Author Topic: Share your MFT top designs  (Read 1040 times)

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Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 1863
Share your MFT top designs
« on: May 10, 2019, 09:24 AM »
I'm going to finally "Parf out" the surface of my MFT/SYS cart but before simply whacking out a field of 20/96mm holes I figured I see what clever schemes were out there.

As background, back in the Rip Dog days (for those who were around then), the primary reason I designed the rail clips with a 20mm offset was to avoid the blade kerf running over a line of holes on the MFT. In hindsight, this was not as big a deal as I thought given the wide acceptance of the Parf dogs (pre-Parf guide availability), nobody else seemed to mind the kerf running across the holes.

The top will be 700 X 1346mm and I have some 3/4 MDO I'm going to use up. I don't actually do a lot of cutting directly on the top these days but that might change, especially if there's a sacrificial portion. As you might imagine, I have pretty much every 20mm dog-ish gadget you can imagine other than the TSO triangle. The operations I want to incorporate into the top are:
  • VacSys - Someone shared a dog-mounted flat plate in another thread, basically covers the holes to let the unit vacuum clamp itself to the top
  • Assembly fixturing - just landed a set of the UJK pups and their clamping ducks, squares, spacers. This is really what's prompting me to make the new top
  • General clamping with both Festool clamps and clamping elements
  • Cutting, almost exclusively sheet goods
There is also this drop down extension that will get a new top. I initially thought this would be where most of the cutting was done but in the current shop configuration it blocks the door so I hardly ever use it. I'll line up the hole patterns so the 96mm spacing aligns between the 2 surfaces.

So, other than omitting a line of holes or adding a sacrificial strip, what options am I overlooking?

Thanks!

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2639
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 11:39 AM »
Might consider a t-track for fast easy clamping as another option.  I've made two Paulk benches for my Son and Son-in-Law and both incorporated holes, a Rockler router insert, T-track for additional clamping and fence adjustment and a miter gauge slot insert.

I chose to mount my Vac-Sys on the front face of my top with T-track hanging down so that the vacuum top is almost flat with the table top, which I like a lot for giving clamping but not taking up top space.  The plywood plate is mounted vertically and the Vac-Sys drops into three captive sides to allow for easy removal but vacuum attachment to the face plate.  I can grab photos if you need them.

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 1863
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 12:06 PM »
@neilc your track-mounted Vac-Sys is on my list now that the major shop upgrades are done. I've been noodling methods to build it similar to the French cleat tool attachments we discussed recently but so far haven't skinned that cat. It should lock onto the FC rather than relying on gravity.

I've considered splitting the top around the middle with another section of 1515 so I can use the Bessey auto clamps. That could double as the location for the saw kerf with a removable MDF filler. That'll probably make the list.

Thanks for the input.   

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5913
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2019, 12:08 PM »
VacSys - Someone shared a dog-mounted flat plate in another thread, basically covers the holes to let the unit vacuum clamp itself to the top

That was probably me Richard. I just grabbed a couple of stainless "drop" plates form Discount Steel, turned 4 each 20mm dogs from aluminum and bolted them in place. With the 96 x 96 pattern, the vac head can be placed parallel or perpendicular to the front edge of the table.

Using the base of the vac head has 2 benefits. If power is lost, you'll have 10X the amount of time available before you lose all the vacuum to the head. I know this because I conducted experiments.  [smile]

The second plus is that the stainless plate is stiff but it will still flex a little when under vacuum. So it bends ever so slightly in the middle which will then very slightly angle the aluminum dogs in the hole. It turns the dogs into a non-damaging wedge lock.










Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 1863
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 12:26 PM »
@Cheese that's the one. I thought it was you but was too lazy to refer back to the post.

I'm going to try using some 1/4" plastic panels I have laying around and see if they have the same flex-locking properties you mention. I'll probably just lop off the heads of a couple of dogs and see how it works this weekend.

Thanks for chiming in.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5913
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 12:52 PM »
Richard, just to give you some feeling for the flex, I used 16 ga (.058") stainless.

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1773
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2019, 02:14 PM »
Perhaps just miss the holes out where you see you would mount the VAC SYS?

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1773
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2019, 02:23 PM »
From my good friend @ThorsenJoinery on Twitter; he's included routed T-slots in his tops too which he finds incredibly useful...








Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5913
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2019, 02:27 PM »
From my good friend @ThorsenJoinery on Twitter; he's included routed T-slots in his tops too which he finds incredibly useful...

I really like the T-slots.  [big grin]

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1695
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2019, 02:44 PM »
From my good friend @ThorsenJoinery on Twitter; he's included routed T-slots in his tops too which he finds incredibly useful...
I really like the T-slots.  [big grin]
I'm suspicious of how wooden edges hold up and how deep long slots affect rigidity of the top.

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 821
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2019, 03:00 PM »
I've posted these picture before, but they are relevant to this topic.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2639
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2019, 10:14 PM »
Richard, if you haven't done so, check out David Stanton's Youtube videos on his worktable. 

He puts non-slip strips, T-track and dog holes as well as a front face.  Some good ideas there.

Offline duburban

  • Posts: 1033
Re: Share your MFT top designs
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2019, 10:40 PM »
This is it... winner. Vac hose holder... so great. Print.



From my good friend @ThorsenJoinery on Twitter; he's included routed T-slots in his tops too which he finds incredibly useful...

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helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple