CNC Stand Table

I’m about to place my order for a Woodworker and my thoughts have turned to building a stand. I have reviewed some of the posts on this forum but I’m still unclear on what I should build. I thought I would turn to the collective mind to give me some guidance. With that said I recognize that there is no right answer and solutions are situational. I have placed some bullet points below that relate to possible features or options that one might see in a stand and would appreciate any comments you have on some or all of the points. If you were to build a stand what features would you include? I hope to learn from the group and create a thread that will be useful for others.

Frame

  • Steel vs wood?
  • Best size, LWH?
  • Style, size, and weight bearing capacity of casters or levellers?

Top

  • torsion box or simple wood surface (MDF/plywood).
  • Accommodation for making dovetails or finger joints. Clamping options for vertically mounted material (vice).
  • Material hold hold down mechanism. T tracks vs aluminum plate extrusions. Extrusions could serve as the top.

Enclosure

  • Windows/visibility
  • sound proofing material
  • dust collection
  • cable routing
  • lighting
  • static control
  • power supply/plugins
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Hi Peter - as you note, there are a lot of variables and most boil down to personal preference. In that vane (or is it vein?), here are my thoughts:

1 - wood. Easy to work with and source
2 - torsion box if you have the vertical space
3 - combination of t-track and dog holes or threaded inserts. I’ve had both separately, and I think the combination provides the most flexibility.
4 - if you have an enclosure, then make it large, good visibility, plenty of lighting, easily accessible from all sides, and consider dust collection during the design. I’d put the controller outside the enclosure to keep the dust and particles out. Sound proofing might not be required depending on your location.
5 - recommend a drag chain system. That’s one of the last things I need to do for my machine.

Hope this helps.

-Tom

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Thanks Tom, I appreciate your thoughts. I have never used a machine with dog holes or inserts. I will have to incorporate them into the design. Do you believe there is value in purchasing aluminum extrusions for the table top? I have seen hobbyists use them in two ways. Some simply place them in the cut area to provide a level surface and a means to clamp. Others use them as the entire table top and the CNC machine is mounted to the extrusion. In your opinion, are they worth the extra expense or are they simply a luxury?

Hi Peter - this is just my opinion, but I think it’s just a luxury. Generally you need some sort of sacrificial work surface, so you will end up covering it up. If you are working primarily with a vise or other work holding mechanism, the aluminum bed will make a better clamping surface, but the same can be achieved with t-tracks with much less cost. +/- 0.02.

-Tom

2 Likes

I just ordered a unit and am trying to decide on table design. I have watched many videos and there is a lot to consider. One problem I am running into is thinking about various features to incorporate into the basic table that will allow for future upgrade changes etc. I thought I would build a torsion box table top, mostly for rigidity and precision. I am now wondering if that is necessary because it will limit me for drilling holes and I may want to incorporate a vertical function to hold a board for doing dovetails that penetrates below the unit. I would like to build a cabinet under the TT to incorporate future options electrical additions etc. I would be welcome to peoples thoughts on these issues. Is a Torsion box necessary or would that be overkill. I realize that surfacing the waste board would probably suffice. Does anyone have thoughts on how best to accommodate an afd, wiring management and how much space to alocate for such things. I would like to incorporate a universal estop to gracefully shut down everything eventually. Sorry I may be rambling a bit but any thoughts would be great.

torsion box table is a must. I just posted pictures of my cabinet with vertical routing capabilities. My table is 53" x53" enough room for drag chain and underneath wiring plus vac.

I’m not doing a torsion box simply because it’ll limit access to the bottom of the table. I have a sheet of 1 1/8" Advantach subfloor plywood. 3/4" would work find but for extra rigidity I went with the 1 1/8". That on top of 2x6 boards and 4x4 posts is all I’m going to do. I’ll put adjustable feet on the bottom of the posts. On top of the Advantech I’ll put a sheet of 3/4" MDF most likely with aluminum T-track.

I think your plan will be fine. The advantack 1-18 tough stuff. I would use a construction adhesive and at least 16” of for the 2x6’s. Just. My 2-1/2 cents