Portable MFT and track saw or Mitre saw and workmate for fitting/making utility room

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Nick_

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Over the years doing small bits of DIY I’ve picked up some Makita tools, buying as a job needed or else when I could get away with saying it’s needed! :) I have Makita multi tool, impact driver, drill and 36V track saw, which I chose over a circular saw or chop saw due to space. I also have a pretty old workmate that tries to chop a finger off every time i try to open or close it.

With my son away at University, I’d like to start a bigger project, a craft room for my wife. Some furniture may be purchased and just need fitting, but I’d like to use the project to learn woodworking skills - I’ve made shelving, cupboard doors, erected garden fence etc, but never built something substantial.

I’d like some advice on any particular tools I would need for this project, but one of the important decisions I have is whether to add a portable MFT tables, a square and some rails, with the plan to use the track saw for everything, or for this type of project would a mitre saw be more appropriate? I do not have a workshop, so I’d most likely be making stuff outside or in the room.

I have looked at the Bora Centipede, which appealed for the small storage footprint, but wasn’t sure whether to go for a 4’x4’ version and add and additional 4’x2’ if i needed extra surface area further down the line, or just get a 6’x4’ straight from the get go. Very new to the forum, and to woodworking, so apologies if I’ve not included enough information, but please let me know if that’s the case and I’ll provide here.

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Hello nick and welcome , I will try to help some of your questions and hopefully others will help with the rest. One of my best purchases of 2023 was a pair of bora speed horses -add a couple lengths of 4 x 2 and a sheet of osb or plywood etc and you have a portable working platform of whatever size you need. I got the ones with adjustable feet and was so impressed I got a 2nd pair . A couple of minutes and you have a strong stable platform to work from . I also added the ujk compact mft table and a few clamps , dogs etc to help with assembly of projects and components -a game changer for me as I’ve often gone wrong gluing up etc . As for tools well everything you mention you will probably need at some point so I always go with what I need against what I can afford . Your workmate looks like it’s served several masters over the years so an upgrade will work well for you . The centipede set up is good but my garden slopes and the adjustable feet on the speedhorses work well . Also I can easily transport this set up to other jobs with the minimum of effort . Hope this helps
 
I do not have a workshop, so I’d most likely be making stuff outside or in the room.
Dust is your big issue if cutting indoors, cutting outdoors means you are at the mercy of the weather.

The Bora gets some good reviews, another option are these tressles that take a 4 by 2.

https://ffx.co.uk/products/toughbui...stable-jobsite-trestle-table-twin-pack-128765
These also have adjustable legs to allow for uneven ground outdoors but fold up so can be put out the way indoors.
 
Thank you both. My research was starting to lead me towards sawhorses because of the flexibility of size and handling of uneven ground. It looks like I’ll get a lot of use out of them, not just as worktop legs.

@Bingy man, the workmate has had a lot of use over the years for sure. It was handed down to me from my father-in-law, twenty years ago. I’ll still keep hold of it for sure.
 
Hi Nick. You sound to be in a similar situation to me.
I have the toughbuilt sawhorses above. I love mine, but do bear in mind that they are quite heavy.
If you will potentially doing a lot outside if you don’t have cover from the elements, might a pop up gazebo be a valuable addition?

If buying an MFT top see my threads here for storage (more to follow once I’ve actually followed through with my plan) and for one of our members who provided me with a high quality, lightweight and well priced MFT top.

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/temp-fixing-work-bench-top.145602/#post-1704322
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/cnc-mft-top-bought-and-recommended.145687/#post-1705279
 
I have a Bora Centipede 4x2, and made an MFT top for it, using Peter Parfitt's pattern included in the Parf Guide II. I put a collar of battens on the underside, and it sits over the top of the Centipede and doesn't move.

I use Parf guides, and have two of the Parf System fences, and a Makita track saw. I have one of the hole covers on the side of the track saw, and use a Festool vac. It still chucks out sawdust though. If starting again, I'd probably go with BenchDogs, but I built up my kit piecemeal, so can't complain.

I have a collapsible gazebo thing to use in the back garden that we bought for a party.

I no longer use my mitre saw, as I can do everything on the Centipede. I also have a nice Japanese Dozuki saw, which I can use to cut mitres on trims and so on.

