Yet another "is this right for me" post

I have a very cramped garage to say the least. My entire workbench is limited to the size of a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Right now this bench houses my table saw, router table, miter station, and downdraft table. I also keep a beltsander, scroll saw, and jointer under the table.

I would like to build to MPCNC, but i dont have a place to put it. It doesnt seem like it would be easy to take on and off of the table top. What I’m currently thinking is building a low rider and attaching rails to my current setup. When its not in use I could store it in the corner, or build a mount to hang it from the ceiling. My question is this - Would it be reasonable to build the lowrider for my current setup and have it be removable. Is this a good or bad idea? Or should i just build the MPCNC and try to find a place to store it when not in use.

I would make an MPCNC on a really sturdy base, make sure it does not flex when you pick it up. I have one on a welded aluminum frame. I move it all the time. The LowRider isn’t that easy to take off and get out of the way.

Two things come to mind:

  1. There are the drive belts attached to the sides of the table. You'll have to come up with a clever way to remove them and reset them, and their tension when you switch from LR to not. Your spoil board (whatever you put your material on and clamp it down) will get chewed up, and needs to be relatively flat, and basically connected to the Low Rider rails.
  2. With those other tools, your hand is constantly on the workpiece. With a CNC machine (the MPCNC or LR) you just work on it when you're clamping the material down. You might want to build an MPCNC on a shelf underneath the table, because it does not have to be at counter height. The flip side is a shelf up higher, although, you'd want to be limited to small work pieces so you don't have to lug a 50lb chunk of wood up a ladder.
Also, to cut 4x8 sheets, you need about 5x9 of table, just so you know.

As for LR vs MPCNC, the MPCNC is a little simpler, if you’ve never done CAM. The Low Rider is more rigid at any size, and if you want to cut out cabinets or big boxes, then the Low Rider is great. You can use most of the hardware bits from the MPCNC and the Low Rider. My MPCNC became my Low Rider. I have a 3D printer though, so new parts are basically free for me.