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Old 01-06-2014, 11:48 PM
beezar beezar is offline
 
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Default Smart Table vs. Multiform Master Table

Just getting into the EZ way of doing things (and relatively new to woodworking), and realizing I REALLY need a better way of supporting my material.

Is the Multiform Master Table (~$320 price on sale) worth the extra $100 over the Smart Table (aka DIY Multiform table which is on sale ~$220)? Seems like with the new Multiform Master Table, you can add a bridge later on which sounds like a good option, and it is pretty versatile. But then again people here seem to love their Smart Tables.

Any disadvantages of the multiform master table vs. the smart table? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2014, 12:26 AM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
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If you are going to buy the DIY whole table kit, I'd say the upgrade to the Master MFMT is definitely worth it.

I started with the $60 kit (this kit is no longer sold, see note below*), a piece of rough plywood and some $2 garage sale legs. (Also a few cast off window pulls as handles). That was definitely a good purchase! Not as sturdy as the EZ set, not as nice, but worked just fine. For someone on a budget it really works great. I was going to mount it on a $7 thrift shop banquet table or use the legs but the size was wrong. The big advantage of this is how portable it is and how easy to store when not in use.

But when the Master MFMT came up at a good price I got it. It is really great. It has functionality built into it that the other one doesn't. The bridge upgrade for one thing. I stuck some adhesive backed measuring tape on my right away. Others have done various things with theirs, more creative than mine.

Also, thing of beauty. Right now it lives in my non-shop space as a stylish table that can hold a lamp, books, etc. I put a butcherblock 24 x 48 top on it and it looks cool. Easy to take it out and use it as a shop table when needed. (Slide out the sacrificial wood parts to use as furniture ).

Since I work at two locations in the spring/summer/fall, having two is not a luxury, because taking a larger vehicle than I need wastes a lot of gas, more than $60 in a short time. So I don't have to lug stuff. Trouble is, I hate to give up the stylish table come warmer weather. Maybe they should sell them as furniture. Modern style, of course .

*Note: Oops, I just looked at the $60 kit and it has changed. It is not the whole kit that used to include plastic extrusions that were screwed to the plywood top. So, I'd not recommend that as an option, since you still need the extrusions (like in an EZ One). What I purchased looks like it was upgraded to the $125 kit with aluminum extrusions. Sturdier, but more expensive, too.
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Last edited by Goblu; 01-07-2014 at 10:19 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2014, 05:00 PM
Burt Burt is offline
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Katie is correct. The Master table is worth the $100 extra. It is light weight and very easy to move around. Also any EZ Extrusion can be used with it. Shorten it. Make it wider. Make it longer. The setup can be adapted for many uses.


Burt
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2014, 09:26 AM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
 
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My first EZ purchase was the Smart Table extrusion set - the original all-plastic one - and I thought that was a really great product. I was working my way through a pile of plywood leftovers and it was perfect for the job. Once I started working with full sheets of plywood however, I felt that the standard set-up didn't provide enough support for the start and end of the rip cut using the UEG (which I'd purchased by that time), particularly when breaking down a sheet into 12" wide strips as there was very little support at either end of the cut. I played with the idea of making the 2' x 4' plywood base longer but would have wound up with a piece of plywood about 6' long to give me what I felt was adequate support so looked at other options - this after purchasing all the left-over extrusions that EZ had in their warehouse - and will be making a knock-down grid similar to that shown in the attachment which I think will provide the support needed but allow for easy storage when not in use.

Tom
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2014, 11:11 AM
TooManyToys TooManyToys is offline
 
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I have that table kit too and you're right in the problem of flex. It's OK, but I can see why some un-named people went on-line with other versions, and EZ's upgrade.

The new full kit for $279, especially with the sales, is not a kit to dismiss due to the quality of the legs and the addition of 4 included clamps.

Although my cheap solution was to take my existing plywood top with existing holes and use 2x3 studs with hanger screws so I could easily mount the studs to the ply at roughly the same positions as the EX table setup. I just place the studs onto the ply through the holes and use hand nuts from underneath to lock them in place when working. The end pieces pivot around one hanger screw.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:46 PM
tomp913 tomp913 is offline
 
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[QUOTE=TooManyToys;34826]I have that table kit too and you're right in the problem of flex. It's OK, but I can see why some un-named people went on-line with other versions, and EZ's upgrade.

The new full kit for $279, especially with the sales, is not a kit to dismiss due to the quality of the legs and the addition of 4 included clamps.

/QUOTE]

I looked hard at the MMT but felt that it would probably be worse for what I was doing as the whole corner of the sheet outboard of the two end longitudinal struts was unsupported. I was able to struggle through with my existing table but it was a big problem trying to rip strips out of a sheet of 1/4" plywood for cabinet backs and door panels. I work by moving my trike out of the garage, backing my truck up to the door and sliding the sheets of plywood directly onto the cutting table. I typically rip the sheets into strips with the UEG - great product BTW - and then cross cut to length as needed with the Cabinet Maker. The cutting table is broken down when I'm finished and the saw horses hang back up on the wall so that I can move the trike back in, really don't have the room for the MMT. Up to this point, I've been cutting parts up to about 12" wide on my 30+ year old radial arm saw but it's starting to make noises that could be interpreted as death rattles so I'm looking at building a PBB but this has to fit in the space vacated by the radial arm, approx. 3' x 4'. I've been working on a design - with some helpful input and comments from Dik Harrison - and will probably start on that when either the weather gets warmer or my mini-split heat pump ships from the manufacturer. The design I'm working on has multiple t-tracks for a moveable fence and also to allow conversion so that the SSRK can be used for dadoing cabinet sides if needed.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2014, 01:22 PM
Ivanhoe Ivanhoe is offline
 
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Not sure if this will work in your case, but I bought one of the plastic folding banquet tables at Lowes and attached the plastic runners to this top. It is less stable than a solid piece of ply but it is very portable and a full sheet of ply is completely supported. I think it was approx $45 or so-
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:17 PM
Goblu Goblu is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomp913 View Post
My first EZ purchase was the Smart Table extrusion set - the original all-plastic one - and I thought that was a really great product. I was working my way through a pile of plywood leftovers and it was perfect for the job. Once I started working with full sheets of plywood however, I felt that the standard set-up didn't provide enough support for the start and end of the rip cut using the UEG (which I'd purchased by that time), particularly when breaking down a sheet into 12" wide strips as there was very little support at either end of the cut. I played with the idea of making the 2' x 4' plywood base longer but would have wound up with a piece of plywood about 6' long to give me what I felt was adequate support so looked at other options - this after purchasing all the left-over extrusions that EZ had in their warehouse - and will be making a knock-down grid similar to that shown in the attachment which I think will provide the support needed but allow for easy storage when not in use.

Tom
Yes, if I remember right, the original smart table was demonstrated with the track clamped to the plywood or other material. That kept it stable. But using it with other systems, like a UEG would differ.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2014, 12:30 AM
beezar beezar is offline
 
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Thanks for the replies. From the pictures, it seems like the Multiform Master Table can be broken down for storage, but I'm guessing it would require disassembly rather than just folding legs in. How long does it take to break it down, and how long does it take to set it up?
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2014, 12:32 AM
beezar beezar is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivanhoe View Post
Not sure if this will work in your case, but I bought one of the plastic folding banquet tables at Lowes and attached the plastic runners to this top. It is less stable than a solid piece of ply but it is very portable and a full sheet of ply is completely supported. I think it was approx $45 or so-
That is a very interesting and inexpensive idea. I'll have to strongly consider that one. Thanks.
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