Author Topic: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?  (Read 7330 times)

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Offline Craig Earls

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Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« on: December 31, 2007, 03:45 PM »
Since I am 600 miles from my workshop I have been thinking about various jigs and sundry.  I started thinking about duplicating most of the functionality of an MFS using less expensive 8020 extrusions.  I designed a rectangular template with 36 inch rails and 18 inch rails, which makes it slightly larger than an MFS 700. Here is what I came up with:


According to the 8020 2007 price list I could put that together for about $100.  Add another 50 or so for sundry t-nuts, self stick rules, and aluminum angles and I think I can duplicate about 90% of the MFS.  The obvious things that won't work as well with the Festool universe are
  • The normal Festool clamp profile will not fit in the 8020 slots.
  • The little plastic router support piece will not work with this as the 8020 profiles are 1" high rather than 16mm for the MFS.
  • I would have to machine a special piece to act as the router guide if I wanted to use it as a circle jig.
What do you all think? 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 03:53 PM by Craig Earls »

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Offline Ned

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Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 05:00 PM »
Craig--

I think it'll work, and you've covered most of the aspects to be worked out, except joining the pieces end-to-end.  If you decide not to bother with that feature, then you'll need a bigger assortment of extrusion pairs (and their tapes, and their end fittings) to cover the same ground as the MFS, which will raise the cost of the 8020 version.

You mentioned the clamps.  Clamps that fit and are out of the way are very important.  If you don't come up with a good solution, it'll be a real problem in use.  Since the Festool clamps won't work, you'll need others (at additional expense).

Oregon Rule is a good source for adhesive measuring tapes.

The thicker 8020 extrusions will require longer router bits and/or limit the depth of cut.  Even with the Festool MFS you've got that problem, though more so with the 1010 router, whose 1/4 and 8mm bits are shorter, than with the 1400.


Then there's the "Routing slide for MFS template system":
3497-0

It's used to support the router when removing stock in the center of the rectangle (think of making a tray).  It's steel, rigid, and not very thick.  And your equivalent will be?


IMO, most of the time trying to homebuild something like the MFS doesn't really work.  It's one thing to build your own Sysport, MFT, or Kapex stand, which may differ wildly from the manufactured equivalents, so there's a lot of room for real improvement to suit your needs.  It's another thing to try to duplicate a product.  I thought about homebuilding too, and in the end decided to buy all the thinking and testing that Festool had put into their product.

Worst that can happen is you gather the 8020 parts, try it out, go instead for the Festool MFS, and toss the 8020 pieces into your inventory.  You'll use'em.  No waste.  8)

Ned

Offline Qwas

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Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 06:06 PM »
The 8020 company sells scrap pieces on eBay. I haven't compared the prices but you might look into his selection on eBay and see if you can save some money. His selection constantly changes. Do a search for "8020" and you should find him with the seller name of 8020inc.

Offline Eli

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Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 09:40 PM »
One thing I'd add that Ned didn't is that 36x18 is HUGE. These things are for template and inlay work, on the big end maybe cutouts for sinks. Once you get that big you might as well use a guide rail. Think about moving a 36x18 pinwheel around when you just want to route out a 4x5 area!

I have the 400 set and 2x 1m extrusions and it's plenty big. In fact I've been thinking of getting 2x more 200's. So you'd be looking at making a smaller set almost immediately or you probably wouldn't even use them.

Clamps are everything. If you can't clamp this thing and not have a clamp in the way of router travel, you're hosed.

The other thing is that the MFS extrusions also have a registration pin on the joining end that makes them be totally flat when coupled. Not a dealbreaker, you could get away without them, but all those little tiny things add up.

These kind of projects are always more about your interest in the challenge of making it yourself. You probably won't end up much cheaper at all when it's all said and done (I always figure for my time). You're at $100-150 now and you haven't as you said gotten any of the other stuff. An MFS 400 is $240USD. You can easily add to it if you find the template size is too small. Weigh it up against how much you want to have a part of the system that you can add to, and that is fully integrated, without any of the risk of making something that might end up a compromise. Did I mention everything holds almost it's entire value, so you can sell it a month or a year down the road and get back all your money if it isn't for you? That beats a dusty pile of 8020 under the bench any day.

Having said all that, I hope that if you just want to do it, you still do it. There's nothing wrong with that, we love experimentation.

