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Folding MFT-style Bench with Router Table

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Project by Sandy posted 11-15-2017 04:49 PM 1761 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted a portable MFT-style bench that would fit into my SUV but that was lighter than my existing Festool MFT/3 tables. I was about to make a somewhat modified version of Ron Paulk’s workbench using plans that I had purchased from him, with the modifications involving making it shorter so that it would fit into my SUV. I had already created templates to pattern route the sawhorses and the spacers, and I had already purchased the plywood, when I saw a post on the Festool Owners Group site that reminded me of a folding workbench that I had built about 35 years ago, as well as plans that were published in Wood Magazine a few years ago for a folding assembly table. While the OP indicated that he would not be selling plans, at least one forum member properly noted that this being a woodworkers’ site, 90 percent of the members could probably create something similar without additional information. As I had a LOT of “scrap” plywood and MDF in various sizes and shapes already cluttering up my shop (which SEVERELY required a cleaning), I measured what I had, and decided to redesign the folding workbench that was posted. In addition, several years ago I had built a Home Brewed Router Table to accommodate an Incra LS-17 Positioner, but I never designed or built any form of enclosure for it, so the top was merely attached to a frame that I had put together. As I wanted to take advantage of the already-built Router table top, and as I did not like the OP’s approach to attaching an MFT-style top to the folding bench, as it required forming mortice and tenon joints that I felt were overly size-sensitive, and not conducive to replacement tops (MFT or Router types), I redesigned the attachments, and came up with this design that was made exclusively from scrap that I already had cluttering up my shop.





9 comments so far

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

510 posts in 1421 days


#1 posted 11-15-2017 04:52 PM

Really nice work, and well thought out. Bound to be a useful design.

What is “MFT”?

.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Sandy's profile

Sandy

209 posts in 3761 days


#2 posted 11-15-2017 04:59 PM

@jimintx, Festool makes a line of high quality woodworking tools. They also make a Multi Function Table (“MFT”) that includes a top having a series of 20mm holes that are laid out exactly 96mm apart. I already used it to make the Lathe Stand that I just posted on here.

View SteveMI's profile

SteveMI

1060 posts in 3131 days


#3 posted 11-15-2017 08:04 PM

Very nice, six piano hinges and some plywood for any custom size knock down bench. The weight lightening holes are another plus. I like the simple design for the lower panel to add rigidity and keep it square.

This is on my short list.

Steve.

View Sandy's profile

Sandy

209 posts in 3761 days


#4 posted 11-15-2017 09:12 PM

@SteveMI… Thank you for the comments. In fact, the only items I purchased for the build were the six piano hinges, two of which (on the ends) were cut to allow for the hand holds. As I said in my post, I cannot take credit for the overall design, as folding workbenches have been around for a long, long time, and someone posted one relatively recently on the Festool Owners Group site, although, as I said, he vastly overcomplicated the manner in which he attached the top, thereby making it very difficult to substitute either a new top or something like the Router Table top that I had already built about 8 years ago, and which fit right on. Despite its very light weight and the fact that when everything (other than the Router Top and router, of course) is folded it is only about 4” thick, it is strong enough for me to actually stand on it. Finally, the holes on the top are based on the layout used on Festool’s MFT/3 tables, i.e., 20mm holes spaced 96 mm apart so that they can be used to accurately align a track saw or for clamping.

View sunshine2012's profile

sunshine2012

19 posts in 1402 days


#5 posted 11-16-2017 12:37 AM

VERY NICE!

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

321 posts in 1764 days


#6 posted 11-16-2017 02:47 AM

Yes, I like the design a lot. I wanted to understand how it folded better (a little hard to see it all in your folded shot), so I searched and found what is probably the Festool Owners Group thread you mentioned. His has some interesting features, too, and I see what you mean about attaching the top.

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/my-new-folding-workbench-i'm-after-some-feedback!/

View Sandy's profile

Sandy

209 posts in 3761 days


#7 posted 11-16-2017 09:58 AM

@sunshine2012… THANK YOU!!

@Dekkar… Thank you for your comments. Yes, that was the OP’s post on the Festool Owners Group site. He actually has some videos that were posted there, as well. Basically, there are vertical piano hinges at each corner, along with two others along the (split) ends, so that the ends fold in, while the sides “collapse” (See the last two photos.). The shelf drops in an locks the base open, then the top is placed (surprisingly) on top. As far as his top attachment goes, the idea of a mortice and tenon is somewhat similar to what Tim uses to attach the shelf on his MFTC design, although Tim’s use of Dominos along with an “edge” around the shelf does make his approach quite a bit simpler and more easily repeatable. I went with a different method than either of them, and it seems to work quite well. In fact, it took less than a minute to adapt the Router Table Top to the base, as I did it, and it required no modifications to the Router Table Top. Regarding “other features”, I have several, as well, including different “hang on” items, but I didn’t include them in my post.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

29158 posts in 2703 days


#8 posted 11-16-2017 02:01 PM

You did a fine job on this router bench. It’s certainly transportable to worksites but can also be used in your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

510 posts in 1421 days


#9 posted 11-16-2017 03:06 PM

Sandy, thanks.
I do know about the Festool brand products, although I have not ever bought one nor really looked at them. I just didn’t decipher the MFT acronym.

Your lathe stand looks really nice.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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