Table Leveling Advice

I’ve had the parts for my Lowrider2 printed and purchased for over a year. Just sitting in a closet.

Don’t even open it any more because it’s so depressing to see it all sitting there.

I don’t have any tools, other than hand tools, to build a table, and I don’t have access to a truck to buy sheets, although I can rent one, if needed.

The reason I became interested in CNC, was my inability to be as exacting as I’d like.

Somehow, I’m a master of measure twice/cut once - incorrectly.

Questions:

  • How level does the machine have to be usable?

  • my car only fits 32” sheets, at most. If I have to buy multiple small sheets of mdf/ply to make a full sheet table, can I make that work?

  • Is there a way to surface out any leveling inconsistencies due to slight variations in leg length, and/or multiple sheets not, precisely, lining up?

I’ve got to get this thing going.

I know I can use it, once it’s up and running, to cut torsion box parts, so any fix would be temporary.

Thanks again for any help.

Edit: my other option would be to build, using extrusions. I didn’t search first, but has anyone, successfully, done something similar?

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen an extrusion based table. Not the cheapest way to build a table, but it’s flat!

We’ve all been there. I would encourage you to think about “perfect is the enemy of good”. If you make a machine, and make a big mess, and end up with 6 box sides that don’t fit together, you will have gained so much knowledge and experience.

Every wood project is going to need sanding and finishing (painting or staining). So even though you have a cnc machine, you’ll still need to just get pretty close. You don’t need a very flat Z to cut out 2D shapes (through cuts). Then you can try some 2.5D cuts and you’ll see where you can and can’t handle uneven Z. Then you can take a vbit and carve out logos or letters or art. Finally, 3D carving with a bull nose bit. It takes a lot to get there, but you can be productive along the way.

I would highly suggest building a table from 2x4s, and build it small, like 24"x36" or 24"x48" work area. It will be cheap, it can be done with hand tools and secured with deck screws. When you get a cnc cutting 2D parts, you can dream your dream table and you’ll have a tool you can use.

Yea it almost negates the cost between lowrider and something higher end.

Just at wits end.

Probably going to just get a single slim, long sheet and put the machine on that. Use that to cut more pieces for a larger table.

Convoluted, but all I can work out.

This is the table mine is sitting on, and it supported my mpcnc:

You’d need some runner, or make the sides out of smaller wood, because it can’t wrap around a 2x6.

Ah that makes me feel WAY better. I can definitely build that table.

And you’re right. I get completely immobilized by perfection.

Thanks for the advice. I may re-read that, when I get blocked

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I went ahead and fixed some typos then :).

Another saying I tell myself often is:

“Craftsmanship means nothing without productivity”
“Productivity means nothing without craftsmanship”

I even have plans, and wrote a post here about making a sign with that, and then I completely ironically haven’t done anything to make it happen.

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do you think using my full sheet sized tubes will throw off any cutting done on a smaller machine, until I can get something larger built?

I guess I’m going with what I can fit in the car, and metal supermarket has closed down in my city.

I used overly long tubes on my Lowrider for a while. The only issue I saw was a potential for the extra tube to get hung up on something or bumped into.

I built my Lowrider on a solid core door (from the Habitat Re-store). Initially this was a 32x80 inch door…might fit in your car. Just find something to set it on (saw horses would work), and get busy. I bet even a hollow core door would work for the short term, and those are even cheap new…

Thanks! glad they won’t cause an issue - if I move everything out of my garage :slight_smile:

I’ve been looking at slab doors for the past few minutes. Probably the way I’m going to go.

The back of my home depot has a spot where returned doors are on clearance. I’m assuming someone orders a special door size, and it doesn’t fit, so they sell them cheap(er) there. I have one workbench made from a door like that.

That’s good to know. I’ll bet, with lockdown, there are a lot of people returning stuff, due to thinking they could do more diy than they could. Or, maybe that’s just me.

Can I just add my 2 cents worth here mate and that is just get started. I know what procrastination means but I have had so much fun with my LR 2. My table all went to shizen when I built it as it was out of MDF and the high humidity got it but a simple addition to it with an under table beam fixed it.

The other thing to consider here is that if the thing is a bit wobbly in any axis, you just cut a bit deeper. One more pass of 5mm will cover most things. It really does not matter. You are not cutting out bits of the Falcon 9 rocket.

Also, adding another sheet on the top of it ie a piece of 20mm mdf or 20mm formply etc will help smooth out any bumps/lumps/wobbles.

As I have told my kids over and over, just start off in a direction and when new evidence becomes apparent or a new problem, change your heading slightly. But keep going.

Can send you photos of what I did and all the things I did wrong and how I fixed them if you want to have a laugh.

Rob

Ha, that’s not necessary.

I’ve gone back through the forum, and I noticed a few posts mentioning that splitting the mdf up into strips won’t make that big of a difference. I think that’s what I’m going to try first.

I guess I missed the part about sawhorses. If that’ll work, at least temporarily, I’m building the thing this week.

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SpaceX isn’t just taking the people to space, it’s bringing space to the people! They’ll crowdsource anything these days…

2x 24” slab doors with 1/2” MDF laminated on each side.

When I feel up to it, I can replace a 24” with a 32”. That’ll put me at spec, full sheet, width, and will leave me with a useable table, either to split, and fill out length, or use as a spare work table.

So easy putting these things together, that I’m adding another, with hardboard top, as an assembly table.

Still have to figure out legs. Thinking about ToughBuilt 700, as they’ll be reusable whenever I get a permanent setup.

What do you do for a spoilboard, and for attaching workpieces?

MDF and screws.

Hey, I have those!

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