Author Topic: MFS: Notes on the MFS  (Read 43237 times)

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Offline Ned

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MFS: Notes on the MFS
« on: January 27, 2007, 06:21 PM »
Notes on the MFS
This is an evolving document.
Greetings, all. Now that I've had my MFS400 for a while, here are some observations.
  • Print Jerry Work's guide to using the MFS and read it. Repeatedly.
  • Read Brice Burrell's excellent thread.  Again, repeatedly.
  • Before I bought it, I questioned the usefulness of the MFS 400. Seemed as if the maximum capacity was pretty small. I was wrong--I use it very frequently.  It's true that the smallest opening either MFS can be set to is the same, namely, 0 by 0. So you might argue that the MFS700 is more versatile. I think that at smaller settings the longer pieces that make up the MFS700 would often result in a more clumsy template.  This is particularly true when cutting circles, since the entire template assembly is pivoted around the center.
  • There is a BIG time savings in using the MFS to construct a template. I've frequently discovered that I could use a template while in the middle of the project that needed it. I would then have to break down various setups for that project, or at least move a lot of stuff around, to arrange to build the template. Now, with the MFS as my template-making kit, I do a lot less reconfiguring of the shop. This is a time savings even for a single use of the template.
  • Being finicky costs you almost nothing when using the MFS. If I want to make a template dimension 0.5mm more or less, it is the work of seconds to do so--no remaking or cobbling required.
  • To those with limited space: Rather than keep a lot of purpose-built templates around, I now keep "recipes" of settings for various purposes.
  • Guide Rail Connectors fit perfectly in the clamp slots of the extrusion.  They can be used to connect MFS extrusions together end-to-end.  Disadvantages compared to the joiners described below:  The connectors are very heavy, and take up enough of the slot that they may interfere with clamping.  Advantage:  You probably already have them.
  • You can get a set of 4 MFS "joiners" (493 235, a spare part, ~25USD), which allow you to connect two sections end-to-end. I believe that the intended use is two of these to connect two sections, but you can get away with a single joiner if you're careful. For the MFS 400, these parts allow the construction of a single beam 1200mm long, or two 600mm long. Jerry Work uses these joiners as markers in the groove next to the index marks.
    Spare parts have to be ordered directly from our service department. Please call
    800-554-8741 and talk to David or Lester.
  • An extremely accurate way to set up for a Festool guide rail:  Using an MFS section(s), a self-made stop that slides on the section and protrudes below it to hook against the work, set the section to the width of the piece you wish to cut.  From this point on, the MFS beam is a story stick--you'll just hook it against the work's edge and mark at the end of the beam  Tap single edge razor blades into the work against the end of the MFS section. Remove the MFS, place the guide rail's rubber against the blades, secure the rail, remove the blades, and cut. Thank you, Jerry Work and John Lucas.
  • I really like my OF1010, but: It was necessary to adjust the shortest depth stop on my OF1010 router to its minimum in order to rout through 18mm plywood using the MFS. The MFS sections themselves are 16mm thick, so the first 16mm of plunge travel is just to get the bit to the zero point on the surface of the work. Since longer 1/2"-shank cutters are widely available, the OF1400 would be a better choice to make full use of the MFS.
  • The FS-Rapid clamps can be attached to an MFS section.  The clamps may need to be adjusted slightly. The much more common FS 120 and 300 clamps, and the Quick Clamps work fine.
  • 1/4 inch square nuts are a good fit in the clamp slots; 1/4 hex nuts will also work.  5/16 nuts will not fit.
  • The FS-KS angle attachment can be attached to an MFS section, but it mounts to the top surface of the MFS section and will probably get in the way of the router. An adapter that attached the FS-KS to the side of the MFS section would be useful.
  • When you buy an MFS set, be sure you have a 30mm copying ring (aka template guide) for your router. While you can use other sizes of ring for rectangles and such, the 30 is required to use the included circle cutting piece.  I use the 30mm ring and 12mm bit by default. Keeps the math easy.
  • No matter what kit you buy to start using the MFS, you will end up buying additional pieces as the product's usefulness becomes apparent.  They're certainly on my wish list.

A Picture Is Worth 1K Words, So...

1416-11418-21424-3

MFS Parts Dimensions
Extrusion:  80mm wide by 16mm thick.  Nominal lengths are actual lengths, that is, a 700 is 700mm long.

An Example:  Slotting Narrow Stock
I made some pressure beams, used with threaded rod to clamp big work to the MFT table. The beams are 37x37x650. There are 8mm slots in two places on each beam for the threaded rod. Since the stock is narrow, in the past I'd have cut the slots with a table-mounted router
The MFS kit includes two pieces that look like heavy angle iron. I set my rectangle to cut the slot, and attached the two angles underneath the MFS, one on each side of the work, centering it. At that point the template was free to slide along the work, but couldn't wiggle. A single clamp in an MFS slot locked the setup in place. I could not cut deeply enough from one side, so I routed each slot from both sides of the work, repositioning the template. The template was accurate enough for the "mortises" to line up and make a neat slot.

The primary purpose of the routing slide is to support the router when hollowing out the center of large rectangles, for instance, a shallow tray.  This is done in a series of overlapping cuts as you move the slide from one end of the rectangle to the other.  The MFS with slide will accurately control the depth of cut, but it does not seem to be intended to precisely control the x,y movement of the router--other than constraining it within the rectangle.  There is no way to lock the OF1010 at a particular place in the slot, nor is there a pointer or markings to tell you where you are on the slide.

Both the OF1010 and OF1400 routers work with the routing slide, despite what you may have read elsewhere.  The OF1010 requires the 30mm copying ring.  The ring is a loose fit in the slot.  The ring protrudes below the slide; at the end of the slot, the ring will hit the extrusion, protecting it from the bit.  I don't know if the OF1400 needs a ring.  Anyone know?

The slide is a heavy steel channel.  There's a lever clamp that attaches to the outside vertical surface of an MFS extrusion.  Tabs in the slide go into slots on the top of the extrusion to keep things at right angles.  The slide is clamped only at one end, but in normal use you shouldn't be applying forces that would deflect it.  An index pointer centered on the slide's slot lays over the graduations on the extrusion.

The maximum distance the router can be moved within the slot is approximately 625mm (a bit more than 24").  The longest cut you could make is somewhat less, affected by your bit and also the extrusions.

Thanks to the index pointer and clamp, it should be possible to do a series of parallel slots, although the loose fit of the ring in the slot would need to be compensated for.  More accurate results could be achieved with a guide rail.

Circle Cutting
1426-4

Both the MFS 400 and MFS 700 kits contain two parts used to assemble a circle cutting jig.

The Pivot slides and locks into a joiner slot.  The length of the extrusion centers the pivot relative to the center of the circle routing insert.  The 8mm pivot pin fits snugly into a 5/16" hole drilled in the center of the workpiece.

