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Author Topic: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs  (Read 3020 times)

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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 8732
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2021, 10:30 PM »
Well, there is a reason I own a Kapex and don’t own an MFT. That whole “let’s use a Festool MFT and dogs for cutting absolutely perfectly 90 degree parts” was a recipe for disaster. Sometimes you win but more likely than not you’ll end up holding the short straw.

That was truly an idea that ran amuck unless you decide to make your own top.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 08:15 AM by Cheese »

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Offline fp1337

  • Posts: 53
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2021, 11:42 PM »
If I recall correctly, UJK made a parf fence that had to be pulled and redesigned because so many people were having problems using them on MFT/3’s that had out-of-alignment holes.

Oh so THAT was the reason! On the product page they claim that these are holes for setting the fence at a 45 angle. I was wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing. Now everybody is complaining that the oval holes have introduced slop to the fence...

Offline afish

  • Posts: 578
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2021, 05:06 AM »
Here is a link to the rail bracket.  If you do a search on the forums you should find plenty of reading material about the dashboard unit.  I no longer cut on an MFT "type" table except for the occasional non critical items.  I still have a mft top but its just used for fixturing and clamping these days. However when I did it was done on a 4x8 MFT type bench and a piece of 8020 as a fence with a rail bracket.  When you cut this way your rail is squared off the fence and is totally independent of the dog holes.  I know there are some others that use the dashboard 08g8 I think is a happy user.  He will probably chime in at some point too on his experience.

Thanks for the links, will read.

Now I realize that I saw this system before, but passed based on the cost (makes Festool look cheap). I guess if I only got the bracket this could get me where I want to be? From the look of it, it looks similar in function to the MFT accessories (which I didn't purchase), albeit I assume without the problems reported everywhere. The video on the website shows the guy squaring his rail to the dog holes, so this has me a little concerned. I suppose I could always use a square...

Yes you only need the bracket.  You should be able to attach it to just about any bench you like or want even the MFT/3.  I wouldn't pay any attention to the video showing him squaring off dog holes.  Perhaps his bench is drilled better but as mentioned I never used dog holes for cutting after I saw the inconsistency's.

The bench cost is up there and I cant comment on the quality but there is 2 different types of expensive.  1. expensive up front or 2 expensive in the long run. In this day and age where you can spend $200 on a sheet of material cutting on something that is giving inconsistent results can easily end up costing you more in the long run in unusable material or wasted time. 

How are you planning on using whatever MFT bench you end up with.  IS this for a dedicated shop? are you mobile contractor and need to take it to jobsites? Is it a garage hobby shop and needs to be stored away when not in use to make room for other things? 

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2021, 06:42 AM »
I recently got an MFT/3 and a bunch of dogs and accessories from Axminster/UJK. The dogs are excellent and accurate. The MFT/3 top... Not so much. My cuts weren't exactly square, so I checked whether the hole pattern was actually straight and square, and it's not. I put a bunch of dogs in 8 consecutive holes and set my Starrett straight edge against them, a few of the holes are out of line by at least 1/2mm or more. Then I set up the guide rail perpendicular to that line using 2 Parf super dogs and UJK guide clips. Took my trusty square to this setup and it's not square by 2mm due to adding up all these little errors. I have 2 more, brand new MFT/3 tops (Official Festool parts), all have the same problem.

I know these holes are just for clamping. I was sold on the fact that these tops are CNC machined and super accurate, so I got into the dog craze, but now I'm realizing this might not be the case. Any other dog user has noticed the issue?

Hi @fp1337, @afish is right that Festool do not claim that their tops are particularly accurate either for hole size or spacing. That is why I created the Parf Guide System which is now part of the "Parf" family of UJK products from Axminster.

I have an MFT3 and love it but I did replace the top with one that I made myself.

Peter

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 543
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2021, 08:56 AM »
I made three MFT type tops.  My process was like this:


1.  I used a sheet of perforated pegboard as a template. 
2.  I taped off all the holes I did not want to drill on the template.
3.  I screwed the template onto the MDF
4.  I used a Vix bit to drill the pilot holes
5.  I used screw tipped auger bit and a steel bushing to drill the actual holes


Despite my best efforts, on each top, there is one hole that is not aligned and cannot be used for squaring up glue-ups.

