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Author Topic: Mft squaring problems  (Read 9043 times)

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Offline dadswoodshop

  • Posts: 51
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2018, 08:40 PM »

Do you use a square to ensure that the rail is square to the fence?

Both are squared/aligned to the hole pattern. I align the rail first, then the fence.  After everything is locked down, I verify that theyre square to each other with a the woodpecker 1281.  This is only a final check.  If ive aligned he rail and fence to the holes properly, they will automatically be square to each other. 

Theoretically

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Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5236
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2018, 12:28 AM »
There can only be a few things that could cause you work not being squared.
1) You piece isn't square
2) fence isnt square
3) rail isnt square

Sometime that little back plastic thing that tightens down the fence will move on ya when ya tighten it. But if you check with a square regularly

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2336
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2018, 09:47 AM »
I’ve read this thread several times and I’m still puzzled. I’ve only had to square the MFT track twice over many years. I squared it when I first bought the MFT and again when a bolt came loose at the pivot hinge for the track. I’ve never used the protractor. My cuts on the MFT have all been 90 degree cuts made using Qwas dogs aligning the top of the board square to the track. I do use a SlopStop and I always check track square to the dogs using a Woodpecker framing square. I do adjust track height. I’m puzzled as to why my track stays square and others have so many problems.
Birdhunter

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1798
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2018, 01:22 PM »
I’ve read this thread several times and I’m still puzzled. I’ve only had to square the MFT track twice over many years. I squared it when I first bought the MFT and again when a bolt came loose at the pivot hinge for the track. I’ve never used the protractor. My cuts on the MFT have all been 90 degree cuts made using Qwas dogs aligning the top of the board square to the track. I do use a SlopStop and I always check track square to the dogs using a Woodpecker framing square. I do adjust track height. I’m puzzled as to why my track stays square and others have so many problems.

Me too. I agree with you. I do check squareness before I make crosscuts to final size for any project I am working on, but rarely find any out of squareness I can detect. When I do re-square, I use the method that Festool instructors recommend in class. It's fast, easy, and foolproof. Of course, I don't move my MFT from its spot in my shop so there are no good reasons for it to be out of square unless I take the fence off for some other types of work.
Randy

Offline JoshMandell

  • Posts: 1
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2018, 03:07 PM »
One word of caution about the Anderson Plywood triangle... I just bought an MFT/3, and while waiting on delivery read lots of FOG posts about squaring, setup, etc. and decided to pick up the Anderson Plywood triangle. When it arrived, I checked it for squareness with my Incra 7" square and was surprised to find one leg of the triangle was not perfectly flat. The last 4-5" of one edge, closest to the 90 degree corner, dips in around 1/32". It looks like the workpiece may have shifted slightly on the CNC during the final pass.

To be clear, it appears to be square when checked with a long enough square that bridges the gap, but it makes it hard to use on the MFT since it doesn't register fully against the guide rail along the entire length. I'm thinking of squaring everything up, then trimming it with the TS55 to put a straight edge on that side.

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1798
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2018, 12:06 AM »
One word of caution about the Anderson Plywood triangle... I just bought an MFT/3, and while waiting on delivery read lots of FOG posts about squaring, setup, etc. and decided to pick up the Anderson Plywood triangle. When it arrived, I checked it for squareness with my Incra 7" square and was surprised to find one leg of the triangle was not perfectly flat. The last 4-5" of one edge, closest to the 90 degree corner, dips in around 1/32". It looks like the workpiece may have shifted slightly on the CNC during the final pass.

To be clear, it appears to be square when checked with a long enough square that bridges the gap, but it makes it hard to use on the MFT since it doesn't register fully against the guide rail along the entire length. I'm thinking of squaring everything up, then trimming it with the TS55 to put a straight edge on that side.

Return it. I'm sure they will stand behind it if it isn't perfect. The flaw you describe isn't indicated by the feedback on this forum.
Randy

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 38
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2018, 12:45 AM »
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I have been playing around with my mft. I have learned the reason I loose squareness is because the rail holders some how become loose. What I did is make sure everything is tight. I use my 1281 to make sure I am square. Then I moved the rail up and down a few times. I then check square and I have some play on the inside of the woodpecker square. I then checked the rail holders and noticed the knob that tightens the rail down has play and isn’t as tight as I tighten before. Not sure what to do from here. I have a slop stop  can someone tell me how to install it. Maybe I did something wrong.

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5702
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2018, 01:00 AM »
The rail coming loose, I'm not sure. The knobs your referring to are the ones that hold the supports to the channel? Do both come loose? Are you tightening the knobs rail up or down? If it is just the rear one that comes loose, move the rail forward slightly.

The Slop Stop, remove the rail end protector, slide the stop in aligning with tab on support. Tighten set screws.

Tom

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 38
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2018, 01:47 AM »
Yea just making sure I put the slop stop in correct. the brackets that hold the rails. The knob on those brackets which tighten it to the mft. They become a loose after I move the rail up and down.  It isn’t very loose just a tad enough to loose square

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5702
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2018, 09:32 AM »
Yea just making sure I put the slop stop in correct. the brackets that hold the rails. The knob on those brackets which tighten it to the mft. They become a loose after I move the rail up and down.  It isn’t very loose just a tad enough to loose square

Snug the set screws would be a better description. You don't want to strip the plastic.

Are you tightening the knobs with the support handle locked?

Tom

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 38
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2018, 11:53 AM »
I tighten when I first install them. Then I install everything else, next I square everything with 1281. Now I move the rail brackets up and down. Then check for square and plastic knob or screw has play in it again. Not much just a little. So I tighten again and I believe while handle is tight.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5236
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2018, 01:10 PM »
One word of caution about the Anderson Plywood triangle... I just bought an MFT/3, and while waiting on delivery read lots of FOG posts about squaring, setup, etc. and decided to pick up the Anderson Plywood triangle. When it arrived, I checked it for squareness with my Incra 7" square and was surprised to find one leg of the triangle was not perfectly flat. The last 4-5" of one edge, closest to the 90 degree corner, dips in around 1/32". It looks like the workpiece may have shifted slightly on the CNC during the final pass.

To be clear, it appears to be square when checked with a long enough square that bridges the gap, but it makes it hard to use on the MFT since it doesn't register fully against the guide rail along the entire length. I'm thinking of squaring everything up, then trimming it with the TS55 to put a straight edge on that side.

Return it. I'm sure they will stand behind it if it isn't perfect. The flaw you describe isn't indicated by the feedback on this forum.

I have one and have no complaints. My MFT is just as square using the anderson square as it is when I used my woodpecker 45cm square. I noticed no difference. If there is a problem with the one you have give them a call. Theyll make it right.

No I dont work or have any affiliation with them but I have gone out there a couple of times and got to know them

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5236
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2018, 01:40 PM »
Heres my method of setting up my MFT.

Position the fence so its about a half a hole from the end of the MFT where the blade cuts into te MFT.

Attached the guide rail as prescribed in the videos.

I use 2 protractors attached to the fence to the MFT.

Take a known good square (I use both the Anderson square and the Woodpeckers OTT 45 CM square both are equally square IMO)

I alsways square the fence to the guide rail.

Using the 2 protractors ensures a bomb proof set up If I have to move the fence I just turn the knob on the protractors and move the fence, even when I remove the fence as long as the rail or the protractors are not removed.

For sheet goods, My very first cut is to remove the factory edge and use that edge to butt up against the fence.  I make my rip cuts to width say 24". For timber I will joint one edge even if the timber is straight lined rip doesnt mean its jointed properly.

My second cut is to remove the other side (whats left of the 48" side of the sheet good) prior to cutting my sheet goods to size.

Then cross cut to length and check for square by measuring diagonally. Using the side you cut off the factory edge will not be square until you cross cut it.

Use a flipstop to ensure that you will get repeat cuts and also make sure that there isnt any wood dust etc on the table next to the fence any little bit will give you a less than square cut.
I have 10 flips stops bc I want repeatability for everything I cut and use them as a story pole to. The min you should have is 2 flip stops.

What are you useing to rip the sheet goods making tick marks and setting the guide rail on the marks, parallel guides etc? Beacuse if the white plastic tape (I forget te name right now) is worn or uneven it will cause the rip not to be square.  Learned that from Allen K.

Though I dont know and Im guessing, I dont know how far out of square you really are.

Weve had people complain about being a half a mm out.
 But the guide rail is a extrusion. They in themselves are not totally straight even if your using the MFT holes to square it with.

The holes are in perfect alignment but the fence and GR are extrusions.

That is why I set mine up the way I do.

Im not starting a war here on how to set up a MFT. Its all personal preference. What I explained is my preference.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 09:35 PM by jobsworth »

Offline yetihunter

  • Posts: 570
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2018, 03:49 PM »
There can only be a few things that could cause you work not being squared.
1) You piece isn't square
2) fence isnt square
3) rail isnt square

Sometime that little back plastic thing that tightens down the fence will move on ya when ya tighten it. But if you check with a square regularly

There must be different MFT hardware floating around. 
My fence would bend, no matter what.   My guide rail would be knocked
out of square the second you breath on it.  :)

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5236
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2018, 07:28 PM »
thats why I use 2 angle stops/ protectors it takes lot to move it out of square.

Though I never checked it I can get square cut with the fence I have

Offline SS Teach

  • Posts: 285
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2018, 05:28 PM »
Woodpeckers just introduced a new one time tool designed to take care of this problem. It will square your rail to your MFT easy peasy. Just saw the promo 1/9/18. You can check it out at their website.
RTS 400, LS 130, Sandpaper Systainer, Profile Systainer. ETS 125, Sandpaper Systainer, Ro 90, Sandpaper Systainer,  Ro 150, Sandpaper Systainer, OF 1400, TS 55 REQ, CT36, CXS Li 1.5 Set, Centrotec Wood-Drill-Set/8pcs, CT Wings, Surfix Set. Domino 500, Domino Systainer, Parallel Guide

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 38
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2018, 07:06 PM »
Two angle stops seems like a good idea if the fence is the problem. But my rail  is the problem. It moves out of square when I go up and down. I do think having to  buy another angle stop sucks just so a already expensive mft can do what it’s is supposed to do.

Offline KUMA

  • Posts: 19
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2018, 04:49 PM »
Man I just tried to start a similar thread having this exact same issue. I had no idea that adjusting the rail height would set you off square. I have also been squaring the fence to the rail with a 1281 square and then lifting the height to slide in some 18mm MDF and getting off square cuts.

It’s been doing my head in so I picked up some parf dogs at the advice from Peter to try and get square cuts. I’m lining them up exactly as I should be. Making some five cut tests and getting a resulting board about 490 x 500. I’d say that my cuts from one side to the other are still out by about 0.25mm, is one side will be 489.75mm and the other length about 490. This isn’t massive I know but it’s 0.5mm over a mentor span which seems way too far out for such a precision tool.

I’m pulling my hair out since I can’t figure out when I’m not getting square cuts...for me it now has to be down to either the rail, or the TS55.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3633
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #48 on: February 01, 2018, 05:21 PM »
Man I just tried to start a similar thread having this exact same issue. I had no idea that adjusting the rail height would set you off square. I have also been squaring the fence to the rail with a 1281 square and then lifting the height to slide in some 18mm MDF and getting off square cuts.

It’s been doing my head in so I picked up some parf dogs at the advice from Peter to try and get square cuts. I’m lining them up exactly as I should be. Making some five cut tests and getting a resulting board about 490 x 500. I’d say that my cuts from one side to the other are still out by about 0.25mm, is one side will be 489.75mm and the other length about 490. This isn’t massive I know but it’s 0.5mm over a mentor span which seems way too far out for such a precision tool.

I’m pulling my hair out since I can’t figure out when I’m not getting square cuts...for me it now has to be down to either the rail, or the TS55.

The whole issue with rail squareness shifting when one raises or lowers the rail can be eliminated when one uses a square that is ~1/2" higher than the material being cut.  The original MFT square from Woodpeckers was designed specifically for that purpose, and is 1-1/8" high.  The current Woodpeckers phenolic version is 3/4" thick, and requires one to lower the rail to square it before raising it to cut the material.  This is OK if one is using 6mm or 12mm material (or in that range) because there is enough meat for the rail to register against before being locked down.  If one is cutting 18/19mm (3/4") material, the accuracy goes out the window because one has to lower it to square it, then raise it again to accommodate the material being cut.   
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2615
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2018, 10:12 PM »
The whole issue with rail squareness shifting when one raises or lowers the rail can be eliminated when one uses a square that is ~1/2" higher than the material being cut.  The original MFT square from Woodpeckers was designed specifically for that purpose, and is 1-1/8" high.  The current Woodpeckers phenolic version is 3/4" thick, and requires one to lower the rail to square it before raising it to cut the material.  This is OK if one is using 6mm or 12mm material (or in that range) because there is enough meat for the rail to register against before being locked down.  If one is cutting 18/19mm (3/4") material, the accuracy goes out the window because one has to lower it to square it, then raise it again to accommodate the material being cut.   

You know, often you can square the rail after it has been set to the height of your material. Depends on the square, what you use for a fence, and how the height of the fence relates to the height (thickness) of your material. At least you could check for square before you make cuts. Just saying.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3633
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2018, 04:14 PM »
The whole issue with rail squareness shifting when one raises or lowers the rail can be eliminated when one uses a square that is ~1/2" higher than the material being cut.  The original MFT square from Woodpeckers was designed specifically for that purpose, and is 1-1/8" high.  The current Woodpeckers phenolic version is 3/4" thick, and requires one to lower the rail to square it before raising it to cut the material.  This is OK if one is using 6mm or 12mm material (or in that range) because there is enough meat for the rail to register against before being locked down.  If one is cutting 18/19mm (3/4") material, the accuracy goes out the window because one has to lower it to square it, then raise it again to accommodate the material being cut.   

You know, often you can square the rail after it has been set to the height of your material. Depends on the square, what you use for a fence, and how the height of the fence relates to the height (thickness) of your material. At least you could check for square before you make cuts. Just saying.

