Author Topic: Has anyone used the multi function slab?  (Read 15069 times)

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Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« on: September 29, 2015, 01:00 PM »
Does anyone use this
 http://www.multifunctionslab.com/the-features.html
Still not cheap when you have it made probably, but looks interesting.  If I didn't already make a (I think) nice assembly table with a t track top, I would really think hard about the MFT 3, but I don't think I need it as an assembly table, but really like the possibilities for cutting.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Gwerner

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 02:09 PM »
I had a larger version CNC'd locally for my cutting/assembly table that also doubles as my table saw outfeed table. Works great.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/my-mftoutfeedclamping-table/msg406017/#msg406017

Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 03:21 PM »
That is great.  The site with the plans says to use 1' MDF.  Is that what you used?  Doesn't seem easy to get and I am wondering about the weight?

Offline Gwerner

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 03:59 PM »
I used 3/4" for mine but I don't need to worry about sagging since the table has center supports.

If I was going to use it as a portable top, I would go with 1". Your CNC operator/shop should be able to source the 1" MDF fairly easy.

Offline Straightlines

  • Posts: 12
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 04:49 PM »
I've looked at that too -- a great idea/product -- and moved in a slightly different direction.  For now, I don't need the grid of holes, so I just planned on the slab as a cutting and utility surface.

The idea for me was to use a strengthened 2'x4' slab of MDF that I built up by sticking down a 1/4" sheet of MDF onto a 1/2" sheet of maple/birch shop grade plywd, and using a pair of 2x4's across the short ends and a single 2x6 down the center long axis; I half-lapped the intersections.

I built it this way so that the slab was light enough to manage in remodel situations, sized to be able to lay on the floor for cutting purposes in tight spaces, it is slightly elevated off the floor for comfort, it is very stiff and flat for true cuts even when spanning a pair of saw horses, and I can peel the sacrificial MDF off for replacement when that time comes.

What I would differently next:  A) Switch to a pair of 2x4's that diagonally span the corners (X pattern) and use the 1/2-lap joint; yes, this is a slightly trickier 1/2-lap to cut, but hey we're woodworkers and it's a single joint instead of 2.  B) Alternate "A" solves this issue, but if one prefers the orthogonal stiffeners, then I would hold the end pieces off the slab edge by a couple of inches to allow for edge access for conflict free clamping.


-- Bradley

Offline DiscoStu

  • Posts: 151
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2015, 05:59 AM »
I'm thinking of getting one made although I might do my own design.

I think 18mm is as thick as you can go to use the Festool clamps? Anyone confirm or deny that?

Online bkharman

  • Posts: 1899
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2015, 10:10 AM »

I'm thinking of getting one made although I might do my own design.

I think 18mm is as thick as you can go to use the Festool clamps? Anyone confirm or deny that?

You can ease the underside a bit to make them fit. Several members here have done that. A search would bring up a half dozen posts. In metric that is only about 152mm.

Cheers. Bryan.
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 244
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2015, 10:21 PM »
I am very pleased with mine. Cost at local furniture factory about $250.00 with material

I now have about six month use. I use it as a work table that I can put away within my shop. I do not transport it.

1" MDF is too heavy making it difficult to move.

I had to relieve the dog holes at least 1.4 inch to use Festool Clamps but thinner stock would eliminate this step.

I did round the hand holes to good advantage.

The design for using standard clamps is a plus.

I would add a hose slot at both ends.

Bottom line is I would discourage use of 1" MDF particularly if you were transporting.

I made a slip-on 1/2 MDF top that I secure with dogs for finish or sloppy work

I get good use of the tool shelf. I would have that made.



Krenov Trestle table with cross arms



With tool shelf



With sacrificial 1/4 inch top.

Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 11:09 AM »
So what size would you use?  3/4" or something else?  Thanks

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 244
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2015, 07:36 PM »
MDF is not the answer under any condition, even 3/4 inch  Before punching the holes, a sheet of 3/4" MDF weighs in at 90.5 lbs (Home Depot)

I don't know about you but wrestling about 90 lbs is not the easiest contest to enter. A one inch MDF is about 121.69 lbs so that is where I am and that piece is a back breaker.  [scared]

I would go ApplePly or Baltic birch

This is weight of 1/2 inch sheet to show you the challenge of the weight. I would go at least 3/4 but you can see that the weight of MDF is way above all alternatives.

I did not finish, stain or treat my slab. If using a MDF alternate, you may want to varnish or finish before drilling.

Relative weights of a 1/2 Sheet For comparison only.

