CNC table update

1 Like

Looking good. May I suggest cross bracing as well.


Would you cross brace the legs or run them top to bottom?

Hey Auntjemimma,

diagonals, e.g. like this:

And horizontal cross braces to support table top.


Ok perfect, I’ll do those tomorrow! The only thing I’m worried about is not being able to access the space under the table.

Hey Auntjemimma,

good afternoon! Here I updated it to show the horizontal cross braces (a):

Of course you could add more braces.

Yes, either you have a stiffy table or room for stuff. But there exist possibilities for compromises. Either you can try if you can omit the diagonal on the front and only use one on back (b). Or you use smaller diagonals (c), leaving more space to put stuff under the table.

Or if you want drawers, you could make a diagonal on the front that does only cover half of the height (d):


Another option is to add plywood as a skin to the table. It serves three purposes. It serves the same purpose as the diagonals to stiffen the frame. It encloses the table to keep the inside clean and makes the entire thing look more finished. And you can also cut openings in the plywood to add doors or drawers for storage. The downside is the cost.


I was actually thinking about doing that or adding turnbuckles.

Hey Auntjemimma,

I don’t know how good you are at chiselling mortises, but I would connect the cross braces like this:


Important is to have the upper sides on the same level everywhere for table top support.


Hey Auntjemimma, hey @brianekins,

then you have to be very sure of the reliability of your wood connections. Otherwise the turnbuckles will disassemble the connections. And you will need two on each side. The advantage of a diagonal made of wood is you need only one per side.

enclosing the whole table base with plywood would be simple (no need to deal with joints), but not only expensive but also very heavy in weight.

Also if you plan to use plywood, you would rather build it out of plywood entirely and would not need the pinewood legs and all the parts Auntjemimma used up to now. You can build a very stiffy box with plywood and chipboard screws, stiffier than the whole table here. As far as it is shown now, such a table is not able to withstand torsion induced by uneven floor.


Yes and my drop down casters are rated for 660lbs so I am definitely trying to watch the weight.

Would you use melamine or mdf for the table top?

Hey Auntjemimma,

I don’t know if I am the right person to be asked this, since I hate both. Since I am someone who learned to build things with solid/natural wood (lumber), I don’t like engineered wood which means that the wood of the trees that I love are chopped into pieces before even using them.

I don’t see advantages of melamine over MDF in this application. Melamine is toxic both in production and in processing, I can live without melamine.

Most people here would say you’re good with MDF for the wasteboard and most will use it for table top too. Its advantage is that because it is engineered material, it is reliably flat, although it is not stiffy at all and will twist if the support to which you attach it to is twisted.

If you ask me personally, I plan to use a wasteboard made of HDPE, there was one shown in the forum the other day. Otherwise I use solid wood (natural wood, lumber), e.g. dampened red beech like for tops of planing workbenches but to use solid wood you have to know how to glue the stripes together to avoid warping. Also you need a jointer and a thicknesser (or a jointer hand plane and a lot of time and muscles :slight_smile:)


I may do a 3/4” birch sheet of plywood glued to a 3/4” sheet of mdf or possibly just 2 sheets of plywood glued together.

Hey Auntjemmima,

I have large experience with building things with birch plywood and besides hight cost and weight it was good for many applications, but I made the experience that they are often warped. This could come either from the fact they are made of veneer sheets which retained a certain grain, or to wrong storage (I had one dealer that lent the sheets against a wall corner with one corner of the sheet and they became all twisted after a certain time).

So when buying plywood I would check that they are not twisted (view from two sides)

For bookshelves and table tops I also used these glulam boards that are made of small natural wood pieces joined with finger joints. I use spruce or red beech.

But of course I always prefer to use natural wood/lumber, if I have time.

1 Like

Ok I went with two sheets of sanded ply, haven’t attached them yet as I’m unsure if it’s necessary to glue them together. I also went ahead and purchased some leveling feet for all 6 legs.


Hey Auntjemimma,

glueing them together can improve stiffness a lot but I would do that only if you can reliably tell they’re in a flat and not twisted position. I don’t know if you can ensure this. Also you would need a lot of wide clamping tools. Or screws.

Also, from my experience, applying a thin even layer of glue - such as with a roller - is important to avoid highs and lows. Some glues swell while setting so as @Aiph5u mentioned, even clamping/screwing over the entire plane will be important considerations as well.


How do you weigh the sheets down evenly?

My longest clamps are 4’