Making the lowrider v3 easily removable from the table

Hi all,

So I got the v1e hardware kit and controller, and my printer has started chugging out parts.
I’ve also decided on building the “default” full 2440x1220 capacity version.
I would build this using two side slats on which the hardware is mounted, and a removable spoil board between that (as in the first attached picture), on top of a 12mm MDF torsion box.

But I could use some advice on the table part.

The table will replace my current table saw support table + assembly table (see second attached picture).
In order to still be able to use the new table as table saw support and assembly table I see two options:

  1. When not in use I move the gantry to the back of the table giving clearance for the table saw arm. And I build a kind of thin torsion box cover to put on top of the rest of the table, with gaps for the rail/belts, to protect the rest of the table and give me a surface for assembly. The drawback here would be that this “thin” torsion box would still be quite heavy as it would still need a 10-12mm thick top of 1.5 by ±2.5m (the bottom can be 3mm hardboard, but the top needs to be a bit sturdier).
  2. I make the two slats removable (two bolts at each end through inserts in both the slat and tabletop). So when I’m not using the router I:
    • loosen the belts (with some quick release tension system)
    • slide the gantry off the rail
    • remove the bolts from the slats and spoil board
    • store the spoil board, slats, and gantry below the table
    • put a sheet of chipboard/hardboard/mdf/multiplex on top of the table to protect its surface

My preference would go to option 2 since that way I won’t need to build that second torsion box (which would probably be rather cumbersome to manage as well), but only if I can get away with removing the gantry and slats in this way without needing any time consuming calibration afterwards. Basically I feel that if it would take more than 5-10 minutes to get back up and running I’d probably prefer option 1 instead.

What do you think?


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I think that option 2 is a really good idea. Seems like it could work well if your rail slats were mounted snugly in a way that could make the process repeatable. My first thought was some sort of channel or dado routed into the top, but I think that a few dowel pins along each axis could work as well.

I’m certainly interested to see how it all ends up coming together for you.

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You could also do @DougJoseph’s superstrut (LowRider 3 CNC mod: HIDE / PROTECT one of the Y AXIS BELTS inside metal strut / unistrut / superstrut) (v1.0)) that hides the belt on one side. You could install it on the side where the table saw is and then just drive the gantry out of the way. Should be easily doable then, no taking it off at all.

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@RootsMedia I was planning on putting flanged threaded inserts through the inside of the torsion box before I glue the top to the grid, and non-flanged inserts threaded in from the bottom of the slats. Then when inserting the bolts the first time there would likely be a small gap between slat and torsion box due to the threads not lining up, but when tightening the bolt against the slat it should force the non-flanged insert to thread a little deeper, closing the gap. Thanks to all the contact of the bolt being in metal inserts (versus through just a hole in the slat), the only play left would be the play between the insert and the bolt itself, but I think that should be negligible over the length and width of the table?

@Tokoloshe That’s a great option! It comes with a small drawback in that I can’t use a recessed spoil board then (I’d need to mount the strut flush with the torsion box itself so I can use the table as table saw support). A bit bigger drawback is that it also blocks the left side of the assembly table (with the rail and belt there). Currently I often find myself going around the table when doing glue-ups or painting. But then the new table will be over half again as wide as the old one, so maybe I won’t be doing that so much…
This is definitely a better alternative to option 1 though, so I guess now I’m picking between options 2 or 3 :slight_smile:

It still comes down to the practicality of making the slats easily removable. If that works out well, it would leave the whole table free. If it’s going to give me headaches though, option 3 would certainly be the winner.


I have a recessed spoil board even while still having my design of the the hidden belt inside my metal strut.

This link is my initial LowRider build log, and it details my table both with wooden side rails at the start, and later switching to metal rails:

There’s no reason I know why using metal strut means you cannot have recessed spoil board, and also, my design for hiding the belt in a strut could also be modified to work without a strut, simply moving the belt down below a table lip.

Also, while I did not pursue hiding both belts, it’s conceivably possible to hide both. The only thing to bear in mind with a setup that has both belts hidden and protected, is on one hand, the LowRider might practically never need removed from the table, and on the other hand, if you did need to remove it, you would need to slide it out the end of the table, as the newly modified Y mounts would be sort of “C-clamping” down under the table’s edges, or under the lips of the metal struts, if using struts. I don’t see that has a show-stopper, and it’s possible to intentionally design the table with some removal “slots” in some out of the way place so the gantry could be positioned there for removal, without having to slide the gantry out at the end.