The Circle Routing Insert is intended to slide in a narrow MFS rectangle to adjust the radius of the circle.  A locking screw locks it in place.   The hole in the center of the insert is sized for the required (but not included) 30mm copy ring.

The scale, used with the graduations on the rails, is used to set the radius.  There are markings on either side of the scale's zero point.  The markings nearest the pivot indicate the inside of the cut; those on the other side indicate the outside cut.  For example, if you're using an 8mm diameter bit and you're cutting a circular panel, you would use the 4th mark on the right of the zero (going toward the pivot) to set your radius.  If on the other hand you were cutting a hole with the same bit, you'd use the 4th mark on the left of the zero, since that indicates the outer radius of the cut.

A good line drawing and the usual terse instructions are included in the little booklet that comes with the kit.  It's easy and quick to cut accurate circles this way, but experiment on scrap first.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 09:11 AM by Ned Young »

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 Michael Kellough

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2007, 06:43 PM »
Thanks for the notes Ned. You're making the MFS sound a lot more interesting to those of us who haven't taken time to read Jerry's manual.

Offline Dan Lyke

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 11:43 PM »
Thanks for the write-up! I spent a few hours working on a poor man's MFS this afternoon, and my sweety said "why don't we just get the real thing?". I'm not sure whether that's a commentary on my abilities, but she may be heading down to Fresno and be able to drop by Ideal Saw Works next weekend (our local Festool dealer stocks nothing and wants to add a special order charge to everything, and if I do that I may as well just order from Bob Marino, but my sweety's brother works for Ideal Saw Works, and they let us play with the tools in their showroom for quite a while, so I'm happy to send business their way).

So, after that long-winded digression, a few questions:

I think I read somewhere that the Routing Slide MFS-FS allegedly only works with the OF 1400? Is this true, or does it work with the OF 1010 if you've got the right bushing or adapter?

Jerry Work's guide seems to indicate that 5 rails are the right number to use the system for indexed cutting. Should I start out with that in mind?

I already have the OF 1010. Would I be better off going with the 700 and just routing inside the square, rather than trying to extend that tiny shank down the distance of the square with the bushing inside the 400? Or is that even possible?

Thanks!

Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline Tinker

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 08:39 AM »
Thanks for the rundown on MFS.  I have been wrestling with whether to get the 400 or 700.  It looks like no matter which I get, I would eventually require some other parts to make bigger in one direction or another.  I think, Ned, you have convinced me to go with the 400 and make do with that until such time as I absolutely need to extend.  Between you and Jerry Work, i have a pretty good idea of how to use the template system.  I have a large (for me) project coming up that I think could put the MFS thru its paces pretty good.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Dan Lyke

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 10:16 AM »
Thanks for the rundown on MFS.  I have been wrestling with whether to get the 400 or 700.

After sleeping on my questions for the evening: I think our budget for our next Festool purchasing trip is $500. Maybe I can convince my sweety to go to $600, which I think would include a 400, the 1000mm rail set, and the assorted bags of bolts & parts. That'd give the 5 rails for building the regular cut jig with a larger size capability than the 700.
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2007, 12:13 PM »
...and my sweety said "why don't we just get the real thing?".
Aren't sweeties like yours great?  I'll never forget the jealousy of my friends when I told them my wife was pushing for the PC 7539 router for table use, rather than something less powerful.
Quote
I think I read somewhere that the Routing Slide MFS-FS allegedly only works with the OF 1400? Is this true, or does it work with the OF 1010 if you've got the right bushing or adapter?
See added section at the head of the thread.
Quote
Jerry Work's guide seems to indicate that 5 rails are the right number to use the system for indexed cutting. Should I start out with that in mind?
Sure, why not.   :)  Eventually, you'll have extrusions of every size anyway.
Quote
I already have the OF 1010. Would I be better off going with the 700 and just routing inside the square, rather than trying to extend that tiny shank down the distance of the square with the bushing inside the 400? Or is that even possible?
If I understand, you'd be using the rim of the base of the router as the copying ring.  Never occurred to me to try that.  The 1010's base has two flats, so you'd have to be careful.  And I don't think Festool guarantees the concentricity of the base and the bit--that's why we go through the alignment step when mounting a copying ring.  All in all, this might work, but I don't find it attractive.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 12:18 PM »
and the assorted bags of bolts & parts.
The joiners I mentioned are considered spare parts.  They shipped separately from the rest of my order.  Order them, and be patient.
Quote
That'd give the 5 rails for building the regular cut jig with a larger size capability than the 700.
That seems like a good plan.  The 1m extrusions were my next buy, but I hadn't thought of it in quite this way.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 12:21 PM »
I'm trying something new on this thread.  I've discovered that I can modify my own posts, so I'm going to update the original post in response to comments and suggestions.  The idea is that first post will be one-stop shopping for the most important points of the thread, kind of wiki-like.  Let's see how it works.

Offline Matthew Schenker

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 12:28 PM »
Ned,
Editing a single post, and showing the updates, is a great way to go.  I'm using this technique as well in other places on this board -- for example, to update the list of entries in the Domino Raffle.  The time and date stamp makes it easy for people to see when the information was updated.
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFS: Routing slide questions
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 01:55 PM »
"The slide is a heavy steel channel.  There's a lever clamp that attaches to the outside vertical surface of an MFS extrusion.  Tabs in the slide go into slots on the top of the extrusion to keep things at right angles.  The slide is clamped only at one end, but in normal use you shouldn't be applying forces that would deflect it.  An index pointer centered on the slide's slot lays over the graduations on the extrusion.

The maximum distance the router can be moved within the slot is approximately 625mm (a bit more than 24").  The longest cut you could make is somewhat less, affected by your bit and also the extrusions."

Ned,

Isn't the routing slide to allow X,Y movement of the router over a broad area, much larger than the router base alone would support when used with the MFS alone? For this application you wouldn't want to clamp the slide would you? Since the slide can move the limit to the router's travel is the slot length "625mm (a bit more than 24")" by the maximum length of your MFS rails.

If you use the slide does the 30mm copy ring extend deep enough to engage the MFS? Does the copy ring fit snug in the slot in the slide or are there two axis of movement there as well?

So what are some of the uses where you'd want to clamp the slide?

Offline Dan Lyke

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2007, 02:02 PM »
I think I can answer this one...

Trying to use the slide and the MFS rail as though it were a different clamp on a guide rail seems like it might have too much flex to be really precise (ie: trying to cut shelf rail guides in 8' shelf frame sides), and I can't see if there's a way to clamp the router to a specific place in the side. So for that I'd just align a standard rail.

However, if you were making parallel relatively short cuts (< 2', ie: drawer rail or shelf dadoes in a carcase side), it seems to me like you'd want to move the slide to the apropriate position, lock it, make your cut, unlock it, move the slide to the next position, etc.
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2007, 03:00 PM »
Michael,

Thanks for your input.  Please reread the MFS section and see if I've clarified it and answered your questions.

