Author Topic: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks  (Read 30135 times)

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Offline mhch

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MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« on: May 11, 2008, 04:05 PM »
 Further to Qwas thread on using the MFT hole patterns, I worked on improving
 the home made MFT fence I described in there. In all what follows, guide rail
 has been aligned against vertical MFT holes.

Apart from rotation at any angle, this fence provides MFT/2 owners with all the benefits
 of the MFT/3 fence: more work surface, and instant removal/reinstall without impacting
 the squareness. In addition it guarantees accuracy and repeatability of positionning the
 fhe fence stop, thanks to the Incra track features, as well as a place to store clamps
 and other small tools near the table.

 This new fence is made of a 3/4" MDF L-shaped base supporting an Incra incremental track
 Construction details will be described in a later post. The most important aspect of the base is a series
 of 20mm holes made by exactly copying an horizontal row of MFT holes (as described by
Jonny Round Boy in  http://festoolownersgroup.com/index.php?topic=3092.msg34357#msg34357)

The following picture shows the base and the yet not mounted Incra track.

7471-0
 
 This fence can be used in two ways.

-  Installed on the MFT side extrusion, registered against the MFT table side in order to be
   perfectly aligned with the MFT holes and also aligned flush with the left table side.
   In this case, the base holes can be used to store clamps, wrenches, dogs, and
   other tools without using any valuable space on the MFT top.  The exact mounting
   details on the side extrusion will be described in a later post.

7580-1

-  Installed on the MFT top using 20mm PVC pipe  inserted into both base and MFT holes.
   This can be more convenient when working with small wood pieces.
 
7582-2

I'm planning to build  another variant of this fence to be only installed on the MFT table top
or on the MFT side extrusion at right of the guide rail, most likely extending to another connected
MFT.  In this case, the base is simply rectangular since there is no room needed by the guide
rail hinge bracket.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 12:05 AM by mhch »

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Offline Qwas

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 05:10 PM »
Nicely done! Now you're going to get me thinking about re-doing my fence. :)

I had to read it a couple times to understand. It might be nice to include the construction details.

If I understand correctly, in the second picture we see your new piece of MDF with holes in it attached to the top of the side rail. The holes have your PVC dogs with clamps and a wrench resting in them for storage. The holes would be beyond the normal table.

The third picture shows  the track mounted in holes on the table top..

I don't know what the thinner pice of MDF was used for. Oh, i get it. There is 1 piece of MDF in the top picture, not 2 pieces side by side. It's 1 piece with a notch cut out to fit around the guide rail.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 09:09 PM by Qwas »

Offline Qwas

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 06:00 PM »
For those wanting to see mhch's original idea and the start of this fence, it is here

Offline mhch

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008, 06:08 PM »
I had to read it a couple times to understand. It might be nice to include the construction details.
If I understand correctly, in the second picture we see your new piece of MDF with holes in it attached to the top of the side rail. The holes have your PVC dogs with clamps and a wrench resting in them for storage. The holes would be beyond the normal table.
The third picture shows how you aligned the track to keep it parallel with the holes.
I don't know what the thinner pice of MDF was used for. Oh, i get it. There is 1 piece of MDF in the top picture, not 2 pieces side by side. It's 1 piece with a notch cut out to fit around the guide rail. The last picture shows the reason for the notch.


I agree my post was a bit short and dense, but you correctly understood it
in particular the way I used the hole pattern not only to attach the fence,
but also to align the Incra track to the base.

I intentionally made my post short so that readers can have a quick overview
without having to follow the construction details. I will definitely extend this
thread with more details and with the building of the other fences I'm thinking of.

The thinner part of the base is a bit complicated. If you look carefully at the
last picture, the right end has a rebate made after the kerf was cut into the base
using the guide rail and my TS55. This rebate is not as deep as the cut kerf
so that both sides of it stay visible. It is meant to provide a place to hook a
measurement stick so that one can exactly position the Incra stop.

In addition to that, the thinner part has  a small notch in its under side
which receives the hook of the hinge bracket that runs on
top of one side of the upper T track of the side extrusion.

A fence only meant to be used on the table top or at  right of the
guide rail can just be a rectangle with the 20mm holes pattern.

 BTW, the wrench in picture 2 is the 1010 router wrench.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 06:29 PM by mhch »

Offline mhch

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 06:25 PM »
This post provide some construction details for this fence.

 Base is made from an 3/4" MDF rectangle 1164mm (MFT 1080 top length) by 134mm
 in which 13mm holes are drilled on a line at 86mm from the long side of the rectangle.
 The center of these holes approximately corresponds with the center of the horizontal MFT holes.
 Base is clamped on the MFT resting against 20mm dogs inserted in horizontal MFT holes, as
 well as being flush with left and right side of the MFT top. Then base 13mm holes are made 20mm
 by using a 12mm copy router bit to exactly copy the MFT holes. The whole process takes about 30mn.

 Then rectangular base  is cut to make room for the rail hinge bracket as shown in the picture.

7592-0

 The exact dimensions of the cut depend on where you prefer to install the rail. In my case,
  I decided to locate the rail so that the kerf line is in between the rightmost vertical holes
  and the right side of the table top, so that the left side of the rail can be aligned with
  the vertical holes using a 3/4" inch spacer between dogs and rail.

 Base is mounted on the MFT top and secured using 20mm PVC dogs. Then a small 4mm deep
 kerf line is cut into it by running the Festool saw on the guide rail. After that a 2mm rebate is
 made between the kerf line and the right end of the base. This will provide a place to hook
 a measuring stick if needed. The result is visible in this picture

7594-1

Then the Incra track is accurately positionned and secured on the base as shown in the following
picture so it can be screwed to the base, using Incra provided wood screws and washers
(mounting method #1 of the Incra manual).

7596-2

A small MDF rectangle was also cut as wide as the Incra track height and slightly longer than
the thinner part of the base. It is then cut at the exact length of this thinner part by
registering against the left part of the hinge bracket room and running the saw in the
guide rail. It is used to calibrate the scale of the Incra track as follows

7598-3

the scale 0 mark is aligned with the right end of this block, then the scale
is cut at the right end of the Incra track, The off piece can be glued to
the base if wanted.

A nice feature of the Incra track is that the predrilled elongated holes in it are
exactly aligned with the upper T-track of the MFT side extrusion. This allows to
Mount the fence on the extrusion by using 40mm long M5 bolts and the elongated
nuts delivered with the Incra track. This is illustrated by the following two pictures
in which extra bolt and nut appear at the end of the Incra track to better explain
the idea.  You can also see both the wood screw attaching the Incra track to the
base and the M5 bolt attaching the fence to the extrusion. Both go in the same
elongated hole of the Incra track.

7600-4

7604-5
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 12:42 AM by mhch »

Offline Corwin

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 05:25 AM »
Well, I see you have created bases that are almost exactly like I am making.  I'm going with both fixed and sliding -- fixed being where the Track is installed as needed indexed on a base that locates in the holes, the sliding is similar but as if ripped in two where one piece is attached to the underside of the Track while the other with holes remains stationary and includes the Incra brackets to both mount and allow the Tracks to slide.

A set of fixed bases (a left and right, if you will) can replace the panel cutting jig I showed on another thread I hijacked.  Just have sets of appropriate length cross pieces with two holes in either end to lock the two Tracks w/bases parallel by pinning the two together.  I'll add some handles and even try the hinge thing that way.  Just got a small metal lathe to make some parts for my cam clamps, but found a little problem with that new tool -- more things to do...

Yep, lots of neat and helpful 'tools' one can make from these Tracks.  Their little positioners are also useful -- unless you use Imperial only, get one (or even two) of the rack based units.  Mount on bases that also use the holes and you'll be just as quick and flexable as with the bases you have made.

Oh, and I have to say, Great Job!
Corwin


Hmmm, still doesn't show 'FOG Supporter' up there?  It should.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 05:28 AM by Corwin »

Offline mhch

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 01:50 PM »

Great minds think alike  ;) ;) ;)

the sliding is similar but as if ripped in two where one piece is attached to the underside of the Track while
the other with holes remains stationary and includes the Incra brackets to both mount and allow the Tracks to slide.

I was also considering the idea of a sliding Incra track for the bases used on the table top, using an
 implementation slightly different from yours, i.e. mounting the Incra track on the base using metal
sliders (similar with those used to block the hinge bracket in the extrusion T-track), which would
run in the two T-tracks existing in the lower part of the Incra track.

Your implementation has the advantage that Incra track can be slidden without
removing the fence base from the MFT top.

A set of fixed bases (a left and right, if you will) can replace the panel cutting jig I showed on another thread I hijacked.  Just have sets of appropriate length
cross pieces with two holes in either end to lock the two Tracks w/bases parallel by pinning the two together.

I was considering this too, i.e. having two symetric bases joined by cross members having a "column of vertical holes"
for more flexibility. I'm yet undecided about how to attach the guide rail, but my favorite solution is to use sliders
in the guide rail T-track, screwed to a piece of MDF itself screwed to the fence base, .e. no hinge like you. I'm
not sure this is very clear !

Their little positioners are also useful -- unless you use Imperial only, get one (or even two) of the rack based units.
Mount on bases that also use the holes and you'll be just as quick and flexable as with the bases you have made

I don't understand this. What do you mean by "little positionners" ?

Offline mhch

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 04:47 PM »

 I significantly edited my first and third posts in this thread.
 Post #1 now only describes the functionality while my
 third post provides construction details.

 This may unfortunately invalidate some of Steve's comment in post #2.
 Sorry for that.

Offline Qwas

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 09:11 PM »

 I significantly edited my first and third posts in this thread.
 Post #1 now only describes the functionality while my
 third post provides construction details.

 This may unfortunately invalidate some of Steve's comment in post #2.
 Sorry for that.

No problem.

I like your new posts better than the old way. I've modified my post so as not to confuse anyone.

Offline John Stevens

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 10:42 PM »
Hi, just thought I'd add a couple of pics of my similar setup.  I wasn't going to post any pics until I'd had a chance to really test it by making furniture, but since this thread is here, I guess the time is right.  Not much to say--like you guys, I align the fence to the holes, then align the rail to the fence.  The fence attaches to the table by way of Incra-made brackets that are anchored in t-track that is mounted in the table top.  I like to mount the fence at the front, seems to work just fine, but like I said, I won't really know until I start making furniture--so far, I've just given it some light use on projects that don't require much precision.  (For example, tonight I made a new planter for my mother-in-law's mailbox.)

I use the "flip track" that supports use of the "flip stop shop."  Because of my standard operating procedure, I almost always end up cutting both ends of the board when I cut it to finished length, so being able to flip the stop up saves me a lot of time.  To each his own.

There's a track on the [edit] left side of the guide rail for use with a miter gauge.  I've fooled around with it, but I don't think it will be very useful.  At a 45 degree angle, a work piece would have to be about 400mm long (about 16") in order to get adequate support from the fence.  I don't see any practical way of rigging an auxiliary fence to go under the guide rail while using the flip fence and flip stop shop.  On the other hand, I think it'll be pretty handy to have a miter gauge track on the right side of the guide rail, and when I get some spare time, I'll probably try it.  (The top is fully supported underneath, so another deep groove in the top won't hurt anything.)

Even though I haven't given this MFT a lot of use in the 5-6 weeks since I finished it, I can say that I definitely like the t-track and the new Incra clamps that are made for use with the t-track (the ones that look like they're CNC'd out of solid billet).  I'm glad to still have the holes for the Festool clamps, which I continue to use frequently, but the clamps in the t-track are really nice to use in various ways as clamps.  And I really enjoy not having to reach under the table--for anything!

Regards,

John
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 10:55 PM by John Stevens »
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Corwin

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 02:28 AM »
For fence setups, I would agree that the Flip Stops are sweet.  The Shop Stops also work on the Flip Track, but mount on the opposite face of the Track.  Similarly, the Flip Stops can mount on the opposite face of the standard Track, but most situations this requires the addition of a sub-base.   

John, why not set your Track back from the back side of the Guide Rail?  I use 1x2x3 blocks to set both Imperial and metric scaled Track back 2" to provide clearance (left of Rail) for the either saw.

Corwin

Offline John Stevens

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 06:49 AM »
I use 1x2x3 blocks to set both Imperial and metric scaled Track back 2" to provide clearance (left of Rail) for the either saw.

Hi, Corwin.  By "either saw," you mean the circular saw or the jigsaw?  I don't use the jigsaw on the MFT.  To make a small amount of clearance between the fence and guide rail when calibrating the fence, I slip a playing card between them.  (Queen of hearts, to remind me of my wife.)  If I misunderstood your message, would you mind explaining a little more?

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Qwas

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 07:09 PM »
For fence setups, I would agree that the Flip Stops are sweet. 
Corwin

Yeah flip stops are nice, especially double flip stops. Here's mine.  It doesn't have all the bells and whistles (yet) but it cost is under $2.00.

It's a hinge from a mobile home door.


7663-0

7665-1
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 10:00 PM by Qwas »

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2008, 09:58 PM »
Hi, just thought I'd add a couple of pics of my similar setup.
John

Okay where is Dan Clark the picture cop when you need him?

I want to report the grand pixel larceny that has occurred here.
Each of the pictures are short 100k pixels.

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2008, 10:24 PM »
Michael,

I'm here, but I've resigned as the picture cop.  Sorry.  Perhaps someone else will pick up the baton.

Dan.

Offline Corwin

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2008, 03:03 AM »
I use 1x2x3 blocks to set both Imperial and metric scaled Track back 2" to provide clearance (left of Rail) for the either saw.

Hi, Corwin.  By "either saw," you mean the circular saw or the jigsaw?  I don't use the jigsaw on the MFT.  To make a small amount of clearance between the fence and guide rail when calibrating the fence, I slip a playing card between them.  (Queen of hearts, to remind me of my wife.)  If I misunderstood your message, would you mind explaining a little more?

Regards,

John

Sorry, I meant both the TS55 and TS75 saws.  Anything too tall and too near to the left side of the Guide Rail will interfere with either saw when set at deeper depths.  IIRC, the TS55 requires just over 5/8" to the left of the Guide Rail for clearance while the TS75 needs much more -- something well aver an inch, I forget right now.  For many cutting operations this standoff amount is not required, but why create jigs and/or setups that further limit the capacity of you saws?

Thus, my usage of the 1-2-3 blocks.  This allows the same Track to be setup on various jigs and/or the same jig to accept various Tracks without recalibration.  Works nice to swap out Tracks -- swap one length Track for another and/or one setup for Imperial for another in metric.  I may elect to simply place stops for the Tracks to butt against where I can, but will still setup all jigs with the same standoff distance for the Tracks.

Oh, and I don't limit these Tracks or jigs to the MFT...  MFT jigs are nice, but many setups can work on a simple cutting table just as well.

Corwin

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2008, 09:02 AM »
Michael,

I'm here, but I've resigned as the picture cop.  Sorry.  Perhaps someone else will pick up the baton.

Dan.

 ???  :-X  ???

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4828
Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2008, 09:15 AM »

Great minds think alike  ;) ;) ;)

the sliding is similar but as if ripped in two where one piece is attached to the underside of the Track while
the other with holes remains stationary and includes the Incra brackets to both mount and allow the Tracks to slide.

I was also considering the idea of a sliding Incra track for the bases used on the table top, using an
 implementation slightly different from yours, i.e. mounting the Incra track on the base using metal
sliders (similar with those used to block the hinge bracket in the extrusion T-track), which would
run in the two T-tracks existing in the lower part of the Incra track.

Your implementation has the advantage that Incra track can be slidden without
removing the fence base from the MFT top.

A set of fixed bases (a left and right, if you will) can replace the panel cutting jig I showed on another thread I hijacked.  Just have sets of appropriate length
cross pieces with two holes in either end to lock the two Tracks w/bases parallel by pinning the two together.

I was considering this too, i.e. having two symetric bases joined by cross members having a "column of vertical holes"
for more flexibility. I'm yet undecided about how to attach the guide rail, but my favorite solution is to use sliders
in the guide rail T-track, screwed to a piece of MDF itself screwed to the fence base, .e. no hinge like you. I'm
not sure this is very clear !

