Wood or steel table for Shapepoko XXL

Just finished up redoing my entire shop to accommodate the XXL that I purchased and will be setting up the new machine. I am in need of a table for the XXL. I have a bunch of 1" steel square tube from another project and was wondering if I should weld a table frame up or should I just use some 2x4’s and build the platform out of that. Is there any advantages of using steel to make the platform? Thanks

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As they say in bike circles, “steel is real”.

My choice here would be a steel table rigid enough to have the machine bolted to it using the PEM nuts (you’ll need so enlarge your holes and put bolts in from the top, then use nuts at the bottom to keep from pulling them out if I’m remembering the configuration correctly).

With steel you can have a sturdy enough surface to clamp to.

If you’re inclined, and can get your holes accurate enough, you could make it a bit larger, disassemble the machine, flip the end plates, bolt them to the structure, and then have a machine more open along the bottom and which you could slide in replacement wasteboards and stock in from the side. Looks a little ungainly, but w/ a suitable structure just as strong and a lot more flexible.


My machines are on a steel frame table with a wood top. It’s bolted to the wall and floor, giving a rock-solid platform… plus I can screw stuff down if I need to!


I’ve never found that 1" sq tubing to have enough rigidity, I’ve used it for 3 other type projects and it always flexed too much and weakened than failed. I love angle iron, especially the 1/4" thick stuff. I get it at the scrape yard by the pound. I think your 1" tubing would be ok for the small one but your xxl IMO will need too large a table for the 1" sq tubing to be strong enough for. YMMV, so take it with a grain of salt. Of course I always over build but I’d rather not have a failure and an accident. 2 x 4’s and 4 x 4"s bolted together also flex over time at the joints because they are soft woods and can not hold a joint, even a mortise and tendon over time they compress and the joint weakens. If wood use pallet bottom boards, they are usually poor hard woods. Look at timber framing or log houses, they use pine and such but they also use huge diameters and it’s their weight that holds them together as much as the joint. Now a bed bolt joint will hold as long as you remember to tighten it every year. Jude


Maybe, stack the 1" tubes and weld them?
Then you would have 1" wide by 2" tall. That should be quite rigid.