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Custom MFT top

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Dom Brider

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Hi All. Is anybody aware of a company that produces custom sized MFT tops? I want to make a slightly tweaked version of Peter Millards portable workbench (1400 x 600mm). CNC designs and the other one that PM recommended have unfortunately stopped doing them. I’ve made my own before, don’t want to get into that again. I’ve just invested a small fortune in BenchdogsUK gear, I need those holes to be spot on. Thanks in advance…
 

Stokes&co

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Hi mate, the last ones I got done (1 normal size and one 1500 x 1000 ish for an assembly bench) were by a guy called Mick in Reading. He was great, it’s Formatic CNC if you google it and get in touch, he’ll definitely help. Mine were in birch ply by the way. Cheers, Pat.
 

Dom Brider

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Hi Pat. Cheers for the mega fast reply! I tried Formatic yesterday. Unfortunately (for me) he’s got a 2 month lead time at the moment. Sounds like Mick is a busy bee! Looking to get this sorted ASAP. Thanks anyway though 👍
 

galleywood

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I built a slightly modified version of Peter's portable workbench using CNC design's MFT style top.
The top is wider than Peter's (but that is no bad thing) and therefore is not flat at the back when erecting it.
The bench is heavy, so take heed of Peter's lightweight version - my one could do with some lightening holes.
I made a dolly, to move it around (and out) of the workshop.
It works, is sturdy and a little wider than Peter's.
Go for it.
 

BucksDad

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Try contacting norfolkbespokewoodworks on ebay. Peter M featured him recently with a MFT top for systainers that he sells. Looks like he would do custom work
 

ian33a

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I know you've made them before but were unhappy with the result. I built a couple of them for my bench using the Parf II system and it was quick, dead easy and, going the five part cut as a test, turned out very well. I also have a load of Benchdogs kit and it works nicely. The Parf system is expensive up front but, once you have it, you can make any custom size you want.
 

petermillard

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It was Mick at Formatic who did the tops for my portable bench originally. Unfortunately he seems to be having some issues, and really started letting folks down - including me - so I’m afraid I’ve had to look elsewhere. I did have a discussion with Rhys at Norfolk Bespoke Woodworks, but he’s actually decided to stop making MFT tops generally, as they cause too him too many headaches for what they bring in, and CNC Design have stopped doing custom work.

If anyone does find a company willing to make a bespoke top I’d be all ears!
best, P
 

Chrispy

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I'm willing to make you one, if you want send me the details and I'll have a look.
 

Spectric

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Anyone tried the one from MDF Pro Jig to make Replacement Perforated Festool Type MFT /3 - LP Top

Have used the parf system and it is good but I have noted that the holes where you can clamp the drill guide down are a better fit than the ones in the middle that are not clamped, so using a 12.7mm cutter and 30mm bush in a router with this cnc made template should deliver perfect results, and any size board you want. If you then want to ensure the sides are square to the hole pattern just use a tracksaw and some dogs.
 

petermillard

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I'm willing to make you one, if you want send me the details and I'll have a look.
Is this something you’d be interested in doing commercially? I’m selling 20-30 sets of plans a month, and while my bench was designed so that a standard MFT top could be easily adapted, a 1200 or 1400 wide top is a better option for most.
Thanks, P
 

Oaktree11

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I know you've made them before but were unhappy with the result. I built a couple of them for my bench using the Parf II system and it was quick, dead easy and, going the five part cut as a test, turned out very well. I also have a load of Benchdogs kit and it works nicely. The Parf system is expensive up front but, once you have it, you can make any custom size you want.
+1 for the PARF MKII. I had the MKI and never really had success but the MKII is a world apart. It IS expensive but as you say gives ultimate flexibility and very, very precise holes. John
 

Oaktree11

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Anyone tried the one from MDF Pro Jig to make Replacement Perforated Festool Type MFT /3 - LP Top

Have used the parf system and it is good but I have noted that the holes where you can clamp the drill guide down are a better fit than the ones in the middle that are not clamped, so using a 12.7mm cutter and 30mm bush in a router with this cnc made template should deliver perfect results, and any size board you want. If you then want to ensure the sides are square to the hole pattern just use a tracksaw and some dogs.
Sorry but I just don’t agree. If you follow the instructions, work from the center all the holes can be really accurate with the MKII system. John
 

Dom Brider

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Thanks for all the responses guys. I just received my bench dogs gear yesterday, I think I'd better play with standard size MFT for a month or so before figuring out my custom size. Essentially I think the standard depth (718mm) is fine, I just want the 1400mm to allow a little more room to play.

Not sure if I should start another thread here but I'm having trouble setting the bench dogs gear up. I bought the rail square which seems to be spot on, no issues there. It's the fenceM2/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
 

Chrispy

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Is this something you’d be interested in doing commercially? I’m selling 20-30 sets of plans a month, and while my bench was designed so that a standard MFT top could be easily adapted, a 1200 or 1400 wide top is a better option for most.
Thanks, P
Yes please, always prepared to have a look at any job.
 

MikeK

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Have used the parf system and it is good but I have noted that the holes where you can clamp the drill guide down are a better fit than the ones in the middle that are not clamped, so using a 12.7mm cutter and 30mm bush in a router with this cnc made template should deliver perfect results, and any size board you want. If you then want to ensure the sides are square to the hole pattern just use a tracksaw and some dogs.
Sorry but I just don’t agree. If you follow the instructions, work from the center all the holes can be really accurate with the MKII system. John
I had excellent results from the UJK Parf MK II Guide System on my 2x1 meter worktop with 200 holes. Had I followed the instructions, I would have started from the center, worked to the edges, and trimmed the edges to match the grid pattern of the holes. Instead, I started in one corner and worked my way to the opposite corner.

I still trimmed the long edges of the Valchromat top using the track saw, but the alignment of the holes were perfect (in my opinion) for any woodworking projects I will be doing. I spot checked the top in ten places using my TSO MTR-18 square and four UJK Bench Dogs, and there were no gaps between the square and dogs. I also checked the alignment of holes along the 2-meter length using the 3-meter track saw guide, and I couldn't put a 0.03mm feeler gauge between the track saw edge and bench dogs along the side.

Maybe I was lucky, but I think my results are due to being patient and not rushing the drilling of the pilot holes or the 20mm holes. I never clamped the 20mm drill guide because I didn't have to. As soon as it was located and fixed in place, it did not shift or tilt.

I wish the 1-meter long Parf sticks had V-grooves in the ends with the apex of the groove along the center line of the 6mm holes for the pilot bushing. This would make it much easier, at least for me, to align the sticks along a reference line instead of relying on the line perfectly bisecting the 6mm hole.
 
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