So you just installed a new wasteboard or you need to flatten your current one because its carved into way to much. In this blog post I'll walk you through just how to do it.
When you first install your new wasteboard its important to flatten it. While the board my be visually flat, it will probably not be flat relative to the router. This is important because it will be different heights across the wasteboard. What could be 1 inch away from the router on the left side of the board could be 1 1/4 inches different on the right side. This is especially important when engraving or v carving fine details when the depth of cut is only 1/4 or less. It would end up cutting on one side and completely miss the board on the right. There are a few factors as to why it wont be perfectly flat to the router. The wasteboard thickness could be inconsistent from the factory, the machine could not be square, or you could have some sag in the span of the wasteboard.
I needed a mobile workbench for my heavy CNC machine. It's a shop build, so I don't want to spend a lot of time or money on it. I needed something quick and easy. I focused on making this build accessible to everyone's skill level and easy on the wallet. You could make this with only a drill and circular saw. I'll walk you through how to build it step by step. Total build time is around 1 hour. I built this to size specifically for my Carbide 3D Shapeoko XXL CNC machine, but you can put anything you'd like on it. It's perfect for the small shop where space is a premium.
So you just got a Shapeoko touch probe and love it. However, you have no clue where to store it. Unfortunately, when not in use, the touch probe and the alligator clip can be a burden finding a safe and secure place to store it where they won't be in the way of moving parts. This mount helps solve that problem. Its 3D printed from PLA material. It can be mounted with glue, double sided tape, or with a few screws through the flat part of the base.
Check out my Etsy listing to buy your own.
Have your own 3D printer? Click HERE to download the file and print one for yourself!
Don't have a 3D printer but want one? I recommend the Creality Ender 3!
Click HERE to buy from Gearbest or HERE to buy from Amazon
Check out my YouTube unboxing of it HERE
Now that you followed my previous blog and created your own threaded waste board, it's time to make some clamps for it. You could buy some clamps like the Rockler Hold Down Clamps or Oops Clamps from Suck It but we want some clamps that will clamp from the side and not have to worry if we hit them accidentally with a bit. We're going to be making some Cam Clamps. We'll be using the hardware you bought from the waste board blog post to hold them down (but I'll link them below also). You'll need at least a 1' x 1' x 3/4 piece of mdf (or plywood) as the material to make them out of (it's ok if you have a bigger piece, there will just be waste left over). If you bought a 4x8 sheet of mdf to make the waste board, you should easily have enough left over for this project.
Myers Woodshop Cam Clamps (right click, save as)
Consider buying the file from my etsy shop.
It helps support what i do so I can create more free content :)
It also includes an .SVG file for those who want to use a different program.
Many of you have seen my videos of me using my Shapeoko 3 XXL CNC and have seen my custom waste board. Since I've gotten several messages about it I'm writing this blog post for everyone to access easily. Although the file is made for the XXL it can easily be modified for any size CNC you have.
Myers Woodshop Wasteboard Shapeoko 3 Files
Free (right click, save as):
Consider buying the file from my Etsy shop.
It helps support what i do so I can create more free content :)
You'll want to download this as it's preprogrammed for a 3/4 thick sheet of mdf at 31" x 31" (the max cutting area of a XXL).
When you open the file you'll be looking at the bottom of the waste board. The t-nuts come up from the bottom. The larger circle is the base (washer-like) part of the t-nut and the smaller hole is where the shaft of the t-nut will go through. I programmed the file to use the cutter that came with your machine, #201, 1/4 up-cut bit. If you have a 1/8 bit it would be ideal to 'drill' the smaller holes with it. Generally, it is recommended to use a bit 1/3 of the size hole your going to create. If your having problem drilling the hole with the #201, use a 1/8 upcut bit.
You'll want to place the sheet at the very front of the machine against the metal lip and make sure it's centered. When you cut, you'll want to make sure that you use dust collection and wear breathing protection (I recommend the RZ Mask) because MDF dust is extremely fine and very harmful.
After it's done cutting the file, i predrilled and countersunk a few holes around the waste board we just cut to screw it to the waste board that came with the machine. Make sure you sink these screws at least 1/2 way through the material. You don't want to accidentally hit them with a bit! The 3/4 mdf we just cut with our hole pattern is called a supplemental waste board. Why don't we just replace the waste board that came with our machine? We do this because we will eventually mark up the board with through cuts and get to a point that it will need to be replaced. Its much easier to unscrew a piece of mdf and replace the smaller board than take the whole machine apart and end up having to re-square the machine. Unfortunately, You'll have to purchase a full 4x8 sheet of mdf to get the piece we need.
On some setups you'll see people have a L shaped fence on the front left of their machine. This allows a very quick x,y zeroing because the same point will be used over and over. Its a great choice if your doing constant, repeat work and can be added to this waste board easily. I chose not to do this for two reasons: My work is never consistent, and I occasionally have pieces hang over the front and back of the machine (engraving table tops). Instead I use a set of Oops Clamps from Suck-it Dust Boot Company and place two of them in parallel to form a 'fence'. Not only are the extremely low profile, they are cheap and easy to replace if you have an oops situation.
If you end up making this waste board please tag me on social media or email me pictures of your set up! I love seeing how others do their work and what modifications make your workflow more successful!
1/4 - 20 t nuts *you need 5 packs, 240 in total* - https://amzn.to/2KWDsx5
1/4 - 20 hex bolts - https://amzn.to/2UgneU5
1/4 - 20 washers - https://amzn.to/2KXoFST