Author Topic: DIY MFT Question  (Read 4291 times)

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Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
DIY MFT Question
« on: August 01, 2017, 09:22 AM »
I'm a newbie to woodworking and took a stab at making my own Mft/3 top.   In the end all looked well and aligned but the 20mm holes were off.  If I put a drywall square to a row of holes, I can see them gradually drift from a straight line.  I took a full 4x8 sheet of MDF from Home Depot to make this top.  Is it possible the sheet wasn't squared?  Should I have trimmed the edges first?  What process should I have done to make the sheet square before drilling the holes?  What tools do more experienced guys use to square a sheet of material?  I was thinking of investing in the TSO GRS-16 square for my rail. 
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 09:34 AM »
Just to make you feel better I made this mistake on my first shop cabinet. Used the GRS-16 to make all my cuts so everything was square except the factory edge which wasn't  [blink]. Same deal from the Home Depot, I don't usually use a factory edge but was trying to utilize the whole sheet on this.

I used the GRS-16 to trim the factory edges square and work from there on the rest.

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 09:37 AM »
Thanks for the quick response.  I guess it's time to invest in t he TSO then.  Any other measuring tool I should invest in?  I have regular drywall t square and carpenter squares.
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Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 580
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 09:44 AM »
I had a great experience with Peter Parfitt's guides for making an MFT top.  The resulting grid was perfect, as was the size of the holes.

Offline Dane

  • Posts: 298
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 09:46 AM »
I'd say the Woodrave MFT jig is by far the easiest way to build one accurately.  Only 40.00.  The hole pattern isn't the same as the MFT, but I don't think that has much of an impact on anything.  If you do a search for "Woodrave" on the site, you can see how it works.

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 09:46 AM »
I had a great experience with Peter Parfitt's guides for making an MFT top.  The resulting grid was perfect, as was the size of the holes.

I'm looking into that right now actually.  Watching his YouTube videos.  Maybe between that and the TSO everything will come out nice and square.  Figured I need the TSO to square the edges then start the Peter Parfitt guide
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 09:46 AM »
Thanks for the quick response.  I guess it's time to invest in t he TSO then.  Any other measuring tool I should invest in?  I have regular drywall t square and carpenter squares.

This is a slippery slope just like your Festool tools....I love my Woodpeckers scales and T-Squares but you better sit down when you add them to your cart and see the final price of measuring tools. I justified that my daughter will have these handed down and can pass them onto her kids as the family heirloom from Dad  [wink]

I have some Incra items I use that are priced a little more reasonable.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 10:24 AM by Atonwa »

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 09:51 AM »
Thanks for the quick response.  I guess it's time to invest in t he TSO then.  Any other measuring tool I should invest in?  I have regular drywall t square and carpenter squares.

This is a slippery slope just like your Festool tools....I love my Woodpeckers scales and T-Squares but you better sit down when you add them to your cart and see the final price of measuring tools. I justified that my daughter will have these handed down and can pass them onto her kids as the family heriloom from Dad  [wink]

I have some Incra items I use that are priced a little more reasonable.

I'm finding that out quickly.  Only good thing is resale one Festool and Woodpecker tools seem to be pretty good.  Has me thinking though, do I get the tools and make the top myself, or just invest in the Festool MFT/3 kit.  I'm a newbie so was thinking I need a fence on my workbench for repetitive cuts.  Is there a way to use a basic MFT with no fence and just parf dogs and have a setup for repetitive cuts?
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Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 10:08 AM »
I'd say the Woodrave MFT jig is by far the easiest way to build one accurately.  Only 40.00.  The hole pattern isn't the same as the MFT, but I don't think that has much of an impact on anything.  If you do a search for "Woodrave" on the site, you can see how it works.

