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Jobsite Bench in Mike Maines built in video

zkb245's picture

I just watched the videos of the built ins at Mike Maines house. Nice series, and was wondering if we may see a little more about his on site setup. I am most interested in the bench he uses. I have been contemplating some kind of set up like this for my work and do not know if something like the Festool Multi Function Bench is worth going for. 

Zkb (post #212409, reply #1 of 4)

I'll try to get in touch with Mike and let him know about your question here.  Known Mike for years on this board, finally got to meet him this past fall.  Good guy, dedicated to his craft and generous with his knowledge.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


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Calvin, it was great to meet (post #212409, reply #3 of 4)

Calvin, it was great to meet you and Joyce in person. Thanks for letting me know about Z's question.

Hi Z. Thanks for the (post #212409, reply #2 of 4)

Hi Z. Thanks for the comments. The bench is something I'd been contemplating for years but put together just before the video. Before that I had been using a bench with store-bought banquet table legs and these adjustable cutting supports: http://www.eurekazone.com/product_p/ezt2200.htm. You can see it in this article: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/articles/a-faster-easier-approach-to-custom-cabinet-construction.aspx. When I wanted a solid top I would just throw down a piece of plywood. Crude but effective. Not exactly fine woodworking.

That setup was worn out, too low for my aging back and too ugly to show on video. Moving to a new/old house I didn't have a lot of time to spare, but wanted a new bench that was lightweight, portable and multi-function. I wanted the underside to be open, to have a place to stash the vacuum and other tools. The top is 34" x 68", 33" high. That height keeps it below my other tools so it's never in the way (unless I have too much crap on it). 

I used white pine for everything, which is strong for its weight. The legs are 1x's joined with Dominoes, with the stiles projecting up to engage slots in the bottom of the bench top. I would use 5/4 next time, as the legs are somewhat flimsy. They work fine for light use but sometimes catch and bend when moving the bench in its assembled state. I don't recall if it shows in the video, but the base folds into sort of an "M" shape. 

The top is a frame with a rabbeted edge to receive the bench top. To make the rabbet I built two frames, joined with either pocket screws or Dominoes (I forget), with the same outside dimensions but wider stock for the lower frame, then screwed the two frames together and wrapped 5/4 nosing around the assembly. Sliding bolts on the underside lock into the raised stiles of the base. The top is just pine boards, gapped so sawdust will fall through, and a hand-hold cut out of the center.

We decided not to show it in the Festool-sponsored video, but the tabletop flips over to reveal the same Eurekazone sliding supports as my old table. The router table shown in the video also fits down into the benchtop recess, but in that position it wouldn't work in the room we were working in. 

At the moment the bench is being used for other purposes. It turns out that having a lightweight, sturdy table of this size, that you don't have to worry about damaging, is really handy on a small farm like ours. I've thought about putting together a Sketchup model of the bench and may get to it someday. It took me the better part of a day to build, designing mostly as I went, with mostly scrap wood and hardware, but if you were to buy the parts new it might be $100 in material. 

I don't have experience with Festool's MFT, but like everything they make I'm sure it's well thought out and well made. I have a hard time buying things I can make, but if I had the cash and the need I would certainly consider the MFT. 

Mike, Thanks for responding (post #212409, reply #4 of 4)

Mike,

Thanks for responding with the information on your bench. The price for a custom made is sure better than the festool. I have not seen the eureka zone stuff before but can see many uses for the products they offer. It is great to know that as a young person in this world of building I am able to find a ready resource of knowledge and support.  I did not ever expect to get real life help from the guys in Fine Homebuilding. I owe a lot to those who instilled a pride in craftsmanship and the direction to this forum years ago.  Thanks for taking the time to contribute to this and sharing with me.