Shapeoko 3 Upgrades – Part 1.2

In which we step back, pause and up our game.

So I’m thinking about the table this morning trying to decide what to do about the fact that it’s not flat. And it’s out of flat kind of a lot. I’d have to measure it for real, but it’s probably about .030″ high in the middle.

So my current perceived options are:

  • Build a small dam around the edges and pour some self-leveling floor sealer on the top. I don’t think this would work as well as I’d like, and the sealer comes in 50 lb bags…
  • Build a sled for my router and route the top flat. This is a well-known woodworking hack for flattening boards that are too large for your planer. I’ve never done it and have a feeling it wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds to make it as flat as I’d like…
  • Eat the material cost and try again. It’s only about $50 in materials and a couple days of labor, so this is probably the best option.

Lessons Learned
– or –
What I Will Do For The Next Attempt

  • Make more assembly rails to support the center of the sheet.
  • Glue the two top sheets together before assembling the ribs. This should stiffen up the top.
  • Reconsider using the pocket screws. They were convenient but they pulled the ribs sideways when I screwed them down. I either need to come up with a different fastening method or a better clamping system to keep them from moving. Still need to think on this one a little.
  • Assemble the table with a little overhang so I can trim the top and bottom flush with the sides using a router after the build. This will make it look much more professional (not that it adds any function.) I need to step up my woodworking game and looks should be important even for work tables, jigs and fixtures.
  • Come up with a better way to locate the t-nuts. I wasn’t super happy with the holes I drilled – I need to work on making sure the holes are in the right place. Maybe use the front rail from the S3 as a jig? Also I don’t think I got the t-nuts square – I should have pulled them tight with a bolt from the top.

That’s my current battle plan. I can make some legs for the table I built and turn it into a work table. Maybe I’ll use it for a new out-feed table for my saw.

And I really need to clean out my shop. It’s a disaster zone and difficult to work in.

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