Glowforge on Mobile Workbench?


#1

I’ve been thinking about where to put my Glowforge and I am in love with the idea of putting it on top of a heavy duty mobile workbench, maybe something like this.

I’m wondering, from those who have theirs – does the GF wobble at all while running? My old 3d printer used to wobble a bit from the extruder going back and forth, and I had to move it from a cart to a big old desk. At higher speeds, does the head move back and forth fast enough to create back and forth motion?

The workbenches are sturdy enough that I’m not worried about safety, but I wonder if it would create enough wobble to reduce accuracy.


#2

This will be fine. You don’t want something super wobbly but a tool chest has plenty of mass.


#3

I have mine on an old, wheeled, table saw “cart” made of thin metal. It is whimpy compared to the cart in your link. Mine works fine, even without the wheels locked.

One of my surprises with the GF is how slow the head moves at maximum speed. It produces almost no inertia.

I’m used to routers flying around that weigh ten times what the GF head weighs at ten times the speed.

You cart is probably over kill.

I plan to move mine to a Home Depot shelving unit that some one else posted on the Forum because it has wheels and a lot of storage.


#4

I have that exact toolchest, it’s not deep enough for the GF. Keep in mind that the vent hose exits out the back, you can’t put the unit directly against the wall.

Also the cart has two fixed casters, so you can’t just pull it straight out from the wall, you’ll have to “drive” it like a shopping cart.

It can work, but you may need to extend the worktop and place it carefully to allow the vent hose some room.


#5

Thank you! Certainly didn’t expect that specific level of helpful advice, someone already having the exact workbench I linked to. I saw the depth was an inch or two shorter than the specs, but I sort of hoped the feet might be a few inches inset. But the vent hose is a good point.

Thanks again!


#6

The other thing to consider is center of gravity and width. The GF is fairly heavy, so if you put a piece of ply on top to extend the table, it’d fit but weight distribution might be a concern. You’d probably be ok but it’s not super deep. I put all my heavier tools in the bottom drawers for that reason.

So, caveat emptor :slight_smile: pretty sure there are others who do this and I haven’t heard of anyone tipping over.


#7

Here is a photo @rgrannan of the saw table I use. I just took one of my old Sears table saws off its wheeled stand and put a piece of plywood on top the same size as the GF. You can see how light weight the steel is and there are no cross supports. Each wheel has a release that lowers the leg so the stand can sit on the wheels or legs. I have left it on the wheels because there is no movement even when the GF is working at high speed.

The wheels move independently so it is easy to move around and rotate.


#8

I have that exact same Husky cabinet. I changed the casters out to all swivel with washers between the casters and cabinet to make sure the swivel wheels didn’t rub on the bottom of the cabinet.
It works great and the GF fits nicely. I have the exhaust hose hanging on the back of the cabinet and just hook it up to the quick disconnect dryer vent to the outside.


#9

They are.

New photo by David Andrews

What you see is the end of a bar that runs nearly the full width of the case that forms one of the ‘feet’. There is one across the front and one in back, both recessed the same amount. The front edge of it is right at 4" recessed.


#10

Hi all! I am also looking at mobile work tables. Do you think this will work?

Was worried it may not be sturdy enough, but weight capacity is listed at 300 lbs and the depth exactly matches the GF 20.75"


#11

I think that would make a fine table for your laser. :sunglasses:


#12

Here’s what I’m using.

Got them at Costco. Big, stable, and it works great when I need to pivot the forge out of the way so I can connect or disconnect the hose to the window vent adapter. That is only in place when I’m burning.


#13

That’s the one I have. Not sure why it’s not working okay for @evansd2 but I don’t notice a big issue with the depth. The GF fits fine. There’s a bit of overhang but the feet are inset to the body of the GF so it’s not an issue.

I have a Pro so I replaced the non-swiveling wheels with swiveling ones from HD. I can pull on the handle and pivot it away from the wall to open up space for the pass-through. If I had a Basic and wasn’t going to move it much, then the 2 fixed/2 swivel wheels would be fine.

The drawers are good for a lot of stuff. I’m using them mostly for non-materials (things like other tools, inks, paints, glues and some non-sheet materials like slate, tiles, etc.

Being metal, I stick my neodymium magnets on the side of the chest. Then I can just slide them off when I want to use one to hold down material. I also have a power strip zip-tied to the handle that I have my power cords plugged into. There’s enough room on the top next to the GF to put my flatbed scanner so I can scan stuff with very high resolution and clean artifacts to drop into my designs. I’ve converted one of the drawers into a pull out shelf that I can use as a desk surface for my laptop (either put a longer piece of ply across an open drawer or make a drawer sized open box placed open side down that is the same height as the drawer so you can still close the drawer when you take the laptop off).

I got mine on sale (either Father’s Day or Christmas I think) for $100 off. Worth watching the sales if you haven’t gotten your GF yet.


#14

Slight detail: I am not using mine as a stand for the GF, I have a big built-in work bench that it sits on. Everything I said was accurate.

  • The GF is about 21" deep. The cart I have (Husky) is 18" deep. Thus, “it’s not deep enough for the GF”. Your GF will conservatively require 26 or 27" of depth from the front edge of the machine to the wall that is against its rear. (21" for the GF, and 5 or 6" relief for the vent hose. You can probably crunch that down to closer to 4" but you’ll have to wrangle the machine anytime you clean the vent tube.)

  • You have to put swivels on it (purchased separately) to allow for full freedom of movement.

So, yeah, use this cart if you like. The GF will overhang the front and/or back by an inch, and you wont be able to put the back edge flush to your wall due to the vent location.

I’m not saying it can’t work in the right situation, but it’s not a 100% slam dunk.


#15

Correct, mostly.

The feet (a long rail under the GF) is 1 3/4" inset from the rear of the cabinet top when the front of the GF is flush with the front of the cabinet. There’s no issue with stability or a “need” for any more table top behind the GF for any kind of support.

The back of the body of the GF extends about 1 1/2" behind the top of the cabinet (not including the hose flange). I’ve got a Rockler 90 bend adapter on the back of mine so it can’t go closer than 8" from the wall. That’s not any different than if I had another 10" of depth of cabinet top - I’d just have a piece of wood between the back and the wall. No cabinet, table or bench will allow the GF to be pushed to the wall. Nor can you avoid having to move something to get to the back of the machine to clean the exhaust output - the swiveling wheels makes it a snap to pivot though.

Everyone’s mileage may vary - if having an 8" space between the back of your GF (but the vent touching) and the wall is an issue and you really need to have that covered by a bench top then you need something else that’s more like 26" deep than this cabinet’s 18" depth.


#16

oh, you have a matching cabinet… I didn’t see those at my costco.
(now you need to do your walls in brick to complete the “industrial loft” look!)


#17

I have had the bigger workbench since last summer, but picked up the smaller one and matching cabinet when they went on sale a couple of weeks ago…


#18

This is such a great tip! I’m seriously thinking of getting one of these carts after the air filter arrives and love the idea of a built-in desk.


#19

Did you (or anyone else for that matter) get this Kitchen Island Utility Cart table from Amazon, by chance? How easy was it to assemble? Did your Glowforge fit well on it?

I am torn between this one and the one in the link below. I would add wheels to it for my Pro.

SUNCOO 24" x 48" Stainless Steel Work Prep Table with Backsplash https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1KBEMX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_S58FAbH7X5YTM


The abosolute height of #&@^$%! irony
#20

That backsplash might be trouble for the vent, it’s very close to the table surface. I might look for one without a lip.

I use a table very much like this as my kitchen island, it’s plenty sturdy for a Glowforge.