Weight of the Y Plate

Newbie here. I am going to attempt to build a full sheet low rider for my cabinet shop in OKC. Read through much of the forum topics from 2020 and the latter part of 2019. Ordered everything that V1 had in stock, no bundles available, so I sourced the missing stuff from Amazon and a local Metal Depot.

So after reading about Y plates ad nauseum, I was wondering if making them out of 1/2" solid surface would be a good idea. I make countertops too so I have lots of scrap. The weight difference assuming a 230 mm x 130 mm Y plate blank (rough numbers from memory, I have yet to print out the PDFs but I will tomorrow) is about .87 of a pound per side

In return I get a really stiff, really durable, very hard surface. The thermal expansion is very low, about 1/8" in 12 foot for a significant temperature change (room temperature to freezing let’s say). and you aren’t going to have soft wood fibers crushing under the fasteners over time.

I am wondering though what the consequences will be adding a little less than one pound per side on the machine. Acceleration is going to be effected, more mass. Traction ought to be increased with the added weight. Over tightening the bolts isn’t going to happen, the bolts will stretch a bit and the pressure isn’t going to crush the wood fibers over time (cabinetmaker, yeah this is a problem in cabinets at times).

Good idea or a dumb idea?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Worst case you can compensate by reducing Y acceleration. It’s hard to beat free materials…


I dont think it will be a big issue.

Welcome to the funhouse!

Worst case, pull them off, and cut some reasonably sized/placed holes in them to reduce the weight. Better yet, start with hand-cut wooden plates, then use your new CNC machine to cut new plates from wood, then spend some time figuring out the feeds and speeds for your solid surface (if it can be cut on the LR), and cut yourself some spiffy, super fancy, marbleized faux-granite Y plates, complete with your shop logo engraved right there for all to see (maybe with the V1 logo, too). :smiley:

Cool, some weight relief holes sound like a great idea. I hauled a 36" Harbor Freight sheet metal brake to the Philippines once on United. Had to drill a few hundred holes all over the machine to get the parts light enough to avoid spending a fortune.

The solid surface (corian is one brand) cuts just like wood. I think if I keep the feed speeds down it will cut fine. I use the stuff for all sorts of things like router table tops, table saw fences, jig fences. The dust sucks, you look like a snowman after working with it for a few hours. Drills fine, you can sand the edges up the grades till around 240 grit and scotch brite it to polish out the edges. It will thread but you aren’t supposed to due to the different coefficient of expansions between solid surface and steel. Probably not an issue for a small part like in the low rider. You can even thermo form the stuff

Got the parts from V1 today, laid out the Y plates after grabbing the center lines off the PDF drawings. They didn’t print to size for some reason so I just laid them out from the center line. I will post some pictures of the final Y plates when done.

Thanks for the advice!