I’m a little confused on table size for the X50 Journeyman I have arriving next week. I was fairly sure I needed to build a 72" x 48" table, but I’m seeing where some make it 49" or even up to 54" wide. I have the space, but a little confused as to how to make it that wide since plywood is only 48". Are some piecing the top? I thought about even going as long as 78 to give me plenty of room for accessories and work space.
Also, do most put 2 layers of 3/4 plywood and then the MDF waste board?
Do you use the $80-90 Oak,Maple, or Birch Plywood? Plywood Sheathing for around $40, or Cabinet grade for around $50?
Sorry for all the elementary questions, but I am a total beginner when it comes to CNC and I want to try to make my table the best I can without going too far overboard. I’ve made a lot of tables/workbenches through the years, but never one that needed to be as nice as this one.
My machine is scheduled to arrive next week and I want to be ready to get it together and start to work. Not in a hurry, but want to get started on the right foot.
I used a melamine sheet that’s 49” deep and cut to 72” wide sitting on a Kreg bench. There are some supports underneath the table top. Mine also sits on a QCW frame, but if you’re not using one, many people build a torsion box for the top of their table. Lots of great examples on here if you use the search. I was lazy!
Not sure if you’ve checked out the specs for the Journeyman (Journeyman Spec Sheet) but I’d give yourself an allowance of at least a few inches around the dimensions that Onefinity specify.
I believe that Onefinity recommends a table size of 49" x 72". (Although a plywood sheet is sold as 48" x 96" you may find that it is slightly larger than those dimensions)
As for the base material for the table something like jut one sheet of cabinet grade plywood would be ideal in my opinion together with a sheet of 3/4" MDF for your actual spoilboard. Just my 0.02¢ worth.
I built mine only 48" deep (one sheet of plywood). I didn’t need to go 49". I did go the full length because that gives me space on the sides for the X motor and for putting things down like an end mill stand I made. My control box is remotely located but I could have put it in the side as well. I also built mine to tilt so that when I’m not using it, it just takes up 22" from the wall.
That being said, if you wanted to go the full 49", then it would be a simple matter to add a one-by piece of wood to either end so the top edge was lined up with your plywood. That saves you from having to piece together a plywood top.
The MDF spoilboard goes on top of the plywood between the Y rails.
I think I have decided to go with the KREG Workbench as my base. I want to make sure I have a good stable platform to start with. My only question is should I go with the 44 x 64 or the 64 x 64. Would the bigger table be handy or would it be best to use the smaller one and just use a small table if needed close by for accessories?
I debated this as well. I went with 44” x 64” so I could still pull a car into the garage it’s been perfectly sufficient for me thus far and I really like the way the feet of the QCW sit almost directly over top of the steel Kreg frame. I was toying with the idea of attaching the QCW directly to the Kreg bench, but since I have the secure from beneath version, I wanted to maintain access to the bottom of the machine by tilting it up, as shown in the manual.
All that said, Jim is right. If you have the space, why not go bigger?
Also, are you aware of the fixed leg stand from 1F? Pretty killer deal for something that’s purpose built for the machine. I do personally think it needs some additional support (cross members between angled legs at a minimum), but that’d be easier to brace than building a table. I went Kreg before this was available and had submitted a feature request for it. They listen to us
The ply wood table is 48x62, it’s just big enough that the motors don’t stick over the edge . I could prob dig up a cad drawing of my table if you were interested. Please don’t mind the mess it’s a busy little shop.
My day job has kept me busy, so setting up my Journeyman CNC has taken longer than expected. Here are some photos of my recently finished table. I didn’t have time to cut the inner strips, so I used dimensional lumber (e.g., prefinished pine strips). These are two videos that I inspired my table project.
I do wonder why people use two 3/4 materials stacked. In a QCW for example its just sitting on 4 points, is a single piece of plywood likely to bow where two pieces stacked is not? I’m just truly curious why make it double thick since most structures like houses and such are single pieces of plywood.
