Author Topic: MFT 3 ideas for small shop  (Read 8985 times)

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Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« on: February 13, 2018, 04:35 PM »
I have a small 8’x12’ shop in a shed.  I have used the MFT3 and TS55 as my primary saw.  I keep dust down with a Pro5 sander, a Trion Jigsaw and Domino. The  Festool system has allowed me to have a relatively dustless efficient space.   I made some changes to the MFT3.  I use the MFT as my primary workspace and need to have a clean space on the table and keep as much space left in my shop. 

First, I basically never use the protractor and wanted to both maximize my cutting space and keep the table pushed close to the back wall.  I ordered another fence clamp and use two clamps to hold the fence on the table.  I added a Kreg scale on the front, so I can use a flip stop for measurement. i set up using a carpenter’s square at exactly 12.5” on the flip stop of the fence and squaring up against some veritas dogs.  It squares the fence and gets it set for dimensioned for cutting.

Second, the current hinge mechanism was hard to open and lock from the front of the table. I got inspiration from Sean KS on this forum (thanks).  I replaced the Festool mechanism on the back of the table with a linear guide and a 1020 Extrusion from 8020. its not as pretty as his though. I attached it to the hinge plate for the guide rail.  I added a bolt to the 8020 so at its lowest the guide rail sets right at the fence height when lain flat.  With any wood piece against the fence the guide rail hinges moving the 8020 piece up, perfectly lying flat across the top of the piece to be cut. Most of what I use is ¾” but I have used it up to 2” and tested up to 3”.   It does not need to be locked at height and has no movement side to side riding along the bearing. 

I can set up the table from completely clean times in 2.5 minutes.  Since it is new I have checked square and correct dimensions each time.  They both have been perfect each time. I can keep my table pushed back saving several inches and don’t have to lock the guide in place to cut. I can have a clean or set up table with very little effort.  It has been a game changer for me. 





« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 04:41 PM by Halmccoyii »

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Offline sprior

  • Posts: 411
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 09:08 PM »
People might have seen this from another thread, but if you have access to a 3D printer I designed these clamp dogs which can be used to align the back fence of the MFT with the dog holes: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2754628

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 09:41 PM »
I actually saw them.  They are fantastic. I didn’t have access to a printer so I bought the extra clamp. It did give me a little more cut width. I ended up with 25”.  I wanted to get to 24” for a couple of projects.

The 3D printer is such an amazing tool. Impressive what you did with it. Maybe I will have a chance sometime to use one.

Thanks.

Offline tdwilli1

  • Posts: 30
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 09:13 AM »
Did you have to trim the Kreg Tape? I have tried 2 or 3 different tapes and it seems like Festool designed the fence to be just shy of 1/2 inch so the tapes either have to be trimmed or you leave a little on one edge or the other.

Online Sean KS

  • Posts: 93
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 10:43 AM »
Looking great Hal! Came together really clean and user friendly!

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 06:23 PM »
Did you have to trim the Kreg Tape? I have tried 2 or 3 different tapes and it seems like Festool designed the fence to be just shy of 1/2 inch so the tapes either have to be trimmed or you leave a little on one edge or the other.

It does overhang a very little. It doesn’t seem to be a problem yet. I could imagine that it would at sometime in the future. The tape is very rigid and the adhesive feels very strong. If it comes off I will try to trim somehow next time.

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 06:29 PM »
Looking great Hal! Came together really clean and user friendly!

Thanks Sean. Pics aren’t great.  I plan to clean up the connectors on the linear guide (don’t like the nut/bolts) and something better than the bolt to keep it sliding down.

I had planned to trim the hinge plate and put in a lever brake but quite frankly I am not sure I will ever need a brake as it works so well without it.

But it works great and saves space and is so much easier to set up cuts.

Offline mwildt

  • Posts: 420
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 07:30 PM »
Yeah, looks great.

How easy does it slide up down with the bearings ? I'm guessing that they're some super sliding plastic or nylon ?

Reaching across the cable to adjust always been a pain.

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 11:00 PM »
Yeah, looks great.

How easy does it slide up down with the bearings ? I'm guessing that they're some super sliding plastic or nylon ?

Reaching across the cable to adjust always been a pain.

It works way better than I ever expected. You can add shims in the bearing to make it very tight if needed. I have it just tight enough that it slides easily but has basically no movement side to side. I lift the guide guide up and then place a board down against and the fence and when I pull the guide rail back down the extrusion moves up the bearing to settle at the perfect height. I see no reason to lock it down in back at all.

