Author Topic: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review  (Read 2260 times)

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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« on: August 01, 2017, 09:19 AM »
I'm a big fan of dogs with my MFT so when TSO's new ones were released I jumped on them to try them out. I do a wide variety of work so the MFT is simply the best option for handling an array of different workholding. The dogs make it very easy to set up work steps and ensure everything stays square and true.

This review will break down the new TSO dogs and accessories as well as compare them against the QWAS and PARF dogs.



Here is the array of dogs and knobs that I have. QWAS dogs on the left with a Festool knob from the clamping elements set. TSO dogs with their new SpeedKnob in the middle. Finally, the PARF dogs with their clamping knob on the right.



We will start with the dogs themselves. The TSO dogs bring a new feature of the double grooves to the top of the dog. This greatly enhances the ability to install and remove the dog into your bench or MFT. My shop is in a humidity controlled basement which keeps my MFT MDF top probably at the low end of tolerance for the holes. Fit wise these run very close to the PARF dogs at about .784" in diameter. The set of QWAS dogs run a bit larger at .786" which in my MFT give them a snug fit. If I was in a humid environment and needed dogs to install and remove easily the TSO would be the choice due to the new grooves. Fit and finish wise the TSO look and feel nice with a tumbled finish and clear anodize. The QWAS has a higher surface finish which makes them feel smoother but that is a catch .22 when trying to grip them and get them out of a tight tolerance MFT table. The PARF being SS have no coating and are held to a similar surface finish to the TSO. Overall the TSO and PARF are dimensionally the same in the small dog with the addition of the double grooves and the undercut at the head of the dog.



Next we'll move on to the tall dogs. QWAS makes a rail dog which you see on the left but is not a direct comparison so we'll stick to the PARF and TSO for this review. THE TSO dog is slightly taller than the PARF dog and adds three features that really sets it apart. First, the double groove that was incorporated in the smaller dogs makes it much easier to install and remove the dog in the table. Second, the tapered top of the dog makes it much easier to install the rail clip when attached to a guide rail. Not many of us in the US may have gotten to use these UJK clips but we were definitely missing out as they are very handy. Third and this one may be a pro to some and con to others but the weight difference between the SS PARF and aluminum TSO is huge. I much prefer the design features of the TSO and weight of the aluminum. The SS is basically indestructible so if I was getting robbed it would be the first item I pick up and launch at the attacker as it is the heaviest projectile in my shop. [smile]



So real world use of the tall dog? The LR32 system is a perfect example if you have used it. Sliding the big heavy router across the guide rail usually requires multiple clamping of the material to the table and guide to the material to ensure an accurate row of holes. Here I simply install the tall dogs with rail clips to the table, mark and move my material under the rail to the proper mark and use the Festool rapid clamp to grab the material. It makes the set up of repeated cabinets much easier and I was able to blast through the LR32 step of my new shop cabinets.

I'm going to say that if you order the tall dogs in most cases, knobs are a must. A quick test on my MFT table with this setup allowed the rail to move 1/16" of an inch on the material with no knobs attached due to the tolerance of the dog to the table. With the knob there was no movement at all. Now with the the material clamped to the rail this shouldn't be a concern but in some instances that may not be possible.



With the rail clips you can leave them attached to the rail to quickly remove by sliding them over the top of the tall dog and reinstalling the same way. The tapered top makes it easy to align and install.





Finally let's talk about the knobs. When I read on the website that TSO calls them Speedknobs but the dogs can be used with the Festool knobs I was kind of confused and initially didn't order these. If they both fit then they must be the same thread so they didn't go to a quarter turn screw or anything was my justification and I fully admit I hate using knobs with dogs. I've been down on the PARF dogs because of the relative fit in my table as they were very loose without knobs. I am honestly apologizing about that and after some discussions with Hans at TSO I understand the rational in sizing due to variations in the MDF top holes. I'm still not a huge fan but these SpeedKnobs brought me around a bit on using knobs.

Most of you are familiar with the Festool knobs, they are large with a grip on the underside to tighten down. They are slightly slippery and relatively light in weight so you have to fully thread them all the turns to lock the dog on the top of the table. The PARF dogs are smaller as you can see, similar plastic in feel and weight to the Festool but with the benefit of the lobed knob which gives you slightly better grip when working blind under the table.

So what changed my opinion on the SpeedKnobs? Hans provided that they are made in Germany and you can definitely tell. These things exude quality and honestly every knob I have to turn now I'm thinking how do I replace it with one of these  [big grin] Very high quality smooth plastic, a heavier weight and a screw thread with a tapered end which makes it easier to find the dog thread under the table and not counter thread it. The speed comes from being able to start the screw thread and with the increased heft and perfectly machined threads simply "spin" the knob until it seats against the table bottom. Then a quick final tightening and your done. Same with loosening. Simply break it free, give it a spin and it drops in your hand. I'm sold and every other knob is an utter disappointment to me now....

