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DIY Vs bought parf/mft table top

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gairym

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Morning all,

I'm building a new outfeed / assembly table and now leaning towards a parf system instead of the t-track rig I had initially planned.

But I'm unsure whether I should buy the UJK Parf Guide System or just buy a UJK HDF Valchromat Top.

Obviously there are pros/cons to both options but just wondering what people's thoughts are in general?

And if the guide system is the way forward, is there a massive difference between the MK1 and MK2 (as the MK2 is out of stock)?

Also, has anyone used one of the new Isometric tops and got any intel to share?

Any experience and information gratefully received.

Cheers, Gairy.
 
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I'd say it's pretty simple. If you want something custom, get the PARF system. If you're just going for the standard size, get a premade one for ~£50.

There is the argument that the PARF system will pay for itself in time, but that all depends on how beat up you plan on it getting,
 

gairym

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In principle, I agree that it's fairly simple but.....

Is the self-filling system actually as quick, easy and accurate as they make out?

And is the MDF or Baltic birch plywood that I'd use going to last anywhere near as long and be as stable as the HDF version I can buy from UJK?

If the answers to the above are yes then it's a no brainer and I'll do it myself and be able to replace the top as/when it's get knackered - simples!

But.....if, as I suspect, it could be a pain in the buttocks, not work as well as I'd like and not last very long then I might as well bite the bullet and buy the thing from them, no?

Hoping someone with real world experience can shed a little light on the matter.....

Cheers, Gairy.
 

williams1185

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hi gairy i recently bought the mark 2 parf system and to be honest its not as easy as the videos made it look . i found the pins quite tight going into the 3 mm holes and because they had to go all the way in to locate the 6mm shoulder they were then a real pain to get out , its accuracy was excellent everything lined up as it should but with everything it takes practice so if like me your going to use it occasionally it may not be the best thing to spend 165 pounds on it may be better to buy ready made and save a couple of hours work but its your choice . hope ive helped you a little . regards ian
 

Rorschach

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The money for a parf system will but 3-4 commercial tops. For someone like me it is a no brainer, I am likely to use maybe 1 or 2 tops in a lifetime. You need to think about the same for yourself. With care a commercial top could be made to last a long time.
 

gairym

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williams1185":2v5pbk8d said:
hi gairy i recently bought the mark 2 parf system and to be honest its not as easy as the videos made it look . i found the pins quite tight going into the 3 mm holes and because they had to go all the way in to locate the 6mm shoulder they were then a real pain to get out , its accuracy was excellent everything lined up as it should but with everything it takes practice so if like me your going to use it occasionally it may not be the best thing to spend 165 pounds on it may be better to buy ready made and save a couple of hours work but its your choice . hope ive helped you a little . regards ian
Thanks, that's what I imagined would be the case. Hmmm.....

Rorschach":2v5pbk8d said:
The money for a parf system will but 3-4 commercial tops. For someone like me it is a no brainer, I am likely to use maybe 1 or 2 tops in a lifetime. You need to think about the same for yourself. With care a commercial top could be made to last a long time.
I'm in France though and it doesn't seem that the pre-made commercial tops are easily available here and so it'd involve getting one sent from blighty. Also, I'm imagining fairly heavy useage and so I think I'll go through tops quicker than average.

Much to think about.....

transatlantic":2v5pbk8d said:
There is also this method using a router, which may or may not be easier.

https://www.cncdesign.co.uk/pro-jig-rep ... p-top.html
Now you've gone and done it! I was struggling with two options but now there's three.

It actually looks pretty good and possibly a good compromise. Cheaper than the UJK system but still enables me to re-make new tops as/when required.

Ok, I need to make a decision.....

Thanks all for the input!

Gairy.
 

gairym

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MikeJhn":pnbvtsys said:
Oh how did we ever get on without the Parf system to play with, wait a minute, I don't have one, and can't see I need one, I have a workbench with holes in.
I totally agree but I don't have a workbench (I've been using a door on trestle tables with a piece of chipboard on it since we moved into the new house over a year ago) and so seeing as I'm starting from scratch and need a multi-purpose workbench/out-feed/assembly table and space is at an absolute premium (single car garage) I thought that this solution offered the best of everything.
 
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gairym":3dliu8r8 said:
I totally agree but I don't have a workbench (I've been using a door on trestle tables with a piece of chipboard on it since we moved into the new house over a year ago) and so seeing as I'm starting from scratch and need a multi-purpose workbench/out-feed/assembly table and space is at an absolute premium (single car garage) I thought that this solution offered the best of everything.
I'm very happy with mine. It serves as a general assembly bench, track saw cutting top, tablesaw outfeed and my router table. Yes it's bloody annoying having to clear it for each operation, but thats what you have to do with limited space.

