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Multi-Function Work Bench

If you’re a finish carpenter and have never incorporated a work bench with dog holes and vertical clamping into your onsite tool-kit, it’s time to change your thinking. Similar to the Fein MultiMaster plunge-cut saw, there are many tools available that you come across and wonder, “How often will I really use that?” But once you own it and use it, you think, “How did I ever live without this tool?” That’s how I feel about our “Multi-Function Slab,” dog-holed worktop.

To keep cost down, we created our own worktop with dog holes and clamping troughs to work seamlessly with all Festool products, such as the Festool Track Saw. We’ve named our table the Multi-Function Slab (MFS) because of the vast types of projects it can be used for and its slim, lightweight profile makes it easy to transport and quickly set up once on site.


(Note: Click any image to enlarge)

To create greater job efficiency and accuracy, we decided to add a MFS to each of our jobsites. Working with a local CNC shop, we CNC these from 1-in. thick sheets of MDF, which keeps the table cost down to about $150 per top and shelf (as shown below). Build one of these for yourself and you’ll be amazed at how often you use it!

You can see all the details about the table system in the following video:

And you’ll find even more details about the table on our website.

Here are the general specs of the table:

MFS Table and Lower Shelf-1-2

And the general specs of the shelf:

MFS Table and Lower Shelf-2-2

These three 3/4-in. deep troughs are ideal for storing screws or driver tips and other small hand tools while allowing materials on the table to glide over them. MFS 3-1
MFS 5-1 The tool tray is the key to this set up; it’s fantastic to have your tools and Festool track saw tracks on hand directly below the table.
The dog holes are laid out in exactly the same pattern and size as the Festool MFT so you can easily use the Festool vertical and/or horizontal clamps and Qwas dogs in any combination as we do. MFS 6-1
MFS 7-1 With 11 clamp troughs located on three sides of the slab, strategically sized and positioned to handle any length material, vertical side clamping is one of the most useful functions of this table system.
The ability to use any style or manufacturer of clamps such as Festool Quick Clamps, IRWIN Quick-Grip Bar Clamps or screw clamps makes this feature incredibly versatile. MFS 8-1



Head Shot-1Steve Olson is the owner of Rise Construction, a San Francisco-based remodeling firm focused on residential remodeling. With an interest in streamlining his projects, Steve is often reinventing tools and processes to best fit his business needs; the MFS found at is one example of this. When not remodeling homes, Steve spends his leisure time kite-surfing and boat sailing on the San Francisco bay and around the world.


14 Responses to “Multi-Function Work Bench”

  1. Jim Lynde

    Enjoyed the Vids on the Multi Function Workbench.

    You have a nice personality
    and are very good at presentation.

    Also a Boat Sailor is tops in my book. (:-))

    Jim Lynde, North Hollywood, CA

  2. Evan Kistler

    Really slick design – thanks for sharing it and the video!

    – Evan

  3. Steve Posey

    Huge step forward !!! This is a lightweight, compact version of my Paulk Workbench …
    Gotta have one !

  4. Warren Smth

    Steve —

    What a wonderful Idea. Thanks for sharing and making the plans available. Well thought out and set up.

  5. Kent Brobeck

    Steve, really a very clever idea. I really like it! Great Video presentation as well. Any ideas on how to join two together?



    • Steve Olson

      Yes Kent we’ve simply used a 4″ piece of plywood attached to the bottom. That’s a cheap and easy way to connect them in a very solid way.

  6. Steve Olson

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks so much for the very nice feedback. Everyone who’s had one of these made really enjoys working with it. It’s exciting to see how much woodworkers love this concept.

  7. Emanuel

    Hi Steve,
    Just finished reading and watching the work bench. Great job on finding ways to make your job easier with better and faster results using a great custom tool. I’m looking into upgrading my worn out work tables. I’ve used them through out the years here in New England for inside and outside work. With out them, I don’t know how I would of been so productive. Looking into using some of your great ideas along with that very useful shelf.

    Thanks again and look forward to reading more of your articles

  8. Benjamin Kaminski

    I really like this bench! Just an FYI, the CNC prices I’m seeing are in the $350 area for bench and shelf. That’s here in Colorado Springs.

    • Steve Olson

      Hi Benjamin,

      That’s interesting it’s so high. You may want to keep looking for a more cost effective CNC shop. I’m paying $160 per sheet of MDF and each sheet gets a slab and shelf and that’s here in SF bay area. Most of the people who have these made world wide are paying around the $150 price for CNC.

      • Benjamin Kaminski

        I got another price for $190 to $225 for the two pieces. CNC shop time seems to be $75 an hour everywhere around here, but the estimated times to do the work vary drastically.

        The big problem is that the competent shops don’t want to do such a small job and the one incompetent shop I checked with wanted an exorbitant fee. I’m happy with the $190-$225 range since it’s a good shop that’s willing to do the work.

  9. Larry Recob

    I think you have a real winner there. Can you recommend a CNC shop in Orlando? Thanks.

    • Steve Olson

      Hi Larry,

      Thanks so much for your comments. Yes everyone who buys these seem to really love them. Sorry but I don’t know of any shops in the Orlando area. I’m sure a Google search will reveille a few. I’ve also found that cabinet shops often own CNC machines so call a few of those as well.

      Happy Woodworking

  10. Roger

    Hi Steve

    Love the MFS – as you say, once you have one you can’t be without it.

    Your MFS video is set in a kitchen with some great looking units taking shape around you. I very much like the horizontal figuring on door fronts – I guess it’s real wood veneer. Can you please say what it is?


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