Thanks.  I don't currently have a a handheld router. My only router is in my router table and its a big Porter Cable 7518.  Looks like for the woodrave jig I need to invest in a handheld plunge router.  Looks like either the woodrave or Peter Parfitt setups need a good square start, so looks like the TSO is needed regardless.  Then it's a matter of drilling holes with a plunge router or drill.
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 10:22 AM »
I'm finding that out quickly.  Only good thing is resale one Festool and Woodpecker tools seem to be pretty good.  Has me thinking though, do I get the tools and make the top myself, or just invest in the Festool MFT/3 kit.  I'm a newbie so was thinking I need a fence on my workbench for repetitive cuts.  Is there a way to use a basic MFT with no fence and just parf dogs and have a setup for repetitive cuts?

This is pretty much TSO's market, being able to use a basic MFT table with accessories. Check out these:

Dogs and Accessories

Precision Triangles

My review

Now overall you'll spend more than just buying the set but you will end up with some dogs eventually anyway.

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 10:27 AM »
I'm finding that out quickly.  Only good thing is resale one Festool and Woodpecker tools seem to be pretty good.  Has me thinking though, do I get the tools and make the top myself, or just invest in the Festool MFT/3 kit.  I'm a newbie so was thinking I need a fence on my workbench for repetitive cuts.  Is there a way to use a basic MFT with no fence and just parf dogs and have a setup for repetitive cuts?

This is pretty much TSO's market, being able to use a basic MFT table with accessories. Check out these:

Dogs and Accessories

Precision Triangles

My review

Now overall you'll spend more than just buying the set but you will end up with some dogs eventually anyway.

Thanks.  Will check it out.  I guess my confusion which led to my question of using parf dogs for repetitive cuts is....
For example:  Lets say I need 5 pieces cut at 23 inches.  Lets say the 23 inches doesn't fall where I can place a parf dog for the piece to rest up against.  How do people do repetitive cuts with just parf dogs and no fence and flip down stop?
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 10:37 AM »
I either get out my Festool MFT rail with the flip stop and go about aligning it on the table (which takes a bit) or I make a spacer that is the correct width to make up the difference to a pair of dogs and clamp it to the table.

It all depends on how many I have to do if it's worth the time to set up the MFT.

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 10:39 AM »
I either get out my Festool MFT rail with the flip stop and go about aligning it on the table (which takes a bit) or I make a spacer that is the correct width to make up the difference to a pair of dogs and clamp it to the table.

It all depends on how many I have to do if it's worth the time to set up the MFT.

Thanks for that clarification.  Do you find the festoon MFT/3 a good size or wish it were longer?
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 10:46 AM »
Thanks for that clarification.  Do you find the festoon MFT/3 a good size or wish it were longer?

Depends on what your planning to build. I tend to do larger items so it's always just too short usually and I end up using an outfeed support for my tablesaw.

I was able to find a pair of Festool ~6 1/2' MFT long rails that aren't available in the US and a discounted KAPEX MFT so I'm building my own using the combination of parts here shortly. Actually heading to a large CNC tomorrow to have the top cut from MDO.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 10:49 AM by Atonwa »

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 11:34 AM »
Thanks for that clarification.  Do you find the festoon MFT/3 a good size or wish it were longer?

Depends on what your planning to build. I tend to do larger items so it's always just too short usually and I end up using an outfeed support for my tablesaw.

I was able to find a pair of Festool ~6 1/2' MFT long rails that aren't available in the US and a discounted KAPEX MFT so I'm building my own using the combination of parts here shortly. Actually heading to a large CNC tomorrow to have the top cut from MDO.
My planned projects will consists of dressers, bathroom vanity, closet, side tables, etc.  I don't have room for a nice size table saw so that's why I went with the track saw.  I did call around some sign shops to CNC a top and they wanted $300 and up.
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Online Gregor

  • Posts: 543
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 01:45 PM »
My planned projects will consists of dressers, bathroom vanity, closet, side tables, etc.  I don't have room for a nice size table saw so that's why I went with the track saw.  I did call around some sign shops to CNC a top and they wanted $300 and up.
In case you might have the need at some point for shelving holes: think about a holey rail, the LR-32 and a small router (like the 1010).
This would give you the means of generating MFT tops in any dimension you need. Could even be cheaper as a one-trick pony (get it, make your worktops, sell it off used - unless you decide to keep it) compared to a CNC shop for the worktop you want.

