Author Topic: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.  (Read 3574 times)

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Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Hello Foggers

First post, been lurking for a very long time, and have seen so many great ideas and taken away so much advice and information from all the people sharing on this board.

I mostly due cabinetry work and have came up with a portable workbench, after reading about so many people's great ideas and creative solutions. I borrowed and stole many great aspects of lots of different designs I have seen over the last few years. I've purchased more then a few plans along the way, to either study the design and ideas closer, while giving credit to those that made the effort to share, and to build in the future as they all seem to have their best fit or application and are wonderful in their own ways.

I first caught the bug for the concept of the MFT worktop several years ago and has proved invaluable for me in my line of work. It seemed to solve so many problems I had with certain situations, and gave me an open canvas to explore changing my work flow and how I process my work.

I have spent a few bucks along the way getting a few tools that work best with the work top, like a track saw, but the MFT table was a little to bulky and expensive for my workflow, and did not solve all of my site issues.

So I decided to use some of the ideas I have seen before from other contributors and come up with my own solution. I created it first in sketch up, and made a cut list and models. Once I was sure the scale and usability was there, I made it for real, actually 2, because it's always better to have 2! Lol. Actually, it works best with the cut list and is most efficient using material.

My goal was to be able to get it into the back of my PU with a cab height topper. I wanted it to be able to be brought into the job in 2 trips or less. I wanted it together in 1 minute or less, same with taking it apart. I wanted the parts to be universal so they can be mixed and matched without thinking about it. I wanted it to be scaleable so i could use it bare bones for quick work, or fit it out if it's going to be there a while. I wanted it to store tools, boxes, vacumes, whatever at different heights, especially just below the work surface. I wanted limitless clamping options.

I think I made my goal, and it has proved to be one of those tools to me that's like " how did I do it before?"

I also purchase the UKJ Parf guide system as it seemed like the best solution for long term as I can infinitely recreate the top whenever I want.

Hopefully I can get the photos and the video to upload and share with you all what I came up with and look forward to hearing your comments.

Of course anybody crafty can make this piece just by looking at the pictures and video, but if anyone wants to buy the plans and cut list in PDF, send me a message and let me know if you want a copy.

https://youtu.be/4qEdtv7M2TM

 263991-0

Offline justaguy

  • Posts: 107
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 06:54 PM »

Offline jjowen

  • Posts: 69
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 02:51 AM »
Nice. Looks well designed.
Disclaimer: All posts after 12:00pm on Fridays (GMT+10) should be independently verified for relevance and veracity.

Offline luke duke

  • Posts: 29
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 09:34 AM »
Nice.

Offline Mr_Mod

  • Posts: 56
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 07:04 AM »
Nice, any plans going to be made available?

Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 12:58 AM »
Thanks for the help posting the video. I'll have to learn more about the site since I do have more to show.

On thing I forgot to mention about the table is I wanted it as light as possible. I wanted to try and "engineer" the strength into the table, and not count on mass or thick material to give it strength.

So I decide 12mm Baltic birch would be sufficient material. I lined up vertically the solid strips to bear the weight and the cut outs to reduce the weight ( as well as increase function) and the action of sliding the pieces together to give it rigidity.

The only addition is the vertical ribs along the large panels edges. This serves 2 functions. The ribs grain is oriented perpendicular to the panel adding a magnitude of rigidity to the panel, as well as functioning as a continuous clamping surface from table top to the floor.

My gut instincts for the strength proved right, and the table is surprisingly stable. There is some slight movement perpendicular to the large panels, but it is very slight and has not proved to be a problem at all.

The local wood shop ( Windsor plywood) had medex 4x6 sheets on sale for $25, so I grabbed 2 of those to make full sheets for the tops and still have slightly less the half of the 2 sheets left. I wanted to use medex anyway because of its durability over time in a changing environment, and that particular score, made it an easy choice.

I do have complete plans in metric available in PDF. I used the 32mm number as my base increment and all measurements are a function of this. It turned out to be a great idea, as it helped a bunch in the layout and " universal" fit of all the pieces and the alignment of the 20mm holes on the table top.

The plans are really only a cut list and an exploded view of the table. Once I completed the technical work originally, the rest was easy. It can be literally cut with as basic as a skill saw and jig saw if needed, but I used a track saw and a router. A simple jig for the router and you can duplicate all of the slots and cut outs quite easily. I used a very inexpensive 1/4" upcut mortis  bit for the router and it made quick work of the whole project.

The neat thing about the table is the design, it can be made to whatever scale works for you and with whatever material you have or want to use. you can set it up with only the 2 big vertical pieces and the 2 horizontal ribs and it is completely stable and usable. Add in the floor side horizontal and the middle panels and boom! Full blow usefulness. It can be used with or without the top as a cutting station, or as I used it recently to add cabinet door panels to a man door ( to make a hidden pantry entrance) without the top, it gave the door full support while allowing me to clamp the door wherever I needed to attach the panels. All while storing my tools on the shelf just below the top.

Wonderfully multifunctional for me that's for sure!

As for making the plans available, I can surely sell them to whomever would like to exactly duplicate what I made, or give them a perfect starting to point to start their own version no problem. Since they are only a cut list and exploded view, without a step by step and material list ( don't really need either) I think asking for maybe 5 bucks for my effort should be reasonable. If anyone is interested, just shoot me a message and we can go from there.

If anybody does make one, from my plans or just from seeing my idea, I would love to hear about it. Every job site I have set it up at since I made it, has never failed to draw attention and comments.

Just to show off the pantry door I was talking about, here is a picture of the kitchen and the corner of panels hiding the door.

 


Offline Peter Parfitt

  • Magazine/Blog Author
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  • Posts: 3599
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2017, 03:21 AM »
Hi @2stix

That is a lovely kitchen - well done.

Which country are you in?

Peter

Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 10:08 AM »
Hello Peter

Thank you for making the parf guide system. It is a wonderful tool and so very well made. The accuracy of the finished tables is fantastic!

I am in Canada, on the western side in Alberta at the edge of the mountains.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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  • Posts: 3599
    • New Brit Workshop on YouTube
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 11:43 AM »
Brilliant - many thanks.

Peter

Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2017, 10:31 PM »
So I was loading up the truck and thought I would take a picture of the 2 tables and their parts and show how it fits into the topper area of the truck and to give an idea of the storage space required to store.

Using a truck and topper for my work means it is much more full by the time all of my stuff is in there. But this is the point the table goes in or comes out in the work flow.

I start a new large project next week and hope to get a few more pictures of it in action.


« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 10:35 PM by 2stix »

Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 189
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 10:57 PM »
Well Done!!!

Offline LooseSox

  • Posts: 54
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 07:30 AM »
Thanks for sending the plans through. I'm going to alter the dimensions slightly so it can act as out feed support for my job site table saw as well to make it a bit more universal to me. Now I just need to find the time to slot in its construction!

Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 08:14 AM »
Good luck LooseSox! Send me some pics when you get one (or 2!) done.

Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 04:17 PM »


New job started. Will try and post pictures of the table in use throughout the job.

Offline 2stix

  • Posts: 7
Re: I designed and built a Portable MFT style workbench.
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2017, 09:00 PM »
The vertical ribs on the big panels showed their worth today scribing a large L shaped gable. Sure makes what used to be a very awkward job very convieninet and safe. Also allowed for easy planer clean up of the scribe line.