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BenchdogsUK set up problems

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Dom Brider

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Hi Guys

I've just purchased a load of BenchdogsUK gear. I'm trying to get it all set up and have run into some problems. It's the FenceM2 with the rail dogs set up that is foxing me. I assumed there is no calibration necessary but my cuts are way off. Any tips for this set up? I figured the fence/fencedogs coupled with rail dogs/b collars would just slot it, tighten up and be square to the holes?

Confused and a bit disappointed, I then put the old Festool MFT rail back on, moved the factory stops and squared that up (I copied Peters method from his video about changing his old top). I used a very accurate Woodpeckers straight edge up against X2 dogs. Used my feeler gauges, all good. The cuts are off in exactly the same way! All I can assume is that the holes in the table are not accurate as both methods rely on them.

Any tips? If the holes are the issue then I could get a new top but I've already spent £350 + on bench dogsUK stuff so thought it worth asking before spending even more cash. The UJK Valchromat top claims to have 'perfectly aligned holes' but who knows if that's true. Or I could buy the Part MII for not much more. God only knows what's more accurate. You'd assume CNC but I guess it depends on who's doing it. Plus I don't even know if the holes are the problem!

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to be regretting this purchase :( Dom
 

Dee J

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Start from basics I guess. Are the holes in the bench top accurately positioned. A straightedge and a square could quickly determine that. Then step at a time add components and remeasure until you see the error.
But equally important is what are you cutting, with what, and to how close à tolerance. And is the sawblade wandering or being forced off line?
 

Bojam

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Hi Dom

Does sound like the holes are not properly aligned.

I can't speak for the UJK valchromat top (though given the quality of the UJK products in general I suspect it would be bang on). I do have the Parf Guide Mk2 kit though and it worked like a dream for me. Certainly a substantial upfront investment but then you have it for life and can make as many MFT style tops as you want. It can do different layouts - i.e. normal and isometric - and also can do 32mm and 48mm "intermediate" hole spacing as well as the standard 96mm. Drilling the holes isn't loads of fun and takes a while, depending on the size of the tabletop, but the accuracy/precision is superb. Better value for money than buying a single top in my opinion.

I use the Benchdogs fence system and accessories with my table and everything is perfectly aligned.

If I was in the UK and relatively local to you I'd be happy to loan you the Parf Guide system for a few days. Maybe there is someone in your neck of the woods who could help?

Good luck!

James
 

ian33a

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I did reply in your other thread - but have copied it to here as well, just in case you missed it over there.

