W.I.P. CNC Table Design

I’m probably jumping into the deep end before learning to swim, but this is the CNC table I’ve been working on. Any feedback or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

I want to incorporate the ability to handle taller objects, so taking design ideas from Frank Howarth, I plan on using a piano-hinged section with a toothed support system to allow the table top to be dropped in 5 degree increments.

Also need to figure out what type of waste board I want to use.

And I’ll eventually enclose the machine, though that’ll probably require the enclosure to extend all the way to the bottom shelf. I planned on closing in the sides anyway and turning those areas into bit, clamp, etc. storage.


Hi Eric! I like the concept you have here. My only suggestion is that the drop leaf is well supported and that the accuracy in the full up position is constant. Looking forward to seeing what the finished product looks like!


What software did you use to draw this? I would love to have a copy of the file if you do not mind. My machine is not due until Jan 2021 so I have time to get it built. I also follow Frank and really like what he does and his video work. Thanks for sharing on the forum.

Thank you - I’m playing around with a more simple design that would just have a removable section of the top, with a permanent vertical wall below the table to clamp taller items to. That’d be a lot more simple and would likely end up with a much more sturdy table.


I modeled it with SketchUp. Here’s a link to the file if anyone wants to play with the model. If anyone is curious, I did not model the CNC itself - that came from the Sketchup library.


The Sketchup Model I did (the one you use) may not be 100% accurate because I made it before getting my 1F.

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I like the one on the right, I was thinking of a hole but a removable shelf is much better. Still give the ability to hide to hide the X cable in the front. Didn’t want to have to reverse the 1F on the bench.

I think it’s a brilliant concept. I have been contemplating ideas on how to do it. My thoughts would be to make the removable section much smaller by centering your Y axes more to the front. I don’t think you would ever need the full opening for a vertical cut. And I would put a removable wasteboard on top-mounted close to the Y rails. That way you would be able to get a flat repeatable surface for horizontal milling.

HI Edward - I’m not sure I entirely understand your suggestions. I do plan on adding a wasteboard on top of what’s shown in the model previews, but still trying to decide what version. Leaning towards t-tracks since it seems like it’d be easier to replace the MDF strips when necessary.

Some of the items I’ll be engraving will be things like the sides of serving trays, boxes, crates, etc. for my sister-in-law’s home decorating business. Trying to allow plenty of room for the unknown, while keeping in mind some of her ideas I’ve had to turn down because they weren’t possible with my laser cutter with a fixed-height bed.

If I were smart, I’d just build a temporary table and start learning to use the machine, but you know what they say about temporary…

I also plan to have a vertical acces on my flip top table. Right now I have a temporary 2x4 table (49 1/8 by 56 11/16) and I notice that 49 1/8 is to small because my router and suckit overpass the front so I will not be able to built and enclosure. This is my actual mesure. Will have to ajust.


Nice! I didn’t think about the dust boot… What is the minimum front-to-back interior dimensions for an enclosure that can accommodate the dust boot?

For your options- I’d be worried about table stiffness for the angle version. If there is any play possible, you can easily get chatter.

Here is a link I posted some time back of someone who did something similar to this on a more commercial table and how they fixtured it:

Here is a link to the projects that milling on an angle opened up:

I’m planning on removable insert for mine - making it to the back side and leaving the more frequently used front area alone. I should be able to get a 9x32 millable space for fixtures for non flat stuff and with table bolted in will have the full 32 x 32. I’ll have to bite deeper into the table due to the router offset, but I think it will work out.
I think the key will be very solid bolting at 4+ points for stiffness

Long term, plans for the cutout space include:
-Straight clampable edge when table out for dovetail and end grain milling

  • Open to floor to allow milling with custom jigs or clamps on anything that can pass into cut space - Like chests or built furniture
  • Adding a tub with a very rigid base bolted into that space to manage coolant for brass / aluminum with minimal mess to real table
  • building an angle jig similar to yours with some rigid means to clamp in place.
  • Adding a rotary feature or jig to machine on 4 sides (or any number of sides. Not going full CNC rotary, but think I can fool fusion into pausing at the rotary moves until I do it manually and clamp it back in.

Here’s another discussion in this forum on similar:


Here’s an update. I may just go the t-track route. I think it’ll give more clamping options for oversize items in the vertical position. I think… LOL

Flipping the two side rails to put the motor up front should help recover a little table area that’ll be lost to the dust boot. Guess I need to learn how to install the dust boot so I can get a few more measurements.


Thanks Marty - somehow I missed your posted links on my previous thread. That’s some impressive work on those blog posts! Sounds like you’ve got some great ideas for your build.

Here’s my current design with the cutout to back on a tilt table.
Now I just need to set up the damn machine to cut out all the parts. Oh- and about 2 gallons of wood glue…

By having it machine while vertical, I think I can possibly put dovetails on 16ft 2x12’s for the next time I build a deck


Nice! Bolt access from multiple sides to lock the insert in will be helpful .

Wow!! That’s impressive. Looks like I need to spend a LOT more time in Fusion. I can’t begin to imagine the process of getting the individual parts extracted into a cuttable sheet layout.

That’s now the easy part.
They came out with an “arrange” nesting function in the manufacture space. They also added an automatic manufacturing model for each part so you can make mods to design for manufacture without changing the base design.

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Nice job on that but i do have a question and i’m sure i just dont understand yet? Why the 10 deg steps? I’m just thinking why you would do that over say just having it drop down level ? kinda like a elevator?

I got the idea from Frank Howarth on YouTube, but there’s evidently several CNC manufacturers that have tilting beds. Someone posted a blog article where the author showed multiple joinery methods that became possible by having a tilted and angled (not just vertical) bed. I’m on my phone and can’t find the article at the moment. I want to say Winston Moy made a video showing a tilted knife blank that made machining the grind easier by having the blade angled in the machine.

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