Author Topic: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?  (Read 14734 times)

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Offline NEW2FES

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Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« on: February 26, 2012, 04:24 PM »
Ok buying TS55 and was doing combo with complete MFT/3. After reading here for hours besides the top itself which with all the holes is fairly cheap just to buy is the bridge and angle offer anything that can't be done with jigs and qwas???

I am thinking buy or make the top, mount in bench and use the QWAS for the rest? It appears that they replace just about everything the other components do? The front and side rails are easily obtained in a close profile.

I guess the question is do you feel you need the bridge and angle guide or or they more trouble then they are worth? I can even add a t slot and add an old Osbourne miter gauge?

Thanks Monday is coming and I want to place order.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 05:48 PM by NEW2FES »

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Offline SRSemenza

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RE: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 04:58 PM »
I would say that repetitive cuts and reptitive  routing would be a little faster using the MFT set up. But will only make a big time difference if you are doing a lot of multiples. 

If you were deciding between the MFT Basic and the Full MFT, I would say get the full.  But if you are going to make your own the price difference is a lot and I would say  build your own.  You can drill the top yourself, but since you will be counting on exact and precise holes and hole placement , you might be better off buying the top. The LR32 can be used to get  a very precise top drilled , but then you have to buy the LR32 sooo.....


Seth

Online Frank-Jan

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RE: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 05:01 PM »
It should work. I remember there was someone that got a replacement top and mounted it on brackets so it could snap onto the dewalt mitersawstand. A while ago I wanted to share the picture on another forum and couldn't locate it anymore, I can't remember if I saw it here or on the qwas website, but I saw it around the time the raildogs were introduced.

Offline Alan m

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 06:58 PM »
It should work. I remember there was someone that got a replacement top and mounted it on brackets so it could snap onto the dewalt mitersawstand. A while ago I wanted to share the picture on another forum and couldn't locate it anymore, I can't remember if I saw it here or on the qwas website, but I saw it around the time the raildogs were introduced.

that was me. search for cheap mft  and my name.

i have never used a proper mft  so i cant say if it is better than my version but it was a lot cheaper. i might get a proper mft but not for th efence etc. id only use it for clamping etc and use qwas dogs for the cutting )
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Offline Qwas

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 07:05 PM »
I was just going to say, try Alan M he has one.  [big grin] There is another one that I think Frank-Jan is referring to. It is from Gil LaCroix who kept bugging me for the first Rail Dogs. After I sent him a pair, he sent me some pictures to show why he needed them. Here they are with the last picture showing how he configured the bottom of the MFT top:

48234-0


48236-1

48238-2

48240-3
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 07:24 PM by Qwas »

Offline NEW2FES

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 07:30 PM »
That seams the way for me. I would rather use the saved money for something that actually helps with cuts. I am not big on how stuff looks but more how it performs. That of course depends on cost.

Thanks I appreciate the help. I am checking with someone local in S Cal to have the holes cnc'c or??? in a larger top if not I am just going to buy a top or two. I would do myself but they accuracy of the cnc kind of is the whole reason for the quick set up using the holes? Did that make sense?


One last question...Is there any issues with using the larger Qwas for aligning the rail for cuts? With being supported in the center does it create and bevel effect as it could possibly not lay flat and square to the piece being cut. The bridge otherwise would locate the rail keeping it parallel to the work surface.

Thanks

Offline Qwas

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 08:07 PM »
You won't be alone, there are several people that have bought just the top and made their own bench from there. Personally, I like having the aluminum extrusions going around the top but you can use some from 80/20 Inc. and save some money. Of course these can always be added later.

I started a thread on another forum posing the question of how to go about building your own MFT style top. There were 2 or 3 outstanding answers but I still like the idea of a CNC top if you can find one close by otherwise the shipping expense and issues come into play.

For your last question, once the workpiece is under the rail, the rail is very solid and no problem with the cut being off square (no bevel). You may need some scrap pieces of the same thickness to stick under the far ends of the rail to keep it from tipping.

Offline NEW2FES

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 09:27 PM »
THANKS!

One last question, is size the only difference for the older 1080? tops? They are only $105 compared tp 4145 for the newer version? Same spacing and hole diam 20mm?

Thanks

Offline Brice Burrell

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2012, 09:33 PM »
THANKS!

One last question, is size the only difference for the older 1080? tops? They are only $105 compared tp 4145 for the newer version? Same spacing and hole diam 20mm?

Thanks

Yep, same size hole and spacing.
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Offline Jesus Aleman

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2012, 10:59 PM »
I'm selling my mft.  I just made an ultimate workbench (Ron paulk). Couldn't be happier.  I use an Incra positioner (rips) and a stop for crosscuts.  I use the qwas rail dogs to keep the rail in place. I added two elongated holes at each end so I can use the rail dogs without retightrning. There is no side play and the rail is very easy to pull off or put in position.   Everything stays square or parallel. The nice part of the large work surface is that I can do an entire project without having to reposition any hardware.... And is dead flat. It is also light. You can hange the workbench from a wall to put it away at the end of the day.  The mft is very flexible, but I found that I always needed a larger work surface. Your needs may be different.

