Author Topic: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets  (Read 736 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online squall_line

  • Posts: 420
I don't have a workshop, I get to borrow space from my own car in a 2-car garage that is pre-kid (which means the space won't likely be getting bigger in the future).  This is the first time in almost 20 years of homeownership that I've had a garage over the winter and I quite like it.

Since I'm not willing or able to give up space for a bench and don't currently have enough room against a wall for a permanent bench (that's where the motorcycle goes), I've been leaning towards an MFT/3, since it can ostensibly be collapsed and put up against a wall when not in use.  I love the look of the new Dashboard PWS, but it's well above what I'm willing to spend even before all of the accessories.

On more than one occasion while visiting another woodworker (usually to buy something or pick their brain), I have been told "don't get an MFT/3, they're junk".  Each of them had an MFT/3 that they barely used and/or were going to sell in the future, so I can only assume they were being faithful to their true opinion and not just trying to keep me from buying their tables out from under them.

I have an MW 1000 with extension table for the time being, but it seems awfully narrow for cross-cuts on anything at only 500 mm wide/deep.  Part of what leaned me towards the extension table was the ability to link it to an MFT/3 in the future if I acquire such a piece.

Since the MW 1000 can attach to the MFT/3, does anyone know if the profiles are exactly the same on both?  Could I, in theory, attach the Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets to the MW1000 extension table for narrow cross-cuts in an emergency, or would I lose too much depth to a fence?

Or is this what the MF-TC table was designed to be (before Festool made the MW 1000)?

MW-1000 Extension Width: 500 mm
MFT/3 Table Width: 773 mm
MF-TC Bench Width: 580 mm

Part of me says that even a "junk" table like an MFT/3, at the right price, is still worth trying to get.

I welcome any insight anyone has; this seems like it may be a re-post of similar questions, but most of the things I came across already didn't necessarily satisfy my specific need or question.

Thanks!

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 jobsworth

  • Posts: 6713
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2021, 11:14 AM »
Before you run out and buy all that check out MattByington post.

He's  in the project folder.

He has a 2 car garage that he uses as a 2 car garage , parks his cars in .

He also uses it as a work shop.

 He has a very nice set up that you should be able to gleem some ideas from setting yers up.

He is a very nice guy and Im sure he will answer any questions you may have.

Offline Chainring

  • Posts: 58
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2021, 11:28 AM »
I'm kind of in the same situation as you; no real dedicated space for woodworking. Or, at least I don't want to dedicate the garage to it. I'm a hobbyist, so I can't really justify setting up something dedicated, at least not yet. A few years down the road, who knows? For now, most of my stuff is stored in a nice, but little shed. Any big setups require going outside or wheeling everything to the two car garage. We like keeping at least one car in the garage and it's my girlfriend's space for a baking table (flour is messy) and pyrography. I'm not taking over that space.

Anyway, regardless of what people have said about the MFT/3, I purchased the full set. The table itself is something I can easily get out of the way when I'm done. I accept that it's not going to be a rock solid platform for banging on. Some people don't like the stock rail brackets and protractor and recommend to get the basic table. Price out the basic table with just a 1080 rail and it's very close to the full kit. Might as well get the whole thing.

Keeping with the stowage of tools and work surfaces, I'll be picking up a STM 1800 tomorrow I found locally. Yep, expensive for a folding table. But, it's a folding table that I can adjust to my height. I can use it to wrangle big sheet goods. And it's a cutting surface with replaceable strips. When I'm done, it'll fold up and wheel right under the MFT/3 that's hanging on the wall. Out of the way, but easily accessible. Didn't you recently score a STM 1800?

I wonder if the folks that told you the MFT/3 is junk have a dedicated workbench where they can bang on stuff? Or, maybe unrealistic expectations for a folding table? Is it really junk and $700+ down the drain?

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1088
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2021, 02:04 PM »
Hmmm...I have two MFT/3's with an MW1000 table extension. The MW1000 table extension stores folded inside a folded MFT/3 FWIW, and obviously stores in the MW1000 cart too. Having the ability to clear the floor space of work benches is paramount to my garage setup. I find a single MFT/3 and the MW1000 extension table to do 90% if what I want. The MW1000 extension table does not line up with the MFT/3 in pretty much any way other than height, and I would only count on it as an extension. Plus the MW1000 extensions holes are loose with my Precision dogs that are tight in the MFT/3's.

The Dashboard brackets would be preferred, but do cost more. I bent my Festool rail brackets by accidentally bumping into the rail with my hip. It wasn't hard to bend back. Dashboard seems like it would be more rigid and is on my short list of improvements. Still I do not regret buying the full kit and it would give you everything you need immediately, which could be upgraded over time, with costs offset by reselling the Festool parts in the classified section. Like many others I set up a different fence option using rail dogs. Although I have never tried to make it work, it does appear like the MW1000 extension could accept the rail brackets. A fence/mount could be fabricated that sits just off the top in the V grove to give maximum cross cut capacity. The MFT/3 has stops for the rail brackets so set up is repeatable, but there are non on the MW1000 extension. Wouldn't be hard to rig up a couple stops though (Couple of toilet bolts/nuts with a small scrap of aluminum drilled for instance).

Often the complaint with the MFT/3 is it has movement. Well yeah it is a portable table. I found the add on cross braces to help quite a bit, as does the extension table. Stability will never be the same as a rigid 200+lb work bench though, but I find the MFT/3 to be acceptable for a portable bench. Expectations need to be reasonable.

