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Thread: ShopBot Table expansion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
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    794

    Default ShopBot Table expansion

    All,

    I have gotten some components from ShopBot and am widening my table from a 5' to a 6' table. I will now have a 6' x 10' layout.

    What I could use some suggestions on is how to set up the underlayment and the spoilboard. The largest sheets of plywood I can get locally are going to either be 5 x 5' in Baltic Birch, or 4 x 8' in standard ply materials. Anyone know of anything else available for the first layer???

    Plenum:I don't use vacuum, so I don't have to plan for that. However, for stability purposes, I probably want to run a three layer stack. so I am still thinking two layers on top of the base layer.

    Locally I can get MDF in 5' x 10', so I could potentially lay a 5' x 10' and a 1' x 10' to get a complete layer, and then flip the orientation for the next layer's seam to the other side of the table, so that the seams do not occur in the same line.

    Alternately, I could start with 4 x 8' sheets and orient them long-dimension across the end of the machine (6' width), and use two 4'x6' sheet sections and a 2' x 6' section to reach the full 6 x 10, and then probably use the 5 x 10' MDF layers as described above to make my bed and spoilboard scheme.

    Do any of you wise ones have an alternate idea on this?

    Thanks for your thought on this.

    Monty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Memphis TN
    Posts
    968

    Default

    If you have the Z, you could pour a 3" concrete layer. That would provide the absolute most stable base with zero flex. It would also weigh about a ton (~25 80 lb bags) or so which would also make the table a lot more stable. On top of the concrete, MDF. You could even run a surfacing routine on the concrete surface in the first 24 hours after pouring as the concrete would be soft enough to machine easily at that point. If it was me, I'd rig a float on the spindle and run a surfacing routine before the concrete set to make it as level and flat as possible.

    I know, rather bizarre but for such a big table, probably work great.
    ShopBot Details:
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Garland Tx
    Posts
    2,333

    Default

    I used MDO for my base layers… Medium density overlay is a sealed, primed product, not as susceptible to shrinking or swelling in our Texas humidity/temperature changes!

    For my spoil board I like to use a moisture resistant MDF like Exteria or Medex for the same reasons. If your shop is fully temperature/humidity controlled 24/7, movement of these materials may not be an issue.

    These materials aren’t big box items, but cabinet shop supply houses like “The Plywood Company” have them, often in 5’ X 12’. Split a sheet of this to get 2- 5’ x 6’ pcs.

    SG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    Excellent suggestions, Gents. Thank you for your input!

    Monty

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
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    Default

    Rats. Local cabinet shop supplier tells me that they can't get 5 x 12, and that they are out of 5 x 10- and will be "months" getting more... I may be into forming up a box and pouring!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    MA
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    Default

    I would not do concrete. That's insanity. You'd never ever be able to move that machine again. You'd likely warp the cross members and crack the slab anyway. The long X rails can sag under the weight of just a standard table setup if you have one of the old 4 legged ShopBots, I'd guess they'd buckle under the weight of concrete or granite.

    I haven't done every single table configuration (far from it) but I've been pretty happy using sealed MDF, and now two layers of Extira (base solid, plenum second layer, LDF top layer) and that's been nice and stable, more than my old setup which was Plywood base, MDF, LDF. But even that setup was pretty good, it just needed resurfacing when there was a wild moisture swing.

    I'd recommend going one of those routes. You can cut down 4x8s and biscuit them together to make whatever size you need for short money. If you're feeling spendy and you want something super stable look at a phenolic top. Very stable but only as stable as what you put it on. I looked into that once and it was going to be $700 to $1000 just for the sheet, not to mention the extra cross members I'd need to support it.

  7. #7
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    Location
    TX
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    Default

    If they had a rigid panel in the size I want, I would pay money for it - but it would need to be a full 6 x 10, so I could do it in one sheet (if I have to get spendy)... Concrete might be heavy, but the new kit from SHopBot is going to be well supported. And I have upgraded leveling feet and done some other mods. Not concerned about the structure nor the slab! (I have an 18" thick granite block that would be just about perfect, if I could figure out how to slave the rails to it! That weighs in at about 30K pounds, but is flat to a few thousandths across the face! I have found some sheets of MDF, and need to source some good underlayment... working on it...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    MA
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    600

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    I have upgraded my legs too... Trust me don't put concrete or granite there. Just biscuit some panels together and you'll be in great shape.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
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    Memphis TN
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricSchimel View Post
    I would not do concrete. That's insanity. You'd never ever be able to move that machine again. You'd likely warp the cross members and crack the slab anyway. The long X rails can sag under the weight of just a standard table setup if you have one of the old 4 legged ShopBots, I'd guess they'd buckle under the weight of concrete or granite.
    I've loaded 800 lb. logs onto my 5x8 SB (with six legs) and seen no detectable deflection. You must have a weak machine.

    Concrete is a miracle material. A product of the gods.
    ShopBot Details:
    2013 PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer
    Aspire
    Rhino
    Fusion 360
    Ferrari 360
    Prusa MK3S+

  10. #10
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    Oct 2010
    Location
    TX
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    794

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    I have 12" indexer envy... I dream of building a custom machine just to do large/long columns...

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