I will try to post a short video tomorrow. I’m new to this but I think I could post a YouTube link.

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 10:26 PM »
I hope this video shows how the guide rail self adjusts to the different heights of boards with the new mechanism. At the end I also tried to show that it was very stable side to side. This is without using the front mechanism of the Mft. Obviously when I am using the table to actually cut I support the front. 

I used 3-3/4 inch boards to represent different heights of boards and how it adjusts itself. I see no reason at this point to lock the back linear guide. 

It seems a little difficult to get the extrusion into the linear bearing but I had the phone in one hand and tried to watch through the phone screen.


« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 06:40 AM by Halmccoyii »

Offline suds

  • Posts: 390
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 11:19 AM »
Great thinking!!  That has always been a gripe of mine that I had to reach across the table and fiddle with the clamp to raise the rail. I just took mine off and use dawgs.
MFT's, Kapex, TS 55, Vac, 150 Rotrex, 300 Trion, Domino

Offline mwildt

  • Posts: 420
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 08:11 PM »
Great stuff. Thanks for posting the video.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2514
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 09:46 PM »
Great ideas!  Do you have part numbers or a link to the 80/20 linear unit you used?

Offline arso_bg

  • Posts: 115
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2018, 12:56 AM »
Brilliant Ideas! Thank you for sharing!

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2018, 04:53 PM »
Great ideas!  Do you have part numbers or a link to the 80/20 linear unit you used?

The 8020 parts were:
Linear bearing 6424 (it came with several shims, maybe 20+. I used 4).
https://8020.net/6424.html

Extrusion 1020 - cut to 9”
https://8020.net/1020.html

I bought a couple of T-nuts. 25-3382
https://8020.net/25-3382.html

I used a couple of 1/4-20 carriage bolts that I filed down to use to attach the linear bearing to the table with a couple of hex nuts. I need to order a T-nut and and maybe a couple of socket cap bolts to replace them. Would make it easier to remove the linear bearing from the table. I couldn’t find anything better locally.

Hope that helps.



Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1322
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2018, 07:03 PM »
That's brilliant.

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 384
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2018, 07:44 PM »
Simply excellent execution on this modification.  Kudos to you for crediting the source for your inspiration and also for taking the phone video in the horizontal mode.  Well done  (and soon to be duplicated on my MFT  [big grin])
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:59 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline talk-tools

  • Posts: 8
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2018, 03:54 PM »
Thank you for this, and the part numbers. I'm going to do it if I can just get over my analysis paralysis of trying to use linear bearing solutions - which admittedly are overkill. This is for a custom 4x8 cutting table I'm working on that has been inspired by various projects I've seen on FOG.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1019
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2018, 03:53 AM »
I'm going to do it if I can just get over my analysis paralysis of trying to use linear bearing solutions - which admittedly are overkill.
Overkill, when leading to getting the job done, is a good thing.

Offline Mismarked

  • Posts: 137
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2018, 12:09 PM »
What a great idea.  Thanks for posting.

Offline Rob Z

  • Posts: 707
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2018, 12:30 PM »
Thanks for posting the video--very nice.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1019
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2018, 01:11 PM »
One thing I noticed in the video is that the rail moves the workpieces slightly.

I think this could be avoided by removing a part of the black anti-slip strips, just 1-2cm at the back where the edge of a high workpiece contacts the rail while it's still tilted.

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2018, 06:43 PM »
One thing I noticed in the video is that the rail moves the workpieces slightly.

I think this could be avoided by removing a part of the black anti-slip strips, just 1-2cm at the back where the edge of a high workpiece contacts the rail while it's still tilted.

I did see that on the video. The boards were very slick and slid on each other and I wasn’t holding them   When I have used it, it has not been a problem as I am normally holding the boards against the fence. Most of the stuff I have cut has been 3/4” so it doesn’t move at all.  On boards > 2” I just noticed the rail just dropped slower but I was holding the boards.

That being said, I think if I was cutting a lot of taller boards I would cut a tiny but of the foam out. I may do it anyway.

Thanks for the thought.

Offline eddomak

  • Posts: 303
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2018, 07:33 PM »
Thanks for sharing - that's great! And thanks for sharing the part numbers.

I am assuming you still need to adjust the front to height (which is far more convenient to do)?

