Festool Owners Group

FESTOOL DISCUSSIONS => Festool Jigs & Tool Enhancements => Topic started by: Dan Clark on May 15, 2007, 10:14 PM

Title: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Dan Clark on May 15, 2007, 10:14 PM
Occasionally, I find a need for a traditional bench vise.  A few days ago, I saw an article in a woodworking magazine where the writer took two boards, cut two 2" X 1/4" slots in two 9" X 18" boards and created a quick and dirty bench vise.  I thought, "Mmmm...  Get the same boards, slide a couple of Festool clamps in an MFT slot and "voila!", bench vise.  

It's easier to show rather than explain.  Here's the "vise" in action:
(http://www.festoolownersgroup.com/CoppermineMain/albums/userpics/MFTBenchViceInAction_Small.jpg)

A close up of the "jaws":
(http://www.festoolownersgroup.com/CoppermineMain/albums/userpics/MFTBenchViseDetail.jpg)

And a little detail of how I cut the slots (as in "no brainer"):
(http://www.festoolownersgroup.com/CoppermineMain/albums/userpics/MFTBenchVice_RoutingSlots_Small.jpg)

My jig for cutting the slots was simply a guide rail clamped in place on pink foam and run a straight bit in about 2" from the end.   The jaws of the vice are just some left over 3/4" plywood scraps.   The only part that is even slightly tricky is to measure the slots so that the top of the vise jaws sit below the plane of the MFT top.

Total time for construction was about 30 minutes. That includes cleaning off the MFT top, finding the plywood and foam, measuring, cutting the plywood with my TS55, routing the slots with my OF1400, and stowing the saw and router away.  Pretty much brain-dead simple and easy.

One thing that did bother me was that I thought someone else had published a description of something similar, but I couldn't find it.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. I lucked out and found some plywood that was pretty badly bowed.  I cut the plywood to maximize the bow.  I.e., they also act like cauls.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Dave Rudy on May 15, 2007, 10:23 PM
Great idea, Dan.  Great pics, as always (from the pic cop we expect no less)

Thanks

Dave
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: HowardH on May 15, 2007, 10:24 PM
Dan, very clever.  The imagination of this group knows no bounds!
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Dan Clark on May 15, 2007, 10:32 PM
Thanks.  I'd like to take credit for the idea, but I just converted a non-Festool idea to use Festool components.   

One of the things that I didn't mention was that my "vise" can be tossed on a shelf when not in use and setup is only about 30 seconds when needed.  Also, it doesn't take much imagination to see that you could make several of these guys in longer lengths and maybe a couple of stiffeners.  Customizing for special purposes would be pretty easy. 

And, if you mess them up?   No biggie!  Just make more.  ;D

Regards,

Dan.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Brice Burrell on May 15, 2007, 11:04 PM
Very nice Dan, I'll be making one in the morning. Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: rich1 on May 16, 2007, 01:40 AM
 :o Great idea I'll be making one this weekend. When I saw it I thought about adding two pieces of "T" slotted of wood to capture the the round part of the vise. This way the clamping piece will move with the screw. and it will still be removeable.

Ric
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Jeff Magnus on May 16, 2007, 08:01 AM
I will definately be using your vise idea, as soon as I figure out how to make my MFT bigger and more portable. Thanks for the tip.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Jim Marsh on May 16, 2007, 08:37 AM
Great application Dan, thanks. I like Ric's suggestion to attach the clamp part to the outside jaw so the wood moves with the clamp.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Dan Clark on May 16, 2007, 09:23 AM
:o Great idea I'll be making one this weekend. When I saw it I thought about adding two pieces of "T" slotted of wood to capture the the round part of the vise. This way the clamping piece will move with the screw. and it will still be removeable.

Ric
Ric,

The creative juices are flowing!  I LIKE it!  I'll add it this weekend.

Thanks,

Dan.

 
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Matthew Schenker on May 16, 2007, 10:45 AM
Dan,
This is a great idea.

Actually, I have no vise in my shop at the moment (I have no vice either, but that's another story).  Like a lot of people, I always like to find another versatile use of the MFT, and you pined one down here for us!

Thanks for taking the time to share this project, and thanks for the clear photos.

Matthew
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: john stevens on May 16, 2007, 11:47 AM
Oh, I always hate to ask the stupid and obvious question, but...

Why not clamp the workpiece directly between the clamps and the MFT extrusion?

Regards,

John
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Brice Burrell on May 16, 2007, 01:08 PM
  John, that was my first thought, then I was thinking I would like to use this clamp when I don't want to clamp something to the aluminum extrusion, if the item being clamped can't be marred or scratched.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Michael Kellough on May 16, 2007, 08:30 PM
Oh, I always hate to ask the stupid and obvious question, but...

Why not clamp the workpiece directly between the clamps and the MFT extrusion?

Regards,

John

I've been biting my tongue all this time.  :)

This would be good for very soft woods that might take an impression of the extrusions or clamp heads.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Mr. Amateur on May 16, 2007, 09:45 PM
Dan,
Great idea. I am puting this on the to do list.
Thanks,
Mr. A
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Dan Clark on May 27, 2007, 12:09 AM
I finally found the article describing the vise: http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/2007/05/04/sn/.

Regards,

Dan.
Title: Re: MFT "Bench Vise"
Post by: Frank Pellow on May 27, 2007, 11:03 AM
Thanks!   I read the item that fostered your idea but never thought of applying it to the MFT.

I have had the bigger MFT for about three years but find it akward to transport.  I do a lot of offsite work and, just last week, took delivery of a smaller MFT which will become a very important part of my "work away from home" kit.  I am sure that a vise such as the one you built will come in very handy.