Of course in your calculus, if you were seeking to have not only a removable belt on the Y side with the EMT guide tube, but also the EMT tube being removable as well, that’s another consideration, because in the case of hiding both belts, you would still have an EMT tube on one side. But at least it would be only a tube and not also an exposed belt.

Thanks for the comments @DougJoseph!

The reason to mount the struts flush with the torsion box would be so I can remove the spoil board and put a thin hardboard sheet on top of the torsion box instead, creating a nice flat assembly table. I could put the sheet on top of the spoil board and the slats the struts are mounted to, but that would leave gaps, and depending on the state of the spoil board might not be perfectly flat anymore. But I guess if the spoil board gets that bad it won’t do much good for cnc-ing either…

The belt on the other side won’t be in any danger, as there’s not much for me to do on that side with the rail still there :slight_smile:

I’m still leaning to my option 2 with the removable slats, as that would free up the table completely, and seems like it should be pretty quick to assemble/dismantle with just the four bolts and two belt tensioners. I could still combine that with a hidden belt on the table saw side, for the same reasons you went that way. But that will probably make belt management harder. All in all I don’t think it’d be worth the extra effort to me.

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Removable slats should also be fine, you have to make sure that they can’t lift in the middle. I have screws every 20cm or so, otherwise they sometimes lift half a mm, which is just too much. :smiley:

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Okay, thanks for the tip. I’ll put some more inserts and bolts then :smiley:

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Regarding that approach: You could mount the strut & sides high enough (or mount spoil board low enough) that there is space for both the spoil board and thin hardboard sheet to stack together to get to the desired height of assembly table. There is plenty of leeway to do that. I say this for two reasons: 1. you could have your off feed/assembly setup without having to move your spoil board, and 2. it would not inhibit doing the hidden belt if desired (if I understand correctly).

If I’m going to have to put in more bolts, how much clearance do I have for the bolt heads (I was originally thinking of getting wing bolts to make things easier)? Looking at it seems like I’ll need to account for the gantry moving over them.

Looking at the “Fancy” pictures in the docs it seems like my best bet would be to put the bolts below the belt and in between the rail supports on the rail side, and below the belt and just inside of the gantry (next to the bearing path) on the other side? How tall can I go in these spots?

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You can see in my build (Der Froschkönig - Lowrider 3 in Oldenburg, Germany - #64 by Tokoloshe) where I put most of the screws (you might also want to put some on the other side), but there is enough clearance. You could also cuntersink them a bit. I also actually left more space in between than the 20cm I said. :smiley: But not a lot.

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Hi bernieke,

I am also planning to make mine removable, due to an extremely small space to put my stuff away.
( there is a huge factory to do stuff, but I have to pack it up) so I designed a set of “wings” that sit on my table. My area does have a mezzanine over it at about 3.5 m high, so I am going to use some pully / rope arrangement to store the wings up and out of the way under it, (effectively at your ceiling height) I am hoping to be able to have enough space to store them so that I can move the table in between them and just lower them down onto on off the table, as those suckers are heavy.

As for my table / wing design, they are a bit hard to explain but if you look up and have a look at his table design, then look at the extras like the smart cradle, I am doing the same thing but with a “wing” down the entire length to give me the 2440x1220 cut area.

Honestly I am not sure how it will work, but the wings are mare from 18mm ply and have quite a few gussets to hold them straight. Once its all setup, the 'Wings" will register in the same place as will the spoil boards, so I will be interested to see how repeatable the setup will be. Will I have to square it every time I use it?

I also I saw mentioned in the forum a person that wants to use two sets of rails one long and one short as he was designing a new belt tensioner to allow the unit to be put on the smaller rails.
Needless to say I am very interested in that, as that would allow me to have a nice small set of rails to do things like inlays and smaller projects without having to bring out the really big rails. Honestly I think I will be doing more small stuff than cutting down full sheets, but it makes sense to be able to do that at the same time.

I am not sure that this helps you much, but one though I had while planning all this was what am I going to do with the LR3 while I am not using it, its pretty sturdy, but I am not sure how picking it up and moving will do for it, so the idea for the wing was born. If I pack it up while on the table and roll it around onto one of the wings and store it there, the LR3 will be kept flat and sorta square. Maybe this is something, the storing of the LR3 when not be used, to take into account.

Sorry for the long winded explanation, but you sorta had to understand my though process to under stand my suggestion.

Uploaded some mid belt y tensioner blocks to printables…

And updated this related topic…

Hope that helps, cheers!

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