Softwood Plywood   40.6 lbs
Hardwood Plywood   45 lbs
Marine Plywood   50 lbs
Particle Board   61 lbs
MDF   66.7 lbs
MDO   37.5 lbs
OSB   47 lbs
ApplePly   35 lbs
Baltic Birch   48 lbs


Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2015, 10:47 PM »
Just notice that you are from Missoula.  I live in Big Arm, north of you.  I am still trying to decide if this is the way I should go.  At my age there is no way I could man handle 1" MDF, so an alternative would be necessary.  I checked up here and the two cabinet shops in Polson with CNC do not want to do such a thing.  Maybe I can contact you for more information if that is okay with you.

Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 244
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 12:22 AM »

Call Ironwood Manufacturing  Inc  in Missoula
Phone 406-721-4747. They told me they would be willing to make another. Discuss alternatives to the 1" MDF. They have the input made from my plan so there is no set-up design time. You will need to purchase the plan because it is copyrighted but Ironwood already have the CAD converted to their CNC. You just need to give the designer his due. If you want my name and phone just send private e-mail. We should get together. At the time I was making a bench top MFT and I had them CNC that piece that is the surface of my benchtop/Moxon/MFT.  My total that included the design work of converting the CAD drawing and making my top was $313.65. Yours will be a lot less because they  just will use the plan that is already set up for CNC.

I would like to expand on my experience in the interests of full disclosure.

After I built my slab, bought clamps and dogs, I was  stunned by the effect on my woodworking. One of the first things I did was make a simple jig. That I was able to square it up in the assembly stage so easily, convinced me that this whole methodology was the way to go.  I soon sold off my old trusty radial saw to make room and ordered a  MFT/3. Once I got the hang of squaring up the track, I entered a whole new world. I now use my slab for assembly  and finish work. I have moved over to doing all my cutting on the MFT.3.

If I had it to do over again, I would just go with the MFT/3 and skip the slab. 
Clark Fork

"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."  Stephen Wright

"straight, smooth and square" Mr. Russell, first day high school shop class-1954

" What's the good of it?" My Sainted Grandmother

"You can't be too rich, too thin or have too many clamps." After my introduction to pocket joinery and now the MFT work process

"Don't make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful,
don't hesitate to make it beautiful." -- Shaker dictum

Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2015, 11:06 AM »
Thanks!

Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2015, 09:18 PM »
Almost feel like just getting the MFT 3 table, but space is a premium.  I wonder if anyone has let it folded on top of a table to use it.  I could set it on top of my assembly table.  It would be a little high, but might be workable.  Otherwise I would need to fold it up when not in use and move things around when I want to set it up to use.  How long does it take to set up and calibrate each time?  Of course, also, my problem is I want so many things.  Maybe a long track, the table, the 1400 router...

Offline Shane Holland

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2015, 09:22 PM »
Almost feel like just getting the MFT 3 table, but space is a premium.  I wonder if anyone has let it folded on top of a table to use it.  I could set it on top of my assembly table.  It would be a little high, but might be workable.  Otherwise I would need to fold it up when not in use and move things around when I want to set it up to use.  How long does it take to set up and calibrate each time?  Of course, also, my problem is I want so many things.  Maybe a long track, the table, the 1400 router...

Do a search for custom Sysports / Systainer workbenchs here on the forum and you'll see examples of folks with an MFT with the legs folded on top.

Also, I don't remember who it was, but someone posted at one point a way that they secured their MFT to a wall so it operated like a Murphy bed almost. I'll bet someone (like @SRSemenza) will remember who it was. Might be an option.
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Offline bigarm

  • Posts: 109
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2015, 09:44 PM »
Almost feel like just getting the MFT 3 table, but space is a premium.  I wonder if anyone has let it folded on top of a table to use it.  I could set it on top of my assembly table.  It would be a little high, but might be workable.  Otherwise I would need to fold it up when not in use and move things around when I want to set it up to use.  How long does it take to set up and calibrate each time?  Of course, also, my problem is I want so many things.  Maybe a long track, the table, the 1400 router...

Do a search for custom Sysports / Systainer workbenchs here on the forum and you'll see examples of folks with an MFT with the legs folded on top.

Also, I don't remember who it was, but someone posted at one point a way that they secured their MFT to a wall so it operated like a Murphy bed almost. I'll bet someone (like @SRSemenza) will remember who it was. Might be an option.

Thanks.  That wall mount sounds very cool.

Offline WastedP

  • Posts: 334
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2015, 12:11 AM »

You will need to purchase the plan because it is copyrighted but Ironwood already have the CAD converted to their CNC. You just need to give the designer his due. If you want my name and phone just send private e-mail. We should get together. At the time I was making a bench top MFT and I had them CNC that piece that is the surface of my benchtop/Moxon/MFT.  My total that included the design work of converting the CAD drawing and making my top was $313.65. Yours will be a lot less because they  just will use the plan that is already set up for CNC.