Dan,

Right you are.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2007, 04:18 PM »
Michael,

Thanks for your input.  Please reread the MFS section and see if I've clarified it and answered your questions.

Dan,

Right you are.

\

Thanks Ned,
That helped but I'll need to check out Jerry's guide (your rule number 1) in order to see enough decent  photos to get it clear in my mind.

The one question you seemed to miss is, "If you use the slide does the 30mm copy ring extend deep enough to engage the MFS?"

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2007, 04:26 PM »
Michael,

Quote
The ring protrudes below the slide; at the end of the slot, the ring will hit the extrusion, protecting it from the bit.

Ned

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2007, 06:49 PM »
Michael,

Quote
The ring protrudes below the slide; at the end of the slot, the ring will hit the extrusion, protecting it from the bit.

Ned

Doh! Thanks Ned, I'm a bit off my game today.

Offline Dan Lyke

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2007, 08:09 PM »
Okay, I find part #493235 in your post (as "Get the set of 4 MFS "joiners""), in Jerry Work's guide (as "...a small bag of "V" nuts and set screws"), and on the web site of a Festool dealer in England, but nothing in the catalog or the web site.

The folks at my dealer are trying to track it down, and have the Festool rep on the case, but do you have any other info which might help?
Accomplished computer geek, novice woodworker, road cyclist, in Sonoma county, northern California.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2007, 08:22 PM »
part #493235 in your post (as "Get the set of 4 MFS "joiners""), in Jerry Work's guide (as "...a small bag of "V" nuts and set screws")

The bag o'joiners is a spare part.  Mine was shipped from Festool USA HQ, not their usual warehouse.

I've included information on ordering these in the first post of this thread.

Ned
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 09:03 AM by Ned Young »

Offline MarkusS

  • Posts: 59
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2007, 07:25 AM »
The MFS was invented by the german company "GEAT" a few years ago. Festool bought the concept from GEAT and changed some parameters (the profile and the size - the GEAT-system was longer). The GEAT-system was universal, you could use it with almost any router.

There is still an english broshure for the GEAT-system available (nice description, many pics), you can grab it here -> http://www.geatsystem.com/geatwd/dt/znf/sdg_3e.zip

No need to say that the price raised a little bit when Festool took over the system  :P

Regards

Mark

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2007, 09:27 AM »
Mark,

Thanks very much for the information on GEAT, and for your posting on the Systainer insert and a competitor.

Ned

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2007, 04:42 PM »
  • Guide Rail Connectors fit perfectly in the clamp slots of the extrusion.  They can be used to connect MFS extrusions together end-to-end.  Disadvantages compared to the joiners described below:  The connectors are very heavy, and take up enough of the slot that they may interfere with clamping.  Advantage:  You probably already have them.

Quoting myself seems a little weird, but there's no better way to announce new information.  Also, I've included some useful closeup photos of the MFS in the first post.

Offline womackdesign

  • Posts: 66
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2007, 07:21 PM »
HI. I am looking for more information on the geat system then the wood depot site. Can somebody advise the web site that the router insert plate came from.  I have bought the MFS 400,MFS 700, and the 1000 ext rails. Festool issued a product sheet with the jig "parts" that illustrate the various componets that make up the system. One item is a mystery part #493 318 looks like a keyhole slot, anybody know what this is for. The Festool German web site also sells the 400mm rail as a separate componet which should be done in the states. Any of you guys in europe have any information on the geat system before festool bought the rights? I have read Jerry Work great work on the subject but there must be more information of this system. Thanks 

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2007, 06:42 PM »
I got a personal email asking a question about the MFS--a question that I'd thought of also.  I think this may be of general interest:
Quote
My question is there any reason you see why I can't buy the longest 2000 mm rails & cut to  shorter lengths?  In other words why couldn't I simply get the 2000 mm rails & cut one rail in half, and one in 3 pieces.

Would I need additional hardware/parts to do this like threaded jointers etc.?
1.  The 2m rail does not have graduations on it.  The graduations are really important to the use of the MFS, unless you're making a production jig that won't ever be changed.

2.  If you cut a rail to make several rails, you will need joiner slot bushings, screws, right angle nuts, and alignment pins for one end of each of your "new" rails.  See the callouts on one of the photos in my Notes on the MFS post.

3.  If you cut a graduated rail, the "new" rails won't start at zero.  Worse, they won't start exactly on a useful graduation, because of the saw kerf.

Quote from: this used to say
4.  In Europe, 200, 400, and 700 rails are sold separately.  We should encourage Festool USA to make them available in NA.

4.  [As of 4/1/2008] Festool USA lists all rails (properly, Extension Profiles) as standard stock items, sold in pairs.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 01:15 PM by Ned Young »

Offline Jim Dailey

  • Posts: 278
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2007, 11:31 AM »
Ned,

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Since we exchanged PM's I've ordered a MFS 700 set & 1000 rails.   Although based on your comments I am very tempted to order a MFS 400 also.... to get the short rails in the MFS 400 set since Festool USA unlike Europe won't stock them separately....  Or offer a "super set" that would include both the MFS 400 & MFS 700 rails...  Are you listening Festool USA....???

Your posts about the MFS system has been very helpful... 

And again "Thank You"

jim
Life is just a series of projects...

Offline Dave Rudy

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2007, 02:40 PM »
Jim,

Since the 400 rails are listed as parts on the parts diagram and have parts numbers, have you tried Festool parts to see if they will sell them separately?

Might be worth a shot.

Dave

Offline Jim Dailey

  • Posts: 278
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2007, 04:39 PM »
Hi Dave,

I like your idea about ordering the MFS rails as "parts", but in a prior conversation with Mark on the Festool USA desk he had indicated the rails where not available as far as he knew....  But Mark suggested I speak to David McGibbon the Festool Service manager directly.    I left a message late last week (before I received Neds feedback about cutting down larger rails would lose the index marks) for David about the availability of individual 2000 mm rails but haven't heard back from him...

Fortunately Festool USA is stocking MFT rails, legs, corners... etc. as "parts" making it easier to create a larger shop built MFT.

Thanks, jim

Life is just a series of projects...

Offline Dave Rudy

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  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2007, 09:15 PM »
Jim,

From the Festool parts website:

http//ekat.festool.com/EKAT_USA/jsp/main.jsp?doAction=start&partLang=en&docuLang=en&locale=en_EN&viewerType=6&verticalLayout=1&HOOK_URL=&currency=USD&filter_F_Typ1=on&filterValues_F_Typ1=US&currencyKey=US

I got the MFS 400 as part number 492610.  Maybe Mark can find it to order that way.  Maybe not, but worth a shot.


Dave

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2007, 10:27 PM »
Included information on circle cutting.

Offline Matthew Schenker

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2007, 07:20 AM »
Ned,
Excellent discussion, with great details.  I'd be interested in seeing even more on the MFS -- more in-use shots for specific projects.  How do other people use the MFS?
Matthew
FOG Designer and Creator

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2007, 01:37 PM »
Just converted the images to inline thumbnails.  The first image isn't a thumbnail, and that's intentional.

