Author Topic: MFT top for router station  (Read 2551 times)

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Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 210
MFT top for router station
« on: May 19, 2020, 12:25 PM »
My workshop is small (its a standard single 60's UK garage - not even big enough for a modern car), and my router station tends to stay in the middle. It gets used a lot as a router, but also as a general purpose bench as I can get to three sides of it.

Having just replaced the tops on the built in workbenches that run the full length of each side wall, I had 1/3 sheet of 18mm birch ply left over. This has now been made into a MFT style 'lid" that fits over the router station (don't need to remove slides, fence or lower cutter) It fits snuggly on to the table top and is secured by two M8 screw/knobs that mate with the router fence slots.

I'm now thinking of making a thin 'sacrificial" cover sheet that I can use when glueing or applying finishes.

I used the UJK Parf guide system to mark out and cut all the holes in this and the build in benches. Can highly recommend it.

Retired engineer/scientist

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Offline TSO_Products

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 384
    • TSO Products LLC
Re: MFT top for router station
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 08:49 PM »
@AstroKeith - your creative solution to limited shop space epitomizes the old saying that "necessity is mother of invention!"

Along with Richard RMW over here in the USA , you demonstrate that constraints are only constraining us when we let them. Your post is an inspiration to the rest of us to get over real or imaginary constraints in our woodworking by finding ways to prevail anyway.

Thanks for the inspiration to make better use of the space all of us have. Maybe we'll see some more posts of creative solutions to shop space constraints? - other submissions, anyone??


Offline john stevens

  • Posts: 819
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: MFT top for router station
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 07:48 PM »
Good idea.  Thanks for sharing here
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline JayStPeter

  • Posts: 401
Re: MFT top for router station
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 10:15 PM »
I can relate.  That's a pretty good solution.

My old shop was half of a 2-car garage.  But, I had to share it with my 2 motorcycles, all of my mechanics and household tools, and the large trash bin.  Basically I had a 10x10 shop with some extra outfeed pathways.  One motorcycle would catch pieces cut on the tablesaw longer than about 6 feet on the rear seat.
So of course, I built this giant router table.  It's 28"x48".

In today's configuration, it is an oversize poorly designed router table.  But, back in the old shop it was the only other surface other than the table saw.  I also had a miter saw hanging on the wall on a really long shelf at about shoulder height.  A really tall miter station.  But, even at that height a lot got done on that heavy duty shelf.
The router table was also my workbench.  If you look close you can see the remnants of the vice mount on the right side.  It had to be shaved down when I put drawers in there, but back in the day that was an open cavity with a bunch of junk piled in there.  I had a baltic birch top I would put on it.  I would take off the fence and use the t-tracks and the miter slot to secure it.  That was my assembly table and the place I would rebuild motorcycle carbs.
When I got the ATF 55, it became my cutting table.  I would put a piece of foam insulation on it and use it to cut down plywood.  The table isn't quite big enough so I would add an extension.  The extension secured in the vice and used the old open door for support, which was just a piece of plywood.  That's why the door is held on with a piano hinge.  It was also my outfeed table.
When it got to my new shop and became just a router table, I cleaned it up and added drawers.  Occasionally, I am glad I still have it as I have recut bearing edges on some bass drums and really needed that size.  But most of the time it is in the way and could be much smaller and tuck under something.
Jay St. Peter

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 210
Re: MFT top for router station
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2020, 06:00 AM »
So my router MFT top has morphed into another change.

I have an old table saw, works well enough and I only really use it for ripping down planks. But it was trapped behind the router station and didnt move easily either. It wasnt getting used when needed.

I really like the router station and MFT worktop being in the centre of the workshop. Productivity (& quality) has gone up.

So I came up with a design for the router table top, and saw table, to share a new combined custom bench. Its not pretty but uses an eclectic assortment of old timber - sapele, oak, spruce, & birch ply. Cost nothing.

The MFT style top still clips onto the router station end, where it lives most of the time.

When routing I now have the option of removing the fence and utilising the saw table surface. (I'm now tempted by the Incra fence set up!)

The bench is on two drop down wheels and I can pull it out easily to use the saw table. Again I can remove the router fence to utilise the router worksurface if needed.

If needed, the MFT worktop can be attached to the rear of the saw table section to provide a run-off surface. It simply drops on to two 20mm pegs that are fixed to the back of the saw table and my trusty old multi-stand supports the far end.

There's space underneath for the CT Midi.

So far it seems to work out really well.

Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Chris Cianci

  • Posts: 108
Re: MFT top for router station
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2020, 10:17 AM »
It sure looks like you are maximizing your utilization of space.
Have fun

Offline john stevens

  • Posts: 819
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: MFT top for router station
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2020, 08:44 PM »
I have an old table saw, works well enough

BT-3000 or BT-3100?  I used to have a BT-3100.  Either way, nice job!

What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart