Author Topic: Workbench with MFT style perf top?  (Read 2045 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Manno

  • Posts: 2
Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« on: July 31, 2022, 08:04 PM »
Hi all,

New to the forum. Just thought id ask for some advice from folks that might have some thoughts to share.

Im planning on building a solid beech workbench, down one length will have a row of square dogs for a tail vise. As for the rest of the top, is there any reason/s why i wouldn't/shouldn't have the majority of the rest of the top drilled with the same pattern and spacing of round holes like my MFT?

Cheers
Manno

 

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 4001
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2022, 08:21 PM »
How thick is the top to be? Too many holes may weaken the top. Also, would you mind seeing kerf grooves on your bench top if your plan is to use it like an MFT table with a track saw?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2022, 08:28 PM by ChuckS »

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 387
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2022, 08:24 PM »
If I was building a solid beech workbench and already had the MFT/3, I would not duplicate the 20mm dog holes in the new workbench.  Instead, I would drill a few 3/4-inch holes to accommodate iron holdfasts.  Depending on the thickness of the workbench top, you might not be able to use the same clamps that you can use on the MFT/3. 


I have a Sjöbergs solid beech workbench with one-inch holes along the perimeter for holdfasts and bench dogs.  The top is almost four inches thick, so no Festool clamp could possibly be used in the holes.  I was going to fill the one-inch holes with beech plugs and drill new 3/4-inch holes for commonly available holdfasts, but my wife bought me a set of four Sjöbergs holdfasts made for my bench, so that solved my holdfast problem.

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 343
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2022, 09:58 PM »

Offline Vondawg

  • Posts: 494
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2022, 02:12 PM »
I cant see adding 3/4” holes if you’ve got dogs, stops, ect. For your MFT that are 20mm…..I can see a row lined up with a vice, for long boards but not the total bench
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline Manno

  • Posts: 2
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2022, 05:30 AM »
Thanks guys. Top is going to be thick, around 5” so yeah, most of the festool clamps wont work. I might use some sacrificial material so i dont mark the top if i do decide to cross cut on there.

I was mainly looking at using bench dogs and some other hold downs. Are the iron hold downs available in a 20mm option?

I might build in a moxon vise on one end so two rows of holes using that vise would be good. I just like using the MFT and not having to worry about where the workpiece is, as theres always a spot for a clamp/hold-down.

Those popup dogs are great little gadgets. But i think i want the holes over that style.

I just priced up the material cost for the top….. yikes 😳

Offline Mini Me

  • Posts: 343
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2022, 06:40 AM »
There is a depth limit if you want to use steel hold downs, I can recall what it is but I think 5" is too thick.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 10173
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2022, 09:50 AM »
Bessey advertises a 16 mm system for thick wood tops that's an adaptation of their welding table system. The Bessey website appears to be down right now.  [sad]



« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 09:54 AM by Cheese »

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 387
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2022, 10:42 AM »
Bessey advertises a 16 mm system for thick wood tops that's an adaptation of their welding table system. The Bessey website appears to be down right now.  [sad]

I looked at the Bessey TW16 series of clamps for my Sjöbergs bench, but I would need the 25mm adapter in order to use any of the clamps.  The cost of the Bessey clamps and adapters substantially exceeded the price as the Sjöbergs clamps, which didn't need an adapter.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 4001
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2022, 11:00 AM »
First, the holdfasts Benchcrafted makes can work with tops 2" to 8" thick. I've used Gramercy holdfasts (the most economical you can find) on benches between 2-1/2" and 4-1/2" for years.The Gramercy can work with 20mm dia. or 3/4" dia. holes, and its post is 8-3/4" long, so it should work on 5" thick tops.

I definitely wouldn't drill so many holes like those on an MFT on a solid workbench, because it's not necessary unless you plan to use it also as a regular MFT table. I'll place two to three rows of holes strategically, and then use the bench for a while to see if additional holes are needed. You can always add more holes, if desired, based on experience of actual use.

You should have at least one pair of holdfasts for efficient workholding; I have two pairs (even two pairs cost me just $120 Cdn). When mortising multiple workpieces with the DF500, I deploy all the holdfasts at the same time:



« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 12:22 PM by ChuckS »

Offline derekcohen

  • Posts: 642
    • In The Woodshop
Re: Workbench with MFT style perf top?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2022, 09:48 AM »
Thanks guys. Top is going to be thick, around 5” so yeah, most of the festool clamps wont work. I might use some sacrificial material so i dont mark the top if i do decide to cross cut on there.

I was mainly looking at using bench dogs and some other hold downs. Are the iron hold downs available in a 20mm option?

I might build in a moxon vise on one end so two rows of holes using that vise would be good. I just like using the MFT and not having to worry about where the workpiece is, as theres always a spot for a clamp/hold-down.

Those popup dogs are great little gadgets. But i think i want the holes over that style.

I just priced up the material cost for the top….. yikes 😳

As a predominantly (serious) handtool woodworker for a few decades, who considers the bench to be the main tool in my workshop, I would advise:

1. 3/4" dog holes for hand tool-orientated hold downs from Gramercy and Veritas. The 20mm Festool stuff needs its own bench. Stick to the traditional methods - they have been around for centuries for a good reason.

2. Combine other traditional holding tools, such as a face vise (I use a leg vise) and tail vise (my preference is the Benchcrafted wagon vise). There are a number of simple fixtures, such as a Doe's Foot, Sticking Board, and shooting board, all of which I do not like without.

3. Do not - repeat not - build a Moxon vise into the bench front. This immediately nullifies the reason for a Moxon, which is to lift the work piece up to a comfortable height. A "Moxon" built into a bench is simply a double screw vise.

4. A 5" thick bench will come back and bite you. It is too thick for hold downs from Gramercy (unless you back recess the mortice below the bench). These (and other) hold downs do best with 3-4" thick benches. My bench is 3 1/2" thick European Oak (on a hefty Jarrah base).

5. Round bench dogs are less desirable than square bench dogs. The latter are more directional, which is better. Round dogs are easier to create, and can be done later. Square dog holes must be planned in advance. I make use of both types, as the round ones (from Veritas) have a place, but along the bench front they are square.



If you are interested, I can provide more details of the set up I have found helpful.

Regards from Perth

Derek
Visit www.inthewoodshop.com for tutorials on joinery, hand tools, and my trials and tribulations with furniture builds.