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Alternative to PARF system for making MFT table top.

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Forum topic by Robert posted 06-13-2019 02:07 PM 726 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Robert

3436 posts in 1902 days


06-13-2019 02:07 PM

My DNA rebels against a one use $200 jig that will sit on the shelf 99% of its life.

Has anyone made a jig for this?

I’ve often thought a local Woodcraft store could rent things like this.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!


16 replies so far

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Jerry

3214 posts in 2070 days


#1 posted 06-13-2019 03:46 PM

Okay, I looked up the parf system, that’s a whole bunch of expensive hooey for what you could do with a good T square. My recommendation, square up your stock perfectly, get a good T-square, lay out a grid with a fine pencil or marking knife, and drill.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

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pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#2 posted 06-13-2019 04:08 PM

just looked at myself and im with jerry over 200 bucks for something you’ll use once,save some money and do what jerry said.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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KettleWorkshop

40 posts in 63 days


#3 posted 06-13-2019 04:16 PM

I get the concept of the system but the price just makes me go “that’s interesting”.

Will be putting in 3/4” Dog Holes in my bench and I plan to do so with just accurate measuring and a good drill guide to ensure 90 degree holes.

I do like Robert’s idea of Woodcraft renting something like that out. Even $30-50 for the day would be worth it cause that system is nice but just not worth the $200 for one time use and then sit on a shelf.

-- If you don't throw out the original design at least 2 times, you aren't finding all the imperfections.

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pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#4 posted 06-13-2019 05:28 PM

i agree about the rental idea id bet they would make a lot more money renting than the very few who would want to buy it.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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John_

207 posts in 2127 days


#5 posted 06-13-2019 06:18 PM

The best way I have found to make a MFT type top is to….start with a MFT Top

You can buy the replacement top currently for $123 on Amazon.
https://smile.amazon.com/Festool-489396-Perforated-Replacement-MFT-LP1080/dp/B003KN3VU0/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=mft+replacement&qid=1560449380&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Sure, you can lay out a grid, but it is not going to be as accurate as a true MFT top… It just depends on what meets your standards

Using the replacement top as a ‘template’, clamp it to your workpiece and the drill out the bulk of the holes with a drill bit. I use a drill bushing to prevent from damaging the top. Then with a router and a flush trim bit, I enlarge the hole to match the template. I can then extend the template to a new area by using longer dogs to pin it to the wholes I already made in the workpiece. Using this method I have made 4’ x 8’ MRT style tops

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therealSteveN

3116 posts in 996 days


#6 posted 06-13-2019 07:12 PM

Wow, who knew that I made a Parf ette.

I thought of it as low brow Kentucky engineered hole whopper (the swiss cheeser). It is made with 2×12 material, and setting one row, you can move it over after you pin your first row with dogs, and keep moving it exactly 4” over so your rows come out 4” between, and 4’ up or down. IOW makes a nice field ala~MFT design. The 1 1 /2” depth is plenty to get your drill oriented 90* to the tables surface, without being too stuffy. A person with really poor drilling skills could likely made do, but you could also make it 2 boards thick, and have a 3” start.

Top, note the board keeping it fronted to the top. AKA Bench Hook. Top is pretty dirty, it’s drilled out a bunch of MFT’s at the time someone asked me to shoot a pic for them.

Bottom, doesn’t get touched much, looks brand new.

I laid it out pretty carefully, and drilled it on a drill press. It extends 24”. After using it a few times I pretty much ignore the first row of holes now, That puts the first line into a nice spot, but if you play around with a paper template on layout you’ll find what feels right for you.

Yes it doesn’t look like much, but using it, a person with no use of it beforehand can make a really nice MFT. I’ve used stock from 8020 Garage Sale on the edges. They have some that is exactly 1 1/2” tall, and it works perfectly for a heavyweight with 2 layers of MDF. This also is a nice depth where so many of the 3/4” diameter leg dogs, and clamps with 3/4” stock legs work.

Alternatively you can go with a lot of the T Track, or especially the heavier Kreg track and use 1/4-20 held clamps and such. That stuff I usually do a double thick, and just put it on the edge, inset into the top. You can go really heavy weight and make your top 3 sheets thick, and use the bottom 2 to screw into, and the top just surrounds the track making it flush. Or I suppose you could route, or dado it out. Whatever works easiest for you.

-- Think safe, be safe

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SMP

1198 posts in 327 days


#7 posted 06-13-2019 07:55 PM

200? Psshh, thats nothing, i’ll wait til woodpeckers makes a “one time” $500 version.

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pottz

5558 posts in 1406 days


#8 posted 06-14-2019 04:30 PM



200? Psshh, thats nothing, i’ll wait til woodpeckers makes a “one time” $500 version.

- SMP


yeah keep me posted ill jump on that-lol.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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MrRon

5572 posts in 3665 days


#9 posted 06-16-2019 03:02 AM

It is very difficult to center a hole to be drilled, especially in soft or grainy wood. The drill wants to follow the fiber, pulling the drill bit off the layout lines. Clamping the wood to the DP table and using a forstener bit can keep you centered.

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MrRon

5572 posts in 3665 days


#10 posted 06-16-2019 03:55 AM

I looked at the PARF system. It is a simple system based on basic trigonometry. The components have to be very precise to do what it does. Such precision costs money, so $200+ allows the product to be made, but is it worth the money? I have a machine shop in my wood shop, so I could duplicate the PARF system with the required precision. I couldn’t personally justify buying one, but with my machine shop facility, I would have no problem doing a hole layout. Not everyone has the machines available. In fact, I use machine shop precision to layout my wood projects. I just treat wood as if it were metal. I routinely work to thousands, not fractions.

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therealSteveN

3116 posts in 996 days


#11 posted 06-16-2019 05:02 AM

Doing the hole layout on my little hole punch guide took me a few minutes to think about it. Once on the drill press I was done in less that 15 minutes, but I have a very good fence. I would guess total time is less than an hour. Kiss method rocks. This need not be complicated, it’s just holes. I have way more in the Bosch Daredevil spade bit, than the jig.

-- Think safe, be safe

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kroginold

32 posts in 1470 days


#12 posted 06-16-2019 08:41 AM

Woodpeckers already made a one time tool version. Makes 3/4 inch holes or 20 mm using router. Came with everything needed but the router. As I recall I paid 170$

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waho6o9

8676 posts in 2998 days


#13 posted 06-16-2019 12:51 PM

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Robert

3436 posts in 1902 days


#14 posted 06-16-2019 02:43 PM

@John -

Thanks very much I think this is the way I will go!!

May I ask what bushing guide and where do you get one?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Robert

3436 posts in 1902 days


#15 posted 07-02-2019 03:39 PM

Are there any 1/2” shank 20mm bits out there?

Or, what bit did you use?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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