CNC Router Tables: Is Bigger Better?
Shop owners tell why a larger table is often a good investment. October 18, 2005
If one works with 4'x8' sheets, is there any reason to get a 5'x10' CNC router table? Are there other advantages to the 5x10 that I haven't considered? Does anyone have a 5'x5' table? If so, do you crosscut 4x8s before using them on the router? What's your table size and would you go bigger?
A 5'X10' tables allow you to buy larger material. If you are cutting sheet goods, sometimes it saves you money buying bigger sheets. I have had a large cabinet or some odd panel that is over 8'. And if you have a 102" piece, you will really want to cut that out of one piece. It's said over and over in this forum... don't limit yourself, because the week after getting your first router, you will think of so many more things to do with it. I ran a machine with a matrix table of 4'X10', and used those extra 2' more than I can remember. I also cut a lot of solids that ran over 8'. I now run a machine with a 4'X16' cuttable area with pods and never want to go smaller.
The bigger the sheet size you use, the better the yield will be when you nest.
Minimum 12ft if you make countertops from 12ft cores or solid surface sheets.
I run a machine that has 2- 5'x5' tables. Its intention is to load one table with blanks while the other is cutting. When I do sheet work, I slave the tables together. Usually 5x5 machines are used for production of small parts.
Same as the above. We bought the ~6m bed machine - pendulum between the two fields, so one field is always active. The guy who sold the machine to us sold another one after showing some people through our workshop. They got a 4metre machine - for the exact reason that they could also do decent sized benchtops on it.
If you buy a table bigger than you will ever use, in essence you just created another insurance payment for yourself, complete with monthly installments, if you consider the wasted shop space.