But when I started doing larger job site work helping out other woodworkers I noticed something was not right. Often working on the floor or on shabby work horses at best didn’t feel right. So I started thinking what I could come up with to make working on site as enjoyable and practical as working in my own shop.
While thinking about this I tried to find as many problems and issues I found with how most woodworkers work on site, and tried to fix as many of those problems as I could in one solution.
That is how after about 10 months of planning, building and testing prototypes I came up with the MFTC!
Basically it is a portable workshop, a folding worktable on wheels that contains the basic tools, and can be moved around as a hand truck.
It features a tool shelf with room for a shop vac underneath, which also makes the workbench very stable.
Adjustable feet, 4 systainer drawers and a bottom drawer for accessories.
The worktop has the same length as a Festool MFT table, only it is 1 row of holes less wide to allow easy passage through doorways and in staircases.
The feet of the MFTC have the same holes as my sysport workbench, these allow me to insert clamps and pegs to support work pieces vertically. below you can see the many clamping options and also note the holders on the side for drill bits.
Below you can see the size of the workbench when folded and unfolded, it has the same height and length as a Festool MFT, when folded up it takes less than 50cm in depth, this is ideal to store against a wall in the garage or in the trailer/van.
Here you can see the bottom drawer which contains all the necessary accessories and more. When designing this I really tried to incorporate as much as possible into the same design, so that you greatly reduce the amount of moves needed to get everything from the van/trailer to the site. The reinforcements at the front allow me to pull the cart up into the trailer or truck bed without damaging it.
The homemade accurate hole pattern allows me to use bench dogs to make accurate cuts without any cumbersome or delicate guide system. The longer dogs that support the rail are parf dogs.
On the left side of the MFTC I put 2 screws that allow me to hook my battery charger to it.
One of my gripes with other portable worktable designs was that the size was fixed, they would often be too large to work in small rooms, or not big enough to work outside. That is why my design had to be made so that it could be adapted to any type of space or work requirement.
So I came up with simple folding extension tables, i made two tables that can be attached all around the MFTC by sliding them into the T-track. That way you can adapt the table to your needs, when using a mitre saw on the table you can make it longer on both ends to support long pieces.
But by placing both extension table on one end you end up with a table large enough to easily support full sheets. These extension tables have sacrificial strips of wood on top of them so you can saw into it, and replace them when worn too much.
Here you can see a full sheet of MDF being supported by the table, while working with this on site I also discovered that placing my systainers underneath this table was very practical.
I paid great attention to reducing weight as much as possible, below you can see how these weight reducing openings also serve to store rails while working. there never seemed to be a good safe place to put them while on site before!
Below you can see that you can also slide two 1400mm rails into the MFTC table for transport, in my trailer I attached two blocks against which I can hook the MFTC easily for safe transport, because of that I can use the MFTC as a sysport and still
access all the drawers from the front. Push locks prevent the drawers from opening while driving or when moving the MFTC around!
With the extension tables many options are still possible, you could build in a router table, saw table or cover them with a MDF sheet with holes. Anything is possible and they are quite easy to build!
Below you can see the rear of the MFTC and on the front you can see the transport handle extended.
Below you can see a picture i took while building a built in library and testing the unfinished MFTC, clients were really impressed! The right extension table allowed me to cut parts without cutting into the mdf worktop. It also supported the Kapex at times.
You can use these images to try and build you own MFTC, or simply buy the plans. Remeber it took me 10 months of work and building 2 prototypes to get to this result. It is only by selling the plans for a reasonable price that I can make this work worth my time as an independent furniture maker!
Here is a list of tools i used to build the MFTC, some are required(R) strongly suggested (S) or optional (O)
- table saw /track saw R
- router R
- drill R
- jig saw R
- domino joiner S
- planer O
- band saw O
- jointer O
- mitre saw O
- sander O
- brad nailer O
- pocket hole jig O
Contact me if you have any questions or requests at email@example.com
Those who wish an invoice with separate VAT can contact me with their details and European VAT number.
If you built an MFTC I would be delighted to post pictures of it here on my site, so don’t hesitate to send me some.
Press the below button if you wish to purchase the plans, MFTC plans are available in metric and adapted to imperial, they are also available in French and in German. French translation graciously made by Manu from the kokumotsu blog
The plans contains a 50 page pdf instruction manual with pictures and explanations of the build process, but also simple layout sheets for each part with quotations and obviously the sketchup model.
On this forum thread you can read tips and comments from MFTC builders over the world!
Below are no less than 3 MFTC workbenches made in Pittsburgh USA!
with a comment from the business owner:
“I also would like to add that Tim’s plans were excellent and the design/engineering is great!
Only changes I had to make we’re that when I made the top my t slot purchased from McMaster-Carr was too thick to route in So we ripped the inner layer of the frame down and applied a band of hardwood around the top to go above the t-slot. And we also used 3/4″ ply for systainer drawer bottoms that we cut as Tim showed but also routed to accept the bottoms of the original Style systainers”
Below is Rich’s MFTC from the US and his comment:
“Thank you for your work on the design, it’s extremely useful and mobile. I’ve gotten a ton of good reviews from customers and even turned a few other carpenters on to your design. Look for more purchases of your plans from Massachusetts, US. I haven’t drilled the holes in the top yet until I get the LR 32 system from festool and will be building the table extensions as soon as my schedule permits. Thanks again!“
Below are Pierre’s MFTC’s from France, note the added router table:
This one was was made by Alan in the US, also check out his cool MFTB living room table!
This one was made by Zoltan in Slovakia, used in his living room with different tops for the extension table, here seen with a scroll saw mounted.
Below is Sébastiens interesting MFTC with added router table extension:
Below is Bjorn’s MFTC from Germany
Below is Dominique’s MFTC from France:
Below is Freddy’s MFTC of frswoodworks.com in the old LA Lakers stadium!
Below is Richard’s MFTC from the Georgia, USA and his comment:
“I have enjoyed building the MFTC and the two extension tables, Excellent design. As i get more Festool gear i will build a second MFTC. Attached are some photos.“
Below is Geoff’s MFTC from the UK:
Below is an MFTC made in New York
Below is an MFTC made in London UK:
Below you see the MFTC made by Stefan C. From Oregon (USA)
He used baltic birch ply to build his, and for the legs he used a foot meant for a pre threaded metal table leg, with a 2″ all-thread coupler embedded in the wood. He recommends waiting till the end of the contruction to build the legs and side supports so you can adjust them to the actual size of the body or table, in order to make up for slight deflections.
He also used a different method for securing the drawers in place, by running a pole through a hole at the back of the drawers. A sturdy option i had considered as well, but was afraid it would not look practical in the video.
Here is another MFTC made by Eddy-V from France
This one was made by tristan in the UK
This one is from George from Canada