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MFT - wossit all about?

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Distinterior

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Does the track saw stop chipping splintering the board / wood. ....

Cheers James

Yes, that's one of the main advantages that you have cutting this type of material. You get clean chip free cuts top & bottom....as you can see from my photos.

I use my Festool MFT for holding real timber whilst Dominoing the mortices and for sanding. Because the 20mm holes are all bang on square, you can also use it as a clamping aid with dogs etc during a glue up. A couple of examples may be ...A picture frame, a face frame for a cabinet or a 5 piece door can all be clamped up easily and guaranteed square.
 

Adam W.

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That sounds interesting. I wonder if I can get a top for the Festool table that I have, it would be great to have something exactly square to speed up smaller picture frame assembly.
 

Ollie78

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I find mine very useful. It's not fancy in any way but it has many little features that can be handy for all sorts of things. I used to do a great deal of sash window restoration which would involve setting up a mini workshop in people's homes. I initially had a couple of black and decker workmates and various other clamps and stands etc. The workmates were too low and gave me backache.
The MFT seemed good so I got one and it's brilliant (must be 10 years old now).
Its taller so no backache, you can use the dogs and holes to clamp things square, cut things square quickly, clamp stuff to the sides for machining, do glazing on it as its a decent size etc etc.
It's very good for stuff like wood or laminate flooring as you set the saw and dogs up once and can quickly trim the boards without getting out a big mitre saw.

For me it's positioned between a black and decker workmate and a proper bench. Now I do a lot less site work but I still use the mft all the time when I need an extra table for whatever.
It's just a useful tool.

Ollie
 

Distinterior

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....I wonder if I can get a top for the Festool table that I have.....

Festool do offer a replacement top to fit their MFT table,....but you can also get aftermarket replacements that are quite a bit cheaper...!
I think plywood options are also readily available.
 

Distinterior

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If I were chopping out mortices or regularly hand cutting dovetails, hand sawing & hand planning timber for example, then the MFT wouldn't be my first choice.
The metal frame doesn't really have enough rigidity for that type of work. They do offer additional diagonal braces for it which do add to its overall stiffness, but as with anything Festool,.....they ain't cheap.
A proper wood working bench would certainly be better in this respect.

The portability is a factor though......The Festool MFT type bench isn't the lightest but it's really not too difficult to just pick it up, stick it in your van and take it to site.
 

DBT85

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Er - well that is rather expensive yes, especially as they seem to be sacrificial - or is the chap in the vid doing it wrong somehow?
It doubles as a workbench top for anything else you are doing, be that finishing or painting or whatever and as you've now seen, they are sacrificial but we're talking years of use on one side and then just flip it over. If you were making say, an outfeed table for your table saw, you could instead of just using a regular MDF top, make it a holey top and have a few more options at your disposal. It doesn't have to be (and I think rarely is) just for cutting things square or clamping stuff usefully. I don't think, in that instance that £40 or whatever it is now is that bad but again, each to their own.

You are predominantly making cuts in one section of the board, so you can just route a slot and put in a sacrificial strip there that you can replace if needed later.

But there's little doubt they offer greater benefits for sheet materials than for unmolested wood.

That sounds interesting. I wonder if I can get a top for the Festool table that I have, it would be great to have something exactly square to speed up smaller picture frame assembly.

Plenty of CNC suppliers on ebay will make you one to whatever size you want, whatever hole pattern you want. Failing that, someone here with one of the jigs could probably do it for you.
 

PerryGunn

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There's also a space-saving benefit when using a tracksaw to break down sheet materials, this is very useful when you are constrained by the available space.

Although you can easily break down a full sheet with a table saw, you tend to need lots of space around the table saw to manoeuvre the whole sheet and slide it through the saw. With a tracksaw, the sheet remains static so you don't need much more space than the sheet itself. While you don't 'need' an MFT for this, it certainly makes the job simpler/faster.

If I were chopping out mortices or regularly hand cutting dovetails, hand sawing & hand planning timber for example, then the MFT wouldn't be my first choice.
The metal frame doesn't really have enough rigidity for that type of work. They do offer additional diagonal braces for it which do add to its overall stiffness, but as with anything Festool,.....they ain't cheap.
A proper wood working bench would certainly be better in this respect.
I agree that the 'standard' MFT can lack rigidity,but a lot of people have either put an MFT-style top on a frame they've built themselves or incorporated a grid of holes into a larger 'proper' woodworking bench - whatever helps them work the way they want to
 

martin.pearson

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I'm not a proper woodworker, I don't possess those skills plus I don't have a proper woodworking bench or a decent tablesaw, I built my own MFT style top to work with a track saw & it works very well for me, no I am sure it is not the only way to achieve accurate cuts in any wood. It gets used for all sorts of jobs that yes could be done other ways but they work for me & that's really what it's all about for me. being fairly new to all this I haven't spent years working a different way so this is pretty much all I know.
 

JJ1

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Jacob,

I'm not sure what all these expensive gadgets are that you're going on about. I've been using the MFT top extensively for about seven years on virtually every project. The top was £40 and will last for many, many years and I've never felt the need for ANY expensive gadgets. The cuts are 100% accurate and clean. Should I need the set up away from home. I can grab the top and the B & D workmate it sits on (£5 from a car boot sale) and move it easily and to any location with minimal effort and hassle. Can you do that with your table saw? I thought not. The MFT top also makes a fantastic worktop with excellent clamping versatility. Another thing you can't do on your table saw.

