Saturday, May 29, 2010

MFT-1080, 'merican Sized

My MFT-1080 was always a lean-over affair, and that gets old.  Eventually, the MFT/3 was released.  It comes in 2-3 inches higher.  Perfect work height.

Well, I don't have an MFT/3 and couldn't in any way justify replacing the 1080 with one.  So I built a table that sits underneath the MFT-1080 bringing it up to the same height as the MFT/3.  This will be useful if the CMS ever makes it out here as it is designed to attach to the MFT/3 or stand beside it.

Voilà my table. Sorry, messy.  The table is just 4 legs, a table set down 3" from the top of the legs and a vanity panel in the back mostly used to give the table more rigidity.  There are stretchers front to back on the legs

The table sits on the top of the legs.  There are glue-blocks behind where the MFT legs sit that are beveled so the table falls into place easily, but the final location has no play.  Note that I took the legs off.  They are trivial to re-attach.  It gives me more clearance on the table (super handy for tools).  Besides, I don't take it out often.

My bench to the left and the miter saw stand to the right are all at the same height, which makes working with long stock much easier especially when cross-cutting on the MFT.  The gap between the bench and the MFT is partly due to the MFT's fence being in a position that would cover a door to a hidden clamp compartment.  At first this annoyed me, but it is super handy to have the trash can by the bench especially when using the jigsaw to rough-cut boards over the gap; chips fall into the trash.

Now, I like to use the benches for planing.  The front of the MFT is coplanar to the front of the table so I get extra support when I clamp a panel to the side for trimming.  Thing is, even the MFT-1080 on its own is wiggly when planing, even without hitting the mechanical resonance!

For that reason, I scribed a shim that I attached to the wall behind the vanity panel then screwed a board into that shim. This effectively clamps the table to the wall.  Thing is, the MFT table still moved a bit sitting on the now anchored table.

Well, I scribed another shim to go behind the MFT and made a similar clamp, but this time with star nuts to make clamping and unclamping the table completely trivial.  The shim also filled a gap behind the table and my "straight" wall; perfect for Sharpies.