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UJK Parf Guide System

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Review by Bobmedic posted 11-22-2017 03:16 PM 10716 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
UJK Parf Guide System No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The UJK Parf Guide System is an excellent system for creating custom cutting stations and bench tops. (Think Festool MFT.) The system was invented by Peter Parfitt (New Britt Workshop) and in conjunction with Axminster Tools and Machinery this system was brought to market. It is a system that allows you to drill bench dog holes in a perfectly square grid to aid in cutting with a track saw or it even helps with assembly and clamping. I used this system to create a mobile workbench and a custom cutting station and could not be happier with the results and the ease of use. It is available for purchase from Axminster in the UK and Lee Valley in North America. Peter is a regular contributor and member of the FOG (Festool Owners Group) and has always answered any questions I had about this system and he has also commented and help with other Festool questions. I would suggest if you haven’t already, go to his Youtube channel and check it out. He has a lot of great woodworking content.




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Bobmedic

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15 comments so far

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EarlS

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#1 posted 11-22-2017 09:04 PM

Interesting…. do you have more pictures of how you used it?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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Bobmedic

383 posts in 3651 days


#2 posted 11-22-2017 09:09 PM



Interesting…. do you have more pictures of how you used it?

- EarlS


No, but here is a link to the video of the guy that invented it using the system. https://youtu.be/BNzPVEbLxb4

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PurpLev

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#3 posted 11-23-2017 01:34 AM

looks pretty well designed and useful.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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builtinbkyn

3011 posts in 1790 days


#4 posted 11-23-2017 02:18 AM

Looks well made, but also an awful lot of “to do” for making a table top for cutting straight lines with a track saw, which can be accomplished on pretty much any surface with a track system. One can also make a jig to perform the same task of making the dig holes, if you feel them to be necessary, out of scraps and two rulers or just one ruler and a t-square. How much does that thing cost? I’m just trying to understand why such a system is useful beyond a good straight edge and ruler.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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EarlS

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#5 posted 11-23-2017 02:21 AM

Bob – thanks for posting the link. Definitely a simple system using some basic geometry that appears to produce an extremely accurate grid.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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Bobmedic

383 posts in 3651 days


#6 posted 11-23-2017 03:21 AM



Looks well made, but also an awful lot of “to do” for making a table top for cutting straight lines with a track saw, which can be accomplished on pretty much any surface with a track system. One can also make a jig to perform the same task of making the dig holes, if you feel them to be necessary, out of scraps and two rulers or just one ruler and a t-square. How much does that thing cost? I m just trying to understand why such a system is useful beyond a good straight edge and ruler.

- builtinbkyn


My only advice is to watch the videos from the developer. It has more capabilities than just square cuts.

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kkaucher

24 posts in 1169 days


#7 posted 11-23-2017 03:52 AM

Bill – it all depends on the amount of accuracy you want in your table layout. As you note, you can certainly make a table for your track system with a ruler and t-square. The Parf system lays out the dog hole starting with the factory edge of the MDF or plywood – whatever you prefer. It builds a very accurate grid that, by its design, is not subject to the errors introduced by laying out with pencil marks and measuring instruments that ride on the surface. For those who want the best and prefer to build their 20mm systems (sorry, it’s metric only), the Parf guide is the instrument of choice and, incidentally, its layout supports the 93mm system specifications for European cabinet hinges.

Woodpeckers recently introduced a system that will create either 20mm or 3/4” dog holes, theirs is based upon a clamped-on plate to guide the drill position. I’d like to see a head-to-head comparison of the two systems. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Parf system would come out on top.

Karl

-- A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown

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charlton

88 posts in 4258 days


#8 posted 11-23-2017 06:27 AM



Woodpeckers recently introduced a system that will create either 20mm or 3/4” dog holes, theirs is based upon a clamped-on plate to guide the drill position. I d like to see a head-to-head comparison of the two systems. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Parf system would come out on top.

Karl

- kkaucher

I was tempted to get the Woodpecker jig but it’s just too much money after shipping to Canada. Instead, I’m having a friend with a CNC cut me a similar jig out of a cutting board. That being said, I prefer the Woodpecker jig to the Parf and actually feel the opposite to you. I think the Woodpecker jig would come out on top and sourcing good 1/2” bits seems like it’s far easier than the expensive 20mm Forstner bits.

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Bobmedic

383 posts in 3651 days


#9 posted 11-23-2017 11:48 AM


Woodpeckers recently introduced a system that will create either 20mm or 3/4” dog holes, theirs is based upon a clamped-on plate to guide the drill position. I d like to see a head-to-head comparison of the two systems. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Parf system would come out on top.

Karl

- kkaucher

I was tempted to get the Woodpecker jig but it s just too much money after shipping to Canada. Instead, I m having a friend with a CNC cut me a similar jig out of a cutting board. That being said, I prefer the Woodpecker jig to the Parf and actually feel the opposite to you. I think the Woodpecker jig would come out on top and sourcing good 1/2” bits seems like it s far easier than the expensive 20mm Forstner bits.

