Author Topic: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?  (Read 8232 times)

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Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #60 on: December 03, 2020, 07:20 PM »
Bugs, the incra rail looks like it has a t-track across the back why not use a couple angles like I did off the back side?  Or just widen the bottom slot with a file a couple mm's if you go this way you will have to square the track hinge to the fence since you wont be able to shim the fence but that's not a huge deal.

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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #61 on: December 03, 2020, 07:43 PM »
By the time I fabricate brackets, drill them, shim them, etc., I'd have spent more time than it might be worth than to just spend $15 on these threaded reducers.  BTW, the threaded reducers are 10mm tall so I still have thread left at the bottom if I wanted to throw a star knob underneath to really tighten it down.

FWIW - The Incra fence has a bottom slot width of 10.00mm and the bolts are 9.90mm.  While not perfect, I suspect I could add a few pieces of sticky note paper to the side of the bolt to further reduce this or might not need to at all since the bolt will twist sideways a bit and remove all gap once the anchor dogs are tightened?

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Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2020, 08:31 PM »
that looks like it will work.  It also looks like you could just drill a hole in the center of the incra track in between the 2 t-slots. If you didnt want to wait for the inserts.  You would just have to try and get them on the 96mm spacing.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #63 on: December 03, 2020, 09:19 PM »
By the time I fabricate brackets, drill them, shim them, etc., I'd have spent more time than it might be worth than to just spend $15 on these threaded reducers. 

There're countless YouTube "instructional" videos put there about spending hours and hours on making something that can be bought with ease.... I value my time in anything but re-inventing the wheel. Different strokes for different folks.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #64 on: December 03, 2020, 09:50 PM »
I’m cheap when it comes to paying for something I can do, especially when it comes to more expensive things. For example, we had our vehicle at the dealership and they said while they had the engine apart they could do the timing belt for $500 which included free labor. I said heck no I can get the parts for under $200. I ended up doing the job myself and it was a pain ... I dropped my phone and a ratchet down into a spot I spent 30m fishing it out of, my 1/2” extension fell down and hit me in the face (could’ve lost a tooth), and so on and so forth. I laughed it all off and my wife let me keep the labor cost towards more tools which is great but at some point your time and lack of issues to deal with become invaluable.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #65 on: December 09, 2020, 09:38 PM »
I've been able to install the Incra rail with Anchor Dogs on the MFT/3 and not only do I love how quickly the fence can be removed/installed but most importantly it retains its exact squareness to the fence after every removal/install!!  The only negative is the loss of a few inches of cutting capacity but it wasn't needed in most cases to begin with and I'm switching to a home made 8020 cutting station so this is a no brainer.

Regarding the fence squareness ... I'm able to remove/re-install the fence, place my 12" WP triangle to the fence/guide rail, and cannot slip a 0.0015" feeler gauge between either ... #WINNING.  FWIW - this is with the guide rail being attached by 2 Super Parf Dogs with chamfered collars and UJK guide rail clips since it's probably how I'll attach it to begin with on a 8020 cutting station.

Regarding the fence rigidity... I used a dial indicator, pushed HARD against the TOP of the Incra fence, and measured max deflection of 0.020" with 3D printed brackets and max deflection of 0.013" with Anchor Dogs (no fasteners underneath the table).  While I'd love the deflection to be lower (I had it down to 0.006" when I first tested before switching to 3D printed brackets and then back), I do not push the wood hard enough to the fence that the top bends backwards so I'm not worried at this point and will see if it's an issue once I cut a few panels.

Thanks @afish for the Anchor Dog recommendation ... besides fabricating some flip stops, it seems this will be my new fence solution for now! :)

Top view with M8 to M6 threaded reducer
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Bottom view ... plenty of room to attach a M8 star knob underneath the table if needed.
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Aligning the Anchor Dogs to the MFT/3 holes.
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I originally placed these in the front t-track but moved them to the bottom so the Super Parf Dog wasn't obstructing the front of the fence.  I could switch these if I drilled another hole further back for the Super Parf Dog and may do this on my 8020 cutting station.
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Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #66 on: December 09, 2020, 10:27 PM »
I'm glad it all worked out for you.  Im sure you will notice a big improvement in your cuts.  FWIW I still advocate for extending the fence under the track. I think you will notice a huge difference in the solidness of your cutting. 

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2020, 10:32 PM »
Thanks!  I’ll probably cut it at some point but just wanted to get it up and working so I could confirm it works.

