Author Topic: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table  (Read 976 times)

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Offline Steven Owen

  • Posts: 252
Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« on: November 03, 2017, 09:32 AM »
It looks like Woodpeckers released and MFT knock-off with a lot of accessories that seem and look very familiar.  What do you guys think of the Woodpeckers Amor Table?

https://www.woodpeck.com/armor-clamping-table.html?_bta_tid=32820870735476421803960484217307000497906362282417368212057633175723311671545972334257537468391606559003&_bta_c=3gvn6yoon6vvckept71eiwne75pca

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Offline copcarcollector

  • Posts: 1361
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 09:42 AM »
This has been around for a while. Armor tool is the manufacturer, woodpeckers is a retailer

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 5265
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 09:54 AM »
Was the B&D Workmate first on the mass market? I have a couple from a few decades ago.

Tom

Offline bnaboatbuilder

  • Posts: 88
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 09:54 AM »
I wouldn't call it a knock-off since 3/4" dogs holes existed in workbenches long before Festool MFT tables even existed. These tables are just alternatives to those not invested in the 20mm hole world.

My father built a 4'x8' workbench 20-25 years ago with 3/4" dog holes. so nothing new here to me.

The notable differences are the thickness of the tops. You can't use Festool style of clamps on a top that thick as the Armor tops. The Armor dog holes use canted posts to lock some clamps and accessories in. Over time those holes will enlarge or distort because of that accuracy will not be a long term asset for the Armor table tops.

To me the Armor tables are good, solid workbenches, but MFT tops offer more accuracy and a different variety of clamping and accessories. You really wouldn't be banging hard with a mallet on an MFT but those Armor tops would take it just fine.

- John

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 46
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 10:04 AM »
I have the Craftsman Portable Peg Clamping Workbench: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-portable-peg-clamping-workbench/p-00949812000P, which uses Sears/Craftsman branded Armor parts. 

The idea of a hold down bench sounded really good when I bought it 1.5 years ago, especially for the price compared to an MFT.   I've been rather disappointed with its actual usage though.  The Horizontal Dog Clamp required a lot of adjusting and fiddling in order to get it to hold down materials tightly unlike the Kreg clamp on my Kreg Mobile Project Center.  Granted, Kreg are known for their Automaxx clamps, but they really work well.  These not so much.  I found it a little difficult to pull the long 7.5" shaft of the Horizontal Dog Clamps in and out of the 3/4" bench holes.  My top is plastic, so it may be easier in a wooden top?  I found the Inline Clamp and Fence to be useless.  It was hard to tighten the posts on the fence and also position them both to line up with the 2 bench holes right where you needed to place the fence.   I just picked up the Festool Clamping Elements yesterday for an "MFT topper" that I made to sit on top of my Kreg Mobile Project Center and they just simply work.

The Festool Quick Clamps and Clamping Elements are obviously much more expensive, but much easier to work with in my opinion.  I don't think these Armor accessories are worth the frustration.  I'd pass on this one.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Offline promark747

  • Posts: 418
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 10:39 AM »
Armor claims it auto-adjust technology is patented, yet Kreg and Bessey have had auto-adjust for a couple of years.  Are these made and patented by the same manufacturer, or are they all slightly different mechanisms?

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 580
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 10:42 AM »
...
The notable differences are the thickness of the tops. You can't use Festool style of clamps on a top that thick as the Armor tops. The Armor dog holes use canted posts to lock some clamps and accessories in. Over time those holes will enlarge or distort because of that accuracy will not be a long term asset for the Armor table tops.
...

I got a couple of Armor clamps to use with my current workbench.  They work OK, but they are not my go-to clamps by any means.  I worry about the canted, ribbed stem and the effect on the dog holes, but really the reason that I don't use them is that they just don't have a smooth, solid feel to them.  On the horizontal clamp, the head seems to want to cant a bit when applying pressure.  ...And, I'm not a fan of holddowns in general.

I got the Armor clamps before I got my MFT and started using Festool 20mm hole accessories - cogs, clamps, clamping elements, etc.  Since then I've started on a new workbench that has MFT styles holes.  I've even started using the Festool clamps with my old workbench.  For 3/4" dogs and fences, I've found that I like Veritas stuff the best on my old bench, but for clamps I find that I'm reaching for the Festool or similar Bessy clamps first.  I've also gotten a couple of Veritas 20mm accessories, which I also like for certain tasks.

At any rate, I never reach for the Armor clamps any more.

