Author Topic: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories  (Read 4190 times)

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Offline Chad Hamel

  • Posts: 10
    • Oronoko Woodworks
Hi,  long time intermittent lurker and its my first time posting on here.  While I don't know anyone on this forum I know I have a lot in common with probably most anyone reading this.  A good craftsman is always looking for new solutions to old problems.  I'm thankful for some gained wisdom lurking while in these forums over the years.   I thought I'd share my bench project, hopefully it can help someone else with theirs.












Its taken a few years to get around to making a more permanent home for Festool in my shop.  What started as a drawer stack became a proper workbench and a system of work in my shop. 

The dust collection boom and track in particular have been a game changer in my shop. The dust boom pictured is my 3rd version and one that will likely remain.  It moves smoothly and is lightweight. When moving the tools you can't feel the boom moving around above.  No more dragging the hose over the edges of the table or hooking a hose on another tool.

All the track saw tracks are hanging from above. This is by far the most convenient storage for those long track I've found. 

My names Chad and here's my Festool Shop Bench.  Enjoy!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2021, 12:51 AM by Chadhamel »

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2021, 11:00 PM »
Nice cabinet! Especially like the wrap around dog holes. Don't think I've seen that before.

Offline Don T

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 11:09 PM »
Nice job on the bench and welcome to the FOG.
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Offline SRSemenza

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2021, 11:28 PM »
Welcome to the forum!  [smile]

                   Nice bench and cool sandpaper drawer.

Seth

Offline elfick

  • Posts: 640
Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2021, 12:35 AM »
Great looking shop! I don’t want to be greedy but do you happen to have a pic of the 4th side of your mft bench?

Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2021, 12:53 AM »
Thanks!  If Im honest,  I fired that off before I had all the pics attached.  I added a few more.

Offline Chainring

  • Posts: 114
Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2021, 01:57 AM »
The drawer pulls. Those had me for a second.

Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2021, 08:26 AM »
Really awesome shop you have! Do you have a CNC? Noticing lots of precise pieces cut out - lest you've got steady hands!

Offline FestitaMakool

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2021, 09:39 AM »
Truly inspiring workshop!

There’s many many very nice details and thoughtful solutions you have done, from the boom arm in the ceiling and to the MFT bench.

As for one who’s thinking of using a MFT/3 with a cabinet below, and still keep the outer dimensions - this is brilliant, and it kicks butt in the direction I want to go too.

Thanks for sharing!
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Offline squall_line

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2021, 09:54 AM »
Truly inspiring workshop!

There’s many many very nice details and thoughtful solutions you have done, from the boom arm in the ceiling and to the MFT bench.

As for one who’s thinking of using a MFT/3 with a cabinet below, and still keep the outer dimensions - this is brilliant, and it kicks butt in the direction I want to go too.

Thanks for sharing!

Completely agree!

That said, I long for the day when I don't have to fold up sawhorses and pack everything back against the walls of the garage after I'm done with a project.  Foldable/portable workstations that don't flop around seem to get pricey in a hurry (not that the rolling MFT pictured isn't also a bit of a spend, of course).

Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2021, 10:14 AM »
Really awesome shop you have! Do you have a CNC? Noticing lots of precise pieces cut out - lest you've got steady hands!

Steady hands on this one.  I built it working backwards from the constraints of different tools features and sizes. So the bench kind of evolved as it was built.  I do a lot of small part detail work so this went pretty quick in between the head scratching. 

Offline dashboardpws

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2021, 10:17 AM »
Fantastic job!

Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2021, 10:30 AM »
Truly inspiring workshop!

There’s many many very nice details and thoughtful solutions you have done, from the boom arm in the ceiling and to the MFT bench.

As for one who’s thinking of using a MFT/3 with a cabinet below, and still keep the outer dimensions - this is brilliant, and it kicks butt in the direction I want to go too.

Thanks for sharing!



Completely agree!

That said, I long for the day when I don't have to fold up sawhorses and pack everything back against the walls of the garage after I'm done with a project.  Foldable/portable workstations that don't flop around seem to get pricey in a hurry (not that the rolling MFT pictured isn't also a bit of a spend, of course).

The stuff that's now in the bench was spread all over the shop.  Drove me crazy. Dozens of boxed abrasives stacked, no idea what I was running out of.  My shops not huge, so I fight for every bit of space.   The footprint and outer dimensions was the first criteria when I started making this. 

The real cost on this, is of course time.  Materials weren't too bad.  I spent a lot of time on my traditional workbench about 14 years ago and I don't regret all that time spent. Still reaping the benefits of doing it right the first time and never looking back except to add a new feature here and there.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2021, 11:36 AM »
Very nice bench Chad and the drawer organization for sandpaper and other items is nicely done too.

Welcome to the Forum.

Can you expand on the boom as far as how the swivel works.
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Offline Vondawg

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2021, 11:51 AM »
Very nice! Looks like you better start posting more often
There are no mistakes....just new designs.

Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2021, 12:00 PM »
Very nice bench Chad and the drawer organization for sandpaper and other items is nicely done too.

Welcome to the Forum.

Can you expand on the boom as far as how the swivel works.

Sure.  At some point I'll gather some pics off the build.  There's some hidden stuff in the swivel that's sort of hard to explain.  I used a 18"-19" medium duty tv ring swivel sandwiched between a bunch of ply circles.  In my previous dust booms the lowest disk was hanging below the swivel hardware.  Worked fine for 5 years but those swivels are more made for compression forces.  So on this one the lowest ring with the ratchets on it connects through the inside up to the top ring above the tv swivel.  I played with a lot of options.  I found the wide footprint of the swivel made everything smoother and supports weight really well.   The ratchets can loosen the 80/20 15 series extrusion so I can reach a little further or reel in extra hose.
The tracks just have a plow that the dust boom slides on to reach any of my benches.  I found that I didn't want the whole swivel device to move to freely on the track so I didn't consider pillow blocks and tracks or similar.  The hose and power cords unfasten quick in the event I want the hose for something else or site work.  Power comes through the top of the dust boom and down to the ct vacuum.  I used a Bosch hose for a while until Festool dropped the D36mmX7m hose.  The longer hose was huge for getting a little more reach. At some point I'd love to play with Festools wall dust boom.  This configuration just allowed reaching the whole shop which I couldn't do with anything else.   

Offline Crazyraceguy

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2021, 08:25 AM »
Really awesome shop you have! Do you have a CNC? Noticing lots of precise pieces cut out - lest you've got steady hands!

Steady hands on this one.  I built it working backwards from the constraints of different tools features and sizes. So the bench kind of evolved as it was built.  I do a lot of small part detail work so this went pretty quick in between the head scratching.

You really did all of those by hand? That seems like a project that is just begging for a template/router/ and a bushing. Then you only do the by hand part once.
Great looking shop. I like the boom arm set-up. I need something similar, but haven't worked it out yet. As it is now, my hose hangs over a kneewall when not in use, and drags on the floor when in use.
The main sticking point is that I swap between 2 hoses, depending on application. My router table has it's own hose and power cord. I swap the cord/hose when using it. This is far from ideal. I may just end up getting a CT15 to solve it.
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Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2021, 09:12 AM »
Really awesome shop you have! Do you have a CNC? Noticing lots of precise pieces cut out - lest you've got steady hands!

Steady hands on this one.  I built it working backwards from the constraints of different tools features and sizes. So the bench kind of evolved as it was built.  I do a lot of small part detail work so this went pretty quick in between the head scratching.

You really did all of those by hand? That seems like a project that is just begging for a template/router/ and a bushing. Then you only do the by hand part once.
Great looking shop. I like the boom arm set-up. I need something similar, but haven't worked it out yet. As it is now, my hose hangs over a kneewall when not in use, and drags on the floor when in use.
The main sticking point is that I swap between 2 hoses, depending on application. My router table has it's own hose and power cord. I swap the cord/hose when using it. This is far from ideal. I may just end up getting a CT15 to solve it.

Well,  "by hand" of coarse isn't really by hand.  Templates and jigs are sort of by hand for me. The process was one that I tried a few things as I built, to hone in on what worked best rather than go through another prototyping phase.  Aside from assembly finish and a few dominos this can all be done on cnc now that some of the design choices were made along the way. There's of course always a couple things I'd do a bit different as with any project I make. 


I can relate to swapping and moving hoses and cords.  I can feel that stuff drain my momentum in the shop. Only an extra step but they add up.  The most likely result was I'd just run stuff without dust collection, being all in a hurry.  I couldn't trust myself to be good about dust collection unless I made that part of my work super easy. 

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 269
Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2021, 10:41 AM »
As introductions go, this is the best I have seen!  Welcome to the FOG, Chad!

