Author Topic: MFT Top Material  (Read 10465 times)

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Offline Captainwrinkles

  • Posts: 93
MFT Top Material
« on: September 16, 2010, 09:43 PM »
On a recent trip to a Festool demonstration day, I noticed the the Perforated MFT top is not just standard MDF.

Does anyone know what the name of the material???

I have access to a CNC at work so would like to make my own MFT top and use the Qwas dogs to cut panels square. I figure if Festool dont use standard MDF for their tops, then they know something i dont.

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Offline Chris Hughes

  • Posts: 572
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 09:59 PM »
I believe they call it "high density fiber board".  I found it to be unnecessarily heavy so I switched to MDO.  I bored my first replacement top using the lr32 system and a 20mm router bit, though a cnc would certainly be easier.

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2644
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 10:03 PM »
I believe they call it "high density fiber board".  I found it to be unnecessarily heavy so I switched to MDO.  I bored my first replacement top using the lr32 system and a 20mm router bit, though a cnc would certainly be easier.

So, aside from the weight difference, how would you compare the MDO to the factory top?  And, so that we're talking about the same thing, what does your MDO consist of?

Offline Chris Hughes

  • Posts: 572
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 10:43 PM »
MDO is a ply core material, probably fir, the outside ply's are water resistant MDF-like material. MDO is also called "sign board".   Another consideration is material thickness.  I used a Chinese birch once and found out that regarding the fence thickness is an issue.  BTW, the weight difference is considerable.

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2644
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 11:27 PM »
Thanks for that.  So, are you pleased with the MDO for your top?

Offline Chris Hughes

  • Posts: 572
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 08:07 AM »
Yes.  I bought the extended rails for the MFT and I do most of my work on site so weight was a major concern.  All other things appear to be the same.

Offline Captainwrinkles

  • Posts: 93
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2010, 08:28 AM »
Hey Thanks,

Now im on the lookout for it ::)

Offline jimmy7

  • Posts: 79
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 03:54 PM »
Sheet of MDF under 20 pound.replacement top for mft3 72 pound.what a rip off!!!!!!!

Offline ccarrolladams

  • Posts: 1466
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 04:35 PM »
I own one MFT in my shop. So far it is still using its original top.

In addition to that my shop has 4 rolling work tables 4x10' with brakes on the casters. All of those tops are made from 4x10' birch or maple 19mm plywood that had some cosmetic blemish. When we find such sheets we put them aside. When time opens on our CNC nested router we turn those spare sheets into work surfaces with 20mm holes on 96mm centers. Writing the program took a few minutes. The CNC machines does the production in very little time. As a sacrificial surface for use with TS saws I much prefer good plywood rather than MDF or insulation.

I do keep a generous supply of 4x8' MDO on hand because that has proven to be the most effective sacrificial surface for the CNC nested router. That machine uses vacuum to hold the work in place. MDO protects the table top and allows better suction than does MDF.

As for cost, Festool uses something like HDF, a product I have no reason to buy in quantity. I deal with most of the leading lumber dealers in Southern California so I am sure I could buy it if needed. It would hardly surprise me if it turned out the cost of a Festool replacement top was 4 times the retail price of decent plywood or MDF. My question is how much time would it take you to drill all those holes in exactly the correct position? What would be the cost of sharpening the 20mm bit or drill?

I already own a 5x12' CNC nested router. Since I only make work surfaces during otherwise idle time, the only cost for the machine is the electricity. The router is 18.5hp and the hold-down vacuum is 40hp. So even a 5 minute run uses a bunch of KW, maybe USA$1.00. Because the CNC machine is turning the bit at exactly the ideal speed and feeding it appropriately, that bit seldom needs sharpening. However, if we were making those work surfaces for a customer, they would be expensive.

For the way I like to work, having such large work tops with holes makes everything go faster. We can position clamps as needed.

Offline jimmy7

  • Posts: 79
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 04:50 PM »
I made a homemade mft 3 with left over MDF from a job,took about an hour using a 20mm auger bit.Cost-material;0.Time-1 hour.MFT3-550 pound...nuff said

Offline festooltim

  • Posts: 332
Re: MFT Top Material
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 07:03 PM »
I also use MDO weight is a big thing when you carry it through a house and up yhe stairs. Plus it holds up better when it gets wet. To make mine i clamp the factory one on top of the new one and use a plunge router with a 1/2 spiral bit. Just plunge down carfully and let the smooth part of the bit rub on the factory holes.  Works great made four so far.
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