CNC Table Base Sizes

Three out of three doctors agree bigger is better. Choose 5x12 over 5x8 or 5x10, and you'll be glad you did before too long. July 29, 2007

What was the determining factor on the table size of your CNC when you purchased it? Cost? Space available? Is there anyone who makes nested cabinets on a 5' x 10' or 6' x 12' CNC? It would only seem natural to nest on larger sheets. I'm trying to decide on a 4' x 8' or 5' x 10' CNC. What are the pros and cons? Space is not an issue for me.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor F:
I nest on a 5' x 12' bed. This gives me the ability to nest all sheets that I could possibly use for cabinet making, including full sheets of solid surface material for countertops. I usually nest 4 x 8 sheets of ply or particleboard, but this week cut several units of 5 x 9 which we ordered for yield considerations. On other jobs, we have nested 5 x 12 sheets of MDF. If space and money aren't factors, go with the 5 x 12 and 40hp vacuum pump.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Is the panel stock more or less expensive per square foot for the larger sheet stock?

From contributor D:
Listen to contributor F. I have a 5x10 and now wish I had got the 5x12. If you want to do countertops, the 12 footer is the way to go. Space was an issue for me so I went with the 10 footer.

From contributor J:
To put things in perspective, our DMS model D3 is available in both 5x10 and 5x12 configurations. The 5x12 has a carousel rather than a rack tool changer and only costs $3,500.00 more than the 5x10 and is a little over 2' longer (16'). The vacuum pump is going to cost the same either way. To me the 5x12 is a no-brainer.

From contributor A:
5'x12' would be my choice as well. You should also consider a twin table machine - it will allow you to set up the first table while the second one is cutting. This depends on your budget and how many cabinets you are planning to cut and your future growth potential. I work with a company that purchased a single table machine, then two years later had to purchase another machine just to keep up with demand.

From contributor F:
The melamine product is similar in cost per square, but the size of the sheet you will want to use depends on the yield. Standard cabinet sizes fit nicely on 48 x 96 or 49 x 97 sheets, but occasionally, you get deeper cabinets specified that make the 5 foot sheets attractive. The down side is that the lead time may be longer with the 5 foot sheets.

From contributor J:
The way it usually works is when you buy the 5x10 machine, it isn't long before you get a job in that requires that extra little bit of travel.

From the original questioner:
That's what I was wondering - what is the reliability of the suppliers for 5 x 10 panels?

From contributor F:
Just call your supplier and ask. Availability will vary depending on your location. If you think you might need the extra length, get it. It isn't that much money, especially if you get into something later on where the length is absolutely necessary.