Author Topic: MFT Table Build - Using Festool Profile Extrusion(s) - Wood expansion?  (Read 2979 times)

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Offline Carlito0822

  • Posts: 3
(Amateur rookie to set the stage)

Looking for a sturdier/larger MFT than Festool.  Would be a wood frame using Festool's Aluminum Profile extrusions mounted to the side.  Question I have is should I be concerned with the accuracy out of fear the wood it would be attached to might expand/contract?  Meaning I might have the table level day 1, but being the Aluminum is mounted to wood would it be a foregone conclusion staying level won't last long?

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 1022
Are you asking about differential expansion? If so, I think you might be over thinking things. however you can allow for it if you wish, by keeping in mind how you wish to constrain the aluminum. Much like making table tops. constrain and also alow for expansion, the bread board table top comes to mind. however it should not be a problem. temper deviation relative to coefficients  of expansion are going to be small , in the world of wood working. post pics of your work. It will be great to see how it unfolds.

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 166
Any reason not to use plywood? I'd also consider maybe using 8020 aluminum instead of the Festool extrusions. If you use the 15 series, it will hold the Festool clamps and most t-slot hardware from other manufacturers. You can add brackets on the inside of your frame to hold the plywood up, or just create a tongue and groove and insert it into the extrusion.

Offline Carlito0822

  • Posts: 3
thank you both for the responses.  Overthinking it is prob the best response ha. 

My kids are all leaving me and now I have this void to fill of what to do with my time.  No better time to fill that void by getting into woodworking.  With that said I don't have a table saw and because of limited space I was going to do a larger MFT style table and use FS Track Saw as my table saw (certain limitations and inefficacies with that decision).

My plans was for a 4x8 (roughly) simple base.  Then have a wood framed top that would MDF MFT style table top to be inserted at top.    My thoughts was to purchase (3) Festool replacement MDF perforated tops to mount to top.  That way if ever one gets cut up to a point of needing replacement I could always swap the bad one down to the back side and move a fresher one to the cross cut area (having 3 to swap around) vs. always having to replace the full 4x8 sheet.  Albeit more expensive then purchasing a single 4x8 sheet, i wouldn't have to invest in the tools to do my own dog holes and ROI on my own time doing it.  Then use the FS Aluminum rails that you can purchase separately and mount to the outside of the wood frame.  That is what i was concerned with as I haven't seen anyone do that as an example.  Will get pictures eventually when done, but will be sometime as i as I don't have heat in the garage yet ha.

I have looked into the 8020 and still might go that route, just need to do some investigative work.  Lastly to NVAl comment on Plywood, I might consider laminating some plywood together for the edges which then takes away concern of any movement where the rails would be mounted to.

Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 309
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Have you thought about building a Paulk style bench?  The great thing about them is that they can be easily stored and moved.  I once built a 4x8 assembly table and found it way too large.  What I built is Paulk's Compact Workbench at 3x6.  It is light enough to move, large enough to break down 4x8 sheets on, and small enough to be able to easily reach across. 

Here's a link to Paulk's current version of the Paulk Smart Workbench


There are also lots of examples on here of folks building bases for their MFT's  @bents woodworking and @mattbyington have both built MFT carts using three MFT's to take advantage of all the features of the MFT while making it larger and more stable.
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|ETSC 125|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|OF 1010|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|STL 450|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
US Marines - UK Wildcats - Cincinnati Reds

Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1421
I agree with @gunnyr on a Paulk or similar style bench.  A 4x8 sheet of MDF wrapped in 8020 would be a bear to move, and would probably have a lot of sagging issues over time without any additional bracing.  If space is an issue (based on the "no room for a table saw" comment), something that breaks down and is portable seems like a better solution than a large, unwieldy sheet.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1725
@Carlito0822 if you have room for a 4x8 foot table, you have room for a table saw. Table saws don't have to come with 52 inch rails etc. You can get 30 and 36 in rails on them.

Ron

Offline Carlito0822

  • Posts: 3
appreciate you all.  First to admit that I overthink things a lot.  Will review the Paulk style bench and things thru. 

As well agree on the if you have limited space, but doing a 4x8 WB then I can fit a TableSaw.  Very true, in my mind I was thinking I wanted both (TS & large bench) so therefore I would stick with the WB. 

All good points/info you brought up and appreciate that.  Will continue the journey.

Offline tsmi243

  • Posts: 258
Keep in mind, you're likely to build more than one version as you figure out what you want.  So don't sweat it too much.  Use cheap stuff, and don't be afraid to chop it up or poke holes in it. 

I think I've built more workbenches than I have furniture....

Offline gunnyr

  • Posts: 309
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@Carlito0822, please know that there is not really a wrong answer.  What works for others may not be your best solution.  I'll second @tsmi243; you'll build several versions so for now just build something. 

I started with a 4x4 sheet of plywood on sawhorses.  My second 'bench' was a 3x5 scrap torsion box that I used for 25 years and is now my son's workbench.  Now I have a collection of assembly tables, MFT's, Paulk, and Bora Centipede work surfaces.  I even have a bonafide workbench!  One of these days I'll need to build something IN my shop to justify the work ON it! [big grin]
Semper Fi,
Jeff

TS 55 REQ|HKC 55|PSB 420|DF 500|ETS EC 125/3 EQ|ETS 150/3|ETSC 125|DTSC 400|RO 90|RO 150|OF 1400|OF 1010|MFK 700|LR 32|MFS 400/700|CXS (2)|PDC 18|DWC 18-4500|CT MIDI|CT 26|CT 48|MFT/3 (2)|VAC SYS-SET|STL 450|DUO-SET|SYSLITE KAL II
US Marines - UK Wildcats - Cincinnati Reds

Offline acer66

  • Posts: 98
Re: MFT Table Build - Using Festool Profile Extrusion(s) - Wood expansion?
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2021, 09:23 AM »
Keep in mind, you're likely to build more than one version as you figure out what you want.  So don't sweat it too much.  Use cheap stuff, and don't be afraid to chop it up or poke holes in it. 

I think I've built more workbenches than I have furniture....

This, one quote and I think I heard it from Jay Bates, which helped me is to treat most if not all things as temporary because your needs will most likely change over time so you will rebuild and modify things.