Making MFT-style Bench Top - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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That is a cool template system. Much more accurate than the bb plywood version I made.
I was really impressed by the whole system, particularly that you can use the layout rules to check accuracy while you're working. But a very well-thought out system - and apparently the manufacturer was having a hard time keeping up with the demand when they were first introduced.

I took a look at the MFT tops, there are two available and it turns out that the dimensions of the one I was looking at were the package sizes. The other (larger) top is 43-3/8" long x 28-1/4" so I would wind up cutting off the one edge to wind up with my 36" depth, and adding a 10" panel on the right to make up the 48" length - I'd have to lay it out to see if a narrower panel on each side would work better. Guess I have to redo the Sketchup layout to this new idea.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 03:07 PM
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I was really impressed by the whole system, particularly that you can use the layout rules to check accuracy while you're working. But a very well-thought out system - and apparently the manufacturer was having a hard time keeping up with the demand when they were first introduced.

I took a look at the MFT tops, there are two available and it turns out that the dimensions of the one I was looking at were the package sizes. The other (larger) top is 43-3/8" long x 28-1/4" so I would wind up cutting off the one edge to wind up with my 36" depth, and adding a 10" panel on the right to make up the 48" length - I'd have to lay it out to see if a narrower panel on each side would work better. Guess I have to redo the Sketchup layout to this new idea.
After watching that video, I'd be inclined to give that template a try. I don't have a track saw yet but I think I'm going to wait on cutting dog holes in the rest of my bench in case I someday get one and want to do what you are doing.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well now this is interesting.

To achieve square first time cuts from a large panel you can use the GRS-16 PE from TSOProducts.com at Fort Myers in the U.S. I like

this having just imported mine. It simply clips to the Festool or Makita track and away you go. ( Anyone else got one ?)
Rodger,

I've seen that square elsewhere, but I don't have a Festool saw or track, just looking at using their table. I have the EZ track and various components, one of which is an attachment for the track which sets the track at 90. It's what I'm using now, and works well, but I need to have the cutting grid set up which means moving the bike outside, a PITA to make one cut. The table I'll be making is actually replacing, to some extent, my radial arm saw but will have around 30" of cross-cut capacity and a fence with an adjustable stop so I can easily cut multiples. I'll use the track saw to rip sheets to width (and maybe rough length) and then take the strips over to the table to get length. The track also allows me to attach a router so I can cut rabbets and dados on the table, guided by the track, and located by the fence stop if I'm making multiple parts.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 03:21 PM
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Just another two cents from me.

I also don't have room to break down full sheets of plywood like mentioned for cabinet bases. So here is what I do...

When I buy the plywood for cabinets, I ask the guys to rip them in half giving me 2x8 foot pieces. I have done this at Home Depot and the hardwood dealer I buy from. Never had any problems.

When I get home, I drag a piece on to the work table, slip a piece of foam sheathing under it, and cross cut the pieces with my cheap track saw. 34 1/2 for the bottoms, and what ever is needed for the uppers; some 30, some 39, or whatever is called for.

Then with all the sheets broke down, I set my saw at 23 1/4 and rip the base pieces to width. Reset the saw for 11 1/4 and rip the other pieces which result in two pieces for the upper cabinets.

That's not exactly production work, but I have been getting by. Heck, I get tired and take a break, so speed is not of the essence!
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That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:45 PM
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Very interesting thread. I currently use a torsion box I built, that I put on top of two saw horses. I then put thin particle board on top. I have a Gorilla Gripper for hauling the plywood around, after getting a hernia without it (the Gripper is worth it... a hernia is no fun).

But I like the idea of getting square cuts using the dogs. The Parf jig is really impressive. The table in Tom's video looks small. Do you think it's practical to build a table so large to allow breaking down 4'x8' sheets?

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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@furboo

My plan is to make the table 48" wide x 36" deep, I think that's enough to cut kitchen base cabinet ends - it's essentially an oversize radial arm saw but using a track saw. My plan is to continue ripping the 4x8 sheets to the required width using my cutting grid - I can slide the sheets directly out of the truck onto the grid without lifting them. I presently cut the "strips" to length using the squaring attachment shown in a previous post with my track - I made a stop for that attachment which allows me to cut duplicate lengths. The thought is that the table will be more convenient - I won't need to clear the open space and set up the grid for just a couple of cuts. To add to the versatility, I have a sliding carriage with a router installed that fits the track and can be used to cut rabbets and dadoes in the panels. A larger table might be nice, but I just don't have the space - the combination of the grid (primarily for ripping to width) and the table (cross-cutting to length) will allow me to get maximum use of the available space.

One thought - in order to rip an 8' length off the sheet, you would need a track 9"+ long - and a way to set the track parallel to the edge of the sheet and locate it the required distance from the edge. I've done that on my grid using two lengths of track connected and measuring/marking both ends of the sheet. The guide I use now with my track saw locates on the edge of the sheet and slides along the edge while making the cut. No long track, plus you can keep cutting identical width strips without measuring each one. The one advantage to having a longer top would be the support it provides for the offcut (particularly if your cutting down 8' lengths) - but you can set up a stand to support the outer end. A wider (deeper top isn't too practical as you would be "reaching" to complete the cut at some point - if I need a 4' wide piece, I set my grid on the floor and clamp a track in place. This way I can keep a nice steady feed across sheet and not affect the quality of the cut.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 11:25 PM
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@tomp913 My torsion box is very similar to your grid. I think you're on the right track (pardon the pun): Keep using the grid to break down big sheets, but use the table for smaller stuff.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 02:08 AM
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Tom have you ordered the guides yet? Let us know how easy it is to do. I'll probably wait until it's a hundred dollars
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 10:03 AM
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Just another two cents from me.

I also don't have room to break down full sheets of plywood like mentioned for cabinet bases. So here is what I do...

When I buy the plywood for cabinets, I ask the guys to rip them in half giving me 2x8 foot pieces. I have done this at Home Depot and the hardwood dealer I buy from. Never had any problems.

When I get home, I drag a piece on to the work table, slip a piece of foam sheathing under it, and cross cut the pieces with my cheap track saw. 34 1/2 for the bottoms, and what ever is needed for the uppers; some 30, some 39, or whatever is called for.

Then with all the sheets broke down, I set my saw at 23 1/4 and rip the base pieces to width. Reset the saw for 11 1/4 and rip the other pieces which result in two pieces for the upper cabinets.

That's not exactly production work, but I have been getting by. Heck, I get tired and take a break, so speed is not of the essence!
This is pretty much exactly what I do, but the idea of a MFT has me thinking.
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Tom have you ordered the guides yet? Let us know how easy it is to do. I'll probably wait until it's a hundred dollars
At $100 it would be a no-brainer, but I can't see that happening. Look at the parts & pieces, add up the costs and remember that it's imported.

If I had room for a larger table, I'd look at it a little more seriously, but it's looking like building my table around the larger MFT top is going to give me what I need. Now, if I could buy just the hole boring jig and bit so I could extend the hole pattern on the MFT onto the add-on side panels...............
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