Saturday, August 14, 2010

Offcut Fence For MFT-1080 (wohoo!)

The limits of me keeping busy in the shop lately consist of some pretty trivial projects for my neighbor... eh, rather do that than something long and complicated when it's so hot. How hot is it? Well the picture is of a fairly robust plastic container I left in the car...

Today I had to cross-cut a 28" wide piece of plywood into two 18"-wide shelves.  If you've been reading, I recently did a trivial modification to my MFT-1080 to gain 4 1/2" more cross-cut capacity (a hair over 28").  So cross-cutting the ply isn't difficult.  In that other posting, you'll see that I added a tape measure to the MFT fence so I can pretty much drop the flag and cut.  But that means the piece to the left of the saw is the correct size.

My problem is that the ply is 96" long.  I could cut it the traditional way, but need to open the garage door (meaning 18" is under the guide and to the left while the other 80" sticks out to the right and into the driveway).  Hell's heat is on the other side of the garage door; it stays shut.  So, I thought this problem is something I want solved and is more interesting than my real project anyway :)

If you recall, I purchased a couple other replacement parts when I did the cross-cut modification.  Two additional fence rail clamps and another fence.

I put the fence rail clamps on the back rail just like I did for the cross-cut modification, except these two are to the right of the cut line.  In this photo, you see the flag stop on the second fence to the right of the cross-cut guide rail.  The wood just shows that the fences are aligned perfectly for me (if you've changed your MFT top, you might need to shim the fence rail clamps).  When the clamps are loosened, the fence simply pushes into it from the front.  A quick turn and you're done.  I don't plan on leaving the fence there as it sticks out over my disappearing miter saw stand.  Wanting to remove it poses a couple problems.

First problem is that I really want a tape measure on it so I can quickly set the flag stop and cut accurately on the off-cut side of the saw.  This is easy, add a Starrett self-adhesive metric/imperial tape measure to the fence just like I did to the main MFT fence (except this one reads left-to-right).  Since there is a gap between the actual saw kerf and this fence, I put my tape on starting at the 7/8" mark so the "1" of the 1" mark would be clear.

Second problem is that I don't want to calibrate this thing every time I attach it.  To remedy this, I attached a piece of scrap walnut to the back of the fence with two #10 screws with the nut in the back T-track (visible in the previous picture).  To calibrate, I put one of the MFT calibration blocks I made for the cross-cut modification against the fence, dropped the flag stop at 142mm (the length of this block) and abutted it to the dropped blade of the TS-75.  Now the fence is in the correct location.

While holding the fence in place, I pushed the piece of walnut until it abutted to the MFT top then tightened the screws.  Now, I can clip the fence into the fence rail clamps and slide it to the left until it abuts to the MFT top, tighten and get to cutting.  A quick 10 second calibrated setup.

Here's a shot of it in use.  Flag stop at 18", plywood pushed under guide rail until it hits, make the repeatable cut.

Lastly, I stood both shelves on their edge to see the repeatability.  In technical circles, this is called dead-nuts on.  Thing is, to me dead-nuts isn't a positive thing...

Now, back to that plastic container... it's what I used to store my tea in.  I go through a lot. It was in my car to remind me to buy more on the way home.  Thankfully, between my two aunts and a visiting cousin, I've been stocked up for a long time.  VoilĂ  what my tea shelf looks like now! wahoo!  Red Rose rocks, and it's only available in Canada.  Pitty.

For the curious, that's 984 bags, which at the rate I drink it will get me through Tuesday... (thanks Jocelyn, Marc, and Cecile!)


  • Lydboj said...


    Thank you for your great videos and useful solutions! I am really curios on the piece of aluminum that you use for your fence. Where did you buy it? What is it called?