Is there a way to use a basic MFT with no fence and just parf dogs and have a setup for repetitive cuts?

Lets say I need 5 pieces cut at 23 inches.  Lets say the 23 inches doesn't fall where I can place a parf dog for the piece to rest up against.  How do people do repetitive cuts with just parf dogs and no fence and flip down stop?
For this you would measure the 23 inches on the first workpiece, use the dogs to square the rail aligned to the mark and then clamp a cutoff behind the workpiece (so you can exchange it with the next after the cut without changing the position of the rail, effectively using the two dogs you put your workpiece against as the back fence of the MFT).

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 01:50 PM »
My planned projects will consists of dressers, bathroom vanity, closet, side tables, etc.  I don't have room for a nice size table saw so that's why I went with the track saw.  I did call around some sign shops to CNC a top and they wanted $300 and up.
In case you might have the need at some point for shelving holes: think about a holey rail, the LR-32 and a small router (like the 1010).
This would give you the means of generating MFT tops in any dimension you need. Could even be cheaper as a one-trick pony (get it, make your worktops, sell it off used - unless you decide to keep it) compared to a CNC shop for the worktop you want.

That's an idea I was playing with.  I was actually looking into the LR32 and the 1400 router.  Some say the 1400 is better off for rabbets and dadoes.  Have to do my reviews on the 1010 vs 1400.  I know there are cheaper alternatives for shelf pins, like the Kreg unit, but nothing seems to come out as clean as the Festool system.  Maybe it was just the one time I used the Kreg or I did something wrong, but the holes didn't look as nice compared to ones I've seen done with the LR32 system.  Right now torn whether to make my own top or just buy a MFT/3 replacement top, use it on some saw horses for now and get rolling with some parf dogs and clamps.  My concern is whether the MFT/3 top is a good size or do I need larger. 

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Online Svar

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 02:04 PM »
What process should I have done to make the sheet square before drilling the holes?
If you don't want to buy expensive trinkets, lay out right angle using trammel and measuring tape. Trim. Compare diagonals to each other and opposite sides (in case it its an isosceles trapezoid) as a final check.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 02:17 PM by Svar »

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 45
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 02:22 PM »
I'm not sure if you actually need the top to be square; just the holes need to be square to each other.  But if you have a square pattern of holes, you should be able to get the sides cut to reference the square hole pattern using dogs + a rail (and spacers).

Offline Getmaverick

  • Posts: 81
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 03:07 PM »
I had a local guy CNC mine for $60.00. Download the forms from TSO and call some large cabinet shops that use CNC.
you may have to wait awhile but its not going to cost you $300.00.

Offline Neal W

  • Posts: 110
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 03:46 PM »
For most people when they build things, the pieces need to be square and consistently sized.  This has always been one of my biggest challenges in woodworking prior to investing in the Festool System.  How do I cut a piece of 4x8 plywood into equally sized, very square pieces to make these things? 

The first thing was a track saw.  It allowed me to cut long straight lines.  Free handing a circular saw was not a good option for me.  I could practice all day long and could not stay on that line. 

The second thing was a 1281 square and then the 26" woodworkers square from woodpeckers.  This allowed me to line up the tracks for that perfectly square cut. Eventually I also purchased the 18" precision square from woodpeckers.

Then it was the need to have a perforated top for the smaller, repeatable cuts, and other functions.  So I made one.  Like you said, your holes are only square if you do the work on the front side and have square and parallel sides to work from.  And the factory edge may or may not be (and it always ugly and rough).  I made mine with the LR-32.  Bought it used. I've also used it for other things and will use it for more in the coming years.   

But I still wanted an easier way to make those long square cuts, so I bought the GRS-16 from TSO products.  You want to talk about money well spent.  Always square and makes it easier to use.  If I had to choose between my Woodpecker's squares and the GRS for rail setup, I'll take the GRS-16. 

I will pick up my MFT table next Monday.  Again, accurate repeat-ability are important for many projects, and I'm hoping the MFT with it's bells and whistles will further improve my ability to achieve those results over and above my homemade top and table. 

