Having trouble with your Festool power tool? Well, we're here to help you. Before posting to the forum, give us a chance to diagnose and resolve your issue. In the U.S. and Canada, call us toll-free at 888-337-8600 on Monday-Friday between 8a-5p EST or contact us via email at service@festoolusa.com. For other countries, please visit http://www.festool.com for contact information for your local Festool service department.

Author Topic: Mft squaring problems  (Read 1447 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 21
Mft squaring problems
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:26 AM »
How often do you square up your mft?  I feel like I have to do it a couple of times a day. Is that normal? I use a wood pecker square and it's usually the inside corner where the track meets the rail will move just a hair. Enough to make my cuts off by 1/32 maybe. Any advice or input would be great. I also bought the accessory that goes under the track to prevent movement. I have seen all the videos. I have no problem making it square. It's keeping it square that I am having issues. Thanks in advance

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 Gregor

  • Posts: 581
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 03:10 AM »
Only when I had disassembled the fences and after moving it (the latter to be sure, no real deviations found so far).
As long as it stands in one place I havn't found issues.

Offline geoffshep

  • Posts: 153
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 04:04 AM »
You must be moving something between the operations for it to change.  Are you cutting different thicknesses and therefore raising/lowering the front and rear brackets?

Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
  • *
  • Posts: 3797
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 04:55 AM »
Have you tried doing away with all the MFT extra bits and just use some bench dog (tall and short) and a guide rail up against the tall dogs.

272165-0

There are dogs suitable for the task from Lee Valley, Qwas, TSO and Axminster.

You will be able to get consistent 90 deg and 45 deg cuts and never need to do any calibration at all.

Peter

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1989
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 05:10 AM »
Peter, as usual, is correct.

I use 2-3 bench dogs along the top of the MFT parallel to the long side. I square the fence to the dogs using a Woodpecker framing square. I tighten the fence bolts.

When I cut, I butt the wood against  the bench dogs, drop the fence making sure it nestles into the SlopStop, and lock down the fence. I do clamp the wood. I try to guide the TS55 without any side pressure.

I’ve never used the protractor that came with the MFT. The bench dogs work well for me. I use both Qwas dogs and the dogs Peter invented.

I get consistent square cuts.
Birdhunter

Offline geoffshep

  • Posts: 153
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 06:17 AM »
That is not what Peter is suggesting.  He is using dogs to position the workpiece, and also dogs to position the rail.  This is also the way I use the MFT - but it is not answering the OP's question.

The MFT default setup is fine for repeated cuts at a set thickness, but as soon as you adjust the guide rail clamp bracket up or down it can tilt, thus moving the support point for the rail out of square.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3402
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 08:25 AM »
As someone already mentioned, there can be some issues when you change the height of the rail brackets to accommodate different thicknesses.  I find that these can be minimized if when squaring up the rail you add a little tension in and use the slop stop.  I keep a scrap piece of plywood a little smaller than the surface area of the table, and have scribed a line from a trusted square on it (Woodpeckers 32" T-square).  So when I setup my MFT, I simply line up the splinterguard with the line and am ready to go, assuming, of course that the splinterguard is still relatively intact.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 21
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 11:30 AM »
Thanks for the input everyone. I think geoffshep and ear3 got it. I do lift the guide rail up and down for different thickness. For Peter and birdhunter I have considered that option but for the amount I spent on the mft I am not ready to give up on it. Peter thanks for all great videos btw!

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2418
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 12:59 PM »
This is a common problem that has been discussed here several times. Please read my post in this thread: TS55 + MFT/3 Not Cutting Straight
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 1989
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 01:05 PM »
I often adjust my rail to accommodate different wood thickness and never lost square. I guess I don’t understand how adjusting height affects square.
Birdhunter

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 703
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 01:57 PM »
Have you tried doing away with all the MFT extra bits and just use some bench dog (tall and short) and a guide rail up against the tall dogs.

(Attachment Link)

There are dogs suitable for the task from Lee Valley, Qwas, TSO and Axminster.

You will be able to get consistent 90 deg and 45 deg cuts and never need to do any calibration at all.

Peter

One thing I found out when I tried using my TSC55 wit the tall dogs was the lower battery will not clear the dogs as it overhangs the side of the rail.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
  • *
  • Posts: 3797
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 01:58 PM »
I often adjust my rail to accommodate different wood thickness and never lost square. I guess I don’t understand how adjusting height affects square.

If, as you raise the rail at the hinge end or the support at the free end, there is any left/right play then your squareness is lost.

Peter

Offline TSO Products

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 506
    • TSO Products
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 03:54 PM »
Have you tried doing away with all the MFT extra bits and just use some bench dog (tall and short) and a guide rail up against the tall dogs.

(Attachment Link)

There are dogs suitable for the task from Lee Valley, Qwas, TSO and Axminster.

You will be able to get consistent 90 deg and 45 deg cuts and never need to do any calibration at all.

Peter

One thing I found out when I tried using my TSC55 wit the tall dogs was the lower battery will not clear the dogs as it overhangs the side of the rail.

that is why TSO has developed  the "Stubby Dog" with a height of 40mm above the worksurface - just half the height of our Tall Dog. picture attached . Works great with 3/4 inch / 20mm thickness material. Let us know if there is interest and we'll stock them.
email to: info@tsoproducts.com

Hans
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE Guide Rail Squares -  the MTR-18 Triangle and Work Holding solutions

Offline Chris Perren

  • Posts: 71
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 04:03 PM »
@TSO Products

perfect solution for the TSC ...  I'm interested in ordering a set

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 703
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 05:00 PM »
Very nice Hans. My work around so far has been to remove the lower
battery for those few cuts that I have had a problem with and run on 18V.

