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Is festool MFT worth it? - JDuke - 06-27-2022

I have a well equipped shop, including Sawstop cab saw, dewalt track saw.

I also have a domino df500 and see that festool has some genius level design in their tools.

Locally there is a ts 55 and MFT table for a little north of $1000

What functionality would I be gaining beyond what I have now by getting that setup?


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - atgcpaul - 06-27-2022

Following.

I only have the Domino (which I think is great), but have the Dewalt track saw.  As a hobbiest, I personally can not justify the price of the MFT table but can see the advantages of those precisely drilled holes for benchdogs and holddowns.  However, I was fine, too, without them on my old bench.  I have no bench now and I've been watching a lot of YouTube on how to make my own MFT tabletop without a CNC.

Some of the jigs (Parf guide) are pricey, though, but if I was so inclined and there was a market for it in my area, I think you could recoup that cost by making MFT tops for other local woodworkers.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - JDuke - 06-27-2022

I have a 4x4 cnc router. I could make my own version with the spaced dog holes if I wanted.

What I’m interested in, is all the other festool stuff that goes with the MFT, and whether it would make life enough easier to justify selling the dewalt and transitioning to the festool saw and MFT.

I’ve been watching videos today, and it looks like the MFT is essentially a way to do most of what a table saw does at a job sight.
I don’t really do much outside my air conditioned shop if I can avoid it, but if there is significant functionality that I’m missing I’d like to know.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - museumguy - 06-27-2022

You can make your own MFT for not a lot of money. Plenty of examples on youtube. When I get my shop a little farther along, I'll be making one.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - rwe2156 - 06-28-2022

You're lucky to have a CNC. Are you going to make a template or is the CNC big enough to do the whole table?

I am going to rebuild my assembly table and I will make it a big MFT top - not for Festool stuff, for the holding and alignment methods.

At that point I will decide on whether to add a track and hinge to add cross cut ability.

I thought about selling my miter saw, but I can't see a track saw replacing a miter saw for cutting 4-6" wide boards.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - msweig - 06-28-2022

I have one, and like it, but my shop setup is significantly different than yours.  I have part of a room inside that is primarily geared for hand tools.  I have a planer and drill press in the garage, but using either of those is a PITA (remove vehicle from garage, then move a bunch of stuff in the garage so I can access the tools).  With that scenario I like having the MFT and track saw.  I can put them up inside and make easy crosscuts, use as an auxiliary table for glueups instead of my bench, etc.).  The one thing the MFT sucks at (compared to a table saw) is ripping.  If you have a wide short board and want to split it in half you might be able to do it.  But making a narrow board even narrower is not really possibly to do safely (at least that I've been able to figure out).  Table saw would be much easier for that.  In those situations I use my bandsaw, but that has more cleanup in the cut involved (and is a PITA to access like I mentioned.  Also doesn't cut very straight, but that is my own fault because I need to tune it again).

In a shop that is already fully stocked I'm not sure it would be super helpful.  But maybe if you can see use cases for it. (For example, when I use my domino I'll clamp the board to my workbench.  That isn't going anywhere, or even really moving.  The MFT isn't as sturdy.  It can still be done, but I prefer my bench.  If you don't have a great bench to start with the MFT and it's clamping options might be better).

Mark


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - JDuke - 06-29-2022

I’m on the ‘In a well equipped shop, it may not be super helpful’ bandwagon.

I see lots of videos on how to make one, and if I didn’t have some of the tools that I do have, I could see the utility, or if I did on site work, it looks like it could be very useful, but for me, it may not be worth making one.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - Dave S® - 06-29-2022

(06-29-2022, 07:01 AM)JDuke Wrote: I’m on the ‘In a well equipped shop, it may not be super helpful’ bandwagon.

I see lots of videos on how to make one, and if I didn’t have some of the tools that I do have, I could see the utility, or if I did on site work, it looks like it could be very useful, but for me, it may not be worth making one.

I have the TS55 and MFT.  My intent with 'tooling up' with this setup is for remodeling.  Remodeling in the house I currently do not live in.  For that scenario, the MFT is a portable bench.  I have struggled with the tracksaw getting squared cuts on 4x8 sheet goods.  it is technique and patience, but my biggest obstacle was getting the piece flat and supported both width and length.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - paul2004 - 06-29-2022

(06-29-2022, 07:01 AM)JDuke Wrote: I’m on the ‘In a well equipped shop, it may not be super helpful’ bandwagon.

I see lots of videos on how to make one, and if I didn’t have some of the tools that I do have, I could see the utility, or if I did on site work, it looks like it could be very useful, but for me, it may not be worth making one.

I am in a similar situation to you.
My outfeed table has a matrix of 3/4" dogholes, I think there's a better selection of 3/4" holddowns, clamps, etc than there are 20 mm ones. Lee Valley, for example. Armor tools has some nice holddowns, the default is 3/4" but they do sell a metric post you can swap out. One bench clamp of there's works on either hole size out of the box.
Maybe lee valley has metric adapters, I don't know.   But that was a big decision point for me.. 3/4" seems to have more options.

So my outfeed table has 3/4" holes.  If I want to turn it into a saw table, I can use these...
https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/tools/workshop/workbenches/work-surfaces/75861-veritas-platform-saddles
These insert into the dogholes, and let you put 2 x4 on edge. Then you can lay your sheet good on top of them and cut away without cutting into your peg table.
I see these work for metric festool holes too.

Everytime I need to use a tracksaw, I draw a line on the board, and just line up the guide. I don't do so much cutting that I need an MFT. I can see why the guys with no tablesaw like the MFT setup, but if you have a tablesaw, it seems to be a lot of money. I typically take my plywood pieces to the table saw after the track saw and "rip" them all to the same width , just to make sure I have no errors in measurement. 

Long way of saying, for me, an MFT is not needed. Even if it was modestly priced (it isn't), I don't think I would want to give up the floor space to store it.
Since you use handtools, I assume you already have a functional bench. Why duplicate that with basically a folding table with an MDF Top?  IT just seems you'd have to be using the tracksaw a lot, every day to justify the space it takes up.


RE: Is festool MFT worth it? - meackerman - 06-29-2022

watched a video yesterday that the woodworker replaced his MFT style top with a more traditional thick wood top.


it really depends on how you work, what tools you already have and what you typically make.