If I knew then what i know now, this is what I would purchase (if available). 

TS-55 with the holey rail. 
GRS-16 from TSO products.
EITHER the 26" (or metric equivalent) woodpecker's square or the 18" Woodpecker's precision triangle, both are one time tools though.  AT that point TSO's triangle starts to look appealing because you can get it more easily.  At worst the Woodpecker 1281 square.  I don't think I would buy both the Woodpecker's OTT's. 
LR-32 system, which is great for making tops, AND shelf pin holes too. 
Festool OF1400 router (to use with the LR-32 of course and other things).

This gives me a great foundation to make square, straight, and repeatable cuts, so when I put a box together it looks like a box and not a wonky parallelogram.




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Online Gregor

  • Posts: 543
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2017, 04:14 PM »
What process should I have done to make the sheet square before drilling the holes?
If you don't want to buy expensive trinkets, lay out right angle using trammel and measuring tape. Trim. Compare diagonals to each other and opposite sides (in case it its an isosceles trapezoid) as a final check.
In case you have the LR-32 you would need to clean one edge and make another one 90° to it - so you'll need a square once to create that one corner, unless you want to triangulate using measurements - then you can use the system to make your pattern from there: with two lines of 5mm holes (one on each side) to index the rail in one direction using two shelf pins, referencing the other direction on the other known good edge (90° to the first).

What did you use to make the holes in your fist attempt?

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2017, 04:15 PM »
For most people when they build things, the pieces need to be square and consistently sized.  This has always been one of my biggest challenges in woodworking prior to investing in the Festool System.  How do I cut a piece of 4x8 plywood into equally sized, very square pieces to make these things? 

The first thing was a track saw.  It allowed me to cut long straight lines.  Free handing a circular saw was not a good option for me.  I could practice all day long and could not stay on that line. 

The second thing was a 1281 square and then the 26" woodworkers square from woodpeckers.  This allowed me to line up the tracks for that perfectly square cut. Eventually I also purchased the 18" precision square from woodpeckers.

Then it was the need to have a perforated top for the smaller, repeatable cuts, and other functions.  So I made one.  Like you said, your holes are only square if you do the work on the front side and have square and parallel sides to work from.  And the factory edge may or may not be (and it always ugly and rough).  I made mine with the LR-32.  Bought it used. I've also used it for other things and will use it for more in the coming years.   

But I still wanted an easier way to make those long square cuts, so I bought the GRS-16 from TSO products.  You want to talk about money well spent.  Always square and makes it easier to use.  If I had to choose between my Woodpecker's squares and the GRS for rail setup, I'll take the GRS-16. 

I will pick up my MFT table next Monday.  Again, accurate repeat-ability are important for many projects, and I'm hoping the MFT with it's bells and whistles will further improve my ability to achieve those results over and above my homemade top and table. 

If I knew then what i know now, this is what I would purchase (if available). 

TS-55 with the holey rail. 
GRS-16 from TSO products.
EITHER the 26" (or metric equivalent) woodpecker's square or the 18" Woodpecker's precision triangle, both are one time tools though.  AT that point TSO's triangle starts to look appealing because you can get it more easily.  At worst the Woodpecker 1281 square.  I don't think I would buy both the Woodpecker's OTT's. 
LR-32 system, which is great for making tops, AND shelf pin holes too. 
Festool OF1400 router (to use with the LR-32 of course and other things).

This gives me a great foundation to make square, straight, and repeatable cuts, so when I put a box together it looks like a box and not a wonky parallelogram.






Thanks for that info.  I was looking at the LR32 earlier and found 2 different models, the 583290 and the 583291.  The 583291 comes in a systainer and cost a lot more than the 583290.  Which model would I need to make shelf pin holes and my own MFT top?
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Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2017, 04:17 PM »
What process should I have done to make the sheet square before drilling the holes?
If you don't want to buy expensive trinkets, lay out right angle using trammel and measuring tape. Trim. Compare diagonals to each other and opposite sides (in case it its an isosceles trapezoid) as a final check.
In case you have the LR-32 you would need to clean one edge and make another one 90° to it - so you'll need a square once to create that one corner, unless you want to triangulate using measurements - then you can use the system to make your pattern from there: with two lines of 5mm holes (one on each side) to index the rail in one direction using two shelf pins, referencing the other direction on the other known good edge (90° to the first).

What did you use to make the holes in your fist attempt?

I do not have the LR32 system yet.  Was looking earlier and found 2 different models.  One in a systainer and one without.  The one without was a lot cheaper option.  Not sure which one I need.

For my first attempt, I purchased the Lee Valley 20mm Bushing and drill bit.
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Online Gregor

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2017, 05:26 PM »
I do not have the LR32 system yet.  Was looking earlier and found 2 different models.  One in a systainer and one without.  The one without was a lot cheaper option.  Not sure which one I need.
The LR 32 SET (compared to the SYS) misses the LA-LR 32 FS (which you'll most likely need), two FSZ 120 clamps (dito), the 35mm and the two 5mm drill bits and the systainer. The SYS is IMHO better as the systainer and the two FSZ 120 alone nearly account for the extra € (compared to the SET at the prices here in germany), giving you the LA-LR and the drills for 'free'.

Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2017, 05:38 PM »
The LR 32 SET (compared to the SYS) misses the LA-LR 32 FS (which you'll most likely need), two FSZ 120 clamps (dito), the 35mm and the two 5mm drill bits and the systainer. The SYS is IMHO better as the systainer and the two FSZ 120 alone nearly account for the extra € (compared to the SET at the prices here in germany), giving you the LA-LR and the drills for 'free'.

This is great advice here. Plus the fact if you do purchase the OF1400 it screws to the bottom of the router with some special screws. There is a lot of different parts to keep organized/not lost. The systainer keeps it perfectly organized and adds those extra pieces.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2017, 06:34 AM »
I'm a newbie to woodworking and took a stab at making my own Mft/3 top.   In the end all looked well and aligned but the 20mm holes were off.  If I put a drywall square to a row of holes, I can see them gradually drift from a straight line.  I took a full 4x8 sheet of MDF from Home Depot to make this top.  Is it possible the sheet wasn't squared?  Should I have trimmed the edges first?  What process should I have done to make the sheet square before drilling the holes?  What tools do more experienced guys use to square a sheet of material?  I was thinking of investing in the TSO GRS-16 square for my rail.

As Harvey says, it is worth taking a look at the Parf Guide System. I have demonstrated its amazing accuracy using the 5 cut test.



Peter

Offline joiner1970

  • Posts: 3204
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2017, 03:59 PM »
I'm a newbie to woodworking and took a stab at making my own Mft/3 top.   In the end all looked well and aligned but the 20mm holes were off.  If I put a drywall square to a row of holes, I can see them gradually drift from a straight line.  I took a full 4x8 sheet of MDF from Home Depot to make this top.  Is it possible the sheet wasn't squared?  Should I have trimmed the edges first?  What process should I have done to make the sheet square before drilling the holes?  What tools do more experienced guys use to square a sheet of material?  I was thinking of investing in the TSO GRS-16 square for my rail.

As Harvey says, it is worth taking a look at the Parf Guide System. I have demonstrated its amazing accuracy using the 5 cut test.



Peter
I was over at high Wycombe on Monday don't often get over that way. Suddenly though to myself great axminster is round the corner, I can take a look at the Parf dogs. Sadly they didn't have any in stock :-(

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2017, 04:17 PM »
I was over at high Wycombe on Monday don't often get over that way. Suddenly though to myself great axminster is round the corner, I can take a look at the Parf dogs. Sadly they didn't have any in stock :-(

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Hi Chris

The PGS keeps selling out and Axminster have had to put on extra shifts to keep production up. The shops always seem to sell out quickly.  I am sorry that you will have to wait a bit longer.

