Steve Olson owns Rise Construction, a San-Francisco remodeling company that focuses on residential work. For more on the bench or to purchase plans see Olson’s website.
Steve Olson enjoys working in a shop environment because tools and power are close at hand and there plenty of work tables—conditions that can’t always be met on the jobsite. But as a remodeler, most of his work takes place on site and the success of his business depends on being efficient wherever he is. To that end he designed the Multi-Function Slab (MFS), a dog-holed worktop inspired by Festool’s Multi-Function Table (MFT).
Olson based his design on the MFT because he’s used one for years and likes the way it allows him to clamp anywhere on the surface. What he doesn’t like about the MFT is the cost ($460 for the smallest least expensive model) and how difficult it can be to store and transport (the legs fold but it’s still kind of bulky). Olson’s design addresses these shortcomings. The MFS is a bench top you can work on and clamp to in many different ways—more ways than you can with an MFT. It has a tool storage shelf, is easy to store and transport, and is inexpensive enough to leave on the jobsite without being afraid of what might happen to it.
The MFS is made from 1-inch thick MDF and can be supported by your favorite sawhorses—Olson uses manufactured plastic horses because they’re light and fold flat for transport. He could have made the top himself; instead, he drew the plan on CAD, took it and two sheets of MDF ($50 each) to a shop with a CNC machine, and paid them $150 to do the machining. For a total cost of $250 he got two tops plus the tool storage shelves that go beneath them.
This top could made by hand, but with all those holes and slots it’s more easily made with a CNC machine. You can download a CAD plan of the top from Olson’s website for $18, email it to a local shop with a CNC, and have them do the cutting. After picking the parts up you’d have to route the screw holding troughs, round over some edges, pair it with some horses—and you’d be ready to go.
See below for photos and video of the features of the MFS.
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