Author Topic: Question about the MFT  (Read 810 times)

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Offline samsmith93

  • Posts: 21
Question about the MFT
« on: November 24, 2021, 11:09 AM »
Hello,

I am thinking about getting an MFT and sitting it on top of my existing bench.

1. do you need to be able to access the underside of the MFT in order to use the dogs, or do they just slot in from the top with no need for access underneath.

2. If access to the underneath is not necessary - do the dogs protrude through the bottom or finish flush with the bottom of the MFT (i.e will I need to raise it above my existing workbench to allow clearance for the dogs?

Many thanks!!

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Offline Coen

  • Posts: 1195
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 11:43 AM »
1. You can fasten some dogs from underneath, but 99% of the time I don't use that feature. It makes them sit more sturdy though.

2. They don't protrude below the slab.

3. Using the railclamps from below will be impossible if you have no access to the underside.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 11:43 AM »
Hi Sam

It all depends on the type of dogs that you are using. Some do not protrude below the lower face of the top but some do. For some applications it is useful or even necessary to be able to get underneath in order to secure a dog with a screw knob.

Sometimes, if a dog is rather tight in a hole it is useful to be able to push from below.

The MDF top of the MFT3 is about 19 mm or 3/4". So, when buying dogs you can check if they will go beyond the bottom face or not.

The MFT3's pattern of holes makes it ideal for all sorts of work holding and jig work. With that in mind you may need to use clamps that pass through the holes in order to be secured to the top. In almost every case there is no need to access the space below the MFT3 top but with some jigs it may be necessary to use a screw knob to hold the jig in place.

Peter

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 854
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 11:44 AM »
I have a home made MFT style top and for the clamps I use undertable access is very useful.  You certainly want to have some space under the table for clamps. 

This type of clamp inserts in the holes and needs a few inches of space under the table top.


Offline samsmith93

  • Posts: 21
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 12:56 PM »
Thanks to all for your replies so far. That is really useful to know.

I am thinking of doing a DIY MFT in 30mm MDF so it sounds like the dogs won't likely protrude beneath that at all, however I had not considered the usefulness of being able to just pass a clamp through the hole!

For downwards clamping I had been looking at something like this
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-trade-clamps-screw-thread-hold-down-clamp-104459
And for providing a push/pull clamping action
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/ujk-self-adjust-push-pull-toggle-clamp-anchor-dog-107252

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 854
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2021, 01:04 PM »
Both of those clamps appear to have a thumbnut that would have to be installed from under the table.  You would need at least 4 to 6 inches of space to reach your arm under the surface and screw in the thumbnut. 

This video is less than 4 minutes and will give you a better idea of what space you would need.


Offline afish

  • Posts: 741
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 01:26 PM »
Thanks to all for your replies so far. That is really useful to know.

I am thinking of doing a DIY MFT in 30mm MDF so it sounds like the dogs won't likely protrude beneath that at all, however I had not considered the usefulness of being able to just pass a clamp through the hole!

For downwards clamping I had been looking at something like this
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-trade-clamps-screw-thread-hold-down-clamp-104459
And for providing a push/pull clamping action
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/ujk-self-adjust-push-pull-toggle-clamp-anchor-dog-107252

You have to remember that MDF is pretty soft actually wood in general is soft.  When you have a clamp like those it tends to wedge itself in the hole and while I realize that it has a nut on the bottom it will still want to wedge itself and put lateral force on the hole.  This leads to loose and sloppy holes over time.  I would suggest you stick with the festool style clamps,  like these

https://www.amazon.com/Festool-491594-Quick-Clamp-System/dp/B001U309KW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778011&sr=8-5

or

https://www.amazon.com/Festool-489570-Screw-Clamps-4-11/dp/B0184Y7UTW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-5

I tend to think the screw clamps clamp tighter but the "quick" clamps are well, faster while still providing significant clamping force.  You dont "have" to get the festool ones if money is tight.  There are plenty of choices like:

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-Release-Ratcheting-System-Capacity/dp/B07VXMDPG6/ref=sr_1_15?
keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-15

or

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-71410-System-Capacity-Throat/dp/B07SN2M3RH/ref=sr_1_14?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-14

I also think you are on the right track and better off to build your own MFT. Just out of curiosity why are you concerned with the dogs protruding on the under side? 

Offline Vtshopdog

  • Posts: 100
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 01:35 PM »
I suggest checking that standard festool type clamps pictured by Packard or linked by afish can actually be inserted in 30 mm thick panel.

I use 19mm top and my clamps are a little picky when inserting the elbow shape through hole and clamp mouth often needs to be almost fully open to “get around the corner” when inserting. The elbow in this style of clamp might not make it through a 20mm hole drilled in 30 mm panel.

Of course if you don’t want to use this type of clamp then not an issue.

Offline samsmith93

  • Posts: 21
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2021, 01:35 PM »
Thanks to all for your replies so far. That is really useful to know.

I am thinking of doing a DIY MFT in 30mm MDF so it sounds like the dogs won't likely protrude beneath that at all, however I had not considered the usefulness of being able to just pass a clamp through the hole!

