For the traveling, on-site craftsperson that is Festool’s target market, handling large sheet goods can be tricky, particularly when you’re a one-man or one-woman show. Table saws are impractical to lug to jobsites, and even if you had one there, muscling a full sheet of plywood into the blade is difficult to do safely. In this case it’s better to bring the tool to the workpiece, which is why the tracksaws pioneered by Festool (and now manufactured by everyone) have become a wild success.
Which still leaves the problem of working with large sheets. Festool’s answer is the STM 1800, a portable workstation that folds up to fit neatly into trucks, vans and jobsite elevators.
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When unfurled it offers approximately 6′ square of support area, if you want to place a sheet onto it to use as an assembly table. If you’re placing a sheet up there to cut, the table can effectively accommodate sheets as massive as 3100mm x 2150mm (roughly 7′ by 10′, or a good deal more than a yankee-dimensions 4’x8′ plywood sheet).
A neat feature: The table is designed to be tipped onto its side, allowing the user to place a large sheet onto the supports, then tip it back into a horizontal position.
The height is adjustable from 27-5/8″ to 35-7/16″, allowing both the short and the tall to work in comfort.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
Festool hasn’t added the product to their website yet, but Joel from Tools for Working Wood (a Festool distributor) has the skinny on it here.