If you live in Big Arm and have the CAD file, you might check in Kalispell with Distinctive Countertops (flatbed CNC) or Northwest Cabinet Works (point-to-point).  If you needed a super-giant MF slab, Plum Creek makes MDF in 5x12 sizes that both of those shops could machine.  Just thinking of lifting it gives me a hernia.

DC has a great engineer that could probably make you any size or shape MF slab you want.  NWCW might be too busy.

Maybe more on topic, I'm thinking that an MFT with the legs folded up would take up a really small amount of space stored on edge, probably less than a pair of folding sawhorses.    I have moved my share of MDF and industrial PB, so I have been thinking of getting two sheets of 1/8" masonite and gluing them up to a sheet of xps foam sheet and having that machined into an MFT slab.  Like a SIPS panel, but maybe with solid wood around the edge.

Offline Douglas Urner

  • Posts: 28
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2015, 01:30 AM »
Quote
I have moved my share of MDF and industrial PB, so I have been thinking of getting two sheets of 1/8" masonite and gluing them up to a sheet of xps foam sheet and having that machined into an MFT slab.  Like a SIPS panel, but maybe with solid wood around the edge.

That's a very interesting idea, how think would the foam be? Wondering if the clamps would still work…

Offline EA Custom Millwork

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2015, 11:38 PM »
Does anyone use this
 http://www.multifunctionslab.com/the-features.html
Still not cheap when you have it made probably, but looks interesting.  If I didn't already make a (I think) nice assembly table with a t track top, I would really think hard about the MFT 3, but I don't think I need it as an assembly table, but really like the possibilities for cutting.
I had a couple made up and added 1/4" spoil boards made up at the same time.  The festool clamps wont work without modifying holes (1" is too thick) but they work great with quazdogs.

Offline Letsonbandr

  • Posts: 10
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2015, 04:15 PM »
I'm actually surprised more people haven't commented about this.  When I saw this idea I HAD to do it.  I had my local lumber yard order a 1" 4x8 sheet of mdf for me and I brought it to a local cabinet building shop with a CNC machine. 

I love this thing! Plain and simple.

It is a very versatile table and I find myself using it for a lot more than its intended uses.  Cutting with the TS55 is great but clamping. glue ups, dog stops to hold a piece for dominos, and I feel like I haven't really seen its full potential.

I have plans to router a t-track into the surface so I can use hold fasts on it.  Thought that may work well for ripping down thin filler stock with the ts55.

I will comment to its weight.  It in no way is the same weight as a full sheet, as its no where near the size.  Mine is portable, I take it from job to job, and although it isn't light its also not as heavy as I thought it would be.  It is very manageable. 

If it sits on the horses for a couple days I do notice a very slight sag to it, not anything outrageous.  Can be solved by using a few 2x4s of gluing a few 1x pieces of maple underneath on edge.

Overall, for less than half the price of a MFT 3 table, I highly recommend that if anyone is seriously looking into this, just get one.  one thing I wish I had done was ordered a 10' sheet of mdf so I could get two slabs out of it, split with a friend, would lower the cost.   
DF700, MFT3 with CMSVL, DF500, OF1400, TS55, RO125

Offline Luzzy

  • Posts: 101
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2015, 03:26 PM »
I've used it quite a bit. I ordered 1" Ultralight MDF which makes it very manageable. The only things I don't love are the lack of attachment to the horses( I will fix with t track on the bottom and a couple clamps) and the inability to get a clamp in as designed.

Overall its a nice little work table for a budget price.

Offline anthonyz

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2015, 10:49 PM »
I made my own version and it works great. I made a smaller size than the one they had. mine is 36x48. I used 3/4"
 ultra light and it works just fine. Easy to move around and clamp to. I have some Stanley adjustable saw horses so it brings up the height to something comfortable for me.

Offline Flynnworx

  • Posts: 17
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2015, 08:46 PM »
I have 2 made from 3/4" MDF that sit on the small centipede saw horse  (2'x4').
I use them all the time for assembly and cross cutting with TS55 and rail dogs

Offline EA Custom Millwork

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2015, 04:53 PM »
We had a couple made by a local CNC shop.  Prefinished the 1" mdf before machining, and had 1/4" maple faced MDF spoil boards made with matching machining. 
Only drawback with the 1" top and 1/4" spoiler: the festool clamps don't quite fit through the holes because of the added thickness.  Works great with Quaz dogs though.

Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2015, 06:44 PM »
I have 2 made from 1" MDF. I'm able to keep one in my van all the time for everyday use and the other stays in the trailer for bigger projects. I had the same issue with the festool element clamps not working due to the thickness so my CNC guy made some new knobs for me out of the scrap MDF that was left over. They are the first thing to get setup every morning.

Offline EA Custom Millwork

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2015, 07:52 PM »
I use the 1" slab and 1/4" spoil board and 1/4" hardboard for glue or paint work..  Both have all the cutouts.  It sits on some heavy duty adjustable plastic and metal horses which have little anti-slip pads.  The table rarely moves around.  So far have used Quaz-dawgs and work around the thickness issue with the Festool clamps.  Kinda hate to enlarge holes on the bottom so I can flip the top and use the bottom at it wears or sags.

Offline bark-eater

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2016, 07:34 AM »
  Hello, This is my first post here and I'm just getting started with a new technology, so please bare with me as I read up on the basics and learn the dialect.

 I need to get some sort of track saw bench set up, but do not want to start another "project".  The MFSlab looks like a good starter bench to work off of until I can use it to build a more involved workstation. 

Is there any thing I should consider changing before having it cut, or anything additional instructions to send with the CAD file?

I am planning on using this with some combination of Parf and Qwas dogs. I have read that a 1" top is to thick for Festool clamps.
Is there an alternative clamp that will work without having to counter boring the bottom of the holes?

   I would like to have a track of some sort attached along the long side opposite the handles. This way I can have a movable dog hole to cut repeatable miters.  A track mounted on the underside might work if I can get it fastened well enough.  Or maybe a fixture/skirt that clamps or through bolts to the clamp slots?   Thanks, Woody


Offline Kristian123

  • Posts: 5
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2017, 06:56 AM »
Hi there,

first post. About to start getting in the "wood business". I am new to that. Thought about buying a MTF-3 but then came across that table. That looks smart to start :-) Ok, found company in Germany that makes lasercut and cnc so should be fine.
Now some questions arising:
1. How thick should the material be to make sure clamps work. I think the original one is only 19mm. Next size would be 21 mm. Would clamps still work and be stable enough? Do not want to get the thing to heavy.
2. Which material would you recommend? Plain MDF? A waterproof version?
3. Seems some people cut in the table, flip the table around when too many cuts. I would not saw that often on it. So do like that or get a second thinner one for protecting the main one?

Well, hope not too stupid questions...

Best
Christian

Offline Bohdan

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Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2017, 07:04 AM »
Hi there,

1. How thick should the material be to make sure clamps work. I think the original one is only 19mm. Next size would be 21 mm. Would clamps still work and be stable enough? Do not want to get the thing to heavy.

The clamps are designed to just fit in a 19mm top. If you go thicker you need to relieve the holes on the back as the clamps won't fit.

Offline Kristian123

  • Posts: 5
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2017, 07:23 AM »
Hi there,

1. How thick should the material be to make sure clamps work. I think the original one is only 19mm. Next size would be 21 mm. Would clamps still work and be stable enough? Do not want to get the thing to heavy.

The clamps are designed to just fit in a 19mm top. If you go thicker you need to relieve the holes on the back as the clamps won't fit.

Thanks Bohdan!
Local wood dealer recommended birch multiplex rather than mdf.

Offline grobkuschelig

  • Posts: 133
Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2017, 10:41 AM »
I think the trouble with multiplex birch would be that it just does not hold up well when used outdoors.
Weather/Sun/Humidity will take it's toll and as soon as the "top layer" starts going bad, you will regret going with it. I'd stick to moisture resistant MDF...

See "outdoor" suffered multiplex pic attached...

Edit: just to explain, this was covered with 3 coats of PU based clear coat, not untreated.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 10:43 AM by grobkuschelig »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Nick561

  • Posts: 52
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2017, 10:55 AM »
I have a cnc and made mine from 3/4 mdf.  I love it. 

Offline Kristian123

  • Posts: 5
Re: Has anyone used the multi function slab?
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2017, 12:17 AM »
@ grobkuschelig - thanks for the warning. A pity. I love birch tree...

@Nick561 yours should be 19 Millimeter if I calculated correctly (3/4 inch). So clamps work without any problems? And - is it still stable enough? Finally - how much does it roughly weight? I originally come from Bavaraia - we would say more than a tray of beer bottles (20x 1/2 Liter, a little less than 20 Kilo)?

Last thing - I found so many different saw horses... I would like some stable ones so you could also use a rotex on it (so pressure not only going downwards but also sideways) - and recommended for this?

Today TSC 55 Li REB-Basic should come :-)