Author Topic: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul  (Read 2122 times)

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Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
[Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« on: July 07, 2019, 07:54 PM »
Hey team,

OK, this project will be a little bit different. I have finished the hallway table for my brother (see thread on Project 23 if you like) and have *definitely* learned a lot along the way  ;)

I've hinted at this in this thread:
http://festoolownersgroup.com/workshops-and-mobile-vehicle-based-shops/sketchup-hole-grid-work-question/

But, here's the plan:

1) Build a base for my existing 3 MFT/3 tables to sit on top of (since I already have them - if I didn't, then I'd use Perf Guide and build my own)

This will achieve a few things (is my hope):

1) Utilize the storage capacity that is currently wasted with the MFTs on their legs
2) Make a much heavier and more stable base
3) Almost most importantly, the MFTs will be perfectly level with one another, making storing long boards on it easier, using the LS Positioner across multiple tables (today it is hard because they aren't level), etc.

The features I've built into the design:

1) Storage for Systainers 4x Sys1, 2x Sys4, 3x Sys2
2) A slide-out ventilated tray for the CT26 to sit on
3) Storage for 4x Milwaukee red parts containers
4) TS55 docking station
5) I have about a quarter of the space left that I haven't designed

Yesterday I rented a U-haul and picked up 9x sheets of 5'x5' baltic birch 3/4" plywood and 4x sheets of the 1/2".

This will likely be a multi-month project, but, here we go!

Matt


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Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1013
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2019, 09:22 PM »
Matt

Two things:

The Rockler benches seem like overkill and an unnecessary expense. You should be able to build a plywood cabinet that would do what you want.

A 4 by 8 foot bench is awfully large and unwieldy. I'm 6-4 with a 37/38 inch sleeve length and I find it uncomfortable to reach to the far side of a 4 foot length constantly. 36 inch is about the limit for me. That size table is also a pain to physically get around unless you have a huge shop. YMMV

You could perhaps take a couple of sawhorses and a sheet of plywood and mock up a table in you shop. Live with it for a bit and see if you find it workable.

Ron

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6116
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2019, 10:22 PM »
Ron...at 6’4” what’s in that Chicago water? I dipped my toes in it from time to time but never grew an inch. I kind of feel slighted.  [poke]

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 305
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2019, 10:55 PM »
I'm having a hard time figuring out what it is you're doing. 

Are both these designs being built, or is there some detail I overlooked?

I don't know how big your garage is - does a 4 x 8 work surface work out comfortably for you?   I have found that too big a bench can be a challenge and tends to get a lot of stuff accumulated on it.   The MFT tops are driving the dimensions, right?

Also, is that a three layer buildup of plywood on the outsides of the cabinet design?   Is the rationale to maximize mass?

Do you plan on doing any handtool work?  Or turning?   


Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 427
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 01:53 AM »
As an owner of 3 mft tables, I used to think I needed them connected together and level. I found after taking a Festool training class I was really hurting my work flow by doing so. Their utility is in being able to move them around independently for different tasks or even store them as space is needed. I'm much happier now that I stopped trying to keep them attached as one big bench.
@matts.garage

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1751
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 02:17 AM »
Their utility is in being able to move them around independently for different tasks or even store them as space is needed.
I agree. If you need a giant stationary bench, then build a giant stationary bench.
What's the point of investing $1.8K in three fancy mobile tables, then attaching them to an oversize frame? You cold just as well place a full sheet of perforated MDF on that frame and have the same utility.

Offline infer

  • Posts: 52
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 02:35 AM »
Wouldn’t the parfguide system a pair of 2x4 basics legs kit some 2x4 and a sheet of mdf make this easier and cheaper!?  I would sell two mft/3 and come out with some spare change.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1013
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 07:00 AM »
@Cheese I'm about as far from Chicago as you can get and still be in the state of Illinois. About 60 miles from the tip in beautiful Southern Illinois.  [big grin]

MY daughter is 6-1 and my son is 6-9. Hurts my neck to talk to him if I stand too close. [eek]

Ron
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 08:48 AM by rvieceli »

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5726
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 12:27 PM »
Im with the dont build a mobile table and set the MFTs on. I got 3 MFTs 4 if ya count the Kapex MFT.

2 I got against the wall with my FT Kapex extension wings on (old style ones) w my Kapex in between.

the 3rd I got in the center of my shop with a small extension I made out of a salvageable part of a MFT top. I like the mobility of the MFT being able to fold them up ad take them with me. I got a job to build a built in and some shop cabinets for a friend out of state (I viit him once or twice a year). So Im bringing one MFT, and Im planning on picking up some cheap harbor frieght saw horses or using some 2x4s and build a frame  and set a 4X8 sheet of mdf on them for a cutting table.

For your shop you can do the same thing with a sheet of MDF  ,and get some saw horses and us it as a  break down cutting table.  Also there are people who have posted plans and photos of their breakdown cutting tables here, just got to search for the threads.

then you can use yer MFTs to cut to length etc

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 11:29 PM »
@rvieceli thank you for the feedback! You might be right. Although, I've been using the 3 MFTs together for a while now and really loving it. The reason that I went with this design was to be able to cut larger pieces on the table using the LS positioner and fence. Specifically, I turned the MFT table 90 degrees to what you would normally use it, and put 3 side by side. Then, I replaced the rail with a longer one.