Jga

Offline Emer Construction

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 11:26 AM »
That seams the way for me. I would rather use the saved money for something that actually helps with cuts. I am not big on how stuff looks but more how it performs. That of course depends on cost.

Thanks I appreciate the help. I am checking with someone local in S Cal to have the holes cnc'c or??? in a larger top if not I am just going to buy a top or two. I would do myself but they accuracy of the cnc kind of is the whole reason for the quick set up using the holes? Did that make sense?


One last question...Is there any issues with using the larger Qwas for aligning the rail for cuts? With being supported in the center does it create and bevel effect as it could possibly not lay flat and square to the piece being cut. The bridge otherwise would locate the rail keeping it parallel to the work surface.

Thanks
where are you located?  I had mine done at Hacienda Plywood for $40 
Steven

Offline NEW2FES

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 01:42 PM »
I am near Poway so a bit of a ride but at that price? How big of a sheet did they do? How many holes?

I will also call them later, Thanks for the tip.

Offline fdengel

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2012, 02:00 PM »
I was toying with getting (or making a substitute for) the top, and getting the hardware kit (rail and such), then using off-the-shelf T-track around the edges. of a "custom" base for it.

Does anyone know if the rail connectors from the MFT will fit into regular T-Track?  The clamps from the guide rail accessory kit do.


At any rate, I'm leaning more toward just buying an MFT first instead.  Might still take that approach later to build something for larger pieces and such, so still entertaining the idea of using T-Track...

I'm thinking that down the road, after getting one of the Festool routers and an LR32 setup, I could use the LR32 system to space and drill the 20mm holes for my own top, thus making something larger than the MFT... but I don't think I can wait that long to have one to use in the meantime.   :'(

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 05:43 PM »
My opinion will be different than others here.  I personally won't want to use dogs and jigs if I had the opportunity to have a full blown MFT/3 with the protractor head and fence, etc. UNLESS I was making a limited number of items that always had an exact angle need.

Let me explain.  There is a video somewhere on YouTube that shows a Festool user making a series of things.  The angles to them are strange if I remember correctly.  He uses jigs and wedges to ensure that every one has the exact same angles.  He doesn't need the ability to deviate from those angles.  If he would design something different to be made in multiples over time he would make new jigs and wedges.

Please don't get me wrong, I love my Qwas Dogs and Qwas Rail Dogs, but I am not going to make a positioning wedge to cut an odd angle or make a jig if I have the convenience of the protractor head and fence for the majority of my work.

Peter

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2012, 05:56 PM »
Haha, that's exactly what I'm cutting tonight... a series of wedges for 8 different compound cuts on this project.

My question to MFT/3 users is what is the accuracy of the angle setting unit?  Assuming you set it dead-on 90º to start, can you accurately position it to 0.767º off 90º? 14.734º, 8.142º, 3.828º, -7.068º and a few more.  Granted, I don't expect to get thousandths degree accuracy.  The benefit of the wedges, though, is if you are making boxes with either end of a board mitered to the same (but negated) degree, you can flip the wedge and cut again.

On the MFT/3, you could do that in a different way... you could align the fence with Qwas dogs to the table.  To flip the miter angle, you would use dogs on the offcut side of the fence along with some big parallels to get the cut in place re-using the same miter gauge setting without repositioning it.  The repeatability of the exact same angle is more important than the degree to thousandths.

If that made no sense, I blame the food coma from lunch.  [embarassed]
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2012, 06:25 PM »
I have to admit that for what I do I don't normally have to go to three decimal placements for my angles.  If you are going that route and to that accuracy, my guess is that you have something made by Bridge City assisting you  [poke]

Coma or not, your ideas are always welcome here! [big grin] [thumbs up]

Peter


Offline Boatman

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2012, 06:41 PM »
I posted a while back about using a 10" sine bar for very precise or repeatable angles. If any body needs a refresher on it let me know. I don't use my miter head anymore, and have several if someone is interested in one.
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Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2012, 06:49 PM »
I'd like to hear about the sine bars.  I presume it lets you set an accurate angle from a linear measurement.  If that's the case, I'd also like to know the conversion used.  I calculated my necessary angles to 3 decimal places; I wanted the calculations to exceed the precision range of whatever I use to set the angles.
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Offline Emer Construction

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2012, 07:16 PM »
I am near Poway so a bit of a ride but at that price? How big of a sheet did they do? How many holes?

I will also call them later, Thanks for the tip.
it was a 4x8 sheet...paid another $45 for the 1/2" u/v baltic birch...
Steven

Offline Qwas

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2012, 07:35 PM »
I'd like to hear about the sine bars.  I presume it lets you set an accurate angle from a linear measurement.  If that's the case, I'd also like to know the conversion used.  I calculated my necessary angles to 3 decimal places; I wanted the calculations to exceed the precision range of whatever I use to set the angles.

Sine bars are used by machinists for very accurate angles. They are commonly found in 3", 5" and 10" lengths. They also require "Jo Blocks", also known as Gauge Blocks.



You can use any trigonometry table for the sine of angles. You would look up the sine for the angle you want and then multiply it by the length of your sine bar (the length is the distance between the centers of the 2 "wheels"). This will tell you the height of the required Jo blocks to jack up one wheel to get that angle.



This system is extremely accurate, depending on the setup (it's usually done with a surface plate to reduce any minor errors with a bench or machine's surface). Normally angles aren't measured with decimals but by minutes and seconds. Just like you would expect, 60 minutes in 1 degree and 60 seconds in 1 minute.

Jo blocks can have height changes of .0001 (1 tenth thousandths) of an inch with an accuracy of 5-50 millionths of an inch.

Offline NEW2FES

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2012, 08:00 PM »
EMER... Thanks and I will be calling them as that is a great resource.

LI Boatman I saw one of your past threads and that is kind of the idea I have for dealing with odd angles but may use a t-track and Obsourne miter gauge. I used to be from LI myself.

Funny thing is in the move I lost almost all my tools and equipment. I am starting to realize I need the MFT/3 to build my version of the MFT? Does that make sense?

Love the above accuracy but it is wood and I have learned accuracy like that in wood creates more problems then solutions.

Thanks

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2012, 08:04 PM »
Thanks, Steve... simple enough concept, but I wonder how useful it would be for setting up a miter gauge or MFT gauge for a specific angle.  Have to think about it more.  [scratch chin]
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Offline RonWen

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2012, 08:22 PM »
I just can't pass any opportunities to mention Steve's newest product -- Speed Dogs, if you really like Qwas Dogs you will love the Speed Dogs.  They have eliminated my using clamps for most all Domino operations.   [thumbs up]

http://www.qwasproducts.com/SpeedDog.html

Offline Boatman

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2012, 08:35 PM »
With the 10" bar you just move the decimal point for the height of the gauge block. I have even just set that on a vernier caliper to set the bar for one quick cut. I'll start I new thread on this tomorrow after I take some picks of the setup I have.
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Offline Qwas

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2012, 09:04 PM »
Thanks, Steve... simple enough concept, but I wonder how useful it would be for setting up a miter gauge or MFT gauge for a specific angle.  Have to think about it more.  [scratch chin]

Actually the idea is very practical. You don't need the wheels, just a mark on the fence. A mark on one end and the other at 10 inches from the end (or better yet could be a mark at 20 or 30 inches). The Jo blocks can be replaced by a caliper dialed to the proper "height" and locked in place. The reference "surface" can be a temporary fence or bar. You can google "sine bar explained" and get more details.

You may remember I started a thread about a Tan Bar on the other forum. It used the same principle but used the tangent function instead of the sine.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 09:08 PM by Qwas »

Offline PaulMarcel

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2012, 09:11 PM »
Actually the idea is very practical. You don't need the wheels, just a mark on the fence. A mark on one end and the other at 10 inches from the end (or better yet could be a mark at 20 or 30 inches). The Jo blocks can be replaced by a caliper dialed to the proper "height" and locked in place. The reference "surface" can be a temporary fence or bar. You can google "sine bar explained" and get more details.

You may remember I started a thread about a Tan Bar on the other forum. It used the same principle but used the tangent function instead of the sine.

A Tan bar would probably be better... that other picture up there looks way too pale.
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Offline rookie08

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2012, 09:21 PM »
Jesus , Your ultimate workbench with the LS positioner sounds exactly like what I'm trying to do. Would you be able to post some pics of it please?

 Thanks

 James

Offline Steve R

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2012, 10:16 PM »
I'm selling my mft.  I just made an ultimate workbench (Ron paulk). Couldn't be happier.  I use an Incra positioner (rips) and a stop for crosscuts.  I use the qwas rail dogs to keep the rail in place. I added two elongated holes at each end so I can use the rail dogs without retightrning. There is no side play and the rail is very easy to pull off or put in position.   Everything stays square or parallel. The nice part of the large work surface is that I can do an entire project without having to reposition any hardware.... And is dead flat. It is also light. You can hange the workbench from a wall to put it away at the end of the day.  The mft is very flexible, but I found that I always needed a larger work surface. Your needs may be different.

Jga

What works for each of us depends on what we do. The Ultimate Workbench (UW) is a great thing if you have a double garage space to set it up in. But you're not going to get the UW up to the second or third floor of old Midwest homes. Also what you can get up in to condo unit on the 27th floor is another thing.

Maybe we should step back and reflect a bit more about what the situation is and what might work for that person. The MFT works very well for many things.

My MFT/3 with scaled in-feed and out-feed rules are fast and accurate for the kind of work I do.

Will I say that MFTs are teh end all product that fits everyone's needs....No.

As the old saying goes you can't pick another persons, religion, politics or spouse....and maybe add workshop layout or tools they need to that.

Cheers,
Steve
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 10:54 AM by Steve R »
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Offline EEHammar

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Re: Do jigs and Qwas substitute for complete MFT?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2012, 06:16 AM »
Jesus,

I would also love to see some pictures of your set up.

Thanks,
Eric