Swelling issues, Table

I live in Thailand, and heat/humidity is a real issue in a non-climate controlled shop.

If I had my druthers, I’d get some combination of the QCW, Stand, Hang on Wall, etc. Unfortunately, the import Duty of 45%, combined with the shipping costs of $1600 (no complaint, just a fact) would put the total kit (Unit and accessories) price out of my fixed income reach. So, I’m looking to ways to reduce the total kit price.

I am looking to build my own table top from local materials. Like I said, heat/humidity is an issue, and I’m worried about swelling in the table (waste board too, but I’ll stick with MDF and skim that regularly.) Also, would like to hang table on wall in order to save workspace.

It is my understanding, that while skimming corrects for any uneven surface in the waste board, having the table uneven is another mater.

How critical is it to have all feet level?

Would like to discuss options for table.
Regular Plywood: Worried swelling in the table will cause 1F to be not level.
HMR: good for moisture, but structurally just MDF. Screws may pull free.
Marine Grade Plywood: Not been able to locate any. Many forums related to Marine Plywood state that it must be imported into Thailand. (Back to issue above with import duty.)
Rig something from extruded Aluminum: No experience with that, and not sure I could do it for under the 1F accessory price after trial and error phase (and error, and error…)
Have something welded up: Labor here is CHEAP, but you get what you pay for. Not certain that corners would be level. See point above re: level feet.
Composite Decking: essentially planking, not sheet. thinking of laying decking in one direction, and t-strips in the other. Would I then have to worry about sub-structural 2x4s swelling as well?
Leveling Feet: Works with table in horizontal. Not sure how well it will work if hung vertically.

So, am I over thinking this? or does the hivemind have other suggestions…

Hey Sterling,

with Any Surface Leveling System on QCW Frame, you can adjust twisting of the machine easily, independently of the table. They say it’s now included with QCW Frame.

For twist adjusting methods, search for fishing line method.

But sincerely $1600 for shipping and 45% import duty, are you sure? I think the pain threshold was what we had with no import duty (thanks to CETA :slight_smile:), 19% import VAT and $650 DHL Express for a Journeyman with QCW…

Regarding table, an anti-torsion construction made of plywood is relatively resistant to swelling because plywood consists of a lot of layers of veneer, each with grain rotated by 90° relative to the next layer. I have no experience with your climate, but my experience with wood in general is that what’s a problem is humidity change rather than humidity itself. As long you don’t change your location, perhaps it will be okay. I would apply a finishing on the plywood anyway.

What I plan is to weld a U-shaped table made of steel profiles of 50 x 60 mm and 40 x 50 mm with 1.5 mm wall thickness, luckily I have a welder. But if you say labor is cheap, that’s a solution that is guaranteed not to swell :slight_smile: (just to expand in the sunlight)

As for Duty, I cannot get any firm estimate given the HSCode of 8458.19.0090 provided by 1F. Thailand’s Website is suspiciously blank on the matter.

That said, you state CETA, and given a brief google for the term, this is something between Canada, and the EU. Thailand does not seem to be listed as a signatory. Please, correct me if I am wrong on this. I’ve been pestering friends and relations to find a way to bring this duty down. Unfortunately, the only way I have found to know what the Duty will be on any give item, is to order the product, and wait for the bill.

In the last year: motorcycle helmet, computer equipment, and decorative signage, have all come in with identical 45% duty. Granted nothing over $400USD

The stated Shipping cost of $1600 is from the 1F site.
Bringing that down to $650 would solve my problem and make me a very happy camper even without a reduction in duty. However, given the weight, and the quotes I’ve been given in the past, (transport of household items) when I first moved here, I suspect this is accurate.

You also state that the Any Surface Leveling System is used on the QCW. The QCW is one of the expenses I was hoping to avoid due to Duty costs.

Will the ASLS work on frames other than QCW?

Second, will it work in the vertical position?

…and Third, how do you measure flex while in the vertical position? I’ve been so focused on eliminating the need for correcting, I neglected the possibility for correcting on the fly (so to speak)

I will search for fishing line methods as suggested and see how to use that. Thank you for the suggestion.

Humidity changes. Good point. I know rainy season and hot, but don’t know the actual humidity percentages. Google to the rescue. Range is 66% in Dec to 79% in Sept. In your estimation, will that be enough to cause issue?

Appreciate all your feedback. I will look into combining ASLS with other methods…

Hey Sterling,

yes, CETA is only between EU and Canada. Thailand is in ASEAN and in ACFTA so maybe buying a chinese CNC machine could be less expensive :slight_smile: But see also Canada-Thailand relations.

Don’t you have a customs authority with a web page? We have such a web page here on the web site of the EU commission (=the executive) which shows the import duty according to TARIC code. It showed 0% import duty when importing from Canada when I entered the number closest to the HS Code 8458190090 given by Onefinity under FAQ → Shipping.

