp, but once scratched, the finish is pretty much useless. I will not do that in the future.  If the top gets wet and roughs up a little, I will simply sand it.

Good luck.
Chris
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline Grazza

  • Posts: 2
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 12:20 PM »
Thanks to all those who have replied. 

Sorry, a bit of context, I'm a hobbyist living in Oxfordshire in the UK. 

I think the top might be too far gone to flip it over, at the moment I have a lot a weight sitting on it to see if it will flatten and then I will see if it will flip. 

I did consider just buying a new top but as I would also like to build a bigger table utilising the holes I had been looking at the options for making your own.  The CNC approach does sound less onerous, I will look into it.

I had thought about using the top as a template but thought the bow coupled with variances from using it a template for a larger area might result in a large degree of inaccuracy.

Thanks all for your input.


Offline Z48LT1

  • Posts: 54
  • My excuse is I never expected to be caught.
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 01:14 PM »
Ebay UK has a couple offerings @ £30 - £40 with shipping £12 (is Weston Super Mare in reasonable driving distance?) for MFT/3 tops for another candidate alternative.  You could make your larger workbench "modular"...

Cheers - Gary

Offline Doug S

  • Posts: 380
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 01:26 PM »
These seem to be highly regarded here in the UK on other woodworking forums.

https://www.cncdesign.co.uk/cnc/Replacement-Festool-Type-Top-.html

Doug

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 963
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 01:52 PM »
These seem to be highly regarded here in the UK on other woodworking forums.
https://www.cncdesign.co.uk/cnc/Replacement-Festool-Type-Top-.html
Doug
MFT top + 6 aluminum dogs for $60 shipped! Am I seeing it right? That's cheap [drooling]

Offline ben_r_

  • Posts: 670
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 03:40 PM »
These seem to be highly regarded here in the UK on other woodworking forums.
https://www.cncdesign.co.uk/cnc/Replacement-Festool-Type-Top-.html
Doug
MFT top + 6 aluminum dogs for $60 shipped! Am I seeing it right? That's cheap [drooling]
They ALL ought to be that cheap. I mean MDF and aluminum bar stock are not expensive materials. Of course the machining CAN be, but there are usually ways to get that done relatively inexpensive too.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 963
Re: MFT3 Advice
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 04:14 PM »
These seem to be highly regarded here in the UK on other woodworking forums.
https://www.cncdesign.co.uk/cnc/Replacement-Festool-Type-Top-.html
Doug
MFT top + 6 aluminum dogs for $60 shipped! Am I seeing it right? That's cheap [drooling]
They ALL ought to be that cheap. I mean MDF and aluminum bar stock are not expensive materials. Of course the machining CAN be, but there are usually ways to get that done relatively inexpensive too.
That would be true for a mass produced (tens of millions) item made in China. The current offering is a niche product made in the UK by a small custom CNC shop. There must be half a dozen sources of Qwas/Parf/Precision/etc. dogs starting $8+ a pop. If you can make them cheaper and still make a profit you are welcome to try.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 05:08 PM by Svar »