Cost and Weight smart table designs that would make MacGyver proud

Love the beautifully crafted table designs folks have shared, am digging thru many impressive CNC Table build posts.

Curious, what minimally viable, janky but functional designs folks have quickly thrown together for 4’x8’ panel cutting. Looking for rapid cheap designs/pics that would make MacGyver proud.

Want my LR3 to be usable and covered in chips ASAP, and, not end up gathering dust as an unusable project. Looking at LR3 similar to my 3D printer, a tool that’s also a fun project that will get upgrades if/when needed, and precious time permits.

Currently considering pimping out a pallet that was strong/flat enough for deck railing glass panels, will slap some chipboard/MDF on top. Use LR3 to surface. Prop up on sawhorses/buckets and shim level/flat when in use. Love that LR3 can be mounted/removed relatively quickly, I can upgrade table setup later.


Probably not janky enough for you, but I threw together a couple of sawhorse like stands and a couple of box rails.
This was so that I can either put a slab of wood on the stands or have a torsion box on top.
The rails are adjustable with jacking screws to ensure that they are level, parallel, co-planer and any other geometric constraint that I want…

It started with LR2…

And now has LR3 !.

As I said, probably not janky enough … :wink:



Thanks for sharing @Dna. Love the use of ply to make box/beams for the side rails, and ply T mounting plates. Looks fast to assemble and disassemble, looks portable even.

Do you have pics with the Y axis belts mounted?


Will take some on the weekend. Basically I just made a right angle out of couple of pieces of 18mm ply, the top is 50mm x 65mm and the vertical is about 20mm, just enough to get a couple of screws in. I measured the Y tensioners to be about 62 mm to the outer edge when they are aligned with the Y drive.


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Right hand side. I swapped the tensioners to the front because I have more access on this end. Top of the bracket is 65mm x 50mm.

Left hand side. Top of the bracket is 30mm x 50mm.

Brackets are 18mm ply glued with a single screw to hold them until the glue dries and two screws into the ply box. Its located 20mm from the end and flush with the top. I then positioned the tensioner by aligning it with the Y drive rollers and screwed it down.



I started out looking for what you are and I built this:

Before I cut the brackets though I just pocket screwed the box beams to a 2x4 and threw a piece of ply on top so I could bootstrap the build.

It wasn’t very square but it worked ok for a temp solution.


Another idea would be to make a short but full width table using a hollow cor door Just rip about a foot off the end and plug with a strip of wood.

It would give you a flat square surface to bootstrap your build and also a nice platform for a smaller project when you don’t want to use the whole garage.

Spoil board attachment would be interesting though.


My garage workbench top is actually a solid core door. Found one at a lumber yard years ago with a little damage for a steep discount, and it’s been through 3 different homes/garages now. I never even got around to putting a finish on it. Takes a beating, and doesn’t need the end filled where it was cut.
Wouldn’t call it “lightweight” or “portable” though.


Stumbled onto the quick and dirty table @ Table | V1 Engineering Inc

Anyone using hollow core doors, reinforced with MDF/particle spoilboard? Hollow core doors look like torsion boxes to me. 2nd hand flat panel hollow/solid core doors are easy and cheap to find. Still have 36" wide hollow panel doors left over from recent remodel, going to try that out…

So many Janky things going on here during cut of 2nd LR3 Strut…


Just realized 1-Table - V1 Engineering Documentation contains @geodave’s parametric configurable OpenSCAD based table at Remix of Allted's Simple CNC Table to make it parametric by GeoDave - Thingiverse . His script even outputs a cut list, very cool :slight_smile:

Mentioning @steved incase still looking for workbench options/plans.


I know this is months old, but it triggered a response in my brain that I can’t control, and since you’re “Aye-Aye-Ron”, and not “Erin”, I’m going to give in to the less savory urges of my sleep-deprived brain (not that they’re sweet, or salty, or spicy, or sour, or even umami, just not good)…

The problem with many (but admittedly not all) hollow-core doors is that the internal ribbing is not always attached to the faces all that well. I mean, it’s basically a mass of corrugated cardboard that may or may not have had sufficient adhesive applied to adhere to the veneer faces. And that’s where the strength of a torsion box is, in the connection of the internal ribs to the faces, and how that connection prevents the layers from slipping and flexing. (At least, that’s how it was all explained to me, and that’s how it makes the most sense to me.)

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Working in construction I see a steady flow of composite wood hollow core doors headed for the dump. I have used them for various work benches in a pinch many times… mostly for saw outfeed tables etc, but also occasionally as router table extensions. As long as you keep 'em dry and don’t subject them to long term creep forces, they work quite well. If the shop sees humidity and you store it horizontally, it’ll creep into a bowl shape before long.

K Cummins, that is partly true. The ribs in a monocoque structure serve mostly to prevent buckling modes. Stresses in monocoque shapes mostly flow on the skin layer. So those shear web glue joints really don’t see a ton of stress (generally you don’t put large point loads across the middle of a door though). That’s why door manufacturers put so little glue on those parts.


@kvcummins, cheers for the ribbing and hollow advice :slight_smile:

Seems like all roads eventually lead to the wonderful Paulk’s smart table design, or some other torsion box design. For example @DougJoseph’s sturdy LR table design.

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I’ve been pleased with mine overall. My only issue seems related to the fact that I had no large flat surface on which to build the two halves, so getting them totally flat was not really doable, so I just got them as good as I could and then trusted surfacing of the MDF to make up the gap.

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Another option…


NeilP’s, folding rolling LR3 table…

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Ok that’s awesome!!!
Great idea and use of space. I like the elevated vacuum. I was thinking about doing some pvc pipe.

Related topic with great ideas…

Ideally, I’d be able to update first post to reference this related topic. Am pasting here because Discourse search results don’t always show what I’m wanting.

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I too find it frustrating when I know I’ve read a particular post, but no matter how I search, I’m unable to find it.