Peter

Offline joiner1970

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2017, 04:26 PM »
I was over at high Wycombe on Monday don't often get over that way. Suddenly though to myself great axminster is round the corner, I can take a look at the Parf dogs. Sadly they didn't have any in stock :-(

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Hi Chris

The PGS keeps selling out and Axminster have had to put on extra shifts to keep production up. The shops always seem to sell out quickly.  I am sorry that you will have to wait a bit longer.

Peter
Yeah I'm guessing they're selling well. I just dropped in on the off chance while over that way. I saw your kits in the tubes and axminsters version of an mft.

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Offline Atonwa

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2017, 08:54 PM »
Went over and had my custom MFT top ran on the CNC today. We had to get a bit creative because only the smaller one was open but it came out great and I simply will trim to size when I get the Kapex MFT in on Thursday.

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Offline DIY WoodWerx

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2017, 09:21 PM »
That looks nice.  I'm trying to see if I can figure out a way to try again with the tools I have from Lee Valley and the woodpecker story stick. 
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Offline DIY WoodWerx

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2017, 09:33 PM »
Went over and had my custom MFT top ran on the CNC today. We had to get a bit creative because only the smaller one was open but it came out great and I simply will trim to size when I get the Kapex MFT in on Thursday.
What are the dimensions of that top?
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Offline Atonwa

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2017, 10:02 PM »
What are the dimensions of that top?

Thanks, the top will be 32.06" x 81.94" when cut to final length. It is a combination of the Kapex MFT longer rail and the hard to find 2 meter Festool rail that I was lucky enough to purchase from a FOG member. This will be my center worktable with an integrated table saw at the one end so it will function as an outfeed table for that also.


Offline DIY WoodWerx

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2017, 12:22 PM »
For most people when they build things, the pieces need to be square and consistently sized.  This has always been one of my biggest challenges in woodworking prior to investing in the Festool System.  How do I cut a piece of 4x8 plywood into equally sized, very square pieces to make these things? 

The first thing was a track saw.  It allowed me to cut long straight lines.  Free handing a circular saw was not a good option for me.  I could practice all day long and could not stay on that line. 

The second thing was a 1281 square and then the 26" woodworkers square from woodpeckers.  This allowed me to line up the tracks for that perfectly square cut. Eventually I also purchased the 18" precision square from woodpeckers.

Then it was the need to have a perforated top for the smaller, repeatable cuts, and other functions.  So I made one.  Like you said, your holes are only square if you do the work on the front side and have square and parallel sides to work from.  And the factory edge may or may not be (and it always ugly and rough).  I made mine with the LR-32.  Bought it used. I've also used it for other things and will use it for more in the coming years.   

But I still wanted an easier way to make those long square cuts, so I bought the GRS-16 from TSO products.  You want to talk about money well spent.  Always square and makes it easier to use.  If I had to choose between my Woodpecker's squares and the GRS for rail setup, I'll take the GRS-16. 

I will pick up my MFT table next Monday.  Again, accurate repeat-ability are important for many projects, and I'm hoping the MFT with it's bells and whistles will further improve my ability to achieve those results over and above my homemade top and table. 

If I knew then what i know now, this is what I would purchase (if available). 

TS-55 with the holey rail. 
GRS-16 from TSO products.
EITHER the 26" (or metric equivalent) woodpecker's square or the 18" Woodpecker's precision triangle, both are one time tools though.  AT that point TSO's triangle starts to look appealing because you can get it more easily.  At worst the Woodpecker 1281 square.  I don't think I would buy both the Woodpecker's OTT's. 
LR-32 system, which is great for making tops, AND shelf pin holes too. 
Festool OF1400 router (to use with the LR-32 of course and other things).

This gives me a great foundation to make square, straight, and repeatable cuts, so when I put a box together it looks like a box and not a wonky parallelogram.






Thanks for that info.  I was looking at the LR32 earlier and found 2 different models, the 583290 and the 583291.  The 583291 comes in a systainer and cost a lot more than the 583290.  Which model would I need to make shelf pin holes and my own MFT top?

I wanted to get some input on more experienced woodworkers workflow as I am a newbie.  Assuming I get the TSO GRS-16 and either purchase or create a nice square MFT top.  What should be my workflow?

