Author Topic: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20  (Read 78733 times)

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Offline Sean KS

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Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« on: February 12, 2013, 05:40 AM »
I am building a split top roubo that integrates a festool guide rail. The top slabs are 26"76"3" with a 8" split and build from mostly hard maple. The center support beam (underneath the split) has t-tracks with t-track locks to accept an Incra TS positioner and keep it parallel to the track. The aprons have two sets of parallel t-tracks to support a festool style bracket for the guide rail. I am not using the original fence on the Incra positioner, I opted for a 80/20inc extrusion that is .5" thick so that the fence can slide under the festool guide rail and cut stock as thin as the fence dimension. Placing the "rip" fence below table surface provides the capability of ripping thin stock, but more importantly, allows you to use the Incra-Festool system for narrow rips. For safety I position the fence to the right side of the track to eliminate the risk of kick back from pinning both sides of the cut. The system will also utilize an Incra miter gauge with a custom bracket that attaches in similar fashion as the Festool MFT systems.
I'm having the top slabs CNC bored with 3/4" holes so I can use qwas style dogs for all alignment, and veritas bench accessories. The thickness of the slabs will make this bench useful for hand-tooling work and also allows for the installation of the Benchcrafted Tail Vise.
The bench will be used for routing as well. For example end grain slot mortises using the apron t-tracks to position the work piece. I used a partially built apron, the Festool guide rail and stops, and a microfence interface to cut the slot mortises in the apron joint mockup. The dual t-tracks worked well for orienting the piece for the cut. The joint is drawbored with brass dowel. I have a couple of rough sketchup screen shots and one of the apron joint mockup. I have more pictures of the build process if anyone is interested.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 02:54 AM by Sean KS »

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Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 06:17 AM »
I'm very interested in seeing more photos and build progress. Brilliant use of the Incra positioner recessed into the trough!

From what I can understand you will be using the Incra jig to secure a guide rail and move it into position to make your cuts. If this is correct then you will probably end up with a lot of cut lines in your top over time. Is the top maple or did you devise a way to secure replaceable MDF sections?

Thanks for sharing.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 06:34 AM »
Neat idea, but I have the same comment as RMW.  It would be a shame to make cuts into the top if you're using a TS 55 and guide rail for cross cutting. Can you show us some examples of how to you're going to use the fence system?

Offline kfitzsimons

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 06:44 AM »
I just looked at your plan again and had an idea. What about adding a sacrificial, replaceable strip routed across the two slabs where you would place the TS guide and make the cross cuts. You could route a groove and place 3/8 hardboard or wood strips. It would be placed at the far right of the bench and you could add a flip up extension table to hold long pieces.

Offline cfullen

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 07:06 AM »
Whoa,
That's a awesome idea. Please show us more. Also. I'd love to have that sketchup file if you are willing to share.

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 11:07 AM »
Great idea and sketchup drawings!  I'll be watching this thread for followup pictures as it progresses.  I'll add some advice: if you are planning on using the tail vise for hand planing,  be sure to fabricate some stout legs.  The MFT as it stands is just too flimsy for hand planing.  If you are using it just for clamping pieces for sanding or routing, MFT legs are adequate.  

Offline Michael_Swe

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 03:08 AM »
Well, that's a piece of a workbench (third image :)

Seems to be a great bench. And it's going to be beautiful as well. I'll be really interested in your build pics. Please post them. Could you elaborate some about how you will use the Incra positioner. Will it position your guide rail or your wood? I suppose it's the wood.. And I suppose that you intend to use dogs for lining up the wood? How do you attach the fence to the Positioner when it's in this low position relative to the bench surface?

//Michael

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 04:08 AM »
Michael,
Thanks for the complements, lets hope the finished bench looks as nice as the mock up joint.
I drew up a quick model of the bracket that attaches the guide rail to the t-tracks in the bench apron. The bracket is able to adjust with screws to make 90 degree cuts. The top is CNC bored so I will be using the dog holes for referencing the guide rail bracket to 90 degrees. The screws set the bracket to that angle even if I removed it and placed somewhere else along the apron t-tracks. The wood will reference off of an Incra miter gauge that will attach to the aprons with a similar custom bracket. The end result of the miter gauge and the guide rail bracket will effectively make the bench operate like a Festool MFT. The Incra positioner just allows me to make repeatable cuts, or adjust the work piece for lets say a fluting application. Hopefully it explains how the bench is used.
The Incra positioner will have a 80/20 extrusion that is 1/2", 2", 48". It attaches to the Incra postioner in place of the table saw fence it comes with. The thin dimension will be able to slide under the Festool guide rail when I am working with thin stock that I want ripped to dimensions less than the guide rail itself.

