Monday, May 11, 2015

Make a Fold-Up Work Table

To get ready for a new X-Carve CNC machine from Inventables.com, I built this space-saving fold-up work table.  I have a small shop and this table will allow me to fold up the CNC machine between projects, but it could work for other purposes.  Check out my video of this project!


I haven't seen anyone try this before, so I'm not sure how well it will work or if it will affect the CNC machine at all.  The work surface is 48" x 48" and it measures 36" tall.  I know I will be modifying the work table as I run into things that I didn't think about ahead of time.  Below is a list of things that I expect to work on:
  • I need to find a way to secure the front two legs so they will not fold up accidentally.  I may just use two temporary screws to hold them in place, and just remove them to fold up the table.
  • The X-Carve has some external components that drive the machine.  I will need to find a way to mount these that will allow the table to fold up.
  • When the motors are not engaged, the gantry will slide freely.  I will need to remember to push it to the back of the table before folding it up to avoid a crash.  I plan to add some supports that will hold the gantry up so it does not sag or bend when the machine is on its side.
  • It's important that a CNC machine is on a solid, flat surface in order to cut accurately.  I was careful to use the straightest materials for the table top.  It is flat, but I may need to upgrade the 1/4" plywood with something sturdier if it flexes too much.


If you would like to build one of these fold-up work tables, click here to download my PDF diagram and cut list.  It is a fun project and since it's made mostly from 2x4's, it is budget friendly.  I really like how it saves space, plus it's free-standing so I can move it if I need to.


Just as I finished building the work table, the X-Carve arrived!  I'm so excited!  I will set up the machine and attach it to the work table, then post a follow-up to show you how it is working out.


9 comments:

  1. Steve, great project! Just what I needed. I notice that the base (the fixed set of legs) doesn't attach to the end of the top. I'm assuming that it is "kicked" out so that it doesn't extend beyond the 24" foot. The 1/2 bolts look to be about 12" from the end, Is this about right? Thanks, Gary

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  2. Steve, awesome video and a great idea. I would even consider for my workbench but I need to have a full enclosure for the device as I am doing work where noise and dust isolation are a must. What do you think of a 4 ft x 4ft enclosure that has a sliding tray so that you can partially pull out the XCarve for cleaning? I am working with some carpenters in my area and we will try to design such a thing. Maybe you would want to tackle an enclosure project in the future? I am subscribing to your channel today.

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  3. Steve... The table came out wonderful. Great work! I just wanted to mention that one way you could fix it so that the front legs can't collapse is to add a triangular corner brace per each leg that works as usual (it holds the leg 90 degrees apart from the table top) but it only actually attaches to the leg itself and not the table top (and then only using a couple of wood dowels). That way, each triangle acts like a "lock". When you're ready to put the table in its vertical position, just remove the two locks...

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    1. Thanks Johnny! That's a good idea. I still haven't done anything to lock the legs in place. They seem to just stand fine under the weight of the machine. I only fold it down when I need to use it so it stays folded up most of the time.

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  4. I just placed my order for my X-care this week, I really like this layout but I am wondering have you have any issues with keeping it folded up for long periods of time when you go to use it? Most of my wood working is done on the weekends and I would love to tuck it away during the week. Just wondering if the weight has caused any issues. Would you have done anything different after doing it?

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    1. Hi Travis! I still like the table and keep it folded up most of the time. I folded it down this week to carve something after a couple of months of it being folded up and it worked fine. I haven't had any issues with it, but I don't really make anything that has to be super precise either, just small signs and personalized pieces.

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  5. Steve, did you do a video on how you mounted the X-carve along with the wiring and control box?

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    1. Hi - For the control box and wiring, I just suspended a piece of plywood from under the table using side supports and one in back, so that when the table folds up, the control box sits against the back support. It's pretty crude. Don't have pics of that though. There is a picture of the mounting tabs I made to hold the machine in place. I put two in front and two in back. You can see pictures here - http://www.thecarmichaelworkshop.com/2015/06/guitar-clock-x-carve-cnc-project-and.html

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