Author Topic: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?  (Read 5979 times)

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Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 464
New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« on: May 21, 2015, 05:01 PM »
Hi. I just received a new mft/3 table and to get it straight away I got the one already setup in the shop at my local Festool dealer. It had not been cut yet and is brand new, just assembled waiting in the Festool shop.
I got it home, slid the rail stops on upto the factory stops, put the rail on via the two screws, aligned the rail so it fitted sweetly into the nub at the front and tightened it all. Just before I proceeded to cut the first kerf into the table with my ts55, I thought I would re-check it all again. Measured rail to holes, and rail to edge of mdf and from front to back the rail is out of square 2mm!  I re-slid the rail clamps away and back unto the stops, retried, again 2mm out of square to holes and edge.
I was told the factory stops are set and would not need to touch them. Are they out? Or do I adjust the rail another way to align rail with dog holes and edge of mdc? I have not cut the splinter guard to into the table yet. I am measuring from the left edge of the rail at the front of the table and the back.
I gather if I were to get qwas dogs in the future then my rail will not be parallel to the holes if I leave it as it is. I am reluctant to cut and use it yet.
Whats the best step to take here?
thanks
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 05:12 PM by Acrobat »
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Offline bobandmic

  • Posts: 9
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2015, 05:44 PM »
I had to adjust the front stop slightly to make mine square to the holes.

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 464
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2015, 06:04 PM »
Ok, thanks. I was thinking maybe I need to loosen the back clamp/rail screws and try move the rail over and retighten and see if that helps. Otherwise, yeah moving the front factory stop over 2mm sounds the easiest.
I'm at work at the mo' so will have to wait till tonight now.
cheers
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Offline RL

  • Posts: 3038
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2015, 06:35 PM »
The short answer is that the holes are not set up to be square to the rail. You can adjust the stops if you like to make them square but there are alternative methods which are better and easier. Search for qwas or parf dogs for example. If you replace the top you'll have to square it all up again or if you bang the top etc.

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 464
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2015, 06:56 PM »
The short answer is that the holes are not set up to be square to the rail. You can adjust the stops if you like to make them square but there are alternative methods which are better and easier. Search for qwas or parf dogs for example. If you replace the top you'll have to square it all up again or if you bang the top etc.

Seems odd to me having the rail not matching the line of holes where I've got it "factory" set to the stops.. To me thats an oversight on Festools part if thats the case. Why would it not be? Do all mfts align out of square to the holes when stops are factory set? Or am I just unlucky here.
I wouldn't be able use qwas dogs if the rail is not parallel to them as it is, either way I'd have to move the rail to line up with the was dogs or move the rail stop to align rail with the holes to ensure parallel, otherwise Id end up getting a parallelogram and not a square.
You might think I'm being pedantic, but for an expensive cross cutting table I did expect it to be set square using the factory-setup stops.
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Offline Holmz

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2015, 07:05 PM »
...
You might think I'm being pedantic, but for an expensive cross cutting table I did expect it to be set square using the factory-setup stops.

You will have to be ever pedantic checking that it is square.

Expect that it is not square from start, and they it it is not square after any moving of it.

Offline roblg3

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2015, 07:17 PM »
there's quite a few parts, connections and of course you can remove the rail if you choose.  anytime it's assembled it HAS to be checked for sure.  I usually check it the same way i check a mitre saw.  Every time i start working i check bevel and angle to make sure it's square and plumb to the cutting deck.  it's not hard.  takes less than 2 minutes and makes for good working practices...i wonder how many cuts i just made that are out of square??  once set up and calibrated, as pretty much every tool ( not only festool, but I'm glad there's plenty of adjustments on festool) needs to be, a quick check is almost all that's ever necessary for me.
I wonder..did that MFT3 come factory assembled?  i've never seen that before...so if it's not square after you assembled it, it's kinda hard to blame anyone but the assembler aint it?
Qwas and rail dogs are great tools!  Using only them removes  several functions that are built into the giant sliding mitre, jig,clamping assembly....table.
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises

Offline RL

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 07:20 PM »

The short answer is that the holes are not set up to be square to the rail. You can adjust the stops if you like to make them square but there are alternative methods which are better and easier. Search for qwas or parf dogs for example. If you replace the top you'll have to square it all up again or if you bang the top etc.

Seems odd to me having the rail not matching the line of holes where I've got it "factory" set to the stops.. To me thats an oversight on Festools part if thats the case. Why would it not be? Do all mfts align out of square to the holes when stops are factory set? Or am I just unlucky here.
I wouldn't be able use qwas dogs if the rail is not parallel to them as it is, either way I'd have to move the rail to line up with the was dogs or move the rail stop to align rail with the holes to ensure parallel, otherwise Id end up getting a parallelogram and not a square.
You might think I'm being pedantic, but for an expensive cross cutting table I did expect it to be set square using the factory-setup stops.

You're working off the premise that the holes are supposed to be square to the rail and that the stops are square to something. This is untrue. It's best to think of the MFT as two unrelated tables: 1) a table for sawing using the rail square to the fence and 2) a clamping station using the holes. People have linked the two using dogs but this is an after-market development unconnected with Festool.