That allows me to get close to 40" IIRC of crosscut or rip capacity (they're basically the same thing on the MFT, since both use the fence and LS positioner.)

Before, I could only get 20" or so until I'd have to cut it "Free hand" and it would never come out perfectly square, if that makes sense.

I'm 6'5" - so, the reach isn't that much of a problem for me.

The other option is you can mount the fence 1 or 2 dog hole "rows" forward (not at the complete back of the table) and that would allow you to reach over less. And then just move it back when you need to cut a large piece.

@mrFinpgh yes, the 3 MFTs are driving the dimensions. In the Sketchup design, yes that is 3 pieces of plywood layered together. I probably won't build it like that. But to get the dimensions right, I did that so that I can get an accurate measurement. The "inside" sandwiched piece will likely be strips just mounted to the outer 2.

The reason for the thickness is the rockler table I am using. If you look closely, the corners have 1.9" of "width" that I need to account for so that my SYS A-Z drawers and custom drawers that I am building will be able to pull out.

Like I said - I just did the Sketchup like that to "visualize" it but won't use all of that plywood in there in reality - that would be a waste of course. But 2 3/4" pieces and 1 1/2" piece will get me exactly what I need.

This picture may help:
https://www.rockler.com/media/catalog/product/cache/da8a724b2bd2a1769dc0a5f2489712e9/6/0/60749-04-1000.jpg

@DynaGlide I appreciate that experience! Although I've been using mine like that for a while now and really love it. It's just personal preference IMHO.

@Svar I concur, I wouldn't buy 3 MFTs for this project. But I already have them - built up over time. So might as well use them.

@infer cost isn't a concern of mine for this build. I want to build a table I am proud of, that is strong, functional, well-designed, and built out of quality materials. That's just my preference. If I'm going to take weeks to design it in 3D and weeks to build it, I want to do it right. I know it isn't everyone's preference but it is mine.

@jobsworth thanks for the reply! I agree it could be done easier and cheaper - but that's not what I am after.

Give me a couple of weeks here to get started, I'll post more pictures and maybe my "vision" will make sense.

Or maybe it won't and you are all right... who knows, who cares :) it's all for fun, it's a hobby. That's why we're all here, right?

Thanks so much for all the feedback y'all!

PS - if anyone wants 3x MFT legs and 3x "stabilizer cross leg things" ... let me know.

You are all such a wealth of knowledge and so helpful all the time, I will just give them away for free if anyone needs them.

Although, if you're in the bay area, CA that would be best so I don't have to ship them. That's quite the hassle ;)

Matt

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6116
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2019, 11:43 PM »
Matt, you're a soldier among soldiers with this thread and previous threads. Just keep on doing what it is you do, pay attention when needed because there have been a lot of great suggestions offered, but as a certain person, someone curiously named Bill Shakespeare said "To thine own self be true".

I think you've hit that mark.  [big grin]

Offline rj_mccall

  • Posts: 20
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2019, 12:13 AM »
Well said @mattbyington , your replies to all hit the mark!

Some of the replies to your last few posts have been quite discouraging, but you seem to handle them very well! In fact I imagine most of their messages come from a place of jealousy more then anything.

Keep doing you m8. I personally look forward to following along in this workbench build. I think it’s going to fit the flow of work that you’re after and will meet your specific needs for the space you have.

Take care

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 860
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2019, 12:14 AM »
I am 6,4" and I raise the level of my tables. I made individual "cabinet carts" with wheels and this allows me to move them around as well as lock them together how ever I want. The only thing I did that may be a little different, is that I made the cabinets slightly smaller than the MFTs. This allows them to but up to each other without the cabinets getting in the way. Unlike you I used 80-20 and Finland ply. I think you are doing great work.

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2019, 12:27 AM »
@Cheese thank you sir! I think everyone has different desires and needs. So it makes sense that we'd all do things a little differently. With this particular build, I think things will become more clear over time and hopefully make sense.

@rj_mccall thanks man! It's easy to be discouraged when someone provides constructive criticism, but if we shied away from that we wouldn't learn and get better. I honestly learn from every post, positive or negative - and all of it comes from a good place, I would imagine. It's better than nobody replying at all and not caring - in that case, I wouldn't learn.

Even if some of the decisions I am making are bad, and I end up regretting them, I will have learned. And I really do take some of your suggestions into account - I am still modifying the design.

I think we all have certain things to be jealous about from each other - some of the stuff you guys posted on here is so absolutely awesome that I wish I could do it.

But rather than be jealous, I'm just happy that I could share in a sliver of your work and learn even the finest thing.

I also think we need to be generous to one another. Woodworking as a hobby can be very expensive - especially if you like all the fancy toys. No, they're not necessary to do good work. But sometimes you just want what you want.

Whenever I am done using a tool or item, I usually offer it for free or just at shipping cost to you guys - as a way of trying to give back.

Speaking of - if you remember the sys port I built a while ago, anyone in the bay area can have that free of charge whenever I finish this thing here. If interested LMK I can post another picture of it.