That said, will the fence loose any accuracy when I make a top with the Parf Guide?  I’m not sure if those holes are slightly larger and if the accuracy can compete as good as the CNC’d top ...

Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2020, 11:06 PM »
No, the bit that came with my Parf MKII fit the anchor dogs perfectly.  Im not sure about the MFT holes but I thought I remember reading they were a little looser.  Dont worry about hole squaring accuracy.  You can drill 2 extra holes as far back as you wish to gain a little more cross cut capacity.  They dont even need to be super accurate since you are squaring the track to the fence the dog hole placement doesnt really matter anymore.  You just need to be close enough so you are not binding the track.  You would probably need to be 1/8" out before that became an issue. 

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #69 on: December 10, 2020, 10:16 AM »
They dont even need to be super accurate since you are squaring the track to the fence the dog hole placement doesnt really matter anymore.  You just need to be close enough so you are not binding the track.  You would probably need to be 1/8" out before that became an issue.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by they don't need to be super accurate ... rows/columns need to be perpendicular in order that the fence which mounts in a row is square to the rail which mounts in a column.

Offline 08G8V8

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #70 on: December 10, 2020, 10:36 AM »
What hardware attaches the anchor dog to the fence? 


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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #71 on: December 10, 2020, 11:15 AM »
What hardware attaches the anchor dog to the fence? 


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You can see the images above but they're M6 hex head bolts which fit almost perfectly (minimal play) into the bottom t-tracks and M8 to M6 thread reducers/adapters I found on eBay which cost $15 for 5.

M8 to M6 Thread Reducer / Adapter


Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #72 on: December 10, 2020, 12:07 PM »
I just took another look at the most recent pics.  I see you are using dogs for the track now.  You had the track hinge before.  I like the track hinge more.  this way the dog holes dont matter.  As mentioned before I'm not super familiar with the festool track hinge but cant it be slid along the aluminum profile and locked in anywhere along it?  Using the track hinge:

1.Drill 3 holes along the back for your anchor dogs as far back as you can while still leaving some material around the dog.  Im thinking around 30mm from back edge to center.  These holes shouldn't need to be perfect. Its important that they are in a straight row but they dont have to be perfectly square to the existing dogs they will be close anyways but we aren't talking to the thousands here.

2. Set incra rail in place.

3. slide rear track hinge until track almost touches the fence but leave 1/16" gap and lock it in.

4. Slide front track hinge in and mate it to the track so the little pin is in the track.

5. Now square the front bracket according to the fence to track using the biggest most accurate square you have in my case it was the TSO MTR  which works out well since it has the stand off pins so the track doesn't have to flat on the table.

6. Tighten down the front bracket.

Now your fence to track should be very square independent of the dog holes. I had made my track hinge so it would drop below the surface of the table so I never had to remove it.  If for some reason the Festool doesnt drop low enough you will have to come up with a way to make a stop so the front and rear track hinge brackets always locate to the same spot IF you need to remove them for any reason but thats only if. As I said mine stayed all the time but my 4x8 bench wasnt portable either. 

You can do a 5 cut test to double check and fine tune if you want to get it super precise.  This is where I used a shim between the 8020 and angle bracket since my track hinge was now locked in.  That was the easiest place to make the adjustment for me. You will need to adjust the front hinge bracket. (clamp a block of wood next to the bracket and use the appropriate feeler gauge to make the adjustment) the adjustment should be so minor that you cannot just tap it over.   As I mentioned you need to make sure all slop is removed from the hinge bracket both front and rear.  You also need to make sure if and when you raise and lower the F/R hinge brackets they travel perfectly square to the top, otherwise you will be throwing your part out of square but I dont use the festool bracket so you will have to look at that.  The dashboard unit looks like they have some parallel guides that hug either side of the bracket which looks like it would work well. 

