Festool – Stories and other news.

Mark Maxfield: The king without a crown

Mark Maxfield lives and works in the Cotswolds, which are considered to be the “Heart of England”.
He might not be an avowed royalist, but he’s a Festool fan through and through. At a construction site that is anything but usual, he tells us why.

Even as a 12 year old, Mark Maxfield wanted to become a carpenter. In 1982 he started his apprenticeship and then spent almost a year working in a joinery. He then switched to a construction site, worked in the historical colleges of Oxford University, and then worked throughout the country on various construction sites for the same company for 34 years.

Over time, he realised that he wanted to do his own thing: be free, try things out, learn new things.

In 2014, he founded his own company Maxfields in Witney and has been working on some of the most amazing projects and properties ever since.
It’s the start of May. Two days before the coronation, the whole world is watching London. We have an appointment with an uncrowned king of timber construction, about two hours by car to the west of London. On our way through a picturesque village in the Cotswolds, the streets become noticeably narrower and the houses increasingly English. At the entrance to our destination, Mark Maxfield is waiting for us. He is a man of impressive stature and greets us warmly. When he opens the rear doors of his van, he beams even more: There are Festool Systainers and machines, batteries and rapid chargers, extractors and multifunction tables from the floor to the ceiling; and a fixed workbench too. “Welcome to my workshop!” says Mark, explaining: “I work almost exclusively on the construction site. So I always have everything I need here with me in my van.”

“What I really like about the new cordless table saw is the digital pre-setting. This means I can set two different cuts on one workpiece at the push of a button. And it‘s ultra precise.”


Paul De Livron: The Ultimate Wheelchair

How did you get into building wheelchairs?
I trained as an engineer at the Arts et Métiers. After that, I worked in production for a few years and then in patents. None of the positions in which I worked in appealed to me. I stopped everything at the end of 2019: I opened myself up to the unexpected. When the first lockdown arrived, I created the stories “Coco le virus – Le coronavirus expliqué aux enfants” (“Coco the virus – the coronavirus explained to children”) with my sister Marguerite to accompany families and childcare professionals during the first months of the health crisis. We had a little success, which made me realise that I should continue to be entrepreneurial.

“I made a proposal to Pope Francis, who has been using a wheelchair for a year now, that if I gave him his own model when he came to Marseille, he could become an ambassador for my project. He agreed!”

How did you come to embark on this adventure?
A few years ago now, I made the decision that I would one day make my own wheelchairs. When I had finished my first wooden model in mid-2022, I actually used it, went out and about in it, and was amazed at the interactions it sparked with strangers I met.

Some photos published on social networks also generated unexpected hype. So I was sure that wooden wheelchairs, as I envisioned them, had great potential, and I decided to devote myself to the development of this project full-time.
Why did you choose wood as the material for your wheelchairs?
I chose wood primarily because it is much easier to work with than metal or composites, and the tools needed to work with it are much more accessible. I can therefore dream that, one day, wooden wheelchairs will become the efficient wheelchairs manufactured and used in the least developed countries of the world. This would be inconceivable with wheelchairs made of titanium or carbon fibre.

What was your biggest challenge in this adventure?  My biggest challenge is yet to come!


Festool with you everyday: John Argyle’s Story

John Argyle is the owner of Enfield Refurbishments, trading since 2012.
John currently has one apprentice called Lisa, and they mainly work in carpentry and joinery on older properties.
John’s love for woodworking started when he was just 6 years old, visiting his grandparents for Sunday lunch


“My Grandad was a chippy and used to tinker about in his workshop, making hand tools in those days when you didn’t buy them off the shelf. You used to make them and I found it interesting.”

At 16, John found an advert in the newspaper and applied for a Young Apprentice Carpenter position; John’s first official entry into the woodworking industry.
This ignited an interest around where timber comes from and how it is prepared; “it’s a passion for oak that I’ve never been able to lose.”
Over the last 30 years, one of John’s greatest career achievements is successfully training 15 people. His knowledge and use of quality tools has created industry experts.
Festool has provided support, making the training simpler, with the right tools and smart systems.
“Why would you want to cut something twice, when you can cut it right the first time? The easy way is the Festool way for us.”

Multifunction table MFT/3
“My very first Festool bench was the MFT 1080, bought in 2000. It changed the way I worked on site and gave me the facility to custom make joinery items accurately with ease and was my introduction to the Festool system.”

Cordless drill C 18-Basic
“C 18 was my very first Festool cordless drill. My favourite all round drill coupled with the CENTROTEC system makes it invaluable.”

Geared eccentric sander ROTEX RO 150 FEQ-Plus 230V
“I had never used a sander that could outperform a belt sander on wood; it has such great extraction, with aggression and finish like no other.”