No change to the text.

Offline TahoeTwoBears

  • Posts: 194
  • Sugar Bear - South Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2007, 09:15 AM »
Storage of anything that doesn't fit in a Systainer is an issue. Are the extrusions drilled so that I might hang them like the guide rails? If not, would it be possible to drill them in a manner that wouldn't harm them or their functionality?

Mike

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2007, 09:27 AM »
Storage of anything that doesn't fit in a Systainer is an issue. Are the extrusions drilled so that I might hang them like the guide rails? If not, would it be possible to drill them in a manner that wouldn't harm them or their functionality?

Mike

        I don't know much about the MFS, but maybe it would be possible to hang them from a clamp or connector that fits into them. Or leave them connected in the rectangle use form and just hang the whole rectangle unit.

Seth

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 Dan Uhlir

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2007, 11:38 PM »

  i don't have a mfs yet but it is on the wish list... having said that, i think the mfs 400 would easily fit in a systainer. If and when i do get an mfs i would keep it low to the ground so if it did fall, it wouldn't fall far, and i don't think i'd drill any   holes in it.dan

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2007, 11:40 PM »
Mike,

There are no hanging holes drilled in the extrusions.  If you have only 4 of them, leave them assembled the way you used them last, hanging on the wall like all those templates the MFS replaced.  They also stack up neatly.

If you insist on drilling hanging holes:  I've got a 200mm profile in front of me.  Looks like you could drill through the area identified as the clamp slot in the first image above.  The worst that could happen if you drilled straight down in the clamp slot is that you could hit the label (not the graduations).  The hole could be as large as 8mm (5/16").

Ned
« Last Edit: July 31, 2007, 11:41 PM by Ned Young »

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2007, 07:59 AM »
Today, Elena and I will be making some faux raised panel doors for the Cabinetmaking DVD. I used the MFS  for this application a year or more ago  (Beth was here) and it worked very well. Actually today, Elena and I will make one of the faux doors and one with standard rail and stile using the new router table built-in to one of my MFT's. Will have that story up by the weekend.

The rounded corner of the faux raised panel doors...


Beth sets MFS frame in place...


Andrea inspecting the router plate cut out in MFT
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline Eli

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2007, 08:02 AM »
John-
How do you weigh in as to best config for MFS. Sounds like many consider the 700 plus a pair of 1000 rails the best starter. What's in the demos shop?




And how many rails do we have to buy before we can start pulling in assistants like yours? ;D
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2007, 10:03 AM »
John-
How do you weigh in as to best config for MFS. Sounds like many consider the 700 plus a pair of 1000 rails the best starter. What's in the demos shop?




And how many rails do we have to buy before we can start pulling in assistants like yours? ;D

You have to buy one each of everything in Festool catalog.

MFS:  one 400 and 0ne 700
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline TahoeTwoBears

  • Posts: 194
  • Sugar Bear - South Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #36 on: August 01, 2007, 10:26 AM »
Good morning Ned,

It sounds as if drilling a hole wouldn't be the best option. Once I make the jump, I suppose I'll figure a way to store them. I always have.

Okay to start off with the MFS 400? or is the best bang for the buck the 700?

Mike

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2007, 10:26 AM »
You have to buy one each of everything in Festool catalog.

MFS:  one 400 and 0ne 700

While you can never have too many "profiles", you can save a bit by buying one of the kits (say, the MFS 400) and the profiles not included in that kit (MFS-VP 700, 492724).

And you'll need some things not in the catalog...

As soon as you have more than 4 MFS profiles, you need to get a set of 4 MFS "joiners" (493235, a spare part, ~25USD).  Two joiners are used to link the profiles end-to-end.  If you have both MFS 400 and MFS 700 sets, you can join the pairs of 400mm profiles to make two 800mm units.  Those in a rectangle with the 700s allow squares over 600mm (~24 inches).

The joiners could also be used for large circles or arcs.  Joining each 700 to a 400 gives you two 1100mm units.  Make a circle cutting jig with these and your 200mm's, and you've got the ability to do a 1m (39 inch) radius.

When you compare the cost of the joiners with the 1m profiles, they seem cheap...but you'll want to get the meter-length profiles anyway.   :)

Ned
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 10:36 AM by Ned Young »

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2007, 10:33 AM »
Okay to start off with the MFS 400? or is the best bang for the buck the 700?

Morning Mike,

What size templates do you want to start out with?  That determines whether a 400 or a 700 kit would be better.

Please see the second point in the first post.

Ned


Offline TahoeTwoBears

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2007, 09:03 AM »
Howdy,

Truth be told, I have no idea which templates would be handier for me at this point. I this point I'm only a woodworker wannabe, who does projects around the house. Once caught up (does that ever happen?) I'd love to build a few cabinets and smaller projects (small boxes). I'm assuming that I should start with the small set, which would allow me to experiment at less cost. On the other hand, perhaps that would impose limits too quickly. I have a problem visualizing much of what's been written since I've not physically seen the templates. The dealers I've been to haven't carried them. Thanks for the help.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2007, 02:55 PM »
  • 1/4 inch square nuts are a good fit in the clamp slots; 1/4 hex nuts will also work.  5/16 nuts will not fit.

Added to the head of this thread.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2008, 01:35 PM »
Added extrusion dimensions to the Notes at the head of the thread.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2008, 09:11 AM »
Added link to Brice's thread to the first post here.

Offline Ned

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2008, 01:21 PM »
Modified earlier post in this thread.

Quote from: this used to say
4.  In Europe, 200, 400, and 700 rails are sold separately.  We should encourage Festool USA to make them available in NA.

4.  [As of 4/1/2008] Festool USA lists all rails (properly, Extension Profiles) as standard stock items, sold in pairs.

Self-explanatory.

Offline Dave Ronyak

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2008, 10:41 PM »
Modified earlier post in this thread.

Quote from: this used to say
4.  In Europe, 200, 400, and 700 rails are sold separately.  We should encourage Festool USA to make them available in NA.

4.  [As of 4/1/2008] Festool USA lists all rails (properly, Extension Profiles) as standard stock items, sold in pairs.

Self-explanatory.

Good.  But they were available that way earlier.  After reading Brice B's tutorial and Jerry Work's MFS manual I "vowed" I would not buy an MFS until the extra V-nuts and pairs of MFS extrusions were available separately.  I ordered the special nuts first, and after they came ordered the MFS 400 and a pair of 700 mm extrusions from Bob. M. and they were quickly delivered, as usual.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline TahoeTwoBears

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MFS Storage
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2008, 08:41 PM »
Okay, I raised this issue once before, but back then I didn't have the MFS. Finally bought the MFS 400, and intend to add the 700 and 1000 profiles soon. I still haven't figure a way to store them securely and nicely. Since the original thread, has anyone come up with something innovative? I can see that if you're not careful, you could rub the markings right off with them kicking around and being vibrated in the truck.