On each table, I used a magic marker to outline the offending hole so I know not to use it.  It is my recommendation you do the same.  The top is perfectly usable as long as I avoid the one out-of-alignment hole. 

I don't rely on the table for sawing, but only for glue-ups, and mostly face frames.

On the first tabletop, I assumed that all the holes were properly aligned.  After checking I found one hole off in one direction about 0.020" - 0.030" (eyeballing the dimensions).

On the subsequent tops, I took extra care because I was aware that the discrepancy crept in.  On both of the subsequent table tops, the out-of-alignment hole was similarly out of spec, but was in a different location.

To this date, I still don't know how the error occurred.  It is almost certainly "human error".  But reading this thread makes be feel a little better.  I was thinking "I should have bought the tops from Festool", and now I'm glad I saved the money.





« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 08:58 AM by Packard »

Offline rubber_ducky

  • Posts: 53
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2021, 09:19 AM »
Re: the eccentric dog suggestion… I think it’s a decent idea. One way to minimize repeated set up time is to have a vertical reference line somewhere on the dog that can be transferred to the table via a pencil line.

Of course you’d have to do this for each hole, but only once for each hole.


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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 592
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2021, 06:10 PM »
why would you drill out an entire 4x8 by hand with all that fancy machinery around?  I would think the owner would be having the CNC dept. make MFT type benches as a standard shop table... When I made my first 4x8 I was like who cares I will just cut wherever I want and make a new one if needed... After making the second one and not putting any finish on it my daughter set a spray jug on it and it leaked all over it and made a huge pimple in the middle the first day [mad] I quickly became allergic to making them and drilling the almost 400 holes by hand... There's no way I would do all that work with the CNC equipment you have mere feet away. If you where able to drill all 400 holes by hand perfectly square and plumb by hand you are a better man than me. Your boss is lucky to have you.
At the time I did the table I have now, the CNC was not yet functional. We had not even begun to recover from the fire. We had moved into a temporary facility and spent the first few days with considerably sub-par equipment, considering what we were used to. Not only did we have to make all of our infrastructure, we had to rebuild all of the finished product and not get behind on the upcoming stuff. For the first few weeks, that meant all of us working with 2 SawStop cabinet saws, a Laguna sliding saw and a used line hole boring machine. Over the next several weeks, the major equipment started coming in, but that took some time to get established too. It needed power, dust collection, etc. That was the priority of the engineering department.
During that time, I was taking care of my set-up, which included drilling the table top, building the cross-cut station for the track saw and building the first version of my Sysports.
The cross-cut station was something I never had before, because of space constraints, but it really came in handy when the big sliding tablesaw was overwhelmed because all of the cabinet parts were getting cut there.
The first table that I drilled, in the old shop (pre fire) was actually done with a template that was made on the CNC. It was a full 4' x 8' sheet of 1/4" thick MDF with the grid cut in 1" holes. That way I could use a hand router and a bushing. I did that one by hand because it was made out of 1 1/4" MDF. I just felt like it was too much to ask of the machine to even try that.

The one I have now is not finished, mostly because I was in a hurry at the time. I was far more concerned about just getting it going and didn't stop to think about it, or that it would be impossible later. Water/swelling was, still is, my main concern. I do run over it occasionally with a big orbital sander to refresh it, which I couldn't do if it was finished, but I might not need too either?

The Parfit system is fantastic and you can do it anywhere at any time. I have used it several times to make quick custom "one-time" use fixtures.