A DECENT vac is a must. Even my Mrs likes my Festool vac now.

I say again.

A DECENT vac is a must!
 
Another vote for Bora Centipede 4x2, and MFT top. Easy to store and easy to setup. I have a benchdog hinge and square but for me I think parallel guides would have been more useful than the hinge. I 3printed the bits for parallel guides based on steel runners and they are good enough.
 
Hi Nick. You sound to be in a similar situation to me.
I have the toughbuilt sawhorses above. I love mine, but do bear in mind that they are quite heavy.
If you will potentially doing a lot outside if you don’t have cover from the elements, might a pop up gazebo be a valuable addition?

If buying an MFT top see my threads here for storage (more to follow once I’ve actually followed through with my plan) and for one of our members who provided me with a high quality, lightweight and well priced MFT top.

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/temp-fixing-work-bench-top.145602/#post-1704322
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/threads/cnc-mft-top-bought-and-recommended.145687/#post-1705279

Thanks @Filament, we’ve followed the same path. I’ve just ordered a two piece board to go with saw horses. It seems the most flexible, and although the saw horses are heavy, It’s not like I’ll be constantly moving them am putting them in the back of a van. It will only be when I get a chance, and then it will be from shed to garden.

Boards will be 900x990. 990 being the width of the saw horses including 47mm for each of the 4” x 2” bearers. Chris is going to add fixing holes along the board that i can match on the bearers and the hold in place with wooden pegs.

Thinking about how best to add a removable cross bearer across the joint for when I use both boards together.
 
I have a Bora Centipede 4x2, and made an MFT top for it, using Peter Parfitt's pattern included in the Parf Guide II. I put a collar of battens on the underside, and it sits over the top of the Centipede and doesn't move.

I use Parf guides, and have two of the Parf System fences, and a Makita track saw. I have one of the hole covers on the side of the track saw, and use a Festool vac. It still chucks out sawdust though. If starting again, I'd probably go with BenchDogs, but I built up my kit piecemeal, so can't complain.

I have a collapsible gazebo thing to use in the back garden that we bought for a party.

I no longer use my mitre saw, as I can do everything on the Centipede. I also have a nice Japanese Dozuki saw, which I can use to cut mitres on trims and so on.

A DECENT vac is a must. Even my Mrs likes my Festool vac now.

I say again.

A DECENT vac is a must!
That’s really useful info about the guides, I’m looking at the benchdog bundles. fast accurate and repeatable cuts is the main thing I’m after, as well as a much larger surface area than the workbench. Glad to hear I might not need a mitre saw.

The Japanese Dozuki saw looks very nice.

As for a vac, I have a skyvac atom (I clean mine and my neighbours gutters) that would be too big to have in the house, but will hopefully be good for dust extraction outside if I can get a hose adapter to fit.
 
Thanks @Filament, we’ve followed the same path. I’ve just ordered a two piece board to go with saw horses. It seems the most flexible, and although the saw horses are heavy, It’s not like I’ll be constantly moving them am putting them in the back of a van. It will only be when I get a chance, and then it will be from shed to garden.

Boards will be 900x990. 990 being the width of the saw horses including 47mm for each of the 4” x 2” bearers. Chris is going to add fixing holes along the board that i can match on the bearers and the hold in place with wooden pegs.

Thinking about how best to add a removable cross bearer across the joint for when I use both boards together.
Try joist hangers available in several types and sizes
Simpson SAE380/47 Face Fix Hanger 47mm
£2.30
TC Fixings
30-day returns
Joist Hanger
·
Bracket
Something like this to suit your 2 x4 . You may need to pack it up to the height you need ..
 
Great stuff. Bear in mind that they are made for US 2x4s which differ in size to uk.
So if you want flush, find a wood yard that can plane a couple to the size you want
 
Nick
I made this folding stand and homemade MFT top. It provides quite a sturdy solution although it is a bit over engineered. I made it predominantly for my track saw and cutting sheet materials but it's useful as as assembly bench too.
I have to work outside quite a lot due to lack of space.
On my Makita track saw I fit a dust bag and whilst not being perfect still collects the majority of dust.
 

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