MFT top

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Doug B

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I’m bad for using systainers as saw horses when out at work particularly with the tracksaw, I know they do a systainer with a small MFT piece of MDF on top but it’s not cheap & you can’t use the hold down clamps through the holes or at least I don’t think you can.

I wanted something for little jobs that don’t warrant setting up trestles & my big MFT top or for when space is limited, so whilst I was over at a mates last week doing some work for him I asked if he could CNC me some 18mm MDF that I could cut up to make tops out of, he kindly obliged & even engraved them. Back in the workshop the first thing I thought I’d best do was put a slight chamfer on the top & bottom of the holes to help prevent any breakout when using dogs etc.

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I decided the best way to be able to utilise hold down clamps was to glue the top to bearers that would then sit on top of the lid giving space to insert the clamp, this also ment I needed to copy the wedge shaped plates that are on the bottom of systainers that locates one box into another, I figured these needed to be strong so made them from Oak.

A5B445AF-4747-418A-AF6D-3CC562FC0A2B.jpeg


The front bearer got a domino fixed in it which lines up with the T- loc to secure the MFT to the systainer, I’m pleased to say it worked well.

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A quick mock up to see if it would work as I wanted.

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Ive enough MDF for another top, where as this top is for using on site & will live in the van the second top will be for in the workshop so will be bigger.
 

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I'm liking that.

I have one of the mft systainers, bought it maybe 5 years ago at a toolfair (had to buy something) but only recently started using it.

I have one of the 3 drawer systainers on a roll board with the mft systainer on top, it acts as a mini workbench (often all you need) or just somewhere to sit your tools so they are at a handy height (don't have to bend as far) and the roll board means it can easily follow me around.

The mft sys is a bit small though and you can't really keep anything in it anyway as sawdust falls through the holes, yours looks like a good solution 👍

Can I just ask would you recommend the router you are using as the best one for cutting small chamfers around dog holes, might have to invest if so :unsure:
 
This is good, the sort of thing I have been meaning to get around to for years.
Quite a few of my systainers have little cuts in them from using them as benches.

I did get a little black and decker mini workmate toolbox from a charity shop for a fiver the other day which is brilliant as a mini hop up and clamp/mft.

Ollie
 
Axminster do 2 sizes of "systainer" mft tops, The smaller one will only fit Festool type containers with the radial clasp, and is really too small. The better one doesn't use the clasp will fit Makpaks or 400 x 300mm euro crates (they do combine together) and benefits from a T-track. The dimensions would i think be similar to your build, so an off the shelf equivalent. UJK Work Top with Track for T-Loc Systainer Cases SYS3
 
Would it not just be as easy to have a top that just sits on a couple of tressles, at least that way you can get a decent working height and I would suspect tressles are more stable that stacked crates. Maybe question whether the MFT is actually needed, you could use parallel guides or a track square to get decent square cuts in sheet goods.
 
I'm liking that.

I have one of the mft systainers, bought it maybe 5 years ago at a toolfair (had to buy something) but only recently started using it.

I have one of the 3 drawer systainers on a roll board with the mft systainer on top, it acts as a mini workbench (often all you need) or just somewhere to sit your tools so they are at a handy height (don't have to bend as far) and the roll board means it can easily follow me around.

The mft sys is a bit small though and you can't really keep anything in it anyway as sawdust falls through the holes, yours looks like a good solution 👍

Can I just ask would you recommend the router you are using as the best one for cutting small chamfers around dog holes, might have to invest if so :unsure:
I agree the 3 drawer systainer is very handy I also like the single drawer at the bottom of a systainer, a few years ago I put my cordless drills in such a systainer

99B0F923-00F2-44BC-90D3-6369D5DA6DC6.jpeg


Great for having the drills, batteries, charger, driver & drill bits all together.
With this in mind I’ve gone down the same route with the systainer I bought for using the MFT top.
Ive bought a few bare tools over the years which have come in cardboard boxes so unlike the drill box I don’t have an insert to adapt to house the tools so I’ve opted for so Kaizen foam, this is my first time using it but I’m happy with the results.



D93844E0-C2B2-4BAB-9D92-75B98FEE9B96.jpeg


the top layer of foam is stuck to a piece of plywood cut to suite the box

208797CB-FD0B-42FA-B669-B06C98E604C3.jpeg


Ive managed to get my impact driver, sds, multitool & angle grinder in the top with all the paraphernalia that goes with them in the drawer.

624FA0EF-2BF1-424F-BCC9-F44226976437.jpeg


All that is fairly heavy so should give plenty of stability when using the the MFT top.

As for the router I’m very impressed with it so far & have been using it quite a bit this week, the quick release/lock depth stop is excellent as is the quick bit change but what would you expect from Festool :) A really solid machine
 
Axminster do 2 sizes of "systainer" mft tops, The smaller one will only fit Festool type containers with the radial clasp, and is really too small. The better one doesn't use the clasp will fit Makpaks or 400 x 300mm euro crates (they do combine together) and benefits from a T-track. The dimensions would i think be similar to your build, so an off the shelf equivalent. UJK Work Top with Track for T-Loc Systainer Cases SYS3
I had seen those John & agree with you about the size of the small one, it also looked like you couldn’t use the hold down clamps.
The second top I’m making will be closer to the size of the one you linked to.
 
Would it not just be as easy to have a top that just sits on a couple of tressles, at least that way you can get a decent working height and I would suspect tressles are more stable that stacked crates. Maybe question whether the MFT is actually needed, you could use parallel guides or a track square to get decent square cuts in sheet goods.
I do have a large top that sits on trestles but as I said in my opening post it’s not always convenient to set them up, I’ve already put this to use first thing this morning fitting an oak shelf in a bathroom alcove.

52E9B31B-CEDD-45A6-BA64-B190B4FC6445.jpeg


There’s no way my other MFT & trestles would have fit on such a small landing & stability wise I had no issues at all even with a 50” shelf.
I wouldn’t consider cutting up large pieces of sheet material on this top it wouldn’t be suitable but then again it isn’t what I made it for.
 
I have only one Systainer, that belongs to my Festool TS55 and I'm honestly not too impressed with its feeling of durability. In comparison, my similar sized DeWalt T Stak boxes have a greater impression of robustness. B&Q had them on their Black Friday offer at £20 and I got another couple.
I've just been thinking about some form of worktop for them and this has provided inspiration.
 
I'm liking that.

I have one of the mft systainers, bought it maybe 5 years ago at a toolfair (had to buy something) but only recently started using it.

I have one of the 3 drawer systainers on a roll board with the mft systainer on top, it acts as a mini workbench (often all you need) or just somewhere to sit your tools so they are at a handy height (don't have to bend as far) and the roll board means it can easily follow me around.

The mft sys is a bit small though and you can't really keep anything in it anyway as sawdust falls through the holes, yours looks like a good solution 👍

Can I just ask would you recommend the router you are using as the best one for cutting small chamfers around dog holes, might have to invest if so :unsure:
This takes seconds per hole... UJK Chamfer Tool
 
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