1- Cut all 4 of the factory edges off the 4x8 sheet or what whatever dimension sheet I bring home (sometimes I have them cut it in half at the store for transport purposes) from the big box store with the GRS-16.
2- Then once I cut all 4 sides with the GRS-16, transfer over to the MDF workbench and cut to size and do my repetitive cuts there?
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2017, 02:01 PM »
I wanted to get some input on more experienced woodworkers workflow as I am a newbie.  Assuming I get the TSO GRS-16 and either purchase or create a nice square MFT top.  What should be my workflow?

1- Cut all 4 of the factory edges off the 4x8 sheet or what whatever dimension sheet I bring home (sometimes I have them cut it in half at the store for transport purposes) from the big box store with the GRS-16.
2- Then once I cut all 4 sides with the GRS-16, transfer over to the MDF workbench and cut to size and do my repetitive cuts there?

First off Neal's advice above is spot on, if I had to do it again that would be my choices too.

As for your workflow I can use these cabinets I'm working on today (finally getting shop cabinets done!). These are made of 3/4" Plywood primarily and also 1/2" for the top that's currently on it. It will be getting a Paulk style MFT top also.

Steps:

1. Take off factory edge of plywood on end and one side to use as reference edges.
2. Cut with track saw to cabinet depth by marking out along long edge and using the GRS-16 to ensure square. Reference your marks just to be sure.
3. Once pieces are cut to depth they will be transferred to the MFT. My pieces were 8' long and cut to cabinet, shelf, and support rail width.
4. Using an  outfeed support like this, square up your MFT and end stop rail, set your end stop to the proper length for height of cabinet, length of rail, etc and cut all pieces to ensure they are the same.
5. Using your router, create any dado or rabbits needed in all boards.
6. Using the LR32 system, set up and run all cabinet sides for holes.
7. Using the Kreg pocket screw system (if you plan to pocket screw) drill all holes needed in all parts.
8. Sand all pieces.
9. Using the MFT & the required clamps for alignment, glue and screw all cabinets together.
10. Finish sand all edges, paint or seal.

That is a quick dirty guide, lots of videos on youtube. These are based off the Benchworks System Benches and Cabinets (Bought his plans).

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 02:03 PM by Atonwa »

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2017, 03:41 PM »
I wanted to get some input on more experienced woodworkers workflow as I am a newbie.  Assuming I get the TSO GRS-16 and either purchase or create a nice square MFT top.  What should be my workflow?

1- Cut all 4 of the factory edges off the 4x8 sheet or what whatever dimension sheet I bring home (sometimes I have them cut it in half at the store for transport purposes) from the big box store with the GRS-16.
2- Then once I cut all 4 sides with the GRS-16, transfer over to the MDF workbench and cut to size and do my repetitive cuts there?

First off Neal's advice above is spot on, if I had to do it again that would be my choices too.

As for your workflow I can use these cabinets I'm working on today (finally getting shop cabinets done!). These are made of 3/4" Plywood primarily and also 1/2" for the top that's currently on it. It will be getting a Paulk style MFT top also.

Steps:

1. Take off factory edge of plywood on end and one side to use as reference edges.
2. Cut with track saw to cabinet depth by marking out along long edge and using the GRS-16 to ensure square. Reference your marks just to be sure.
3. Once pieces are cut to depth they will be transferred to the MFT. My pieces were 8' long and cut to cabinet, shelf, and support rail width.
4. Using an  outfeed support like this, square up your MFT and end stop rail, set your end stop to the proper length for height of cabinet, length of rail, etc and cut all pieces to ensure they are the same.
5. Using your router, create any dado or rabbits needed in all boards.
6. Using the LR32 system, set up and run all cabinet sides for holes.
7. Using the Kreg pocket screw system (if you plan to pocket screw) drill all holes needed in all parts.
8. Sand all pieces.
9. Using the MFT & the required clamps for alignment, glue and screw all cabinets together.
10. Finish sand all edges, paint or seal.

