Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Workshop update: MFT Track Saw

As part of the process of reworking the garage/workshop I decided the explore the world of the MFT (Multi-Function Table). Those familiar with the term MFT will immediately think of Festool and how expensive their MFT can be. I'm not complaining about the cost of Festool kit. As far as I can tell it's worth the price, but for me it's out of my budget.

As I began to build my new bench system (something I haven't actually documented-a job for another day maybe) I decided to look at the concept of the MFT and see what I could incorporate in my design. I stumbled across a company that CNC replacement tops for the Festool table for around £40, and via various other searches and links I found a company who make bench dogs and flag stops etc for MFT's too.

So I built a simple bench using the MFT top and added some aluminium extrusion to the front edge and used another piece for a fence. I'll do some photo's and a post about that. I bought a track saw and using the bench dogs and the fence I now have a really useful track saw station and a clamping surface that is very nice to use indeed.

To support the track I made a simple support that rides on the front rail and locks in position with a couple of T-nuts and bolts. At the other end is another piece of MDF so the track is supported at both ends.

I made it from 18mm MDF because that was what I was cutting, but I also cut 6mm, 9mm and 12mm material, so unless I put something under the work piece the track isn't in contact with the stock. So I decided the make a 6mm and 9mm version.

But I didn't want to have to make more knobs and anyway it's quite fiddly getting the nuts into the track. So I made my 6 and 9 supports without the bolts and made some simple stops that run in the track and lock the support in place.

 I cut some pieces of MDF and ply to use at the other end of the track and now I have a couple of sets of supports. A couple of extra bits of 6mm MDF turn my 6mm support into a 12mm support and there are a couple of other bits of thin ply that can be used to raise the track around 5mm if needed.

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