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Precision made frame for flat work surface.

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Jitter

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Hi everyone.

I am making table tops from live edge timber which require me to use a router on a sled jig which wheels back and forth along the work surface and the router slides back and forth along the jig. This allows me to flatten the kiln dried wood planks on both sides which are then used for perfectly flat table tops.

After purchasing the aluminium jig, I had to make a workbench to use the jig on, as it was a large area 3.6m long by 1.2m wide, i could only afford to use wood structure to hold up a wooden frame with MDF surface. This was fine for a while but as you can probably guess, the mdf sags and the timbers move, not allot but enough to cause untold problems with rectifying the work pieces. even a few mm out and it causes untold wastage of material, thinner tops and a mountain of sawdust and epoxy shavings. It is driving me mad as I like things to run smoothly and create perfect products.

I was going to try and find a reputable precision metal worker to make up a rigid frame and wondered how it would work out. It would have to be perfectly flat and level, is this even possible to do welding by hand? I would like a rigid rectangular frame made out of steel that I can mount on top of my bench frame and then I could put mdf or ply on top of that for the surface.

I noticed that you can buy aluminium prefabricated sections that bolt together to make a frame but just not sure about it although would be lighter at least. Any help and advice on this would be great, it is really causing problems with production and I need to do something to sort it out. I am in Central Scotland just outside Edinburgh. Thanks for any advice in advance.
 

mbartlett99

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I cannot answer your question directly but have used the 40mm/40mm extrusions to fabricate machine housings and heavy duty shelving. In those applications its been very effective - immensely stiff and when ordered cut from the factory very accurate. There are various brands inc bosch, iTem and others. I'd sooner go this route than welded steel.
 

novocaine

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Aluminium extrusion is considered good enough for large bed CNC wood work which is only a bit more work than what you are after. no need to weld either if you buy for a CNC firm that will sell you the end plates too. Peter Millard has been doing some bits with a company near him (Nodnol I'm afraid), send him a PM for which company he's working with.
 

Ttrees

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If it were me, I would design and make my own from steel, probably angle iron.
I might think of storage as the issue, rather than the accuracy of it as the main problem you face.
I was trying to find a tiltable plywood storage cart I've seen before...
It could have been called a multi purpose cart, or three in one cart...
Something along those lines, but was unable to find it.
This is kind of what I seen before, but with many other extras you don't need.

[youtube]EWEdrBdbBhg[/youtube]
Tom
 

Jitter

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mbartlett99":3vcbn3cr said:
I cannot answer your question directly but have used the 40mm/40mm extrusions to fabricate machine housings and heavy duty shelving. In those applications its been very effective - immensely stiff and when ordered cut from the factory very accurate. There are various brands inc bosch, iTem and others. I'd sooner go this route than welded steel.
Rigid is key with this, rigid and staying rigid without ever changing or bending. 40mm x 40mm extrusions, are these cut to length box profile steel? I think they would have to be a frame to support surface top unless it was a rigid metal slab which would be too heavy and expensive. Sorry, I am just trying to picture your suggestion which sounds interesting.
 

Jitter

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novocaine":297a9p1z said:
Aluminium extrusion is considered good enough for large bed CNC wood work which is only a bit more work than what you are after. no need to weld either if you buy for a CNC firm that will sell you the end plates too. Peter Millard has been doing some bits with a company near him (Nodnol I'm afraid), send him a PM for which company he's working with.
Yes, this sounds interesting, now that you point out that it is used for CNC machines and no welding required, it is well worth me checking this out. It would be allot lighter weight too!

Who is Peter Millard, is this his company name and is he a member here in this forum?
Thanks
 
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