I'm in the process of building my G table. My approach is GBB: Good, Better, Best. It prevents me from going into perfectionism mode & stalling out, lol. So the G table is my "good enough" table...doesn't have all of the features yet, but it will get me started! My current design is:
1. 4x8' table, nice large size
2. Top table is 1/2" MDF covered with industrial carpet. I learned this trick from a college job doing assembly work for custom houses. It creates an anti-skid surface & is easily vacuumed up. It's just the tightly-knit thick stuff you get from Home Depot...you use spray glue to get it on the board, wrap it around the edges, and staple it.
3. I also have a 4x8' sheet of $10 melamine board, kind of like a thin whiteboard material, for when I need a really flat surface. Otherwise I just grab an oversized cutting mat
for quick jobs.
4. I got these super-nice locking, leveling caster wheels
. They're not cheap ($80 a set), but they can hold 2,400 pounds, they lock without having a big kick arm that you trip over, and they can level your table.
5. The bottom shelf is a 4x8' sheet of plywood. My CNC machine is going under there (1000mm X-Carve), along with a Dustopper dust collection system. I've been reading about the dangers of fine dust
by Bill Pentz; my unfinished half-basement is unventilated & I'll be cutting MDF, so I have invisible dust AND resin to worry about. I got a cheap air quality monitor off eBay (9-in-1 unit, about $40 shipped) to monitor the dust when I start using it. I found a really cool enclosure design on reddit that I'm going to try out, which uses three tricks: it's slightly not fully sealed, so that sucks the air in, then there's a dust boot for chips & a separate air hose for the chamber. I dunno how well it will work, but I'll find out later this month!
6. I found a monster 24-outlet surge protector
from Amazon Basics for $40, so I can plug the whole universe in easily.
Down the road, I want to add on:
1. Some sliding shelves under the top table, with soft-close mechanisms.
2. A cutout for various portable boxes (upside-down jigsaw for quick cuts, hot-wire for foam, router lift for doing edges, etc.) The CNC will handle most of the work, but the trap-door setup will be nice for quick jobs or things that need to be done by hand.
3. A vise setup on the side.
4. A vacuum table for the CNC machine
5. A pegboard system on the wall. I'm very interested in permanent solutions that won't fall apart; currently looking at this metal setup
& then hanging it up with some French cleats (I have cinder-block walls down in the basement).
Progress is a bit slow as I don't have a ton of free time at home & I'm on building this setup a budget, so I chip away on it as I can. So far:
1. Got the lighting up. Got a 10-pack of LED florescent-style lights
. It's so white & bright that you could surgery in my basement lol. Turns on & off instantly, super-low power usage, easy to hang up, and they all plug together with built-in outlets & cords on each fixture!
2. Finally retired my ~20-year-old stool & got a nicer one with wheels
. I don't have a ton of space in my basement, so my goal is to have literally everything on wheels so that I can easily move things around & reconfigure the layout as necessary.
3. Picked up a rolling cart with 22 bins
. Easy way to store hand tools & misc stuff.
4. I also use baker's racks on wheels
& full-sized baker's trays
(18x26"). If you shop around, you can get the racks & trays used for super cheap - check eBay, Craigslist, local kitchen supply stores, Facebook marketplace, etc. This is waaaaaay cheaper than even the cheapo shop carts at Home Depot, let alone the nicer stuff like Snap On & whatnot. It's a crazy nice setup because you can see all of your tools, adjust the height of the racks, slide them out to get what you need, and even fully remove a tray to put on your assembly table to use while you're working on a project - great hack!
5. I'm using a Dustopper dust separator system
for the CNC machine, which is kind of like a mini horizontal cyclone. Snaps onto a $5 Homer bucket & plugs into whatever shop vac you have available (yay Black Friday deals!). I'd love to get a Clear Vue system
a la Bill Pentz, but $3k+ is out of my budget for this project (plus the noise issue, plus available space).
6. Aside from the CNC dust-collection system, I also put up an air filter. It's a large WEN unit
. If you wait around, it goes on sale for $200 or less from time to time. Once I get things up & running fully later this month, I'll be monitoring the air quality with the sensor & see how effective this setup is. I may have to pipe out through the dryer vent lol.
7. I'm building a large 12-foot countertop (basically the entire side wall haha) on the side of the workspace for my 3D printer, Cricut, and other goodies. The idea being to make a mini Maker's Lab type of setup. I started doing custom signage for my IT clients using the vinyl cutter & it will be nice to have a permanent location where I can just sit down & use it!
The electrical & flooring is done, next step is building the table & testing the dust-collection systems!