Author Topic: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter  (Read 40370 times)

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Offline Per Swenson

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MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« on: May 23, 2008, 06:37 PM »
The Festool MFT grows up.
By Per Swenson
 



8040-0
The new Festool MFT/3 addresses all the issues we have as commercial carpenters. In our business you don't make money when set up of tools is repetitive or time consuming.

Precision out of the box

The new MFT/3 is square out of the box and stays that way. This is due in part to the fence being attached to the outside rail, but also thanks to threaded inserts that keep the top square to the extrusions.  Removing and reattaching the fence for set-ups, and different functions such as sanding, routing or lunch is fast, painless and foolproof.   

No engineering degree needed here.
8042-1










Enhanced fence system

A little more about the improved fence system.

The 1080 had a 90-degree arc of movement and was found to be wanting in a number of instances.

The new fence swings 180 degrees with positive stops and 1/4 degree readability in between the lines.  Also, I am now able to attach the fence on any of the 4 sides.  The new fence sets up right to the edge of the table, increasing the available work area.

The fence can be used flat or vertically, leaving you with options too numerous to count.

8044-2
 




Portability is a must
8046-3
Although the MFT/3?s 15% weight reduction over the 1080 is a plus, portability is still defined by being able to move this table from room to room and job to job and by being able to instantly set up to square.

Festool lives up to its faster motto here.













Improved work height

8048-4

The uncomfortable carpenter is a cranky carpenter.  Cranky carpenters spend more time moaning then actually working.  I know.

All of the high end cabinet maker?s benches, Sjobergs, Lie Nielson, even Frank Klausz's bench, are 35 ?? to 36? in height. The MFT/3 = 35 1/2?.  Everyone calls this the ideal height.  Ergonomically, I suppose it is for the individual who is 5?8? to 6?2?.  That includes us, but it is also the same height, give or take a half an inch, of every kitchen counter top in America.  Consider that for logistics and set-up.

Should you find it necessary, the table works with the legs folded, giving you a height of 7? ??, which is perfect for flooring installs.  I cannot comment with experience on this height since any position besides standing on your feet, we consider slacking.

A note to Festool engineers, my back and my family's ears thank you.
 

Clampman?s dream

As for clamping, those familiar with the 1080 know these tables are a clampman?s dream.  Those not familiar with the system, it's like this; you can clamp anything, anywhere.  Clamp it down, clamp it together, only your imagination is a barrier here.

The MFT/3 does have one little improvement in the clamping department.  The extrusions are wider at the base to allow secure edge clamping. You couldn't do this on the earlier model MFT 1080.
8050-5
We also find that this Festool quick clamp lives up to its name.


 



Often on the job, we are forced to use any surface available for clamping tasks, or we find ourselves a clamp short and resort to screwing parts to a makeshift plywood bench.  All of this is overcome when you take advantage of the 3 different types of Festool clamps and the clamping elements.  Festool designed clamps specifically for the MFT/3 and they all function as part of the overall system.

Here we are able to easily clamp a scribed panel vertical to sand for fit against a wall.
 
8052-6
Please take notice of the stabilizer arms in the shot above.  When considering this table, I had no intention to add these.   As far as I was concerned the MFT/3 was stable enough.   That was until my father and partner, Bob exclaimed, ?What?s wrong with you? Just get them.?  So we did and no regrets, rock solid when horizontal force is applied. 

Here is Bob again with a milled piece for another kitchen, with both the clamping elements and large Festool screw clamps in use.  In this instance, where precision really counts, a baluster is held securely for mortising by both the clamping elements and the Festool quick clamp.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 06:40 PM by Per Swenson »
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Offline Fred West

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 06:46 PM »
Hey Per, great write up on the MFT/3. I very much enjoyed the information as well as the photos. Very glad to hear that you will no longer be a cranky carpenter.  ;) Fred
Domino,TS 75, Trion PS 300, RO 150, ETS 150/5, DTS 400, RS 400, LS 130, RS 2, Deltex 93, CT 33 CT 22, CT Midi & 3 MFT 1080s, OF 1400, C 12, RAS 115, MFK 700, MFT/3 :o)

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 06:50 PM »
My first cynical reaction to the clamping elements, ?Ok and what are these going to hold??  The startling answer is just about anything.  Securely.
8054-0














Versatility is a big deal

Doors are a staple of the finish carpenters life.

