Wondering if I NEED a LowRider or if I should be using a MPCNC

I built a LowRider a bit ago (as attested by the help in my several topics). However, I haven’t cut anything larger than 600mmx900mm (that’s the blank size I had for laser usage). I know I built the LowRider 48x48 with plans to make furniture but my wife’s style has changed and the modern look from a CNC doesn’t suit her. I’m not sure I’m going to cut something that big. Maybe some work table tops but that can be done with a drill.

To prevent more rambling, I’m wondering if a 24x24 (maybe 36x24) MPCNC would be better. Any thoughts? I have to say that the removal of the huge table in my shop for a 4x4 LowRider would be kind of nice.

If it’s in the way, do it. No question.
I think you’ll PROBABLY be ok at 24x36, since a lowrider make you’ve already got some 1 inch or 25mm tubes, but you’ll also probably want supports on those sides.
A lot of us have managed to use the empty half of the lowrider table while the lowrider isn’t running. That will be notably more difficult with the mpcnc :wink:
That said, i like my mpcnc better just because.

IIRC, Ryan’s LR is 24"x48". I have a 48"x36" and I haven’t really used the full size.

Yeah, if you are still expecting the occasional 36" piece, stick with the Low Rider.

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I use my table as an assembly table when not being used for cnc. Problem is that I made it a tad short (since 4x4 sheets of MDF are so blasted heavy) so it’s not the most comfortable.

24"x48" would give me back 2’ in my shop (small shop so every foot counts) yet let me still do workbench sized sheets. That might work. I definitely wouldn’t want to try 48" with an MPCNC.

I think the narrower Lowrider is a great way to go. The whole machine is more rigid.

I built mine on a 32" wide solid core door, which gave me a ~24"x64" cutting area. I found it to be a nice size for most of my jobs, but I have since enlarged it.

As an aside, I’ll note that CNC cut furniture doesn’t have to look “modern”. I don’t think my Morris chair looks modern.

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Yeah. Having a shorter gantry should make it very rigid. I have mine the wrong way, with 5’ tubes because I planned on making it expandable. Oops.

Isn’t that style “mid century modern”? I agree that it doesn’t look like it is science fiction. It also looks great.

That’s nice. Still not what my wife is looking for, though. She’s a farmhouse fan.

I think I will do down to 2x4. Anything I need bigger than that is pretty out of my thought range right now. Luckily it just requires trimming the tubes.

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At least it’s not like my wife who’s style changes from one project to the next. Every project I have to ask her what she wants it to look like and she sends me pictures to base my design from. I do know she doesn’t like arts and crafts style, which saddens me because that’s the one I like the most. A good chunk of what we have is pseudo-farmhouse.

Lol. Mine likes to change her mind half way through the project so I have multiple that are half completed. :roll_eyes: I’m thinking that I need to start rendering my designs so she is able to better visualize the plan.

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Rather LR “OR” MPCNC… Why not LR “AND” MPCNC?

Because I want to stay married lol

I remember reading somewhere in the forums that someone had built their LR with a folding work surface. It had a section at one end to park the gantry, then a hinged worktable that could be folded up against the wall when not in use. Allowed for a nice large work area when needed, but minimal footprint when not in use.

I have decided to just focus on using the shop for shop projects. No need for approval, as long as it isn’t too expensive. I also like something Ryan said, make the mistake in CAD, or make the mistake in wood. It is cheaper to do the first, so I try to cad the crap out of projects now, including thinking about fastening, assembly, and finishing. I don’t know how to do a good render though.

I have future visions of building a LR with a removable or rotating section that I can place a MPCNC similar to this. But I need to get through my first MPCNC first.

I’ve started playing with Blender. It’s a bit intimidating at first but there are a lot of good tutorials and a rich support group like this one.

Mine is an artist/art teacher. Plus my engineering degree taught me how to draw 3-view drawings by hand if needed.

Between her sketches and my 3d drawings, we usually get it right the first time. I’ll put overall dimensions on the drawing for lwh, but then everything else is usually TLAR and designed as I go.

One thing I also do is I always do my math in pencil on the lumber that I’m using to build the item. Most of the furniture I’ve built, you can look around on the inside/underside and see the math used to build it.

Maybe shorten the table and update the software configuration but don’t cut the belts down. Then you can lengthen again easily if the right project comes along.

Belts are cheap though.

I started on the drafting table as well but now I have to do everything in CAD. I have a friend that builds everything from a napkin sketch. It’s awesome. I have to model every cut. :roll_eyes:

I bet a lot of farmhouse style projects could be re-imagined for CNC construction, at least in part. That’s what I did with the Morris chair. I had some books with plans for various versions of a chair, and I used those and pictures from the web to produce a CNC interpretation.

I think this is really the thing to do…almost mandatory with CNC projects, because you’ll have to do CAD to produce the CAM anyway.

I’ve found it’s really helpful to “assemble” the parts in CAD too, and also to zoom in on the assembly to make sure it really fits right. I made a 1mm typo mistake on one project and had a lot of hand work to do to make the tabs fit the slots. DOH!. It looked OK in CAD until I zoomed in on the assemblies and could see the interference.

It’s definitely important to think about the assembly as well. It’s quite ease really to design something in the computer that is impossible to assemble in the real world.

Unfortunately I have not yet seen a CAM software that can interpret napkin sketches. 8^)

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