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Author Topic: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop  (Read 5055 times)

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Offline wolfie

  • Posts: 9
Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« on: April 02, 2018, 04:31 PM »
Hi Guys,

I've read lots of great stuff on this forum and have just become a member hoping to get some advice.  Sadly (and embarrassingly) I've accidentally cut a very deep kerf into my MFT/3 tabletop.  It's 5/8" deep and is the work area where I make my crosscuts.  1 more 1/8 inch and I'd be through the top.  The top still seems solid, but I'm thinking I should probably be proactive and try to repair this before it becomes worse.  I've read various repair discussions on this forum, but I don't think I've come across any discussions that discuss repairing a kerf as deep as mine.

My idea right now is to fill the kerf with (Minwax High Performance Wood Filler and sand flush.  Then I would clamp a wood support across this weakened area (using the dog holes) to support it as I removed the top, rotated it, and flipped it over.  This would put the "bad" spot on the other side of the table, where I don't make cuts.

Does this sound like a good solution to anyone that's done anything similar?  I've never removed or replaced the top, so I'm coming at this from ground zero.

I've attached some photos... and yes - I nicked the aluminum, too! :(

Thanks in advance,
Rob

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Offline Slartibartfass

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 05:07 PM »
I used some wood filler in the past and have used shellac to cover the surface. So far none of the fixed areas have crumbled.....

Offline TrackTubesGuy

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 05:19 PM »
The minwax may work fine .. never used it, but I have used bondo in the past to fill rotted wood areas and it works great.  Just make sure the kerf cut is cleaned out good. .. you can get it at HD or Lowes. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Bondo-28-oz-Gray-Patching-Compound/3044443.   Another option would be an epoxy resin . . I believe it would soak into the wood fibers.  Do an search online .. plenty of them out there.  Good luck.

Online WoodworkTech

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2018, 05:25 PM »
Maybe route a groove for removable insert. When the kerf gets worn then it’s replaceable.

I found this idea reading different posts.  Did it to my DIY MFT top
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Offline TSO Products

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 05:32 PM »
@wolfie  - don't overlook the ease of making your own brand new - and really accurate - MFT  top using the Parf Guide System. It's so easy to get exactly what you want with a Parf Guide System in your shop. You can see it on our website www.tsoproducts.com.
Then you don't have to "be careful" of cutting into the top - it's just another replaceable/disposable worksurface.

For repairing, the BONDO approach will get  the job done as the other posts suggest.

Enjoy your woodworking!

Hans
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Offline Dick Mahany

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 05:37 PM »
I have used Durhams Rock Hard Water Putty in the past with success.  I have also used Bondo.  I think either would work well.  I'd take a q-tip and some acetone or IPA and clean out the kerf very well to get a good bond.  You could also roughen up the sides of the kerf lightly with sand paper to give it some tooth.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 05:49 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline neilc

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 05:44 PM »
+1 on Bondo to repair.  It dries hard and stays in place.  The top can be easily reversed. Four bolts and you're back in business. 

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 05:59 PM »
Thanks everyone!  Would you bondo and be done, or would you flip and rotate the top, too, to get this spot out of my work area?

(Hans - I'll check that product out for future use, thanks!)

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 06:27 PM »
Just rotate the top if your OOPS is to the right.  Then you have a flip coming in the future with a clean surface.

Peter

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 06:53 PM »
That sounds like good advice Peter - I'll do that!  Cheers guys!

Offline Festool USA

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 07:20 PM »
Hey, Rob. We got your email earlier today, and someone from our customer service team will be reaching out to you shortly about the MFT too.

Once they do, let me know if you need anything else.

(Tyler)

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 07:43 PM »
Hi Tyler,

I hate to say this on a public forum, but you brought it up, so here it goes.  Festool did respond to my inquiry, but I was extremely unimpressed with the response.  I had specifically asked Festool if they could suggest a repair option for me, and my question wasn't acknowledged at all.  I was simply told that I could buy a new tabletop.  I could understand if the emails was something along the lines of "gee Rob, that's a pretty bad kirf, and I'm not sure I'd trust a repair....yada yada", but there was nothing like that.  I was simply told I could buy a new one.  Here's a copy-and-paste from the email:

"Thank you for your inquiry concerning your MFT3 table.  The table top for the MFT3 is replaceable.  You can contact our Customer Service Department and they will be happy to assist you with pricing and shipping information.  The part number for the replacement top is 495543."

After receiving that non-answer, I came here.  I've never dealt with Festool support before this, maybe it's not always like this, but as I said, I wasn't impressed.

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 07:51 PM »
I used two part epoxy wood filler to repair a goof. I think it is stronger than bondo.  I pounded it into the kerf and, once dry, sanded it flush. Several years later, it’s still solid.
Birdhunter

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2018, 08:07 PM »
Hey Birdhunter, the wood filler I have is a two part solution as well, but the stuff I have is a paste so it sounds different than yours.  I'm thinking I'll try the Bondo since I have to go to Lowes this evening and TrackTubesGuy mentioned they sell it there, and it sounds like lots of folks have been satisfied with it.

