What I Like
What I Don't
One Year Later
Projects & Plans
Build a Kayak
I am often asked what are the most used tools in the shop. My typical answer is our table saws, planer, and routers. Lately, the most used tool in the shop is the Festool Multifunction Table (MFT) 1080. It has become our workbench, clamping station, sanding table, sliding miter saw, router table, demonstration table, and general work table.
In this article we'll discuss the MFT 1080 features we like and don't like as well as how to setup the MFT 1080, its guide rail system, and the Festool ATF 55E Circular Saw to cut more accurately than a radial arm saw, sliding miter saw, and perhaps even a table saw.
Clicking the hypertext links (bold-faced blue text) and blue-framed images will launch additional content.
Aside from carting its huge shipping box off the shipping dock, setting up the MFT 1080 was a breeze. The parts included in the shipping container include:
I installed/setup the MFT using the following steps:
Light But Stable
Integrated Saw / Router Guide.
When used with the Festool OF1000 router and its guide rail attachment, you can accurately and easily rout dados, rabbets, and sliding/housed dovetails in small or large panels. It is perfect for dadoing & rabbeting cabinet sides for shelves, tops, and bottoms. The combination of the fence stop and the guide rail's non-slip strip does a good job of holding the work in place while cutting and routing. For our shop, the combination of the MFT with our shop-made panel cutting table has ended any desire I had for a vertical panel saw/router setup.
Protractor Head / Shot-Pin Is Easily Budged
Table is Too Low.
Hard To Hold Short Work When Crosscutting
Setup and Tear Down
A trait, often associated with woodworking tools, that requires repetitious acts of setting up and tearing down.Okay, I took a bit of literary license there....The MFT is so right for so many functions (like that favorite Swiss Army knife in your right hand pocket), that you want to use it for everything, meaning the setup for function A gets in the way of Function B. For instance, several weeks ago I clamped the AKEDA dovetail jig to the MFT. The jig sat on the table at just the right height, and provided ample space for routers, cutters, and guide fingers. Then I needed to crosscut a stack of work pieces to length. Choice: Remove the AKEDA-related stuff off of the table or do the crosscutting somewhere else.....
The combination of the MFT, the ATF 55E Circular Saw, the OF1000 Router, the ES150 sander, and the CT22E dust extractor gives new meaning to the concept of a five-in-one or multiple function tool. After working with the MFT for about a month I wrote Bob Marino and suggested that Festool should offer such a combination as a small shop cabinetmaker's / finish carpenter's package. I spend more time at the MFT than any other tool in our shop. It's a work bench, assembly table, crosscut panel saw, chop box, sanding station, overhead router table, and more. Since it comes with the guide rail assembly, I definitely recommend it to anyone who has a Festool ATF circular saw. And it should certainly at least be considered by anyone planning on a panel saw purchase. Now if only the top would magically clear itself for the next operation....
Bob Marino, a Festool Sales Representative, responds to this article...
The (MFT) table top can be turned over and turned side to side providing a long life before it is no longer useable.... (it) should last a long time. Also the entire fence/miter gauge assembly can be moved to the other side of the table if you wish.
I have received a number of "lengthy" tips and comments from readers regarding the MFT and/or its accessories. Click here to read them.
I continue to receive emails questioning the usefulness of the Festool MFT and whether or not I use it. I use the MFT everyday, and in ways I would have never imagined prior to owning one. It may very well be the most used tool in the shop. It is my main workbench (I have discarded my original workbench), clamping center, and perhaps most importantly, my crosscut tool of choice (perfectly accurate, 24" width capacity, unlimited length capacity, dust collection). Combined with the ATF circular saw, an OF1000 router, the CT dust extractor, and a bucket of Festool and shop-modified clamps--the MFT has become indispensible in our shop!!! In a recent email exchange with Russ Ginter, I wrote the following (edited slightly) that sums up pretty well my thoughts and use of the MFT (and other Festool tools)....
Generally big-box home centers do not carry Festool products. So, where can you purchase Festool tools and accessories? A number of Woodworking Tool mail order and chain retail stores are starting to carry them. You can also order Festool products online, direct from the Festool-USA web site or from Bob Marino's Festool retail web site. I purchase my Festool accessories and parts from Bob Marino.....
Festool Online Sales - Bob Marino
Was this article helpful? Do you have any questions? E-Mail Us! We would love to hear from you!