Offline Michael_Swe

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 04:25 AM »
Really great idea. But I'm not entirely sold on the guide rail bracket idea. It seems to be a little slow to work with in regards of adjusting height and changing wood for the next cut. But I might have misunderstood.

You could also offset the 80/20 fence to gain some cutting width. I.e. the workpiece would lie over the positioner instead of at the end of the positioner. You could have two interchangeable brackets for this. One that puts the fence at the end for small cuts. And one for offsetting the fence towards the lock handle of the positioner.

If the trench for the positioner is deep enough you might want to think about putting a lid on the trench. I can imagine that the trench will be annoying if you use the table as a mounting table. And also, you'd not want to have glue dripping on your positioner.

//Michael

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 04:38 AM »
I will see how the bracket works in terms of speed. If it takes too much time to get the next work piece into position  I will hinge it.
The Incra positioner is intalled via t tracks. So I can move it anywhere along the length of the bench. If I need 2 more inches of cutting capacity I can move it down the t tracks to accommodate the cut. This also means I can remove it durning glue-ups. Roubo troughs are generally not this wide I admit, I'll see if a lid would come in handy when I start using the bench in practice.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 04:41 AM by Sean KS »

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 04:42 AM »
In the third image I originally posted you see that the dado for the t track turns onto the end grain. For the mock up joint I turned the piece vertically on the router table to make this cut. For the actual project this dado is on the end of a 7' work piece, so I cannot turn in upright on the router. I tried on a practice piece to make the cut with a hollow chisel mortiser, but even though it was well backed it blew out in fantastic fashion. My second attempt was making the cut with a razor saw and chisels. I got the dado I was looking for and proved that the method works.

Offline Michael_Swe

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 04:45 AM »
Perfect, just remove the positioner if you need room for the lid ;)

About the offsetting of the fence. I didn't mean to gain two inches. I meant a bracket that offsets the fence furhter back. All the way to the locking unit. This gains cutting width without having the positioner protrude outside of the table. But I'm probably biased in the hunt for inches since I'm in a really small shop myself.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your images.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 09:30 AM »
I LOVE the idea of the positioner with the 1/2" 80/20! Simple to zero out to the guide rails and infinitely adjustable.

A suggestion perhaps in lieu of the guide rail bracket: add a retractable pin on each side of the bench, slide them up and just hold the guide rails against them align it. I was playing with a similar idea a while back and did a (very bad...) video illustrating the idea:



In my example I use the rail clips from my Rip Dogs to align the guide rail to the pin but you don't need them, just press the edge of the rail to the pins like Peter Parfitt's Parf Dogs.

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Alan m

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 12:49 PM »
i like that rmw.
really glad to see this coming along

this sytem would allow for angled cuts as well. just move the block along the rail  to adjust it.
or even put one on the short extrusion and the other on the long.
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 02:27 AM »
RMW, Your rip guides are awesome. Much sleeker and more user friendly than a huge bracket. I'd be hard pressed to get the smooth friction fit you've worked out, do you see any issue with using a handwheel with a screw mechanism to adjust the height?

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 04:22 AM »
RMW, Here's what I mean, it just took a minute to draw it up. It's the same basic idea, I've put in a height locking screw. And it attaches to the T track underneath the Festool Guide rail. The Height Adjustment Rod (HAR) has a threaded rod at the top so that the HAR can be rotated by hand to lock the t track nut to the Festool Guide Rail. I like this design much more than the big bracket idea, do you see any issues off the bat? Michael what's your thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 04:28 AM by Sean KS »

Offline Michael_Swe

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 05:29 AM »
I think you over complicate it a bit. You don't need precision in the vertical movement (as with your HAR). The vertical position is automatically calibrated by the surface of your work piece. What matters is the alignment to the MTF holes, and in your case even to the LS Positioner fence.

Parf dogs or RMWs Rip dogs will solve this. If you want something even sturdier you might want to go with angle brackets as I use in my build. You can se the brackets in this image:
82546-0

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2013, 10:39 AM »
Sean,

You idea is right on the money, except as Michael states it does not need to be as complicated as having it attached to the t-slot underneath. Just extend the pin a couple inches over the MFT top and let the guide rail press against it the same way it does with Michael's brackets.

Here are some old photos from my first attempt:

82548-0

82550-1

82552-2

82554-3

82556-4

I used the clips on the guide rails because I was working on a similar idea at the same time and I had them lying around but they are not necessary with the pins mounted this way.

Otherwise I think your design will work perfectly with the thumb screw tightening onto the pin.

