MFT Question

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Mark18PLL

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I have a workbench in my garage and purchased the UJK part guide system so i can make my own mft. I have a 11ft workbench, so i am wondering if i should replace some of the top with the MFT and then have a separate sheet of material to cover it over. Also under the top i currently have lengths of 70mm x 40mm beneath the top as support, the only problem i can see with this is that i will not have any gap underneath for clamps to go through the holes and not sure is the dogs need to protrude underneath.

Thanks

Mark
 
Most dogs don't protrude under the MFT, but if you use some clamps like the Festool ones then they obviously need a bit of room to waggle under the top.

I don't cover mine with anything other than tools 🤣 .

When I made mine I just put some 3x2 around all 4 sides and added 2 as supports across the middle, making sure to not block a hole.
 
I have a portable MFT type top I made that I put on trestles and it works great but sometimes I want to use it like a normal bench top and the holes can be irritating as things have a tendency to fall through them. It might be worth having something to cover part of it if you use in this way. Have also seen people like Peter Parfitt who don't drill every hole in the grid as in real life you don't tend to use them all.
 
Have a look at some of Peter Millard's excellent videos on you tube. He uses an MFT set up extensively and has loads of useful advice.
 
before you make or do anything, I would think about exactly what you want to achieve.

I can't justify the price of the full MFT, so I have been looking at the options for making a top since I was introduced to benchdogs.co.uk through Peter Millard (there is also a discount code "10minuteworkshop" which gives you 5% off).

most people used the mft for accurate cross cutting, and for cutting pieces to the same length. For angle cuts, from what I have seen most people dont need or use the protractor of the full MFT, but may want to do a few 45 degree cuts at times.

I am going to get the bench dogs fence and fence dogs system. This only needs a couple of dog holes for the fence, and a couple of extras. Say 1 row at the back of your bench top. For 45's, you could use dogs, so you need a diagonal row of accurate ones, and for straight cuts, an accurate row of 90 degree ones. Beyond that, I think that the rest are unnecessary.
 
You can buy a CNC made MFT top in either MRMDF or Birch ply for about £50 or £60 on ebay - perfect first time - seems the way to go to me. The Parf system just seems to be making work with fairly expensive jigs with limited use?

Mine is MDF, although I wish I'd sprung the extra tenner for ply, mounted on a simple bench made from 3 x 2 CLS. I also have a sheet of 9mm MDF that I use to cover it when not in use with the dogs (and that sheet is also the sacrificial board fro my track saw)
 
My experience - with a router template - is that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the MFT perfectly accurate. As hard as I tried, a 20th of a millimetre out accumulates to a bigger inaccuracy over the length/width of my worktop. This was down to the router bushing I suspect. I have two good routers (Elu and Trend), but everything has to be 100% perfect if you want an accurate MFT. The template was perfect.

Even when I thought I had it accurate, it turned out not to be so.

Oh well - all I'm trying to say is - next time I will buy a CNC'd MFT and plonk it in the middle of my workbench.

You can buy a CNC made MFT top in either MRMDF or Birch ply for about £50 or £60 on ebay

Rob, from which seller did you buy your CNC'd top?
 
From here MFT/3 Top For Your Festool Table + FREE 6 Piece Aluminium Dog Set | eBay - this is the MDF, when I bought mine there was a Birch ply option too - worth asking as I think the ply would have been better .... the MDF even MR does seem to be affected by the atmosphere.

This is another supplier from ebay MFT/3 Festool table top 1102x718mm - Moisture Resistant MDF / Birch Ply | eBay

if you go direct Replacement Perforated Festool Type MFT /3-LP Top. The cost is £30 the Dog set (free!) costs an additional £18. I bought this and found It was affected by damp conditions, and likewise would recommend the birch ply version which is £50.

Cheers
 
I do like the look of that Birch ply one. £65 delivered. Ebay and CNC Wrexham have the same price delivered, but my dogs are from CNC Wrexham so I would buy from them to ensure the right fit. I'm Assuming they are all 100% accurate. I'd be very annoyed if not.
Thanks for the info!!

My mindset is now that for every project I complete, I will treat myself to a wishlist item. So once I finish my kitchen top cabinets, this is being bought :)
 
If you want a custom MFT top making, here is another option for you.....

https://www.rjwhitecncrouting.co.uk/
This guy made me a full size (1220mm x 2440mm) MFT top......Its bang on accurate and my Dogs & accessories are a really nice snug fit in the holes. (y)


Oh that is excellent! it's down the road from me too!!
My home made MFT is 1500 by 900, so this might be the way to go. Thanks!!!
 
I have a workbench in my garage and purchased the UJK part guide system so i can make my own mft. I have a 11ft workbench, so i am wondering if i should replace some of the top with the MFT and then have a separate sheet of material to cover it over. Also under the top i currently have lengths of 70mm x 40mm beneath the top as support, the only problem i can see with this is that i will not have any gap underneath for clamps to go through the holes and not sure is the dogs need to protrude underneath.

Thanks

Mark
Given that you already have the parf guide system and assuming your benchtop is about 18mm thick (so that you can feed the festool type clamps through the dog holes) why not drill out your current top with an mft grid over the whole area, but only using the 3mm setup holes. You can then easily expand these to 20mm as needed, avoiding the 70x40 bearer locations.
 
I have had 3 MDF tops and a Birch ply MFT type flat pack table plus dogs all from CNC Design Wrexham, happy with all of them.

You do get dust etc dropping through the holes (I lost a countersink for a few days) but it just means a quick hoover out once a week. I wouldn't be without all the holes, really good for work holding and clamping. Some of my holes fall over bearers but you can still use dogs in the holes just not the clamps.
 
Workbench and MFT? Having your cake and eating it :)
*if* you're not going to use the MFT regularly, I'd support building on trestles, so you can put it away when not in use, leaves you clear. Second consideration, the bench height and MFT height are likely to be quite different for you? The Festool one is 90cm - I've asked @Peter Millard if his is the same, not yet heard back. For me, that's quite different from my workbench.
Trestles also offers the 'work outside' and sweep up afterwards, rather than dust extraction, if that's a consideration.
HTH
(I've decided to go this route)
 
You can also get some things to cover the holes when not in use. I am not sure you would want to pay for dozens of them but it's an option- they can also space the cut off the top to avoid cutting into it. I haven't used them I don't know if the cut quality is affected.
 
Thank you for all of the helpful replies. If you were making your own, what material would you use and would you coat it with anything? Basically what i am now thinking of doing is replacing my workbench top and have the mft part that is removable and stores away, i then have a piece that fits in its place. I am doing this to stop bits falling down underneath and to keep it tidy.
Thanks
 
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