Cordless mobile dust extractor CLEANTEC CTMC MIDI I-Plus
“CLEANTEC dust extraction systems; extractors and hoovers that last all day without over heating or tripping out. Now with battery packs, it’s a huge benefit. On top of all those benefits, Festool provide Systainers, offering full mobile transport of tools to and from the job site.”

Plunge-cut saw TS 55 FEQ-Plus 110V
“TS 55 was the first plunge saw I mused back in 1997 and I have never looked back. This takes workshop accuracy on site to the next level.”

The exoskeleton for tradespeople: ExoActive
ExoActive – Available from October 2023: The first active exoskeleton for overhead work in trade applications.

The ExoActive now makes light work even of strenuous overhead tasks. Whether dry mortarless construction, painting, wallpapering or installation, whether on walls or ceilings, the ExoActive exoskeleton for projects and construction sites gives you extra power when your arms get tired and take the load off your neck.

For you, less physical exertion means greater effectiveness, better focus on the quality of your work and enjoyment of your work. You can regulate the required power on the exoskeleton in a matter of seconds so you get targeted support precisely where it’s needed. The ExoActive is lightweight and easy to wear, just like a rucksack, and can also be adjusted to your individual height.


Makes work easy for you: The ExoActive exoskeleton supports you under your arms to take the effort out of working on walls or ceilings.
The active system with its powerful 18 V battery provides extra power to give you the exact support you need during tiring overhead work.

Targeted support: Whether from the waist up, at chest height or overhead, you can set where you would like support and increase the level in a matter of seconds.
This way, the ExoActive gives you targeted support precisely where it’s needed.

Fits like a glove: As easy to put on as a rucksack, it can be quickly personalised to your height and ergonomics that are perfectly tailored to you.
Once you’ve gotten used to it, you won’t want to start working on a wall or ceiling without the ExoActive ever again.

Festool with you everyday: The Gary Banks Story

Gary Banks has been in the woodworking industry for around 20 years and has worked in almost every type of carpentry and joinery job including roofing and shuttering.

Today Gary is a proud owner of Banks Carpentry & Joinery business creating and fitting bespoke furniture.
“I got into carpentry from a really young age. Me and my dad used to build little wooden boats and put them in the bath, I knew from then my path for my life would be carpenter and joiner.”


Each project that Banks Carpentry & Joinery take on is unique, with its own personality and is carefully thought out from start to finish. Gary takes pride in being there for each project, every step of the way, with the help & support of Festool.

“I get excited about Festool tools, what has fascinated me the most is the fact that the individual tools along with everything else is perfectly coordinated as part of one system.”
Therefore, when you see Gary’s workshop you understand that Festool to him is more than just a tool brand it’s the way of life. So, what’s in Gary’s joinery workshop?
“I get excited about Festool tools, what has fascinated me the most is the fact that the individual tools along with everything else is perfectly coordinated as part of one system.”

Gary Banks

Here’s a list of Gary’s favourite products:

Cordless Plunge-Cut Saw TSC 55 – “This was my first ever Festool product. With its speed and accuracy, this made cutting sheet material a dream and where my Festool journey really began.”
Mobile Dust Extractor CLEANTEC CTL MIDI – “Festools extraction is key to keeping healthy from all the hazardous dust and chemicals that are produced and contribute to keeping job sites clean and tidy and keeping clients happy. If I had to pick a specific dust extractor, this one is a favourite!”
Joining Machine DOMINO DF 500 Q-Plus – “This machine has made joining and assembling furniture easy, again with its high accuracy and strength with the domino biscuits, you cannot fault it.”
Eccentric Sander ETS 150/3 EQ-Plus – “With so much prep to be done on finishing furniture, it’s good to have a sander which is lightweight and reliable. The finish this sander produces is next level.”
EHL 65 EQ-Plus One-Handed Planer – “With so many components when installing on the job sites this planer makes scribes and fillers easy to customise and fit. With its lightweight functionality and ease of use.”
Systainer³SYS3 DF M 187 – “The Systainer system is a key reason why I am so much more organised. From the workshop to the van and to the job site, everything works so well.”
Router OF 1400 EBQ-Plus – “This medium sized router is probably used daily in my workshop. It’s lightweight, and accurate, meeting all our routing needs easily.”
Multifunction Table MFT/3– “Probably my favourite workbench. We use these both on site and in the workshop, as they are sturdy and easy to clamp parts to.”
CENTROTEC Chucks and Drill Sets – “With so many different combinations of screw sizes and ways of assembling fitted furniture, this quick function and quality drill sets make life easy.”
CARVEX PS 420 EBQ-Plus – “This jigsaw is a must have for job sites. Cuts fillers and scribes with ease with the benefit of good dust extraction and a light.”


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