Mark Maxfield

King without a crown - Festool With You Every Day

Mark Maxfield – Festool With You Every Day

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

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, and 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.”

The skilled joiner and carpenter is in his element when it comes to wood. He is currently working on the roof truss of a long, narrow shed, which is to be used as a fitness suite and outdoor eating area from the summer. With expertise and sensitivity, he tries to maintain as much original material as possible. “Depending on the condition, we have even succeeded in doing this with the beams and girders from the other building,” explains Mark, “occasionally we have even hollowed out the girders and reinforced them with synthetic resin or steel.” However, there was not much of the shed’s old roof truss left to save. So, for the new development, he recalled an old timber construction technique that works entirely without screws, nails or metal anchors: stands, purlins and head bands are mortised and secured with strong oak dowels.

“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.”

Traditional techniques and modern tools

“This type of project is a constant reminder of the wonderful tradition of your own craft. But when I unpack my machines and start them up, I can really appreciate how easily and precisely work can be done today,” says Mark Maxfield happily. In the blink of an eye, he sets up a small machine park in the shed. He uses the large HK 85 nearly every day. The SYS-PowerStation together with the SYS-PowerHub supplies the plunge-cut saw with plenty of power. And because he also wants to be mobile and independent when it comes to dust extraction too, he has purchased the new CTC MIDI cordless extractor. “In the early years, it took a lot more effort to do a good job. But since I’ve been working with Festool tools, I really look forward to working with my machines,” says Mark.

At first he wasn’t interested in getting his most recent acquisition, but now he genuinely raves about it. A close friend and valued colleague told him about the new Festool CSC SYS 50 cordless table saw. “I immediately waved it aside,” recalls Mark, “but then he came to me and let me try it out. Two hours later, I had ordered it.” Mark Maxfield is a man of conviction, who is not easy to convince. But when he falls in love with a machine or a tool, it’s true love.

Mark’s Top Festool Picks

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