Author Topic: Considering an MFT Table, advice?  (Read 782 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 47
Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« on: March 18, 2020, 08:05 AM »
Advantages, disadvantages etc? I see them for sale used pretty often and I wonder why?

I see one comes w/track, any reason I couldn't use my 4' one?

What are the most common accessories for them and do they sell as a kit?

What about the extension?

Just looking for hands on advice.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

Offline jeffinsgf

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 232
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 08:45 AM »
From the aspect of a cutting platform, there are a couple of approaches. The Festool approach is a hinged mount for a rail. Yes, you can use your rail, but you'll need the mount and the control block that mounts on the opposite side.

Another approach is to use stops in the 20mm holes and rest your guide rail against them.  Check out "New Brit Workshop" on YouTube for everything you could ever want to know about using the grid as a cutting platform...Peter has devoted several years of his life to making it work as it should.

Yet a third approach is to use some of the Festool gear, but not all of it. This is where I am currently. Look at "Half Inch Shy" on YouTube for a very thorough explanation of increasing cutting capacity and maintaining square accuracy by hacking the Festool system.

My two-cents is that if you can find a used MFT-1080 (from before the introduction of the MFT/3) I would highly recommend you get it. I find it much more stable than the MFT/3 and I like the extrusions on the perimeter better. But that's me personally...lots of guys love their MFT/3s.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 198
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 10:08 AM »
I bought a used MFT-1080 used, then a new MFT/3 a few months later. I haven't noticed much difference in stability, but the 1080 is a bit easier to move around, as it's slightly smaller. One of my reasons for getting the MFT/3 is the higher working height.

If you're buying new, the set with the fence, rail and angle head is a somewhat better value, the set is less than a plain MFT/3 + the cost of almost any of the add-on components you get with the set.

Look at the various videos that discuss some of the MFT, rail and fence options and see what fits your situation best. As mentioned, Peter Parfitt's (New Brit Workshop), and Half Inch Shy's presentations are especially good. Peter is also a  regular poster here, and has several threads and discussions on the various options.

Offline phase3

  • Posts: 14
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2020, 10:21 AM »
I highly recommend Peter Parfitt's YouTube videos, among others.

I bought the MFT/3 with the rail and angle kit relatively recently. For me, it raised my productivity quite a lot, but I didn't own a shop table before getting it. I'm super happy with it. The biggest advantage has been that I can quickly clamp something down any which way, and also I don't need to build as many clamping jigs. The holes everywhere, combined with various clamp types has been great. Prior to owning the table, clamping something down meant I often needed to cut some scraps, screw some things together, fiddle with this and that. My efficiency went way up after getting the table AND A BOATLOAD OF CLAMPS to go with it. The quick-clamp rail clamps fit through the holes. I've also found the sideways clamps to be super useful. Now I own the MFT/3 and MW 1000. They're all the same height. Just yesterday I had the extension table  of the MW 1000 clipped onto the MFT/3, and the rolling part of the MW 1000 at the other end, to hold a 10' 2x4. I'm pretty happy with all of it, though some reservations on the wheels & axle setup on the MW 1000. Different topic.

I don't own bench dogs/pegs. You'll see those in Peter Parfitt's videos.

From your signature, it looks like you have so many tools that perhaps you already have tables that suit most of your needs, and my experience might be too different. Last fall, I'd left my I/T job and was helping my wife with her house remodeling business. Although I had worked in a custom cabinetry shop in the past, that was many decades ago, and at that point I had nearly zero tools.

I do warn that if you're going to use the MFT/3 as a portable table, it's pretty heavy. The MFT is dense of course, and the legs are steel not aluminum. Without the protractor and rail, it's still a little over 60 lbs.

I'm still debating whether I can recommend getting it with the extra accessories of rail and protractor. I do use them, but the flip-up/flip-down rail setup is fiddly so maybe it's more "because they're there". You'll want to try it. Every time I raise & lower the rail height, I want to check again that it's square, because the sheet steel risers are just stamped with bracket corners that kinda sorta fit the outside of a plastic guide. It's been a sloppy design. On the other hand, I use the edge guide and stop pretty often, but that certainly doesn't need to be Festool's. The design of the protractor and its edge guide have worked well for me. But with all the other ways to set the rail square onto a piece, I'm currently thinking the portability and adaptability of those could've been a better investment. Those others also allow for sticking with the mantra "bring the tool to the wood". Maybe Festool thinks so too, since they've apparently licensed the clip-on TSO 90-degree rail guide.

