Workbenches With a Difference
I recently wrote this article workbenches that look too good to use where i pulled together a collection of the best looking workbenches I’ve seen and it got me thinking about how workbenches are changing to accommodate our ever growing use of power tools and changing methods. The Festool Multifunctional Table (MFT) is just one example of where the workbench has deviated from the norm and you can see why it is so successful when you look at the features that it offers. Now more and more people are taking the principles of the MFT and making their own custom MFT style workbenches to better suit their style of work.
I would absolutely love the process of building a “traditional” style workbench, but I also really think I would get the most benefit from some sort of MFT inspired workbench. I have come across some really interesting designs whilst looking for workbench ideas.
The Heavy Duty Custom MFT
One of my favourite workbenches is this one that I found on the Festool Owners Group by user VW MICK
It is absolutely stunning. It’s made out of Beech left over from a previous project and MDF, for the drawers and top. Now thhis would tick most of the boxes for me. It incorporates a front and tail vice that you would find on most traditional workbenches but also includes a lot very cool modern features. the Festool MFT table top uses 19mm mdf with 20mm holes on 96mm centers. So to be able to use the Festool accessories, VW Mick needed to make sure that his custom top met this criteria. Fortunately for Mick he had a friend with a CNC that owed him a favour.
VW MICK used his Festool Domino to cut slots in the legs so he can use dominos to support work vertically on the front of the workbench. He has also added a T track on the front of the bench to fit acccessories. Nice strong drawers on heavy duty runners make power tools and accessories quickly accessible.
Mobile Custom MFT
Here is another MFT style workbench from Festool Owners Group user squarecut. You can read his whole build thread here
This is a nice mobile solution for a woodworker who needed to be able to move the workbench around his garage workshop. The flip up extension wings give a larger work surface. Squarecut has incorporated a T-track for clamping workpieces vertically.
The Budget Custom MFT
Here is another custom MFT, that I found on the Festool Owners Group. by user slcd_steve. Steve wanted something a little bigger that the standard MFT and because of his height wanted something a little taller. So the sensible choice was to make his own. Steve managed to source all the individual Festool parts from his Festool dealer to make this bench.
Here is another bench from the Festool Owners Group by user mmarch.
In many ways, this looks like a traditional workbench. but mmarch has used 3/4″ black melamine. he’s used 3/4″ holes on 4″ centers. He’s made good use of space under the bench with the 6 drawers.
The Folding Workbench
This is very a very cool workbench and would be perfect for anyone with limited space and I think could very well be the best first project for someone getting into woodworking. You can purchase the plans for this at woodsmithplans.com. I’m planning on making this bench this summer with my nephew who is beginning to get into wood working.
The Ron Paulk Worbench
I don’t think we could not have the Ron Paulk workbench in this line up. Ron sells the plans for this workbench on this website. He’s now on version 2 of this cool mobile workbench and you can see a video of it here.
Integrated Router Table MFT
Here is a very nice customised MFT with integrated router table from Festool Owner Group user DWR
I really like the the pull out shelf in the right so that he has somewhere to put his TS55 between cuts. The narrow drawer fronts make it easy to get the Festool Systainers in and out.
Shopnotes Fold down Workbench
Another one for people who have limited space is this bench from Shopnotes.com. It gives you a good sturdy bench with a vice and wall storage for your tools.
Simple Fold Down Workbench
Here is a very simple and effective fold down workbench from lumberjocks user Woodgineer. I really like how the doors, when open, act as the support for the workbench.
If you have or have seen a workbench that you think is really interesting please send me a pic I’d love to see it.