View Full Version : Building your own table

07-07-2001, 02:34 PM
How much money and time will it take to make my own table? either wood or steel. Let's not be absurb, I am talking about the real world using readily available materials. I am looking at a PRT96 unit. And, another thing, this forum alone makes the Shopbot my No.1 choice. Yes, I could spend more and get less from advertised brands but I would rather have a long term working relationship with my peers...It is worth its weight in Gold! Many Thanks. Jim

07-07-2001, 03:46 PM

Do yourself a favor and buy the steel table from ShopBot. You will save yourself some time and aggravation.

Your wallet might be lighter afterward, but it will save you time and trouble.

I bought the steel table, and found it to be well constructed. The only thing it lacks is some form of support in the center of the X span between the legs. The table bounces (just a little) on some moves.

07-07-2001, 04:56 PM
Wood Table $100.00

Steel Table can be bulit at any metal shop for under $200.00 Texas Prices, to date I know 13 shopbotters that had theres built for under $200.00.


07-07-2001, 10:05 PM
I think it would be impossible to get the same accuracy and stability with a wood table as with the steel one. ALso the steel table is easier to fine-tune.

07-07-2001, 10:17 PM
These are some of the answers i expected...Pro both ways. If I can get a good steel table for a few hundred dollars I'll go that way. We can do some metal work as is now. I assume it is not that complicated to build a table suitable for the shopbot! As for time and aggravation, I have more time than money and aggravation is a part of owning your business...to that pain i am now numb.
Can I download the plans? Guess I should look and see. Thanks to all.. more comments are welcome. Jim

07-07-2001, 11:00 PM
I built a steel one for mine for approximately $160. I had the place where I bought the steel from cut all the pieces to length per ShopBot plans. After that all ya gotta do is drill a lot of holes, bolt it together, and paint to match. Don't forget to weld in some sort of levelers on the bottom of the legs and as Jim M. stated you do need some angled braces between the legs from side to side to stop the wiggle caused by the Y axis movements. I priced out making one out of laminated wood joists and it would have cost me twice as much and wouldn't have looked as nice ;^) and with the change in humidity through the seasons here its dimensional stability was another determining factor. Have fun and don't let that big 1/2" gear drive drill take you for a spin. ;^)


07-07-2001, 11:11 PM
If you have access to the material and equipment necessary to build the table then by all means do so. Thats a whole bunch of holes to be drilling. Not to mention trying to handle the steel while drilling them.

Then finding the material. Myself, I wouldn't have a clue as to where you would find those funky wedge shaped nuts that the SB table comes with. And some steel distributers (in our area) have anywhere from $250 - $500 minimum orders.

My thought on this is this. If you mis-drill a hole when building it, it could possibly throw your table out of whack. Then you might have buy another piece of steel. If SB mis-drills the hole, they send you another piece.

07-10-2001, 10:07 AM

I built a steel table in March of this year. You can download the plans on the ShopBot website. Follow them exactly. The steel cost me $216 (in Michigan) and was cut to length by the supplier - I had to cut the bevels on the bottom supports. The wedge washers are available from McMaster-Carr (part #91151A033) and the bolts/nuts are available from any hardware store (incidentally, I spent another $40 on the hardware). I probably spent 3 - eight hour days building it. Be sure to drill pilot holes first, then use the 9/16 bit!

07-12-2001, 01:01 PM
Holy Crud!

I just finished putting the steel table together from Shopbot. About 20 hours and many sore muscles and joints later, it's together and it's even pretty to look at. I, for one, couldn't imagine having to drill all those holes through thick steel, and then have to figure out just what I needed for hardware. There are also a couple of 5" C channels that go between the legs to keep them from racking. I looked at the plans, and didn't see those pieces called out (I may have missed them), so make sure you get those as well. Those extra pieces require milling. Not easy to do yourself.

All in all, I'm glad I paid the extra to just get everything ready to go.


08-14-2001, 12:40 AM
I'm building a steel table for my 5'x12'x24". I been taking my time but it's not too complicated. It sounds like the kit from them is a little more complicated but I wouldn't know why. The plans seem simple enough. I've put four legs per side and have used some much heavier 8" channel. I have enough Z height to play with though. Bottom line is that you just have to keep your shopbot off the ground and keep it from wiggling. Not too complicated. I've spent about $400 so far and $100 of that was for a gallon of matched paint and self etching primer. The steel was very cheap at 'Davis Salvage'in Phoenix. It's virgin stuff at good prices. 8" channel was $60 per 20 ft. I designed the table for zero scrap and used four lenths of that and some 1/4 x 2" for the bottom of the legs. That was about $10 for that and $60 for the 8 little adjustable 2" feet through Grainger on-line. I spent some more on welding supplies ect... A little more to go and I'll be done..

08-17-2001, 04:55 PM
I guess I should elaborate a little on the "20 hours"
. That included the time to install and shim the X rails. The table went together quite a bit faster than that. Of course, I was very meticulous in getting everything "just right", so I may have spent longer than I actually needed to.