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  • Portable Workbenches

    In this thread I'll list some links to various workbench designs I have found that I think might interest some of you. A number of them are made to use with other brand tools, and Festool seems to be one brand that for some reason has a large number of these modular or portable workbenches crafted by users. But I don't see a reason why they can't be adapted to work with other brand tools where modification may be necessary. In some cases it's just a matter of using another brand of tool. But some of the features are designed to work with a specific tool or accessory available from Festool or some other manufacturer and would require some modification to work with other brands, if at all.

    Anyway, I think there are loads of good ideas in the workbench designs presented here that can be incorporated into your own stationary or portable workbenches.

    Now the Paulk Workbench some of you may be familiar with. Ron Paulk, a builder came up with this design a few years ago and sells plans to his bench and there are loads of videos on YT showing various versions built by others and also the miter stand and second generation bench that Ron designed.

    A year or two ago I might have put up a link to a workbench/cart, the MFTC, that Tim Wilmots designed which is also very popular. But I think that got lost when all my posts were deleted this summer so I will put a link in this thread to the YT video about that one too.

    Makita also uses the Tanos Systainers for their tools just a Festool does. They are nice in that they stack and interlock and are modular. The boxes themselves are light but sturdy. They are not the type of box you would be throwing around in the back of your pickup though, they are not intended for that. A number of the benches or carts that I have seen are built around housing these storage boxes.

    The Paulk workbench is not tool brand dependent meaning it can be used with any track saw and the miter station can be built to use any brand miter saw. Ron Paulk is a big Festool fan but that doesn't mean his designs are limited to use with Festool products.

    If any of you are looking for ideas on fitting out a trailer as a mobile shop you might want to look at the 50+ videos Ron has uploaded detailing how he went about building his trailers from design in SketchUp to finished product. Again lots of ideas you can use in your own trailer.



    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...FSk8uOmIEP3BJ1

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...nqlmxHAwdx6C83



    Last edited by Bob D.; 01-10-2018, 11:39 AM.
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

    https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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  • #2
    In case some of you guys have the Festool mft's, but you have to hurry, it's a limited run.
    Woodpeckers has come out with a new One Time Tool ? a more affordable MFT Square.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mightyservant View Post
      In case some of you guys have the Festool mft's, but you have to hurry, it's a limited run.

      I would get the square from Anderson Plywood before the Woodpeckers. Half the cost and just as good in my opinion.

      https://www.andersonplywood.com/squa...ol-mft-square/

      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

      https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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      Comment


      • Mightyservant
        Mightyservant commented
        Editing a comment
        Great price, excellent site. Still, I like the material and the pins of the woodpeckers.

      • Bob D.
        Bob D. commented
        Editing a comment
        They're both made from phenolic. The woodpecker is phenolic plastic and the one from Anderson is phenolic impregnated plywood.
        They're both sturdy and will hold up well.

        I like Woodpeckers tools, I have a few of them. But in this case I wouldn't spend $70 for their MFT square.

        I'd take part of the ~$50 savings and buy a couple Parf dogs for $15 from Lee Valley and pocket the rest.
        http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...85&cat=1,41637

        Really, if you have an MFT/3, you don't really need a setup square, you can cut your own using the MFT/3 if you have it set up right.

    • #4


      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

      https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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      Comment


      • #5
        Or make your own work surface with this kit available in the US and Canada from Lee Valley.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

        https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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        Comment


        • Mightyservant
          Mightyservant commented
          Editing a comment
          Excellent videos, never even knew you could make that kind of top with out having to go to a CNC shop. The thought of doing that seems to curb my enthusiasm. Thank you for posting these !
          Last edited by Mightyservant; 01-11-2018, 01:32 PM.

      • #6
        If you are referring to the spacing between the holes they are very accurate, the grid spacing is the same throughout. Your attention to detail when drilling is probably the biggest factor in the accuracy of the grid. If you are not careful when drilling your pilot holes or when using the guide bushing to drill the 20mm holes then you could end up with some differences in spacing or alignment. But if you follow the steps Peter shows in the video it is almost foolproof.

        There are also patterns you can download (some for free) and take a piece of MDF to a local CNC shop and have a top made for you. If I were to go that route I think I would take a whole 4x8 sheet and have it done since the setup would be most of the work. Yes, it would take more time to do a whole sheet vice a roughly 3'x4' piece but then you would have enough to make a couple worktops of various sizes.









        I have seen welding fab tables that use the same pattern and I know that Bessey and others make many clamps for metalworking that can be used on such a table.

        This site has some good examples of what I am talking about if you have not seen them before. I know nothing about them just found the site in a search just now.
        https://weldtables.com/





        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

        https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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        Comment


        • #7
          Steve Ramsey has some great projects and videos. Here's one where he builds a stand for a RIDGID compact table saw.

          "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

          https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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          Comment


          • #8
            I was a little surprised how he built it, I figured he would build it out of plywood but it worked out great. I've got a built in cabinet with the same type of drawers of couple of which need some work, after seeing this I could probably make some repairs or replace them. I need to get some of those Kreg clamps, sure made assembly easier, I'm always screwing around with Pony clamps.

            Going through the Lee Valley catalogs is a little like going to Disneysworld, you'll never go back to Disneyland after that
            Last edited by Mightyservant; 01-11-2018, 01:48 PM.