Amazingly enough, no one else in the entire shop has any Festool equipment. The company has a RO150 and a CT26 that the installers use when they have to do field joints in solid surface counter tops.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75

Offline afish

  • Posts: 578
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2021, 06:43 PM »
Oh, that makes more sense.  I was like theres no way I would drill all those holes by hand if I had a CNC in the building. I owned the MKII and it did work good not perfect but that was probably mostly my fault.  I have issues with repetitive, monotonous jobs like drilling 400 holes by hand.  So I tend to start with good intensions but about half way through I start rushing. I think my biggest issue was not keeping the 20mm drill square to the top.  The 3mm holes all seemed perfectly spaced after I got new parf guides it seems I got some of the bad batch the first go around. However, I pretty much hated the process of making a new top. Way better things to do here in S. FL than be hunched over a sheet of MDF for hours making it into swiss cheese.  Perhaps a small MFT sized one wouldn't be bad but a full 4x8 Ill pass.   Im due to make some new tops but I have been holding off because of the shortages and prices.  I always finish them now though.  I tried not doing it once and my daughter taut me a lesson.  Typically I just roll on (yes roll on) whatever left over stuff I have laying around.  Which has been some Lenmar precat Lacquer. Its surprising how well it turns out with a foam roller.  4 heavy coats and then I hit it with a card scraper to level out the orange peel.  As far as the other poster worrying about slippage.  I have had no troubles with slippage and finished top.  Its harder, cleans easier and looks way better with some clear on it.  Plus no MDF pimples...

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 543
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2021, 10:20 AM »
Drilling the holes perpendicular was not an issue.  I bought a drill bushing and installed it in a 6" x 6" x 3/4" piece of plywood.  You do have to drill a 30mm hole in the plywood using the drill press, but once the bushing is press-fit into the plywood, perpendicular holes were not an issue.

I did have to shim the hole with a small piece of paper because the interference fit was not tight enough. 

They offer these in 20mm I.D. x 30mm O.D. in two lengths, either 20mm or 40mm.  I used the 20mm long bushings.  I don't think that there would be a significant improvement in verticality if I had used the 40mm long bushings.

They do make drill blocks with an assortment of bushings, but the largest I found went up to 12mm.

https://www.amazon.com/20mm-I-D-Drill-Metric-Bushing/dp/B002SIBTES/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=20mm+i.d.+drill+bushings&qid=1627049820&sr=8-1




Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 592
Re: MFT/3 holes not accurate enough for dogs
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2021, 06:23 PM »
Oh, that makes more sense.  I was like theres no way I would drill all those holes by hand if I had a CNC in the building. I owned the MKII and it did work good not perfect but that was probably mostly my fault.  I have issues with repetitive, monotonous jobs like drilling 400 holes by hand.  So I tend to start with good intensions but about half way through I start rushing. I think my biggest issue was not keeping the 20mm drill square to the top.  The 3mm holes all seemed perfectly spaced after I got new parf guides it seems I got some of the bad batch the first go around. However, I pretty much hated the process of making a new top. Way better things to do here in S. FL than be hunched over a sheet of MDF for hours making it into swiss cheese.  Perhaps a small MFT sized one wouldn't be bad but a full 4x8 Ill pass.   Im due to make some new tops but I have been holding off because of the shortages and prices.  I always finish them now though.  I tried not doing it once and my daughter taut me a lesson.  Typically I just roll on (yes roll on) whatever left over stuff I have laying around.  Which has been some Lenmar precat Lacquer. Its surprising how well it turns out with a foam roller.  4 heavy coats and then I hit it with a card scraper to level out the orange peel.  As far as the other poster worrying about slippage.  I have had no troubles with slippage and finished top.  Its harder, cleans easier and looks way better with some clear on it.  Plus no MDF pimples...

I didn't drill them all at once. I started by drilling all of the 3mm holes, I think I did do them all in one day though? Then over the next week or so, I would drill some first thing in the morning or after work for a while, before going home, 40 or 50 at a time. I just didn't have time during the day, because trying to dig out from under was quite a big deal.
I haven't put finish on either of mine, but it's just because I never thought about it. Seems silly now, but it just never occurred to me. Maybe because Festool doesn't?
I am always careful about what happens on top of it though. When you use a holey table as your primary work surface, you have to be aware of everything. Small parts, screws, etc will fall through, You have to set things (or slide things) carefully, so they don't snag. You have to watch your fingertips (guillotine) and of course water. I have a higher benchtop behind me, which is the Systainer's top. It is covered with high pressure laminate, making it the surface for that kind of thing.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75