Soliciting ideas for Nomad work table

Hello all!
I’ve just started thinking about building a table + enclosure for Nomad, and I thought I’d throw my ideas out here for your thoughts–I have no doubt the collective experience here will improve my very basic idea.

So I’m thinking I’d like a wheeled table/cabinet to support my Nomad. As I envision it now, it would have wooden walls/soundproofing on three sides and on/under the work surface, with plexiglass in front. The top would normally rest on the sides, but would fold away; the top would also have an aperture for a vacuum hose. I can imagine using it while I stand, in which case I’d be wanting a surface 46" off the floor, or sitting down, in which case I’d want a surface 29" off the floor–I haven’t decided which way I want to go with that yet.

So here’s a (very quick and dirty) sketch of what I have in mind:

Some miscellaneous considerations:

  • The bottom cabinet may tend to amplify machine noise, like a musical instrument (but I’m not certain about that).
  • The work surface has to support the 50+ pounds of the Nomad.
  • There will have to be air inlets (probably on the top side?) for the vacuum to work.
  • The plexiglass front may make the rest of the sound proofing pointless (don’t know though).
  • Lights could be added to the top/sides for illumination within the enclosure, probably powered from a power strip in the bottom part.
  • An external panic switch might be a good idea (to save the time of opening the enclosure to turn it off in an emergency).

Anyway, any and all thoughts welcome–no idea is too small!

Thanks a bunch,

Check out my Shapeoko3 enclosure post in the Shapeoko section

It may give you some more ideas.

Mine is 3/4" plywood with 3/8" acrylic windows and it attenuates sound very well. I included sound measurements in the post. I think I even posted a video link to let you hear the difference.

I used acoustical damping caulk in all of the wall joints.

Using some type of soft rubber feet will help prevent transmission of vibrations from the Nomad to the enclosure.

I hope that helps some.

Indeed it does help Tony. Thanks. I saw that thread early on, but ended up not following, and eventually forgot about it in the excitement of other things. Thanks again.

Some of my lessons learned and other things to consider to make your enclosure better than the one I made…

  1. Leave more room around the sides and top just in case you need it for some accessory or sound suppression panels down the road
  2. I made the box then cut the door out of the assembled box. Its much easier that way and everything aligns better.
  3. Using a vacuum hose with spring steel wire eliminates the need for the hose to follow a “U” shape and simplifies things quite a bit. The hose just springs back when the head is close and stretches several hundred % so it reaches the extents of the work area without causing any issues.
  4. Make your vacuum shoe easily removable so its easy to change bits and set z height
  5. You probably won’t go wrong adding more light than you think you need.
  6. If you want really good sound attenuation… add a layer of drywall inside the enclosure but attach the drywall to the outer panels using acoustical caulk. That will give you both mass and damping which will make a huge difference. You can find the acoustical caulk on Amazon. It comes in a large tube so buy the dispenser that’s needed to use it. Its much larger than a standard caulk tube.
  7. Adding some kind of bellows on the Y axis to keep the chips from falling under the Nomad would be a good idea since its not easy to clean under it and they build up over time.
  8. The Nomad doesn’t produce chips at a very fast rate because of the low spindle power. That means you can get by with a relatively low power vacuum source. Even a yard sale vacuum cleaner will produce more flow than you need. Just make sure you have a good filter on whatever you use. Mark Bellon has a lot on info about dust collection on various posts here.
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Awesome–thanks again! In particular, I wasn’t aware of how the hoses with the coils in them worked. Given that the Nomad is using gears, I would guess any resistance from having the hose attached shouldn’t affect precision much…

For the Nomad the force would probably never exceed 1 lb

Given today’s inexpensive high definition cameras I do not generally design production enclosures with windows. Demonstration enclosures I will put windows in, well, because they are designed to show off.

Windows are are all too easily transparent to sound and prevent achieving the best possible sound suppression.

When I do design with a window, it must be double paned, with at least 0.25" of air space between the panes. The panes must be solidly mounted and sealed - glazed - such that the air within is entirely trapped. The panes of material - interesting choice between polycarbonate and different types of glass - must be affixed so that they cannot vibrate at the edges.


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Nothing beats the simplicity and ease of use of a window. After several months of use I still love this enclosure. It drops sound levels well below what I expected and well within comfortable limits.

I designed a quiet vacuum because my shop vac was much louder than the router with the enclosure. I included a built-in cyclone so I haven’t had to clean or change my filter yet.