You can't have looked very well for the video's showing the benefits of using the MFT system. YouTube has plenty of them.

Perhaps try one and gain a little experience before adopting the negative attitude.
 

Jacob

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My table saw is a combi (saw, PT, Spindle, sliding table) essential workshop kit and does many more things than a track saw and I wasn't comparing them on that basis.
The comparison is more with the B&D work mate and hand held circular saw, though I'd take 2 saw horses and a board on site - much more versatile, workmates are rubbish really.
The gadgets and the first vid I saw are here 20% OFF Bench Dogs
 

Distinterior

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....The comparison is more with the B&D work mate and hand held circular saw, though I'd take 2 saw horses and a board on site - much more versatile....

It has to be said Jacob,....I would suggest you give up now....."A Black & Decker workmate and hand held circular saw"...!!?!?? Perhaps in the 1970's..!
How can you even think this would be a remotely modern comparison to what is now available...?

Your comments clearly show your lack of willingness to consider options other than your own outdated methods.
 

Jacob

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It has to be said Jacob,....I would suggest you give up now....."A Black & Decker workmate and hand held circular saw"...!!?!?? Perhaps in the 1970's..!
How can you even think this would be a remotely modern comparison to what is now available...?
The Festool MFT thing IS a flimsy table and a hand held circular saw is it not? Plus a sheet of MDF.
Your comments clearly show your lack of willingness to consider options other than your own outdated methods.
Are you a school teacher? :LOL: I wouldn't be asking if I wasn't considering options would I?
I'm suspicious of the gadget trend - it was the bench dog sale 20% OFF Bench Dogs which set me off - all those expensive add-ons and shiny bits n bobs!
 

Distinterior

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But why do you try to poo poo methods that you haven't tried Jacob...??

The general consensus of this thread is that the MFT system is useful, accurate, repetitive and adaptable.
Just because you dont see that, doesn't make it pointless or extravagant.....
 
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MikeK

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I divided my workshop into two areas. The original 5x4.5 meter area has all of the large chip producing equipment that connects to the fixed dust collection system, such as the table saw, bandsaw, router table, and miter saw. The newer 5x4.5 meter area has my woodworking bench, MFT-style workbench, and all of my Festool equipment that connect to the portable dust collection system.

I use everything on some projects and would never consider eliminating one in favor of another. I could live without the Minimax SC2 Classic sliding saw now, but before I built the MFT-style workbench, it was my primary saw for lumber and sheet goods. I would have loved a combination slider like Jacob has, but it would never fit down the stairs into my basement. I had to disassemble the SC2C, and it barely fit around the corners.

The new section of my shop is in a bit of a mess now, as I am in the middle of a major rebuild of my P/T, but here is an image that shows peaceful co-existence of the Sjöbergs workbench and my MFT-style workbench.


MFT-Shop-1.jpg



I can easily and quickly transition the MFT workbench from a tracksaw station to an assembly or work surface by removing the FS 1400/2 track and lowering the track guides. I have a storage area above my clamp rack to store a FS 3000/2, FS 1400/2LR-32, and two FS 800/2 tracks. The FS 1400/2 and fence that goes with the MFT workbench stows in the space under the worktop when not being used.


MFT-Shop-2.jpg
 

Jacob

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But why do you try to poo poo methods that you haven't tried Jacob...??

The general consensus of this thread is that the MFT system is useful, accurate, repetitive and adaptable.
Just because you dont see that, doesn't make it pointless....
It's the adaptable bit that's missing. OK good for repetitive cuts in boards but the promos all hint at some sort of universal system, which it clearly isn't, which is why I was asking, thats all.
PS I do do something similar for holding pieces sometimes - nails or screws into the bench itself as extra stops, or a piece of mdf on top of the bench with laths pinned on for planing odd shapes difficult to hold. Nearly all my hand planing is in the vice, or against my one bench dog, sometimes with a lath against the dog held G clamped at the other end
 
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Adam W.

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Ye gads
I divided my workshop into two areas. The original 5x4.5 meter area has all of the large chip producing equipment that connects to the fixed dust collection system, such as the table saw, bandsaw, router table, and miter saw. The newer 5x4.5 meter area has my woodworking bench, MFT-style workbench, and all of my Festool equipment that connect to the portable dust collection system.

I use everything on some projects and would never consider eliminating one in favor of another. I could live without the Minimax SC2 Classic sliding saw now, but before I built the MFT-style workbench, it was my primary saw for lumber and sheet goods. I would have loved a combination slider like Jacob has, but it would never fit down the stairs into my basement. I had to disassemble the SC2C, and it barely fit around the corners.

The new section of my shop is in a bit of a mess now, as I am in the middle of a major rebuild of my P/T, but here is an image that shows peaceful co-existence of the Sjöbergs workbench and my MFT-style workbench.


View attachment 123073


I can easily and quickly transition the MFT workbench from a tracksaw station to an assembly or work surface by removing the FS 1400/2 track and lowering the track guides. I have a storage area above my clamp rack to store a FS 3000/2, FS 1400/2LR-32, and two FS 800/2 tracks. The FS 1400/2 and fence that goes with the MFT workbench stows in the space under the worktop when not being used.


View attachment 123074
Ye gads that's tidy !
 
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