The holes are a love hate relationship though. Excellent for clamping, absolute nightmare for dropping things into. :)

I personally don't use the holes/dogs for cutting things square though. As my bench is against a wall, it just doesn't work due to the limited space. I also find that 90% time, my board doesn't fit between the holes. I would love to have it be a full size sheet with access from all sides (like what Matt Estlea recently made). It would be so much nicer! ... I can but dream!
 

gairym

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MikeJhn":7kxhzyct said:
At this time of year you should be skiing not worrying about woodworking, learnt in Chamonix many many years ago.
We pretty much split the year into summer for me (biking is my other big love) and winter for the wife (a lifelong skier).

The inter-season periods are when I'm busiest and so I need the workshop refit to be finished within the next month so that I can get on with earning some pennies.

transatlantic":7kxhzyct said:
I'm very happy with mine. It serves as a general assembly bench, track saw cutting top, tablesaw outfeed and my router table. Yes it's bloody annoying having to clear it for each operation, but thats what you have to do with limited space.

The holes are a love hate relationship though. Excellent for clamping, absolute nightmare for dropping things into. :)
Good and bad to hear. Pretty much what I imagined it'd be like to use.
 

GrahamF

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gairym":1uhtgm42 said:
.........
And is the MDF or Baltic birch plywood that I'd use going to last anywhere near as long and be as stable as the HDF version I can buy from UJK?
Back home now, I've just ordered material to build a 2 section (for ease of handling and storage) Paulk style bench and have the Mk1 drilling kit. As HD and brand name Medite not available locally, have ordered generic MRMDF, which has lasted a few years on existing undrilled bench.

I had an email conversation with Peter Parfitt recently an these are his comments about material -

The ideal top thickness for Parf Dogs of any type is 18 mm. The perfect
> material for such tops is high density fibre (HDF) however Medite MR MDF
> at
> a quarter of the price of HDF is far better.
>
> You can use ply but the PGS cutter does not perform quite as well and you
> may get some breakout when drilling. The results should still be accurate.
 

pulleyt

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williams1185":10vg8dqj said:
i found the pins quite tight going into the 3 mm holes and because they had to go all the way in to locate the 6mm shoulder they were then a real pain to get out
My understanding is that you don't need to push the 3mm locating pins all the way to the shoulder. I have the Mk1 Parf guides and found the results very accurate. When laying out the rulers I just pushed the pins in until I was confident the the ruler was held securely in place (which wasn't anywhere near the shoulder). See Peter's demo - using the pin is visible at 2mins 30 seconds.
 

Bodgers

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MikeJhn":28xp2efl said:
Oh how did we ever get on without the Parf system to play with, wait a minute, I don't have one, and can't see I need one, I have a workbench with holes in.
That's what they used to say about Personal Computers, Cars etc.

Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
 
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Like when you hear people say they don't need a track saw because they have a straight edge.

Of course you can get similar results, but one does the job better, more easily and is more versatile! :roll:
 

shed9

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Find a local wood shop with a 8x4 CNC router or local maker shed like a FabLab (https://www.fablabs.io/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=france) or similar.

A FabLab will let you play and bang out as many as you want as long as you contribute some time or a small donation to them.

There is one at Anthy-sur-Léman and one at Chambéry, Savoie, both about an hour and bit from Chamonix. Drop them a call, they both list CNC milling as functions, in my experience most FabLabs have an 8x4, usually a community build or a ShopBot variant - either way this is worth a phone call to your local FabLabs.
 

gairym

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shed9":nbqoz4sy said:
A FabLab will let you play and bang out as many as you want as long as you contribute some time or a small donation to them.

There is one at Anthy-sur-Léman.....
Mighty helpful, cheers!

Going over to see them tomorrow evening - what a good idea.
 

GrahamF

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pulleyt":31ugc0b5 said:
williams1185":31ugc0b5 said:
i found the pins quite tight going into the 3 mm holes and because they had to go all the way in to locate the 6mm shoulder they were then a real pain to get out
My understanding is that you don't need to push the 3mm locating pins all the way to the shoulder. I have the Mk1 Parf guides and found the results very accurate. When laying out the rulers I just pushed the pins in until I was confident the the ruler was held securely in place (which wasn't anywhere near the shoulder). See Peter's demo - using the pin is visible at 2mins 30 seconds.
Have just finished drilling my tops with the Mk1. Very happy with the jig and, as you say, very easy to use unless trying to push the pins all the way in, which is needed on the Mk2 version.

The two 6' x 18" Paulk type benches bolted together have come out well but the hinged folding support trestles are a waste of space, tried to plane some timber this morning and they were trying to fold up. A slate lat each side clamped across all four legs stabilised them but will have to think about more sturdy folding legs.
 

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