Looking for ideas............

Mike

Offline Les Spencer

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #46 on: July 28, 2008, 04:23 PM »
I made a simple storage box with a hinged lid.
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Eli

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2008, 02:54 AM »
Since the beginning of thread I got the smaller set and the 1000's. I keep the 1k's in their original cardboard box, and all the other stuff in an Anvil Case briefcase I had. I'm thinking pretty soon I'll be getting a pelican rifle case for the 1k's and the Kapex fence extrusions, maybe the CMS fence if I can fit it in.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline TahoeTwoBears

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2008, 09:47 AM »
Eli,

That's an excellent thought. With no shop, everything needs to be portable and storable (is that even a word?). I've been pondering the fences for both my 1080 and now my MFT/3, but never even thought of them in the same vein as the MFS. I suspect that if I already had the 1k, I'd have thought differently.  I'll have to do some measuring and find a good dealer. Thanks for the heads up.

Mike

Offline Eli

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2008, 05:21 PM »
My shop is very small, and everything has to go to site. I use a few anvil cases and a large rolling pelican already. I might have stayed in cardboard with everything, but I had some cases already.
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Roger Savatteri

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2008, 06:31 PM »


Mine get hung up as they stay in the shop,

but if I were to travel with them,  I'd be looking at something like these.

http://www.fishingwadersocks.com/gun-socks.htm

(call to double check fit)

R.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10238-0
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 06:34 PM by Roger Savatteri »
Los Angeles, California

Offline TahoeTwoBears

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #51 on: July 29, 2008, 11:05 PM »
My shop is very small, and everything has to go to site. I use a few anvil cases and a large rolling pelican already. I might have stayed in cardboard with everything, but I had some cases already.

I'm guessing that you picked up your knowledge of these things in your business? I hadn't been exposed to them except for the small Pelican cases I see at REI. Pretty cool stuff. I find myself in the weird position of living in two different homes right now, and they're 500 miles apart. Everytime I need something, it's at the other place. I don't know if we're going to be to figure this life out or not, but it is what it is for now.


Mike

Offline Eli

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #52 on: July 30, 2008, 05:41 AM »
My shop is very small, and everything has to go to site. I use a few anvil cases and a large rolling pelican already. I might have stayed in cardboard with everything, but I had some cases already.

I'm guessing that you picked up your knowledge of these things in your business?

True. Very common to pack small expensive lights, cameras, etc. in them. Mine don't have foam but you can get it for any of them. The Anvil cases I've had for years, cheap at Showbiz Expo Convention special pricing. The Pelicans I have are 1650's I think? Large rolling cases. The CMS accessories, table inserts, hoses, extension tables all go in one, I haven't pirated the other one yet for Festool but I probably will soon.

I used to get mine from  http://www.cases4less.com/  , but there are many sites and they might not have the best prices anymore. I think Anvil is out of business, but That place TCH we've been talking to has all the bits to make custom cases. I guess I've got to find an Australian distributor that doesn't want my firstborn in terms of price, unless I can get someone in the states to send them like russian nesting dolls!
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline TahoeTwoBears

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #53 on: July 30, 2008, 11:58 AM »
Eli,

Thanks for the link. I checked them out. They're in El Cajon which isn't too far from Oceanside. I'll check them out when we're there next.

Thanks.

Mike

Offline TinyShop

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2019, 09:12 PM »
Resurrecting this thread to add some photos snagged from the Geat website:

Some nifty clamping elements which were available as accessories:









Modern equivalents could be milled out of aluminium or stainless with the appropriate Acme threaded hole or threaded stainless steel insert for this Bessey spare part:

308886-4

Using a pivot point (I'm guessing something like a hex bolt, fender washer and star knob) installed in a t-slot in conjunction with the router slide, one can easily mill teardrop shapes:

308888-5

Using two fixed points and the router slide, one can easily mill triangular shapes.



Another simple pivot point fixture for circle milling:





A simple fixture for drilling evenly spaced holes (in conjunction, I would assume, with an inverted drill bit or steel dowl/pin for marching the drill along):



What I'm guessing are steel strengthening plates intended for use with the aforementioned clamping elements for positioning the MFS atop of a narrow piece of material (parts of the plates are visible to the discerning eye in the second photo (the reason for the area circled in red):





Plastic end caps for protecting the cut ends of the MFS profiles (one is installed in the above photo):



A router table insert (which built upon the concept that one could use the MFS as a mobile worktop and clamping surface, etc.):





And, finally, an ingenious fixture for milling ellipses:





For posterity....
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 09:50 PM by TinyShop »
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Jim Kirkpatrick

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2019, 09:44 PM »
It's a darn shame the MFS is NAINA anymore.  Thanks for resurrecting the thread.  I forgot about Jerry Work.  Good stuff!

Offline Roseland

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #56 on: December 31, 2019, 04:21 AM »
The MFS400 looks remarkably like:

https://www.virutex.es/productes/?accio=producte&id=145

The only difference I can see is that the rails do not have scales on them.

Virutex claim to sell in 5 continents, so I guess there is a good chance they sell in the USA.

Incidentally, the MFS is one of my most used tools; I use it on just about every project I do.

Andrew
TS55, MFT/3, OF1400, OF1010, CT26, RS100, ETS125, CXS, MFS400, DF-500, Zobos.

Offline gunnyr

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2019, 09:44 AM »
I messaged Virutex sometime ago asking about NA availability and never received a response.  If anyone has any luck please post an update.
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
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Offline Svar

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2019, 10:32 AM »
It's a darn shame the MFS is NAINA anymore.
Today it's not a problem. Woodpeckers Variable Router Jig is even better option.

Offline Cheese

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2019, 10:32 AM »
It's a darn shame the MFS is NAINA anymore. 

The MFS is still available from the UK.  [big grin]

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2019, 03:57 PM »
Just a reminder to all that any enterprising person with a credit card (ideally, tied to a PayPal account) and an internet connection can readily and easily locate and purchase an MFS of their choosing (along with additional profiles, accessories, etc.) from any number of online retailers. Everything you need to know to do so is located elsewhere on this forum. For instance, just spend a few minutes reading up on other posts related to the MFS. IOW just because Festool did a questionable job of marketing this brilliant device, doesn't mean that we here in N.A. need to suffer from their subsequent decision to quit importing it.

