Author Topic: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.  (Read 773 times)

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Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 109
Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« on: June 21, 2020, 08:37 AM »
As always , I’m new and adding tools. My current work table is a 4x8’ Ctop from my local big boss store that is my outfeed table from my table saw.

I’m often running into trouble not being able to hold pieces while I cut sand rout etc and think an MFT would be the solution. 99% of the time it would remain in my hobbyist shop.

Do most of you own a MFT? Do they have accessory kits?

Which once specifically ( I see a mft mft3 one for a Kapex and I also see an extension etc.

Also, I have a couple of 1400 guide rails.... do I need the 42” rail and is it integrated specifically for the mft?

Which clamps, dogs etc do you have as well?

Btw, I have an of1400 in the mail now so if there are and must haves for an mft let me know
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 08:47 AM by Thompmd »
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus,

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Offline Mario Turcot

  • Posts: 1193
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2020, 10:01 AM »
If you only look for something to hold your material the sys-vac is what you need IMO. More expensive but built for that task.

I don't own an MFT but they come in 2 flavor, the basic and the kit. The basic is the table & top. The kit have the fence, protractor etc.. The Kapex table is small and cannot hold anything much bigger then the saw itself.

The MFT/3 kit comes with a rail.

Mario

Offline TwelvebyTwenty

  • Posts: 32
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 10:03 AM »
The MFT is a great compromise between functionality and portability. If it’s going to be in your workshop almost exclusively I’d build something more solid for less cost. The Parf guide is a good place to start for the hole layout and will be an investment to make countless replacement tops in the future.

I would also respectfully disagree that the Sys Vac is a sensible purchase given the cost, unless the extra productivity it brings would pay for itself in a manufacturing environment. For the average wood worker I’m sure the money could be better spent elsewhere.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 10:06 AM by TwelvebyTwenty »

Offline Jim_in_PA

  • Posts: 130
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 10:04 AM »
The MFT...and some folks use more than one...is a versatile work surface solution. The kit that includes the rail is designed for track-guided crosscutting and grooving. It's not just a rail. That said, some folks prefer using a precision dog setup with a regular rail for this purpose. For your described purpose, you want the regular sized MFT, not the smaller Kapex version.

I have owned an MFT for a long time (mine is an older version that I updated to the current 900mm height with a little creativity) and although I have multiple benches in my shop, I do occasionally pull out the MFT for the things it does well. In fairness, all of my primary work surfaces have the same 96mm grid of 20mm holes because that's one of the things I really like about the Festool MFT...the precise grid which has a lot of advantages during project assembly. I also use my MFT for portability when that's required, such as when working in the house.
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ETS 150/3, Rotex 150, OF1010, OF1400, Trion PS 300, TDK-12, CT-22, MFT 1080, TS55, Domino XL DF 700, 8' track, (2) 55" tracks

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

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4030
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 10:41 AM »
If you have a table saw (cabinet or portable btw?) and a miter saw, the main functionality of the MFT in a home shop will be workholding, in which case, there may be better solutions for you depending upon how much of your own time you want to invest in building them.

Even with those tools, the MFT may still be useful for cutting purposes for the following sorts of situations:

Repeat cross or angled cuts on material that is wider than your miter saw capacity

Repeat cross or angled cuts on any material (if you don't have capacity to do batching cuts on miter saw or table saw with miter gauge/sled)

Extreme precise bevel cuts on longer and/or wider material (material that is too wide for miter saw, and too long for a miter gauge/sled on the table saw) -- though repeat cuts that exceed the length of the MFT fence will require additional support strategies, like the UG stand extensions, which also attach to MFT

Now, if you don't trust the fences on your table saw or miter saw to produce perfectly square cuts, then the MFT may have utility for routine cutting, since it can be dialed in pretty accurately.

When we turn to workholding, then the MFT is a pretty neat solution.  To maximize this you would want to get the Festool in-line clamping elements, or the Kreg automax clamps outfitted with the Senecabench dog hold down, and stops like Qwas dogs or the veritas low profile planing stops.  But it's basic functionality for holding stuff down flat can be replicated pretty easily just by making your own top -- there are a variety of accessories out there for drilling your own, reasonably accurate hole pattern, if your interested.  You won't get the CNC-assured accuracy of the MFT hole pattern, but if you're using it mainly for workholding that doesn't really matter.  The one thing that can't be as easily replicated, unless you're going to edge the top with extrusions yourself, is the vertical holding capacity of the MFT.  The virtue of making your own is that it can be made thicker, in material that is more robust than MDF, or in custom dimensions. 

That's the route I eventually went, and built a hybrid workbench with an MFT style hole pattern.  I can now do a good portion of regular operations on that bench, including tracksaw cutting, since I have the in-line workholding capacity of the wagon vise.