            Comment


            • #9
              I really like most of these and have always wanted to make Ron Paulk's version. However, I had some Christmas gift cards to burn so I picked this up, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-1-...5047/205887786 . It's actually a great little table. I plan on adding a couple of 2 x 4 rails to make it longer for holding bigger sheets. Typically, I use a 3' x 3' piece of plywood on top of sawhorses at work but I thought this may be a little better, we'll see. I doubt that I will ever use the router table part, maybe on a personal side job. I really like the fact that the legs "twist lock" if you will in place, they aren't going anywhere.

              Just my 2 cents worth.

              Comment


              • Mightyservant
                Mightyservant commented
                Editing a comment
                Clever design, I like that you can store it away, use it as a router table, clamp slots.

            • #10
              Another transportable workbench system.


              Last edited by Bob D.; 02-25-2018, 10:04 AM.
              "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

              https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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              Comment


              • Mightyservant
                Mightyservant commented
                Editing a comment
                Very creative, nothing like really needing something to drive your creativity.

            • #11
              Good thread - lately I've been running out of space to store new tools and also find ways to have more workbench space that can be broken down. Need to look at some new options.

              Comment


              • #12
                Originally posted by museum_guy View Post
                I really like most of these and have always wanted to make Ron Paulk's version. However, I had some Christmas gift cards to burn so I picked this up, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-1-...5047/205887786 . It's actually a great little table. I plan on adding a couple of 2 x 4 rails to make it longer for holding bigger sheets. Typically, I use a 3' x 3' piece of plywood on top of sawhorses at work but I thought this may be a little better, we'll see. I doubt that I will ever use the router table part, maybe on a personal side job. I really like the fact that the legs "twist lock" if you will in place, they aren't going anywhere.

                Just my 2 cents worth.
                ok, an update. I've been using this for a while at work and have been forcing myself to use it. The reason is, habit. I'm not used to having it available tome so it goes overlooked. Since I've been using it, it works wonderfully. I finally bought the clamps that fit the T-slot and they are a big help. I can clamp parts safely and use a router without the possibility of the part moving on me. The table sets up and breaks down in seconds. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a portable workbench.

                Comment


                • Mightyservant
                  Mightyservant commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have to admit when you originally posted this I was very skeptical however based on your recent comment i took the time to read the instruction and assembly manual as well the product video.

                  I'm not a fan of the Husky lineup in general however this might have to be an exception. I'll check one out next time I'm at HD.

                  It is a little smaller than I'd like it to be and if you could attach another table to it to make it expandable it would be really great.
                  http://toolguyd.com/husky-portable-workbench-review/
                  Last edited by Mightyservant; 03-11-2018, 10:47 AM.

              • #13
                The table comes with brackets that attach to the sides or ends of the table that will hold a 2 x 4 which expands the table to a larger size. There is a video online, can't find it now, that shows this. I was going to buy 2 until I saw the video. So far, I haven't needed a larger table. With my line of work, this is perfect. With other jobs that I've had, I would have attached the 2 x 4's already for a bigger table. I do a lot of custom closets and they always seem to be on the 2nd floor. The compact size and easy portability make this perfect to carry to the 2nd floor. Also, the other day, I had to route a rectangular hole in an entertainment center shelf. I was able to clamp the shelf to the table and then clamp the template to the shelf without worry of anything moving. Oh, I originally bought the wrong clamps that fit the T track. The instructions inside of the box tell you that you need 2" throat depth clamps. The correct clamps work great. Again, this is just a review of this particular table, not a comparison to any others already mentioned.

                Comment


                • Mightyservant
                  Mightyservant commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Your probably thinking of the product video which can be found at HD online by going through the different views one of which is the video that shows the 2 x 4 attached with the brackets among the other features.

                  It's a nice table and reasonably priced.

              • #14
                my best portable welding table is my truck,

                Click image for larger version  Name:	welding truck 001.jpg Views:	1 Size:	358.3 KB ID:	728450
                I have repaint it and did some small improvements, on it, and added an air compressor on it, but for welding it is great,and if I need some thing in the shop I either grab some aluminum work stands or a couple of 55 gallon drums and put a sheet of something over it,
                Last edited by BHD; 03-12-2018, 02:04 PM.
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                Comment


                • Mightyservant
                  Mightyservant commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've got a buddy with a similar set up, he added a big vise and a peice of 2" angle on the back to keep things steady, he uses that rig at least once a week to weld up stuff for himself or friends.

                • BHD
                  BHD commented
                  Editing a comment
                  kind of sunny, I was looking for heavy differential for building a trailer, and this guy had this truck, so I offered to buy it from him, as he had stopped driving it, he said you can have it, So I said I bring in the trailer to get it, he said it still has plates on it and still insured, just drive it home, so I did,

                  that was about 8 years ago,

                  I put the welder on it, and since it had the welding bed I put a torch on it, and put some receiver tube in the bed and made some pockets for vices and wire rollers and what ever I would want to added,

                  changed the rims from 16.5 to 16" so I could buy tires for it, or find used,

                  I have repainted it, yes it was a brush job, but looked a lot better than rust, and until you get with in a few feet of it one can not tell,

                  been a good truck for me,

                • Mightyservant
                  Mightyservant commented
                  Editing a comment
                  During a recession back in the 90's work was extremely slow in town and the shop guys had nothing to do. We had a couple of Toyota flatbed dualies which by the way we're the best truck we ever bought even though they were on the small side.

                  They were pretty beat up and since there was nothing to do they bought some body repair tools and car paint, built a spray booth out of lumber and polyethylene sheeting and sprayed painted them right there in the pipe yard.

                  They weren't even Earl Sheib nice but it kept the guys busy for about a month.
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