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MFT clamps.

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pe2dave

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Festool clamps ('ordinary' or quick) are expensive.
Axminster (e.g.quick ) are a little cheaper.
Any experience of both to compare please?
for end of track and clamping to the MFT
 

Dr Al

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Can't help you with exactly what you're asking, but for what it's worth I have several of the Axminster quick lever clamps (these ones) as well as some of the Bessey equivalents. The Bessey ones are definitely heavier duty, but the clamping action of the Axminster ones is lovely, they clamp securely and they're the ones I reach for most often of all my clamps.

I imagine the guide rail clamps are exactly the same but with a different foot to go into the track.
 

pe2dave

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Can't help you with exactly what you're asking, but for what it's worth I have several of the Axminster quick lever clamps (these ones) as well as some of the Bessey equivalents. The Bessey ones are definitely heavier duty, but the clamping action of the Axminster ones is lovely, they clamp securely and they're the ones I reach for most often of all my clamps.

I imagine the guide rail clamps are exactly the same but with a different foot to go into the track.
Tks for that - yes, they do look similar. I don't think heavy duty is a necessity for MFT work :)
 

gcusick

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I have both a pair of the Axminster lever rail clamps and their (cheaper) Quick Action rail clamps. The lever clamps are much more robust, and, as Dr Al says, the lever action is very nice, once you get the hang of using them. The quick action clamps are easier to use, and I find myself reaching for them for quickly clamping work down on my UJK bench top.
 

Sideways

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I have a couple of sets of the Axy lever rail clamps - they came in blue before turning red.
When I was buying, they looked to be identical to the Festool ones except for colour and a couple of pounds cheaper.
Much better than a twist action clamp in rail applications where you are continually clamping and unclamping - my opinion anyway ....

They are very strong and powerful. Only caveat, the lever sticks out a long way horizontal when first positioning them. If you work on a workmate or a bench with structure close to the edge of the table, this sometimes causes problems because the clamp handle needs the workpiece to overhang the edge of the top far enough to clear the handle. You curse a few times and gradually get used to it. The overall quality of the clamp outweighs this inconvenience.
 

Nelsun

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I have the Bessey, Axminster and Festool ones and would rate them in that order. The Bessey are nice and sturdy with a good action and only just pip the Axminster ones - and that's likely down to having Bessey printed on them! The Festool are good but slightly more fiddly to get out of holes as the handles don't release out of the way as easily as the others.
 

Spectric

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I was trying to fathom out what all the fuss was with the MFT bench and dogs and could see a few uses but with several limitations but in the process I came across these clamps and they are really versatile, will make making jigs and fixtures very easy and I could easily see the potential. You could add some dogs to provide an extra level of squareness and I am already making some new fixtures for my Woodrat. Look at the Matchfit site and see what you think MATCHFIT Woodworking Jig and Fixture System | #1 Best-Seller in Jigs and Fixtures
 

Lonsdale73

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I had both Festool and Bessey variants; I still have and regularly use the Bessey.
 

Nelsun

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are these the bessey ones?
They are indeed. You can find pairs for about £64 inc. VAT on the bay. Epic Tools I think was the seller I got mine from.

Rutlands also have packs of 4 for £70 (Forged Quick Lever Guide Rail Clamps | Next Day Delivery)... which is perhaps too cheap. They're longer at 300mm vs 160 for the Bessey / Axi / Festool ones though; more capacity but also more cumbersome.
 

pe2dave

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I was trying to fathom out what all the fuss was with the MFT bench and dogs and could see a few uses but with several limitations but in the process I came across these clamps and they are really versatile, will make making jigs and fixtures very easy and I could easily see the potential. You could add some dogs to provide an extra level of squareness and I am already making some new fixtures for my Woodrat. Look at the Matchfit site and see what you think MATCHFIT Woodworking Jig and Fixture System | #1 Best-Seller in Jigs and Fixtures
Agree about more general use.
Another Woodrat user! I have one of his first - when he toured the woodwork shows!

I could spend weeks making jigs - so useful... often for one off jobs ;-)
 

pe2dave

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They are indeed. You can find pairs for about £64 inc. VAT on the bay. Epic Tools I think was the seller I got mine from.

Rutlands also have packs of 4 for £70 (Forged Quick Lever Guide Rail Clamps | Next Day Delivery)... which is perhaps too cheap. They're longer at 300mm vs 160 for the Bessey / Axi / Festool ones though; more capacity but also more cumbersome.
And the Bessey ones, are they a good fit for MFT tops please?
They have a very good name.
 

Lonsdale73

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And the Bessey ones, are they a good fit for MFT tops please?
They have a very good name.
They work well with mine. I incorpporated it into a Timothy Wilmotts design that has t-tracks on both long sides and one short side so I can either clamp the workpiece flat to the table top, eg for cutting to size with a tracksaw or upright against the side frame e.g for cutting dovetails etc
 

Nelsun

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And the Bessey ones, are they a good fit for MFT tops please?
They have a very good name.
They fit very well indeed. There's very little between them and the Axminster ones. I have a niggling feeling in the back of my mind the Axi ones were made by Bessey but to an older design. They vary slightly from the current Bessey ones but functionally they're very close; both better than the Festool ones IMHO.
 

pe2dave

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They fit very well indeed. There's very little between them and the Axminster ones. I have a niggling feeling in the back of my mind the Axi ones were made by Bessey but to an older design. They vary slightly from the current Bessey ones but functionally they're very close; both better than the Festool ones IMHO.
From a thread on the Festool user group, there seems to be a suspicion that all 3 were from a common source, Axminster, Festool and Bessey - which would make sense.

At my age, I'm not in a hurry, I'll go for the screw down version rather than the click one. Axminster.

Thanks all for the information.
 

Nelsun

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IMHO, the screw versions are a waste of money as they loosen themselves when you're not watching (due to vibration mostly).
 

pe2dave

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IMHO, the screw versions are a waste of money as they loosen themselves when you're not watching (due to vibration mostly).
Worth knowing - though I've been using 'ordinary' screw clamps for years without noting this. Perhaps the vibration of the saw?
 

MikeK

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Worth knowing - though I've been using 'ordinary' screw clamps for years without noting this. Perhaps the vibration of the saw?
I used the Festool screw clamps with my track saw. Without exception, they loosen up. The ratchet clamps never loosen.
 
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