For downwards clamping I had been looking at something like this
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-trade-clamps-screw-thread-hold-down-clamp-104459
And for providing a push/pull clamping action
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/ujk-self-adjust-push-pull-toggle-clamp-anchor-dog-107252

You have to remember that MDF is pretty soft actually wood in general is soft.  When you have a clamp like those it tends to wedge itself in the hole and while I realize that it has a nut on the bottom it will still want to wedge itself and put lateral force on the hole.  This leads to loose and sloppy holes over time.  I would suggest you stick with the festool style clamps,  like these

https://www.amazon.com/Festool-491594-Quick-Clamp-System/dp/B001U309KW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778011&sr=8-5

or

https://www.amazon.com/Festool-489570-Screw-Clamps-4-11/dp/B0184Y7UTW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-5

I tend to think the screw clamps clamp tighter but the "quick" clamps are well, faster while still providing significant clamping force.  You dont "have" to get the festool ones if money is tight.  There are plenty of choices like:

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-Release-Ratcheting-System-Capacity/dp/B07VXMDPG6/ref=sr_1_15?
keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-15

or

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-71410-System-Capacity-Throat/dp/B07SN2M3RH/ref=sr_1_14?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-14

I also think you are on the right track and better off to build your own MFT. Just out of curiosity why are you concerned with the dogs protruding on the under side?

I will have a read through what you have suggested - R.e your last point about dogs on the underside - i have a small shed workshop and i was hoping to simply attach a DIY MFT to my existing bench which is up against the wall - so it would sit on top of my current bench - no access to the bottom

Offline Peter Parfitt

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  • Posts: 4504
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2021, 01:41 PM »
Thanks to all for your replies so far. That is really useful to know.

I am thinking of doing a DIY MFT in 30mm MDF so it sounds like the dogs won't likely protrude beneath that at all, however I had not considered the usefulness of being able to just pass a clamp through the hole!

For downwards clamping I had been looking at something like this
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-trade-clamps-screw-thread-hold-down-clamp-104459
And for providing a push/pull clamping action
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/ujk-self-adjust-push-pull-toggle-clamp-anchor-dog-107252

Why do you want 30 mm thick MDF for your top? If you intend to move your home made MFT around it will be very heavy. Also, those Festool clamps (shown above) will not work unless you chamfer the underside of all of your 20 mm holes.

!9 mm MDF is a very inexpensive and readily available material. If you mess it up completely (it takes me at least 2 years to destroy a top) then it is as cheap as chips to replace.

Peter

Offline jeffinsgf

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  • Posts: 441
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Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2021, 01:50 PM »

I will have a read through what you have suggested - R.e your last point about dogs on the underside - i have a small shed workshop and i was hoping to simply attach a DIY MFT to my existing bench which is up against the wall - so it would sit on top of my current bench - no access to the bottom

If you want to use the tools and accessories you see used on this forum and Festool's website, you'll need access to the bottom of the grid table and some clearance as well. I would suggest you plan on some 6" risers between your regular workbench and the grid table.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 741
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2021, 01:52 PM »
Thanks to all for your replies so far. That is really useful to know.

I am thinking of doing a DIY MFT in 30mm MDF so it sounds like the dogs won't likely protrude beneath that at all, however I had not considered the usefulness of being able to just pass a clamp through the hole!

For downwards clamping I had been looking at something like this
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-trade-clamps-screw-thread-hold-down-clamp-104459
And for providing a push/pull clamping action
 - https://www.axminstertools.com/ujk-self-adjust-push-pull-toggle-clamp-anchor-dog-107252

You have to remember that MDF is pretty soft actually wood in general is soft.  When you have a clamp like those it tends to wedge itself in the hole and while I realize that it has a nut on the bottom it will still want to wedge itself and put lateral force on the hole.  This leads to loose and sloppy holes over time.  I would suggest you stick with the festool style clamps,  like these

https://www.amazon.com/Festool-491594-Quick-Clamp-System/dp/B001U309KW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778011&sr=8-5

or

https://www.amazon.com/Festool-489570-Screw-Clamps-4-11/dp/B0184Y7UTW/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-5

I tend to think the screw clamps clamp tighter but the "quick" clamps are well, faster while still providing significant clamping force.  You dont "have" to get the festool ones if money is tight.  There are plenty of choices like:

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-Release-Ratcheting-System-Capacity/dp/B07VXMDPG6/ref=sr_1_15?
keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-15

or

https://www.amazon.com/POWERTEC-71410-System-Capacity-Throat/dp/B07SN2M3RH/ref=sr_1_14?keywords=festool+clamps&qid=1637778036&sr=8-14

I also think you are on the right track and better off to build your own MFT. Just out of curiosity why are you concerned with the dogs protruding on the under side?

I will have a read through what you have suggested - R.e your last point about dogs on the underside - i have a small shed workshop and i was hoping to simply attach a DIY MFT to my existing bench which is up against the wall - so it would sit on top of my current bench - no access to the bottom

How big of a top are you planning?  and are you planning on using it for cutting?  As others mentioned you really should not need access to the bottom. I also agree with Peter 18-19 mm MDF is the ideal choice.  Is there a reason why you dont or cant just replace the current benches top with a MFT style top and not have to overlay the MFT top over it?  the other option is buid a 2x4 base to make room below for the clamps but that is going to add to the weight and raise the bench height.  Depending on the bench that could be a bad or good thing.  Im 6'4 so I prefer a taller bench but its not for everybody 

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 248
Re: Question about the MFT
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2021, 01:13 PM »
The Tajima Type 1 tape is unavailable.
I ordered 3 Axminster tapes, the shipping price was the same.
This has been a most interesting thread. Thanks all!
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!