You have a great shop and did a wonderful job with customizing it.

Offline nicholam77

  • Posts: 88
Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2021, 10:41 AM »
This is awesome! I love the MFT bench and the boom arm. I like how the bench is utilitarian and practical with the tools out of their cases and at the ready, but still some really nice detailing like the rounded corners that echo the MFT itself, and "T-Loc" pulls. If you do have pics of the boom arm construction, that would be very cool to see, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how the internals work.

Is that a single vac hose on the boom? The hose on my CT15 is like 1/3 the length haha.

Awesome shop, thanks for sharing!
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Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2021, 11:35 AM »
This is awesome! I love the MFT bench and the boom arm. I like how the bench is utilitarian and practical with the tools out of their cases and at the ready, but still some really nice detailing like the rounded corners that echo the MFT itself, and "T-Loc" pulls. If you do have pics of the boom arm construction, that would be very cool to see, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how the internals work.

Is that a single vac hose on the boom? The hose on my CT15 is like 1/3 the length haha.

Awesome shop, thanks for sharing!

I love the systainers for site work and transport.  Nothing better.  I also love the clean look of tower walls of systainers in shops.  I just always had a bunch open in the shop as I was always swapping out tools. when I get going in the shop I just get tool explosions on all the work surfaces and am left without space for the work I was trying to finish. 

The tools that hang off can all be moved wherever using the 20mm holes everywhere.  I used the veritas bench anchors.  It basically operates like the hardware for a bike stem.  The hooks and track saw both pop off with an Allen wrench.

I never store clamps in the closed position either. One of the first things I learned in the first shop I ever worked in.  Clamps look nicer closed but doubles your work closing them to store them and again opening them to use them.  Open clamps are ready.  So hanging all the clamps and jigs off the sides speeds things along.  Common theme with this build is everything is a reach away with no more than one interaction required. 

The pulls are pretty great.  I really wanted the bench to fall as close in line with a Festool aesthetic as possible. 

Gimme a few days on the boom details... Its super simple and any of you could make it in a Sunday afternoon.  I haven't really delved into content creation but a video on the boom would be easy to pop out. 30 seconds of video and it would all be clear.  Its been possibly the best thing I've done for my shop.  Super cheap to make and can be easily adapted to different height ceilings.  The bad news is that the longer hose which is fairly new only works on the larger size ct vacs. The hose is the D36mm x 7m.  So its both larger diameter and about 22 ft long.  You'll also need an adapter to size down to the tool dust ports.  I'll put a parts list together on that for people to adapt to their own shops. 

Offline Chad Hamel

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    • Oronoko Woodworks
Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2021, 11:59 AM »
I’d like to thank you folks for the compliments and thoughtful replies.  I don’t want to be the one to bump my posts replying to everyone but thanks to these folks as I didn’t respond directly. 
@MikeGE
@Vondawg
@dashboardpws
@FestitaMakool
@SRSemenza
@Don T
@Michael Kellough

It’s always great to have feedback among peers.

Offline mino

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2021, 12:09 PM »
I really like the idea of making the bench into an extraction/power nest. NEAT!

Combining the extraction boom run with power delivery to a moving "island" bench is a true mark of an inventor.

But the best by fart is the paper storage with the extremely simple yet effective separators between the papers. Those win 1st prize with me!
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Offline Chad Hamel

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Re: MFT custom shop bench, dust collection boom and bench accessories
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2021, 12:51 PM »
I really like the idea of making the bench into an extraction/power nest. NEAT!

Combining the extraction boom run with power delivery to a moving "island" bench is a true mark of an inventor.

But the best by fart is the paper storage with the extremely simple yet effective separators between the papers. Those win 1st prize with me!

Dude..  "power nest" is a really really great description. 

I had plans for much more complex sandpaper organizers so I waited a while to settle on something practical. The triangle ones were still more involved I used a table saw to kerf and a few passes with a large radius bit to get the same slight curve as the sandpaper.  I couldn't figure out a way to efficiently organize those laying flat. 

ha, you said "fart"  [big grin]

Offline krismarkduthie

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Wow what a fantastic set up! I recently made my own MFT style bench with an aluminium extrusion base. I've been trying to plan a boom arm setup for my workshop as I need to be able to break down big sheets down before they get to the MFT. Would love some photos for inspiration if you'd be so kind?  [big grin]