It most likely isn’t necessary and would depend on the support spacing but 0.010" of deflection in a plywood floor isn’t going to be noticeable where as if one of the legs of the CNC deflects that much you’ll see it in the product. Additionally having a double thickness of material in the base allows for more threads of the fasteners holding the machine in place to be in contact with the table reducing the chance of stripping out the holes, providing greater clamping force etc.
I have a single layer of 3/4" plywood with support ribs under it on 12 inch centers and it works fine. I installed M8 threaded inserts in the plywood top for fastening the feet of the machine to the table as opposed to using a wood screw.
Thank you for the detailed response it makes sense. A additional clarification if your using the qcw is anything actually bolted down to a table or is it free floating on the four leveling feet. I ask because I know carbide 3d is totally against attaching to a table for risk of damage to the machine if it’s not perfectly level twisting the structure.
The adjustable feet, called “Any Surface Leveling System” and that are now included in a QCW frame, are what makes it possible to adjust coplanarity (=“twisting”) on the fly. The question is if it’s reasonable to buy the rather expensive QCW frame just for this feature. Most people here build an anti-torsion box of plywood (which can be much stiffier than the QCW frame) and put it on a table that has leveling casters which allow to adjust coplanarity too (if you are willing to bend downwards to adjust them each time after having moved the table :))
I’ve always found the topic of tables & machine bases to be very interesting. I’ve seen some awesome designs here. I designed & built a base that I have very high confidence in its construction. I have to stop short of saying I have high confidence in its flatness, because I don’t. Looks flat, doesn’t it? But is it actually flat? Probably not, because I have no confidence in the flatness of my worktable. I lack the proper machinist’s level that would give me confidence in leveling the table. All I have is a plastic carpenter’s level which is of no use to me for setting up precision machinery. My machine base sets down on the tabletop at all 4 corners, just as my table sits on the shop floor by all 4 feet. The only thing I could do to ensure absolute flatness (to satisfy my OCD nature) would be to buy a B-grade (shop-grade) granite surface plate to set my machine on.
Since I rarely do anything that demands that level of Z-axis precision, I don’t worry about it. So in this case, perhaps my plastic carpenter’s level will suffice. But the same pretty much applies to building a torsion box. You might get it extremely strong, but it is still subject to a certain amount of twist across the surface.
yes, but that is why I propagate the fishing line method for ensuring coplanarity. Remember, three feet are always in one plane, so it’s just the fourth foot that needs to be adjusted. And if it is in one plane with the other three, you can be sure that at least the machine base is perfectly coplanar, which means any twist is gone. It does not need to be level. It needs to have no twist, because if the four feet are not in one plane, and it will twist the worksurface, every surface of a workpiece that you mill with the machine will be twisted too.
Of course I don’t know if the aluminium plate that I envy you for was milled on a coplanar (twist-free) machine, but I hope you can rely on it!
Yes, exactly. Being level is of no consequence as long as it is coplanar. Short of the fishing line method, leveling both sides of the table will get you close.
It’s funny, as I was reading this (as I have read about this method in the past when you posted about it), my mind immediately thought of fine, bare copper wire stretched in an ‘X’ across the corners of the table, supported just off the table surface by an equal amount at each corner. Then a very simple circuit that utilizes the wires as a switch of sorts. Then adjusting one foot to ensure separation of the wires, and slowly adjusting that foot until the light just starts to flicker on. I mention this as something that could be easily done by one person, and (in my case) would be more reliable than visually trying to gage the gap in the fishing line.
It’s actually a rather odd size (thickness) plate. It measures 7.4mm thick. So it’s not a common metric size, nor is it a common imperial size. Because of the silver satin finish on the plate, it’s difficult to tell if it had been machined (doubtful) or if it is a factory extruded finish. I’m guessing the latter, as machining the plate top & bottom would be uncharacteristic of the otherwise cheap Chinese machine it was ‘borrowed’ from (plus, there are no tell-tale machining marks). I suppose it’s possible that it’s cast aluminum tooling plate, but that also seems unlikely (again, the cost). The anodized finish as well as the laser etching seems of nice quality though.