Most of us have home-built stands for door work.  Invariably, they evolve into wheeled contraptions for holding doors vertically for hinging, lock mortising and repair.  The one I built, complete with tool holders, weighs just as much if not more than the MFT/3, is twice as awkward and half as pretty? errr?professional looking.



To consolidate this operation into one unit, I zip-tied a clamp to the leg of the MFT/3 (see picture), and added a small piece of pipe insulation to protect the edge of the door.

8056-1

Note to Festool engineers:  You saw it here first.
8058-2

 

8060-3


So we can now do this?
8062-4

More steps saved, which makes work so much easier.  Remember, we are already set up with a CT22 dust extractor, hose and power. 



Part of a system

Where the new MFT really shines though, is in the 27? cross cut capacity.  That is what Festool advertises, but when you turn the table 90 degrees and attach your 1400/55? guide rail, (which comes with the TS55 saw), the cutting capacity is actually 43 inches.

Everybody wants 16? shelves today, and you know a miter saw has its limits - about 12? (okay, 24? when you flip your panel, but this does not always work perfectly).  So now I have table saw accuracy on the job, for kitchen cabinet installs, bathroom vanities, pesky filler strips, and Madam's custom closets. 

Also, we often do a lot of Formica/laminate work. The TS55 with the splitter guard installed, combined with the accuracy of this table is ideal for double-cutting laminate for a close to perfect seam.

8064-5


















Each piece of the system makes you more efficient

One other important item I seem to be leaving out ? dust.  Working dustless with the TS55, right there in the room of the install.  No more setting up on the deck or driveway or sending another Swenson to the shop for that special part.  No more calling the day on account of rain because the house is carpeted and finished. 

Speaking of the other Swensons - we have no trouble allowing our carpenter-in-training full use of the table while getting precise results from his efforts.

Every man easily trained and every step saved is money in the bank.

Look at this in a business sense.   When you?re installing in a customer?s house, where the family is living, eating and sleeping while your work is in progress.  Working clean, neat, and dustless will do more for your reputation and word-of-mouth referrals then any combination of salesmanship or price.



Summing it up

Our biggest problem in writing this review is that there is just so much this new table is capable of.  Of course Festool calls it the multifunction table, but just what exactly does that mean? When I first heard the term, I thought Festool made a calculator.

10 years ago if you had tried to sell me a table with a bunch of holes in it, I would have snickered and questioned your sobriety.

I know, look at us now.

We could go on and on and there are other great resources out there, which cover this table extensively.  John Lucas at www.woodshopdemos.com , Jerry Work?s manual http://jerrywork.com/  and the web forum the Festool owners group, www.festoolownergroup.com .

The MFT/3 is great for fine woodworking in the shop, sure?  But just as much, this table belongs in the bread and butter finish carpenters arsenal.  So, yes, we will take this table on the job with no reservations. 
The 1080?  It will stay comfortable just where it is.
 
Per Swenson
Swenson & Swenson
www.swensonz.com
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Offline Per Swenson

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 06:53 PM »
Hello all,

Pictures became out of order there at the end, but there ya go.

Hey Fred 5  minutes man, Thanks, but I run the computer like a granny.

Per
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Offline Fred West

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2008, 07:03 PM »
Per, you may run the computer like a granny but you run the festools like a wizard and I much prefer the latter over the former.  :) Adding the photos at least for me is the finishing touch. I love reading about a lot of these things but sometimes cannot quite pick it up until I get a visual so thank you very much. Fred
Domino,TS 75, Trion PS 300, RO 150, ETS 150/5, DTS 400, RS 400, LS 130, RS 2, Deltex 93, CT 33 CT 22, CT Midi & 3 MFT 1080s, OF 1400, C 12, RAS 115, MFK 700, MFT/3 :o)

Offline Dan Rush

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2008, 07:04 PM »
Hey Per,

I never really looked at any of the MFT's.  I didn't think they were up to jobsite conditions.    Now you have me thinking.  I always thought they looked cool for a shop-based unit, but I may now have some homework to do.  

Thanks for the "site" review,  I like to see how things work in our end of the business.

Dan

Offline Scott W.

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2008, 07:17 PM »
Very Nice Job Per.

Thank You!

Scott W.
PA, USA

Offline Jim Marsh

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2008, 07:39 PM »
Thanks for the review Per. I did not realize the MFT/3 had the wider base on the bottom of the rail. I have always added a few blocks of wood so the clamp would work on the current table. I guess this will now go on the the list.

