Does anybody have design plans for a sturdy Lowrider table that’s big enough to cut sheets on?
I’m planning to use the Ron Paulk design with a couple of 4" deep extensions for the Lowrider to run on. I think this will work well and the table can be setup single handed.
I don’t have the full sheet, but my plans can be expanded to have the full sheet, or maybe it will just give you some ideas:
And I have it on a simple 2-by frame:
As Derek mentioned, the Paulk bench would be good. @Barry has a Paulk bench, but not for his LowRider. If you wanted to cut it with help of an MPCNC, I would probably cut a template for the oval holes, and follow it with a pattern bit. You could also make a jig for locating the top grid, without needing a low rider to make a low rider. In the end though, you’d still need something for the carts to ride on, and that can’t be much more than 4" thick, so you’d still be doing something like making the torsion boxes that I made.
I am also in the process of building a table to cut full sheets. I’m planning on building it 115x60. I got those dimensions from the size calculator. I am not much of a wood worker so building the table is going to be the hardest part of the entire build for me.
The Ron Paulk bench looks awesome, but I think that it is a bit over kill for what I need. Most torsion box work benches I have seen have a lot of built-in support. I have a feeling that a grid with 6 inches between every board is overkill for our application.
I am thinking about building something similar to Jeffeb3’s torsion box, except larger. It looks like you only used supports on the width of the box, not any on the length. Should I put a support down the middle?
I was kinda lost on how to build legs for the table. I am going to build them similar to the simple 2-by legs.
I used metal studs for my lowrider, don’t do that… I haven’t built a new table yet. I like the Paulk table idea though. You could bolt some unistrut to the sides for the rollers to run on. The biggest issue is you need a table that’s longer than 8 feet to cut a full sheet of plywood. Trying to line up your table tops is a pain in the ass, which is why mine isn’t that good. Though, thinking about it, pretty sure if I go with unistrut for the bearing surfaces, they can extend out over nothing and not bend with the weight of the lowrider. They only need to go out six inches on each end. Mount them to some pieces of three quarter plywood so you can raise them up say, half inch above the top so you clear the spoil board of your choice. Yea, I like this idea! Legs are easy. I built mine with two by sixes, with a two by six frame under the top. In theory I can store crap under the table, but I’m not at the moment.
Here’s my workbench build.
Thank you for the pictures bury those are very helpful!
Pretty sure I have a table rebuild in my near future. Don’t forget about other tool integrations, like a router, and maybe a small table saw, If I could figure out how to use it with the chop saw as well would be awesome.
I was thinking about using unistrut for the bearing surfaces as well. Two pieces back to back would provide a channel for the wheels to ride in, any downside?
Since the cart rolls along the 115" side, the most critical thing is as flat as possible across the 60" side. That leads me to the torsion box, because the top surface is flat from wheel, to bottom of spoil board, to other wheel. Having any kind of rails means you have to think about making the spoil board and the rails flat. Bowing in the 115" direction isn’t as bad, because the cart will ride up and down with the bumps.
That being said, it’s pretty tolerant, especially if you’re willing to cut into the spoil board a fair amount. I would guess that a reasonable goal is ± 5mm anywhere on the surface. 1cm is a lot of extra cutting, so the more precise you are, the less you have to chew into spoil board, or risk cuts that don’t go all the way through. Now, if you’re going to do v-bit carving, it needs to be much better, but those are usually smaller projects, and you’ll have a flatter section of table that can be used more accurately.
My LR table is 60" wide and ~32" deep. The wheels and cart ride along the 32" dimension. The supports in this table are 32" and there are 5, so there is about 15" center to center between them. I also put some 3/4" spoil board that is 48"x60" and that lets me ride over the edge of the torsion table, and get my 32" of work area. So I have about a 48"x32" work area, and I have about ±2mm Z difference in all of that area (I made a post with a graph, and my measurement. I’m not sure where it is). Someday I’ll figure out the Z touchplate/mesh levelling, and I won’t stress so much about flat :).
