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MFT - wossit all about?

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keithy1959

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My thoughts :
A MFT table is designed to complement a track saw, and additional fences, dogs etc can speed up repetitive work.
A Track saw is perfect for us mere mortals who don't have the space or kit to cut down 8x4 sheets on a table saw.
If you don't work with a Tracksaw, or seldom use man made boards you are unlikely to see the benefit of an MFT Dog system
A MFT is not a replacement for a work bench, but rather a versatile assembly table
There are better ways to support work for hand sawing and planing. MFTs work better with power tools

Clearly, the OP has an opinion, and it would seem that he has raised this post simply to defend that opinion in as many ways as he can, but for other interested parties out there, they can be extrememly useful in the home workshop. If you use a MDF top for general assembly, drill some holes in it and have a play !!

There is a hidden benefit too - after you've dropped your screws, drills, bits, pencils etc. through the holes for the first few hours, you get much better at keeping things tidy !
 

RobinBHM

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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.


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
Wow, that’s really impressive….more operating theatre than wood bashing shop.
 

Distinterior

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I dont understand. Why does the panel saw need a scribing blade and the MFT doesn't to achieve the same finish? I have always been under the impression a scribing blade produced cleaner cuts where laminate was involved.

A table saw blade cuts down into the material and tends to chip out the underside. If the saw has a scribing blade, it pre cuts into the underside by a couple of mm preventing the chip out before the material passes through the main blade.

A tracksaw cuts up from the underside and the track has a sacrificial strip on it that prevents chip out on the upper surface.
Used in conjunction with a sacrificial sheet below, such as an MFT top, it acts as a zero clearance insert and you get a clean cut on both faces of the board.
 

RobinBHM

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Clearly, the OP has an opinion, and it would seem that he has raised this post simply to defend that opinion in as many ways as he can

I think Jacob has started a great thread:

I’m looking at getting an MFT for my new professional workshop and I’ve been in 2 minds whether it would be a benefit or not.

I have a panel,saw so won’t be using it for sheet material sawing, I was thinking more for bench work - the MFT seems a quick easy way to clamp stuff for sanding and routing - instead of trestles I’d normally use
 

Adam W.

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For me it has a limited apeal, but that's due to the nature of the things I make and my general aversion to working with panel products, routers and other dust generating power tools.
 

Jacob

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....
A Track saw is perfect for us mere mortals who don't have the space or kit to cut down 8x4 sheets on a table saw.
I reduce them to size with a hand held circ saw and straightedge, over 2 saw horses. Have been known to do it with a hand saw.
...

Clearly, the OP has an opinion,
No I didn't at first. I was just intrigued by all that glittering and expensive kit on offer Bench Dogs, Woodworker bench fittings and Fence Dogs and wondered what the fuss and extravagance was about.
Got a bit confused and found myself looking at different things - Festool wotsits, P Parfit gizmos, bench dogs on normal benches and extra gadgets and so on, but with demo of practical use of these things a bit elusive.

I found this vid vaguely comical - a touch of Star Trek, like some sort of uniformed Swat team beamed in to deal with a woodwork emergency, but with a rickety paste table and stuff in over designed boxes - I'd get the props dept to have another look at them! :LOL:


Interesting!
 
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Jacob

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I'm not sure I'd have the space, but I will look for a Peter Millard YouTube to see what all the fuss is about.
Me too. I spent yesterday evening looking at old episodes of "Dinner Ladies". :unsure:
 

Padster

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I think it's all down to what you do, and how you work. I don't have a Festool MFT table that is portable and could be used on site.

I'm only a hobbyist, but do have a bench with an MFT style top made by myself for me, it is invaluable for how I work.

I don't really have enough room for a proper table saw, I used to have a combo machine that had that function but to use on full sheets (rarely admittedly) meant wheeling out onto my drive, my new bench means I can use it with a track saw in-situ.

It also functions as an assembly bench, the holes and set-up give all sorts of additional clamping and jig options I don't have on my standard 'non-holey' bench, in my small workshop in the way that I work it has given me so much extra scope. I use some of the Benchdogs kit you mention and yes it can be a little pricey but again I like it and again the way I work means they add value but I could have made my own variants, and they way I use some of those things means my top (25mm MRMDF) is not sacrificial, but if it was I can replace.

As others have said Jacob it may not be for you or the way you work - but for many it can evolve how you work and what you can do, and could be worth looking at.

BTW the vids by our very own @petermillard are very good and can give more idea of how to leverage.

Regards

Padster
 

John Brown

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I reduce them to size with a hand held circ saw and straightedge, over 2 saw horses. Have been known to do it with a hand saw.No I didn't at first. I was just intrigued by all that glittering and expensive kit on offer Bench Dogs, Woodworker bench fittings and Fence Dogs and wondered what the fuss and extravagance was about.
Got a bit confused and found myself looking at different things - Festool wotsits, P Parfit gizmos, bench dogs on normal benches and extra gadgets and so on, but with demo of practical use of these things a bit elusive.

I found this vid vaguely comical - a touch of Star Trek, like some sort of Swat team beamed in to deal with a woodwork emergency, but with a rickety paste table and stuff in over designed boxes - I'd get the props dept to have another look at them! :LOL:

Interesting!

Great! Now all I need is an empty aircraft hangar!
 

Doug71

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I found this vid vaguely comical - a touch of Star Trek, like some sort of Swat team beamed in to deal with a woodwork emergency, but with a rickety paste table and stuff in over designed boxes - I'd get the props dept to have another look at them! :LOL:


That's Timothy Wilmot, very talented chap, Festool used that design of his to create their MW 1000 workbench.

 

Distinterior

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Jacob,
Just to repeat what I said back in my post 36....

"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....."
 

Doug71

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My workbench is three MFT style tops joined together, I wouldn't be without it.

If you are using it as a cutting table it's mainly for sheet goods but it also gives you unlimited work holding options which works well with solid wood when routing, sanding etc. Great for squaring frames up too.

Back in the day I used to be nailing bits of wood to the bench for stops etc, not had to do that since making my MFT.

It has really improved my work flow.
 

Jacob

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Jacob,
Just to repeat what I said back in my post 36....

"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....."
Some of the add-ons are ludicrously extreme in my opinion: Aluminium Dog Holder - MK2 Fence Edition
 

Distinterior

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Some of the add-ons are ludicrously extreme in my opinion: Aluminium Dog Holder - MK2 Fence Edition

If someone decides to buy an aluminium rack to store their dogs in, that's up to them, it's their money...!
But it has no bearing on the usefulness of the MFT & dog system.

I have this set and it gets used on nearly all my projects in one way or another....I certainly dont think of it as an extravagance, even when you look at how much they charge for it.
fes2013113.jpg
 

stuart little

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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.


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
What's the machine with the red 'air scoop'?
 

stuart little

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If someone decides to buy an aluminium rack to store their dogs in, that's up to them, it's their money...!
But it has no bearing on the usefulness of the MFT & dog system.

I have this set and it gets used on nearly all my projects in one way or another....
View attachment 123115
Should that be 'kennel' to store dogs in?:ROFLMAO:
 

Just4Fun

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As a hand tool woodworker who doesn't own a tracksaw or circular saw and never uses sheet goods it seems I would gain little from an MFT but I am intrigued about one possible use. Would it help with clamping things for glue-ups?
 
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