As the name suggests Multi-Function Tables (MFT's) are a centerpiece for the Festool System. These tables are light weight, portable, and versatile. While new uses are constantly being discovered, the following uses highlight their usefullness as a integral part of the Festool System for Serious Woodworkers:
MFT/3 - Compound Mitering when used with a Track Saw
The MFT/s system is designed for precise compound miter cross cuts or rips of material that will fit under the elevated track. When used with a Track Saw, The MFT/3 system has the following advantages:
- Inherently safer than a table saw. You move the saw through the wood instead of moving the wood through the saw;
- Precision cuts with chip edge guard. The saw follows the track precisely versus a table saw where the wood shift as it goes through the blade;
- With the track saw's built in riving knife, the wood won't bind and kick back. On a table saw, binding between the blade and fence can be dangerous;
- No need for specialized panel cutting jigs, push sticks.
- When used with Flag Stop on the guide rail, repeatable precise cuts are possible;
- No infeed and outfeed tables or rollers required. (The saw moves through the wood instead of the wood being moved through the saw.) - This means less workshop area is required.
- Portability - Unlike large table saws, the MFT/s fold down for easy transport to a job site. And, unlike smaller job site table saws, MFT's offer precision that these smaller saws simply cannot match.
What can a table saw do that the MFT/3 cannot do?
1. long rip cuts.
Q: So, if the job requires that a 8-foot length of 1x6 be ripped to 1 x 4 & 7/8's, then this looks like a job for the table saw or a jointer planer, right? The MFT/3 cannot perform this milling operation.
A: While it is true that the MFT/3 is not suited for this operation, the track saw with the edge guides is still a more precise and safer solution. Simply use the same track saw that is used on the MFT/3 guide rail with a longer track that spans the length of the board to be ripped. Guide rails come in various lengths and can be connected together to form as long a track as you need. Moreover, guide rail chip edge banding is designed to precisely and quickly align the saw.
Importantly, using a track saw provides all the safety, precision and reduced workshop area as mentioned above. And the guide rails can easily be set to rip a piece with a taper. Try that with a table saw!
2. Dado and Rabbet Cuts
Q: With a Stacked Dado Head cutter, I can cut dado and rabbets on a table saw. Try that with a MFT/3 or a track saw!
A: Option for a small number of dado or rabbet cuts: With the precision of the tack saw, the saw can easily be used in multiple passes to make the dado or rabbet by removing material in multiple passes by the width of the blade. For a small number of dado or rabbets this is acceptable since the time required to set up the dado head cutter is offset eliminated in favor of making multiple passes.
Option for a large number of dado or rabbet cuts: For larger dado or rabbets, a rounter can be used with a guide rail attachment. (use parts 494680, 494681, and 438608 with a Festool Router and Guide Rail.)
With the Festool TS55 or TS75 track saws, the MFT/3 Compound Miter System and addition track saw guide rails, virtually any milling operation that can be performed on a table saw is possible. And the Festool system requires less floor area, is more precise, and is inherently safer.