The MFT Sysport

Occasionally there are projects you wish you had done sooner. This is such a project, but I couldn’t do it in the confines of my old shop. Under my MFT was a huge pile of scrap that I couldn’t easily do something with, so I needed the MFT to remain on it’s own legs. In my new shop though, I didn’t have that restriction. On a whim Saturday morning, I set out designing this project.

An MFT Sysport is something that has been done many times over. I knew about what I wanted out of the project, and knew that existing designs would accomplish those goals. The main goal was to get the MFT more mobile so that I could pull the attic ladder down easier. I was dragging the MFT a bit out and toward the door to clear the swing of the ladder, and it wasn’t fun. The MFT being put on any sort of wheels would make that easier. Another goal was to create more storage space for systainers and anything else I needed.

As I was indeed cribbing established designs, that part of the process went quickly. I knew that I wanted side small storage closest to my workbench, so it was really about drawing up exactly what sizes the panels were and where they fit together. I stole the measurements as well, as this was to be my first entirely metric project.

The 3/4″ plywood was bought from Lowes, which frankly offered much better quality for a similar price to what my local lumbar yard is selling for. It’s ridiculous that shop grade ply is nearly $50 a sheet. I paid exactly $50 a sheet for much nicer looking top ply and few voids. I had all the pieces cut within an hour, even one piece too many for some reason. I decided that it would all come together in a hybrid of styles – the bottom sheet would attach to the vertical end piece, and two side end pieces with Dominos and that went easily enough. The spine was also done with Dominos, in field. This was my first successful implementation of non-edge mortise making with that. I then switched to screws to further attach the spine to the bottom, the end to the spine, and a couple of my inner vertical pieces to the side end pieces. I also then used pocket screws where necessary, and attached the top with more face screws. I’m being a bit lazy in my description here, but none of this is really complicated stuff.

I had used my LR32 system to give some drawer holes to the outside on 16mm spacing. Doubling up like this gives more options to hang the drawers. I only did the front holes because I was a bit lazy, plus they really aren’t needed in this application. Pick which front hole I want to put the drawer slide in, get it square to the front edge with a drawer slide tool, and just drill the back hole with a screw. On something that is better than shop furniture I’d do two full columns. I also made mistakes on getting everything set up somehow, and it must be how I attached the end stops. I can’t figure out exactly how, but I did it at least three times unfortunately. That also played a role in not doing a second column for each.

The CT Midi just barely fits in one of the spots for drawers, and I may need to drill some vent holes. But it fits. The MFTis just sitting on top for right now, I need to cut up some 1/2″ ply so that it has a cleat to sit in. Just four pieces to sit inside the MFT corners is fine. I bet glue would work, then a pin or two after it dries.

The pic up top shows my Trion mounted as an example, but I really have no idea what I’ll actually store here. My drills would be a very good choice. I will also have at least a couple regular drawers for stuff like pliers. Perhaps a drawer or two for MFT accessories, I have no idea. I spent $60 on four 5″ locking casters from Rockler, and about $7 to mount them with 5/16″ carriage bolts, washers and nuts. I may need to buy more short drawer slides, but I am converting my entire chaos wall from single to double systainer depth, so I’m not sure.

Really happy with this, it feels rock solid, it was simple to make (about six hours total build time), fairly inexpensive for the benefit, and greatly increases my storage capability. Everything I would want out of a shop project. Plus, it makes getting upstairs easy. And, when I have the ability to move it outside on a deck, I can free up assembly space inside or work with much bigger pieces. I could also eventually buy or make an extension so that in a new shop I have even more surface to work with.

 

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