Following on from my post about buying a shapeoko metal bed and files I finally decided to take the plunge and make my own. I did want to have one CNC’d but it was too costly.
I started with a piece of 720x580 12/13mm aluminium that was cut by a local supplier. From there gave it a quick polish then drilled the mounting holes and put the shapeoko frame back together - only recessing the 2 front centre screws - then I drilled 88 pilot holes, then drilled to 5mm, then tapped with a M6 machine tap.
All in I spent about 2 hours drilling the 88 holes - the boring and tapping only took about 30 min which I thought was pretty quick. I went through 6 3.2mm drill bits, and charge cycles on my 18v 4ah dewalt.
Here are some pics of the build -
The best bit is using my DTI the base only have a 0.2mm variance across the board. It also only cost me £75 in materials and £ 10 in misc bits - like drill bits.
I will post results tomorrow from my first tests, but so far I’m impressed - if I was able I probably would have bought the one offered by carbide (it’s great value if your in the US)n - but this was a cool project and by far the largest bit of metal I have worked on.