I remodeled part of my basement to accommodate the Journeyman X-50 on a 44 x 64" Kreg Bench shown below. My plan is to use a single sheet of 3/4-in MDF for the top overlapping by 2-inches on all four sides. It sounds like others have done similar, so I’m looking for feedback on this approach for anything I might need to consider. Any tips?
I plan on adding an enclosure and dust collection shortly.
Mine should be arriving in May and I’m also using the same Kreg table. I plan on putting 2 sheets of 3/4” plywood on top and then use MDF for the spoil board. I prefer the way plywood accepts screws for attaching accessories and it’s stronger and lighter than MDF.
I bought 1 3/4" sheet of baltic birch and then make a beam structure out of plywood for the bottom (kinda like half a torsion box). MDF is nasty stuff, I’m trying to minimize it.
I would cheat the plywood towards the front in case you ever want to do a drop front to mill at 90 degrees.
Thanks for these responses. I hadn’t thought about the challenge of screwing into MDF. That’s helpful, thanks.
whatever structural stuff you do, I would really encourage you to use only plywood. Any amount of swelling with weather is going to make you crazy.
If you have the facilities and time to do a torsion box, that probably makes a lot of sense. It’s a lot of work.
I would really encourage you to come up with a solution for the top that includes more than just one sheet of MDF.
You’ve bought a very robust CNC Router and it is deserving of a work surface with far less defleciton than one sheet of MDF will give you. One sheet will be like a drum top on that Kreg.
It appears to me that your environment for your machine is going to be very stable and dry. I wouldn’t hesitate to use MDF for the wasteboard but I’m betting for the long term you’d be far more satisfied with a torsion top or at a minimum a composite of mulitple sheets of plywood and/or MDF glued up.
Really important is good dust extraction and a quiet dust collection methodology.
In the beginning I thought I wanted an enclosure but the more I dug into the lack of noise abatement it gave folks, I decided against it. The ability to get around the machine for work and maintenance is far more important to me. YMMV
Congratulations on a fine place to put your machine and enjoy the journey.
Here’s a video in case you haven’t seen it. Torsion Box Assembly on a Kreg Base - YouTube
Thanks, Alan. I appreciate this perspective. I think I’ll use both a 3/4" MDF and a sheet of 3/4 plywood on top. My year-round humidity is consistently less than 30% in my basement.
Regarding the enclosure, noise abatement and dust control are my main concerns. You mentioned that you’ve heard that folks are not reporting adequate noise abatement with enclosures, and I wonder if that’s because most people put in plexiglass windows, which reduces noise abatement as a possibility? I’m asking. I’ve asked one builder about the utility of windows vs the loss of noise abatement, and he agreed that windows have not provided much utility in his setup. I’m thinking I will forgo windows and will think hard on a design that provides rear access when needed.
Thanks for the video link. I’ll check it out.
I used the Kreg table as well. It’s a great piece of kit.
Mine is 44x44. I had to add cross beams in both directions as the deflection was significant even with a doubled up 3/4" plywood top. I suspect you’ll need to do 2 the long way and 1 on the 44" side. I just edge jointed a couple tubafours and nibbled down the ends on the table saw to fit inside the rails and flush with the top.
Agreed-- a crossbeam would be perfect. I’m surprised Kreg doesn’t sell that option. I’d love to see a photo of your solution, but I’m sure it’s difficult to see much that’s useful to see now.
I did ¾ ply and ¾ mdf full glue-up on top. Dimensions of the raw top 69 x49 (Small ½" gap along the entire width both sides. Then add some Hardwood 1"x to clean up the edges. I flipped the Y rails to limit the space the Dustboot would eat into the size of the table. I have since added an 80mm spindle, drag chains, and a QCW(above) and not sure i can fit in an enclosure anymore. If I were to do it again I would go a bit deeper and a bit wider to give some more clearance around the machine. The QCW allows me not to worry about the flatness of the main table anymore, although i did not have any issues for over a year in my Texas garage…
Seems like a solid way to do it. From your description, I see a benefit in waiting to decide on the enclosure until I get a rhythm down to how I’m going to use the system. And, I could always rebuild the top if needed.
I have the Kreg 64x64 table. But I used melamine for my table top w/ horizontal supports under it.
Here’s what I ended up with - MDF on the bottom and plywood on top. I’ll start assembly tomorrow.
Here’s how I arranged things on my Kreg table.
@KennyBellew - nifty monitor holder - where did you get it?
Someone on a forum recommended it from Amazon, but I do not recommend it. I had to superglue some added parts onto it to get the gripping sides to attach to the thicker-than-a-tablet OneFinity monitor. The monitor is too thick for the gripping sides to grab the monitor sides, so I added a thin strip of red oak superglued to the edges. If you’re okay with gluing on parts, it’s on Amazon as “Suptek Aluminum Alloy Cell Phone Desk Mount Stand 360° Tablet Stand.”
Looking good fellow Kenny.
Wondering if you’ve changed anything since you initially setup.
I will be assembling my Kreg table soon for my Journeyman. I plan on putting braces in the middle and using 2 sheets of 3/4" ply for the top. I hate MDF, but will use it for a spoil board. I have a very low basement ceiling; maybe 6’5". Thinking about screwing a sheet of 3/8" plywood to the ceiling and hanging a circular curtain on a sliding track from that for dust instead of an enclosure. The track for the sliding curtain is cheaper than I thought and it’s so much easier than building an enclosure. Some magnets should keep it tight to the table. I don’t have much free time so want to keep it simple and am open to suggestions and learning from others’ mistakes.
I’ve found one 3/4" MDF and one 3/4" plywood seems to supply adequate support. So far, I’ve not sensed that I need to support the middle further.
I’ve decided against an enclosure, after seeing how well the vacuum system can clean up, but I did install a curtain to surround the system (I also have a low ceiling). Frankly, I’ve not been using the curtain. The dust collection seems to work very well (better than I anticipated at keeping it out of the air). I also run one of those Wen air cleaners and it’s awesome and cheap.
The other reason I wanted an enclosure was for sound, but the dust collection creates a lot more noise than that little router. If I build an enclosure, it will be to control the noise of dust collection.
What kind of dust collection are you using?
I purchased the BUCKTOOL 1.2 HP 750CFM system.
However, it’s so loud that I’ve been using my Ridgid 16 gal. shop vac instead, thinking I’ll only use the Bucktool system for projects that have higher chipload. I have the Bucktool hooked up to the back, using the PWN rear attachment, and the shop vac connected to the front (not at the same time, of course).