That is a quick dirty guide, lots of videos on youtube. These are based off the Benchworks System Benches and Cabinets (Bought his plans).

Hope this helps.

That gives me a better visual.  I was always thinking to make my MFT large to support 4x8 sheets.  I can visual now getting the Festool MFT size and the support you linked to cut the pieces down to size.  Maybe its faster for me to get the Festool MFT replacement top and make a sys cart for it and 1 of those supports you linked. 
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Offline DIY WoodWerx

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2017, 03:45 PM »
How about parallel guides?  Find it a necessity?  If so, Festool, Seneca, Precision or they all the same thing?
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Offline Neal W

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2017, 04:11 PM »
I've never tried to take my TS 55 to a big box score to cut a piece there.  I usually have them put it on their panel saw and come up with some ball park measurement, 48, 49 whatever it takes.  And then let the little box with the beaver in it gnaw the board in half.

I hate having the box stores cut my plywood in half, sometimes it is a necessary evil.

I also purchased the precision dogs parallel guides with the incra tracks.  They work quite well.  But I don't know if you can still get them or not.  Then I found a way to put the parallel guide on my GSR-16....Post Here.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 04:19 PM by Neal W »
Turning perfectly good lumber into scrap and sawdust for more than 20 years!

Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2017, 04:13 PM »
How about parallel guides?  Find it a necessity?  If so, Festool, Seneca, Precision or they all the same thing?

I have a set of Seneca's that have been collecting dust since I got the GRS-16. They are pretty redundant so I would choose one or the other probably. The parallel guides seem like a great idea but they are finicky to set up and then assure they stay on edge of sheet when clamping etc.

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2017, 04:17 PM »
How about parallel guides?  Find it a necessity?  If so, Festool, Seneca, Precision or they all the same thing?

I have a set of Seneca's that have been collecting dust since I got the GRS-16. They are pretty redundant so I would choose one or the other probably. The parallel guides seem like a great idea but they are finicky to set up and then assure they stay on edge of sheet when clamping etc.

I didn't picture the parallel guides and the GRS-16 being redundant.  If that's the case, I would probably go with the GRS-16.  You guys prefer the GRS-16 or the GRS-16PE?  I don't think I need both so looking to purchase one or the other
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Festool FS 1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail
Festool LR32 Router Hole Drilling Set

Offline DIY WoodWerx

  • Posts: 57
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2017, 08:28 PM »
What finish do some people put on MDF workbench tops?  Since it will be my cutting station/assembly table, would like something that protects for easy wiping of glue drips, etc.
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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2017, 03:28 AM »
What finish do some people put on MDF workbench tops?  Since it will be my cutting station/assembly table, would like something that protects for easy wiping of glue drips, etc.

I use any variety of Osmo. I apply it the first time before I make the top as the excess does not run down into the holes and make dog placement difficult. If you do not have Osmo then try linseed oil or something similar.

After I apply Osmo to a work piece I get rid of the excess that might be on a brush or applicator pad by wiping it over my custom bench top.

Glue does not stick to Osmo very easily, most stains can be wiped off and it helps to keep moisture out as well.

Peter

Offline bigmoguls

  • Posts: 15
Re: DIY MFT Question
« Reply #43 on: August 29, 2017, 10:54 AM »
I've never tried to take my TS 55 to a big box score to cut a piece there.  I usually have them put it on their panel saw and come up with some ball park measurement, 48, 49 whatever it takes.  And then let the little box with the beaver in it gnaw the board in half.

I hate having the box stores cut my plywood in half, sometimes it is a necessary evil.

I also purchased the precision dogs parallel guides with the incra tracks.  They work quite well.  But I don't know if you can still get them or not.  Then I found a way to put the parallel guide on my GSR-16....Post Here.

I took my cordless TS to the lumber yard once.  I found it is better to just have them cut the panel at some pre-selected dimensions.  I can't fit a whole sheet of ply in my vehicle.  This works for 2 or 3 sheets, any more than that would be a royal pain.  If I ever got to a project size that required 5-10 sheets, I'll just rent a uhaul and get them home that way.