Author Topic: Custom MFT Hybrid Workbench  (Read 1577 times)

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Offline fotojoe

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Custom MFT Hybrid Workbench
« on: September 21, 2019, 08:01 PM »
I’m planing a workbench to be somewhat of a showpiece (think Samurai Workbench) but very functional too. I want to use a perforated work surface design a la Festool’s mft or Ron Paulk’s design and so dimensional stability is crucial. However I don’t want to invest a lot of time dolling the thing up if there’s a high probability of a failed result. I live on the Wasatch front in Utah now having moved from the central coast of California but still keep a place there and may relocate the workbench back there later. I’d really prefer a solid wood surface and hoped to get away a 3/16 - 5/16” thick top hardwood layer over 1-1/2” of mdf for extra weight and dimensional stability (I read of success with this method on fw forum). Any thinner veneer though less prone to swelling/shrinking movement, in my mind would be purely cosmetic and I want a more robust but attractive wood surface. I’m open to any of the lighter colored hardwood species and am willing to go through the process of resawing to achieve quarter/rift-sawn stability. What about 3/4” bamboo plywood over the mdf? Anyone have experience using bamboo plywood for an mft top? Thanks, Joe
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 08:40 PM by fotojoe »
Have: TS 75 EQ, RO 150 FEQ, CXS Set, CT 36E
Want: DF 700 EQ, MFT/3, more Systainers

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Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3040
Re: Custom MFT Hybrid Workbench
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 08:32 PM »
The Walko tables were bamboo and had 20mm holes in them.  I had one for maybe 8 years and it worked well.  So I don't see a problem if you want to go with bamboo.

Personally, I like the lightweight MDF that is inexpensive, dimensionally stable and you can easily sand it down if there are stains, dings, etc.  And with a proper design, it can be replaced in time.  So many cut into the top for track saw work that you are giving up that advantage with a hardwood or higher quality plywood top.  Thin hardwood won't last very long and is easily damaged.  I'd suggest something more durable if you are using the bench a lot.

The benches I think of as showpieces are the ones that are Roubo style made with the hardware from Benchcrafted.  Beautiful benches that definitely up your game if you are into hand tools.  I'd think about how most of your work will be done - sheet goods or hardwoods.  Hand tools or power tools.  I like the MFT type benches but my primary bench today is a traditional woodworking bench made from maple with under-bench storage, over-bench storage, and a couple of vises and several hold-downs.  Far more sturdy than a typical MFT style. 


Offline fotojoe

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Re: Custom MFT Hybrid Workbench
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 01:44 AM »
Thanks, Neil. Good to know the Walko tables are bamboo. I intend to inset a plastic rod as a replaceable kerf trough and fix my saw track in one spot so it always aligns in the same place. I mostly use power equipment but occasionally break out the manual gear; hence the hybrid idea. I’ll only have one twin screw vice on the end. I’ll upload plan images later. Thanks
Have: TS 75 EQ, RO 150 FEQ, CXS Set, CT 36E
Want: DF 700 EQ, MFT/3, more Systainers