Their little positioners are also useful -- unless you use Imperial only, get one (or even two) of the rack based units.
Mount on bases that also use the holes and you'll be just as quick and flexable as with the bases you have made

I don't understand this. What do you mean by "little positionners" ?


This thread looked very interesting but too detailed for me to appreciate untill now. Now that I've gotten into it I realize that it all depends on yet more NAINA stuff.  >:(  :(

"Installed on the MFT top using 20mm PVC pipe  inserted into both base and MFT holes."

Offline Qwas

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2008, 01:02 AM »
It doesn't have to be 20 mm PVC pipe. You could use 20 mm bolts that can be bought at Fastenal or other stores, or the 1/2 inch threaded pipe joiner that Jerry Work talks about.

Offline Corwin

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2008, 03:20 AM »
That's right, you don't have to have just the right part.  Lots of ways to mount these Tracks.  Attach the Incra Brackets made for their Tracks (work on both standard and flip versions) and clamp those to the table once the Track is aligned with the holes using, oh, say, those holders (Dogs) from your Clamping Elements.  That will work until you figure out something better.

Offline John Stevens

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2008, 07:41 PM »
Sorry, I meant both the TS55 and TS75 saws.  Anything too tall and too near to the left side of the Guide Rail will interfere with either saw when set at deeper depths.  IIRC, the TS55 requires just over 5/8" to the left of the Guide Rail for clearance while the TS75 needs much more -- something well aver an inch, I forget right now.  For many cutting operations this standoff amount is not required, but why create jigs and/or setups that further limit the capacity of you saws?

Hi, Corwin.  Not sure how you're using your saw and guide rails, but when I use mine on the MFT, I only have to set the blade deep enough to reach the surface of the MFT.  At the risk of appearing to confuse the independent & dependent variables, "the deeper I have to set the saw, the higher the guide rail is above the surface of the table."  So in terms of clearance, it's ended up being a wash for me so far--no interference no matter how deep I've set the saw.

Regards,

John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline Corwin

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2008, 04:08 AM »
Oops, my mistake -- must have been thinking of jigs that I use on top of the material being cut.  Sorry.

But, that is one good reason to do as I describe, as this issue does enter into the equation on other jigs.  That way you can use the same Track on different jigs without recalibrating or adjusting for an offset -- and best, don't require dedicated Tracks for each type setup.  Just a suggestion.

Offline mhch

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2008, 12:53 PM »
This thread looked very interesting but too detailed for me to appreciate untill now. Now that I've gotten into it I realize that it all depends on yet more NAINA stuff.  >:(  :(

"Installed on the MFT top using 20mm PVC pipe  inserted into both base and MFT holes."

I take it as a joke,  ;) ;) ;) since I'm sure many other solutions exist  ???

Offline Qwas

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2008, 07:33 PM »
If anyone is interested in getting some 20 mm PVC pipe to use as bench dogs or to hold a jig on your table, please see my new post here.

Offline Deke

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2009, 05:49 PM »
If only that Incra track could slide into the MFT/3 angle unit and angle stop like the Festool rail does. Honestly, I don't understand why the MFT wasn't designed to provide more in terms of this kind of measurement and adjustment. Seems like it should be part of the asking price.

Offline roblg3

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2014, 07:32 PM »
i'm not sure i'm getting the point here. are we talking about crosscutting only?  what about ripping?
Rob Gardner
Operator
RL3 Enterprises

Offline limats

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Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2014, 04:49 AM »
Hello mhch,

in post #5 the last to pictures are not working any more.
Would it possible for you to upload them again?
I'm very interested in how you mount the fence on the side extrusion.

Regards
limats

Offline dutchie

  • Posts: 136
Re: MFT guide rail alignment & Incra tracks
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2014, 02:41 PM »
If only that Incra track could slide into the MFT/3 angle unit and angle stop like the Festool rail does. Honestly, I don't understand why the MFT wasn't designed to provide more in terms of this kind of measurement and adjustment. Seems like it should be part of the asking price.
Is this what you mean? http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/mft3-with-incra-fence-and-shop-stop/ I tried this on my MFT 1080 and it didn't work, looks like it does on the MFT 3 though!