But what is expensive is that Onefinity chooses DHL Express. This means it comes with air freight, it’s very quick but expensive. There exist other shipping methods over the sea, which take much longer (weeks) but should be much less expensive. I would ask Onefinity if they are willing to look into alternative shipping methods for people that are patient enough.

The Any Surface Leveling System matches the QCW Frame, but it consists just of four circular feet with a screw sticking out of them, and four inserts matching the inside the four QCW Frame tube ends, and that have matching threads (to be seen here).

You can buy height-adjustable feet, or if your table twists with the floor, height-adjustable casters everywhere for little money. This allows you twist adjustment as easily.

Having no twist in a machine with four feet means be able to adjust one foot in height. Since three points are always in one plane, it’s only one of four feet that needs to have its height adjusted to ensure coplanarity (and you machine the worksurface then). What expensive machines in the industry have is that their X and Y axes ends are adjustable in height and horizontally. This way you can adjust coplanarity (removing twist) and rectangularity (“squaring”).

QCW Frame and Any Surface Leveling System make the Onefinity a machine working out of the box, if you have no time it’s okay, but it’s rather expensive. Many people here have shown if you have some time you can build a good table from materials available. See Jim’s (@JimHatch) Fisher-style table, linked among other good concepts in this previous post. Could be a solution if you want to store the machine vertically.

That could be relevant. I found a little info in Klima in Thailand and Climate in Thailand, they say you have 8–11 humid monthes in the south and 4–5 humid monthes in the north, but not how much exactly air humidity changes.

The monsoon winds have different regional effects: The winter northeast monsoon brings continental air and causes dryness in northern Thailand, while air over the Gulf of Thailand accumulates moisture and causes rain in southern Thailand. The summer southwest monsoon generally brings moist air masses and causes rainfall throughout the country. The south thus experiences 8 to 11 humid months per year, while the northeast experiences only four and a half to five and a half humid months.

As I work with wood and store wood and other sensitive things, I have a hygrometer in every room. I can recommend this to everyone who stores wood or things made of wood.

A good hygrometer is relatively expensive, but I don’t know if you do electronics/microcontrollers, but if so, the HIH 5031 has an accuracy of ±3% and costs about €15 here, and with an SD card on your µC, you could log humidity on it over the year.

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Hi @Aiph5u, what do you do with the humidity results you capture?

Yes, at least I think this is it.
Entering 8458.19.0090 gets me this:

As I said, “suspiciously blank”.

I’ve never done any logistics, so baffled by a lot of terms. Closest I’ve ever done was Import/export compliance. Never bothered with the money side of things…

I’ll look into asking 1F if there is a ‘slow boat’ option. For Me, cost is more of an issue than speed. This was the same issue I encountered before moving here. I’ll wait to do that as I’m still a few months from getting the house completed.

Hey Andy,

at the moment I don’t track, I just make sure there are no extremes. What I do is that I observe the humidity when I open the windows. When the wind comes from the east it is continental and dry (don’t like that), I don’t let the window open that long, otherwise humidity inside would drop. It can drop very quickly during east wind in winter. But usually we have wind from west or south west, which means, from the north sea, and it is a very nice oceanic climate with very pleasant humidity. In the region where I live, I have rarely extremes that would let me think of using humidifiers or dehumidifiers, I am very happy with the oceanic climate.

I suggested that Sterling could record the values over the year to get an idea of how much it changes. Here I already know the winter it’s a little more dry and in autumn is a little more humid, but no extremes.

With the sensor mentioned above and a microcontroller, you can build a very good hygrometer, with the value displayed on a LCD or LED. But I have also classical hygrometers.

Hey Sterling,

the resulting workpieces you mill on your machine will have the same twist in them as the machine has. Could be of different importance depending on the requirement.

And you don’t have some Scriptsafe active that blocks page contents? Maybe you could try to ask them per E-Mail.

I think the most helpful thing would be if you know someone who imports stuff. Do you speak the local language well?

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Hey Sterling,

try to enter “845819”. This gave me:

And after choosing “All”:

Seems you pay 30% Ad valorem tax.

But I would try to choose the correct entry that means Canada.

Question: What are the screws/bolts that hold the 1F to the table like? Do they just screw into the wood of the table, or are they, or can they, be bolts/nuts.

Someone offsite suggested that I could bolt it to the table rather than screwing, and then using large washers, or backing board, to eliminate the chance of the screws pulling out of the MDF when hung. If bolts are possible, I may be able to use the HMR with a Torsion Box and support the 1F from the inside of the box. Metal plates for instance.

This is assuming that marine plywood or similar substitute cannot be found.

They are Tapcon masonry screws. I used them going into MDF tabletop. They have a really course thread, bite well, but pre-drill. Otherwise they pull up the MDF which may affect the leveling of the machine.As a retired Carpenter, wouldn’t have been my first choice but seem to be holding everything in place as of present. I tend to overthink everything but working well with the common, suggested, table materials.

