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Old 01-04-2009, 09:42 AM
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Default Make Your Own MFT Top

I know most of us has put some put some into making our own MFT top complete with holes. The holes are the big problem.

So how would you try to duplicate the holes of an MFT?

At first it sounds simple. A row here and row there. But the MFT holes have accuracy in both directions. So how do can we do the same without buying an expensive CNC router table?

I've been giving this a lot of thought for 2 months. I have a simple answer but I keep trying to make it more exact. But as I make it more exact it sort of defeats the template that you begin with. If I defeat the template then I don't need to follow it's pattern, I can follow Festools pattern.

So I give up! I think the answer is to show you the easy template and let you decide on the accuracy it can provide and/or how to improve on that accuracy.

So how about the template being ordinary "pegboard"? It has 1/4 inch holes on 1 inch centers. You align 1 corner of the pegboard to your workbench top. You come in 2 holes from each side and drill your first hole using a jig to hold the 20 mm drill bit straight. Then you go every 3rd hole and drill another hole.

The holes on pegboard are precisely drilled. The more precisely you align the pegboard to your top, the better accuracy of your holes to the sides of your table top. Carefully lowering a 20 mm drill bit onto a 1/4 inch hole you can accomplish tolerances of 5 thousandths inch. I know a router will plunge a straighter hole but I haven't seen a 20 mm plunge bit that is angled like a drill bit so you can align to the smaller pegboard hole.

Like I said there are ways to align it better. Some are easy and some are hard. You can use the Festool Guide Rail to maintain accuracy in one direction. I would pick the the long side so you would have the best accuracy holding a board during crosscuts, the most popular.

You can make some wood jig to hold accuracy in the other direction. A long board is used and a small "stop" board is attached for each hole cut. You end up with a long board with several holes with the same stop board attached each time.

So, my question is, how would you do it? Is the pegboard close enough? Or maybe you know of something better out there?
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Qwas,

I like your thinking to use the peg board, but it would be tough to keep it all straight and square.

How about screwing the existing Festool top to the new one, then using a collar on a plunge router with a 1/2 bit to take away the bulk of the material, once all the holes are done flip it over and use a top bearing flush bit to clean up the rest.
It may seem like a lot of work, but like most tasks once you get started it should go pretty quick. all the holes should line up perfectly, that way the Qwas dogs do there job.

The other method would be to use the Lr-32 rail kit.. but I think it would take longer.

Mirko
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Thanks Mirko, it's easy if you already have a top but I'm thinking of the scenario of someone who doesn't.

I know it's selfish of me but I want to post the final ideas on my website. I want to give some ideas to someone without an MFT as to how make there own top that can use my Qwas Dogs, or Rail Dogs.

The task is easy with an existing top. But I'm looking for ideas for someone that has not seen one.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Oh... now don't I look silly now eh

You would have to try the pegboard, but it would have to be perfect?

If you add some pegs to the underside of the router base that have a OD of the pegboard holes, space the pegs so the center of the router will bridge between the pegs, then just put the router down and line up the pegs with the holes and plunge away!!

Mirko
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwas View Post
I know most of us has put some put some into making our own MFT top complete with holes. The holes are the big problem.

So how would you try to duplicate the holes of an MFT?

At first it sounds simple. A row here and row there. But the MFT holes have accuracy in both directions. So how do can we do the same without buying an expensive CNC router table?

I've been giving this a lot of thought for 2 months. I have a simple answer but I keep trying to make it more exact. But as I make it more exact it sort of defeats the template that you begin with. If I defeat the template then I don't need to follow it's pattern, I can follow Festools pattern.

So I give up! I think the answer is to show you the easy template and let you decide on the accuracy it can provide and/or how to improve on that accuracy.

So how about the template being ordinary "pegboard"? It has 1/4 inch holes on 1 inch centers. You align 1 corner of the pegboard to your workbench top. You come in 2 holes from each side and drill your first hole using a jig to hold the 20 mm drill bit straight. Then you go every 3rd hole and drill another hole.

The holes on pegboard are precisely drilled. The more precisely you align the pegboard to your top, the better accuracy of your holes to the sides of your table top. Carefully lowering a 20 mm drill bit onto a 1/4 inch hole you can accomplish tolerances of 5 thousandths inch. I know a router will plunge a straighter hole but I haven't seen a 20 mm plunge bit that is angled like a drill bit so you can align to the smaller pegboard hole.

Like I said there are ways to align it better. Some are easy and some are hard. You can use the Festool Guide Rail to maintain accuracy in one direction. I would pick the the long side so you would have the best accuracy holding a board during crosscuts, the most popular.

You can make some wood jig to hold accuracy in the other direction. A long board is used and a small "stop" board is attached for each hole cut. You end up with a long board with several holes with the same stop board attached each time.

So, my question is, how would you do it? Is the pegboard close enough? Or maybe you know of something better out there?
I just asked Eiji about this since he built his own top. As I understand it he used a 20 mm router bit and the LR32 system.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Using the LR-32 is way faster than using an MFT top as a template.

1. cut your top oversize with the 2 long sides perfectly parrallel

2. square cut one end of the top (it has to be perfect) :sdrool:

3. Using the LR-32 and long rail put 5mm holes 96mm OC about 20mm in along the long lengths of the top. You must use the square cut end as the refence point from the start of these rows of holes.

4. Now you can chuck a 20mm bit into the router. The stop on the rail now references off of one of the long edges. The back of the rail butts 5mm shelf pins in the 2 rows of holes you just drilled. If you keep those constant you will have a parrallel and square pattern of holes.

Eiji
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Lets say you wanted to make an uber MFT, a work table that had a 4x8 sheet for the top. Wouldn't it be worth the minor expense to simply have someone who already owns a CNC just run that part for you?
I'm just thinking as a contractor, what I could do well, efficiently, was worth my time to do. What someone else could do better, faster, cheaper. . . there's value to subbing some things out.
Though I suspect the pegboard idea isnt too bad if you have any way of controlling how to center the router on the template since you're more or less over a hole, freehanding it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Steve - how about you market a plexiglas template to make your own MFT? You could have them CNC milled, and make them so you could do, say, 4 holes in a square pattern. Then you could just keep moving the template around to do all the rest of the holes. Supply 20 mm dogs that would fit in the holes of the template and table to register the template, and away you go.

The kit would have:
1 4-hole plexiglas template
2 Qwas dogs
1 20 mm router bit

All for the low, low price of $89.95! Make your MFT top as big as you want. You supply the MDF. Free yourself from the tyranny of Festool!

You'd just clamp the template to one corner of the table. Rout all 4 holes. Then move the template 2 holes in one direction, place the dogs in the existing holes, and rout the 2 remaining holes. Keep going until your table is completely holey!
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Actually, an even better idea: you make the template holes slightly larger than 20 mm, and then supply a Festool guide bushing so that the router bit is precisely centered in the hole, and there's no danger of ruining your template. You'd have to make the dogs so that the heads were the same thickness as the template, and the same diameter as the outside diameter of the guide bushing. The shaft diameter would be 20 mm to fit in the holes you've routed.

Sound good?
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Make Your Own MFT Top

Poto,
Nice idea there. I wonder if anybody would buy a kit if I did it.
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