Portable MPCNC - 1st Build

I have all my parts except the conduit and I’m about ready to build this thing. I intend on buying some 24" x 24" MDF plywood to glue and screw on top of this table (see attached). However, that would mean it would overhang by about 1.75" on all sides. Do you think that’d be a problem? Do you reckon it’d still be rigid enough or would that cause accuracy issues?

Is this a decent size for a CNC? According to the cut calculator this would give me a 12" x 12" build/cut area. I have no garage and I don’t want shavings all over my room. So I may want to bring it downstairs and plug it in outside. In that case, it will need to be relatively lightweight. Any extra considerations I need to make as far as that goes?


Should be pretty rigid. If you’re happy with that size, then it will make a fine machine. It will be a bit heavy and awkward to carry, but doable. There overhang seems fine to me. I would either glue to pieces of 1/2" MDF together or use 3/4" ply. If you use two pieces, you can put screws in the outside so the tool can’t possibly hit them.


Seems like a hassle to make it portable. You’ll probably end up being lazy to carry it each time and you’ll hesistate a lot more to use it (at least, that’s how I would be)

You’d probably be better with an enclosure and dust collection, it’s quite easy to do and has many advantages (less noise, for instance).

I originally built mine as 24"x24" on a single piece of 3/4" particleboard with no other support. This was just a “test build” before I expanded it to my final size of 34"x48" so I could easily fit 20"x30" sheets of foam board.

I REALLY liked it as a 24"x24" machine. I built it on our dining room table, so I had to move it every night for dinner. I worried that with just a sheet of particleboard and no bracing moving it around all the time it would shift things and not hold level/square. But it actually held great. I never had to make any adjustments once it was dialed in.

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That said, I wouldn’t suggest it for a long term solution. If I was going to keep it that size and move it around a lot I’d have probably added a torsion box style base to reinforce the particle board.

I eventually built my bigger table:

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And got the machine enlarged. But I still have that original base and use it as a waste board now:

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If you look closely you can see some black squares - those were the original working area which came out closer to 13" with the 24" frame.

You can also see another black outline with curved edges - that’s a laser scar from cutting a thrust tube for this guy I finished this weekend:

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Not bad for 5 sheets of foamboard from the dollar store. 10-15 minutes each to cut on the machine took me right about an hour (then 2 weekends of assembly.)

In fact I liked my 24" machine so much that if/when I finish my low-rider I plan on rebuilding my MPCNC back to 24". It was MUCH stiffer at that size and I was able to do traditional milling on wood and plastic much faster than I am with it at it’s current size.