Recently I needed to use my 1F to flatten some large oak slabs for my new bench top. I was able to do it with a sled and sliding it through front to back, but that was kind of a clumsy solution. I’ve been thinking recently about how one could build a sliding table that would essentially turn a 4x4 machine into a 4xX machine, depending on how long you make the table. It would obviously take up at least 2x the floorspace in the shop, and probably wouldn’t get used much, which is a big drawback. Has anyone done anything like this?
I find tiling using locating pins and an adjustable saw horse / roller stand serves this purpose just fine for my use, but of course everyone uses things differently.
Only downside I’d see is using that much material and floor space on a feature I don’t use very much. Obviously if it’s something you do a lot it might be a worthy investment.
I have seen a laser (Xtool I think?) that offers a motorized feed system. So perhaps instead of moving the table, you move the workpiece in a more mechanical and repeatable way? Even if it’s not motorized (i.e. another axis), you could use physical rollers of some sort. And even integrate indexed locator/locking pins or notches for exact, known, offset positions?
You could do it with a conveyor roller table. You just need to make your table with a removable panel that’s similar thickness to the roller table. I don’t know how precise they are but it should be close enough so you could finish it with a bel sander.
Have built several sliding tools and tables using Linear rails, relatively simple as long as you are careful with drilling, You could affix the rail flanges directly to the spoilboard and store the parts separately when not in use.
You can buy SBR 20 rails 2.2 meters long, with 4 sets of bearings for about 150 USD, I have found that a 3/8" by 16tpi threaded rod can be used as a lead screw with a hand crank on one end one turn of the crank will advance the slider 1/16". It is not too hard to have the work piece sitting below the tops of the rails. Not sure I would bother putting it on the CNC as my newbie CNC-ing would likely have the bit smacking into the rails. If it was well designed you could likely install it in under an hour each time you wanted to use it. Google router leveling sleds to see how others have used SBR’s to carry the router, the only diff is you would be carrying the work instead.