I find that I really need to use the front to keep the rail at 90 degrees to the holes, as when I drop the rail down "naturally" it is far from 90 degrees. This is also evidenced by the fact that when I drop the rail onto the locating pin on the front support there is tension (which admittedly takes the slop out).

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2018, 08:24 PM »
Thanks for sharing - that's great! And thanks for sharing the part numbers.

I am assuming you still need to adjust the front to height (which is far more convenient to do)?

I find that I really need to use the front to keep the rail at 90 degrees to the holes, as when I drop the rail down "naturally" it is far from 90 degrees. This is also evidenced by the fact that when I drop the rail onto the locating pin on the front support there is tension (which admittedly takes the slop out).

I always adjust the front height and use the support when cutting.

I was able to adjust it on the guide hinge plate so it falls basically at 90 degrees now. Before this, I had more slop in the guide rail until locked.

The only thing I try to do when cutting narrow boards is add a piece of similar thickness near the front of the table so when the guide falls it has more support.  Since I moved the guide back, which helps with the hinge effect also, I have more cutting space but also greater span.  I think the support helps.  I can basically use this as a miter / chop saw as I cut some fairly small pieces. The other day I cut some 1.5”x3” pieces with a 30% cut on one side. The piece up front under the guide made it very solid.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 10:33 PM by Halmccoyii »

Offline WoodworkTech

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    • My Personal Blog
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2018, 06:45 AM »
Thanks for sharing your idea, making a video, and listing the parts.  Helped me put it to use on my new Kreg workbench/MFT.
Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS
Festool OF 1400 EQ-F-PLUS
Festool CT MIDI HEPA
Festool Domino DF 500 Q-PLUS
Festool PRO 5 LTD (ETS 125 REQ)
Festool FS 1400/2 (x2)
Festool FS 1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail
Festool LR32 Router Hole Drilling Set

Offline cubevandude

  • Posts: 21
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2018, 08:59 AM »
I really like this idea.  I do not have the Festool hinge for the track as I have a Makita.  Does anyone have an idea how to make a hinge to work with this if they do not have the Festool setup as shown?

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2018, 09:54 AM »
I really like this idea.  I do not have the Festool hinge for the track as I have a Makita.  Does anyone have an idea how to make a hinge to work with this if they do not have the Festool setup as shown?

I spent a little time on 8020 working up a hinge with a plate. After using the Festool plate and hinge I never ordered anything. You might consider ordering the parts from Festool parts catalogue.  I can’t seem to copy the link from my iPad but google Ekat Festool.  Lookunder Workplace organization then MFT3.

 I know Sean KS on this thread used 8020 and machined some parts for the front piece. I do not have equipment for that. He also obviously has more skills than I do. 

Hope that helps.

Offline Hal M

  • Posts: 13
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2018, 09:56 AM »
Thanks for sharing your idea, making a video, and listing the parts.  Helped me put it to use on my new Kreg workbench/MFT.

That looks fantastic. Wish I had the space.  Well done. 

Offline jobsworth

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  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: MFT 3 ideas for small shop
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2018, 10:45 AM »
I also have a small shop. Not as small as the OPs but small.

What i did to give me more room was to build sysports that fit under the MFTs. I found I could fit 4 per a MFT. Doing this cleared the 3,  8 ft long shelves I used out of spur shelving to stack my systainers on. Nothing fancy, I build for function in these cases. Though I did use edge banding on the boxes to dress them up a bit. Castors can be added if you want to move the boxes/cabinets around even outside if its warm and you have space. I build the boxes 29" high and used 3 1/2 inch castors from Harbor Freight (red wheels) . Gives me enough height to just fit under the MFT and even add a small drawer on the one holding 2 sortainers.

Doing this, I basically freed up the entire back wall of my small garage shop. Where I can more cabinets for storage or a work bench or move my miter saw w/stand to free up more work space on the side of my shop. Oh because of the extra space I reaquired I did use some small bit of wall space, with some of the spur shelve (2 risers) to set my CMS  modules mostly all home made they are now right near my CMS giving me better access to them. I dont have photos of it yet as I just did it yesterday.

The photos arent to good as its a small shop and a tight fit for my fat butt to move around in.

But it will give ya the idea

One is of the 3 shelves which in the photo are almost empty and now are empty

the rest are of the under MFT storage before i started drssing them up. I did add 12" blum euro drawer slides to make it easier to pull the systainers out and on pull out to set my TS 55 on in between cuts. You can see that barely in one of the photos.
This is nothing special but it works for me






« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 10:48 AM by jobsworth »