Author Topic: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.  (Read 7507 times)

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Offline Tekton Kid

  • Posts: 3
MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« on: October 16, 2014, 08:34 PM »
 >:( hey everyone, is it just me or do you find that the MFT is prone to shake a little too much when im completing simple operations such as planing with the ratchet clamps and admittedly there were a few knots but I find it to be unstable considering the cost. I mean with the power tools its all smooth as silk and solid, square but now I find myself thinking about the cost of the struts as to use an improvised device may void warranty blah blah. Am I expecting too much? I collect my festool bench clamps tomorrow and hope to get more use out of the table with the added stability of being central to the workpiece. Even the rapid clamp for the track seems like a waste of money as it has to be used with an 1800 mm track or a short workpiece. I have the standard track and a 1400 mm so I can always buy the connectors but for the price...

Forgive me. My question is, should I focus my use of the MFT for my TS, 2200 router and the 850 planer and use hand tools on a traditional bench or do the struts significantly strengthen the MFT? Thanks.

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Offline atomicmike

  • Posts: 190
    • atomicmike
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 08:39 PM »
The cross members do make the table a LOT sturdier. But even with that, it's still not an idea workstation, particularly for hand-planing boards; the table just doesn't have enough mass to keep it from moving (sliding) around. I don't have a proper hand tool workbench, so I wind up using my MFT for those tasks, and I often find myself contorted into somewhat awkward positions so that I can use my foot or knee to hold the MFT in place.

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3595
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 08:43 PM »
I have a dual MFT with cross stabilizers on both tables. Until I added an extension for a heavy duty woodworking vise, the tables wobbled. Now, I can plane and saw with zero movement of the tables.
Birdhunter

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 2063
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 01:10 AM »
You really need a much more stable and firm surface for hand planing. The MFT just isn't solid enough for that kind of work. I doubt Festool ever intended it for use with a hand plane.
Randy

Offline Reiska

  • Posts: 1175
  • Hackers build things, Crackers break them.
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 04:47 AM »
I'm happy with the stabilizers, but wouldn't expect that table to stay put if planing with hand planes either. It's ok for fine tuning stuff with a block plane or a smoother, but I wouldn't expect it to stay put if you are attempting to flatten a face with a jack plane. It will wobble and most likely the whole table will slide on the floor if you put enough power into your plane.

The stabilizers mainly stabilize the end-to-end flexing so don't expect the table to sway sideways significantly less with them.

If I'd try to hand plane on an MFT/3 I would probably try to butt it against a wall or even somehow attach it to a wall (I think I've seen someones build here on FOG where the MFT was attached to a wall).
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3595
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 06:49 AM »
I can hand plane, cross saw, etc with zero wobble with the extension I added. The table is rock solid!
Birdhunter

Offline abgoto

  • Posts: 95
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2014, 07:27 AM »
I have a dual MFT with cross stabilizers on both tables. Until I added an extension for a heavy duty woodworking vise, the tables wobbled. Now, I can plane and saw with zero movement of the tables.

Would you mind posting a picture of your set up for hand planing?  I am particularly interested in the extension for the vice. Thanks!

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1556
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2014, 07:37 AM »

Offline abgoto

  • Posts: 95
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2014, 08:38 AM »
Thank you!  What a great idea.

Offline Sometimewoodworker

  • Posts: 783
    • Jerome's  Other work
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2014, 06:35 AM »
The MFT is great when used for its designed purpose, and hand tool use or as a workshop bench isn't it. While as a workshop bench it can be made to work it isn't where the MFT shines, just look and you will see that many workshop benches don't use the MFT legs.

YMMV
Jerome
TS55, OF1400, Elu MOF96, Rotex150, DTS400, ETS150/3 Domino, MFK700, CXS, HL 850, Trend T11, Makita LS1212, Original Mini CV06 Cyclone, Workshop supplies drum sander, & WoodRat. Don't have don't want list: MFT
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nui-jerome/

Online Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3595
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2014, 08:54 AM »
If you are interested, I ordered the steel leg set from Amazon. It is heavy duty steel. I had to drill a couple of bolt holes to get the exact height I needed. Other than drilling the holes, The leg set worked out of the box.

