Definitely go with the torsion box — also suggest designing it to accommodate through bolts which would mate with the PEM nuts which are used for the levelling feet.
You have a link to what you are referencing (through bolts with PEM nuts)? Googling them didn’t help. So you would advise against the casters, or can I use both?
I accidentally deleted my last post…
The end plates have PEM nuts in them (actually, I think all the metal bits save for the extrusions do).
My suggestion is to take advantage of these so as to bolt the machine to the structure — put in extra long bolts from the top, then use nuts and suitable washers at the bottom so as to fasten things (and preclude the PEM nuts tearing out.
Check out Edward Ford’s Shapeoko 3D model I think on the wiki page. Everything is dimensioned perfectly. It may or may not be the S03 but the pem nuts are on the bottom of the 2 support rails front and back.
I knew Will would like that. All “likes” go to Will when the polls open. I forgot where Will directed me to find this 3d image.
Your garage floor will be sloped, normally, but it is sloped consistently. So you can still move the unit around the garage maintaining a level surface as long as you don’t reverse the direction the unit faces . If the front legs are longer than the back to conteract the sloped floor than just don’t rotate the unit 180 degrees when you move it to another spot. The rolling table in my carport is like that and as long as I keep it facing south I can move it anywhere without spilling my coffee or beer. No one likes spilled coffee, we won’t mention spilling beer.
Thanks for the complement!
I would make it bigger if I made it again. More height to allow more room for suspending the vacuum hose from the top. However, I’m not having any issues with what I’m using now unless I need to use the forwardmost 10" or so of the build area.
I mounted a bright LED light above mine but having a light inside the enclosure would be a bonus. Especially if the inside is painted a light color.
I used 50 lb gas springs. I should have gone up to the next size. If its below 50F in the garage the door doesn’t always stay up on its own.
For your design I would consider hinging the whole front half of the top so you can have easier access to the entire cut area. You don’t need the 2x4 posts. Just use 3/4" plywood and use lap joints or add 1" strips in the corners to strengthen it. I would add a sheet of plywood top and bottom to the base frame. That will make the base much less likely to twist which would throw off the flatness of the base.
Making it mobile is problematic. Everytime you move it the spoil board will twist some amount because of forces on the frame and your floor not being perfectly level. If you don’t do close tolerance work then that may not be an issue. If you make parts that have to mate precisely to other parts or parts than need to be very accurate along the z dimension then don’t make it mobile. You can always try it see if it affects the kind of work you do but I thought I should mention it. You won’t notice it much on small parts but with larger parts you may find that your spoil board twists every time you move it.
Some people have put a door in the rear so they can machine long pieces. The rear door allows the piece to stick out the back.
Flat is relative. If the base twists even as little as 0.030" then v-carving will look terrible and you will have to resurface your spoil board to get good results. On the other hand, for many types of projects you won’t notice the movement at all. It very much depends on how accurate you need your parts to be.
I’ll second @WillAdams - build a torsion box for the bottom of the cart, and bolt the SO3 to that. The floor will be essentially irrelevent because the box (if big/stiff enough) won’t let the machine twist on the slope of the floor. Overall, it’s a neat idea, let us know how this works out!
Wood is not very stiff even in a torsion box configuration. At least not when 0.020" is significant. Just a few lbs load change from one leg to another will twist a wooden torsion box enough to throw the table flatness out enough to mess with shallow v carving of large pieces. I built a torsion box onto mine. If I wanted to make it mobile I would have made the frame out of steel or made the torsion box much thicker… like all the way to the floor.
For the smallest size SO3 and maybe even the XL it may not flex enough to notice aftet moving the machine from one place to another. However, I believe it will twist the XXL more than 0.010", even on a 5" tall torsion box.
Huh, thought it would have been stiffer, I’ll take your word for it though!
If you put a dial indicator on the router or x axis beam then press on the center of a xxl machine, even with steel supports and two layers of MDF it will deflect over 0.030" with just a light push from your hand. It will deflect over 1/16" with just moderate force. I put shims under my xxl base cross support beams to minimize that deflection.
I’m basing my comment on that and that wood is about 1/20th as stiff as steel.
Keeping a machine flat and true is difficult even when it’s on a fixed table. That’s probably why Will suggests bolting it down. Wood expands, contracts and twists with changing temperature and moisture levels so a wooden base is a compromise between accuracy and cost. Making it mobile is a one step further trade between accuracy and convenience.
It will be fine for some types of uses. It’s something to think about though.
The flex you’ve characterized @Tshulthise was “pre-shim” and suspended on the stock leveling feet?
Yes , that is correct
Tony, do you have the mounting locations from the hinge pivot points for the gas Springs?
Does your access door require latches to keep it closed? I tried a pair of 60# Springs on my enclosure but it would take about 20# of weight to get the door to close. Thinking of trying 50# Springs.
Rear view showing removable panel for tiling operations
That looks great.
I used a strong neodymium magnet mounted in a block of wood at the center bottom front then screwed a piece of tube steel to the bottom center of the door. The magnet is about 3/4" diameter and a half inch long or so, so it provides 15 to 20 lbs force to hold the door shut. You can find strong magnets on EBAY for a reasonable price. I think most home centers will have magnets encased in steel sleeves which focuses the magnetic field in one direction and makes them easy to mount. With that type of magnet you can get 20 to 40 lbs holding force without spending more than $10 or so.
I’ll measure the spring mount points and post them later. I mounted the spring mounts on blocks then I just tried various mounting locations until I got what I wanted. Every door will have a different CG, weight and torque so its likely that my mounting locations will be different than yours. I used thick plastic panels (because that’s what I had laying around) so that made my door heavier than some others I’ve seen here.
see the attached picture. The dimensioned “x’s” are the mounting locations I used. If you need anything else feel free to ask.
Tony - with mounting all your electronics on the outside of the case, were you able to do that with the stock length wires? Or did you use extensions and if so from where? Seems all my wires just barely make it to the side of the left rail as is, let along out to a case another ~8" out…
I had to solder in extensions for several of the cables. It was time consuming but pretty easy and straight forward.
Hey Tony, I’m about to attempt at replicating your enclosure. Since you’ve had it for a while now, anything you would do differently?
idank… sorry for the late reply…
I would change the following:
- Make it a couple inches wider to allow more room to work when wiring
- Make it about 6 inches taller to allow more options for routing the dust collection hose
- Make it about a foot deeper so I could cut stock to the full forward extent of the cut area without having to open the door
- I would consider ditching the stock base and hard mounting the y rails to the torsion box or to a large aluminum plate.
- Use stronger gas springs. Mine work well until the shop gets colder. When its cold they won’t hold the door up without a prop stick.
- Add some lighting inside. I painted my enclosure an off white color which helped a lot. Having lights inside would just be a nice luxury but not needed with the large windows.
- I probably would NOT modify the router to put the speed control on the control panel. Its not really needed since I rarely change cutting speed mid job and if I do it would be easy enough to pause the job and adjust the router speed.