Author Topic: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?  (Read 3380 times)

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Offline atxpop

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Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« on: December 30, 2014, 10:09 PM »
Hi everyone!

Thanks for the advice on my last question about which saw to get.  Now I am trying to think strategically and figure out which is the most cost effective way to make a difference in my shop.  Would you recommend getting the TS55 combo with the MFT3 table or the dust extractor? 

I currently use my blue shop vac brand vacuum for everything connected to a dust deputy via bungee cord and it is cumbersome to say the least.  But I really like the idea of using all the dog holes on the MFT to clamp and make super square cuts, really reducing my dependence on my old black and decker 10" miter saw. 

I have considered getting a piece of MDF CNCd to the pattern of the MFT top and building my own base paired with some Parf dogs or Qwaz dogs.   I don't really need the portability that the MFT offers as I never leave the garage. 

I found this website http://www.multifunctionslab.com that has a downloadable plan to take to a CNC shop to have them cut the top for me and this way I could kinda have all three things I want.  The saw, dust extractor, and the MFT.   

Thoughts? Advice?  Also, is the CTmini adequate enough or should I do the 26?

Thanks!!

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Offline anthonyz

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 10:18 PM »
I just got my MFT table, but have had the ts55 and Midi for sometime. They are a great combo. for my off feed table for my table saw, I drilled 20mm holes as a makeshift MFT which I have used for over a year and has worked well for me. You can get pretty accurate with just the guide rail and a good square and if you buy the saw with a CT, you can get a package discount. I think you can get away without an MFT table until you can make that next upgrade. The CT is a great vac and is much quitter than most shop vacs, plus it will run with the saw rather than all the time. I like the Midi for portability and takes up little room in the shop.

Offline neilc

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 10:19 PM »
You have not said what kind of work you are doing, what other tools you own, whether you have a workbench, etc. 

I have the MFT as well as a CT vac in my shop.  I use them both.  But if I was going to buy one, I'd probably start with the vac and use sawhorses, or a bench to start.  Great suction.  Low noise.  Variable speed.  Works great with the saw or other tools. 

You could add an MFT at a later time when you buy a sander or another tool (which is highly likely as you glide down the green slippery slope) and get a package deal, or as you say, get a top made or buy one from Festool and make a frame for it.  The MFT is a terrific work holding and assembly table, and it's easy to replicate, and frankly a great project early on with your tools.  Making one also gives you confidence and the opportunity to make one to the size and options that you like.  There are plenty of examples on FOG to inspire you!

As to Vac's I would start with either the CT-26 or the CT-Midi depending on how much you cut.  The larger vac gives you more capacity and the option of a boom arm and other accessories.  The smaller vac gives you more portability.  Same suction from both.  Both tool triggered.  I own both but use the CT-26 in my shop and the CT-Midi for portable project use and to vacuum the cars on weekends.

Welcome to the FOG and ask plenty of questions.  Many here with a lot of experience!

neil

Offline roblg3

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 10:34 PM »
My experience?  The extractor can be done with any ole shop vac for now.  the track saw along with the mft gives you a giant sliding miter saw!  The mft will show you easier ways to do bout 1000 things.  It's waaaaaaaaaay more than just a workbench! I suggest getting the stabilizer arms for it, they create a much more stable work platform.  Festools dust extractors are the core of the SYSTEM and second to none with fein being a close second. You dont need variable suction until you get into sanding.  At which time you can buy them as a combo and get the 10% off the extractor then. You'll get the exact same suction from all the vacs.  The only thing is capacity.  I have a mini that I carry with me in the truck because it's so portable.  I have a 36 in the shop.  both have very similar performance numbers.  The only thing is a larger, shorter hose catches more dust on say, a kapex.  Mostly the small hose that comes with the mini gets the job done just fine though.
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises

Offline Mavrik

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 11:17 PM »
That's like trying to choose between children! The TS55, vac and MFT work intimately together in a beautiful harmony. The vac is actually the centre of the "system" since its vacuum pipe plugs into all festools and its plugit plug plugs into all festools. You have tortured me today by making me imagine woodwork without any of those 3. And I don't want to. I have found that the most expensive tools in my workshop were the critical festools I didn't buy and subsequently replaced with festools. In my opinion these are the critical ones
TS55, MFT 1080, PS300, EHL 65, Domino, OF 1010, CTL 22, RO 125, BS75

Offline ear3

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 09:05 AM »
Keep in mind that the MFT probably has more immediate add-on costs than the CT.  I assume you'll get the MFT/3 rather than the basic version.  Then you have the dogs, the clamping elements, a couple of clamps (either quick or screw).  You're approaching $1000 at this point just to make the table fully functional.  Whereas with the CT, you just need a couple of bags and you're good.  Though even here you might be tempted to add on a 36mm hose to improve TS extraction (Bosch makes a cheaper version of the AS hose BTW).

I worked with a regular shop-vac for a while with the TS before I got the CT, a setup which I found to be adequate.  Though once I started throwing sanders and jigsaws into the mix, the CT was irreplaceable.

For my money, I would start with the MFT over the CT, since it expands the capabilities of the TS tremendously.  Here's what's going to happen, though.  You will purchase either the MFT or the Vac.  Then in a couple of weeks or months you will be like "darn, I could really use that other tool as well.  My miter saw/shop vac is just not cutting it right now."  And then you will go out and purchase the other one.
     
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Offline waho6o9

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 09:30 AM »
MFT3 no doubt about it.  Get some rail dogs and qwas dogs

with some clamps and you're good to go.

Forward thinking would be to get the rails with the holes in it.

" Now I am trying to think strategically and figure out which is the most cost effective way to make a difference in my shop"

The MFT3 will do that and pay you dividends to boot.

For added stability I've bolted my MFT3 to the wall with lags and she's solid.
 [smile]

Offline woodsmann

  • Posts: 13
Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 10:43 AM »
I recently had the same choice. My thinking was: You can build a table. You can't build a vacuum. And, your shop vac will not clean the exhaust like a dust extractor.

Lungs are a hassle to replace.
Woodsmann

Offline rvieceli

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 10:58 AM »
My understanding is that the 10% of package deal on the MFT is only available when you purchase the track saws or the Kapex. The dust extractor can be combined with any of the power tools.

Offline roblg3

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Re: Which combo to purchase? TS55 w/ dust extractor or MFT3?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2014, 05:14 PM »
Your saw is going to come with a rail.  The mft comes with a rail.  Some people swear that makita rail connectors are better than the festool ones.  I second the notion of switching to the LR-32 rail, it provides for future operations and may cost like $10 extra if at all.  Like was mentioned, the %10 discount can be grabbed buying the mft with the saw.  Here's the REAL DEAL part of the MFT....it's all about the ability to use it as a saw table.  sure, it's fantastic for LOADS of other things, but if you don't care about the giant sliding miter saw capabilities, then skip it all together and build your own bench.  You can always buy an MFT Replacement top if you like the hole pattern for holding work, or make your own.  If you're planning on using it as a bench for sanding and holding stuff, there's less expensive and good options then you can buy dogs and clamping elements with the saved $$.  Scoop up the other %10 price break and grab the ct when you pick up some other tool( I highly recommend the Rotex 90 and/or 150.  I LOVE the LS it's teets!! but a specialty sander for sure.  I have these and I feel like those are all I need.  (The 125 is stuck in the middle, always too big, or not big enough.)  Whenever possible ALWAYS buy the set if offered it's much cheaper that way and you'll figure out ways to use everything they put in there.  I don't own every Festool made, but I think i have at least 1 of every type of tool they make,  all have big pluses and some negatives,  the MFT is a BIG version of a kapex and deletes the need for one(if you're not a pro).  Ok, I'm done.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 05:56 PM by roblg3 »
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises