edit: this article is about the original sysport workbench in my first small shop, a few years later I moved to a larger shop and made an updated version of this workbench here.
My homemade sysport workbench has become an invaluable addition to my workshop, it is built around optimizing the Festool system and the use of modern power tools and techniques. Back in 2011 I made a quite awful video of my workshop featuring this workbench. The amount of views and comments it keeps getting has completely surprised me. And on a regular basis I also get mails from around the world from people asking for more info and plans.
That is why I took the time to make this page and also make an instruction manual for those interested. I have been working daily on this workbench for almost two years now, and besides a few initial design details there is nothing I have or want to change about it. Be assured that in the plans I used my experience with this bench to work out those details!
Above you can see my workbench, the model from the plans has a few improvements. before designing this workbench I had built myself a couple other more classical or traditional workbenches based on the roubo with a split top. But I realized these designs were completely outdated for the kind of woodworking that I did, based on modern tools and techniques. Because they were designed in a time when methods and tools used by the common cabinetmakers were different. Some like to hang on to the old tools and techniques, but for the common professional cabinetmaker of today it is simply not possible any more.
The sysport workbench sort of combines the best of two worlds, you have a solid and stable workbench that has storage and clamping options optimized for today’s tools and techniques.
Above you can see that not only the top can be used to clamp, but also the whole front can be use to clamp and support work pieces. This comes in extremely handy when routing in hinges on doors.
I personally couldn’t imagine working without a shop vac any more, but having it in the way is a real pain.
That is why this workbench incorporates it, and the above shelf is useful for laying tools in so they don’t clutter the worktop. By coincidence I was happy to find out that the sys5 from my domino XL fitted perfectly next to the vac under the shelf!
Above you can see what makes it a “sys” port, today’s work is based around power tools and having them and their accessories quick and easy within hand reach is crucial. the systainers from Festool are ideal for this, but you could just as well build your own tool boxes for your power tools. I also used the available free space above the systainers to build in some hardware drawers, this was a later addition that I didn’t plan initially. But it turns out to be a great feature, the shallow drawer on the left is ideal for storing screws and the deeper one on the right is used for sandpaper.
You can either use the above pictures for inspiration or buy the complete plans.
The plans are a 13 page pdf book with worked out a formuladetailed instruction of the build, and a sketchup model of the complete workbench. Everything is in metric and I to calculate the positioning of the drawer configuration of your choice.
Making such plans takes a certain amount of time, and only by asking a reasonable fee I am able to take that extra time for this and other projects Press the button below if you wish to purchase the plans, available in English and French.
UPDATE since February 2017 these plans have been replaced by the SYSTEM WORKSHOP plans.
Contact me if you have any questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who wish an invoice with separate VAT can contact me with their details and european VAT number.
If you built a sysport workbench I would be delighted to post pictures of it here on my site, so don’t hesitate to send me some.
To get a better idea of the system and some more ideas it is useful to take a look at how the area around the workbench, which was initially unused, has evolved over time.
Below you see how it currently is at the beginning of 2013, on the left there is a sysport extension that is more simple and which has 3 double drawers, and on the right there is my router table. During the holidays of 2011-2012 I built the 3 wall cabinets, the left and right ones are used to store my growing collection of systainers, and the central one is a shallow open cabinet in which I store my router and drill bits and their accessories!
Below is a close up of my rail storage, it is a simple piece of wood that gets wider at the bottom so that the rails lean backward, a small domino is used as a stop.
Below is the central shallow cabinet, the back is made of perforated hard board. On the right I store all my router bits, copy rings and other accessories. I used to store these in my router table drawers but i find that this method gives you a better overview of what you have and i think it just looks great!
On the right I store most drill related stuff, again having all these within eye sight and hand reach all the time is better than keeping them in a closed drawer full of cr**! You can just pick them off and place them back while working, avoiding clutter.
Below you can see a detail of the left side, I actually used the Festool LR32 system to drill these holes.
Router side of the cabinet:
Below the MFT clamp storage, and also the wrenches to change router bits.
Below you can see how I hang the rail clamps with a simple piece a T track screwed to the bottom of the cabinet.
And here is a detail of the systainer wall cabinet, it’s a simple cabinet made with 18mm melamine panels, and a pegboard back. It is assembled with domino’s and I use it to store the systainers that I don’t need daily.
This sysport was made by Warwick, he places his boxes sideways in the drawers.
Below is a modified sysport workbench made by Thomas from France:
This one is from Kenneth in the USA:
This one is from Bruce in Portland and his comment:
“These are some picture of the worktable, it was a very fun project to built. I haven’t decided what to do with the left side drawers, on the right side I did screws and CMS inserts.”