Instead of mesh leveling, why not surface the spoil board with an 1 1/2 inch bit? That’s what I plan on doing asap. Im going to still use a Z touch plate to make tool changes easy.
Leveling and surfacing are fine but really I do not think it is worth the effort, any through cuts go through and past so really no point in leveling. I use a foam work surface so even an extra 5mm through would not even effect the chip load. I tend to only need an extra 2mm to ensure a complete cut and I think that is more due to the actual material I am working with sheet goods warp and bow all to hell. I throw screws in it as it cuts constantly.
I know people think cnc and ultra precision but sheet goods are not as accurate as you would imagine. Even metal. X and Y are good, Z on large goods are all over the place. For me it is a pick your battle type of thing and the Z isn’t worth it. If you need a precision z cut you will actually end up surfacing your material anyway so you will have a know good plane and a very accurate z position from there.
A friend of mine wants me to make her a space pirate sign like I have in my shop.
Since I’ve made my mpcnc smaller, I can’t cut it on that anymore, so I have to use the lowrider. As mine sits right now, it’s not flat enough to cut it properly. I think plus or minus a millimeter is a fairly reasonable goal to set for the tabletop. Right now mine has a couple dips that are almost a centimeter.
2mm is plenty good for through cuts. I would only do the mesh levelling if I was doing carving. Which is why I haven’t already.
I also really like the idea of the software moving parallel to whatever is below it. At some point, I’m going to do it just to understand it. I doubt I’ll make a 4’x8’ PCB.
I also personally don’t like surfacing the board. It will make a ton of dust, take forever and if you move something it might be completely off again. My spoil board is plywood too, so I’m not sure the resulting surface will be smooth at all. MDF should work fine though.
Anyway, pretty off course here. No need to go nuclear on your table. But I can recommend my torsion box. It works great for me.
I plan on making my table from 5 sheets of MDF and the legs from 2x4’s and 2x6’s. I will take some pictures and document how I build it. I was trying to find a way to use less sheets, but with the table being larger than a sheet, it creates some waste. I imagine I will cut up the waste learning how to use the machine.
With my LowRider staying in the same place for the first part of it’s life. I’m not to worried about shifting anything. I do like Ryan’s idea about using the table for other tools. Maybe after I move and upgrade shops, I will consider building a more elaborate table. It would be cool to have a traditional router table built-into the end of the CNC router table.
I’m using my table as the outfeed for my table saw. For the most part, all the table surfaces in my shop are the same height as the saw. The only one that is taller is my mpcnc table, and that’s because I built it on top of some kitchen cabinets that I inherited with the barn.
@Derek P I was looking at the stuff I have, and I think a single piece of 1-5/8" square unistrut would be enough for the rollers to ride on. I think they’ll get that close together top and bottom.
I started cading up a table design in 360. I’ve decided I can draw them up on a napkin way faster, and I won’t want to throw my computer out the window before I’m done…
I made a bed frame and did most of it in CAD and decided “wahtever I know what I’m doing”…Wish I would have done it 100% in CAD, I always miss something and had a lot of cussing when I went to assemble it.
New motto, Cuss at CAD, smile during the build.
First thing I tried to do was rotate that screen grab…LOL. I might spend too much time in CAD.
Edited!!! Updated 11/16/17
Total dimensions are 63.25 inches by 108 inches. I almost screwed up and got my second set of long tubes too short! I’m using 63" tubes, I think 64" would be better. A little stick out on either end is probably preferable. The 63" tubes show about 3/16ths to a quarter inch of plastic inside the coupling on one end.
Okay, need 4 sheets of 3/4, and 2 sheets of half inch.
Tops are 3/4 thick, 29 1/4 inches wide by 96 inches long.
Sides are 96 inches long, by 6 inches tall, by half inch thick.
Ends and stretchers are 28 1/4 inches wide by 6 inches tall (adjust for actual sheet thickness). Stretchers are spaced 2 foot on centers.
All the ovals are 4 inch diameter, the ends spaced 4 inches from the ends of the boards, and stretcher locations.
My plan is to use the leftover 3/4 to make risers for some 1-5/8" unistrut for the wheels to ride on.