|Project by Wolfdrool||posted 01-05-2015 06:23 AM||7333 views||16 times favorited||3 comments|
I built this boom arm for a Festool MFT/3 table, but it can be used anywhere you need to manage hoses or electric cords. The pivoting boom arm was pretty easy to build once I settled on a design and is very strong and yet very light weight. It works better than I had hoped. This new design happily replaces two early versions that now are relegated to the scrap heap.
The system includes a simple mounting plate that attaches securely via two knobs and two bolt to the t-slots on the MFT/3 table. An 18 inch length of 1.5 inch dowel is screwed to the plate and serves as a pivoting mount for the removable arm. Cleats on each side of the dowel help to stabilize the dowel. The dowel is simply screwed to the base plate from the back of the plate using three countersunk screws.
The arm is made from three arm sections. The bottom and end arm sections each include 1×4 fir sidewalls joined at the bottom by a 1/4 plywood web. This makes a u-shaped structure where the hose and electric cord run inside the U-shape. The bottom arm section has two bulkheads that are drilled with 1.5 inch holes to mount over and spin on the dowel shaft. The arm spins easily on the shaft without requiring any bearing plate, which initially I thought might be needed. The bottom and end outer arm sections are joined by the middle arm section, which has two sides but no web. A series of two inch holes are drilled on all the sides of the arms to reduce weight, provide a way to feed cable ties around the hose and cords, and also serve as a way to feed the hose and cords into the u-channel. These two inch holes feed the Festool hose, but would be too small to fit a conventional hose. Making this again, I might make one of the holes in the bottom arm section bigger to feed in a regular sized shop vac hose.
I made a second mounting plate that is screwed to my shop vac cart, as the arm is not only light in weight, but also is easy to lift off and shift from one plate to another. The shaft is quite long, so gravity is all that is needed to hold the arm on the shaft.