RMW



As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Corwin

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2013, 01:03 PM »
I also believe that these height adjusters are far more complicated than need be.  But more importantly, these designs do not offer any support to keep the guide rail parallel with the surface of you bench.  Festool's guide-rail brackets support the rail for the bulk of the width of the rail -- most of the distance from the back edge of the rail to the splinter guard.  Without this support, the weight of the saw on the rail will cause the rail to tip. 
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 02:46 AM »
Rmw and Michael, the reason I like locking the guide to the braket is cause I use the guide with a Mirco Fence interface for routing operations, such as hardwood dadoing or sliding dovetails. This action puts a good amount of torque on the guide rail and I'd be afraid of slipping off the HAR and coming out of alignment during te routing operation. The TS 75 doesn't cause concerns in the same regard. You guys have used the pins in real time, do you think my concerns are grounded in terms of routing operations? Thanks for your thoughts!

Corwin, What type of operations are you concerned about tipping occurring? In rip operations the work piece supports the guide rail so tipping can't happen then. Even in narrow rips using the incra positioner the guide rail has support. I can see certain routing operations causing worry but a piece of scrap material very simply remedies that worry. I can only guess your concerns are regarding cross cuts where the workpiece does not extend under the guide. A rare cut that I would opt for using the table saw. If I needed to do this cut with the TS 75, let's say on a very long board, once again a scrap block would support the guide from tipping. I see big advantages in having a single round contact point in the guide rail braket for ease of alignment, an issue that the festool system fails to solve with much confidence. Can you please describe what procedure your tipping concerns would pertain to if I am missing something?
Thanks for your guys help it's extremely beneficial
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 03:10 AM by Sean KS »

Offline Tinker

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 05:05 PM »
I am mostly doing small projects.  When crosscutting narrow stock, the guide rail will tip as the saw is moved towards the cut.  The rail will flatten as the saw passes over the stock being cut.  However, i place a couple of scraps under the suspended length of the rail and this eliminates the tipping problem.  It may be that the scraps are not necessary, but i am more comfortable in using them. 

Besides, it justifies keeping all of those scraps  ::)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2013, 04:12 AM »
Does anyone have thoughts on a base design? I'm going with aluminum extrusions as a sub-base. This will keep the tops co-planer. I think the aluminum running parallel with the end caps, four lengths in total would suffice. The only other thing I'm thinking is to put a T-track in the subbase attached flush to the back of the long aprons. These tracks would allow for a sliding deadman to be easily placed flush with the apron.
Sub base issues aside does anyone see an issue with attaching the legs to the aluminum sub base with angle brackets? The aluminum is 80/20 inc and their catalogue has lots of brackets for this type of application. Do I need to worry about having the legs jointed up into the top structure?  Would simply butting them to the bottom of the top slab and rigidly attaching the sub-base to both parts work? My biggest concern is making sure I am deadening mallet blows through wood and not the aluminum.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2013, 09:57 AM »
Rmw and Michael, the reason I like locking the guide to the braket is cause I use the guide with a Mirco Fence interface for routing operations, such as hardwood dadoing or sliding dovetails. This action puts a good amount of torque on the guide rail and I'd be afraid of slipping off the HAR and coming out of alignment during te routing operation. The TS 75 doesn't cause concerns in the same regard. You guys have used the pins in real time, do you think my concerns are grounded in terms of routing operations? Thanks for your thoughts!

Corwin, What type of operations are you concerned about tipping occurring? In rip operations the work piece supports the guide rail so tipping can't happen then. Even in narrow rips using the incra positioner the guide rail has support. I can see certain routing operations causing worry but a piece of scrap material very simply remedies that worry. I can only guess your concerns are regarding cross cuts where the workpiece does not extend under the guide. A rare cut that I would opt for using the table saw. If I needed to do this cut with the TS 75, let's say on a very long board, once again a scrap block would support the guide from tipping. I see big advantages in having a single round contact point in the guide rail braket for ease of alignment, an issue that the festool system fails to solve with much confidence. Can you please describe what procedure your tipping concerns would pertain to if I am missing something?
Thanks for your guys help it's extremely beneficial

Sean,

For routing I think you would need to secure the rail to the pin/bracket/whatever you use. it is not a real issue with the TS for the most part and you can always use your off-hand to pull the rail into the pins/brackets while cutting. My earliest experiments with this approach used a couple simple plastic plates I cut by hand to accomplish this:

82842-0

82844-1

As long as the pin actually touches the rail rather than the plastic clip accuracy is maintained.