Does anyone know about the hardness of Bondo and how it might affect a saw blade?  I'm planning to rotate the table, so it will be out of my main cutting area, but it's possible I could, at some point, want to cut lengthwise along the table, thus through the Bondo.  Is this a cause for concern?  I could always lay a sacrificial scrap on the tabletop to avoid cutting through it, if necessary.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 655
Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2018, 09:48 PM »
As suggested by DIY Woodwerks, use a router to cut a grove and glue in an insert. Fresh start! The strength will be there too. Bondo, and other types of repairs will not be very strong, and if that is the option it is not worth trying to fix.

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2018, 10:28 PM »
Is routing a groove an option in my case?  My kerf is quite deep, having only 1/8” of table left below it.  Would I just route a 5/8” deep dovetail? (I found some discussion on routing a groove on this forum and at least one person routed a dovetail).  Thanks!

Offline Peter_C

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2018, 10:36 PM »
Screw it down to a piece of plywood first, then route the grove. That will keep it stable. You can use washers, or the like, and screw it threw the 20mm holes. Although putting a few small holes in the top won't make a bit of difference. Don't unscrew it until the glue has dried. If it is as thin as you say you may need to screw it before removing it from the MFT itself, so it doesn't break.

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2018, 11:12 PM »
Ive made the insert, mine was replaceable, I routed a 2" wide channel 3/8 deep. Planed down a piece of scrap hard wood, screwed the insert it down making sure the screws were in the cutting groove and sawed away, when the insert got to jacked up, just replaced it. I flipped the top bc well it got to beat up and Im still using the top been about 5 years or so.

Bondo'd it just kept on sawing

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2018, 08:32 AM »
So Bondo sounds super easy, and at first I though routing a groove for an inlay might be too time consuming / overkill / beyond my skill level, but the more I think about it, the more I’m interested in trying this.   I wouldn’t want to keep screws in my tabletop (for a removable insert) as I wouldn’t trust myself not to cut into those at some point.  So I would glue the insert in.

I have a router attachment for my guide rail.  I’ve not used it yet, and this could be the perfect opportunity to try it :)

I was thinking maybe a 3/4” wide, 1/2” deep groove.  I’m too nervous to make a groove as deep as the kerf, as that would only leave an 8th of original mdf intact.  This means there would be 1/8th kerf under my inlay (i.e. a hollow spot).  I think this would probably be okay, given my impression that 1/4” kerfs in the top don’t seem to weaken the table severely.  Also, my glue would fill this void, which might help mitigate any weakness it might cause in the table top. I thought about filling with Bondo or wood filler first, then routing, but wasn’t sure if this extra step would be warranted.

I’ve never made an insert. Should I make it slightly undersized on the sides to account for glue?  If yes, how much?  Maybe a 16th (32nd on each side)?

Does it matter which material I use for the insert?  I have lots of pine.  I might have some oak.  I don’t mind purchasing mdf if that makes sense. I would use my tablesaw to cut it down to size. I’d use tight bond 3 for the glue up.

One adavantage to routing 1/2” deep is that I would just clear the aluminum on the sides of the table, which means I could do this in place (without removing the table).

Thanks very much for the discussion so far, I really appreciate it.

Offline neilc

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2018, 09:37 AM »
No need for a really tight fit if you are gluing it in place.  Pine should work fine.  how about a 1/2 wide by 1/2 depth?  No real need to go the 3/4 width unless that is the space the current kerfs cover.  The bottom kerf that you said is a little deeper can be filled with glue and it will harden and be plenty strong.  A piece of painters tape on each end will keep the glue from escaping till it hardens.   Leave slightly proud (1/64) on the surface and sand flat when it is hardened.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 09:39 AM by neilc »

Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2018, 09:55 AM »
Thanks neilc, sounds like a plan!  I’ll post a pic after I complete the work [smile].

Offline Tinker

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2018, 10:34 AM »
I went into my sawdust pile, mixed with glue and sloshed it into the groove, sanded when hard, flipped the top and tuned end to and as you suggested.

I guess by now, you have found out that a whole bunch of FOGers have run into the same problem.  I hope you don't take offense when i tell you i laughed when i first read your OP. When i got to the part where you showed the grove into your FT frame, i was satisfied to know I am not the only one who has done the same.  It's called "Redesigning"

Way back when I was learning my trade (masonry), I worked with a man who was reputed to be one of the finest carpenters and masons in the area. Whenever I would make a mistook, he would tell me, "A good craftsman is an average guy who can talk or work his way thru any mistake he makes"  You are taking a big step towards becoming a good craftsman. Keep going.
Tinker
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Offline wolfie

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2018, 11:25 AM »
Haha!  No offense taken - glad you could relate and got a chuckle! [big grin]

I have a lot of respect for masons.  I worked for one for about 3 years in my early 20s.

