How strong is your wasteboard game? In this video, Morgan shows off the wasteboard that he designed for his Journeyman, and explains 3 critical characteristics that make a great CNC wasteboard.
Flatness - To get the best results, your wasteboard should be perfectly parallel to the machine’s Z-axis. Kind of a no-brainer, but often overlooked.
Workholding capability - Morgan’s wasteboard is built around Microjig’s MATCHFIT system - incorporating a grid of dovetail tracks to secure a variety of fences, stops, clamps, and hold-downs to secure material.
Consistent material positioning - With a built-in positioning system, you can save a TON of time setting the origin point of your toolpaths. With a fixed, known origin relative to your machine’s home position, toolpathing is a breeze.
Cleanup toolpath! Included with the updated file is a cleanup toolpath. What the heck is that? It looks a lot like a surfacing toolpath, but it doesn’t cut anything. You fire up the vacuum, drop your dust boot, run the toolpath, and the machine runs across the entirety of the wasteboard, sucking up all dust and debris…
If it’s time to replace your wasteboard, you might want to take a closer look at this dovetail system - it’s pretty neat.
Vcarve (v.11) SVG and DXF files for the wasteboard and detailed instructions are available for free right here…
The actual wasteboard is 32x48, but I made the toolpath only 31x47. That prevents me from cutting too close to any one edge and I think keeping even a small solid border around the cut area will help keep it flat.
@MorganHop Would you re-flatten at some point or make a new one? I am thinking flattening an existing one would reduce the effectiveness of the dovetail tracks. Also, do you run a pass with the MatchFit relief bit or go straight to the dovetail bit?
Absolutely! Relief grooves have a dedicated toolpath, run right before cutting the dovetail tracks. Microjig’s 1/4" relief bit isn’t necessary though. Any 1/4" bit will do because the dovetail bit is just gonna plow through it all anyway.
It’ll probably be a VERY long time till I need to replace it or even flatten. I check the thickness of my material with a caliper before even creating the toolpath. and I set the cutting depth to just .005-.010 shy of the full thickness. I understand the wasteboard is there to get cut into, but I prefer to avoid it whenever I can
Thanks. I think I’ll try this. I built a tee-nut wasteboard or should I say mis-made as I found my machine is juuust slightly out of square enough to notice in the cuts. I love the matchfit jigs and sleds I’ve built.
Yeah it’s just on top of the QCW. The dovetail tracks are 3/8" deep so putting panels in between the tracks wouldn’t work. I used the tracks to attache the wasteboard to the QCW with 1/4-20 screws and nuts
This is awesome, @MorganHop! Great video too! I really like the clamping pieces you’ve designed as well. You did some really good work putting this all together.
I set my wasteboard up with the Matchfit Dovetail system about a year ago when I got my Onefinity and have loved it. I have a few precautionary notes about it that I think are worth mentioning:
1 - The bolts that come with the dovetail kit are really short. They have some that are just the nut in the dovetail that you can put allthread and a wing nut on though, which work much better. I’ve thought about making some out of wood or HDPE and some treaded nut inserts, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
2 - The plastic dovetails are not very strong. I’ve broken about 4 of them because I tightened them too much trying to secure my workpiece (unsuccessfully of course haha).
3 - The dovetails tend to stick to the wood after tightening them. You have to push them down pretty hard after taking your material off in order to move them around sometimes.
4 - The nuts that come with the kit are huge and get in the way of the dust boot if you’re not careful. I’d recommend replacing them with smaller wing nuts if you run into the same problem.
5 - Make sure your dovetail piece is 100% inside the track. There were two times that I had them partly in the track and partly in the entry pocket, and they busted out, taking a chunk of my wasteboard with it.
Over all it’s a great system and I really like it though!