Building your own bench/worksurface can take some time however, depending upon how fancy you want to get, and so the MFT is a nice out of the box solution that can be folded away when not in use.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • AGC 18-115 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1547
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 11:31 AM »
316930-0

I like the MFT tops to configure as I need them.  There's a lot of accessory kits like rail dogs etc that are good to have.

If you're ripping sheet goods a 3000 rail is efficient.  LR32 rails are nice to have as well.


Offline rst

  • Posts: 2394
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2020, 11:40 AM »
I have two MFTs, one of which is currently in my daughters basement where it was perfect for cutting steps and risers for a finished staircase.  I have an Incra 52" fence to but my work to making multiple exactly the same easy.

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 109
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 12:04 PM »
I have the Sawstop 3hp Cabinet Saw and a Kapex w/UG stands. I also have. 1400 LR32 rail. The MFT, in my mind today, would be used for work holding but as I grow/learn the capabilities of these tools I think the MFT uses will be expanded.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus,

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4030
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2020, 01:16 PM »
Ok, sounds like you've got a pretty good sawing setup then which reduces some of the need for the MFT.

I very rarely use mine now in the shop, and keep it around mostly because I occasionally have to do site work.  But I will still bust it out and add the UG extensions when I'm doing multiple repeat cross cuts (especially beveled ones) on boards that exceed the length of my miter saw cart.

Keep in mind that for workholding, the MFT works well for sanding, dominoing and other light duty operations, but it's a bit wobbly if you're going to be pounding stuff together, chiseling or hand planing.  Not that it can't be done, particularly if you stiffen the MFT legs with the optional supports, but a more solid setup is much more preferable for this sort of stuff.

I have the Sawstop 3hp Cabinet Saw and a Kapex w/UG stands. I also have. 1400 LR32 rail. The MFT, in my mind today, would be used for work holding but as I grow/learn the capabilities of these tools I think the MFT uses will be expanded.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • AGC 18-115 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 109
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 05:53 PM »
Ironic, that’s exactly the 2 things I’ve found a need for at this point(Sanding & Dominos).
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus,

Offline Josh2

  • Posts: 29
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2020, 07:41 PM »
With the Parf guide System, what material and finish do people recommend? Table is supposed to be used for pretty much everything. Plunge saw, domino, sanding etc etc Maybe painting. The table is also supposed to be mobile. I am thinking MDF  but unsure about finish.

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 196
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 07:53 PM »
I have a table saw and track saw.  I rarely use use my MFT for sawing, and never with the guide/fence.  I use it for workholding.  I bought a SYS-MFT-FX when they were on special.  I often use the clamping elements, and quick clamps.  I actually bought 2 more quick clamps.  I also have an MW1000, and use the extension fairly often.  Mostly, I use them for holding work while sanding, domino mortising or routing.  I also have a Vac Sys, which can be very quick; but does not always work for items that are bulky or alternatively smaller than the pad.

You can definitely make your own, probably cheaper too.  I would think about having a front rail which you can use the clamps with, because sometimes you do want to hold things vertically.  Having the flippable/sacrificial top is nice.  I haven't flipped mine yet, and in the beginning I was very careful of avoiding cutting into ti.  After a while, I just decided it is there for use, and not to worry about it too much.  Getting results and not overly stressing about where the kerfs would land was more important than keeping it pretty.

Offline Thompmd

  • Posts: 109
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2020, 09:45 PM »
That made me giggle a little because I’m really funny about it looking new, I was going to ask if I could get one with a small cut just to get it over with . I’ve resigned myself to simply do the best I can and just live with the results.

I keep thinking about buying a basic model but haven’t done the math on the pkg and what exactly is included.
Sawstop Industrial Saw, TS75,2 1400 rails, CT36, Rotex RO 150 FEQ, CT-VA-20, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Carvex acc. ZH-SYS-PS 400, Kapex KS 120, CT Cyclone Dust Collection Pre-Separator CT VA 20, DF 500 Q Set, Domino 1,060pc Tenon Assortment, UG-KA-SET Portable Imperial Stand & Extensions,OF1400 EQ-F-Plus,

Offline ScotF

  • Posts: 2765
Re: Need for advice, this time for a MFT.
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2020, 11:23 PM »
I have two MFT/3 tables and it is my most used Festool of all - every project incorporates it somehow - sawing, routing, Dominos, sanding, assembly and finishing all get done on the MFT/3. It is nice to bring with you to where you need a bench when mobile and it works well in the shop too. I have a full workbench and other tools too - the MFT is folded at the end of each day and keeps it from getting cluttered with "stuff". I recommend it - get the full set as a first one and a basic as a second one and add accessories and clamps as you go.