Love the quote - need to commit that one to memory.

wolfie

Offline Peter_C

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2018, 11:56 AM »
So Bondo sounds super easy, and at first I though routing a groove for an inlay might be too time consuming / overkill / beyond my skill level, but the more I think about it, the more I’m interested in trying this.   I wouldn’t want to keep screws in my tabletop (for a removable insert) as I wouldn’t trust myself not to cut into those at some point.  So I would glue the insert in.
To be clear the only reason I suggested screws was to remove the MFT top from the leg section, but to first attach it to another board so it doesn't break. The screws would get removed once the repair is completed. Gluing the insert in is the only method that will bring back it's strength.

I have a router attachment for my guide rail.  I’ve not used it yet, and this could be the perfect opportunity to try it :)
I like your thinking! I would suggest setting everything up, and running it down a piece of scrap to make sure you don't side load, or otherwise cause unwanted movement. Then once you feel ready go for the MFT. It is going to take at least two passes depending on your router.

I was thinking maybe a 3/4” wide, 1/2” deep groove.  I’m too nervous to make a groove as deep as the kerf, as that would only leave an 8th of original mdf intact.  This means there would be 1/8th kerf under my inlay (i.e. a hollow spot).  I think this would probably be okay, given my impression that 1/4” kerfs in the top don’t seem to weaken the table severely.  Also, my glue would fill this void, which might help mitigate any weakness it might cause in the table top. I thought about filling with Bondo or wood filler first, then routing, but wasn’t sure if this extra step would be warranted.
No need to go wider than the current kerf cuts which I can't eyeball from a photo. Bondo doesn't really have much strength. It is a lightweight filler that sands very easily.

I’ve never made an insert. Should I make it slightly undersized on the sides to account for glue?  If yes, how much?  Maybe a 16th (32nd on each side)?
It should fit snug, but be removable. The MDF is going to swell quickly once you put glue on it. Apply glue to the MDF last.

Does it matter which material I use for the insert?  I have lots of pine.  I might have some oak.  I don’t mind purchasing mdf if that makes sense. I would use my tablesaw to cut it down to size. I’d use tight bond 3 for the glue up.
Just use what you have at home. No need to spend money for a repair. Tablesaw is perfect for cutting it (At some point build a tablesaw sled. There are plenty of YouTube videos). Although there is nothing wrong with Titebond 3, I have found Titebond II easier to work with, as you have a longer working time and easier cleanup. If you only have Titebond 3 use it. FWIW waterproof and MDF are never used in the same sentence.

One advantage to routing 1/2” deep is that I would just clear the aluminum on the sides of the table, which means I could do this in place (without removing the table).
Should work. There is no damage worth discussing to the aluminum base. Use it as a reminder that saws cut stuff, and think what is under the blade before pulling the trigger. (I have my own stories to tell about kickbacks.)

One of the most important things my mentor taught me was "Don't point out your own mistakes...ever". Most people will not spot them.

Offline Birdhunter

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2018, 12:26 PM »
The two part wood epoxy comes in a plastic tube of about 3” long. The stuff comes as a cylinder that has a core section and and exterior section. The sections have different colors.  I cut off what I need and knead the piece until the two colors become fully merged. The stuff hardens quickly. I have used bondo and greatly prefer the epoxy.
Birdhunter

Offline zapdafish

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2018, 12:27 PM »
i got a second hand mft3 and the user had repaired it with a poplar insert like this one pictured except it was glued in place. mft still works great


Maybe route a groove for removable insert. When the kerf gets worn then it’s replaceable.

I found this idea reading different posts.  Did it to my DIY MFT top
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Offline rst

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2018, 12:27 PM »
I routed a dovetail groove in my table for the kerf.  You can see the mistake I made in the offset at the leading edge, vaselined the strip and filled with bondo.  The strip is UHMW dovetailed and can be slid out (difficultly).  Made the strip first and then routed the table.  I do not cut angles on this table as I have a large 64" x 104" cutting table that I consider sacrificial.  I can cut off 27.5" on this table as my Incra 52" fence is mounted over the side extrusion.
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« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 12:35 PM by rst »

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2018, 12:34 PM »
For my replaceable insert, I used a dove tail bit to route the groove, then the insert I cut a bevel on the sides. I made it wider so I could screw it in place and remove it when it needed replacing.

The wood bondo should work no matter what you choose

Online sprior

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2018, 02:19 PM »
Way back when I was learning my trade (masonry), I worked with a man who was reputed to be one of the finest carpenters and masons in the area. Whenever I would make a mistook, he would tell me, "A good craftsman is an average guy who can talk or work his way thru any mistake he makes"  You are taking a big step towards becoming a good craftsman. Keep going.
Tinker

Don't listen to Tinker - his hobby is digging big rocks out of the ground and watching new ones grow.   [big grin]

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Help repairing MFT/3 tabletop
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2018, 03:57 PM »
I use MDF Filler. Bondo could be tough on the sawblade, I think.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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