Author Topic: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)  (Read 11311 times)

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Offline BTDT

  • Posts: 75
Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« on: February 18, 2011, 01:07 AM »
When you look at the various threads on MFT’s asking for advice on accessories you inevitably hear that the clamping elements are an essential. I agree wholeheartedly with this advice. The MFT is an excellent worksurface and the guiderail adds a lot of functionality. The basic that I expect of a workbench though is to be able to hold my work in place.

Based upon this premise I purchased the clamping elements for my MFT/3. They provide a natural extension to the MFT surface and without the clamping elements I would be missing out on the full potential of the MFT. Pictured here are three sequential shots of the clamping element prior to attachment to the MFT, inserted and clamping my workpiece.

32336-0
32338-1
32340-2

Pros
-The quick adjust makes it really easy to quickly clamp a work piece into place once the clamp has been locked to the MFT. Further, the reach of the clamping elements is significant so there is a fair degree of flexibility once the clamp has been set into place.

-They are naturally metric so they fit perfectly into the MFT top. A lot of bench holding accessories are specifically made for ¾” holes.  This means that the clamping elements fit perfectly into your MFT top.

-The profile on the clamping elements are fairly low profile so that they will not get in the way of work. I have used them while sanding, cutting, routing, and painting. With each of these tasks the clamping elements did not interfere with the work.

Cons
-The clamping elements lock onto the MFT surface by threading a knob through the bottom of the MFT to the clamp on the top of the MFT. This is a minor annoyance but threading these two parts makes me feel particularly klutzy. Further, dropping the bottom knob adds to the frustration.

It would have been nice to see a design that allowed for attaching the clamping elements through one side of the table. Lee Valley has a bench blade that does something similar to this concept.  Although this is a minor frustration it would be neat to see if this could be improved.

Conclusion
Although the clamping elements provide me with some frustration they do allow you to increase the potential of your MFT. Based upon this, the quick clamp capability and low profile I would recommend them. I would also suggest that if you do pick up a pair that you get a basket or box to attach to the side of the MFT to keep the clamps close and organized.

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Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2644
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 03:54 AM »
...
Cons
-The clamping elements lock onto the MFT surface by threading a knob through the bottom of the MFT to the clamp on the top of the MFT. This is a minor annoyance but threading these two parts makes me feel particularly klutzy. Further, dropping the bottom knob adds to the frustration.

It would have been nice to see a design that allowed for attaching the clamping elements through one side of the table. Lee Valley has a bench blade that does something similar to this concept.  Although this is a minor frustration it would be neat to see if this could be improved.

Conclusion
Although the clamping elements provide me with some frustration ...

Sounds like you'd save yourself some frustration by simply forgetting those threaded knobs.  I seldom use them.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3960
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 08:40 AM »

Sounds like you'd save yourself some frustration by simply forgetting those threaded knobs.  I seldom use them.


I've never used (or needed) the threaded knobs.  They're paperweights right now. 

 [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3227
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2011, 08:42 AM »

Sounds like you'd save yourself some frustration by simply forgetting those threaded knobs.  I seldom use them.


I've never used (or needed) the threaded knobs.  They're paperweights right now. 

 [smile]


I use the knobs all the time - one is permanently on my domi plate, and the others I use on jigs etc. Never used them on the clamps though! [big grin]
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline USPcompact

  • Posts: 95
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2011, 08:50 AM »
+whatever on not using the knobs.  I'm not even sure where mine are. 

Offline BTDT

  • Posts: 75
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 10:28 AM »
I had the same thoughts as I was writing the review...

Offline norwegian wood

  • Posts: 130
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 02:04 PM »
i agree the knobs are a pain in the butt , i never use them and seldom do, but there have been times when it started to lift out of the hole. what i think they should do is making them with a locking cam mechanism similar to blum cabinet door hinges. pop it in the hole flip the lever down and the hinge cup expands on the sides and will never pop out until you flip the lever back up again. someone patent that idea and just give me a couple free clamps when your done, lol

Offline markcoutinho

  • Posts: 23
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2012, 03:07 AM »
Gee, I already forgotten about these knobs! I didn't know what they had come with a few years ago, but now I remember!  [laughing]

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3740
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 08:48 AM »
I have mine "stored" in un unmarked drawer along with several other unspecified knobs, nuts & bolts.  Every now and then, i "discover" them and wonder, "Now, where did these come from?" [huh]
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline RonWen

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 1701
    • Ordering
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2012, 09:03 AM »
...
Cons
-The clamping elements lock onto the MFT surface by threading a knob through the bottom of the MFT to the clamp on the top of the MFT. This is a minor annoyance but threading these two parts makes me feel particularly klutzy. Further, dropping the bottom knob adds to the frustration.

It would have been nice to see a design that allowed for attaching the clamping elements through one side of the table. Lee Valley has a bench blade that does something similar to this concept.  Although this is a minor frustration it would be neat to see if this could be improved.

Conclusion
Although the clamping elements provide me with some frustration ...

Sounds like you'd save yourself some frustration by simply forgetting those threaded knobs.  I seldom use them.

I agree.

Offline James Metcalf

  • Posts: 208
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 09:35 AM »
You can open them and put in a bolt that is longer or shorter. That is what I did on the Kapex.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6190
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 10:11 AM »
Me to I put a 8.8 mm nut in mine and used it to attach my Kapex to the Kapex MFT.

I also added a long bolt to a couple of them and use them for attaching jigs to the MFT.

BTW the elements (non clamping piece) can be used to attach jigs etc to the MFT too as it has a threaded insert.


Online ScotF

  • Posts: 2766
Re: Review of Festool Clamping Elements (488 030)
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2012, 01:22 AM »
I use the knobs sometimes when I want to make sure tha the clamping elements stay put and to ensure that they do not lift off of the table.

Scot