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Hey Sterling,

with the Onefinity machine, for attaching the feet, you just get wood screws (packing list) but I would not use such screws. I would use bolts matching the corresponding diameter in the feet, possibly with a matching sleeve. This drawing from Bill @Machinist will help you:

This is from Onefinity:

Sure. Good idea. That’s how I plan to do it. But I would not use MDF to build a table. It is too soft, too flexible, and of heavy weight at same time. Plywood is much stiffier. Also MDF is much more prone to swelling as plywood. As for highly moisture resistant (HMR) MDF, I have no experience, never saw a use case. I use MDF only for speaker cabinets, where you want no acoustic resonance. Or for a wasteboard, but I think I will try the HDPE wasteboard as discussed the other day. HDPE is 100% recyclable, simply by melting it. MDF is (by far) not.

Hey Oldockman,


There have been arguments/discussions regarding the suitability of using the included Tapcons for anchoring the machine to the table. I’m not a huge fan of using either the Tapcons or more standard lag bolts due to the high probability that after time, the constant harsh, near hammer-type directional changes of X & Y could potentially cause movement of the machine feet. That could also happen when using machine screws/bolts & nuts, but those can generally be tightened down tighter than you dare tighten wood screws into wood.

It would be nice to incorporate some type of anti-skid waffle pattern into the bottom of the machine feet, or perhaps a couple of holes that could incorporate some sort of short spikes to bite into the wood table. I put in a couple 5mm dowel holes into my front machine feet, which engage into the 5mm slots in the aluminum extrusion base, giving me good fore/aft location.

BTW, nice to see you back again, @Aiph5u! Hope all is well.


@DailyLunatic the tapcon screws that come with the machine are a pain in the a$$ mostly because you get either slot head versions ( which I loathe) or bolt head versions for which you need the correct ratchet set head ( some of which do not fit into the recess in the foot). Mine came amusingly with a mixed grab bag of both, doubling my exasperation. If you are going to mount your machine vertically, it may be a good idea to go with bolts. Not necessarily essential but reassuringly strong and stable especially if you use lock nuts.

Last March I got the mixed set too. Hex drivers for an impact wrench worked well on the tapcon screws if I recall.

Yes, I am opposed to MDF, only proposing HMR. HMR is structurally the same as MDF. but moisture swelling is a non-issue.

I understand that plywood is superior structurally, however, as stated, moisture resistance is one of my ‘must have’ requirements, and I have been unable to locate anything like that here in Thailand. I continue the search.

I ‘have’ been able to locate moisture resistant OSB (Oriented Strand Board). I have always rejected OSB as not suitable for a table ‘top’ being that it is so rough, uneven and in my opinion weak (sure, stronger than MDF, or HMR, but weaker than plywood). Not to mention that it ‘flakes’ and looks like :stuck_out_tongue:

Perhaps a torsion box of moisture resistant OBS, topped with a thin sheet of HMR for surface? :thinking:

@Aiph5u - As an aside, at your suggestion, I have contacted 1F re: shipping alternatives. They are on holiday break ATM but I will keep the thread updated. If they can knock enough off & combined with the reduction in Duty you found, then this conversation becomes moot, and the QCW and wall mount will be back in my budget. :grin: :crossed_fingers:

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1F contacted me (fast. was not expecting reply until after the holidays :+1:)

We do send our international shipments by DHL. You are able to arrange your own shipping. However, you will need to provide us with all the necessary paperwork prior to shipping. Any items lost in shipping and/or shipping damages are not covered by warranty. If you need a replacement item is during our warranty period, you will have to pay for its shipping cost.

From this is infer that I will not only be responsible for arranging shipment, but pickup at 1F facility, duty paperwork, et. al.

For reference, I found this page with weights and dims:

Looks like I will be busy for a while. Not good with logistics myself, but have a couple of friends that are. It’ll be a bummer if it ends up not being much cheaper in the end. :sweat_smile:

Hey Sterling,

It’s very sad that Onefinity is not willing to offer an alternative way to send their products into the world. I am convinced that shipping costs of $650–$1600 EUR for almost all regions of the world is something that keeps many people from buying, or better said should keep them away, if they calculate reasonably.

Of course, there are other shipping methods than DHL Express Air Freight. Not everybody needs it to get the machine within a few days and is willing to pay that much for this.

But you can see from some things that selling to countries outside Canada and USA doesn’t really interest them, you can see that e.g. in this mindless clinging to the technical data given exclusively in imperial/US customary units, although nobody outside the USA uses them anymore.

They prefer to leave the market outside the USA to others at the moment (good for the others :slight_smile:). However, their product is actually a product for rich pensioners, and in the EU soon one third of the population will be rich pensioners. But it is every businessman’s right to have their own ideas.

I would say, if you need a CNC machine, and you are fascinated by the design of the Onefinity CNC machine, don’t forget that you still have to consider the price/performance ratio, and for the chunk of shipping costs you don’t get any performance.

The imperial measurement system encourages mathematical literacy and multi-lingualism (in math anyway) :blush:

Or, just because 6 billion people believe in a wrong thing doesn’t make it a right thing :wink:

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