@tallgrass that is exactly my "long term" plan. Once done with this, I will build smaller tables using the same Rockler adjustable system, for router table and/or drill press etc.

Although that's months or years out. All in time.

In any case, thank you all again for your awesome feedback.

I will try to shut up and stop spamming all of you, but I will post pictures with progress :)

Matt

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6116
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2019, 12:33 AM »
1. It's better than nobody replying at all and not caring - in that case, I wouldn't learn.

2. I will try to shut up and stop spamming all of you, but I will post pictures with progress :)

1. Amen...

2. Post pictures with vigor...to quote another oldish statesman.  [big grin]

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 860
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2019, 12:36 AM »
anything you post is not spam.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 427
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2019, 06:45 AM »
@mattbyington Good for you for marching to your own drum. It's served me well over the years.

Since you seem to be gravitating toward furniture making in your hobby may I suggest you build this cart as an outfeed table for a Sawstop table saw? I feel based on your history here one is inevitable for you given your taste for nice tools and your recent acquisition of a dust collector and Hammer jointer/planer. I avoided table saws for as long as I could but any time I work with hardwood instead of plywood they become a necessity.
@matts.garage

Online Roachmill

  • Posts: 127
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2019, 07:32 AM »
One thing that would put me off putting 3 MFTs on a base vs one CNC'd sheet would be trusting the alignment of the holes. A single sheet won't move and the holes will be aligned the same each and every day. Even bolting MFTs together will introduce the opportunity for minor misalignment.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1636
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2019, 11:01 AM »
@mattbyington Looking forward to seeing how this goes!  And thanks for mentioning the Rocker base parts.  I knew Kreg had something available, but I needed something smaller and on wheels (28"H and 18x18" footprint).  I didn't want to make it out of wood and it looks like the Rockler kit may work for me (wish they had a store near me).  Once I added up all the parts it got a little spendy, so I might think on it.  But thanks for bringing that to my attention!
-Raj

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2019, 11:00 AM »
@RKA no problem! All the parts arrive in a day or two, I'll let you know how I like it.

@Roachmill this is true - but I don't use the holes for alignment. I mount the fence across 2 tables (the fence is straight), and then square the rail to the fence.

I'll post better pictures of it when the time comes...

@DynaGlide that is a fantastic idea. I agree....

The first parts started coming in yesterday.

The first few to arrive for the build were a custom 96" section of black 80/20 profile that I ordered (my first time working with anything 80/20!)

This will be mounted across one of the long sides of the top of the table, and the 3 MFTs will "butt up" against it, keeping them in alignment with each other. I will secure them to it somehow, haven't figured that part out yet.

The other use of this rail is to mount things to from the other side (sort of hanging off the edge of the table).

The third and final use of it is going to be to mount the vertical supports to the Festool boom arm to so the little guy doesn't move around on me or fall over. For those of you who have had that happen to you before, you know what I mean :)

Matt


Offline RustE

  • Posts: 370
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2019, 12:04 PM »
@mattbyington , have you given any thought to the casters and how much of a beast this will be to move?  Perhaps my assumption is not correct, as the initial post appears to have storage on both sides of the workbench.

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2019, 12:13 PM »
@RustE I may or may not do casters. I might build it with just regular leveling feet.

I think it'll be around 700-1200 pounds or so.

Matt

Offline macrutt

  • Posts: 25
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2019, 01:58 PM »
Hi Matt ,

These might be what you are looking for .

https://benchdogs.co.uk/products/fence-dogs

Take care. George

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2019, 04:34 PM »
@macrutt those are awesome. I own 3 sets :)

Matt

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2019, 11:10 PM »
Few shipments for the build in today:

1) 2 sys drawers (I was two short for the new build)
2) Woodpeckers parallel guide system - very excited for this, to help me break down all the large plywood pieces required for this build.
3) got the pieces @Hal M specified for the rear hinge in his thread:

http://festoolownersgroup.com/festool-jigs-tool-enhancements/mft-3-ideas-for-small-shop/

Hal that was a great idea and I thank you for posting the parts needed.

Almost time to begin the build!

Matt

Offline mattbyington

  • Posts: 304
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2019, 11:10 PM »

Online ear3

  • Posts: 3788
Re: [Project 24] Workbench Overhaul
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2019, 08:10 AM »
@rvieceli We will have to meet up at some point and compare notes -- I'm 6'5".  I'm actually the short one in my family though, as my Dad is 6'6" (or at least used to be prior to age and gravity), and my "little" brother is 6'7".


Matt

Two things:

The Rockler benches seem like overkill and an unnecessary expense. You should be able to build a plywood cabinet that would do what you want.

A 4 by 8 foot bench is awfully large and unwieldy. I'm 6-4 with a 37/38 inch sleeve length and I find it uncomfortable to reach to the far side of a 4 foot length constantly. 36 inch is about the limit for me. That size table is also a pain to physically get around unless you have a huge shop. YMMV

You could perhaps take a couple of sawhorses and a sheet of plywood and mock up a table in you shop. Live with it for a bit and see if you find it workable.

Ron
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