Jim

Offline ccmviking

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 07:48 PM »
Per,

Great job you and your team did on this review.  Glad to see that you guys now have a portable workshop solution for these tasks.  I've been after something (???) for on site work for quite some time.  Hadn't found what that something was.  This review gets me that much closer.  Have to figure out how to stuff one in the trailer.  Thanks,

Chris...

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 09:53 PM »

Have to figure out how to stuff one in the trailer.  Thanks,

Chris...

Hey Per, great review!

Is this new MFT shorter when folded than the old? That is, are the corner brackets shorter?

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2008, 10:00 PM »
Michael,

Yep,

It is shorter by a little over a inch.

Fellas, I say a little because, well, I don't have a metric ruler handy ::)

Per
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Offline Timmy C

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2008, 10:23 PM »
Very Nicely done Per et al.  The post should be a nice resource for those who have been on the fence, or looking for alternatives.

Just say NO to cranky,

Timmy C

Offline Bob Marino

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2008, 10:38 PM »
 Hey Per,

Great review- short, simple right to then point. Very well done. Will you be taking that setup to Casa Marino's in a couple of weeks ;)?

Bob
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline D. Wyatt

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2008, 11:28 PM »
Very Nicely done Per et al.  The post should be a nice resource for those who have been on the fence, or looking for alternatives.

Just say NO to cranky,

Timmy C

I think Per's review has just toppled me off the fence, Tim.  That Kapex might have to wait a little bit longer.  ;)

Per, Excellent review!  Very informative, down to earth and to the point.  Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

Darrin

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2008, 11:51 PM »
Quote
We could go on and on and there are other great resources out there, which cover this table extensively.  John Lucas at www.woodshopdemos.com , Jerry Work?s manual http://jerrywork.com/  and the web forum the Festool owners group, www.festoolownergroup.com .


Per,
   That is one very complete review and tutorial. When I came to mention and thanks to me, I felt very proud. To have any mention by you, a real working woodworker, is truly an honor. Thank  you kind sir.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2008, 12:10 AM »
Per........

I have to tell you, it was very painful reading your review.

I have four MFT1080's in the studio, with a couple of MFT800's tucked into various corners.

The flexibility of the different configurations possible in regards

to using them as cutting, clamping & fabrication supports is priceless.

Being more of a shoprat,  my designs lean to a modular system.

I just recently finished a contemporary bookcase/bench that required

connecting three 1080's end to end.


When the new MFT3 came out I thought,

ok, its lighter.....so what?

I'll take my two 800's when I need to work on site,

so I don't need to lug out the 1080.

& the rest of the new modifications, yeah, it's good but do I really need it?


Bang. Bang.

I felt the shot right through my hip (wallet) pocket.

You got me with the automatic squareness & the versatility in using the rails.

Especially on site work and .......it might wiggle it's way into my studio use.

So, it's now on the "sometime soon next list"


Fabrication wise, I think I still prefer the use of the T track on the 1080.

-----------------
great review.....
regards,

Roger
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 12:26 AM by Roger Savatteri aka monte »
Los Angeles, California

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2008, 12:28 AM »
Per......

One side note .........


In your MFT/3 review you mentioned........

" Festool designed clamps specifically for the MFT/3 and they all function as part of the overall system."



......if I were an MFT/1080 I might feel a little betrayed.



something instead, like....

"The same clamps that Festool designed for the MFT/1080 & MFT/800 that function as part of the overall system,
 work with the same tenacity (if not better) on the MFT/3"

.....just a thought for clarity sake.


all the best,

Roger
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 01:45 AM by Roger Savatteri aka monte »
Los Angeles, California

ericbuggeln

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2008, 12:44 AM »
Per, is that your son also.  If so I give your family much respect.  If not, I give your family much respect.  Three way plug-  it's a party,Eric

Offline Corwin

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2008, 02:20 AM »
Per, why didn't you let us all know a long time back

that you could do such great reviews?    ;)

Sure like that leg clamp.  

But, does this now leave Festool needing to figure on a release date

for your new and improved leg set?   ??? ;) :)


Nice Job!
Corwin  

...  Three way plug-  it's a party,Eric

Eric, you supplying the juice?    :o

« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 02:36 AM by Corwin »

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2008, 06:50 AM »
Thanks Corwin,

Yep I am waiting for Festool to make a offer on my unique leg clamp ;),

and thanks.

Eric, thats my Father and Son in the review and me, with my head cut off.

 Are you familiar with Orange County Choppers. That show is scripted,

 As if Mikey's real job is holding up the cue cards.

On the other hand,

 we are hilariously nutz due to desperation.

Per
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


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ericbuggeln

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2008, 10:28 AM »
Per, you guys need to pitch a show to the History channel.  They seem to be way into reality t.v. right now.

Offline JJ Wavra

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2008, 10:31 AM »
Per,

great review!

I saw the mft3 in the store a couple of times.  I have a question for you, if you will let me indulge.  The fence that goes perpendicular to the rail looks like it will go parallel with the rail is this correct (set to 90 deg.)? Also,  if this is correct how easy would it be to slide back and forth in a parallel motion similar to a fence on a table saw?  Obviously you would be limited in the size of the rip by the size of the guide rail but anything over and you set it up like a fence yes, no?

I hope this clear.

JJ

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2008, 10:40 AM »
Per, you guys need to pitch a show to the History channel.  They seem to be way into reality t.v. right now.

Good idea! Ozzy had a show...

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2008, 10:44 AM »
Per,

great review!

I saw the mft3 in the store a couple of times.  I have a question for you, if you will let me indulge.  The fence that goes perpendicular to the rail looks like it will go parallel with the rail is this correct (set to 90 deg.)? Also,  if this is correct how easy would it be to slide back and forth in a parallel motion similar to a fence on a table saw?  Obviously you would be limited in the size of the rip by the size of the guide rail but anything over and you set it up like a fence yes, no?

I hope this clear.

JJ

As seen in photo number 3 from the top.

Offline Jerry Work

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2008, 10:51 AM »
Hi Per,

Good review and thanks for the nice plug.  

I have both MFTs and MFT3s active in my studio and find the mix to be very valuable as it allows working at different heights.  One thing to keep in mind is that the difference in height is exactly the deck height on the Kapex so if you have both tables you have instant, fully flexible in-out feed support without having to resort to additional stands or wings.  Your comment about being able to clamp over the edge on the MFT3 is really important.  I use that feature nearly every day now.

Jerry
The Dovetail Joint
Fine furniture designed and hand crafted by Jerry Work
in the 1907 former Masonic Temple building
in historic Kerby, OR. 
26 mi SW of Grants Pass on US 199, The Redwood Highway
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Offline mhch

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2008, 11:00 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is that the difference in height is exactly the deck height on the Kapex so if you have both tables you have instant, fully flexible in-out feed support without having to resort to additional stands or wings.

That's nice.
I'm surprised Festool didn't put it forward earlier

Offline Dan Clermont

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2008, 11:37 AM »

Nice job Per!! Great review!

Dan Clermont

LARGEST FESTOOL SELECTION IN BC!
https://www.ultimatetools.ca/
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Offline Daviddubya

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  • Arizona, USA
Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2008, 11:53 AM »
Excellent review, Per.  Makes me want to sell my two 1080's and move up!
David W. Falkenstein
in Cave Creek, AZ, USA

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2008, 01:02 PM »
Per......

A question or two,

How is the flippablity option of the MDF top on the MFT/3?

I'd also be referencing those four little screws set in the top corners,

(having not had them on the 1080)

and how they work into the scheme of things on holding down the top.

(How far are the tops of the screws recessed from the working (cutting) surface?)

thanx,

Roger


« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 01:19 PM by Roger Savatteri aka monte »
Los Angeles, California

Offline Per Swenson

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Re: MFT3 For the Finish Carpenter
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2008, 01:41 PM »
Roger,

This flippin, flippin table better flip, seein as they are designed that way.

Have I done it? Nah. I have faith.

As for the recess insert about 3/16 th's of a inch.

As before, I say about, because I suffer from American Exceptionalism and really

don't own a metric measurer.

But here is a shot from my Chinese Blackberry.

8086-0

Another thing with the clamps Folks.

There are all sorts of other none festool clamps that fit.

We saw Eiji's modified holes for the kreg bench clamp,

that clamp being a staple in most finish carpenter bag.

But rather then modify the holes, I just added a Fender washer and a longer bolt.

Works for me.
8088-1

8090-2

Per
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 01:42 PM by Per Swenson »
Party like its 1929. It's the American way.


There outta be a law banning sesquipedalianism on

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