Author Topic: Vertical MFT Concept  (Read 3113 times)

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Offline box185

  • Posts: 84
Vertical MFT Concept
« on: March 18, 2018, 03:58 AM »
I've been wanting to add several six inch long Incra racks with 1/32 inch grating to a fence along the back side of an MFT/3. This seemed feasible until I considered that my goal was to be able to accommodate 2 foot by 8 foot sheets of material. I also like the Perf Guide System, but I'm disappointed that a standard MFT/3 does not have 24 inches of clearance between the outer most dog holes across the short dimension. I looked at mating multiple MFT/3 benches, but I don't think the hole pattern maintains the 96mm spacing across the boundary between tables, and certainly not to the accuracy possible with a continuous table. I worked on some ideas to have multiple MFT/3 benches attached with a continuous top, but a custom bench quickly becomes more economical. Once a custom bench was being considered, then the larger size becomes the negative factor given the floor space it takes up. I still think that two MFT/3 benches could be made to work with a continuous top, but having a long Incra rack fence permanently attached is a negative factor when the versatility of the MFT/3 is considered.

After several weeks, I am at the point where I am considering a wall mounted MFT/3 format panel that can handle up to a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet when using the 52 inch Incra Track Plus fence. A shorter version using the 36 inch Incra Track Plus would be adequate for my needs, but it's interesting that Incra offers the longer 52 inch rails. The design shown below has a 3 inch tall rail across the bottom where the sheet material rests. This bottom rail is referenced to a set of bench dogs during installation which makes it easy to use rails of different thickness for cutting thinner stock. Matching the bottom rail to the stock size allows the Festool Guide Rail to move below the bottom rail making narrow rip cuts possible. The two 52 inch Incra Track Plus fences are permanently attached to the back side of the panel. Attached to each Incra rail is a vintage Incra Stop Stop ( 4 inches across ) that "reaches around" to the front side of the panel and provides an accurately positioned resting point for the Festool Rail Guide. The vintage Incra Shop Stops do need to have some material added in order to fully reach across 3/4 inch and larger stock. The panel has additional dog holes on the left and right sides. The outer holes align the Incra Fence while ( more importantly ) the inner holes provide clamping points necessary to hold the material that is above the cut-off line. Finally, the entire assembly is tilted slightly back at the top to add stability.

I'm posting here to find out what's wrong with this design. It's my intention to use this in my shop as I'm not looking for a mobile solution. The parallel rail guides offered by Precision Dogs and Seneca are an obvious alternative, but these do not provide the 1/32 inch resolution available with the Incra racks. I expect this assembly to allow me to easily do "accurate" cuts on large sheets of material. Once cut down to a more manageable size, additional cuts can be done on the MFT/3. The weak point I am considering is that accuracy is at risk if and when the two Incra Shop Stops are not set at the same measurement, but this problem exists when using a set of parallel guides as well. To minimize this problem here, measurement tapes can easily be added on the front of the panel and adjacent to the location of the Incra Shop Stops.

ADDED LATER: The images below do not show the necessary support structure for the panel - I am considering 8020 material.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 04:02 AM by box185 »

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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1463
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 04:35 AM »
I would tilt the surface some few ° (top nearer to the wall than the bottom) so stuff won't fall off that easily as it would with the surface being fully vertical.
Apart from that, it looks like it could work.

Offline mirock

  • Posts: 192
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Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 04:42 AM »
Absolutely cool idea for not too large workshop and one pair of hands.
One of my friends use a bit simplier way like your.
Your one is better planned of course.
my video channels:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJFCZ2slzAMjP6ChFxYPv6A
And:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSDylM1i5mnPHKtfuO0Jjvg
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Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1463
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 05:04 AM »
Oh, you'll want to make sure that the upper part won't slide down into the kerf when doing a cut...

Offline box185

  • Posts: 84
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2018, 09:16 AM »
One of my friends use a bit simplier way like your.

Thank you for sharing his video - I subscribed. I need to remember to "take the tool to the wood" when working with large sheet stock. I will be changing my plan to more closely follow his approach. In the end, the goal appears to be "make a more robust parallel guide" for large sheet stock. I still want to use the Incra rack, but I will no longer have this "tool" hanging on my wall. Your post and your friends insight shared on YouTube is exactly what I needed from this forum. Thank You !

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2644
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2018, 01:50 PM »
When I first got into Festool a dozen years ago, I was thinking of making a large sheet cutting table with Incra Track wrapped around the perimeter to locate the guide rail, so I purchased a bunch of 52" Track. But, I soon realized that such a large table was more complicated than need be, an opted to create a parallel guide instead that would lay on top of the material and reference off an edge. I suggest that you consider taking a simpler approach.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2277
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2018, 03:18 PM »
Gregor, his upper piece does not slid down because he has the upper piece clamped with DeStaco type flip clamps to hold it tight to the rack.  This is a great alternative to a $25,000 Streigbeg.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1463
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 03:16 AM »
Gregor, his upper piece does not slid down because he has the upper piece clamped with DeStaco type flip clamps to hold it tight to the rack.  This is a great alternative to a $25,000 Streigbeg.
That was directed to the OP, not the video.

Offline box185

  • Posts: 84
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 07:32 AM »
That was directed to the OP, not the video.

The need to have it tilted back a few degrees and the need for clamping above the cut-off line was also mentioned in the bottom of the second paragraph. I know it's a long post, but by posting that information I was able to get the feedback I needed.

"The outer holes align the Incra Fence while ( more importantly ) the inner holes provide clamping points necessary to hold the material that is above the cut-off line. Finally, the entire assembly is tilted slightly back at the top to add stability."

I've since adopted the approach in the video posted by Mirock's friend. I will still have the Incra track installed on the back side, but there will be two pieces - more like a parallel guide with the material in front of it. With the parallel guide behind the material, there is no need for extra hardware to permit thin strip ripping.

The 18" Incra Track Plus allows 0-6" cuts, The 36" piece allows 0-24" cuts, and the 52" piece allows 0-48" cuts. Nice options there.

Offline Richard/RMW

  • Posts: 1923
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 08:01 AM »
I was toying with this idea but never got anywhere with it, using 2 piece of vertical 80/20 to lay the plywood against and clamp @ the top like in the video. This prevents the top piece from dropping and binding the saw blade.

Planned to use a set of rip guides to hang the rail from the top of the plywood. You'd set the target dimension on the guides. The top piece then becomes the working material and the bottom is the offcut.

There are issues to be worked out like holding the material off the 80/20 to prevent cutting into it but the setup seemed workable. I will probably give it a try later this spring.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1463
Re: Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 03:20 AM »
That was directed to the OP, not the video.

The need to have it tilted back a few degrees and the need for clamping above the cut-off line was also mentioned in the bottom of the second paragraph. I know it's a long post, ...
Must have missed that in the wall of text, smaller paragraphs might have helped me to see it. Sorry for that, have fun with the build.

Offline box185

  • Posts: 84
Updated Vertical MFT Concept
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2018, 08:24 AM »
Thanks again, Mirock. Your friends approach has led me to this. Probably too much for some, but I like steel.

The blue pieces are Kreg Tool Bench Rails. The vintage Incra Shop Stops do need to have some material added.