What is better for a spoil board and why MDF or Partical Board

What is better for a spoil board and why ? MDF or Particle Board?

It doesn’t matter, it’s a spoil board.
It could be a bunch of scrap 2x4 or whatever you have available.

I don’t even have an official spoil board, I just put the closest piece of scrap I have laying around.

MDF exhibits better stability and retains flatness better than wood/plywood, but Alex is correct in that being a spoilboard it could be anything… as long as you don’t mind damaging it (hopefully, over time).

1 Like

OK, Thanks for the reply.

OK, Thanks for the reply.

Hey OtterDog,

I set up my machine at school with a sheet of 3/4’’ HDPE. We couldn’t use MDF because it would get saturated with cutting oil/coolant and the flatness/dimensional stability would decrease.
If you’re sticking to woods/plastics, then you are fine to use either MDF or particleboard.

On another CNC (in our school’s woodshop), we are running MDF becuase we only cut wood on that one, and it’s equipped with a vacuum table.

I think MDF is a better option, but if you have particleboard just go with that.


I use high quality plywood. I’m always screwing things to the spoil board which makes ply much better. I find that making all those fancy spoil boards look pretty but I have always found it quicker and easier to mill a few index holes here and there and screw low profile clamping devices to hold stuff; especially if you make a lot of one-offs. Just my way… I do admire some of those real nice spoil boards some of you make!


Hey OtterDog,

particle board is rather coarse and tends to desintegrate itself earlier, especially at the edges. This has to be considered if you intend to use dog holes in your spoilboard. MDF is rather dense. Both swell when becoming wet. The first is cheaper and the latter more expensive.