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Qwas Dog Manual

Rail Dog Manual



The first thing I want you to do is look closely at the Festool MFT table top. Forget the aluminum rails on the side, just focus on the MDF top. Notice how square the corners are? Notice all them holes? Did you notice they are laid out in a grid?

A replacement top for MFT-1080 is currently over $100. You are not buying just a piece of MDF. Rather you are buying a piece of MDF with precisely drilled holes and square corners. So why aren't we using the holes to our advantage? That is what we are going to learn now.

If you run a straight edge beside the holes, you will notice the holes line up. You can try it with a row of vertical or horizontal holes. Try them all. If you lay a square beside a row of vertical holes and move the square to line up with a row of horizontal holes, you will notice the rows are perpendicular or square to each other. And, if you measure the distance between horizontal holes and then vertical holes, the spacing between holes are the same (96 mm center to center). This means a diagonal set of holes must be at 45 degrees. Also notice the holes are parallel to all sides of the MDF top and not necessarily the aluminum rails around the table. The MDF fits loosely in the aluminum rails so there is no guarantee there (but you could remove the 4 screws holding the MDF top and try to align 1 or 2 sides to the rails). You should also check all 4 corners of the MDF top and verify they are square. I think you will find all 4 corners are as accurate as expensive precision squares can measure.

We can also say the rows and columns are at right angles to each other. Once we have a right angle, we can make a right angle triangle and the laws of trigonometry can come into play. We can keep the “side” of the triangle constant by using the 96 mm hole spacing as our side. We can use the trig function of "tangent" to figure out the length of the other side for any angle we want. This angle would be the angle of our fence, with the fence also being the hypotenuse of the triangle.

Now let's put this information into practical use. Please read the Qwas Dog Manual and the Rail Dog Manual web pages to learn about using the least amount of tools and still achieving great cuts. Once you start using this new method, you won't need to grab a square to make your cuts or to check your work. You will know it has to be correct. It can be combined with what you do now, or you can use just portions of what I explain. The options are all yours. Use what you are comfortable with. But I'm certain once you try it, you will be using it regularly.

Build Your Own Top: Do you want your own top with accurate hole layout but don’t want to spend thousands for a CNC machine? It’s possible to build your own bench top with a precise grid of holes by using simple pegboard and a plunge router. You can get some details by reading this talkFestool thread.  Or perhaps you want something simpler. How about using pegboard as the top and use your own 1/4" diameter dogs. Check out this talkFestool thread on making such a top.

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