I finally got around to building an MFT type workbench top. This has 20mm holes drilled in a precise 96mm matrix, allowing for accurate positioning of materials and for clamping.
The first step was to cut a 30″ x 60″piece of 3/4″ Baltic Birch plywood (at the moment, worth two posts of gold.)
The next step was to accurately drill the 20mm holes in a precise matrix. No easy task without some help. I could have purchased a $20,000 CNC system. But I don’t have the room in my garage and that is a lot of money.
Luckily, a gentleman in England came up with an elegant solution using The Pythagorean Theorem. Called the Parf Guide System, it uses two strips of metal with holes spaced 96mm apart and some drilling guides to allow a mere mortal to achieve amazing precision.
If you are really interested in how he pulls it off, you can watch the inventor in the following two videos.
Once all of the holes were drilled (took a couple of hours), I chamfered the top of each hole with a chamfer bit in a router. That worked really well.
Now for a way to support it. I wanted to just set it on top of my existing workbench. I bought the plans for the Dave Stanton workbench which included design files for some 3D printed feet.
Many hours of printing later (like 40-50 hours), I had six legs for the worktop. Some foam attached to the bottom with rubber cement will keep them from sliding around.
All set and ready to go. I used four 20mm dogs to align a board at 90 degrees to my Festool track saw. Perfection!
All ready to cut some parts, clamp workpieces and get things done more efficiently.