Take photos.

Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline bijeshj

  • Posts: 194
Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 01:05 AM »
Since I am 600 miles from my workshop I have been thinking about various jigs and sundry.  I started thinking about duplicating most of the functionality of an MFS using less expensive 8020 extrusions.  I designed a rectangular template with 36 inch rails and 18 inch rails, which makes it slightly larger than an MFS 700. Here is what I came up with:


According to the 8020 2007 price list I could put that together for about $100.  Add another 50 or so for sundry t-nuts, self stick rules, and aluminum angles and I think I can duplicate about 90% of the MFS.  The obvious things that won't work as well with the Festool universe are
  • The normal Festool clamp profile will not fit in the 8020 slots.
  • The little plastic router support piece will not work with this as the 8020 profiles are 1" high rather than 16mm for the MFS.
  • I would have to machine a special piece to act as the router guide if I wanted to use it as a circle jig.
What do you all think? 

Craig: attached is a pic of what I built using 8020 extrusion (it is hanging on the wall) . it is just OK, I may purchase the MFS in the future. I am still trying to recover from my Domino purchase :). if you are interested I can take closeup pics.

The festool clamps work with the profile.

Offline Craig Earls

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    • Mechanical Daydream
Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 02:22 AM »


Craig: attached is a pic of what I built using 8020 extrusion (it is hanging on the wall) . it is just OK, I may purchase the MFS in the future. I am still trying to recover from my Domino purchase :). if you are interested I can take closeup pics.

The festool clamps work with the profile.


Thanks.  Did you use the 10 series extrusions?  Did the clamps fit slide down into the T Slots, or just ride in the end holes?

Offline bijeshj

  • Posts: 194
Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2008, 01:52 PM »
Thanks.  Did you use the 10 series extrusions?  Did the clamps fit slide down into the T Slots, or just ride in the end holes?

I used the 40 series and that is the issue. Depth issues while plunging.

The clamps slide all the way.

Regards
Bijesh

Offline Steveo48

  • Posts: 305
Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2008, 10:11 PM »
The 8020 company sells scrap pieces on eBay. I haven't compared the prices but you might look into his selection on eBay and see if you can save some money. His selection constantly changes. Do a search for "8020" and you should find him with the seller name of 8020inc.

I was thinking about this very jig today and using the same material.  If you used the 80/20 garage sale site on ebay, you could get this done for perhaps near $50.00, especially if you used a smaller extrusion, like their 20 series.  There are several differend ways to economically join these materials together depending on your intent.

BTW, Sears used to make a similar jig a loooong time ago.  I stumbled on it a few weeks ago cleaning out an old store room.

Steve

Offline Craig Earls

  • Posts: 60
    • Mechanical Daydream
Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 11:16 PM »
The 8020 company sells scrap pieces on eBay. I haven't compared the prices but you might look into his selection on eBay and see if you can save some money. His selection constantly changes. Do a search for "8020" and you should find him with the seller name of 8020inc.

I was thinking about this very jig today and using the same material.  If you used the 80/20 garage sale site on ebay, you could get this done for perhaps near $50.00, especially if you used a smaller extrusion, like their 20 series.  There are several differend ways to economically join these materials together depending on your intent.

BTW, Sears used to make a similar jig a loooong time ago.  I stumbled on it a few weeks ago cleaning out an old store room.

Steve

The only draw back to using the garage sale parts, is that you still need to machine the holes for the anchor bolts. That doesn't look too tough if you have a mill, or good drill press, but otherwise it would be tough.

Offline Steveo48

  • Posts: 305
Re: Any one consider an 8020 based 'MFS'?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 12:33 AM »
The only draw back to using the garage sale parts, is that you still need to machine the holes for the anchor bolts. That doesn't look too tough if you have a mill, or good drill press, but otherwise it would be tough.
[/quote]

This weekend while I was in Deleware I stumbled on a link in FOG that went to 8020 and showed an angle connector that was completely internal allowing joining pieces wo any interferience on any surface.  If I can find it again I'll post it, however.....

I'm holding in my other hand some T slot extrusions made by MiniTec Framing out of NY.  Their extrusions don't require any drilling, just a tap. Perhaps 8020 is the same, I don't know. The sample they sent me provides adjustable framing wo any connectors getting in the way.

Steve