I think the main problem with dogs is if or when they are drilled the drill is held perfectly square to the top.  If not the hole ends up slightly out of square.  The problem is compounded by every hole being potentially different amount and angle some might be out of square in the X or Y direction and all of varying amounts.  If its done on a CNC hopefully its less of an issue but that still depends on how well the spindle is trammed and how square the gantry is.  A lot of people think that just because its cut on a CNC its perfect but the CNC only cuts as good as the guy who set it up.  The leverage on a dog also makes it easy to knock them out of square to.  Not the holes but the squareness of the dog to the table. Repeated use also makes the dog hole looser and the problems get worse. The taller the dog the easier it is.  If the dog is out of square the farther the track is spaced from the top the more out of square your part will be.  Switch your dog to a different hole and all bets are off.  The super dogs or knobs from under help but if the hole is not square you are doomed. Check your dogs with a good square from both directions X and Y and see how square they are then see how far you can deflect them by applying some lateral pressure from the side.  The anchor dogs work fine since they dont project out of the table so its not really an issue.  This is why I only use dogs for clamping.  If I was out in the field and just needed to make a square trim cut then OK too but as far as building a whole set of cabinets I get more finicky and want my stuff as close to perfect as possible to avoid compounding the problem.   
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 12:15 PM by afish »

Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #73 on: December 12, 2020, 05:39 PM »
Check this thread herefor the track hinge I was talking about.( I think it a different name now)  See how both sides of the vertical section is constrained?  This looks much more solid to me than the festool version.  I have never handled the festool one but it hard to tell from photos what keeps it Z axis movement perfectly vertical.  Or how much side to side movement here is when the latch is loosened.  When you release the lock and pull it up can you also move it side to side at all?  If so that's an issue and would require you to resquare the track each time it was adjusted. I would also put the track flat on the table and clamp a square vertically next to it.  Then raise the track and see if it is still touching the square at the top of its travel when locked. 

Offline MikeGE

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #74 on: December 12, 2020, 07:05 PM »
Check this thread herefor the track hinge I was talking about.( I think it a different name now)  See how both sides of the vertical section is constrained?  This looks much more solid to me than the festool version.  I have never handled the festool one but it hard to tell from photos what keeps it Z axis movement perfectly vertical.  Or how much side to side movement here is when the latch is loosened.  When you release the lock and pull it up can you also move it side to side at all?  If so that's an issue and would require you to resquare the track each time it was adjusted. I would also put the track flat on the table and clamp a square vertically next to it.  Then raise the track and see if it is still touching the square at the top of its travel when locked.

I don't have any affiliation with the Dash-Board Guide Rail Bracket other than being a very happy owner.  As you described, the Z-axis movement of the brackets are rock steady because the slides are supported on both sides for the full length of travel.  Rob makes two versions of this, one for the Festool track, and the other for extrusion with T-track on the side.

I intentionally chose to set up my guide rail so it aligns over a row of dog holes.  The reason escapes me now, but it was valid at the time, and since I've already routed the top for the sacrificial strip, I'm not changing it.  I've removed the guide rail from the bracket several times to use the full length of the workbench, and the alignment of the rail is still perfect.

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #75 on: December 13, 2020, 02:26 PM »
I just took another look at the most recent pics.  I see you are using dogs for the track now.  You had the track hinge before.  I like the track hinge more.  this way the dog holes dont matter.  As mentioned before I'm not super familiar with the festool track hinge but cant it be slid along the aluminum profile and locked in anywhere along it? 

I purchased the Parf Super Dogs and UJK Dog Clips in May of 2019 after watching videos by @Peter Parfitt and Dave Stanton in which they both demonstrated accurate square cutting capabilities using this combo; however, I didn't buy them to use on the MFT/3 but rather for the Dave Stanton bench which I'd planned to be my next project.

As you know, I upgraded my MFT/3 with the Incra fence which I mounted to the Aluminum extrusion.  Since the extrusion is supposed to be aligned with the dog holes, it was obvious I needed to also align the guide rail to the dog holes.  The PSD's worked excellent to quickly align the guide rail to the dog holes, which happen to be square to the fence, but only work while it's flat on the table because both Festool hinges can rotate counter clockwise by -0.3 degrees and clockwise by +0.8 degrees.  As you said they need to remain square/perpendicular as they're raised and that's not the case ... once I raise the guide rail off the table, it's easy for it to no longer be square.

Even though I had both I'd never tried the dogs/clips together and was interested to test the squareness ... to my surprise, I couldn't fit a 0.0015" feeler gauge between either end of a 12 WP square!  I'm not sure if it's the chamfered collars, the expansion rings, properly drilled holes, all of the above, etc. but the PSD's on my MFT/3 are perfectly perpendicular to the table top resulting in perfectly square fence/guide rail at all heights.

The pictures you seen are me testing this squareness with this combo.  I've not yet cut anything with this combo but would bet I produce more consistently square cuts with this combo than the stock Festool hinge system.  I'm going to break down another drawer bottom sheet, slightly over sized just in case, and will advise how accurate this setup is for me. 