The stops are not really set to be square to anything- they just provide a repeatable reference point for people who remove the brackets when transporting the table etc.

So you're not unlucky! It's just the way the table is designed. But there is nothing to stop you squaring it all together if you like.

Hope this clears up the confusion.

Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 464
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2015, 07:39 PM »
Ok, so what you're saying is the mdf "tabletop" has no relation with the table frame and rail. - other than it just sits tight, screwed down in the frame and thats it.

I had mistakenly thought that the tabletop would have the holes and rail in alignment automatically when I moved the rail clamps upto the factory stops.

Seems this is not the case and the holes are arbitrary (but in a grid pattern nevertheless). I was hoping the holes/rail clamp were made so that it would align. I will adjust the front or back factory-set stops to get the rail aligned parallel so I can use the additional option of qwas dogs at any stage in the future.
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Offline SittingElf

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2015, 08:04 PM »
Go to YouTube and search for "Setting up the MFT/3".  There are a number of videos that will walk you through the adjustments.  Very easy once you see how.

Frank
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Offline rst

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2015, 08:07 PM »
It is just a matter of adjusting the stops in the table rails to square the cutting rail.  For best results buy or make a slop stop to remove even the smallest play.  Also, when you change the height of the stock you are cutting it is prudent to check for squareness.  I made gage blocks that I place between my Precision dogs and the rail to ensure that the rail stays where it belongs.  These gages also ensure that the cut line is between and not through the dog holes .

Offline Andy UK

  • Posts: 57
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2015, 09:17 AM »
I've only had my mft/3 table for a couple of weeks.
But I can only agree with what others have said.
The kerf of your track saw should be approximately between two sets of the mft holes, but it isn't too critical.
The Festool instructions state that the track should be squared against the supplied aluminium fence with has adjustment for any discrepancies.
Once the fence is square to the track the work piece will be cut square.
However if you are using Parf Dogs/Qwas Dogs etc. and you do find a discrepancy the track should be able to be squared up against the dogs by adjusting the track at either the front or back of the table to achieve a right angle.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 09:23 AM by Andy UK »
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Offline Holmz

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2015, 09:24 AM »
...
However if you are using Parf Dogs/Qwas Dogs etc. the track should be able to be squared up against the dogs by adjusting the track at either the front or back of the table to achieve a right angle.

I have done a bit of computer programming over the years...

While this may be useful: https://www.khanacademy.org/math/linear-algebra/alternate_bases/change_of_basis/v/lin-alg-changing-coordinate-systems-to-help-find-a-transformation-matrix  ???

I would suggest that it is smarter to have the fence and rail normal, and ALSO to have the dogs in the same co-ordinate system as the fence/rail.

Any other set up with misaligned coordinate systems, generally ends in beard-stroking, or chin-scratching.  ???

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2015, 09:41 AM »
The FESTOOL way of setting up the MFT for square cuts is totally non-dependent on the hole position.  You can set up your MFT to achieve both though.  Here is one of my long-winded unedited videos that a Member asked me to do a few years ago.

In my video if you want your kerf to not intersect a hole you will need to use a spacer between the dogs and the rail when setting up.  Go buy two 1/4" drill bits.



Just a thought.

Peter

Offline Andy UK

  • Posts: 57
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2015, 09:42 AM »
...
However if you are using Parf Dogs/Qwas Dogs etc. the track should be able to be squared up against the dogs by adjusting the track at either the front or back of the table to achieve a right angle.

I have done a bit of computer programming over the years...

While this may be useful: https://www.khanacademy.org/math/linear-algebra/alternate_bases/change_of_basis/v/lin-alg-changing-coordinate-systems-to-help-find-a-transformation-matrix  ???

I would suggest that it is smarter to have the fence and rail normal, and ALSO to have the dogs in the same co-ordinate system as the fence/rail.

Any other set up with misaligned coordinate systems, generally ends in beard-stroking, or chin-scratching.  ???

Yep agree with you.
But OP has not got any dogs.......
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Offline Holmz

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2015, 09:43 AM »
Baha men...

Offline Andy UK

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Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2015, 09:47 AM »
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Offline Acrobat

  • Posts: 464
Re: New MFT/3 rail not square to holes?
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2015, 06:33 PM »
Thanks for all the input guys.
I've squared up the rail, it falls on the pin well and snug, and rail is now square to table and holes. I found some 20mm socket head screws to use as dogs, they fit quite tight so I now have the option of using them as dogs if I were to remove the mitre fence at any time. Awesome idea.

Am now thinking of making a wheeled table to place the mft ontop of, to have a place for dust extractor and saw and clamps etc and some drawers for accessories. I have seen a few pics on here and youtube with a similar setup, just have to get it the final 900mm overall height so I can use it against other tables I have like the CMS being 900 high also. This would give me a rolling cart and extra support for larger jobs when needed. If I place the mft table onto of the base then I can remove it and use it off-site when needed so best of both worlds.
Looking forward to see how the mft goes. I'm sure she'll be more than useful.
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