Introduction: X-Carve Folding Table
This project is something we have needed desperately in our shop. Our shop is pretty small, although we have gotten comments from a few that have visited saying that we do a good job making it look big on camera. It's a 20x20 space and we are severely running out of space. Today, we are building a folding table for our X-Carve (affiliate link)! We use our CNC a lot, but not so much to justify it being out all the time. It sits on a 4x4 table, so having the CNC up and out of the way, we would have so much more floor space to shift some other things around. If you have an X-Carve, or want a folding table we have a free set of plans here!
- 1 1/2 sheets of 3/4" plywood
- 1 sheet of 1/4" plywood
- pair of hinges
Step 1: Cut Material to Length
We first broke down the 3/4" sheet in half with a circular saw, just so it's a bit easier to manage moving over to the table saw. The plan is to make a torsion box table for the X-Carve to sit on and then a shelf to attach that box with hinges to allow the X-Carve and table to move up and down. At the table saw, we are going to cut all of our pieces for everything to width, and then we will move to the miter saw to cut the pieces to length. There are 3 pieces that need a 45° angle cut on them to create brackets for the shelf. Those were done at the miter saw as well.
Step 2: Create a Torsion Box
It's super important that the X-Carve stays perfectly flat to cut correctly and so the component work. That is why we chose to make a torsion box. The way this is constructed keeps everything flat and rigid, which it really needs to be with it being able to fold up and down. We cut a whole bunch of pieces that are the same height as the sides, make sure you cut all these pieces at the same time on the table saw to be sure that are all the same width. With the small pieces, we are going row by row, offsetting each row, or staggering each row. They all get glued, brad nailed and stapled together. Then, we will glue, brad nail, staple, and screw that whole piece to the 3/4" top. The 1/4" bottom gets glued and stapled to the opposite side of the top.
Step 3: Assemble Shelf
While we let that torsion box dry, we are going to assemble the shelf. We have the 3 brackets, the top, back, and front trim piece. These all get glued and screwed together.
Step 4: Spray or Brush on Finish
After that, it was time to spray our favorite finish from Total Boat, the Halcyon clear gloss varnish. You can get 15% off your order using the code "WOODBREW1" at check out!
Step 5: Attach Shelf to Wall and Add Torsion Box
After those pieces were done drying, we can attach the shelf to the wall which some screws going into the studs. We want the torsion box to sit on top of our existing t-track table, so we need this shelf to be the height of the torsion box higher than the t-track table. I hope that makes sense! We need the bottom of the torsion box to be sitting on the table and the bottom of the torsion box is in line with the shelf.
We used this awesome digital level (affiliate link) that tells you how far up or down you need to go! It's super important that this shelf is perfectly level. After the shelf gets installed, we separated each hinge and screwed one side to the box and one side to the shelf. Then we could scoot the two together and reattach the hinges.
Step 6: Add a Counterweight
Not going to lie, the torsion box is pretty heavy, even without the X-Carve on it. We found the heaviest thing in our shop that we could tie up to create a counterweight system to help take a lot of the load when we go to lift or let down the table. We took a vise apart and used the front, lol.
Step 7: Screw X-Carve Down to Torsion Box
Now we can move the X-Carve to the table and screw it down straight through the wasteboard. We made a little bracket that attaches to the wall and that has a bumper on the inside that keeps the table from folding in too far that the X-Carve will hit the wall. On the side, this bracket has a pinhole that when we fold the table up we can stick a bolt through the bracket into the table to keep it from falling backward.
Step 8: Done!
That's it! Not bad for a day and a half's work. Now we can move our entire miter saw station down and there's more room for you to walk in the shop through the door. It's just less congested now! We love doing these shop projects and always improving our workflow, organization and look. If you want to check out more shop projects, click here!