- charlton


The nice thing about this system is you don’t have to source the Forstner bit because it comes with it. A good solid carbide spiral uncut bit is just as expensive and you don’t get the depth of cut. Someone mentioned earlier that this system references a factory edge and that it’s on a 93 mm grid. Those are both inaccurate. You are not limited to referencing from any edge. You can start the pattern anywhere you want and square the sheet off after. Also it’s on a 96 mm grid which is 3 units of 32 mm that most European cabinets are set up with. I looked at both, the Woodpecker OTT and the Parf guide System when purchasing and I found the latter to be more suitable for my needs. My intention for posting this review was not to persuade anyone into buying it. It was meant to let people know what I felt about it if anyone else was considering buying one. As another poster had asked if you couldn’t just do the same thing with a T square and a straight edge. Yes and no. You can produce a grid of holes for sure, but they won’t be nearly as accurate as this system. But hey, if someone is happy with that arrangement then go for it. If a person can’t immediately see the benefit in something like this then they most likely don’t need one. I like the ability to put in a couple of bench dogs and know that my cuts will be perfectly square or at various angles. Because by placing the dogs in different holes you can get accurate angles too based on rise/run. The cost of a replacement MFT top alone will almost pay for this system. Another application would be making something like the Stanton Workbench (Search it on YouTube)

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charlton

88 posts in 4258 days


#10 posted 11-23-2017 08:53 PM


The nice thing about this system is you don’t have to source the Forstner bit because it comes with it. A good solid carbide spiral uncut bit is just as expensive and you don’t get the depth of cut. Someone mentioned earlier that this system references a factory edge and that it’s on a 93 mm grid. Those are both inaccurate. You are not limited to referencing from any edge. You can start the pattern anywhere you want and square the sheet off after. Also it’s on a 96 mm grid which is 3 units of 32 mm that most European cabinets are set up with. I looked at both, the Woodpecker OTT and the Parf guide System when purchasing and I found the latter to be more suitable for my needs. My intention for posting this review was not to persuade anyone into buying it. It was meant to let people know what I felt about it if anyone else was considering buying one. As another poster had asked if you couldn’t just do the same thing with a T square and a straight edge. Yes and no. You can produce a grid of holes for sure, but they won’t be nearly as accurate as this system. But hey, if someone is happy with that arrangement then go for it. If a person can’t immediately see the benefit in something like this then they most likely don’t need one. I like the ability to put in a couple of bench dogs and know that my cuts will be perfectly square or at various angles. Because by placing the dogs in different holes you can get accurate angles too based on rise/run. The cost of a replacement MFT top alone will almost pay for this system. Another application would be making something like the Stanton Workbench (Search it on YouTube)

- Bobmedic

I’m just thinking more down the road if and when the 20mm bit gets dull. Based on my metalworking experience, good half-inch router bits are far more easier to source economically than 20mm bits but then I live in Canada. Anyway, I considered the Parf, was set on buying it, saw the Woodpecker offer and then was set on getting it instead. In the end I didn’t get anything. :( For my immediate need, I’ll have my friend CNC a top for me but I don’t want to rely on his goodwill forever. :)

Thanks for the post!

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builtinbkyn

3011 posts in 1790 days


#11 posted 11-26-2017 04:03 PM



Bill – it all depends on the amount of accuracy you want in your table layout. As you note, you can certainly make a table for your track system with a ruler and t-square. The Parf system lays out the dog hole starting with the factory edge of the MDF or plywood – whatever you prefer. It builds a very accurate grid that, by its design, is not subject to the errors introduced by laying out with pencil marks and measuring instruments that ride on the surface. For those who want the best and prefer to build their 20mm systems (sorry, it s metric only), the Parf guide is the instrument of choice and, incidentally, its layout supports the 93mm system specifications for European cabinet hinges.

Woodpeckers recently introduced a system that will create either 20mm or 3/4” dog holes, theirs is based upon a clamped-on plate to guide the drill position. I d like to see a head-to-head comparison of the two systems. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Parf system would come out on top.

Karl

- kkaucher


Karl I don’t question it’s accuracy or the quality of the materials. However much of the work performed in a shop requires the same accuracy and can be achieved with the tools we already posses. The Parf system is basically a story stick or jig for drilling holes. I don’t see why one cannot fabricate the same from some strips of hardwood or even from a pair of inexpensive aluminum rulers which are already marked for scale. Required tools for doing so would be a drill press with a fence and a ruler, if using wood strips. The inexpensive aluminum rules are pre-marked and would only require drilling. The same would go for the jig needed to bore the dog holes. Not much to it other than accurately laying out and drilling the initial holes on a piece of aluminum bar or some stable hardwood.