The MFT/3 is a serial numbered unit, considered as a tool, so I think you get the 30-day trial with it.

Offline dupe

  • Posts: 90
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2020, 12:01 PM »
I also purchased a 1080 with one used side off craigslist for a good price. I love it and find it extremely useful, but given all the collaborative advancements and upgrades, I'm still not sure I would pay full price for a new full package.

As @jeffinsgf said there are several approaches to use. While I have not put it to use yet, I'm looking to implement my TSO Tall Dogs w/ Track Dog Clips instead of the pivoting track bracket. I'll next purchase the just need to purchase Fence dogs and rail. (to use with flip stops).

To me you need to ask yourself if your needs are mobile or shop bound. When I become more settled I'll build my own using the Parf Guide System. I wish for more table space on the MFT for assembly instead of just cutting which seems to be the case, but not if I have to move it around. Using the Parf Guide System I wouldn't drill the entire surface, just square cutting area and smaller designated locations for assembly. I thing Jay Bates approach to this is way more practical. Festool Quick Clamps are great but expensive. His approach allows for larger clamps.

I'm not fully satisfied with the fold down rail. I do not have a slop stop which would be a valued upgrade. Or ditching it completely for this Guide Rail Bracket by RightAngleDeign. Other than that I love the Kreg Autoadjust Dog Clamps.
MFT.1080    CT.Midi    DF.500    DTS.400    ETS.EC150/3    RO.150    RO.90    CXS 10.8

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 256
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 04:22 PM »
If you have the space for it, and don’t want or can’t have a permanent table - go for it.

As a bit opposite of most here, I don’t use mine as a cutting table, but I did go for the full kit version, to have the opportunity when eventually needed. The extra you pay for the rail, protractor etc. is definitely worth it. I’ve used the protractor and the fence though.

I use mine mostly as a general work table (and move it around to suit as well). I’ve made mounting jigs with scrap wood, clamps and dogs to produce smaller construction frames. I’ve also used it for general clamping for edge routing, planing, drilling, screwing etc.

The ability to connect it with other festool “V” profile bits and pieces such as the table for MW 1000, UG Wings and work at the same height is fantastic. If you live in the USA, you lucky has the (costly) option of buying the extension table with router insert. (I was lucky to get hold of one after a long search, and I really like the extension, it suits me, but you may think otherwise)

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 616
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2020, 04:28 PM »
The VL (extension) makes a MFT/3 a lot more stable. As do two sets of cross supports (did I get that name right?). OTH shlepping it around becomes more of a pain.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

TS55 · TS55R · OF1010 · DF500 Mk2 · MFT/3 + TSB1-MW 1000 + VL + CMS TS55 + CMS PS300 + LA-CS 70/CMS · CTL Midi · RTS400 EQ · 2 x CXS Li 1,5 · T15+3 Li 4,2 · TI15 Impact Li 4,2 · Centrotec Sets 2008 + 2015 · PSB300 · LR32-SYS · RO150 · Kapex KS120 · 2 x MFK700 · RO90 · OFK700 · BS75 · OFK500 · OF2200 · CMS-GE · Vecturo 18 Li · TID 18 … | Mirka 1230L P&C | Hammer A3 31 Silent Power · Hammer N4400 · Hammer HS950 

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6076
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 04:36 PM »
Though I have 3 MFT 3s and a Kapex MFT I think 1 MFT and the MFT extension will do about everything you need/ want

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 107
Re: Considering an MFT Table, advice?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2020, 10:34 AM »
I have one of the older MFT 1080 tables that I modified to give the current 900mm work surface height a few years ago. It serves as a great portable solution and for those times when I need to use a router for cross cutting dados on long stock, etc. What's more important is that I've adopted the same 96mm grid system for other work surfaces in my shop, including a dedicated guitar making bench and the new down-draft table setup on my auxiliary bench. My primary bench will be getting a new top "real soon now" and the same transformation will occur with that surface, too. While I do keep provisions for some .75" holes for continued used of my beloved Gramercy Hold-Downs, the rest of the grid will be a Festool inspired matrix of 20mm holes.
ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

SCM MiniMax S315WS, FS350, MM16, Camaster Stinger II SR-44 CNC