If you are very new to all of this stuff, the video that I have mentioned (and many others that Andy has done) make very good watching. I learned loads from them. The bench, by the way, was designed by him too. Just to be clear, I'm not incentivised to mention this to you or anybody else!

~~~


I have the square as well as the 1400mm fence and it has been spot on when installed on a Parf II array of holes. If you haven't been here, you might like to watch this video and a few of the other ones that Andy has done:

Benchdogs Mk2 Fence system - Review - YouTube

There isn't any calibration aside from setting the skinny ruler underneath the place where the rails sit. I didn't quite get mine right and took a slither out of my rail with my TS-55. Not the end of the world, but be careful.


20210605_123844.jpg



and the picture above shows the dogs and a rail installed in the MFT's in my home made bench. The MFT array is contiguous between the two inserts so I can extend the grid for about 1.5 metres if I wish. To be honest though, the benchdog system allows you to place the fence dogs wherever you wish so such a long contiguous array isn't necessary. What is necessary though, in my case, is for the rows to be exactly aligned on each MFT.

I spent several hours with Peter Parfitt some months ago and he reiterated how important it is on a large array to start in the middle and work outwards. So I did exactly that with this bench. As I say, Parf II worked very well for me but I took my time and was careful. I cannot comment regarding Parf I.

My 5 cut test was on a section of wood using the set up above and it was some silly fraction of a degree out.
 

Stuart Moffat

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Dom, I have the same jukebox top as you and the same benchdogs version. It is bang on, so hard to comment on what you are getting. I had a couple of self made issues. One was simply that the saw was a bit loose in the track after a lot of construction work. with the play removed , back to perfection. The other one... I put one dog north oh the fence ie the rail is one row away fro the edge of the table. If the wood you are cutting is big and doesn’t allow you to put another dog to hold the rail square, you have to improvise and all bets are off. I do have a large table With 18mm ply top the full 8 foot but no holes.... it’s only a matter of time I guess before I give in and get the kit to start drilling.
 

pulleyt

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I have the Parf I guide set and have been very happy with the 1200 x 900 mm work top I made. But for me, the real advantage of owning the Parf guides is that I can drill corresponding holes in my jigs to place them over the UKJ dogs and hold them in place on the worktop.
 

Doug71

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I remember reading that Festool didn't used to guarantee that the MFT top holes were square and in line as they were just meant to be used for clamping not cutting, don't know if this is still the case.
 

William pang

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Hi Guys

I've just purchased a load of BenchdogsUK gear. I'm trying to get it all set up and have run into some problems. It's the FenceM2 with the rail dogs set up that is foxing me. I assumed there is no calibration necessary but my cuts are way off. Any tips for this set up? I figured the fence/fencedogs coupled with rail dogs/b collars would just slot it, tighten up and be square to the holes?

Confused and a bit disappointed, I then put the old Festool MFT rail back on, moved the factory stops and squared that up (I copied Peters method from his video about changing his old top). I used a very accurate Woodpeckers straight edge up against X2 dogs. Used my feeler gauges, all good. The cuts are off in exactly the same way! All I can assume is that the holes in the table are not accurate as both methods rely on them.

Any tips? If the holes are the issue then I could get a new top but I've already spent £350 + on bench dogsUK stuff so thought it worth asking before spending even more cash. The UJK Valchromat top claims to have 'perfectly aligned holes' but who knows if that's true. Or I could buy the Part MII for not much more. God only knows what's more accurate. You'd assume CNC but I guess it depends on who's doing it. Plus I don't even know if the holes are the problem!

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to be regretting this purchase :( Dom
Whereabouts are you in the country I am quite willing to help you out because I have the path guide to to kit for drilling the holes please send me your details and if I can help I will do so thank you
Hi Guys

I've just purchased a load of BenchdogsUK gear. I'm trying to get it all set up and have run into some problems. It's the FenceM2 with the rail dogs set up that is foxing me. I assumed there is no calibration necessary but my cuts are way off. Any tips for this set up? I figured the fence/fencedogs coupled with rail dogs/b collars would just slot it, tighten up and be square to the holes?

Confused and a bit disappointed, I then put the old Festool MFT rail back on, moved the factory stops and squared that up (I copied Peters method from his video about changing his old top). I used a very accurate Woodpeckers straight edge up against X2 dogs. Used my feeler gauges, all good. The cuts are off in exactly the same way! All I can assume is that the holes in the table are not accurate as both methods rely on them.

Any tips? If the holes are the issue then I could get a new top but I've already spent £350 + on bench dogsUK stuff so thought it worth asking before spending even more cash. The UJK Valchromat top claims to have 'perfectly aligned holes' but who knows if that's true. Or I could buy the Part MII for not much more. God only knows what's more accurate. You'd assume CNC but I guess it depends on who's doing it. Plus I don't even know if the holes are the problem!

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to be regretting this purchase :( Dom
I have the parf guide system I would be willing to help if you are close by where abouts are you in the UK
 

Padster

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Dom,

I made my MFT using the Parf MkII, I also have an array of Benchdogs kit including the fence and have had zero issues. If you are getting the same errors with two different fence systems it would seem it's the holes in the MFT not the fences.

I bought into the Parf system so I can replace or make more tops as I require them, but as mentioned earlier in thread if you have a large table starting in the middle is imperative or you can get errors (John McGrath admits as much in one of his vids on YouTube). As you seem to already mention our own Peter Millard has some great videos on this on he is channel too.

If you are going to do this long term investing in the Parf system makes sense to me, and I would recommend it.

HTH

Padster
 

Spectric

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but my cuts are way off.
Is this out of square or in required length?

Easy to check bench holes are square with some dogs and a square but being a purchased product then I doubt Axminster are selling tops with misplaced holes especially as they would be made on a CNC. If they are out then throw it back at them because it will only be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

The other thing to remember is these tops are in my opinion consumables, dont expect them to last for ever and don't pamper them but use them to get a job done, so it is worth having the means to make your own in the long term and you have either the Parf system at £200 or a template that is used with the router, an example being Replacement Top Jigs | CNC Design at £40 MDF or £55 Birch ply where you use a 12.7mm cutter and 30mm bush. They also do the tops but in standard sizes, if you want custom there are people out there doing them but probably cheaper in the long run to make your own.
 
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