I would try to buy one of those "junk MFT/3 tables" those guys are complaining about. Maybe they should pay you to haul them away?

Online squall_line

  • Posts: 420
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2021, 03:31 PM »
Before you run out and buy all that check out MattByington post. He's in the project folder. He has a 2 car garage that he uses as a 2 car garage , parks his cars in. He also uses it as a work shop. He has a very nice set up that you should be able to gleem some ideas from setting yers up. He is a very nice guy and Im sure he will answer any questions you may have.

Thanks for the pointers!  I'm humbled by Matt's recent project posts, good to know the history and to look up some of his older stuff!


Price out the basic table with just a 1080 rail and it's very close to the full kit. Might as well get the whole thing.

Yup, that's been my thought as well; some of the kits that Festool puts together are significantly less expensive than piecing it all together from individual parts.

When I'm done, it'll fold up and wheel right under the MFT/3 that's hanging on the wall. Out of the way, but easily accessible. Didn't you recently score a STM 1800?

Yup, sure did.  Your description sounds very much like my plan as well.  The STM takes up even less room once it's out of the box, and the box wasn't terribly big to begin with.

I wonder if the folks that told you the MFT/3 is junk have a dedicated workbench where they can bang on stuff? Or, maybe unrealistic expectations for a folding table? Is it really junk and $700+ down the drain?

One had a very nice bench, one had sheets of foam on sawhorses and was building a Paulk bench.  Both had dedicated shops.  If I were to start with an MFT and struggle with it and have a full shop, I can't say whether or not my opinion would be the same, so I don't hold it against them.


Hmmm...I have two MFT/3's with an MW1000 table extension. The MW1000 table extension stores folded inside a folded MFT/3 FWIW, and obviously stores in the MW1000 cart too. Having the ability to clear the floor space of work benches is paramount to my garage setup. I find a single MFT/3 and the MW1000 extension table to do 90% if what I want. The MW1000 extension table does not line up with the MFT/3 in pretty much any way other than height, and I would only count on it as an extension. Plus the MW1000 extensions holes are loose with my Precision dogs that are tight in the MFT/3's.

The Dashboard brackets would be preferred, but do cost more. I bent my Festool rail brackets by accidentally bumping into the rail with my hip. It wasn't hard to bend back. Dashboard seems like it would be more rigid and is on my short list of improvements. Still I do not regret buying the full kit and it would give you everything you need immediately, which could be upgraded over time, with costs offset by reselling the Festool parts in the classified section. Like many others I set up a different fence option using rail dogs. Although I have never tried to make it work, it does appear like the MW1000 extension could accept the rail brackets. A fence/mount could be fabricated that sits just off the top in the V grove to give maximum cross cut capacity. The MFT/3 has stops for the rail brackets so set up is repeatable, but there are non on the MW1000 extension. Wouldn't be hard to rig up a couple stops though (Couple of toilet bolts/nuts with a small scrap of aluminum drilled for instance).

Often the complaint with the MFT/3 is it has movement. Well yeah it is a portable table. I found the add on cross braces to help quite a bit, as does the extension table. Stability will never be the same as a rigid 200+lb work bench though, but I find the MFT/3 to be acceptable for a portable bench. Expectations need to be reasonable.

I would try to buy one of those "junk MFT/3 tables" those guys are complaining about. Maybe they should pay you to haul them away?

Thank you for the insight into the storage possibilities with the MW1000 extension.  It stores nicely in the cart but it's good to know it'll nest in the MFT/3 as well.  I also appreciate the information about how it lines up.  I want to say that I saw that in a video review somewhere but had forgotten about it.  The holes line up better with the MW1000 cart, obviously, but something I'll need to keep in mind if/when I get an MFT/3.

I'm usually pretty quick witted and should have offered to just haul away the most recent MFT/3, but I wasn't on my game that day.  I still don't begrudge either one of the guys for their opinions, just gave me pause as I continue my search.

Offline mattgam

  • Posts: 15
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2021, 04:40 PM »
I'd also suggest looking at TrackTubes you can buy or make a holey top to go on them and then buy some of the Dashboard accessories, I'd strongly recommend the Dashboard right angle bracket if you were to only buy 1 thing from them.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2619
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2021, 05:26 PM »
The biggest problem with saw horse based tables, and I used a pair of Dewalt DWX725 with 8' 8020 1530 (1 1/2 x 3) extrusion as my portable cutting station.  This was an immense improvement over standard horses as most are way to narrow and unstable to perform efficiently.  I bought the STM and it is fantastic, supports wide and long cutting much better than any thing else I've use in my 50 years of wood butchery.

Offline linnlp12

  • Posts: 73
Re: MFT/3, MW1000, portability, and Dashboard Guide Rail Brackets
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2021, 05:44 PM »
I set up my MFT3 with dashboard brackets and Accurate Technology measuring system fence.  It's where I wanted to be now.  Using it with my TS75. Will be combining use with the STM 1800 which really impressed me - I wasn't expecting that.  When I saw in person I shelled out the bucks.  I just can't get a heavy sawstop into my basement. I have 2 MFT and a Conturo table. Wasn't using any of them with the original brackets.  My suggestion if your funds limited is to get the basic table and use dogs until you decide which direction you will go.  Sent Squall line a PM.