Hi, I’ve been away for a while moving house which meant the X-Carve was packed up but now it’s back up and running and working hard on parts for my new workshop. Item number one is a router table.
I have supply of 5mm thick high impact polyethylene board normally used for outdoor signs so it’s quite tough and a good substitute for formica which is not readily available on the island (Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK). I tried exterior plywood first but couldn’t find a piece without a slight bow in it so reluctantly settled for 18mm MDF, using contact adhesive to secure the polyethylene top.
The great thing about the X-Carve is the ability to mill shapes that would otherwise be complex and time-consuming using conventional tools (the Kreg insert plate can be very tricky if your’re not experienced with a plunge router), so here are the initial results:
I’m now working on the router table fence and planning a twist on conventional design by using linear bearings and 8mm stainless steel rods to keep it smooth and even during adjustment.
Lovely work. Looks nicer than some of those I’ve seen for sale. I bought myself a table (cast iron), but I’m really unhappy with the shrouding around the router. Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before, but your post has started the creative juices flowing…
It reminds me I have a router table 80% finished. I need to cut an opening for the router plate which seems like a good job for the X-Carve. Table top is 1200mm x 600mm so fitting it into the X-Carve will be a challenge.
Thanks, I’ll try to make sure and upload some picture when it’s finished.
Cheers Geoff, I appreciate the feedback.
Much appreciated Sketch42…interesting name by the way.
20th August update…
Nearly done…worked on the fence today. Bracing and dust collection pieces tomorrow if I have time.
Nice t-track hold down clamps, but why would you ever need them?
I don’t need them for the router table, just using the track as a parking spot. They’re going to be used across a few work areas I’m putting together.
The bracing for the upright and dust collection port are done. Now I can build the workbench it will fit into.
Version 2 will have more features but this will be good enough for the next set of jobs I have lined up. I’m thinking aluminium extrusions and cast acrylic sheet next time to reduce weight and thickness. There is a window/conservatory manufacturer near me and their skip is always full on interesting offcuts.
The white material you can see is from signs my firm uses at exhibitions, then throw out afterward (terrible waste). It’s surprisingly tough and machines very well. You can machine it, plane it, sand it and paint it. Add some plywood and contact cement and you have a very capable composite. I would use something like formica but it’s not readily available on the island and is expensive to ship in small quantities. It’s handy to be working for a wasteful firm sometimes!
The linear bearing idea will have to wait for version 2. Sometimes good enough is just that, good enough!
Thanks Robert, the unit will have (left to right) a DeWalt DEW733 thicknesser/planer, DeWalt DW745 table saw and then the router table. The thicknesser/planer will only be used occasionally so I’m mounting it on a scissor lift which will rise up from inside the unit (you would remove a cover plate first which will otherwise act as extra surface area for the table saw). The scissor lift will use a car jack lead screw though I’m not settled on whether to go all out and control it using motors or gears and a winding handle. I’m leaning toward winding handle for simplicity, mounted high up and using two 90 degree gear mechanisms from old corded drills I have knocking about.
My boiler was moved this weekend so I now have the space to begin!