Offline Steven Owen

  • Posts: 252
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 10:59 AM »
...
The notable differences are the thickness of the tops. You can't use Festool style of clamps on a top that thick as the Armor tops. The Armor dog holes use canted posts to lock some clamps and accessories in. Over time those holes will enlarge or distort because of that accuracy will not be a long term asset for the Armor table tops.
...

I got a couple of Armor clamps to use with my current workbench.  They work OK, but they are not my go-to clamps by any means.  I worry about the canted, ribbed stem and the effect on the dog holes, but really the reason that I don't use them is that they just don't have a smooth, solid feel to them.  On the horizontal clamp, the head seems to want to cant a bit when applying pressure.  ...And, I'm not a fan of holddowns in general.

I got the Armor clamps before I got my MFT and started using Festool 20mm hole accessories - cogs, clamps, clamping elements, etc.  Since then I've started on a new workbench that has MFT styles holes.  I've even started using the Festool clamps with my old workbench.  For 3/4" dogs and fences, I've found that I like Veritas stuff the best on my old bench, but for clamps I find that I'm reaching for the Festool or similar Bessy clamps first.  I've also gotten a couple of Veritas 20mm accessories, which I also like for certain tasks.

At any rate, I never reach for the Armor clamps any more.

Their video takes some polite jabs at MTF based work surfaces.  The purpose of MDF surfaces is having something that can be easily replaced cheaply once it’s worn out. 

The Armor look more like an assembly table than it does an MTF.   I can’t imagine using a Maple top for track saw work.  It doesn’t seem to have any acccesories for easily dealing with angle cuts either. 

The design of the clamping systems seem to copy Festool’s designs.  Maybe that’s where I’m seeing the similarities to the MFT but the clamps and dogs don’t look to be on par with anything from Festool, Veritas, UJK or other MFT accessory manufacturers.

Offline bulubuluplopplop

  • Posts: 7
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 11:04 AM »
Quote
The purpose of MDF surfaces is having something that can be easily replaced cheaply once it’s worn out. 

I wouldn't call the Festool MFT MDF top replacement cheap...  [huh]

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 580
Re: Woodpeckers MFT Knock-Off: Woodpeckers Armor Work Table
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 11:52 AM »

I got a couple of Armor clamps to use with my current workbench.  They work OK, but they are not my go-to clamps by any means.  I worry about the canted, ribbed stem and the effect on the dog holes, but really the reason that I don't use them is that they just don't have a smooth, solid feel to them.  On the horizontal clamp, the head seems to want to cant a bit when applying pressure.  ...And, I'm not a fan of holddowns in general.

I got the Armor clamps before I got my MFT and started using Festool 20mm hole accessories - dogs, clamps, clamping elements, etc.  Since then I've started on a new workbench that has MFT styles holes.  I've even started using the Festool clamps with my old workbench.  For 3/4" dogs and fences, I've found that I like Veritas stuff the best on my old bench, but for clamps I find that I'm reaching for the Festool or similar Bessy clamps first.  I've also gotten a couple of Veritas 20mm accessories, which I also like for certain tasks.

At any rate, I never reach for the Armor clamps any more.

Their video takes some polite jabs at MTF based work surfaces.  The purpose of MDF surfaces is having something that can be easily replaced cheaply once it’s worn out. 

The Armor look more like an assembly table than it does an MTF.   I can’t imagine using a Maple top for track saw work.  It doesn’t seem to have any acccesories for easily dealing with angle cuts either. 
...

That's why I have both an MFT table and am building a workbench with the MFT hole layout.  I'm not going to use my workbench for track saw cutting :) - that's what the MFT is for, and maybe some light joinery.  I'll use the workbench for banging on.  The workbench top is maple and granadillo with breadboard ends, complete with end vise, ~1.5" thick.  It's the fair comparison to the Armor top in terms of heft, but with more functionality.  I'll use it with the Festool clamps, dogs, clamping elements, etc.  Unfortunately I can't supply a picture because the workbench top is upside down right now, and the legs are disassembled, for finishing.

I'm skeptical that the Armor bench will be as rock solid as a traditional workbench against sideways or front-to-back racking.  I have a couple of steel-legged benches (including the MFT) that don't do well with heavy duty planing compared to my current workbench, which has a very solid set of wood legs, plus the weight of a cabinet with tools to keep it steady.  BTW, my current bench is smaller - about the same size top as the larger Armor bench - so it isn't as heavy as some of the big boy benches, but it is rock-solid and not at all skittish.

That said, it's not like the Armor clamps (and I assume the bench) are junk.  If I hadn't taken the fateful first step of buying a few Festool clamps that just happened to work well in my current bench, I might still be using the Armor clamps with some vague angst about the ribbed stems in my dog holes.  It's just that I have them but hardly ever reach for them any more.