Not the best but it worked.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 4552
  • Burger Babe Says: I Even Buy Green Bananas
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 01:29 PM »
When I was having similar issues with my MFT, used a slop stop

https://www.toolnut.com/tool-improvements-slop-stop-for-festool-mft-tables-and-rails.html

and also use 2 of the MFT angle stops (compasses ) rather then the little black plastic thing that locks the MFT fence in. That will make it almost bomb proof as long as you dont move angle stops you should be in good shape
Loving the Calif sun....

Offline greg mann

  • Posts: 1797
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 02:03 PM »
I often adjust my rail to accommodate different wood thickness and never lost square. I guess I don’t understand how adjusting height affects square.

Same here. I often remove and replace the rail and fence without issues. I leave the rail and the hinged support together when I do remove them but I just never seem to have the issues that others constantly do and I am pretty fussy about accuracy. I am also not relying on dogs either although I do believe that is a great technique and would use the dogs and holes if I ever do start to have problems. Maybe I am just lucky.

I don't doubt what others are saying but it is just not my experience.
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline Rudymejia12

  • Posts: 21
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 04:12 PM »
Jobsworth I'm not sure what angle stops your talking about. I already have the slop stop installed.
When I was having similar issues with my MFT, used a slop stop

https://www.toolnut.com/tool-improvements-slop-stop-for-festool-mft-tables-and-rails.html

and also use 2 of the MFT angle stops (compasses ) rather then the little black plastic thing that locks the MFT fence in. That will make it almost bomb proof as long as you dont move angle stops you should be in good shape

Offline Peter Halle

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 10925
  • Let's Redux / Revive / Rewind / Rollback the FOG!
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 08:19 AM »
He is saying that he uses two of the protractor heads instead of one protractor head and the small black fence clamp mechanism that original comes with the MFT/3 setup.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 66
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 08:58 AM »
I square mine using the 20mm holes and dogs then leave 2 dogs behind the fence touching. Seems to work

Offline TheSergeant

  • Posts: 74
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2017, 01:18 PM »
I've had 3 MFT/3s, none of them stay square.  There's a reason everyone uses Parf Dogs, Rail Dogs, etc.  Slop Stop only fixes half the problem.  The other half is the poor design of the rail support.  If you raise/lower the rail you have to resquare.   Frustrated with this I finally got rid of all my MFTs.  I built an MFTC which I love and now that I"m finished restoring my vintage mill I'll be making a set of dovetailed brackets like the ones below.  This is the design Festool should have gone with.  The dovetail design makes it's impossible for the rail to go out of square. 

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2418
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2017, 02:49 PM »
...  This is the design Festool should have gone with.  The dovetail design makes it's impossible for the rail to go out of square.

As I see it, the dovetail design is not unlike what Festool has done, it is just that Festool has not done a good job of it, leaving far too much slop in the system.

Another problem area with their design is the indexing pin that fits within the track on the underside of the rail. It is V shaped and if not raised up properly can be another issue for error in squaring. I see that your MFTC example also addresses this issue.

Well past time for Festool to address these issues.
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 4552
  • Burger Babe Says: I Even Buy Green Bananas
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2017, 04:50 PM »
what Peter said
Loving the Calif sun....

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1732
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2017, 05:55 PM »
I use the squaring method demonstrated online by Festool instructors Steve Bace and Brian Sedgely. Plus I have the Slop Stop installed. I check squareness with a Woodpeckers square. I rarely find the need to re-square unless I bump the guide rail or fence. While I agree that improvements are possible I don't find the current tools a problem and am not required to make adjustments very often.
Randy

Offline gnlman

  • Posts: 117
Re: Mft squaring problems
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2017, 06:35 PM »
Hi. I do not use the protractor, as I was having issues keeping square as well. I bought some dogs that attach to the original Festool fence installed them in the back holes, and square the guiderail to that with a square. Doing so gives you more cross cut capacity and before buying the slopstop I moved my front rail support over a wee bit so when the rail hit the top pin it had a little sideways pressure...had to shim the fence as well...once the slopstop was installed there was no need to do that anymore. I find that if I put the material under the rail before adjusting the height the rail lays flat on the material and keeps the back hinge from going out of square, then bring the front guiderail support up til it touches the guiderail and it stays square for me...I think the protractor was the main issue for me, but I also believe that I push the stock against the fence a little harder than needed....having the fence fixed and supported by the dogholes corrected this issue. Could the supports be better....yes, the dovetail idea is a very good one....but by doing what I did my frustrations with the mft were solved, and I really do like the table otherwise.
I should add that I also have the parf dog system, in certain cases with longer rails it works great, but I like the hinged guiderail system on the mft, it saves lifting the entire rail off the workpiece, and allows the use of the stops on the Festool fence. I think I have 4 stops on my fence allowing me to keep various measurement in memory since I screw up a lot when I'm cutting lots of pieces....lol
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 06:39 PM by gnlman »