Concur.  My point was that when one squares the rail, one needs to use a square that exceeds the height of the material being cut by enough to properly register the square on the rail and simultaneously on the fence.
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2615
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2018, 05:07 PM »
You know, often you can square the rail after it has been set to the height of your material. Depends on the square, what you use for a fence, and how the height of the fence relates to the height (thickness) of your material. At least you could check for square before you make cuts. Just saying.

Concur.  My point was that when one squares the rail, one needs to use a square that exceeds the height of the material being cut by enough to properly register the square on the rail and simultaneously on the fence.

And my point is that you can use a square on top of the material you want to cut. Just place something like a pair of 1-2-3 blocks between the fence and your material to register the square against. A piece or two of sheet goods can work too.  [smile]
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1798
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2018, 07:30 PM »
All of these suggestions are great ones. I just have never had significant problems with the squareness since i have installed the Slop Stop and use the Woodpecker's MFT Square to check my fence/rail before making final crosscuts for a project. Using a "perfect" square with high sides installed or using a "perfect" square on top of the material to be cut all accomplish the same thing. I think if any of these (or any others that accomplish the same) are incorporated into the final crosscut process, no squareness issues will exist. No tool on the market does everything for you automatically so I have never expected the MFT/fence setup to keep itself square without some maintenance. I don't own any toll that doesn't require periodic checking and maintenance. Anyway, I think there are a lot of good ideas in the thread which, if implemented, will prevent frustration with the whole squareness issue. Sorry if anyone feels this is redundant or contradicts anything they have said. It wasn't intended to.
Randy

Offline jobsworth

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  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2018, 09:30 PM »
After reading this thread I thought id use my qwas dogs to square up the MFT fence, I had my 2 protractors attached to the fence pushed them up againt the dogs, then adj the rail. I checked for square using both the Anderson ply triangle and my woodpeckers 45cm triangle both showed the fence and rail to be dead nuts square. Ill start using the qwas dogs to square up the fence before I adj the rail. Just seems to do a easier better job.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3633
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #54 on: February 03, 2018, 09:08 AM »
My process for squaring starts with the MOST stable element (the MFT top) and works toward the LEAST stable element (the rail).  I first align the fence to the MFT top using QWAS dogs, tighten down the protractor and clamp the end of the fence down tight.  I then set the rail to the correct height for the material being cut.  I grab the original Woodpeckers MFT square and square the rail to the fence.  If I need to fine-tune the front feather key, I do so, being very careful to lock it down tight without shifting the feather key.  It is a process that works for me.  YMMV. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1798
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #55 on: February 03, 2018, 02:33 PM »
My process for squaring starts with the MOST stable element (the MFT top) and works toward the LEAST stable element (the rail).  I first align the fence to the MFT top using QWAS dogs, tighten down the protractor and clamp the end of the fence down tight.  I then set the rail to the correct height for the material being cut.  I grab the original Woodpeckers MFT square and square the rail to the fence.  If I need to fine-tune the front feather key, I do so, being very careful to lock it down tight without shifting the feather key.  It is a process that works for me.  YMMV.

A great clear cut, concise process which, I'm sure yields the results you require. While I do own dogs (Part and I think one other set) that I bought early in my MFT ownership, I prefer not to worry about lining the fence up with the dog holes as I have never really found any great use for that in my work. I merely use my "original" MFT Square to square up the rail to the fence. A little trick that Brian Sedgeley teaches in his classes is to wedge to pieces of paper in between one side of the square and the fence. If they both have the same tension when you try to pull them out, the fence is square and can be locked down. I think it just gives a final check on how really close to square it is (or not but in my mind it does). Anyway my crosscuts are squarer than the are with any other tool or setup I have in my shop. It is, for me, the most satisfying and comforting thing to know that this is one thing I don't need to worry about if I do a final check just before making final cuts to length.
Randy

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3633
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #56 on: February 03, 2018, 05:18 PM »
A great clear cut, concise process which, I'm sure yields the results you require. While I do own dogs (Part and I think one other set) that I bought early in my MFT ownership, I prefer not to worry about lining the fence up with the dog holes as I have never really found any great use for that in my work. I merely use my "original" MFT Square to square up the rail to the fence. A little trick that Brian Sedgeley teaches in his classes is to wedge to pieces of paper in between one side of the square and the fence. If they both have the same tension when you try to pull them out, the fence is square and can be locked down. I think it just gives a final check on how really close to square it is (or not but in my mind it does). Anyway my crosscuts are squarer than the are with any other tool or setup I have in my shop. It is, for me, the most satisfying and comforting thing to know that this is one thing I don't need to worry about if I do a final check just before making final cuts to length.

I, too, use Sedge's trick with the yellow stickies.  It's a great way to confirm the best fit.   [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline jobsworth

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Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #57 on: February 03, 2018, 06:18 PM »
Ill use it to. Thats the ony to really know if the fence is butted up to the dawgs