A better aluminum bed for Shapeoko XXL

I have my XL on a pair of Harbor Freight anti-fatigue foam mats and that helps a bit with sympathetic vibrations/resonance and seems to reduce the noise a bit.

I did this sandwich-ing and never looked back:

image

  • the original MDF baseboard conveniently has holes in the right places such that the protruding parts underneath the steel plates go in them.
  • I used a thin layer of roof felt material on top of that between the plates
  • then the aluminium bed (custom made by @Luke in his garage…I’m proud to own such a rare item :slight_smile: )
  • (don’t mind my excuse for a torsion box underneath that: an Ikea kitchen table, bolted to the wall)
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Really good to know, Thanks!

Seeing so many aluminum base plates on this forum make the .02" flex in my MDF base plate look like a mile XD

With so many unofficial options for the base plate though, I wonder who has the flattest and most over engineered base on this forum.

Pretty sure the “flattest” award goes to @RichCournoyer.
And there is no such thing as “over-engineered” so I could not say :slight_smile:

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So the extruded aluminum looks sweet, but it’s not exactly cheap. It’s also 14 pieces–a few years ago I bought a couple of “flat aluminum plates” that have T-slots on both sides from Misumi. You could get the job done with four of these, 250mm x 1000mm at $62 each. Anyone thought of that?

That being said, I am much more inclined to begin with the step of removing the leveling feet and letting the bed rest on the bench top. In reading the thread, do I need to put anything under the machine?

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I left the three cross-members on, do people take those off? I think I’ve read that people remove them.

@Julien from your picture it looks like you don’t use those three cross-members underneath your baseboard? That’s a great way to re-purpose the baseboard and commemorate its service.

@WillAdams was definitely the one I saw mention the HF mats; and I meant anti-fatigue, could you imagine mats that induced fatigue? probably a tough sell haha. When I had my SO resting on my work bench without the mat it was significantly louder.

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I have the SO3, so I wouldn’t know anything about cross-members :slight_smile:

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The three cross straps are structural and should be left in place.

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Yes the fatigue mats are made by the same people who make headache pills, seasick pills, and diarrhea pills.

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I put adhesive rubber feet under my XL and was surprised how much quieter it is.
Probably also as good as the other mats mentioned. https://www.mcmaster.com/95495k722

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The Misumi T-Slot HFSQN4-15250-500 was very popular for the Shapeoko 2 when two pieces fit the machine as if made for it:

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2381#p18074

(esp. during Misumi’s “Reddit-150” promo)

I don’t know that anyone has done it for an SO3 or XL or XXL — the cost stacks up pretty quickly — I believe that in addition to the pieces running front–back you’d need additional structure going side–side. I tried working up a B.O.M. for extrusion and parts available from Fastenal/Grainger (trying to avoid the added expense of shipping) but have instead continued w/ my weird T-track/MDF/PVC hybrid (at least I went to the effort to spray my MDF baseboard w/ spare urethane).

https://forum.shapeoko.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8332&p=65068#p65068

(though things have changed since then, integrating the C3D T-track in addition to what I was using — only had 2 track left over)

Possibly longer lasting/better would be something like:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F7EASKQ

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Yes. I actually have 4 of the Misumi 250mm wide extrusions leaning up against the wall in my shed because I was going to go that route before I went all in on the Ohio Diesel Parts bed. I think it would have worked well, but I do not like the “traditional” way of clamping using really long t-nuts and knurled nuts to clamp (like the Incra Build it clamps do) , so I bought Misumi T-nuts that fit the extrusion and then went to McMaster-Carr and bought 3/4" long all thread and ~7/8" long threaded couplers and was going to make an adapter so I could use the many 1/4-20 SHCS I already have.

Pretty much like this:

I am debating whether to sell all of the Misumi extrusion as a set to someone who wanted to use it for their bed, or keep a small piece for really small work and make the adapters so I can precisely clamp things that are difficult to clamp with 1.5" hole spacing.

EDIT: If anyone was wondering, it was $59.98/ea for 1,066mm (~42.00") long pieces of the HFSQN4-1520 Extrusion plus ~$38.00 shipping to Washington state.

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Yeah, the side–side arrangement is probably easier to make work, but I find it less pleasing aesthetically (as well as from a practicality standpoint).

While I’ll be getting some more expensive setup, I am going to try a budget-friendly, non-committal solution that will allow adjustment.
A bolt threaded through the bench-top right under each of the supporting steel planks making the base of the Shapeoko should allow easy adjustment of sagging with a twist of the wrench.


I figure two bolts per plate for a total of six should allow me to make fine-enough adjustments. Only add another nut right before threaded plate to keep bolt in place…

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I used 1 1/4” MDF for the top of my table that my XXL sits on. It stays dead flat. Add a piece of that to the top of your table and then secure your Shapeco to that. My XXL, after surfacing has stayed flat within .003”. Flatness measured with a dial indicator in the collet over a 2” square piece of tool steel moved around the table in 6” increments.

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That makes a lot of sense! Your table provides good and stable support for the already compressed and stable MDF (unless it gets wet!). Did you actually surface it or a spoil board that sits on and is totally supported by it?

The top of my table is 1 1/4” MDF. It’s coated with deft, top and bottom. I have installed another layer of 3/4” MDF(as a spoil board)and t-slots on top of the stock MDF panel that came with my machine. I then resurfaced the t-slot top to within .003”. The machine is heavy enough that careful adjustment of the leveling feet and careful surfacing will yield a flat and parallel surface to the carriage travels!

This is a torsion box table top.

Start with flat. You’ll never go back. :smiley:

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Is your Shapeoko bolted to it? Does your spoil board sit on it or on the Shapeoko?