Non-MDF base for the machines

While searching for something else, came across this:

a composite, it should be dimensionally stable, and strong enough — while I wouldn’t want to commit to using the proprietary Gladiator track gear for clamping, it seems to me it’d be strong enough if one put T-track into the channels using a machine screw of appropriate length, and a fender washer of a suitable size — as an optional improvement one could fill in to either side of the T-track with either epoxy or some fabricated insert (perhaps there’s some other product one could use?).

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Okay, this stuff is on sale now — $46.74, which depending on shipping (or availability at a big box store) makes it pretty appealing. Sale ends today at Home Depot:

EDIT: also on sale at Lowes, and not time-limited (and only 15% off, so no huhu if the deal is missed):

(and it’s even in stock — wish I’d known that yesterday when I was making my weekly run)

Took a look at the accessories — they all seem to be metal clips on the edge — not really suited for anything but large scale work. Getting clamps all the way down in would be complex. My inclination would be to machine a piece of aluminum to fit in the bottom and to put a groove and holes in it to accommodate aluminum T-track.

Better still, machine the channels to accept a size of extrusion with tracks (unfortunately I can’t find a dimensional drawing of this stuff) — use fender washers when installing the T-track from underneath and it should be quite strong — not convinced the added complexity and cost savings are worth it though.

Okay, doing this on the cheap it would seem one would need:

  • one or more packs to cover a machine bed
  • cut it and mount it so the channels run from front–back and machine off an inch or two of the track to allow inserting some sort of clamps which would fit in the existing channels — these would need to be large enough to offer a suitable surface area to provide sufficient strength
  • you’d need some way to secure the track to the machine — aluminum angle should be okay, you’d need two lengths and you’d need to only load the clamps from the rear of the machine — alternately, do a captive clamp system — make enough of them that you could have two or three in each slot and just move them around as needed

Anyone have any experience with this stuff? Is it nice enough to justify this?

EDIT: In particular, is the multi-part solution better than just getting something like:

Quarter inch acrylic? Forgetaboutit. Worthless as base. Even half inch acrylic in my opinion wouldn’t be worth it. I do think the other material might be worth trying. 50 bucks to try.
Local HD doesn’t stock, end of May shipping… Fairly close Lowes has a couple of packs. Might go get a set

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This website always has coupons for sale for HD and Lowes in-store only. I’ve used them a handful of times when the math makes sense.