The MFT is now rock solid. It's even more steady than the home build work bench I made years ago.
Birdhunter

Offline Tekton Kid

  • Posts: 3
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2014, 02:30 PM »
Well thanks for all of the replies and particularly for the solution posted by Bird Hunter. I was using my 850 planer last night for the first time and as per usual the MFT combination made it just a pleasure to use. Im actually a site carpenter so the Festool range I have predominantly stays in the workshop (unless the task is in a finished property where the CTL 26 would be more appropriate.) and despite hating working after a long day I can actually relax when performing joinery tasks with such a high grade finish on thick oak that would ordinarily be covered in burn marks from the skil saw blade. I bought the panther blade for ripping down 40 mm oak and it genuinely produces factory grade edges after being cut and I wasnt even using the zero clearance splinter guard. Love it. Rotex is next on the list

Offline Cealan

  • Posts: 41
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2014, 07:51 PM »
I agree planing on the MFT isn't ideal, its more suitable for cutting & clamping. I think i seen a video from festool a long time ago when i was researching for myself before purchasing, where it showed a demonstration on planing but the table wasn't erected just folded & on the ground. This was for stability but i wouldn't fancy or be happy myself bent down & working close to the floor but that was what it showed. But besides that it a great work station & easy to pick up & carry around, light,stable compact & quick. I think its great for me personally on the go all the time but if I wanted a more robust stronger platform i would make 1 myself
Own TSC track saw, REQ track saw, BHC drill, 1010 router, 850 planer, sander, mft,guide rails& clamps

Offline Gerald

  • Posts: 16
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 02:32 AM »
Obviously a common issue with MFT owners.

There's a nice description by Heiko Rech about stabilizing an MFT by mounting it to a wall.

Even though it is in german I think the pictures on his website explain the idea of it.
Stabilising the MFT

I adapted his idea in my workshop in a different way. The MFT is not directly fixed to the wall.
This is for two reasons.

- I still can use the guard rail
- the screws for connecting the MFT can easily be reached from the top if you want to move it

There are some small boxes in between where I store clamps, bench dogs, bits and pieces...

Now it is fixed to the wall it is extremly stable. I never tried planning but I think this no problem.

Gerald



Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1903
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 09:27 AM »
Hi Gerald,

Nice workshop. I love seeing small workshop layouts as I'm not overly blessed with space in my own half of a standard garage.

By the way, also loving the "catch" to stop the rail falling down...  [wink]

That looks like a Wabeco drill stand in the middle of the right hand bench in the last photo. I'm sure it's not permanently mounted there, so would you mind sharing how you have fastened it and how it is removed to make use of the full bench surface area? Photos would be great  [smile]

I've been struggling to figure out where to position my bench drill in my very small workshop and a Wabeco stand that could be mounted when required but stored when not would be a fantastic solution.

Regards,

Garry

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5305
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2014, 10:17 AM »
Obviously a common issue with MFT owners.

There's a nice description by Heiko Rech about stabilizing an MFT by mounting it to a wall.

Even though it is in german I think the pictures on his website explain the idea of it.
Stabilising the MFT

I adapted his idea in my workshop in a different way. The MFT is not directly fixed to the wall.
This is for two reasons.

- I still can use the guard rail
- the screws for connecting the MFT can easily be reached from the top if you want to move it

There are some small boxes in between where I store clamps, bench dogs, bits and pieces...

Now it is fixed to the wall it is extremly stable. I never tried planning but I think this no problem.

Gerald

This is right on!
It's hard to express what a huge difference a shear panel between a free-standing (wobbly) table and a wall makes. A simple scrap of plywood attached to the bottom slot of an MFT and screwed to a cleat fastened to the wall and you've eliminated movement in 2 axis. The existing legs do a good enough job of limiting Z axis movement so hand planing is possible with a suitable clamping strategy.

Offline Gerald

  • Posts: 16
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2014, 03:26 PM »
Hi Garry,

thanks. Took some time to find out how to build my new workshop but finally I'm very content with the result.
Like you Garry I very keen to see pictures of other workshops and collect and adapt ideas for myself.

Of course the drill stand is removable. [wink]

The current setup is not ideal. For stability reasons and since I didn't wanted to lose to much height, I put the stand on an 1 1/2" solid wood. I still can reach the screw, but it is really hard.
Probably I will replace the 1 1/2" with something smaller to get easier access to the screw. Even if I lose some height for drilling.
Another possibility would have been to move the stand to the very left... Hindsight is easier than foresight.

I made a cutout to the bench to be able to replace the part that will be drilled. It is longer than wide so I can adjust the position of the drill. Not the complete range but most of it. The metal plate has some wholes so you can push from underneath to remove it.

For more details I attached some photos.

I had a "catch" before. I put a small block of wood between the stop rail and the guide rail. Was also working but not as nice and handy as the new one.

Gerald

Offline GarryMartin

  • Posts: 1903
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2014, 03:49 PM »
Hi Gerald,

Thanks for the reply and detailed photos. That's given me some good ideas.

Perhaps time to sell the bench drill and get hold of a Wabeco stand...

Regards,

Garry

Offline ajeto

  • Posts: 1
Re: MFT 3 needs stabilisers.
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2021, 08:13 AM »
I've used 4 PVC sanitary tubes to stabilise my MFT 3. Works just fine!!