$200 for what amounts to a template that can easily be made in the shop seems rather high and there’s nothing proprietary about it. I would think anyone with reasonable skills in measuring and layout could achieve the same accuracy by making their own. Now if an off the shelf product saves time from having to do the above, well time is money and I can understand the market for it for some.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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Matt887

21 posts in 1083 days


#12 posted 01-25-2018 03:38 PM

I appreciate the review. I am getting ready to embark on a cabinet making extravaganza and found this system when researching ways to square door frames and drawer bodies. What are your thoughts for utilizing the system to basically make a square clamping table for those purposes? Thanks in advance for your time, Matt

-- "If you want to go fast, go alone... but if you want to go far, go with a team."

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kkaucher

24 posts in 1169 days


#13 posted 01-25-2018 05:10 PM



I appreciate the review. I am getting ready to embark on a cabinet making extravaganza and found this system when researching ways to square door frames and drawer bodies. What are your thoughts for utilizing the system to basically make a square clamping table for those purposes? Thanks in advance for your time, Matt

- Matt887

Matt, I strongly encourage you to look at Dave Stanton’s youTube series on making his Stanton Workbench for around $150. Look for the videos that are 3-4 months old – they all use the Parf guide system. If you’re interested, Dave sells plans for $10 on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/558160019/plans-for-the-stanton-bench-metric?ref=shop_home_active_1

I’m really impressed with Dave’s workbench. You can set it up on your kitchen table if you have to. It’s a good system, and can be built for either imperial or metric holes and spacing. Enjoy!

-- A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown

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HarveyM

117 posts in 2872 days


#14 posted 02-18-2018 04:35 PM

Matt, if you’re using the setup only for clamping and not as a sacrificial cutting top there are cheaper ways to go. MFT/3 tops go for $140 (roughly 21 1/2” by 36 3/4” clamping size) and Lee Valley sells ply grid 3/4” holed worksufaces. Or you could simply have a panel CNC cut locally. If you’re planning on cutting using this system, I would consider the parf guide. (Just as a reference my MFT/3 is by far my most used Festool). My feeling is square doors and drawers come from square cuts and square assembly methods, not so much from square clamping.

-- Just a Duffer

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LittleBlackDuck

5432 posts in 1670 days


#15 posted 12-15-2019 02:17 AM


Bill – it all depends on the amount of accuracy you want in your table layout. As you note, you can certainly make a table for your track system with a ruler and t-square. The Parf system lays out the dog hole starting with the factory edge of the MDF or plywood – whatever you prefer. It builds a very accurate grid that, by its design, is not subject to the errors introduced by laying out with pencil marks and measuring instruments that ride on the surface. For those who want the best and prefer to build their 20mm systems (sorry, it s metric only), the Parf guide is the instrument of choice and, incidentally, its layout supports the 93mm system specifications for European cabinet hinges.

Woodpeckers recently introduced a system that will create either 20mm or 3/4” dog holes, theirs is based upon a clamped-on plate to guide the drill position. I d like to see a head-to-head comparison of the two systems. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Parf system would come out on top.

Karl

- kkaucher

boys and Girls, I’ve come in a tad late but for those that still watch this blog and any newbies that may stumble across this.

I noted with interest mention of Dave Stanton. I made one of his style workbenches using the Parf Guide System (he has many useful follow up videos on the system)... I have made a number of these tabletops for friends, enough that with generous donations I have recovered the cost.

I had a swag of 19mm brass bench dogs and some shekels to spare, so I purchased the Woodpecker alternative. In comparison, if i give the Parf system 6 out of five, I give the Woodpecker 2- out of five (thats a two minus).
The integrity of the hole depends on the integrity of a following router template and if that is a tad mishaped, you are destined for disaster. Somehow I made a very loose fitting 20mm hole… how I did it I cannot explain, however, out of about 60 holes, 5 or 6 were oversized… as the template is references off existing holes all subsequent holes could be a tad out of whack. Now the Parf uses a similar reference of previous holes concept, the TCT bit will give a perfect consistent 20mm holes and the 3mm pin placemen (the Mk.II improves on the pin manipulation which I found a bit cumbersome in Mk.I) will ensure you have to really try hard to stuff it up.

I was so disappointed with the Woodpecker and impressed with the Parf, that when the Parf Mk.II was released, I snapped it up… It is a tad more user friendly while the basics still remain… yeah, as the missus says, I have more shekels to spare than brains. At penning this reply, I haven’t used the Mk.II yet, however, I have used the old Parf Mk.I guide jig to hold a 19mm TCT bit to drill holes to be able to use my previously obsolete 19mm brass dogs… initially I didn’t want to compromise the jig using a “foreign” (19mm) drill bit.

A friend belongs to a man’s shed group and from the interest shown and offers made I can see me recovering the cost of the Mk.II… not that I have any intention of making any profit but if the cost is recovered, it’s a win-win for all parties… though I might have to buy a new TCT drill bit with all the anticipated use.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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