Author Topic: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw  (Read 1860 times)

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How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« on: December 20, 2020, 09:21 AM »
A few weeks ago, I read a post from a new MFT owner asking which tools and accessories he needed to get his MFT up and running. While there were plenty of great tools recommended, I strongly disagree that you NEED any to get up and running. If you have an MFT and a track saw, that's all you need to get your MFT ready to get square cuts - no precision dogs, squares or templates needed. I came up with 10 easy steps to square the MFT guide rail and stop ruler, see the video below.


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Offline Nyegaard

  • Posts: 3
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 08:32 AM »
My TS came in the mail yesterday and I'll get everything set up today hopefully - this came at a very opportune time. Thank you!

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6595
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 09:39 AM »
@Nyegaard

I would think twice about fooling with the factory settings

Festool live on you tube has a very good video on squaring the MFT as recommended by Festool.

You can do what ya want but when ya start messing with factory settings things can go south inna hurry

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 764
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 11:48 AM »
Mostly a good method to do this, but not the most accurate IMO. Using the 4-cut method, a good digital calliper and a set of machining shims, you would be able to achieve almost perfection.


BTW You can save one of the steps by adjusting the receiving bracket and stop together, instead of doing a separate butt up of the stop.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline RobS888

  • Posts: 17
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2020, 11:59 AM »
I like it! Like using the side of a plane to check for flatness. Not perfect, but good enough for many pursuits.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4096
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2020, 12:01 PM »
I came up with a method that works very well for me.  One thing I'd add is to set the height of the rail brackets to the height of the material being cut BEFORE adjusting for squareness.  There's enough slop in the brackets that can change the accuracy of the cut by simply raising or lowering the rail.  I have the original Woodpeckers MFT Square which is 1-1/8" thick, making it ideal for material up to 1" thick.  They're out of production now, but you can make your own squaring device by gluing two pieces of 3/4" plywood together to make 1-1/2" thickness, then cut them to make a 45-45-90 square just for this purpose. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 2334
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2020, 12:04 PM »
I would not use saw base as a reference. It is generally rectangular, but the casting is rough around the edges. Any simple plastic square would be better.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 2395
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2020, 07:20 PM »
I would not use saw base as a reference. It is generally rectangular, but the casting is rough around the edges. Any simple plastic square would be better.

Agreed. Given the tolerance issues we have experienced with many other Festool tools, I can safely assume that not all saw bases are exactly the same in terms of squareness.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3353
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2020, 11:47 PM »
Cleaver concept in the video, but with 4 bench dogs and the MFT hole pattern you can get a very accurate square cut.
Birdhunter

Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2020, 08:15 AM »
Mostly a good method to do this, but not the most accurate IMO. Using the 4-cut method, a good digital calliper and a set of machining shims, you would be able to achieve almost perfection.


BTW You can save one of the steps by adjusting the receiving bracket and stop together, instead of doing a separate butt up of the stop.

Yep, I use the 5 cut method to test and make small adjustments - so this video is about doing it WITHOUT the need for additional tools. I thought about doing another video on the 5 cut method to hone in the feather key, still might do it although there are already a few videos out there showing how to do this.

Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2020, 08:30 AM »
@Nyegaard

I would think twice about fooling with the factory settings

Festool live on you tube has a very good video on squaring the MFT as recommended by Festool.

You can do what ya want but when ya start messing with factory settings things can go south inna hurry

This is very true. I got my MFT used and not square. I also adjust mine to the left to accommodate for the kapex trimming attachments. But yes, it can go south very quickly for the inexperienced, and can be fix quickly though.

Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2020, 08:32 AM »
I would not use saw base as a reference. It is generally rectangular, but the casting is rough around the edges. Any simple plastic square would be better.

This may be true. I contacted multiple people on instagram that all have either the TS75 and 55, all reported back that their bases were square (checked with a WP square). Would be interested in more results though.

Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2020, 08:33 AM »
My TS came in the mail yesterday and I'll get everything set up today hopefully - this came at a very opportune time. Thank you!

Nice! I would use a 5 cut method first to see if it even needs adjusting. I'm on my second MFT, the first was new and needed adjustments out of the box. Same with my second, although it was used so

Offline Nyegaard

  • Posts: 3
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2020, 12:42 PM »
@Nyegaard

I would think twice about fooling with the factory settings

Festool live on you tube has a very good video on squaring the MFT as recommended by Festool.

You can do what ya want but when ya start messing with factory settings things can go south inna hurry

Thank you for the tip!
Mine was bought "used" as well - albeit never actually used, it's been taken up and down a few times in the guys garage until he gave up and sold it. So yeah, I'll be following their steps to make it right as well before I cut anything that 100% needs to be spot on  [smile]

Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2021, 08:47 AM »
@Nyegaard Nice! Let me know how it works out for you!

Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: How to Square the MFT/3 with just a track saw
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2021, 09:14 AM »
I use the Wood Pecker assembly square for trueing up the guide rail perpendicular to the factory fence. I’m sure there are many methods. I like making my cuts close to the far edge, so I repositioned the guide rail. On a new MFT table for a new user I’m not sure I would change the factory FT hard-set tabs? I would just use it as-is.