That said, I agree a properly designed hinge system should be superior than dogs but figured I need to try this before investing in an aftermarket hinge system especially since I already have the parts and it seems to be exclusively used by Peter and Dave.

Stay tuned ...

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #76 on: December 13, 2020, 02:37 PM »
BTW, thanks for sharing that hinge system ... does it attach to both metric (4080) and imperial (1530) profiles?

If it stays perfectly perpendicular to the table top, I suspect it would outperform the dogs which in theory lose accuracy over time as the holes wear ... @Peter Parfitt, do you find the dog holes on your cutting station have worn over time to any measurable loss of accuracy related to square cuts?

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #77 on: December 13, 2020, 03:13 PM »
BTW, thanks for sharing that hinge system ... does it attach to both metric (4080) and imperial (1530) profiles?

If it stays perfectly perpendicular to the table top, I suspect it would outperform the dogs which in theory lose accuracy over time as the holes wear ... @Peter Parfitt, do you find the dog holes on your cutting station have worn over time to any measurable loss of accuracy related to square cuts?

I have only recently replaced my tracksaw cutting station with a new one. The original had been created with the very first Parf Guide System off the production line and was as good at the end as it was at the start. The new one is even more accurate as it was produced with the Mark II system.

So, to answer your question, it does not lose accuracy over time - certainly not in my workshop.

Cheers.  Peter

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #78 on: December 13, 2020, 03:19 PM »
BTW, thanks for sharing that hinge system ... does it attach to both metric (4080) and imperial (1530) profiles?

If it stays perfectly perpendicular to the table top, I suspect it would outperform the dogs which in theory lose accuracy over time as the holes wear ... @Peter Parfitt, do you find the dog holes on your cutting station have worn over time to any measurable loss of accuracy related to square cuts?

I have only recently replaced my tracksaw cutting station with a new one. The original had been created with the very first Parf Guide System off the production line and was as good at the end as it was at the start. The new one is even more accurate as it was produced with the Mark II system.

So, to answer your question, it does not lose accuracy over time - certainly not in my workshop.

Cheers.  Peter

Thanks Peter, good to know it has served you well ... if it works for me also, I can put the aftermarket hinge towards some other Festool!  [big grin]

Offline 08G8V8

  • Posts: 143
Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #79 on: January 24, 2021, 07:50 PM »
Yes, that's the same fence.  It's just short of 9mm from the bottom to the lowest point of the t-slot and 10.5mm to the top of that rib you highlighted.

While I never force material against the fence, I've ordered the anchor dogs which should help with consistency and ease of use removing and re-installing the Incra fence.  If needed, I've 4040 profile I can use, but see no reason why this Incra fence wouldn't be stable enough unless I hire a gorilla to start cutting my panels.  [laughing]

I'm not sure how I'll get the fence aligned and anchor dogs mounted tightly yet but I'm sure I'll figure it out ... if there's anything in particular you'd like to see, let me know, but I'm curious, I thought you liked the TSO guide rail and parallel guides on your MFT?
I decided to go with the Incra fence like you.  Just felt a full fence was best and now I can remove the fence easily, and even move it to the middle of the bench for shorter cross cuts to prevent excessive reaching, even though my bench is only 36” wide.  I cut away a portion to have full support beneath the rail.  I also decided to go with the metric version in the start of converting to metric.

The Shop Stop is also very easy to recalibrate when needed.




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Offline afish

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2021, 08:08 PM »
I like it  [wink] looks like square cuts ahead. That piece that extends under the track is essential in my opinion. I tried without it and it made a huge difference.  Let us know how it works out for you after some cutting. 

Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #81 on: January 24, 2021, 11:33 PM »
Funny, I’ve the Incra mounted with anchor dogs and found some cuts off by 0.5mm which isn’t terrible but enough to annoy me. After further inspection, I can see the fence still has some deflection when pushed on. Unfortunately because I’ve inserted the M8 to M6 thread reducer I cannot fasten from underneath the table to see if that would remove it. 

I’ve recently acquired the TSO close fit dogs which fit perfectly and in combination with Parf Super Dogs result in 0.002” accuracy so now I’m considering to try them as my fence, I can even get one under the guide rail by the cut, and a TSO parallel guide on the guide rail for setting the width.  It seems like it could work well and doesn’t cost me anything to experiment but worst case I may buy the fence dogs for the Incra since those can be shimmed and easily tightened with a star knob below...

So ... how did you mount the Incra?