Conclusion

So if I was new to Festool and deciding what dogs and system to buy? Everyone on the other side of the pond already got the joy of the UJK rail clips so it's about time us US folks got them. Really a must buy on those. To use them you have to have a tall dog. If I was working outside the shop where the possibility of drops onto concrete, metal, etc were a huge concern then the SS PARF dogs would be the go to dog as they are basically indestructible. Shop based and outside work with a portable MFT the TSO's new features and lighter weight make them much easier to transport and use every day. Go ahead and order them with the SpeedKnobs. Not only will you get a much more secure mounting but you'll use the knob on your clamping elements and any other item you own that the thread matches.

Onto the dogs, this is a harder decision. If you work in a humid environment where your MFT or Bench may swell then the new TSO dogs would be your best bet. They will install and should be a good fit without the need for knobs. If your like me in a controlled shop environment then you may find they are a bit loose and may require knobs for a tight, precise fit. (I understand the concept and physics that the dogs will find an edge and stay precise if your material is clamped to the table). Again if you work somewhere where the aluminum may be damaged then the PARF dogs can't be beat for durability. Due to the slighter larger diameter that better fits my MFT & bench, the smaller head and surface finish I still reach for the QWAS dogs for my own use right now. I really like the TSO dogs and they will be my go to dog for when I leave the shop and do onsite fabrication and installs.

If anyone has any questions that I can help answer feel free. Full disclosure, I paid for all of my dogs and clips but Hans provided me a set of SpeedKnobs after he reached out when I said I was unhappy with the PARF dogs due to the fit. With the size similar to the PARF he was concerned I may see the same issue which I did without a knob. I plan to purchase more SpeedKnobs shortly to use with my clamping elements and dogs as they are that high quality. Also I eat my crow on the PARF dog fit also as I fully understand it now Peter. The great thing is we now have multiple options to choose from for any type of work or environment we may find ourselves in so thanks to all the companies making these.
 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 10:31 AM by Atonwa »

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Offline jonathan-m

  • Posts: 295
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 04:57 AM »
Hi, I was wondering if these TSO dogs fit Peter Parfitt's Parf Guide System for drilling MFT top holes without slop?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 05:04 AM by jonathan-m »
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Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 07:06 AM »
They are almost the exact same size as his style down to the .001" of an inch so yes they should work fine. Now I can't guarantee any slop unless you use the Speedknobs because of the differences in bit diameter and possibility of humidity that may affect the MDF top.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 35
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 07:54 AM »
Can you elaborate on how the setup is beneficial with the lr32 system? I'm just not getting it. I haven't used it but I've watched all the videos.

Offline Claimdude

  • Posts: 299
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 08:32 AM »
It would be nice if TSO in the hole made two sizes of dogs. I find them a little too sloppy the hole for my taste. I like the reviewer above use them in a climate controlled shop. I can use dogs but my custom built Jack Bench with 20mm top is not user friendly for attaching the knobs.

Jack Lemley

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 529
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 10:32 AM »
I'm building a bench with a thick top (1.5" or so).  My wish list includes knobs that will work on that bench.

Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 11:10 AM »
I'm building a bench with a thick top (1.5" or so).  My wish list includes knobs that will work on that bench.

The large dogs should work in your case.

Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 11:13 AM »
It would be nice if TSO in the hole made two sizes of dogs. I find them a little too sloppy the hole for my taste. I like the reviewer above use them in a climate controlled shop. I can use dogs but my custom built Jack Bench with 20mm top is not user friendly for attaching the knobs.

Jack Lemley

Agree Jack and I've talked to Hans about this. Without the knobs they are sloppy in mine especially the tall dogs.

Offline Atonwa

  • Posts: 44
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 11:26 AM »
Can you elaborate on how the setup is beneficial with the lr32 system? I'm just not getting it. I haven't used it but I've watched all the videos.

Sorry it wasn't clear, it's hard to put into words sometimes. Basically the idea is attaching the tall dogs to your MFT or bench, attaching the LR32 rail to the tall dogs to the clips so it is captured and stationary. Then I simply mark my panel at the correct places for the holes and bring the panel to the rail instead of the other way around. Then clamp the rail to the material with a speed clamp and start drilling the holes.

The next batch I did after this review I attached the rail to the tall dogs. Put short dogs in the table and made a set of wood spacers that references off the small dogs so the row of holes was exactly the same. I've attached a picture for reference.

Online RobBob

  • Posts: 1117
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 11:55 AM »
Yep, Qwas dogs are the best fitting.  The bevel under the collar is the reason, I think.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 09:35 PM by RobBob »

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 35
Re: TSO 20mm Workholding Accessories Review
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 04:05 PM »
@Atonwa I think I get it. You primarily enjoy using it for the middle row of holes for repeat settings? For the front/back rows of holes the LR32 rail and stops do the job or are you suggesting you avoid having to use them after the first setup by using dogs and custom spacers?