And Corwin is right-on that the rail will tip when cutting narrower stock, but as Wayne noted you can prevent this by supporting the ends with scraps of the same thickness stock you are cutting:

82846-2

Further to Corwin's point, there are trade-offs using this approach instead of, for example, Festool's own stock MFT hardware. In the case of DIY MFT-type benches the Festool hardware is probably not suitable so you need an alternate solution. In my case, I just did not like the height adjustment on the stock hardware nor did I like having a rail always mounted to my MFT so I chose to go this route and deal with the rail tipping as part of the trade-off.

Looking forward to seeing some more photos as this takes shape.

RMW
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 09:59 AM by RMW »
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2013, 05:26 PM »
How about a pre-built bracket? 80/20 has linear bearings as well, they come with a brake. The idea is to attach the bearing to the bench apron t track, then use a short length of extrusion to adjust the height of the guide rail. The extrusion does the same thing as RMW's guide pin. The extrusion can be locked to the guide rail using a concealed right angle connector offered by 80/20, so the system would work for routing via guide rail. As far as the tipping worries, the extrusions come in various widths. Therefore the bracket itself could support most of the width of the guide rail. It might be a expensive solution, around $120 but it's rock solid, light weight, low profile, no tipping, and easy to align. Best of all I don't have to build a darn thing!  

Offline Qwas

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2013, 08:38 PM »
Sorry for the late reply, I meant to respond this morning but got tied up on something else. I was intrigued by your linear bearing idea, that was some nice thinking. I have some of their linear bearings that were going to be used on another project (router base). So I went ahead and tried your idea on my MFT to see what would happen. This was a just a quick dirty attempt. I used the 25 series profiles, with a 25-2550 extrusion and I think it is 25-6424 linear bearing.

82926-0

First, let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised. Not only does it work but it works extremely well.  It slides up and down nice and smooth, with no binding. The plastic part of the bearing can be slightly adjusted to give a different amount of sliding to no sliding without pressure. I don't have the brake on mine so I wasn't able to test it.

Issues:
  • I tried mounting to the rail by using the holes on the ends of the extrusions. I would not try that again. You have the right idea of using a right angle connector.
  • The other issue was mounting to the table. My Plan was to use some knobs so I  can move the assembly. There is no space for any knobs and there is just enough space for a nut. Anticipate buying some spacers deeper than the bearing height so you can use some knobs.
  • My main concern would be sawdust getting the bearing. I would recommend making some type of a cover to keep the sawdust out.


Go ahead and try your idea, I think you will enjoy it.  [smile]
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 09:00 PM by Qwas »

Offline fritter63

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2013, 09:15 PM »
Sean, leave the slide vice mechanism out and just get some of the Festool MFT clamping elements. They work the same, but can be put anywhere on
the table where there are holes:

82928-0

82930-1

Offline Sean KS

  • Posts: 90
Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 04:26 AM »
Steve, Thank you for beta testing the idea. It's a huge help to know it'll work. As far as the issues you've seen: i think 80/20 sells bearing brushes that self clean the guide systems. If not I'll figure something out. For the knob issue, I'll either go with a thin aluminum mounting plate, or ratcheting levers from JB Wilco. I just have to check if they make ratchet levers that small. Hopefully there's no issue with the concealed right angle connector for attaching the guide rail. Again thanks so much for testing the idea!

Offline Sean KS

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2013, 04:04 AM »
Does anyone know what the best way to attach an incra miter gauge to this thingy? This thing mimics the festool miter gauge bracket, and the incra miter gauge fits a top the aluminum extrusion. I just don't know how to get stainless to mate with aluminum. Thoughts?

Offline CarolinaNomad

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2013, 12:31 PM »
 [popcorn]
Jeff
resides in NAINA

Offline Qwas

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Re: Split Top Roubo MFT with Benchcrafted, Incra and 80/20
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2013, 08:35 PM »
First let me say I have seen or used an Incra miter gauge so i have no idea what size their mounting hardware is. I will assume it is 1/4" or the gauge can be drilled out to accept it.

It looks like you using a 1003 profile with 3 slots. I would get rid of it and use a 1010 with 4 slots. This way you have an accurate slot on top to mount the Incra gauge to. Use the 1/4" T-slot nuts (part # 3382) to secure it.

If you don't want to get rid of the 1003 profile then use metal screws to mount the gauge, just be sure to be accurate when drilling the pilot holes for the screws.

Your biggest issue is going to be with the aux fence attached to the miter gauge. In order for it to fully swing in both directions you may need to mount the miter gauge onto a bracket like a 4141 and let the bracket extend slightly past the end of the 1010 profile.