Offline 08G8V8

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #82 on: January 25, 2021, 05:25 AM »
I used 4 of the UJK anchor dogs with the same threaded inserts as you. I do not notice any deflection, but will keep on eye out to verify. I do have fence dogs that would allow anchoring from below the table if I need to swap them out.


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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #83 on: January 25, 2021, 08:47 AM »
Now that I think about it, I caused the issue ... it did not have any deflection when first installed.

I removed the anchor dogs a week ago, applied blue loctite to the threads (they kept coming loose), and installed the fence. I found the fence was just slightly out of square and so I tapped on one side with a rubber mallet thinking it would help make sure the flat side of the bolt was flat against the t-track. While the fence did become square, not only does it have small deflection, I just noticed my TSO close fit dogs have a small bit of play and did not have previously!

My top is finished with shellac so I’ll try to put some inside the hole and see if that helps for now but will likely have to replace the top ... thanks fully MDF is only $30 a sheet. 

This does make me wonder about the longevity of dog holes when mounting a piece of wood when hand planing, chiseling, or anything else which puts a decent lateral force on the dog holes.  Perhaps it would be better to use the Vac system attached to the extrusion to retain the best possible accuracy of the dog holes ...

Offline 08G8V8

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #84 on: January 25, 2021, 08:57 AM »
I wanted to keep the anchor dogs as tight as possible to the fence so they don’t come loose if/when I remove the fence to have full access to the table. I used hex bolts with a shank just long enough to not protrude past the threaded insert, leaving just enough thread in the anchor dog to thread in a 8mm bolt from below once the fence was in place, then tightening the 8mm bolt and then removing it to do the same to all 4 locations. The anchor dogs are very solidly connected now.

I used blue loctite on the threaded insert, but not on the hex bolts. If I see it losing clamp up I will add some.


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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #85 on: January 25, 2021, 10:17 AM »
Thanks for the explanation ... my hex bolts from the fence go all the way to the bottom of the anchor dog as I wasn't planning to fix anything from the bottom but I should replace them with shorter bolts as you've done just in case. 

That said, I don't understand why you threaded a M8 into the bottom and then removed it?

Offline 08G8V8

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #86 on: January 25, 2021, 10:39 AM »
You can’t really secure the dogs to the fence without the dogs in the holes.

Once the fence is installed all the dogs are exactly where they need to be. Threading a 8mm bolt until it bottoms out on the threaded insert allows you to snug up the dog to the bottom of the fence on the 6mm bolts. Then just back off the 8mm bolt and do the next dog.

I have the BenchdogsUK fence as well, with the fence dogs, but any time I removed the fence the dogs moved on me slightly. And since the scale is etched into the fence and you just use flag stops for cut length, I had to recalibrate the guide rail square to the fence and at a specific position to maintain the scales accuracy. Now with the Incra and its Shop Stop, the guide rail might be at a slightly different location if removed and re-installed and squared, but the stop can be micro-adjusted based in this slightly newer position.

This is the reason I went from the BenchdogsUK fence to using the TSO guide rail square and parallel guide. The TSO is automatically squared, and calibration if needed is super quick and easy. Now with the Incra, I have a much longer fence for reference and recalibibration is quick and easy.


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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #87 on: January 25, 2021, 12:20 PM »
Now I understand what you were doing.  I'd fitted the fence with the dogs semi-tight, pulled it out, tightened by hand just a bit, re-inserted the fence, rinse-repeat until they were aligned and snug.  Then using latex glove I gripped the anchor dog and twisted it as tight as I could.  They've not come lose but obviously the 8mm bolt would have been the easier method! :)

I added some shellac to the inside of the fence holes and everything is back to being snug but I still notice I can flex my fence which is strange  ... maybe because I'm using the t-slot in the rear of the fence ... are you using the one in front?

Offline 08G8V8

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #88 on: January 25, 2021, 12:23 PM »
Yes, I’m using the front slot for my dogs.


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Offline Bugsysiegals

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Re: MFT/3 Fence and Square ... TSO GRS-16 PE?
« Reply #89 on: January 26, 2021, 02:51 PM »
Yes, I’m using the front slot for my dogs.


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I mounted mine from the back because my guide rail is mounted with Parf Super Dog which was standing in front of the Incra fence ever so slightly.  I'm going to build a wider MFT table so if my TSO close fit dogs with TPG doesn't work out as planned I'll try the Incra again with the bolts in the front t-slot ... thanks for clarifying!