Here's the video - that along with all of the other MFS user content that's hiding in plain site on the web - sealed the deal for me (in it, the presenter shows how he is able to achieve stunning accuracy in processing sheet goods simply by using his MFS as a square in conjunction with a TS 55 and FS guide rail) [this technique, of course, is no doubt informed by the wonderful examples set by Brice Burrell and Jerry Work in their respective "guides to the MFS"]:



It's been written before (but bears repeating)...in a nutshell, the MFS is:
  • an incredibly accurate square and squaring jig (for squaring your MFT/3 & other cutting machines, guide rails, cabinet carcasses, picture/mirror/window frames (and for gluing up all the above), etc.);
  • a highly accurate and adjustable router, drill & jigsaw template/guide (for milling open field squares, rectangles, circles, arcs and other geometric shapes plus sliding dovetails, inlays, Dutchman, etc.);
  • a router slide (paired with the slide accessory) for planing stuff like slabs or anything else that can or cannot be fed through a planer (a machine you may or may not already own);
  • with a little forethought, a great platform for a precision uniform hole-pattern drilling jig (see my previous post for a couple of inspirational photos in this regard) and precision uniform mortise-pattern Domino'ing jig (see the following for inspiration:

    [could be used in conjunction with a Lamello, etc., too]);
  • cauls for use during glue ups; and...
  • the list goes on (and on, and on).
For me, the fact that this tool is in fact so many tools in-one helps significantly to justify the cost. Moreover, the fact that I'll be able to avoid having to make plywood routing jigs translates into material savings and time savings. How many members of this forum drop hundreds on a set of WP's precision square's? And a square only has one function! I'm all about multi-function so this tool should fit many indivdual bills nicely for me.

Be sure to check out Mr. Burrell's and Mr. Work's respective guides for more!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 04:19 PM by TinyShop »
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

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.


Online 08G8V8

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Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #61 on: January 01, 2020, 12:17 AM »
Just a reminder to all that any enterprising person with a credit card (ideally, tied to a PayPal account) and an internet connection can readily and easily locate and purchase an MFS of their choosing (along with additional profiles, accessories, etc.) from any number of online retailers. Everything you need to know to do so is located elsewhere on this forum. For instance, just spend a few minutes reading up on other posts related to the MFS. IOW just because Festool did a questionable job of marketing this brilliant device, doesn't mean that we here in N.A. need to suffer from their subsequent decision to quit importing it.


I did a search and didn’t see much on ordering except the last post in this thread. Not sure if this is a reputable method of ordering.


Has the MFS Router Template System been discontinued?
 https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/topic?share_fid=11638&share_tid=45927&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffestoolownersgroup%2Ecom%2Findex%2Ephp%3Ftopic%3D45927&share_type=t&link_source=app


Is there another/better source? 

I see Woodpeckers does make a similar setup. It has no measurements along the lengths, so I was curious how much difference that makes in setup. I’m would think it definitely makes setup quicker.  Thoughts?

Thanks




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Online 08G8V8

  • Posts: 54
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2020, 12:23 AM »
I guess it does have metric and imperial scales.  I thought it didn’t last time I looked at it on their website, but I guess I was mistaken.

I know this is a Festool site, but for those of us in the USA, what would be the differences in these 2 options?

Thanks


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6796
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2020, 12:27 AM »
I did a search and didn’t see much on ordering except the last post in this thread. Not sure if this is a reputable method of ordering.

Has the MFS Router Template System been discontinued?

PM me if you're looking for a source.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1951
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2020, 12:44 PM »
I know this is a Festool site, but for those of us in the USA, what would be the differences in these 2 options?
Other than dual scale the advantage of Woodpeckers template is better connection. In MFS there is a single screw in the corner - poor choice if you are connecting just two pieces (L or T shape). Also WP extrusions are easily available individually in various length.

Offline Samo

  • Posts: 578
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #65 on: January 01, 2020, 01:29 PM »
I know this is a Festool site, but for those of us in the USA, what would be the differences in these 2 options?
Other than dual scale the advantage of Woodpeckers template is better connection. In MFS there is a single screw in the corner - poor choice if you are connecting just two pieces (L or T shape). Also WP extrusions are easily available individually in various length.

Also, not being Festool, more reasonably priced :(

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #66 on: January 01, 2020, 11:08 PM »
@Svar - True, though couldn't one simply purchase some spares of the left-hand threaded insert, small diameter-headed hex bolts and vee nuts (Festool 466353) to allow for connection on both sides when desired? Now, I realize that as far as spare parts go, they aren't cheap but....

Speaking of which, I stumbled upon the fact that the 80/20 folks early-on employed this same style of connector:



I'm now on a quest to locate an alternative source of the particular combination of connecting hardware which the MFS utilizes. I wonder if I'll be able to locate one?

 [popcorn]

......well that didn't take very long:

Zinc plated hardware

https://us-product.item24.com/en/productdetails/products/automatic-fastening-sets-1001012019/automatic-fastening-set-5-bright-zinc-plated-39160/

Stainless steel hardware

https://us-product.item24.com/en/productdetails/products/automatic-fastening-sets-1001012019/automatic-fastening-set-5-stainless-43746/

This has got to be the same hardware. The installation instructions for the "Automatic-Fastening Sets" even state that, "Important: The sleeve of the Automatic Fastener has a left-hand thread, the sleeve of the Automatic-Butt Fastener (with internal thread) bears a right-hand thread outside." Also, the associated non-standard small-diameter-head cap screw is an M4 X 30. Question: is the thread/pitch on the MFS cap screw M4 X 30?

As a curious aside, the instructions also state that, "Automatic-Fastening Sets should always be used in pairs." All the more reason to pick up some extras, no? ;)
 
Anyone interested in an upgrade (and willing to engage in some light machining of some 12mm diameter holes) - may be worth it to eliminate the risk of the threads stripping out of the profiles - might get excited by the following connecting hardware:

Zinc Plated - https://us-product.item24.com/en/productdetails/products/universal-fastening-sets-1001012017/universal-fastening-set-5-bright-zinc-plated-37027/

Stainless - https://us-product.item24.com/en/productdetails/products/universal-fastening-sets-1001012017/universal-fastening-set-5-stainless-43752/

Now, from the looks of the stock profiles produced by this German company (another tip-off), the MFS is produced from a proprietary set of dies (it doesn't perfectly match any of the company's stock profiles). However, all the connecting hardware designed for the v-channel appears to be of a standard design (and looks remarkably similar to the MFS connecting hardware). I'm guessing, therefore, that the hardware compatible with the MFS is everything intended for the "Profile 5 80X20" extrusions (these look the most similar to the MFS profile - minus the T-tracks, etc.). Moreover, according to the info contained in Brice's guide, the MFS measures 80mm wide X 16mm thick. Meanwhile, the "Profile 5 80X20" appears to measure, well, 80mm X 20mm (which again may infer that the MFS is produced using a custom die).

Finally, as always, the Germans have thought of everything. Who won't get a kick out of the custom drill guide?

Or, for those wishing a less expensive option, the drilling jig?

So, there you have it. For the heck of it, I registered for an account and submitted an "Enquiry" for 10 each of the basic connecting hardware kits (in zinc plating and stainless - I want to be able to compare the pricing for the two different metal compositions). Not sure if they'll sell to the public but I'll report back whatever I hear. FWIW their U.S. headquarters is in Hagerstown, MD, and here's a list of their regional reps.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 11:24 PM by TinyShop »
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6796
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #67 on: January 01, 2020, 11:53 PM »
@Svar - True, though couldn't one simply purchase some spares of the left-hand threaded insert, small diameter-headed hex bolts and vee nuts (Festool 466353) to allow for connection on both sides when desired? Now, I realize that as far as spare parts go, they aren't cheap but....

Yessssss...that's exactly what I did when I restructured the MFS to fabricate some HVAC grilles from Brazilian Cherry. I added an extra fastener to each leg and it worked out fine. I think each fastener was around $10. Not initially cheap, however very cheap when considering the alternative. I was quoted a price of $105 per grill to have these fabricated by an outside service, not including the material. I needed 7 of them so do the math...$40 for fasteners vs $700+ for the finished product.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 12:02 AM by Cheese »

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4486
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #68 on: January 02, 2020, 12:18 AM »
Don’t recall the name of the company but Festool bought the MFS from the original developers.
Festool might have added the the plastic shoe to prevent the router from tipping?

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #69 on: January 02, 2020, 03:04 AM »
Don’t recall the name of the company but Festool bought the MFS from the original developers.
Festool might have added the the plastic shoe to prevent the router from tipping?

https://www.festoolownersgroup.com/festool-tools-accessories/mfs-notes-on-the-mfs/msg596786/#msg596786
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6796
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #70 on: January 02, 2020, 10:39 AM »
Also, the associated non-standard small-diameter-head cap screw is an M4 X 30. Question: is the thread/pitch on the MFS cap screw M4 X 30?

Yes it is.




Those upgrade kits are rather interesting.  [big grin]  There may be some in my future.

I learned early on that inserting, and moving 466353 from leg to leg is not an ideal situation as the outer sleeve can become loose in the extrusion and when you turn the M4 cap screw, sometimes the outer sleeve also turns so nothing locks down. It's better to just purchase the extra 466353 parts and install them in each extruded leg. If you need them they're always there.

Here's some original info on the GEAT system.

* GEAT SDG3_1.pdf (1574.79 kB - downloaded 54 times.)

* GEAT SDG3_2.pdf (1512.5 kB - downloaded 34 times.)

* GEAT SDG3_3.pdf (1212.83 kB - downloaded 28 times.)

* GEAT SDG3_4.pdf (953.45 kB - downloaded 32 times.)

« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 10:45 AM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6796
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #71 on: January 02, 2020, 10:55 AM »
Don’t recall the name of the company but Festool bought the MFS from the original developers.
Festool might have added the the plastic shoe to prevent the router from tipping?

@Michael Kellough it seems that the spacer/tilt protector was a part of the GEAT system.




Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4486
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #72 on: January 02, 2020, 11:51 AM »
@TinyShop   thanks!

“ The MFS was invented by the german company "GEAT" a few years ago. Festool bought the concept from GEAT and changed some parameters (the profile and the size - the GEAT-system was longer). The GEAT-system was universal, you could use it with almost any router.

There is still an english broshure for the GEAT-system available (nice description, many pics), you can grab it here -> http://www.geatsystem.com/geatwd/dt/znf/sdg_3e.zip

No need to say that the price raised a little bit when Festool took over the system  :P

Regards

Mark”

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 643
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #73 on: January 02, 2020, 05:19 PM »
“ The MFS was invented by the german company "GEAT" a few years ago. Festool bought the concept from GEAT and changed some parameters (the profile and the size - the GEAT-system was longer). The GEAT-system was universal, you could use it with almost any router.


Is there something not universal about the MFS that prohibits it from being used by other routers?

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1951
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2020, 05:35 PM »
“ The MFS was invented by the german company "GEAT" a few years ago. Festool bought the concept from GEAT and changed some parameters (the profile and the size - the GEAT-system was longer). The GEAT-system was universal, you could use it with almost any router.
Is there something not universal about the MFS that prohibits it from being used by other routers?
They are all universal. Not sure GEAT was MFS predecessor. GEAT looks like standard 20x80mm t-slot aluminum framing. MFS profiles look more like Virutex template. Hard to tell who invented this concept, it's been around for a long time. Trend has a cheap version too.
I'll be a contrarian here and say MFS is a bit gimmicky. There is a small group of fans that swear by it, but when I see it used often there are simpler ways. I guess if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
I would certainly not trust MFS as a square, or use it for clamping, or circle jig, or makeshift router table (as in one of the previous post).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 05:50 PM by Svar »

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #75 on: January 02, 2020, 07:15 PM »
“ The MFS was invented by the german company "GEAT" a few years ago. Festool bought the concept from GEAT and changed some parameters (the profile and the size - the GEAT-system was longer). The GEAT-system was universal, you could use it with almost any router.
Is there something not universal about the MFS that prohibits it from being used by other routers?
They are all universal. Not sure GEAT was MFS predecessor. GEAT looks like standard 20x80mm t-slot aluminum framing. MFS profiles look more like Virutex template. Hard to tell who invented this concept, it's been around for a long time. Trend has a cheap version too.
I'll be a contrarian here and say MFS is a bit gimmicky. There is a small group of fans that swear by it, but when I see it used often there are simpler ways. I guess if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
I would certainly not trust MFS as a square, or use it for clamping, or circle jig, or makeshift router table (as in one of the previous post).

@Svar - The GEAT was absolutely the predecessor to the MFS. Had you followed the various links I provided, you would have encountered the statement on the GEAT website's homepage that alerts visitors to the fact that Festool purchased them. The MFS's provenance, therefore, is not in dispute.

Moreover, had you read either of the MFS guides or watched the AskWoodMan vid I posted above, you'd know that the MFS is in fact an incredibly accurate and reliable square (and, for that matter, incredibly accurate T-square & L-square, circle jig, teardrop jig, sliding dovetail jig, open field jig, hole cutting jig...among other uses).

Finally, if spending a few minutes to set the MFS to the desired dimensions (and to also decide on a clamping strategy) is what results in you characterizing it as "finicky"- when the alternative wastes a piece of plywood in producing a one time jig (that often ends up being kept and cluttering up a shop) - then I suppose there's no convincing you that there might actually be a better way.

@Cheese - Thanks for confirming the cap bolt spec and also for posting the GEAT brochure pages! I hadn't seen those before. It was certainly news to me that the GEAT was actually once available in N.A. Good history to be aware of. I subsequently added those pages to my file on the MFS.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 09:43 PM by TinyShop »
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6796
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #76 on: January 02, 2020, 08:00 PM »
Ya, unfortunately without GEAT, the Festool MFS wouldn’t exist. They were the original incarnation of the MFS.


Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2707
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #77 on: January 03, 2020, 12:03 AM »
I really like the MFS - it just takes time to use it and get things figured out and once you do, it opens up lots of possibilities. I use it as a fence to guide my jigsaw on some joinery tasks - works great and is repeatable. I like the circle cutting capability and will be using that function again this week on several circles I need to cut. I have used it to square my MFT and a host of other things. Too bad it was discontinued here...I dropped and dinged one of the profiles when it hit my concrete shop floor - so that was a bummer not to be able to easily replace one component. All in all a good accessory.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6796
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #78 on: January 03, 2020, 12:24 AM »
I really like the MFS - it just takes time to use it and get things figured out and once you do, it opens up lots of possibilities. I use it as a fence to guide my jigsaw on some joinery tasks - works great and is repeatable. I like the circle cutting capability and will be using that function again this week on several circles I need to cut. I have used it to square my MFT and a host of other things. Too bad it was discontinued here...I dropped and dinged one of the profiles when it hit my concrete shop floor - so that was a bummer not to be able to easily replace one component. All in all a good accessory.
e
I concur...a great tool. I just ordered a couple of extra MFS 400 extrusions this week.

Offline simonh

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 113
  • Hobbyist / Maker of the VCS-R
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #79 on: January 03, 2020, 04:54 AM »
Is there something not universal about the MFS that prohibits it from being used by other routers?

I use it with my Dewalt routers and guide bush. There's only the circle jig that I didn't have the correct sized guide bush so I made a reducer on the CNC rather than buying the appropriate guide bush.

-Simon
-Simon

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 608
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #80 on: January 03, 2020, 08:50 AM »
I've considered getting an MFS or similar several times. I had it ordered at one point from overseas but the pricing was an error so they canceled. I think knowing that a Shaper Origin or other CNC is in my future, albeit years away, has kept me from getting a router jig. I like the solution Manor Wood came up with using cheap 2080 profiles from Banggood:

https://www.banggood.com/Machifit-700mm-Length-2080-T-Slot-Aluminum-Profiles-Extrusion-Frame-For-CNC-p-1251777.html?utm_campaign=25358581_1268787&utm_content=10535&p=X5032125358581201810&cur_warehouse=CN

Video is on the page I linked. I think he was all in around 100 pounds to have a meter capability. They sell shorter profiles. If I had a need for a router jig I think I'd go that route (rout? Pun intended) to hold me over until I can get into a CNC.
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline simonh

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  • Posts: 113
  • Hobbyist / Maker of the VCS-R
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2020, 09:05 AM »
I've made little templates out of scrap 9mm MDF on the CNC that insert into the inside groove of the MFS. Here's an example one for the Button Fix recessed fittings that you simply route with a guide bush (manufacturer wants 80 quid for a simple jig).

The MFS allows a nice flat platform for the router to balance on and easy to clamp down.  I've made various others and there so small an easy to store for next time.  For example, it's quick and easy to knock up a template for a loose tenon if you are doing a custom project and don't have a Festool Domino.

-Simon

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #82 on: January 07, 2020, 12:37 AM »
While I continue to await reply to my various "enquiries", here are some videos to help pass the time:

Standard right-angle connector hardware:



"Upgraded" right-angle connector hardware:


 
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1526
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #83 on: January 07, 2020, 06:31 AM »
Standard right-angle connector hardware:
vs.
"Upgraded" right-angle connector hardware:
You have it the other way around: the automatic connector is the newer and improved (over the universal fastening set) version. The improvement being in removing the need to drill the extrusion ends, leading to quicker assembly and increased ability to re-use extrusions harvested from obsoleted builds (as the hole for the connector, that is reducing usable length for the new build, is no more).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 06:49 AM by Gregor »

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #84 on: January 07, 2020, 06:58 AM »
@Gregor - my apologies, but I'm not sure I understand your comment. In the first video, the hardware that accompanies the MFS is shown. In the second, what appears to be a newer style of connector is shown. Are you saying that, historically speaking, the connector that requires the extra milling step actually predates the style that doesn't require the extra milling step? If so, then you just blew my mind.
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1526
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #85 on: January 07, 2020, 08:17 AM »
Are you saying that, historically speaking, the connector that requires the extra milling step actually predates the style that doesn't require the extra milling step?
AFAIK: yes.

The product numbers of their various connectors (M8 versions linked):
Standard 0.0.026.07 - needs tapping the central hole of the connected profile and a hole inside the connected-to profile at point of connection (to access the screw).
Universal 0.0.026.92 - only needs milling at the end of the profile you connect, can be freely placed in the connected-to profile.
Automatic 0.0.440.58 - hole-free on both parts, no milling required.
and (decreasing) amount of preparation needed on each of them seem to support that IIRC of mine.
Quote
If so, then you just blew my mind.
I hope this doesn't hurt too much.

PS: The Universal one might be superior in pull-out force compared to the Standard and Automatic ones, didn't look into that aspect but just at the amount of work needed to mount them.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 08:33 AM by Gregor »

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2020, 08:23 AM »
@Gregor - huh. @Cheese is going to be so disappointed!
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 412
Re: MFS: Notes on the MFS
« Reply #87 on: January 22, 2020, 07:45 PM »
Well, after much dedicated and stubborn persistence on my part (comprising numerous unanswered emails, then a couple of unanswered facebook messenger posts, followed by an assurance that someone would get back to me in two days, followed by another week of silence, followed by two more unanswered facebook posts followed by my receipt of three duplicate emails from three different Item 24 reps, I finally received pricing information for the "Automatic-Fastening Sets" (in zinc-plated and stainless), the "Universal-Fastening Sets" (in zinc-plated and stainless), the relevant-sized "T-Slot Nuts", the basic "Drilling Jig" and the "Step Drill". Perhaps not surprisingly (at least for anyone cognizant of the machining differences) the "Universal-Fastening Sets" are about half the price of the "Automatic-Fastening Sets". Meanwhile, and this will be most interesting to current MFS owners, the unit price of the zinc-plated version of the latter is about 30% of the EKAT price, excluding shipping.

I've requested a quote that includes shipping (none of the quotes I received mentions anything about shipping) for a selection of Automatic-Fastening Sets and relevant T-Slot Nuts and will post the results of that request when I hear back.

My impression so far is that Item 24 (at least here in the U.S.) is not necessarily used to dealing with modest orders from the general public or at least I hope something similar explains why it took 22 days for me to receive pricing info.

In closing, since I don't want to step on Festool's toes, anyone wishing to know the exact pricing info I received and what email address they should use to request a quote can PM me.
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [po], TS 75 EQ (DE) [po], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [n], CXS (DE) [n], CMS-GE [DE] [po], CMS TS 75 (DE) [n], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [po], VB-CMS (DE) [n], MFT/3 (CZ) [n], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [po], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [n], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [n], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [n], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [n], CT SYS (DE) [po], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [n], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [n], Porter Cable 447 (US) [n], Zyliss Vise (CH) [n], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [h], Walko 4 MKII (NL) [nos]

[po] pre-owned   [n] new   [nos] new old stock   [h] heirloom   (XX) country of origin